Thursday, August 31, 2006

That pesky Ernesto!

Well, no coffee by the lake this morning … too wet. It stormed like crazy. It has pretty much rained all night and day long. Hard rain sometimes. No more lightning, at least not close. They are issuing flash flood warnings for everywhere within a few hundred miles. The lake we are camped by doesn’t seem to any higher which is good. It looks like Ernesto might turn into a hurricane. I’m glad we didn’t go to the coast yet. We are just sittin in the motorhome and watching TV. Another lazy day. Tonight we are planning to go to church. We have been looking forward to it all week.

Click these images to see them:

Here is another joke:

The Pope, Billy Graham, and Oral Roberts were in a three-way plane crash over the Pacific Ocean. They all died and went to heaven together.
"Oh, this is terrible," exclaims St. Peter, "I know you guys think we summoned you here, but this is just one of those coincidences that happen. Since we weren't expecting you, your quarters just aren't ready... We can't take you in and we can't send you back...."
Then he got an idea. He picked up the phone, "Lucifer, this is Pete. Hey, I got these three guys up here. They're ours, but we weren't expecting them, and we gotta fix the place up for 'em. I was hoping you could put them up for a while. It'll only be a couple of days. What d'ya say?"
Reluctantly, the Devil agreed.
However, two days later, St. Peter got a call. "Pete, Lu. Hey, you gotta come get these three clowns.This Pope fellow is forgiving everybody,the Graham guy is saving everybody,and that Oral Roberts has raised enough money to buy air conditioning."

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Triad Information

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Now it’s Wednesday morning by the lake…of course with coffee. The cicadas are especially raucous this morning. Kevin the realtor is waiting to hear back from inspectors but expects it can be inspected this week. A Tropical Storm is in Florida and they expect heavy rains soon. It was windy and rained a bit last night. We are looking forward to the rain. Hurricanes and Tropical Storms aren’t much of a problem this far inland. We’ve heard we don’t really get any severe weather here. Yesterday we were watching some guys fish. I’m not sure what they were catching but it was about 2 inches long and they were throwing them back. They killed a tiny water moccasin (a snake, not an aqua-shoe.) and tried using it as bait … without any luck. Paige gave me a haircut, so I’m not so scruffy. I also shaved my “beard” back down to a goatee. It doesn’t grow well on the sides of my face. It’s strange considering my dad might be part gorilla. Ha. Ha. (You know I love ya!) Well we are going to look at furniture in High Point (The Furniture and Hosiery Capital of the World). More later. It’s Wednesday evening and we had a pretty serious storm. We were in Target when it struck. Heavy rain with wicked lightning. It was so loud and close that it caused the emergency exit alarms to go off. Neither of us had seen anything like it. I got Clearwire internet so I should be able to get online and update the blog anytime I want. We found a great couch. We’ll upload pictures of it soon. More tomorrow. m

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Hi guys, its Tuesday morning, coffee by the lake and updating the blog. We are just waiting to hear more from the realtor. We’d like to go back into the house but they are turning the utilities on for the inspections and we’ll be there for those. Here is a joke we heard at church:
A man went to a monastery and informed them the he wanted to become part of their community. They told him that he could stay but he had to take a vow of silence and the only time he could speak was at the end of five years, and then he could only speak two words. He agreed. At the end of the five years they asked him if he had anything to say, and he said, “Bed’s hard.” Another five years went by and they asked him if he had anything to say, and he said “Food’s cold.” Monastery life resumed and another five years went by and they asked him if he had anything to say, and he said “I’m leaving” to which the Monks replied, “It’s probably for the best, you’ve done nothing but complain since you got here.”

Below is some information on the Triad area. The metro area is bigger than we thought, it’s about 1.5 Million souls.

Piedmont Triad From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Location in North Carolina:

The Piedmont Triad is a region of North Carolina (locally known simply as "The Triad") in the Piedmont that consists of the area within and surrounding the cities of Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and High Point. The area is connected by Interstates 40, 85, 73, & 74 and is served by the Piedmont Triad International Airport. Long known as one of the primary manufacturing and transportation hubs of the southeastern U.S., the Triad is also an important educational and cultural region and occupies a prominent place in the history of the American Civil Rights Movement. The Triad should not be confused with the "Triangle" region (Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill) directly to the east.

Winston-Salem From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Founded: 1766 (Salem) 1849 (Winston) Incorporated: 1913
Nickname: "Twin City"
Winston-Salem is a city in Forsyth (For-Sith) County, North Carolina, United States. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 185,776. It is the county seat of Forsyth County, North Carolina, and the fifth-largest city in the state. Winston-Salem is a prominent municipality in the Piedmont Triad region and home to the tallest building in the area, the Wachovia Center. It is often referred to as the "Twin City" for its dual heritage. The Old Salem district and related Historic Bethabara site are the city's oldest historical attractions. Also of historical interest is Reynolda Village (which includes Reynolda Gardens and the Reynolda House Museum of American Art). Other sites of interest include the Horne Creek Historic Farm, Tanglewood Park, the SciWorks educational facility, and SECCA, the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art.The Winston-Salem metropolitan area (MSA) has an estimated population of 441,607 according to the 2004 estimate by the U.S. Census Bureau. The combined statistical area (CSA) of Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point has a July 1, 2005 population of 1,490,886. Source: US Bureau of the Census Released April 2006

Climate: The climate in High Point is temperate, with four seasons. Summers tend to be hot and sometimes humid, with the dewpoints rising to the upper 60s and low 70s during July and August. Fall and spring are mild. Winters are cold, but only a few days every winter does the temperature drop below -5° C. Rainfall patterns are generally spread evenly throughout the year, with between six and nine wet days per month. Snowfall is unpredictable, with some winters experiencing little and others characterised by occasional snowstorms. January lows average -3° C (28° F) and highs average 7° C (48° F). July lows average 19° C (67° F) and highs average 30° C (88° F) although during heat waves, summer highs can cross 35° C (95° F). The lowest temperature ever officially recorded for the city was -22° C (-7° F), and the highest temperature ever recorded was 40° C (104° F). High Point has a humid continental climate, though being located between the mountains and the ocean it experiences less temperature fluctuation than inland areas.

Greensboro From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Nickname: "Gate City"

Greensboro, North Carolina, is a city in Guilford County in the U.S. state of North Carolina. It is the largest city in the Piedmont Triad region.As of the 2000 census, the city population was 223,891, making it the third most populous city in North Carolina. Its estimated 2006 population is 240,955.It is located at the intersection of two interstate highways (I-85 and I-40) in the Piedmont ("foot of the mountains") region in central North Carolina.In 1808, Greensborough (as it was spelled before 1895) was planned around a central courthouse square to replace Guilford Court House as the county seat. This act moved the county courts closer to the geographical center of the county, a location more easily reached by a greater number of the county's citizens.The town is home to several universities and colleges. The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG), North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NCA&T), Guilford College, Bennett College, and Greensboro College all call Greensboro home. In addition, the state community college system has several campuses for Guilford Technical Community College. In August of 2006, the Elon University School of Law opened a campus in downtown Greensboro.The city is the home of the Greensboro Grasshoppers baseball club of the South Atlantic League and the Carolina Dynamo of the USL Premier Development League. The Chrysler Classic of Greensboro, one of the oldest national PGA Tour golf events, is held in Greensboro every fall at Forest Oaks Country Club.

High Point From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Nickname: "Furniture and Hosiery Capital of the World"

High Point is a city in North Carolina, United States. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 85,839. (Estimates now place the city population at around 100,000).High Point is known for its furniture, textiles, and bus manufacturing. It is generally regarded as the "Furniture Capital of the World" and "North Carolina's International City" due to the bi-annual High Point Market that attracts 100,000 exhibitors and buyers from around the world. The area code is 336.It is home to the only Bentley dealership in all neighboring states.Most of the city is located in Guilford County, with portions spilling into neighboring Randolph, and Forsyth counties.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Lazy Monday

Monday, August 28, 2006

It’s Monday morning and we are having coffee on the picnic table by the lake. We were watching a GIANT Blue Heron in the tree across from the camp. When he flew away I knew I wouldn’t want to mess with him (Not that I make a habit of messin’ with wildlife!) We just applied flea, tick and mosquito medicine down the boys backs. Bugs haven’t been a problem the whole way but better safe than sorry. Sunday was a really nice day. The Pastor David McGee was back and he was better than we hoped. He actually led worship and they rocked! They have electric guitars and aren’t afraid to use them. It is great because I love a powerful worship service. One of my favorite new worship songs might be called Trading My Sorrows (Yes, Lord!) I’m not sure who it is by originally but the chorus goes like this: Yes Lord, Yes Lord, Yes Yes Lord! It reminds me of something the Vineyard’s Pastor Tri Robinson had said in a sermon I heard, “I don’t want to, I’m afraid…but Yes Lord!” I want to live like that. Even if I don’t want to, even if it’s uncomfortable, even if it’s dangerous, even if I’m afraid. I always want to say yes to the Lord. The church is obviously very interested in the lost. It was a great message, interesting, convicting and sprinkled with humor. Here is a link to our churches online audio page so you can listen: We really feel at home there. We went to eat at a restaurant called Libby Hill Seafood, great food and reasonable prices. Living close to the coast is yummy. We picked up a mainline newspaper from Kernersville there and on the front page there were a couple of stories one titled “God’s Helping Hand” and one titled “The Lord Really Blessed Me”. Now that’s not something you see everyday in the Idaho Statesman (or LA Times). It is another world. We are really excited about the house. We have been looking at furniture and my Dad has been locating good deals on appliances and beds in the newspapers. Thanks Dad! The weather has been pretty warm but not very humid lately. It’s about 11am now and it’s cool with a nice breeze. Not humid at all. Paige is reading the newspaper and said that sunset here is at 7:54pm. That is quite a bit earlier than we are used to. We sure love it here. I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before but people are so friendly. You can strike up a conversation with just about anyone, or they will. I’m trying to become more outgoing. When people ask us what we do (meaning what job defines you?) we tell them we are missionaries (it doesn’t have a bad connotation here) and they always ask us to where (meaning which country) and we say we were missionaries to Boise, Id and now we are missionaries to North Carolina and are just waiting for the call to go elsewhere. People also frequently ask us what brought us here and the only true answer is GOD. So that’s what we say, mostly it opens to a lengthy conversation but occasionally the other person changes the subject (thinking we are insane, I know I would have.) and we talk about other stuff. We just learned today that Dinner is the noon meal and Supper is the meal at sundown. It had been throwin’ us but now we know. We are enjoying being Southern. My buddy David in Boise said to watch out for the Blair Witch in the forest behind the house. Thanks David, now I won’t be able to go in the backyard after dark. More later, now “Go Out and Serve Your KING!” m We just heard that the ACCEPTED OUR OFFER ON THE HOUSE! :) PTL

Saturday, August 26, 2006

House Hunt..Completed!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

We made an offer on the house on Friday and it is Saturday and we haven’t heard if it was accepted. It’s not really a surprise because it is the weekend and the owner lives in Virginia. We’ll let you know when we know. We drove around Winston-Salem yesterday. It has a pretty snazzy skyline. I really like the round topped building which is the Wachovia building. Downtown is very artsy, lots of galleries and little bistros. A little out of downtown is very industrial, unlike anything we have in Boise, Tobacco plants and other unidentified industrial buildings. We took some pictures of downtown and will upload them soon. Today we drove back to the house and found that the church is really close and found a neat back way to it. We are going to head home and rest. More later, M The picture is of the Crape-Mytle. It is in bloom and very popular in the Triad. Comes in many colors, red, pink, white and purple. God bless.

Friday, August 25, 2006

House Hunt!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Met up with our Real Estate Agent, Kevin on Wed. evening, we asked our agent in Boise if she could put us in touch with someone here, and she got a hold of the Coldwell Banker office, who in turn put us with Kevin. After meeting with him, and spending the last two days with him we know that GOD was really the one who put us together with Kevin, what a blessing! We had mentioned to Joyce (agent in Boise) that we wanted an agent who was a Christian, and Kevin said he didn’t quite know how he was chosen to work with us, but his office obviously knew he was the man for the job. Divine appointments. So, met with him Wed. late afternoon, and he took us out to Summerfield, an area the locals call “horse country” we think it was like Eagle, Idaho, or Tustin, Calif. The house was cute, about 800 Sq. Ft. but needed some structural work, not a good thing. We went back to the office and got online and found 98 properties in our range, spent a couple hours looking at them, Kevin vetoed some properties by their locations, and we vetoed some for various other reasons. We ended up with about 15, agreed to meet at 9am Thursday to start the search. We saw a really cute place in High Point, built in 1902, had original molding and hardwood floors (would need refinishing) the bathroom and kitchen (in all the properties we saw) would need updating, but in the end we felt it was too close to the middle school, about 3 houses away. We imagined lots of kids lolly-gagging down the street twice a day, 5 days a week-not what we were looking for. We saw some real dumps, and some with potential, we broke for lunch while Kevin had another appointment, and then met back up to see some in Winston-Salem. The sun was setting, and we were at the end of our list…and there it was, right there on Opportunity Street-literally! 1953 Cottage, new siding and windows, good roof and good inside lay-out. Spectacular yard, woods on the east and behind, and across the street. Only neighbors on the west side and they are probably 40ft away with trees in between. We will of course have to do some updates, change out the heating/cooling system and install a fence (probably one of those invisible fences) update the kitchen and bath (which we are old pros at) and possibly have new floors installed. The house is listed at $34,000 so we have plenty of budget to play with. Here is a link: God is so good! Kevin is talking to the listing agent this morning, and we will arrange to have an inspection done, then we will make an offer, the place is empty, so move in could take as little as two weeks. Exciting! P

We are currently staying at the Oak Hollow campground in High Point. It’s really close to the realtor and has cable but doesn’t have internet. We are backed right up the lake which is cool but we are ready to have a house. Gar loves to be in the “House” with us (and he can’t behave outside, barks at anyone near the campsite) but Loki lives to be outside. I didn’t think he would like the heat and humidity but it is like pulling teeth to get him back inside. When we are here you’ll find him sprawled in the dirt at the end of his leash. Kevin the realtor has been a great blessing. He goes to a great church that sounds like is really hard at it. He is part of a ministry that ministers to people with AIDS as well as drug and alcohol related issues. He also goes with his church street witnessing. He said it gets easier! We didn’t get to go to church on Thursday night…Kevin had canceled his appointment and wanted to take us out looking for a house…and it paid off. It’s hard to believe we could be in it so quickly. Paige just spoke with Kevin and he said the owner of the property lives in Virginia and has owned it since 1972. He has recently been upgrading it, new windows, siding etc. We are meeting with Kevin at 3pm to work up an offer. He expects we can be in it in 15 days. M

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

We Made It to the the Triad: Winston-Salem, Greensboro & High Point

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

What a weekend-very difficult and stressful, but we made it. Found a campground in Mocksville, at Lake Myers, another big resort with 425 RV sites, and crazy busy, lots of “permanent” residents who all have their own golf carts. The ad said internet, but we must have been too far away from the transmitter, because we got no signal. Saturday we headed into Winston-Salem and looked around, into Greensboro and found a street with lots of car dealerships, had to park the motorhome and walk to them and found the budget I had set aside was unrealistic. The used cars that had less than 100k miles were expensive, and we got frustrated and headed for another campground. We picked up a couple of newspapers and a very detailed map of the area and went “home” to study. Sunday we went to the church, worship rocked, but the head pastor was on vacation (school started Monday) the substitute was from a Calvary in Sand Hills, NC and very good. The couple seated in front of us stopped to chat after the service, found out we were new, and asked what they could do to help. We said we needed to find a house and car, so they offered us theirs! Come stay with them, and borrow his truck-we declined, but were very grateful for the offer. We drove around a little after church, but not knowing the area and being in the motorhome made for more stress than enjoyment, so back to the Lake. Got a campsite closer to the office, but still the internet signal was blocked. Argh! Let’s see that brings us to Monday…back into Greensboro, to the dealership where we had met a nice young man named Daniel on Saturday. He took us around looking at new and used PT Cruisers, and we decided to bite the bullet, have something nice for a change, and so we bought a 2006 previously owned, that only had 12k miles. What an ordeal! But worth it in the end, and so much nicer to be able to drive with the flow of traffic, and stop on a dime if needed. Now we just need a Jesus fish for the back and we’re set, I want to get a personalized plate ALL 4HM or PRZ HIM. They even have exclamation points and punctuation available on their license plates. Tuesday, talked to the Realtor, will meet with him Wed, and start the house hunt. Found us a storage unit, and started to unload. Will drive the motorhome to storage in the AM on our way to another campground in High Point that has internet and cable, and is really nice. That brings us up to date. Calvary has Thurs eve service I’m sure we will go to, get back into some sort of routine. Dogs are well, Gar got a tick in his ear, but I think it’s dead, it’s legs don’t move, and it hasn’t grown- anyone know how to remove a tick? Things ya just gotta learn as you go. Well bye for now , love y’all. P

Friday, August 18th, 2006

Well, we crossed over into North Carolina about 2pm Eastern time. There was no place to stop at the border so we couldn’t get a picture. We were in the Smoky Mountains and it sure was pretty. The kudzu still blows us away, looks like you wouldn’t want to stand still around it for too long. Large amounts of Daylilies just growing by the road. We are excited to be here but it is a bit surreal. We drove through Ashville and it was strange because I had researched it a bit and it was odd to be there. It’s going to even be stranger in Kernersville. It looked like Asheville had more Christian schools than public schools Tonight we are going to stop about 35 miles from the Triad area (Winston-Salem, Highpoint and Greensboro). We are really looking forward to church on Sunday as well as everything else. Dollywood / Pigeon Forge were great fun but it was nice to get back on the road. We have seen a lot of things on this trip but one thing we haven’t seen are LDS / Mormon Churches. We haven’t seen one since we left Boise. They were everywhere, and now, poof gone. It’s going to be strange buying a car too, it’s been a long time since we have done that but I’m sure it will go fine. If you are the praying kind, we sure could use it over all these big decisions we have coming up. We are so thankful that He got us this far safely. The people here sure are friendly. People are frequently chatting with us, it’s really nice and we are beginning to feel at home here. We sure loved Tennessee and I’m sure we will love North Carolina too. We have seen quite a few different restaurants along the way; Waffle House, Shoney’s, Bob Evans, O’Charleys, Ruby Tuesday, Bo Jangles, Stuckeys, Chick-fil-A and others. One constant throughout the country has been Cracker Barrel, which are on almost every corner and at every exit. It’s nice because we enjoyed it in Boise and it’s comforting on the road. We have seen most of our favorite chain restaurants here. This country is also crawlin’ with Outlet Malls. HUGE MALLS. With discounted prices, no less! I’m typing while we drive and I just saw some graffiti sprayed in an underpass, it said “Trust Jesus”, which is good advice, but I’m unsure as to the medium. I’ve never heard of “Graffiti Ministry” but we all have a calling. PAINT ON, Brother! M

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Friday, August 18, 2006

Whipped by Pigeon Forge, TN - DOLLYWOOD!

Thursday, August 18th, 2006

WOW, What a busy, fun filled couple of days! We arrived into Tennessee late Tuesday evening and stayed in Clinton for the night. We were introduced to The Smokey Mountains, and to Kudzu - both of them are amazing. The mountains seem to exude smoke, or fog, I’m not sure why it is, but it’s weird . Kudzu is also weird, some kind of very fast growing, extremely invasive vine that in places covered everything. Made trees look like topiaries covered in ivy, apparently flowers too, that must be pretty. We have definitely entered a new world, the waitress asked if we wanted our ice tea sweetened, and Mike said yes-wow was it sweet, next time he’ll ask for half sweet. She also hand wrote May GOD Bless You on our receipt, that doesn’t happen in Idaho or California! We also saw billboards and buildings off the freeway “advertising” Christ. We found the largest Christian bookstore, over 15,000 sq ft. and saw Colonel Sanders birthplace. Wednesday morning we pressed on into Knoxville and into Pigeon Forge where Dollywood is. Mike looked online and found if you enter Dollywood after 3pm you can go again the next day, so we stopped at on amazing outlet mall first. I found a Shoe Closet that had Carlos Santana heels originally $125.00 on sale for $19.99, needless to say I went back for another pair, and may even stop on our way out of town again in the morning. The main drag of Pigeon Forge is probably 10 miles long and stuffed with hotels, restaurants, souvenir shops and go-cart tracks. There are trolleys that run the loop and stop at the campgrounds, really nice. They run from 8am-midnight and are .50 cents a ride; we probably have spent $20.00 on the trolley over the last 2 days, but better than un-hooking and fighting traffic and to park. So we made it into Dollywood (by trolley) Wed a little after 3pm it was almost 90 degrees, so we headed for the water rides. There is a flume ride called Daredevil Falls and boy did we get soaked. We wandered in and out of water rides trying to stay cool, until the park closed at 6pm. Back to the RV to change into dry clothes and back on the trolley to go see a Broadway style musical of the life of Christ called Miracle. Very entertaining, camels and sheep in the production (not singing) and angels flying over head on harnesses…quite a show! Boy did we sleep well that night, didn’t get to bed til midnight, and tonight will probably be the same, more Dollywood today and we’re tuckered out. Did some souvenir shopping this morning on our way to the trolley depot, got to Dollywood about noon and rode the train, some carnival type rides, and of course the water rides again, got a great picture. By about 4pm we had enough and headed for the strip to get some dinner, we will leave tomorrow and head into North Carolina (by way of that shoe store-of course) The south (Tennessee) has been great to us, and we have absolutely no regrets of moving here, the scenery is amazing and the people are great too, the weather is not that bad, and we feel God all around us. Looking forward to getting to church on Sunday - we’ll head to Kernersville and start to house hunt next week, very exciting. p Pigeon Forge is pretty neat lots of shopping, shows and attractions. If you go bring money! We stayed at the RiverEdge RV park It is nice too.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Ohio to Kentucky!

Monday, August 14, 2006

I forgot to mention our introduction to Michigan, a little on the rocky side. Road signs placed in weird places, secret highways, and a fear of dogs on their beaches or parking lots. See we tried to go see Lake Michigan before heading to Jodi’s, and to look at the map, it appears you drive right next to it, but alas we could see nothing but trees. So we attempted to stop at a State Park, and were told no dogs in the parking lot. Being that we were in a motorhome, we should have been able to hide the dogs, but as you all have figured out, our dogs are not normal…so we gave up on the Lake, some other visit I guess. We also made many, many detours (not on purpose) because of the strangely places road signs, and secret highways etc, but we did get to see The Great Raccoon Massacre of 2006. There were at least 5 in one place that had gotten hit, Jodi told us that the state doesn’t pick up the roadkill either, which would account for so many being around. Entered the state of Ohio this morning, stopped for lunch in Dayton, only to find a Shoebilee! Very much like the Shoe Carnival in Indiana, very exciting-My cross country shoe hunt has finally begun. (Lime green shoes and purse today that is a shopping bi-fecta! m) Humid again, but rightfully so with rain both this afternoon and again tonight, Michigan had great weather. We have made it into Kentucky, thought about pushing on to Lexington, but figured there was always tomorrow. We found the cities to be so old, dirty, and very industrial. Detroit, Toledo, Dayton and Cincinnati in the last couple of days, and what a different world from the little ol’ Boise we’re used to, guess we’ll be getting used to a lot of different things. P Tonight we are staying at a park called Oak Creek in Walton, KY.


It's funny cuz I think I may have seen him at the Detroit Zoo.

Tom & Jodi's - Lake Orion, MI pt 2

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Tonight we are in Monroe, MI which is near the border of Ohio. We didn’t get far from Jodi Lake Orion because we left about 4:30 pm. We drove pretty close to downtown Detroit and I imagine we saw most of the sports stadiums. We are about 15 miles from Toledo, Ohio. We sure had a nice visit at Tom and Jodi’s. Tom barbecued steaks and corn for us yesterday. The steaks were from a cow from Tom’s sister’s ranch. Tender and perfect. Breakfast was homemade sausage and eggs. The weather couldn’t have been better. I really enjoyed their baby Aaron. He sure is at a great age. He is happy, funny and smart. I laughed with him until my stomach hurt. We went to the Detroit Zoo It’s a nice zoo and the highlight was a tube under the Polar Bear water tank. The bear was swimming over us and showing off. It’s about as close as I ever want to get to a big white bear. The tiger and giraffes were very hospitable and posed for pictures but the lions seemed to be on break and just laid there.

Here is another of our favorite pictures:


Sunday, August 13, 2006

Tom & Jodi's - Lake Orion, MI pt 1

Saturday, August 12, 2006 pt 2

We made it to my high school friend Jodi and her husband Tom’s house in Lake Orion, MI about noon, sat on the patio and had a very nice-not bumpy or noisy-visit. They have a kennel for their dog that we used to put the boys in, since they have no fence around the back yard, and it only took Gargoyle about 4 hrs to break out. He worked at the giant chicken wire type twist-ties that hold the screen part of the walls to the frame until they were untwisted and he could pry the wall up enough to sneak thru. We had all gone inside for dinner, but Tom was getting the meat off the grill and saw him running free towards the neighbors. Loki stayed inside the kennel, I think just glad to be finally alone. Gargoyle was rounded up, and banished to the motorhome, so much for escaping. We opted to spend the night in Jodi and Tom’s driveway since it was a mild 75 degrees today, and we won’t need the air conditioner, we can plug into residential electricity for fans, and lights, but air conditioner blows fuses. Breakfast in the morning and then Jodi will drive us into Detroit to the big farmers market and the Zoo. We will get out of their hair in the afternoon, as they both have to work Monday. Since we’ve decided not to go into Canada, we will head south, but not far, due to such a late start. Jodi and Tom have Aaron, an adorable 14 month old, who entertained us much of the afternoon and evening, and reminded me that I do not possess the “mommy gene”. Enough said. Another adventure awaits tomorrow, we sure are having a good time, we want to do everything (like Canada) and have to remind ourselves, that we are going to live here (this side of the Mississippi) and can do other trips. Til next time, God Bless. p

Saturday, August 12, 2006


Saturday, August 12, 2006

We spent the night in Jackson, Michigan (near Kalamazoo and Battle Creek) at a monstrous RV park called Greenwood Acres There are 1080 spaces and it looks like they are all filled. It’s a pretty terrible thing. A huge pasture, a few trees and rows and rows of trailers. Along the way we found that we like to be able to hook up to power, water, cable etc. We are traveling, not camping, but this is too much. It’s bigger that most towns we’ve seen since we left. Michigan, itself, is weird as well. We have a Woodall’s Campground Directory and have been using it across the country to find places to stay. We have been able to use it to drive right to the driveway of the campground in America…except in Michigan. They are very vague. We had been trying to see Lake Michigan, the Great Lake but can’t get anywhere near it. I guess we were near it but we couldn’t see it. It appears to be all State Parks but they won’t even let us go in with dogs. The highway system is unreal. Here is an example: We are trying to go east on 94. We are driving south down Sprinkle Dr. We know that there is a good chance to get on the freeway east we will have to go left. 3 blocks before the actual highway there is a sign saying 94 east & west turn right. So we begin to try and get over, everyone is mad at us. Fairly heavy traffic, much more than we are used to and in a 23ft motorhome. When we signal everyone gets in that lane and rushes around us. We get over and turn right. 1 Block down a sign says 94 east and west left. It wants us to make a U-turn and go across Sprinkle Dr. and continue on the wrong way. Probably just to make a U-turn again later. Instead we go right on Sprinkle Dr. go down 3 blocks, ignoring wrong signs all the way, turn left and get on 94 heading east. East 94 is like a dirt road paved as are many roads this direction. If it weren’t for Paige’s friend Jodi we would head south. In spite of all of the trouble we are having fun and are in good spirits. We have been driving a lot the last few days, even if it’s in circles, and the dogs are tired. Toward the end of the day Loki looks tired and his eyes plead us to stop. He doesn’t sleep well as we drive because it’s so bumpy and noisy. Travel makes them very thirsty and we all pretty much drink bottled water. We read that tip in a RV book because even though the water at RV parks is drinkable, the mineral content varies and can upset digestive systems. They said traveling with a dog with a sick dog is unpleasant, 2 would be unbearable. So it’s bottled water all around. The weather here is very pleasant. Sunny and cool. We can’t get internet or television here so all we know about the weather is sunny and cool. We are looking forward to heading south. We don’t think we’ll be trying too many more touristy things in the east this trip. The Woodall’s Guide I was talking about before is indispensable. We can search for places to stay before we get there and know what sort of hookups and amenities are available as well as pricing etc. Another great guide we have is The Next Exit which tells us, by exit #, what food, gas, shopping is available. Both of these make traveling easier. It’s about time to trade in the Woodall’s North American Campground Guide for a Woodall’s Eastern Campground Guide. Today we are going to skirt both Detroit and Flint, Michigan and end up in Lake Orion, MI.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Road Construction -or- Destruction

Thursday, August 10, 2006 pt 1 Early Morning

About dawn this morning the sky looked very orange. I dosed a bit and when I woke it was really dark and I could see lightning in the distance. It has since gotten closer and is a full blown storm. I guess we are seeing it from a different perspective, 360 degrees with windows all around, but it seems like the lightning is coming from everywhere. Lightning that was large and very close scaring the dogs…and us. It’s real close. WOW! It looks very swampy around this part of the Mississippi River. It’s also swampy as you get close to the inlets that we are camped near. It is very green but then it seems that the sky cracks open occasionally and drains out.
We think we are going to try and get into Michigan today. We are going to give Chicago a wide berth. Des Moines gave me fits and it’s small. The Iowan transportation department has broken all the freeways around Des Moines so it was pretty tricky. Major road construction everywhere. Well the storm is over and even the rain has stopped. We are going to prepare to get back on the road and maybe we’ll see something fun today.

Thursday, August 10, 2006 pt 2 Early Morning

It rained almost all day today. Sometimes hard and sometimes just a drizzle. We came within a few miles of downtown Chicago…it wouldn’t have been so bad but the Illinois transportation department has broken all of the roads in and around Chicago. They could really teach the Des Moines people about tearin’ stuff up. We were in stop and go traffic, really it was stop and stop and stop and stop and go traffic and it took us over an hour to go 2 miles to a toll booth to pay to drive on the worst road I have ever seen. Still it was strangely fun. Chicago was really one of the first places that made me realize we are really gone. Soon after Chicago it was into Indiana and we completed our tour of “States that Begin with the Letter I” (Idaho, Iowa, Illinois and Indiana)
Tonight we are staying in a KOA campground in South Bend, Indiana. As we came in we saw that this is where Notre Dame University is It sure is pretty country around here. Green rolling hills. Nice. We crossed over into Eastern time zone about 8pm Central time so our body clocks are off a bit but this will be our last change for a while as we will be living on Eastern Standard Time. I forgot to mention that Wednesday, or so, it’s hard to keep track we found a huge Outlet Mall. It had a Bible Factory Outlet, Old Navy and just about everything else you could think of. We didn’t get much. Along the way we also stopped at a Gordmans and a Kohls (which Boise is getting!). Yesterday was one of the highlights on Paige’s journey as we found a DSW (Discount Shoe Warehouse). If you know Paige, you know she likes shoes. We’ll we’ve had much worse vices. She had only seen DSW online so when we saw the real place it was fun. They were a bit expensive and it is a weird time in the season so no real cool styles but it was fun anyway. There also was a Shoe Carnival and that place was much better. She was glad to see there are both stores in NC. I’m still looking for a Mac Store or a CompUSA. I saw fireflies along the road for the first time. Very cool. We have'nt taken too many pictures lately. More soon. m

Here is one of our favorite pictures so far: (You can click any picture to make it bigger.)

Dos Weirdos

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Iowa to Illinois

Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Woke up to more rain which kept it cool till mid-afternoon. Found a Weight Watchers meeting, but opted not to go, after getting on the scale “at home” and was up about 4 lbs. We will have to ride the bikes more often. Finding a Bank of America was also on the agenda, we changed over to BofA before we sold the house because the bank we were with was not nationwide. But we have had nothing but problems with BofA. Debit cards didn’t arrive when they were supposed to, and then the put a hold on our Escrow check, so we were stuck in Sheridan WY when our debit card wouldn’t work. After a lengthy phone call I got the bank to release some of the funds, and the rest would be available Wed Aug. 2nd, instead of Aug 4th. Well here it is the 9th and I had to make another lengthy phone call-the funds were still on hold. But finally it is all resolved. So we went shopping! Well we did go to the big Outlet Mall about 60 miles East of Des Moines, but we weren’t all that impressed, and didn’t spend anything. After the mall we found and had our first and only Maid-Rite loose meat sandwich, again not all that impressed. We then headed towards Muscatine, IA to see the world’s only Pearl Button Factory…and they were closed! Maybe tomorrow will be better. We did make it across the Mississippi River into Illinois, which brings us to Rock Island KOA Nice park, situated between two ponds/lakes, probably inlets from the Miss river. Took the boys out for a walk and of course couldn’t keep Gargoyle out of the water. I had a hold of his leash and almost got pulled in to. And true to form Loki was having none of it; he hardly even looked at the water. Looked at the map and will try to make it clear across Ill. Tomorrow, and spend the night in Indiana. We then will try for SW Michigan the next night, getting us to my friend Jodi’s in Lake Orion, MI (north of Detroit) for the weekend. P