Seems I got a little bit of a late start this year with the winter trip. Life sort of got in the way which gave me some much needed time with my family and friends.
This blog is going to be very short on pictures(as in non-existent) and will just be a series of vignettes. Excellent fodder for late at night when you can't sleep.
For the first trip of the year, there is always a ton of stuff to bring out to the RV – everything needs to be restocked. I tend to bring stuff out in shifts because a) I have a tiny car that doesn't hold all that much and b) I'm not all that organized with what I need to bring. I usually bring almost everything out in brown paper grocery bags. So, I'm loading my car and I have a bag that has a few small kitchen appliances in it. I decide that I will lay the bag down on it's side in the back seat of the car because there are some breakables in the bag and I feel that it will be safer. Of course I forgot that I had slid in a bottle of soy sauce.
I'm driving along and this salty Asian restaurant smell starts wafting through the car. Yup – the bottle had magically opened and leaked through my brown paper bag all over the back seat. Luckily I had a fairly thick canvas seat protector across the back seat to protect it from Miko's massive amounts of hair.
Soy sauce reeks and it stains. There was much clean up and I took a hose to the canvas seat cover. I drove around quite a few miles with the moon roof and windows open. Nothing was getting that smell out until I hit on the idea of using an odor neutralizer. Now why in the world would they make an odor neutralizer smell like a bunch of roses on steroids? Well, my car now is very rosy smelling.
I have an external tire pressure monitor system on my RV. Tony and I went out one day to change the batteries on the monitoring units. On the day I'm leaving, I double check all my tires and they are all correctly around 95 psi with the exception of one tire which is at 27psi. Evidently I inadvertently screwed one of them on incorrectly which caused the tire to basically deflate. The owner of the RV storage area had a small compressor which got me up to 50 psi, enough to move a short distance down the road, but I had to find a truck stop so I could get the tire all the way up to where the tire needed to be. Sort of a late start on Day 1 of the trip.
When I am heading south, I always like to spend my first night at Terrible's Casino which is about a half hour south of Des Moines in Osceola Iowa. I should say that it is actually called Lakeside Hotel Casino but when I first started going there, it was called Terrible's. I can understand perhaps why they changed the name, but it will always be Terrible's for me. I don't know why I like to stay there besides the fact it is about the right driving distance on the first day but every time I stay, there is bad weather. I've been there through a blizzard, a major wind storm where the whole rig shuddered so bad I thought of Dorthy on her way to Oz and this last time was pouring rain. It was OK though, this time I was able to de-winterize and knock on wood, all systems seem to have survived the winter.
I decided that the $5 toll on the Kansas turnpike was way too much to spend so I instructed Google Maps to avoid tolls. Avoiding that $5 only added about 20 minutes to the trip and got me off the freeway into more rural areas. Much more entertaining and scenic than following the Interstate. I was someplace in western Missouri going down a two lane road. On each side of the road were those massive wind turbines. There were many farms along this road and many of them had signs that said “Don't sell your land to a Florida wind company”. Evidently there was a little bit of a 'power' struggle going on. Oh, did I mention that the name of the company was The Windy Wind Company. Cute, huh?
It rained most of yesterday and today as I was driving down the road. Did you know that my windshield wipers at high speed have the exact same tempo as SuperTramp's song Long Way Home?
I entered Kansas and was extremely surprised at how hilly eastern Kansas is. I have always thought of Kansas as flat, flat, flat. Eastern Kansas is where the Flint Hills are. Gorgeous country. Huge tallgrass prairie hills. There is a National Tallgrass Prairie Preserve here that I was thinking of stopping at, but seeing as how it is spring, all of the Tallgrass is only a couple of inches tall. It would probably be a tad underwhelming.
I eventually got back on Interstate 70. As I was cruising through Kansas I saw a sign that said that the next eight miles of the road were the very first segment that was paved and completed in the Interstate Highway System. As we all know, President Eisenhower is considered the Father of the Interstate Highway system and he just happens to be from Abilene Kansas. Must be why they started building in this area.
Ok, over and out. I'm spending a few days in Abilene, Kansas. Don't know how long I will be here. The weather forecast says that high winds with gusts up to 40 mph are on the way. Winds that high give new meaning to the term “rock and roll”