Wednesday, April 26, 2017

April 24 - 30, 2017, CO, KS, MO, IA, MN

Wednesday, April 26.  Happy Birthday to my first brother-in-law, Dennis! And we got to celebrate together.  He has always been there for me, he gave my sister a good life, and I'm glad to have him in my life. We just don't agree on politics.

Yesterday, Tom and I were on the road by our 9:00 am take off time on Monday morning. We said goodby to Joyce and Burrall and headed down the road, mostly on US highways for the first 200 miles, then back on I-70 heading east.  We found our sites for the night at a nice little city park in Ellis, KS for $20.00 - arriving a little later than expected because of entering into another time zone.  It is Central Time for me now until the fall.  The park is nice, kind of reminded me of Stoughton and the Yahara River - tall, mature trees, green grass, people fishing from the shore, and Canada Geese.  After getting setup and registered, we relaxed on the bank of the river and had a drink before having some dinner.

We drove together as far as Salina, KS where we stopped for gas, said goodbye and then Tom headed south toward Wichita and I went East to Blue Springs. It was sure nice to have company for most of trip and we had fun together. I'm going to miss hanging out together until we both get back to AZ in the fall. Happy Trails, Tom.

I arrived at Rita's by 2:30 and felt right at home and got settled in, in no time. We met Bob and Penny for dinner at Jack Stacks BBQ for dinner.  They head out on a vacation, so this is it for our visit on this time through KC. Bob hopes to make it to MN for some fishing this summer and I hope it works out.

We ran a few errands today but took it easy. It felt good not to have to hit the road again this morning and I got some much needed laundry done.  It stormed over night and the temps dropped down in the 40s with a frost warning for tonight. It isn't expected to get much better, especially farther north, in the next few days.  I'm glad I have some warm clothes with me.

Thursday, April 27.  Happy 69th Birthday to me! I heard from Pat, first thing this morning and that definitely got me off to a good start of the day. Throughout the day, I got lots of calls, texts, e-mails, and Facebook notes - a good feeling, for sure.

I took my time getting ready for the road this morning but was still gassed up and heading north by 9:00 am. The cold, wintry temps continued to drop as I headed north, starting out around 53 degrees and it was only 37 when I arrived at Clear Lake State Park.  The full hookup sites were all taken but all I really needed was electric - the heater will be running nonstop tonight.  I will need to use the dump station in the morning before I leave and I'm not looking forward to it.  I've decided to pack everything (clothes, food, bedding, etc.) into the car before I leave in the morning because the trailer will be stored in an RV storage lot while it isn't being used. 

Clear Lake State Park is huge and the sites are all nice ($11/night for an electric only site during the off season) and grassy with lots of tall (still leafless) trees around.  It isn't nearly as spring-like as it was 300 miles to the south and there is snow in the forecast for Minneapolis on Sunday - yuck!

Sunday, April 30. The last day of this month, what a whirlwind it has been!

I packed up everything from the camper that will be going into the apartment this morning and loaded it into the car. I didn't clean or empty the holding tanks because it was so darned cold, about 38 degrees and a strong wind. Then, before going to Ben's house on Friday, I stopped and dropped the camper off at the storage place ($45/month) in Inver Grove Heights. As soon as the weather breaks, I will pull it out and give it a good cleaning and rinse out the tanks. Getting ready for a trip in the future will be a bit of a hassle until I come up with a new process.

Jill stopped by to pick me up before going to pick up the girls from school and it was great to see their happy faces when they saw me. And then they stuck to me like glue through the evening, wanting to show me all of their new things and telling me lots of stories.  Naturally, they all want sleepovers with me in the guest room, - 3 nights, 3 little granddaughters.

Yesterday, Ben, Camille and I went to my apartment to check it out and to unload the stuff that is stored in my car.  My first impression is good and I think it will all work out just fine, although some of the storage areas that I saw in the pictures are actually full of the landlord's stuff. That is kind of strange and I will have to talk to her about that.

Ben cooked a great dinner and baked a carrot cake with Maple Cream Cheese frosting and Lois and Dennis joined us for a birthday celebration for me this evening. It feels good to be back with family again.

Two thumbs up high for cake and frosting samples.