Monday, November 6, 2017

Pikes Peak or Bust

We are on the road again. 

Leaving Tuxbury Pond RV Resort in South Hampton, NH
October 10, 2017
The journey West is once again all about visiting people. Our first visit was in Heuvelton, NY, where we visited with Donna and Walter Ballard. Walter and I served together in Vietnam in 1968. We had planned on staying in their driveway, but the space was a little short and a bit steep. Walmart to the rescue! It was the first time that we stayed at a Walmart. It was a good experience. We had a great visit with the Ballards.

Donna and Walter Ballard

As we continued our journey, we stopped at several Harvest Hosts locations. When we arrived at the Virant Family Winery, we found that a neighbor was harvesting his grapes and had asked to use the Virant's parking lot to load his grapes, so there was no place for us to park. Later in the day, the flatbed of grapes left, headed to a Welch's processing plant and we got a place to park for the night. The winery had a restaurant and here is the view from our reserved table.

View of vineyard from our table.
Next visit, Ohio. We camped at Wally World in Louden, Ohio, and then visited with Debbie and Jeff Obrock, Kay's former sister-in-law and brother-in-law. What a great couple. Debbie cooked us a terrific meal! 

Debbie Obrock and Kay

So many tennis balls and so little time. 

Well yes, Jake, they look like tennis balls, they are the color of tennis balls and they are the size of tennis balls. However, like money, tennis balls do not grow on trees. Buckeyes? Horse chestnuts? Walnuts? Whatever they are, there are a lot of them at Wally World RV Resort.

Next visit, Peoria, Illinois, with Tim and Flo Kooi, Kay's cousin and his wife. We went out to an Italian restaurant for dinner and I had one of the best butternut squash ravioli meals that I have ever had! This was the third visit on our trip and the one thing I have realized is that we need to spend more time visiting with friends and relatives. Our visit was way too short at all three stops so far and this holds true for our next two visits.

Flo and Tim Kooi

Jake exploring Upper Peoria Lake at Mill Point RV Resort.
Our next stop was supposed to be at Wild Pickins Winery, but our hostess wanted us to stay at her home. Debbie Dirkson, Kay's cousin, asked the Police Chief if we could park on the street in front of Debbie's house. She said that we could, but since Debbie lived on a hill, it might be better if we stayed behind the fire station. The Police Chief had Debbie call the Volunteer Fire Chief, who was a police officer that worked for her. The Fire Chief said sure, and so, in keeping with our Destination Unknown blog theme, we stayed at the fire station instead of a winery. Again, we had a terrific visit that was entirely too short. Debbie and Richard Dirkson picked us up at the fire station and took us to their home. What a wonderful visit and wonderful meal! 

Debbie and Richard Dirkson
One more visit before our rapid dash to Pikes Peak. Our next overnight stop was at Fahrmeier Family Vineyards. Our friends Mark and Karen Seneker, whom we met last year, brought us supper and visited with us at the winery. Again, I feel like we need to spend more time at each stop to visit with our friends and family and to see the sights. While the Senekers were visiting, we had two other guests arrive. I did get a picture of one of them.

Jake and vineyard dog.
Karen and Mark Seneker, blogger friends and future full-time RVers.
Our next stop was Spring Lake RV Resort in Halstead, KS, and there we just rested for a couple of days. I needed that. While walking Jake, I came across this.

What type of fruit is this?
This is something I have never seen before. It appears to be a fruit and not a nut. It is the size of a grapefruit. There were a lot of these on our walk.

Finally, we arrived in Colorado. It was a beautiful day in the mid 70s. 

Pikes Peak or Bust
A view of Pikes Peak from Palmer Park, an amazing city park.
The nice weather did not last long.

The snow did not last long, but it stayed quite cold at night. About a week later, it was in the 20s overnight and the fog helped the hoarfrost develop on the trees.

A bush covered with the delicate ice crystals of hoarfrost.
Fog at 25 degrees leaves an impressive sight.
So beautiful

Heavy Frost
We settled in at our campground, but the water was shut off at our site for the winter. A week after we arrived, they shut off the bathrooms and showers for the winter. I fill our fresh water tank 5 gallons at a time and that works fine. We do have sewer and electric. 

We have spent our first week visiting with friends and family. We had a terrific visit with Tulare and Alora. We got to meet the new baby Eileena and visit with her big sister Rosie again.

Niece, great niece and two great great nieces.
Tulare, Alora, 
Eileena, and Rosie Wallace

We had a good visit with Clyde and Kim Hagan, in Castle Rock. My cousin, Jan Hagan, died while we were traveling towards Colorado. She will be missed. 

Russ with Kim and Clyde Hagan

Right after visiting with Kim and Clyde, we met Shelley Crews, Kay's cousin, and her husband Phil in Castle Rock for dinner. Shelley's mom, Kay's Aunt Shirley Kooi was visiting from Oklahoma. Aunt Shirley and Uncle Bill were longtime full-time RVers and an inspiration to us.

Shelley, Kay, Aunt Shirley and Phil

Soon after that visit we met with Beth and Randy Bishop for dinner in Castle Rock. We have been friends for a year on Facebook. They are Angie Wallace's parents and our new friends.
Beth and Randy Bishop
Angie Wallace's mom and dad.

Denise and Bill Wallace
My son also lives in Colorado Springs and we have met several times with both Bill and his wife Denise. Jake gets to go along on these visits and can visit with their two fur babies, Sasha and Max. My son, Bill, is struggling with his kidney disease. Some days are better than others. You can follow Bill's journey here:

Isn't Facebook terrific? Larry and Yvonne Voss, neighbors at Tuxbury Pond RV Resort and who live in Iowa, posted that they would be stopping for the night near us as they headed to Grand Junction, CO. It is such a small world, where we are able to reconnect and enjoy dinner together.

Larry and Yvonne Voss
One day, I had to go to Home Depot for some things to make repairs on the trailer. Home Depot knows how to honor veterans better than the NFL. Four parking spots near the entrance.

Home Depot in Colorado

We have done a little sightseeing.

Our truck and trailer snuggled in under the trees at Colorado Heights RV Park.

Mountain bike path in Palmer Park, a city park in Colorado Springs.

Yes Jake, crazy humans do ride their bikes close to the cliff.

Really? That's a long way down if they skid on the sand in the ruts on the rock path.

We have more visits and sightseeing to do while we are in the Colorado Springs area. Soon we will be headed to Arizona.

This year's journey is the red line. The black line was last year's trip.

To close, we have one last thing to share.

We are winterizing our trailer by taking it to Arizona for the winter.

Thanks for following along. Leave us a comment so that we know you are following our journey.

Until next time...