Van Updates

I have managed a few updates to the Van since my Texas trip. I was in to the Dodge Dealer and got a new heater core installed. I have an appointment in Gainesville next month to have a board replaced in the AC controller.

I have added a portable induction burner, a mattress topper for the bed located storage for folding table legs, cab window vents and added curtains to the front and rear of the coach.

The induction burner will allow electric cooking, the front and rear curtains will serve to add privacy and restrict heat and cool to the coach area.

The cab window vents will allow air flow while maintaining security.

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Princess Grooming

On the 26th, got Miss Maggie in for a grooming appointment at Petsmart. The local store was not scheduling any more so I went in to the Victory Drive store. They did a nice job, she is ‘Pretty”

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JoJo Rescue!

The rescue assignments that I could do have not been very plentiful, especially with my travels. I did get an opportunity to do a transport for JoJo.

JoJo is currently under foster care with some health issues. One Love needed a transport from his foster home in Savannah Midtown out to a Vet in Bloomingdale for a checkup. He has a fair amount of issues incurred during his miserable conditions before the Rescue saved him. What a sweet little guy!

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Texas Road Trip VI – The Trip Home!

We departed early Thursday morning to get through the city area before rush hour. Glad that we did too! We found 2 harvest host locations on our trip home. The 1st was the Claire Chennault Military Aviation Museum in Monroe LA and the 2nd was an Alpaca Farm in Stringer MS. Along the way, on Day 1, we visited the Bonnie and Clyde Ambush Museum and actual drove to the ambush site!

Later we checked in to the Claire Chennault Museum. Went and registered and parked. They had two 30 amp hookups so I went ahead and plugged in. They allowed me to have Maggie inside. This was an excellent little museum. I enjoyed it very much, made a donation and grabbed a couple souvenirs. I can definitely recommend this Harvest Host location.

Friday the 11th, we started off towards the Alapaca Farm, another Harvest Host location… On the way, we crossed the Mississippi River and also Vicksburg! There was nice scenery along the route 18 in MS.

We arrived at the Alapaca Farm. The hosts took us on a tour. Maggie liked the Alapacas, but not so much the Mini Donkeys! 🙂 It rained a bit, and I visited the store. They showed me how the process the hair into yarn etc. I bought a nice Alpaca rug for Maggie!

The next morning, we departed early. Maggie had not been feeling well so I ended up driving the 575 miles to get home that Saturday. Stopped a couple times to rest… Great Trip… But also good to get home…

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Texas Road Trip V – Leesa

On Tuesday the 8th, we departed out Harvest Host location and drove up to Leesa and Scott’s place in Keller Tx. They have a really nice home there, especially great setup for the dogs! Scott had to work both days but we enjoyed our time with Leesa and the dogs… and then each night when Scott got home we headed out to dinner.

It was nice to get some quality time with Leesa those days. I had a another one of my moments coming in to Leesa’s, another one of those where it hit me that Lyn should have been there. This was the 1st trip to Leesa’s home!

Monday Night we went out for BBQ to Hard 8 in Roanoke Texas. Neat place, had a good time and great food!

Tuesday, we headed over to the Stadium Palace Icehouse in Keller TX. Great menu and we really enjoyed. I had a Pretzel Melt, Turkey and Swiss on a Pretzel roll… Delicious!

Sadly, our visit came to an end and Maggie and I hit the sack early for an early departure out of the Dallas/Ft Worth area.

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Texas Road Trip IV Transition

I call this segment Transition, just a short filler between San Marcos and Keller Texas where Leesa lives.

Sunday, the 6th, would be my last full day in San Marcos. Maggie and I had breakfast, blueberry pancakes. Ralph had to work so Randy and Trissy picked me up and we did some site seeing and went to lunch. We went to Herberts in New Braunfels, had to get our Mexican Food Fix!

After lunch, we visited the New Braunfels Railroad Museum and then stopped in the Black Whale Pub in New Braunfels for a beer and watching the Patriots! Then, back to the camp ground to say our goodbyes and prepare for the next days departure.

Monday we got up, watched the sunrise and had some eggs for breakfast before hitting the road..

We headed North via back roads, wanting to stay off of I-35 and out of Austin. Passed through Elgin, Taylor on our way to Temple and Rogers Tx. Pretty roads and little towns..

Our Destination for the night was the Walker Honey Farm and Dancing Bee Winery… Great little Harvest Host location where I can visit and also park for the night for free. I enjoyed the little store and picked up some Mead (Wine with Honey), Honey and did a tasting of the Honey wines. I have not had a bad Harvest Host location yet!

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Texas Road Trip III “The Gathering”

This was the highlight of this trip, a real reason to be here. Again thanks to Randy and Trissy for getting it started, all the info from Ruby and especially to all of Lyn’s family who made the trip to San Marcos.

From my perspective, it was a great event, so nice to see so many at one time. What I saw was a reuniting of great family bonds. So many went out of their way to make me feel welcome and a part of the Family. I thank you so much for that.

Golly, there was a ton of food, chicken, sides and more desserts than I have ever seen! I broke down at my picnic table in the morning as family started to arrive. (My Van was parked right across the street). As the tears flowed, all I could think was that Lyn should be here for this!

What a great day… Maggie and I settled in at the Van. Later got a text from Ralph, Randy and Trissy wanted to go over to Zelicks Beer Garden in San Marcos. We had talked about going tomorrow but Ralph had to work so this worked out well. Ralph picked me and Maggie up and we joined Randy and Trissy there for beer and pizza. One of my favorite places.!

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Texas Road Trip II San Marcos

San Marcos was the prime destination. Home of my beloved Lyn, we had been coming here every year. After she passed, I did not come in 2019 but decided I wanted to renew this trip to her home and family.

Randy and Trissy (her cousins) had arranged a little reunion type gathering that would be held in the Campground activity room on the 5th. But that is tomorrow, today they are picking me up and taking me on a little tour. Here is Maggie, waiting on their arrival…

They are building a house out near Canyon Lake. Our 1st stop was a ride out to the property. What a great lot and a view… we walked around the property a bit before heading out…

Next up was lunch… we decided on the Chess Club Cafe in Blanco Texas. They had outdoor seating and a meatloaf plate.

We left here and headed towards Luckenbach Texas. Lunch was great, and on the way we needed to stop for a quick beer at Hillbillyz of Texas in Boerne. Cute little biker bar!

From here, we drove some beautiful country roads to Luckenbach Texas. It was pretty crowded, there was a group of guitar pickers hanging out playing and we had an enjoyable stay!

On the way back home, stopped at Alberts Ice House for a beer (Albert TX) and the then the Devil’s Backbone Tavern in Wimberly TX.

Back at the ranch, we relaxed a bit, then went to dinner to the Italian Garden in San Marcos. Excellent!! Returned to the Van to crash for the night!

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Texas Road Trip Part I Travel

We actually departed on 9/30, a Monday for Texas. Our plan was to limit to 350 miles per day and normally we would have boondocked but the temps were like 98 deg every day. I decided it would be better in that heat to plug in and have full AC power so we chose a campground each night.

Dave 1 we traveled to Montgomery AL. We had pre-selected a campground right off the highway, Woods RV Park. Checking in, they had room and it was reasonably priced. Nice stop for the night

Day 2, we traveled through Selma, and followed Highway 80 out across Alabama. picking up I-20 near the Mississippi border. Stopped at a Rest Area in Morton MS…. before crossing the Mississippi River in LA.

We continued on in to the town of Delhi LA. We checked the campground we had looked at and it was not much… also, no one at the office. Called, no answer so changed plans to Poverty Point Reservoir State Park. Best decision I ever made. It was a great park, nice scenery and cheap ($19.00)

Day 3, we made it to Palestine Texas. There we stayed just out of town at the Palestine RV Park, nice wooded site and only about 4 hours to San Marcos. Very quiet and clean little park.

Day 4… Into San Marcos! Nice ride along US 79 and TX 21, through the Hill Country. We arrived in town and checked out the campgrounds quick before heading over to Ralph’s place. Pecan Park Riverside RV Park looked pretty good. Visited with Ralph a bit, then we headed to the CampGround. We got checked in and parked and then Trissy showed up and we all went to lunch at the 54th Street Bar and Grill. Trissy took Ralph home after and me and Maggie settled in for the night…

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Months End….

Just a little wrap up to the Month…

Van Service – on the 19th, took it into the dealers (Dodge) for a heater problem. Turns out a bad heater core so it is ordered and will likely get replaced when I get back from my Texas Trip. (Speaking of which, I leave on Monday the 31st.

Also went to the coach dealer and had my fridge thermostat replaced. At the same time was experiencing some cycle issues on the coach AC so had them check that, thought maybe a thermostat but there is a bad board, so they are gonna check on that and order.

Today, 9/28.. we are all going out (Scott, Morgan and the kids) to Myabi’s for birthday dinners. I am also packing and prepping van for the trip. Got propane and fuel this morning, have drained all tanks and need to fill the fresh water tank!

Catch you all down the road….

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VanVenture Part V Final

Wednesday the 11th, we drove a few hours over to Standish Maine to visit my long time friend Ron Peeling. We go back to 2001 and he rode many an occasion with Lyn and I and we periodically met somewhere for lunch! Ron lost his wife Beth a year before I lost Lyn.

He took me a nice local restaurant and Maggie and I actually slept inside his house. In the morning, when I woke, he had coffee ready and made Maggie and I breakfast before we left!

Leaving Ron’s, we began the trek home. Again, an impromptu lunch meeting. LD rider Ken Aman sent me a text to see my route and met at a Diner in Newburgh NY for lunch. That makes these trips even more fun! After lunch, we made it down to the PA Welcome center where we stopped for the night. The next day, we made out down to a rest area on I-81 where we stopped, maybe 5 hours to get to Kings Mountain NG where we would meet up with Mike “Grizz” Newton and his wife Cindy. We had a real nice visit, Mike took me on a tour of the area and then later he and Cindy took me out to dinner.

Sunday, we had an early departure from Mike’s Drive… Made it home about 10:00 am.. It was a great trip but always great to be home!

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VanVenture Part IV Bonus

I met a young lady online, through a good friend. She is also a van owner (identical to mine) and she was up in Bar Harbor Maine. I decided to go up and say Hello and compare our modifications. She has had hers longer and is pretty much full time in hers. She also has a dog named Tweety!

She reserved me the spot next to hers… we had a real nice visit. We checked out each others vans (trust me, I learned more than she did) and even exchanged a couple van “gift’ items. The dogs got along great too.

We went to dinner that evening, the next day worked on some travel apps together setting them up on her GPS and tablet. She cooked a nice dinner that evening and we said our goodbyes early as I was leaving early Wednesday morning.

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VanVenture Part III Memorial

This is the primary purpose of this trip, the Rolling Thunder Fallen Members Ride, to honor and remember those New Hampshire members that passed away. I went last year and it was an emotional experience that I cherished as we remembered those who passed, and last year included my beloved Lyn.

This year was no different, I felt love, compassion and brotherhood from everyone. They read the names, rang a bell each time and after members read bios of those who passed. Again, I was able to speak of Lyn. This year, her brick was in place on the Memorial walkway!

After the memorial, we gathered for a group picture and then drove to Longhorn Steak House in Concord NH for lunch. Lots of fun with my Rolling Thunder NH “Family” Thank You! (I spent the night at the Epping Park & Ride before heading for Maine!)

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VanVenture Part II NH

I arrived on Thursday the 5th of September. Visited a neighbor Kevin and then over to my other neighbor Steve’s house. Steve graciously allowed me to park in his yard for the next 3 nights! He lives 3 doors down from my old house. Thursday night, we went out to dinner after he got home from work.

On Friday, I had plans to have lunch at my old work location. They have a picnic area and I arranged to meet Debbie and some other folks there for lunch. Kelley, who used to work for me (she has since left) also joined us and picked up lunch for us. It was a nice visit, enjoyed reflecting with many of my former co-workers. I also took a drive around Nashua, brought back lots of memories..

Later that afternoon, while relaxing in the van, I received a phone call from a former co-worker (who now lives in Florida). She was up visiting friends also so 4 of us met at T-Bones for dinner. It was a pleasant surprise!

Saturday was a quiet day with friends. In the morning, went and hung out over breakfast with longtime friend Richie. We ate at the Airport Diner in Manchester, a place we used to meet once a month for breakfast. Great visit!

In the afternoon, met up with Dennis and Susan, motorcycle riders that Lyn and I used to ride with in NH. We picked up take out at Golden Rod in Manchester and had an afternoon picnic at Lake Massabesic. This was a location that Lyn and I frequented on our rides. Great memories! They have a dog also so the dogs were able to be with us.

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VanVenture Part 1 The Drive!

On Monday 9/2, Maggie and I hit the road for a 2 week VanVenture to the North Country. The primary purpose was the Rolling Thunder Memorial in NH. This is an annual event where the Chapter honors its members that have passed, so this includes Lyn. I went last year too and though emotional, was so glad that I did! This year, her memorial brick was in the walkway!

Original departure was the 3rd but since I could, I decided to leave a day early and drive to Charlotte and see my friend Mike Brown. I was hopeful to avoid the traffic and rain from the approaching hurricane. Had a nice visit with Mike and his family… Maggie was a pistol, she strolled INTO a neighbors house… and managed to grab a filet mignon from the table!

We left early the next morning heading toward PA. We stopped for the night at a Flying J truck stop at the Virginia border. I went into the store and got some snacks for the Van and later that evening, went into Denny’s and got my dinner. I received a message from a friend about my route, turned out she lives right off the freeway in Walden NY. We made plans to meet for lunch on my way by the next day (Wed the 4th)

Maggie resting for the night!

On Wednesday, we departed early, wanted to make some miles to CT and also allow some extra time for lunch with Patty. Met her at the Walden Diner in her home town and had a nice visit and lunch. Great to see her and she even gave me a small gift for the Van. We stopped that night at the Welcome Center in CT for the night.

On Thursday, we got up… fixed breakfast and then headed on in to Hudson. We had made plans to meet long time friend Steve Leblanc at Cookies Cafe for lunch. Lyn used to work here. After lunch, I continued to my old Neighborhood!

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