The Journal of 2005-06

By Bill Rocheleau

Monday, November 28, 2005

We hit the floor running this morning and after doing a couple of odd jobs before leaving town, we were at Wal-Mart and topping off our gas tank on the motorhome.  We (I) had previously filled it when the gas was "down" to $2.51 a gallon.  Today it was at $2.07 a gallon.  I filled it until it ran onto the ground.
We ran into every conceivable variation of sky today, including at one point, having to wear sunglasses.  But at least it wasn't snow on our agenda, at least for today.  By the time we hit Green Bay the ground was green and the snow was gone.   It did rain all the way to Green Bay and beyond, however.
We made a couple of shopping walks when we got into town and the only thing we bought was a 25 pack of DVDs.  From there we mad our way to our annual stop at Curly's Pub at Lambeau Field for lunch where we promptly at half of our huge lunch, picked up a Christmas ornament at the Pro Shop, and then "headed to the Batmobile" for points south.
We arrived in West Bend about 4:30 just after dark.  Our freezer compartment in the fridge was filled with water.  It seems we may have a broken fitting in the icemaker that leaked all the way from Green Bay.  With any luck this will be our major problem for this winter.  Yeah right!!!!
My son Sean stopped over at my daughter Stephanie's house, and we left to go and look at the house that he and Julie are building.  He says that they'll be into it in 2 weeks, but I don't know.  It is a very beautiful home and I know they're anxious to get into it soon.
We went out to eat with the whole group, Sean, Julie and Katelin and Mark Stephanie, Briana, Olivia and Alexis.  We had a great time and then went back to the house "to open presents."  It seemed like all the kids were really happy with the presents from Gram and Gramp.
I lasted until eleven after that, but I did beat Mark.  His lights were out before that.  As usual, Sharon and Stef stayed up a while longer finishing up their "last beer."  We can always count on them to knock over every soldier before heading for bed.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

We were on the road and leaving West Bend this morning by 8 o'clock and having already called my sister Marge and Wally.  We were going to stop in Racine for Breakfast with them at our usual McDonald's.  It took us a little longer than it usually does but we were rolling again by 11, with a Kringle in tow.  It was a Cherry one, my favorite.
The sky was overcast all day today and it kept threatening, but nothing materialized.  We got a pleasant surprise along the way, finding gas for $2.05 a gallon.  Needless to say it was $2.03 a couple miles further down the road.  It seems the price has dropped a couple of cents since I printed up the Flying J and Love's prices on Sunday morning.  It was a welcome sight, however.
We stopped for the night at Litchfield, Illinois at the Honey Bend campground.  We were both feeling a little off last night before we stopped, so we thought we'd rather be in a campground than a Wal-Mart, in case we have to stay an extra day.
I had trouble getting the TV to come in on the satellite tonight but Sharon fixed it.  Actually the TV itself decided to give me fits.  Man it's always something.  This November has been the worst on record since we've been leaving for the winter.  It seems everything is going wrong starting with the virus in our Desktop at home.
The rest of the night seemed pretty uneventful after we had trouble getting hooked up to utilities.  It was a pleasure just to come in and watch TV without having to touch anything else that could go wrong tonight.
We had our leftovers from Curly's Pub  for supper and then just settled in front of the tube for the night.  Nothing actually went wrong from then on.  It was a miracle.
We had heard the trains earlier tonight but they seemed to have quit around 11.  They started up again this morning at 6.  Sharon will be thrilled this morning when she gets up.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

As it turned out, we both felt pretty good this morning after getting up, so we got a leisurely start and were on the road as "scheduled."
Our primary destination today is Lambert's Cafe in Ozark, Missouri.  We expect to get there in mid-afternoon.  Our travel day today was sunshiny and cool.  It was expected to get up to around 40 today in Missouri and it didn't disappoint.  Our mission today was to find the cheapest gas stations along our route and our first stop was $2.05 and our second was $1.87.  Not too shabby I must say.  Especially when the gas all around was closer to $2.20.
We arrived, as expected, at Lambert's in mid-afternoon and we stopped to eat an early supper.  As Sharon went out to get the checkbook ,I sat and waited for the "Throwed Rolls" to start happening.  The first one was a little short and landed in Sharon's giant mug of Iced Tea.  I fished it out and gulped it down.  I told her what happend when she got back.  Our service today was pretty lousy considering there were at least 4 people standing around not doing anything.  We had to ask for the "pass-arounds".  They did show up but we never had to ask before.
After Dinner we got back on the road to find gas so we could run our generator tonight and not have to worry about a campground.  After stopping for gas we headed south to avoid the Oklahoma Tollway on the way to Oklahoma City.  It took us a while to find a place to park for the night and we drove in the dark for about 45 minutes.  I don't like driving the motorhome in the dark.  We finally found a casino to overnite in Wyandotte, Oklahoma.  As luck would have it a Semi parked next to us and ran it's engine all night from 3am.  This is why we prefer Wal-Marts.  We very seldom encounter trucks with "refers" in the Wal-Mart parking lots.  Normally we would just get up and move to a different spot but in this case there was no other spot to move to.

Thursday, December 1, 2005

We had a pretty good travel day ahead of us today.  We really had nowhere to stop, so once we got on the road we just kept going.  We had contacted Norm and Sue Jones the night before last by phone to see where they were at this point.  They're the couple from Great Britain who come over here every year but usually leave before we get on the road.  With us leaving almost a month earlier than previously we can now meet up for a day or so before they fly out again.  Last year they were around Florida when we came through.  This year our paths will cross somewhere on I-40 in New Mexico.  We're excited about seeing them, it's been about 4 years.
We found gas today for $1.79.  It was a Pilot Plaza that was across the street from the Flying J that we had intended stopping at.  That was pretty much the most exciting thing that happened all day.  It looks like the rest of our gas prices from here (Oklahoma City) to So. California are going to be a bit pricier.
We finally cleaned up our Thanksgiving leftovers having sandwiches made out of the Turkey and Dressing for lunch today.  It was quite yummy indeed.  It was also a quick stop having only to heat it up and plop it on a bun.
We were back on the road shortly afterwards and headed west again.  With the daylight starting to last longer now we arrived at Elk City "campground" around 5 o'clock.  We'll still be in Oklahoma for awhile tomorrow and then we'll end up in Amarillo, TX for the next couple of days.  We have a couple of good eating places that we never miss when we're there.  We settled in at Wal-Mart for the night and cleaned up our leftovers from Lambert's.  The Fried Chicken Wings slid down very well with a couple of beer chasers.
The Mrs. Actually talked me into a game of cribbage tonight in which she promptly kicked my a____.  She'll regret having beat me when I don't play with her for a week or so.
TV was a couple of repeats of our favorite shows.  CSI and Without a Trace were shows that we had both seen before.
We called Norm and Sue Jones again tonight to check  in and let them know where we were at.  We also had to check and see which route they were taking to come back east to Texas.  We'll keep in touch every day now.
This Wal-Mart had 3 of us overnighting here last night.  The parking lot is quite small so we pretty much stuck out like a sore thumb.  It was quiet all night however.

Friday, December 2, 2005

Today would be a relatively short drive of about 150 miles to Amarillo, Texas.  We will wait until Norm and Sue get on the road before we go any further.  It'll take them a couple of days to catch up to us and there's no point in being on the road for that.  Besides we've got a couple of eating places, that we absolutely love, to hit before we leave here.
We arrived at the Sundown Campground in the middle of the afternoon.  Sundown is on the west side of Amarillo just about a mile from Cadillac Ranch.  It didn't take us long to settle in and as long as we were at it we dumped our tanks and refilled our water.  We'll clean everything out on Monday before we leave here, if we decide to leave on Monday.
We sat around reading tourist books this afternoon and deciding what we're going to do for the next couple of days.  I worked on the December logo for the Newsletter this afternoon and we also watched a little tube until around 6 when we left to go to Dyer's BBQ.  They have fabulous BBQued Beef, Pork Ribs, Tenderloin of Pork and Beef Brisket.  We're getting old and can't eat as much as we used to so we both got the Pork Ribs and Brisket.  They serve it with Potato Salad, Cole Slaw, Baked Beans, Onion Rings and Garlic Bread.  It's an absolutely fantastic Dinner.  Of course we came home and relaxed our stomachs in front of the TV after that feeding frenzy.
We called Norm and Sue again tonight to see if they had decided which route they would take back to Dallas.  It was be easier for us to adjust to them instead of the other way around.  We spoke for a couple of minutes and really didn't get anything resolved, and Norm suggested that he call back tomorrow after he's had a chance to look at the map again.  So we'll wait until he calls back before we make any more plans.
We'll have to meet over the next couple of days if we plan to meet at all.
Me and the Mrs. both managed to cave-in tonight at 10:30.  We're getting back on our "old people" schedule again.

Saturday, December 3, 2005

We had our day pretty much planned for us today.  We sat down to a hearty Breakfast of Eggs, Bacon, Potato Pancakes and Toast before we set out on the town.
Our first order of business was to find the church for Sharon for tomorrow.  We must have been rubbernecking when we went by it the first time cause we didn't see it or the huge Baptist church right next to it.  On our way back we spotted both of them, and got the mass schedule.
Our next stop would be the Historic Route 66 district in Downtown Amarillo.  We thought we had been there before, and after driving through the district we recalled that we had been there, and were not impressed.  Most of the stores were antique shops and we only visit those when we're really bored.  It just so happened that today we weren't that desperate.
We also stopped at Office Max to pick up some Christmas Card stock so that we could print up our own cards.  We've done this for the past couple of years because the cards we want, nobody makes.
We went by Cavender's Boot City to look for a certain kind of western tie.  They didn't have them but Sharon found a shirt for me, and needless to say I didn't say no.
We also spotted another of the "painted horses" that are scattered throughout town.  These ceramic horses  are painted with different designs and are placed all over.  There is even one at our campground.
We had intended to go to the China Star restaurant for lunch but I was still feeling full from Breakfast so we opted out of that.  Maybe we'll do that tomorrow.
Norm and Sue called today and decided that meeting at Clovis, New Mexico is fine with them.  It seems that Tuesday night will be the earliest that they can get there.  So it looks like we'll be here until Tuesday for sure.
Sharon decided that tonight would be pasty night and also decided to go to church tonight instead of tomorrow.  By the time she got back, the Christmas card had been designed, and I had finished eating pasties for supper.  And they were yummy good.
We watched the Country Music awards on TV tonight.  But only because the tube was loaded with College Football and repeats.  The schedule on TV for the past few nights has really sucked.  Sharon played Solitaire with a real deck of cards instead of the computer, and I just listened to the CMA Awards.

Sunday, December 4, 2005

We got up this morning with a couple of things that we wanted to accomplish today.  Sharon wanted to get some laundry done and I wanted to finish up our Christmas Card.  I started on the card right after Breakfast and had to refill my printer cartridges a couple of times before I finished.  I got finished printing the cards that I had and then we went to lunch at China Star another favorite eating place here in Amarillo.
I had to stop at Office Max on the way home to pick up a new box of cards to finish up all the cards we'll send out.  When we got back Sharon headed out to the campground laundry with our clothes to get them back in the closets for today.  She also checked with the office to see if they had a phone connection to check our e-mail.  We have no Verizon service here and haven't had any for the past 3 or 4 days so we can't use our cell for e-mail.
I finished up the card by mid-afternoon and then set about to reprogram the computer to dial a new number to hook up to our ISP for e-mail.  I put the number in before we went to the office but it did take us 7 or 8 tries before it finally went through.  Windows XP is so much easier than the previous systems to reprogram the computer to dial a number.  We manged to get our e-mail after about a half hour.  About half of them out of 21 were junk.  I don't where these are coming from.  By next year we may have to change our e-mail address again or figure out how to use Boxtrapper.
Needless to say, we weren't very hungry for supper tonight but I had a meatloaf sandwich anyway.
We had a couple of our favorite shows on TV tonight so Sharon lasted until 10 and I lasted until after Seinfeld at 10:30