Moving Day: West Haven, UT To Glendale, UT

With over 300 miles to travel today and having to pass through Salt Lake City traffic we planned to hit the road quite a bit earlier than we’re used to….7:oo am.

I got up at 5:30 am so I’d have time to relax, check my email and do some Facebooking before having to fix breakfast and finish my move day chores.  Michael was up at 6:00 am as he didn’t have much to do other than unhook the power and stow a few odds and ends.

That's one heck of a tight squeeze!

That’s one heck of a tight squeeze!

Our biggest hurdle was getting hitched up and pulling the coach through the double doors of the fence to Zack and Kelsea’s backyard.  There’s only about 6 inches of room on either side of the coach for us to squeeze through.  When we arrived here 13 days ago Michael backed in like a pro….when we left he did just as well…he’s my hero!

I’d kind of intentionally told the kids goodbye last night as leaving them is so hard so I was doing ok until Zack texted and asked if we needed any help.  We were just finishing getting through the gate by the time I saw the message and the tears started flowing.  All I could think about was how Cameron came to the house every day when he came home from school.  He’d be saying, ”Nana, Nana.”  And have something to tell me and be looking for his daily sucker.

Salt Lake City traffic moving pretty freely

Salt Lake City traffic moving pretty freely

We ended up pulling out right on time…6:55 am.  We made our way to I-15 and traffic was pretty good until we got just south of the Antelope exit at which point things slowed down a bit but only for a short period.  However, the closer we got to Salt Lake City the slower the traffic got.

Once we got south of SLC things flowed pretty freely although we did come upon an accident around Lehi (just a small fender bender) that slowed the traffic down a bit.  The two cars we parked in the middle lane so that entire lane was backed up and the cars were trying to get into the lanes on either side which slowed down the traffic to those lanes.

Nice and easy drive with beautiful scenery

Nice and easy drive with beautiful scenery

Once we were past all the hubbub of SLC and its outlying areas it was smooth sailing.  Little traffic, beautiful blue skies, awesome vistas…couldn’t ask for anything more.

After we’d left Zack messaged us to let us know that we’d left a spot in the driveway that looked & smelled like diesel.  Ugh…  Not much we could do other to can keep an eye on it and hope that it was something that was an easy fix.  Thankfully, we’ll be at a rally where there are a ton of people who can help, if needed.

Kan Kun Mexican Restaurant

Kan Kun Mexican Restaurant

We stopped for about an hour for lunch but rather than dine at Kelly’s Kitchen we decided to stop at a Mexican Restaurant at exit 109 called Kan Kun.  We’ll be dining at Kelly’s Kitchen every day for the next 4 days so something a little different was in order.

Yummy nachos!

Yummy nachos!

Michael ordered a 3 enchilada (shredded beef, chicken & cheese) plate while I ordered the deluxe nachos with shredded beef.  The beef was very flavorful and I really enjoyed my nachos.  Michael was happy with the flavors the meats in his enchiladas but wasn’t impressed with the corn tortillas they used to make the enchiladas as he’s used to flour tortillas.  He also though the Mexican rice was a bit on the bland side.  Oh well…you take what you get when you’re not in south Texas!

Picture doesn't do the terrain justice but those a pinkish rocks on the left

Picture doesn’t do the terrain justice but those a pinkish rocks on the left

Back on the road after lunch we had just 86 miles left of today’s journey. The closer we got to the park the prettier the scenery became.  Rolling hills, craggy outcrops, pink rock formations, beautiful fall colors…fabulous!

We arrived at Bauer’s Canyon Ranch RV Park about 1:45 and after a trip to the restroom for both of us we got checked in and directed to site 12.  The park is quite small so it wasn’t hard to find our site.  It was a bit of a tight turn into the actual site but Michael handled it well and before I knew it he was parked where he wanted to be and we were ready to level, hook up to power, put out the slides, set up the satellite dish and hook up to water and sewer.  Easy Peasy.

All set up in site 12 for 5 nights

All set up in site 12 for 5 nights

As we pulled in we were greeted by Trace, our rally host.  This was our first time meeting him in person although we knew him from the Heartland forum.

Shortly after we started getting set up Jay and Stella came by and we got big hugs and handshakes from two of our favorite people!  They didn’t stay long as they’d just come from the grocery store and needed to put their groceries away and we needed to finish getting set up.

12 rigs here and another 14 rigs at a nearby park for this rally

12 rigs here and another 14 rigs at a nearby park for this rally

I was finished getting the inside of the house settled when I heard voices outside and found Bette & Stella in our front yard chatting with Michael.  I got a hug from Bette and gave Milo and Tramp both pats on the back.

Yum!

Yum!

Bette and Stella told me about all the fruit trees on the property (plum, pear and several varieties of apples) so I walked with them as they took Milo and Tramp for a walk.  I picked several of each kind of fruit and can’t wait to try them!

Heartlanders meeting other Heartlanders

Heartlanders meeting other Heartlanders

We had a meet & greet at 5:00 pm and since the park is pretty small we didn’t have far to go!  We ended up going out about 4:15 pm and visited with Jay and Bette until others started to arrive.  Lots of people we know but lots more that we’d never met…many of who are from the southern California or Utah chapters.

We hung out until after 7:00 pm but getting up at 5:30 am started catching up with us so we headed home to sit in our recliners and watch some TV before heading to bed.  We have a busy few days ahead of us so we’ll need all the rest we can get!

 

 

 

 

 

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Wrapping Up Our Utah Visit

Our last couple of days with ZnK we worked on finishing up projects.

Coffee table and end tables (with no tops!)

Coffee table and end tables (with no tops!)

I finished up staining the end tables that Michael created and he got them installed on either side of the coach.  For now they have no tops but we’ll get that taken care of while we’re in San Antonio…at least that’s the plan!  They have a lot of storage within them and that’s ALWAYS a plus when living in an RV.

Check out ALL that storage!

Check out ALL that storage!

I also finished staining the coffee table that Zack built for me.  With it stained Michael was able to attach the lid and legs and then I was able to fill it up with all of my extra pantry items.  It’s got a huge amount of space and makes the living room really look homey…especially since the cooler that has been holding all those pantry items for the last 2 years is now gone!

Not quite finished...still needs some paint work on the top

Not quite finished…still needs some paint work on the top

We got Zoe’s stool routed, sanded and stained too.  Over the next few weeks I’ll get the top design painted on and we’ll get a coat (or two) of polyurethane applied and it will be ready for us to pack in our suitcase (unassembled, of course!) to take with us when we fly to Wisconsin November 1st.

Not necessarily an easy task!

Not necessarily an easy task!

Between the four of us (I didn’t do a whole lot…but I did take pictures!) we tried to install the awning over the weekend and as we finally got it slid through the track to the end we found that we had about 2 feet of awning left!  Crap!

Michael called Heartland Monday morning to discuss with them and found that instead of ordering a 16 foot awning he actually typed 18 foot awning in the email.  Heartland is usually very good about helping or suggesting ideas to help but the woman he’s been working with all summer long doesn’t have a helping bone in her body.

The solution at this point was to carefully cut off the excess, duct tape the rough edge and find someone to sew up the rough edge at a later date as we have to hit the road tomorrow.  It’s something that had to be taken care of before we hit the road as the awning fabric is what holds the awning arms up against the side of the coach when it’s closed.  Without the fabric the awning arms just flop around.  :-/

Well stock freezer!

Well stocked freezer!

Zack and Kelsea bought a pig and a half and had it butchered and processed by their friend Dustin.  We purchased part of the meat from ZnK and now have a freezer well stocked with pork!  We have ham, ham steaks, pork chops, pork roasts, bacon and sausage!

We Barnett's enjoy our game time!

We Barnett’s enjoy our game time!

We have been here near Zack & Kelsea for 4 months and other than when Dan and Amanda were here in June we haven’t play a single game!  We finally sat down Sunday night to play a game of Hand and Foot.  We only got 2 rounds in before we put the game on hold due to it getting to be too late in the evening.

We continued the game after dinner on Monday night.  When we paused the game Sunday night I was in the lead but they gave me a run for my money.  I did pull out the win but they had me running scared, that’s for sure!

Love how neat and orderly the Bento box is!

Love how neat and orderly the Bento box is!

We had one last meal with our Utah Barnett’s Monday night and decided to go to Sushi Ya since we had to change our plans to go there for Zack’s birthday due to the storms.

Michael’s not a fan of sushi…at all….so he ordered teriyaki salmon and enjoyed it very much.  I ordered a chicken teriyaki bento box and it came with 4 pieces of California roll and 4 pieces of Crystal Shrimp roll.  I was venturing out of my comfort zone.  I’ve tried a California roll before and it was tolerable so I knew I was ok there.  The Crystal shrimp roll was ok…nothing to write home about.

Paityn is a pro with chopsticks!

Paityn is a pro with chopsticks!

I tried a couple of pieces of what Zack and Kelsea ordered.  Zack’s ‘Spicy Crunch’ (tempura shrimp, crab, avocado & cream cheese deep-fried) was pretty good and Kelsea’s ‘Crystal Crunch’ (crystal shrimp, avocado & cream cheese deep-fried) wasn’t bad either.  But I think that I’ve tried enough different kinds to say that sushi just isn’t my kind of thing.  It’s not bad but it’s just not something I’d enjoy going out to dinner for.

We stopped and filled both tanks with diesel on the way home from dinner for $2.29 per gallon for a total of $138.33.  That’s a lot different from when we started fulltime 5 1/2 years ago and fuel was nearing (and in some parts of the country over) $4.00 per gallon.  This is the first time we’ve filled our new external fuel tank other than just to put $10.00 in it to make sure there were no leaks.  Wish us luck!

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!

We were hoping to see snow on the mountain tops before we left and the Lord blessed us.  Saturday morning I noticed that there was snow covering the tops of the mountains which isn’t really surprising as it rained both Thursday and Friday and didn’t quite reach a high of 50 on Friday….down here….ca you imagine what it was like way up atop those mountains!??!  Brrrr!

 

 

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Golden Spike, Maddox and Zack Turns 30

Golden Spike National Historic Site

Golden Spike National Historic Site

We spent our last Wednesday here in the Ogden area doing a last bit of sight-seeing by visiting the Golden Spike National Monument.  The monument celebrates the completion of the railroad that allowed eastern part of the country to travel continuously by train to the western part of the country.

Before we arrived at the Visitor’s Center we stopped at ‘The Big Fill’ where we could see where one of many train trestles had been built to cross over the hilly/mountainous land.  The trestle no long exists since the original railroad was dismantled many years ago and the railroad was moved and now crosses over the Great Salt Lake.

Michael chatting with our friends from Wisconsin

Michael chatting with our friends from Wisconsin

We met two gentleman originally from Wisconsin while at this overlook and chatted with them for quite a while.  Interestingly, they were both originally from the Milwaukee are (as am I) and one now lives in Illinois while the other now lives in West Haven…not far from Zack and Kelsea’s new home!

When we got to the Visitor’s Center we purchased an America the Beautiful pass for $80…it’s good for one year and can be used at all National Parks.  It will pay for itself over the next few weeks while we are traveling.  Especially considering that to visit both Zion and Bryce it will cost $30 for each park….that’s $60 right there!

We also got our passport book stamped and purchased one parks stickers to add to the page for Golden Spike….something we started doing a few years back when we purchased the book.

Michael found he pile of coal used to power one of the locomotives to be pretty cool

Michael found he pile of coal used to power one of the locomotives to be pretty cool

Normally there are to trains parked out behind the Visitor’s Center to reenact the two engines that met when the last spike was driven into the railroad but the week we visited there were no engineers available to ‘pilot’ the trains so they trains had to stay in the engine house.

The Jupiter on the left and the 119 on the right.

The Jupiter on the left and the 119 on the right.

That might have been disappointing BUT….we were treated to a tour of the engine house by Ranger David.  We got an up close and personal look at the trains.  Authentic replicas of Engine 119 and the Jupiter were built in the 70s and have been in use at the monument ever since.

Ranger David really knew his stuff.  He provided all kinds of interesting tidbits of information and was able to answer some pretty tough questions thrown at him by a couple of guys that were big train buffs.  The tour lasted nearly an hour before we headed back to the Visitor’s Center.

Michael on the west side of the tracks and me on the east

Michael on the west side of the tracks and me on the east

Back at the Visitor’s Center we watched a 20 minute video about the joining of the railroad when the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads met at Promontory Point on May 10, 1869.  Sadly, all of the original track was dismantled in 1942 and used for the war effort.  Fortunately by this time the track was no longer being used for much as it had been moved when a bridge/trestle was built over the Salt Lake to make the train route more efficient.

The commerotive railroad tile is between us...and you can see the difference in the ties used by the two railrods

The commerotive railroad tile is between us…and you can see the difference in the ties used by the two railrods

You’re able to walk out behind the Visitor’s Center to view the point where the original ‘golden spike’ was placed.  Even though the original railroad is long gone the National Parks Service has done a good job of laying track that depicts the difference in track laid by the Union and Central Pacific Railroads.  The track coming from the west is all uniformly cut as they had an abundance of trees and were able to cut all of their railroad ties ahead of time and just lay them as they needed them.  However, the track coming from the east is all of varying sizes and shapes as trees were scarce and far off and they had to use whatever they found along the route.

The 'last cut'

The ‘last cut’

As we were leaving the park Michael decided to take a bit of a back road to do a little sight-seeing as we could see bits and pieces of the Great Salt Lake in the distance.  We ended up running across the ‘last cut’ of one of the railroads where the ground was excavated for the railroad to pass through keeping the level of the tracks at a fairly even level.

Pretty cool view of parts of the Great Salt Lake

Pretty cool view of parts of the Great Salt Lake

Golden Spike is a bit out in the middle of nowhere so after we finished up at the monument we headed into Brigham City for a late lunch.  Back in June the camphosts from our campground all got together and went to dinner at Maddox but Michael and I stayed back as our boys and their families were visiting us so we decided to give it a try.

Maddox is a family run business with a drive-in restaurant, casual dining restaurant and a lodge all located on the same sprawling corner lot.  We chose the casual restaurant which was quite spacious and comfortably decorated.

Potato soup and homemade dinner roll with their raspberry butter....Oh My Yum

Potato soup and homemade dinner roll with their raspberry butter….Oh My Yum

Maddox is ‘famous’ for their skinless fried chicken and I decided to give it a try while Michael ordered their ground beef steak. We ordered the lunch version of our meals and each came with homemade rolls & corn pones, corn on the cob, choice of potato AND soup, salad or seafood cocktail for $12.95ish.  The portions were HUGE – the soup was a huge BOWL, not a cup.  We each received a WHOLE piece of corn on the cob.  We each ordered a piece of homemade pie to take home.  Michael went with peach and I had banana cream…and the pieces were absolutely humongous…at least twice as large as what you would normally get.

Delicious!

Delicious!

The portions may have been large but it all tasted really good too!  The soup was excellent, the chicken was tender and juicy, the beef steak was flavorful, the corn was sweet and well spiced, the dinner rolls and pones were both yummy….wow.  Definitely a place we’d go to again and I’m actually looking forward to it!

After filling our tummies we headed down the road a bit to get some pampering done….we got our toes done.  You just can’t beat having someone else massage your feet and calves!  It’s a treat we both enjoy.

Before heading home for the day we stopped at Smith & Edwards for another treat!  We each picked up a bag of ‘penny’ candy since we both seem to have a sweet tooth that can be easily satisfied by a couple of pieces of candy.

Our oldest son, Zack, celebrated his 30th birthday on the 22nd so we all went to the Texas Roadhouse for dinner that evening. We’d planned to got to Sushi Ya but we’d had a storm pass through the area that afternoon with a couple of tornado’s touching down and there were power outages all over and Sushi Ya was in an area with no power.  Texas Roadhouse was Zack’s second choice.

We had a good meal and were able to embarrass Zack by making him sit on ‘the saddle’ and having the whole restaurant aware that it was his birthday…anything we can do to embarrass our kids!

My baby is 30!?!!? EEK!

My baby is 30!?!!? EEK!

Zack’s real celebration was on Saturday when he and Kelsea through a birthday party and invited about 25 people or so over to enjoy a BBQ.  Zack smoked a brisket and a couple of pork shoulders and then made his homemade BBQ sauce to go with it.  Kelsea, myself and her friend Amanda made sides to go along with the smoked meats:  beer dip, buffalo chicken dip, fruit pizza, potato salad, macaroni & cheese, baked beans, lettuce salad and a veggie tray and of course there was a birthday cake and since Zack is a ‘home brewer’ Kelsea decorated it appropriately!

We’d already met several of the people attending the party but met several new folks we’d not met before.  We had a good time talking with everyone as we had quite a bit in common with most of them…either they were in the Army, from Texas or from Wisconsin…three of our favorite things!  🙂

 

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Busy Bees

We have been BUSY!

Papaw working on the babies 4x4

Papaw working on the babies 4×4

We’ve been working on several different projects since we arrived at Zack & Kelsea’s last week.  The first thing Michael tackled was to put together a play set for the kids.  Zack and Kelsea bought the play set (a kid’s bouncy 4×4) before they moved to the new house and Papaw volunteered to put it together.  He didn’t get it finished the first day but promised the kids it would be ready when they came home from school the following afternoon…and it was and they were happy campers!

Zack working on my coffee table

Zack working on my coffee table

I enlisted Zack to make me a storage coffee table that will replace the darned cooler that has been sitting in our living room for over a year and a half now.  We picked up all the wood for the project the day we moved here and he went right to work almost immediately getting all of the pieces cut out.

4 sides and a bottom!

4 sides and a bottom!

The following day he was able to assemble the table, which is kind of a box since it will hold our extra pantry items.  Once it was assembled he sanded and tweaked what needed to be tweaked.

Michael decided that he also wanted to make some end tables to go on either side of the coach since we have no place to set a drink or anything currently.  His plan is to put a top on them that will open up to a storage area below.  They will eventually have a hinged solid surface top on them but that part will wait until we get to San Antonio in a few months.

So while Zack worked on the coffee table…Michael worked on cutting out the pieces for the end tables and them assembling them.  Michael always has a vision of his projects and no one else can usually envision what his plan is until the plan is nearing completion.  This project is no different.  LOL

Some of the pieces I stained

Some of the pieces I stained

I volunteered to stain ALL of the projects that have been being worked on – Zack’s coffee table, Michael’s end tables and Zoe’s stool that we picked up last week from the guy that had it for 6 weeks and was supposed to carve her name in the top and he never touched. I’ve got a 1st coat on most everything (a few items got added to the list after I was done for the day) so now I’ll just need to put a 2nd coat on and see if we like the color or if I need to add more stain.

The solution to that problem was that we bought Zack a lettering kit for his birthday (September 22 he turns 30!) and he gets to use it to rout Zoe’s name in the stool!  See?  I told you we had a solution!

Working on removing the old awning

Working on removing the old awning

We ordered a new awning a while back and waited until we were here to install it.  Michael removed the old one which was pretty much starting to disintegrate but this point.  He tied down the awning arms so that they would ‘fling’ back into place or fall to the ground….weren’t sure if either would happen but wanted to take precautions just in case.

He used a utility knife to cut the awning off the roller and then with just a small portion of the awning left in the roller and the tract that runs along the coach he pulled each piece out of its tract.  He cleaned up the tracts and then caulked along the tract on the coach.

With every new home comes projects!  Zack and Kelsea’s new home isn’t any different.  One of those projects was to move the current fire pit (just some rocks in a circle) back a few feet in the yard and to improve it by building and actual ring out of paving stones.

They had a load of dirt delivered to fill in where the old pit had been and had the rest dumped out where the future pasture will be and they’ll use the remaining dirt to fill in areas around the yard as needed.

Now you might notice that I didn’t mention that any of those projects have been completed….well…that’s because all of them are still in progress!  It’s driving me crazy to have so many unfinished projects looming over our heads but I must be patient and wait til they’re done…hopefully a few will be completed before we leave next Tuesday!

The guys took one afternoon and went and helped Zack’s friend, Dustin, do some slaughtering of animals (sheep & cows) as he has his own butchering business.  Definitely not my thing but they both seemed to enjoy it and learned a lot along the way.  Zack seemed quite proud of the fact that they both ended up with blood spots on their shoes and pants.  Why do men get such a thrill out of that kind of stuff??  Ewww!

Remember a few posts ago when I told you we’d been having issues with the navigation system in the truck?  We made another appointment for last Thursday to take the truck in, drop it off and leave it until the problem was resolved.  We were pretty sure it just needed a new data card which shouldn’t take but seconds to install.  However, Ford had to go through their checks and balances system before they could solve the problem.  Michael finally called Saturday afternoon to check and see how things were going and was told that they had to order parts and they’d call him back.

Michael got a call back about half an hour later and the truck was ready…they’d installed a new data card for the navigation system and it was now working fine.  Hmmmm….took them 2 days to install a card that took 2 seconds install….thank goodness it was still under warranty!

In between projects we’ve made a few trips down to Salt Lake for appointments at the VA…optometry, follow ups, prescriptions and dropping off Michael’s hearing aids so that they can be sent in and overhauled.  Once they’re fixed they’ll give us a call and we’ll have them sent to Zack & Kelsea’s and then have them ship them to us.

Chinatown Buffet within the Chinatown Marketplace

Chinatown Buffet within the Chinatown Marketplace

We tried a Chinese Buffet (Chinatown) in Salt Lake City and found it to be acceptable.  We’ve really had a tough time with finding decent/good Chinese in this area.  The food is quite a bit different from what we’re used to…the egg drop soup either has corn in it or noodles…or both.  Some places only serve ham fried rice…which is different from pork fried rice and their egg rolls are more like spring rolls and have different seasonings than I’m used to.

Chinatown had fresh food with good flavors although their selection wasn’t quite as large as most buffets but it was still adequate. Our waiter was on the ball and cleared our plates away nearly as fast as we were done with them.  It would be a place we’d go back to but with so many places to choose from we’d probably try another place.

The real interesting thing about this particular restaurant was its location.  It’s located within a small shopping center called Chinatown.  There are three other Chinese restaurants and a Chinese Supermarket within the shopping center…intriguing and definitely a draw to go back.

 

 

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Travel Day: Hunstville, UT To West Haven, UT

Wednesday, September 14th.

With less than 20 miles to travel to today’s destination we didn’t pull out of Anderson Cove until about 10:15 am.  As usual most of our leave day chores were already done so we just had a few odds and ends left to complete.   We went next door and said our ‘Goodbyes’ to Debbie and Fred and then were on our way.

Love the drive through the Ogden Canyon!

Love the drive through the Ogden Canyon!

It was a quick ride but always so pretty through the Ogden Canyon.  We noticed that the trees were already started to turn beautiful shades of red, yellow and orange.  The traffic was light so Michael was able to take his time winding through the crazy curves of the canyon.

Our destination was just over the mountain in West Haven…the Utah Barnett’s new home!  Their new home has ample room on the side of the house for 2 5th wheels to sit side by side…it’s awesome!

Zack had moved his 5er so that we could have the prime stop next to the house.  Michael backed into the driveway and through the gate to the backyard like a pro.  With just inches between the sides of the coach and the gate it could have been pretty tricky but he did it in one fell swoop!

Settled into ZnK's side yard

Settled into ZnK’s side yard

With the coach safely ensconced in the back/side yard, power hooked up and the inside set up Zack, Michael and I headed out on errands.  We were gone most of the after none making stops at Hill Air Force Base, a stop to pick up the top of Zoe’s stool, a stop at the home brewing store (Zack brews his own beer), a stop to pick up my online groceries at Walmart and a stop at Walmart to pick up materials for a storage coffee table.

Shortly after Kelsea and the kids got home from work/school we headed to Red Lobster for dinner.  The kids both had popcorn shrimp while the rest of us went with the 4 course meal.  We all ordered Alfredo – Michael went with chicken while the rest of us went with shrimp.  Along with your entree you get soup (potato for Michael and I, clam chowder for ZnK), salad and dessert…for $16.99…not bad.

After dinner Zack and Kelsea headed to Urgent Care as Zack was having some issues with his neck and needed some medicine and Michael, the kids and I made a quick trip to Walmart.  As soon as we got home we all put our jammies on….the kids were put to bed and Michael and I relaxed for a short while until ZnK got home and then we adjourned to our home in the yard.

New button, ready to be installed.

New button, ready to be installed.

A while back the switch to add air to our Hensley TrailSaver TS3 hitch fell apart so Michael contacted the manufacturer and ordered a new one and it arrived a few days ago.

All done! Easy Peasy!

All done! Easy Peasy!

It took Michael all of 5 minutes to install the new switch.  He added a little bulb grease (should work like electrical contact grease)  to the connection to protect it from moisture.  It was so easy that even I could have done it.  He’d already had the old switch removed so that saved 5 minutes, maybe.

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Last Days At Anderson Cove

Our last weekend at Anderson Cove proved to be fairly busy.  The person that does the scheduling for the store must not have thought that Friday evening would be very busy so just one person was scheduled to work in the store.  Since school is back in session everyone waited until after school/work to arrive at the campground.

About 6:00 pm there was a ‘call for help’ over the radio and 4 of us responded.  We ended up working for 2+ hours as the vehicles just kept coming.  I wrote paperwork and gave it to Kathy who rang it all into the register.  Michael & Fred worked the long lines of traffic, keeping the vehicles off the road as much as possible.  Debbie ran interference….helping the guys outside and also helping Kathy and I in the store.   It was the best teamwork I’ve experienced the whole season…it was GREAT!

We had so many campers come in that we ended up having to open one of the loops that was closed for the season…we didn’t fill it completely but had a good plenty sites filled.  Our loop was completely full and pretty much emptied out on Saturday and then nearly full again that night with everyone but one site leaving again on Sunday.

Come Monday the entire campground was really quiet with less than a dozen sites filled.

With the campground so quiet it makes it easy for us to run errands on a day other than our day off so on Monday we made a run over to Zack and Kelsea’s with a few things that needed to be dropped off there.

A disappointing visit

A disappointing visit

We stopped at In & Out Burger for a quick lunch and were kinda disappointed with our burgers and not happy with the old french fries.  It wasn’t our first trip to a In & Out Burger and have had better experiences but this time was not a good one.  You win some, you lose some.

We also stopped to pick up the top of the stool for our granddaughter, Zoe.  Michael had found a place that could carve her name into the top of the stool so that we could finish it up.  He dropped the stool top off 5 or 6 weeks ago.  We stopped by about 3 weeks ago to check on it and found that he hadn’t touched it yet even though he’d told Michael it would take a week or 2.  When we stopped that time we reminded him we’d be leaving the area in a few weeks and needed it completed…he said he’d get it done.

When we stopped yesterday he wasn’t there so Michael called him and found out that he still hadn’t touched it.  We didn’t even give him a chance to say ‘I’ll get to it’ before we told him not to bother that we’d pick it up later this week.  How frustrating.

I’m actually happier with the outcome as I would rather the work be done by Papaw and Nana exclusively.  We’ll figure out a way to get Zoe’s name routered in the top so that we can get it finished and sent to our littlest princess.

Cart ready to turn in and a completely empty boat ramp parking lot (a very unusual sight!)

Cart ready to turn in and a completely empty boat ramp parking lot (a very unusual sight!)

Tuesday (today) was our last day of work so we turned everything in (cart & supplies, uniforms, keys, paperwork, till money, and last weekly report/deposit).  Michael made sure that the bathrooms were clean and filled with water so that they were ready for the weekend.

After much debate we’ve decided to come back again next year and try it again.   We love the weather here…warm days and cool nights.  We really enjoy the work…both in the campground and the store.  Plus it’s convenient and close to our Utah Barnett’s. We’re not sure who the area managers (our bosses) will be as the current ones have said they don’t plan to come back.  We only know of one other couple (for sure) that plan to come back next year as well.  So I guess we play it by ear and see what happens. We’ve requested to have the same loop and the boat ramp again next year as we really did like the area that we covered.

Zack takes after his Dad with his woodworking skills.  Nice job!

Zack takes after his Dad with his woodworking skills. Nice job!

Another of the bottoms of one of our kitchen drawers started falling out and needed to be rebuilt.  Michael took the drawer out and left it at Zack’s house so that he could rebuild it when we’re there.  Today Zack surprised us by sending us pictures of the newly rebuilt drawer!  Now Michael will just need to reattach the drawer front and we’ll be in business!

Our ‘vacation’ begins September 27th when we head south to Glendale, Utah for a Heartland Owners Club rally and then continues while we make a leisurely trek back to south Texas.  We ended up extending our vacation by a few weeks so that we can fly to Wisconsin to visit our youngest son, Dan, and his family the first 2 weeks of November.  We were originally going to be ready to go back to the oil field November 1st but will now go back just before Thanksgiving.

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Yummy goodness

I’ve been continuing my Instant Pot adventure with a couple of new dishes over the last week.  I made my normal meatloaf but put it in the instant pot for 20 minutes and was very happy with the result…a very tender and juicy meatloaf and I didn’t even have to turn on the oven and heat up the house!  I also made Beef Tip and Gravy in under 45 minutes from start to finish (that included cutting up a rump roast into cubes!)  The dish turned out nice and tender and quite flavorful.

I made a cheese cake again this week using the same recipe but for some reason it wasn’t as solid in the middle as it should have been….it still tasted good but was a bit of a disappointment nonetheless.  🙁

 

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Antelope Island: Horseback, Bison, Antelope and the Great Salt Lake

**Just a reminder….if you click on the pictures they will be enlarged and easier to view.

We’d been told that Labor Day weekend was going to be the worst weekend of all the holiday weekends.  However, we’d been told that before every weekend so we weren’t too worried.  Good thing we weren’t as we both thought it was pretty mild.  The boat ramp parking lot only filled to capacity on Saturday.  It came close to filling both Sunday and Monday but never quite got there.

The campground was full by Thursday night with most campers staying until Monday.  Check out time is 1:00 pm and normally we have to keep reminding people who it’s time to leave.  This weekend we didn’t have any stragglers…I’m assuming it was because it was fairly chilly (not even 70) so playing in the lake and boating wasn’t high priority.

Oopsie!

Oopsie!

As the mass exodus was gearing up and many of the campers were lining up to use the dump station we had a motorhome pulling a boat passing by our loop on its way to dump when the boat detached from the motorhome making quite the BOOM.  Thankfully, there wasn’t much damage to the motorhome (a bent bumper mostly) and little to no damage to the boat.   We directed traffic and Michael helped them to get the boat trailer tongue off the ground and rehitched to the motorhome and after about 15 minutes things were back to normal.

Finishing up cleaning sites in a nearly empty campground

Finishing up cleaning sites in a nearly empty campground

We found out accidentally that as of Labor Day our loop would now be the ‘Tent Only & Day Use’ area as that area along with the B Loop would now be closed as the season is winding down.  We would have appreciated being told what to expect but that unfortunately hasn’t been the case for much of the summer.  We have less than a week left here at the park so we can deal with it.

The group from Anderson Cove Campground

The group from Anderson Cove Campground

Tuesday evening the entire staff from our campground and the outlying campgrounds and day use areas met for dinner at an area supper club, The Timber Mine.  We were given three options for dinner:  Prime Rib, Teriyaki Chicken or Halibut.  I was good with the prime rib but Michael really didn’t care for any of the choices and was spoiled when they went out of their way to give him a New York Strip.  Our dinners included punch, salad, a dinner roll and dessert and everything was very good.  The big plus was that AL&L (the company we work for) and/or our area managers picked up the bill for the entire group of roughly 35ish people.  Very nice.

The navigation system on our truck has been acting funky for  a while.  The memory card is located in a compartment in the front dash and when the sun beats on it and it gets overheated it won’t work.  At first Michael was able to take the card out, cool it off in front of the air conditioner and put it back in and the GPS would work again.  For the last few weeks or so that doesn’t help anymore.

Last week we took Zack’s memory card out of his truck and put it in ours and we had no problems with the navigation system so we’re kinda thinking that’s where the problem lies.

We took the truck in to the Ford dealer in Ogden and had them check it out and of course it worked just fine there but we explained the problem and Michael showed them a picture of the ‘error’ that we get.  Unfortunately, they weren’t able to help us as they were still working on vehicles from the day before and there were some vehicles from that day ahead of us and we’d have to wait until they ‘got to us’ even though we had an 8:00 am appointment.  We had somewhere to be at 10:00am so we couldn’t wait and will have to try again soon.

The view as we drove across the cause way to Antelope Island

The view as we drove across the cause way to Antelope Island

This week’s day off took us to Antelope Island.  We had a 10:00 am reservation at R&G Horse & Wagon for a horseback ride and arrived a little before so that we could use the restroom and get ready.  We were the only riders and had 2 young ladies that took us out for our hour-long ride.

Sage sharing here knowledge of this beautiful place

Sage sharing here knowledge of this beautiful place

R&G doesn’t do the average ‘nose to tail’ trail ride, matter of fact, Sage (one of our escorts) encouraged us to ride side by side and just kinda do what we felt comfortable with.  For most of the ride we just meandered over the fields, no trail involved.

No nose to tail here!

No nose to tail here!

Sage was a regular wealth of information telling us about the island, a recent fire caused by lightning, showing us different landmarks on the mainland, about the bison round-up coming up in October and lots of other little tidbits.  As we rode closer to the bay of the Salt Lake, Shania (our other escort) pointed out 4 different coyotes in the distance.  Wish I’d had a better camera with me so that I could have gotten pictures.

A beautiful day for a horseback ride!

A beautiful day for a horseback ride!

I was quite proud of myself for being able to get up on Buttercup (poor thing is a boy with that name!) with just a small nudge from Michael and even though I was a bit concerned about getting down thinking my legs might betray me…I did it!  Buttercup stood nice and still for my mount and dismount.  He liked to walk with his face near the tail end of the other horses so that their tails would swat the flies away from his face…goofy thing.  But if I steered him away to walk beside the other horses he did fine but eventually gravitated back to his fly swatters.

At one point, we rode down a fairly steep ravine and then back up again.  I was a bit apprehensive but made it across in one piece even though Buttercup decided to trot down and then up the hill!  The girls reminded me after the fact that I could have pulled on the reins to slow him down but I was trying to remember lean back, push my feet into the stirrups, hold on to my phone and NOT fall off that pulling the reins was the last thing on my mind!

After our ride I noticed that my glasses were gone.  I’d clipped them onto the front of my shirt and had my sunglasses on for the ride.  Crap!  I was gonna have to wear my sunglasses for the rest of the day and wear my old pair for a back up until I could get a new pair.  The ride was fairly peaceful except for that terrifying ravine run and that’s the only place I thought that I might have lost my glasses.

My hero!

My hero!

So on the way back north after leaving the ranch I watched for that ravine as I knew it wasn’t too terribly far and it wasn’t real far off the highway.  I found what I thought was the ravine and Michael being the gentleman trudged through the grass to find the spot where we’d cross over.  I could see him walk down and then saw him appear again on the other side of the ravine but I could tell that he hadn’t seen them.  Then I watched as he walked back down into the ravine and a few minutes later he popped back up at the top of the ravine with his hands up in VICTORY!  Woohoo….my hero!

The ranch house...it's easy to see where the last addition was added on.

The ranch house…it’s easy to see where the last addition was added on.

R&G Horse and Wagon is actually located at the Fielding Garr Ranch.  The ranch is the oldest established ranch on the island and has a rich history.  The ranch has been turned into a museum of sorts where visitors are able to walk through the original homestead (which had several additions with subsequent owners), the outhouses and grounds.

My Texas-born cowboy

My Texas-born cowboy

Michael and I each took our turn at trying to rope a steer Michael did fairly well…maybe it’s because he has Texas bloodline. However, being the city slicker that I am (born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin…I pretty much sucked.  I couldn’t get the lasso to go anywhere but the ground in front of my feet!

Utah Fish Fry by the Great Salt Lake!

Utah Fish Fry by the Great Salt Lake!

I had packed a picnic lunch so after our horse ride we were looking for a place to set up our picnic and came across the Island Buffalo Grill on the northwest shore of the lake and decided to give it a shot instead.  They offered bison burgers, chicken sandwiches beef burgers, fish etc.  After finding out that the fish was cod we both went with an order of fish and fries and were both quite happy with our meal.  It wasn’t quite a Wisconsin fish fry but it was pretty dang good.  We at outside on the patio and enjoyed the gorgeous views and decided that after lunch we’d take the hike out to the water so that we could dip our toes in the great Salt Lake.

About a third of the way to the water, looking back at the restaurant

About a third of the way to the water, looking back at the restaurant

Yikes! Check out all those brine flies!

Yikes! Check out all those brine flies!

The lake is quite low making the walk to the water much further than normal.  It didn’t seem like a bad walk but ended up being further than we thought…about 3/4 of a mile out and back…over sand, rocks, dried up lake bed, etc.  When we arrived at the water’s edge we found the sand covered with Brine Flies that swarmed away as we approached…it was one huge movement and you could actually hear them as they flew away!

Ahhhhh

Ahhhhh

We took off our shoes and Michael rolled up his jeans and we braved the flies and made our way into the water.  I expected it to be a bit chilly but it was actually perfect.  We only went as deep as mid-calf but it was very nice.  There were several others in the water too…some actually swimming and attempting to float.

We checked out the three campgrounds on the island (1 for groups, 1 for tents and 1 that accommodates RVs) and decided we wouldn’t mind spending a few days there at some point.  It’s dry camping but we could handle that for a few days no problem.  We’d definitely wait until this time of year or maybe even a few weeks later.

Stopping traffic

Stopping traffic

Shepherd overseeing his flock??

Shepherd overseeing his flock??

We were treated to the sights of several different animals while on the island.  Bison were introduced to the island back in the late 1890s and have flourished on the island.  They roam freely from here to there and we were able to witness a couple of small groups crossing the highway making way to the lower area near the water where a large herd was already grazing.

And there he stood...staring down a car and our truck

And there he stood…staring down a car and our truck

We sat and watched 4 pronghorn antelope as they came down a hill and the 3 females crossed the road behind us while the male stood sentry watching over them until he too finally decided to cross the road too…but in front of us and another car coming from the opposite way.  He got almost all the way across the road when he decided to just stop and stand there.  We waited for quite a while before for cars started to creep forward hoping to get him to move….he did eventually but did move far onto the side of the road.  Stubborn dude!

We also saw a badger, magpies, lizards, mule deer and an additional coyote to the 4 we saw on our horseback ride as we had one cross the road ahead of us as we drove down the highway.

We had such an enjoyable day on the island (which is really a peninsula!) that we already know that we’ll be going back the next time we’re in the area.  I’m not sure the day could get any better…a beautiful horseback ride, witnessing tons of wildlife, taking a walk to the Great Salt Lake and dipping our feet in, enjoying a yummy ‘fish fry’….but we were able to end the day just a great!

We spent the evening with Zack, Kelsea, Paityn and Cameron.  Kelsea made sloppy joes, I made a peach cobbler-like dish, the guys moved a new freezer Zack picked up from Craigslist and unloaded a bunch of firewood from our truck, Kelsea, the kids and I went for a ranger ride around the backyard, the guys and the kids met one of the neighbors that abuts their backyards AND best of all, we got plenty of love time with Cameron and Paityn.

As of today, we have just 5 more days to work here at the campground.  We’re both in ‘clean up and get ready’ mode…washing windows, sheets, blankets and rugs as well as polishing woodwork, packing and stowing items in the basement etc.

 

 

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Best Thing Since Sliced Bread!

Scrub a dub dub

Scrub a dub dub

With the slow down of campers at the park we’ve been freed up to do some more chores around the house.  One such chore for Michael was to borrow Zack’s pressure washer and clean the roof.  It really takes a beating from the sun, trees dropping their leaves and birds leaving their droppings behind.

Reinstalling the tool/fuel box

Reinstalling the tool/fuel box

He was able to get up on the roof one afternoon and give it a thorough washing and it looks much better than before he started.  Then over a couple of days he gave the coach itself a good washing and now he plans to use the Wash Wax All that he got a the National Rally last summer (and has since purchased on Amazon) to wash/wax the whole thing once we get to Zack and Kelsea’s.

Jesse utilizing the tractor to place the hitch in the bed of the truck

Jesse utilizing the tractor to place the hitch in the bed of the truck

The truck is all set to travel.  Once the bed liner was installed and Michael let it sit for a couple of days…just to be safe…Fred helped him get the tool/fuel box back into the truck and then Jesse came over with a tractor and he used the tractor to move the 5th wheel hitch from the back of Fred’s truck into the bed of our truck.  Once it was in place Michael locked the hitch into place and voila….it was done!

Now that school has started our weekday campers our almost non-existent…just a few here and there throughout the park. We’ve had 2 people scheduled in the store for each of the three shifts (7am-noon, noon – 5pm and 5pm – to 10pm) all summer long but there just hasn’t been enough business to warrant 2 people per shift during the week so the schedule has finally been knocked down to just 1 person per shift.  I’m good with that as that helps with boredom…although I make sure I pack my Kindle, tablet, a magazine, do plenty of walking, stock shelves and clean as needed to help the time pass quicker.

Practice makes perfect

Practice makes perfect

Soccer has started back up for Paityn again.  We missed her first game but were able to sneak away last Saturday morning for a couple of hours so that we could be there to see her play.  I’m amazed at how well some of these 5 and 6 year olds understand what they’re supposed to be doing.  Some don’t get it quite as much as others…but they’ve got plenty of time yet!

The weather here has been a real blessing…all summer actually.  With relatively no humidity temperatures in the 90s aren’t bad at all.  And since the temps drop down into the 50s and 60s at night sleeping is great.

Lately the temperatures have dipped down into the very low 50s and we’ve turned on the fireplace of heat pumps in the mornings to take the edge off a bit.  We’ve even taken to enjoying a free cup of hot chocolate from the store every now and again which really tastes good when the temps take a nose dive.

The mansion

The mansion

With the slow down during the week we’ve been taking advantage of that and running away for short bits of time.  This week we took a ride up the mountain behind us and checked out ‘the castle’ that we’d been told about by fellow camphosts.  The castle is just a large, beautiful home overlooking the Pineview Reservoir (which Anderson Cove Campground sits on).  It was a pretty drive with lots of pretty and expensive homes along the way.  We noted one piece of land for sale:  14.5 acres for $355,000…we thought about snatching it up but decided we’d pass the opportunity onto someone else!

Our campground is is to the right of the condos in the middle of the picture

Our campground is is to the right of the condos in the middle of the picture

We also drove up to Snowbasin, a ski resort that also overlooks Pineview.  If we’re back in the area again we’d like to take a ski lift ride to the top of the mountain and enjoy lunch at the restaurant.  We were told by someone that you could take a ride up to the top….but I’d have to do some research to verify that…but for now it’s something to keep in mind.

Michael had another appointment at the VA down in Salt Lake City this week…this time it was for a Compensation and Pension Exam for his neck, back and sleep apnea…FINALLY.  Michael was with the PA for about an hour and a half while he was asked questions and poked and prodded.  He was pretty sore/uncomfortable for the remainder of the day…which is pretty common after they torture him.  Now we must sit and wait until we get the VA’s decision as to what percentage rating they tag him with for those particular issues.  We are STILL waiting to hear word on the appeal he placed back in January 2014.

We picked Paityn and Cameron up from Daycare about 1:00 pm on Wednesday and headed over to the  in Ogden for the afternoon.   The park has a couple of indoor ‘museums’ and then an outdoor park where you’ll find over a hundred dinosaur sculptures.

Ready to go see Dinosaurs!

Ready to go see Dinosaurs!

We spent a little time indoors checking out the 2 small museums (fossils & rocks) and doing a couple of hands-on activities but the kids were really antsy to get outside to see the dinosaurs!  There were a couple of animatronic dinosaurs inside that held their attention for  a while but not long enough!

When we got outside it was hard to contain the kids…they wanted to run here and there…but they calmed down and we enjoyed our time.

Feeding the ducks, goose and fish was a highlight!

Feeding the ducks, goose and fish was a highlight!

They LOVED feeding the ducks in the pond and were more excited when a big “Mother Goose” came along to partake in the feast.  Then when a couple of fish joined the party it was just that much better.  We made sure that we stopped on the way out to feed them all again.

There is a small dinosaur playground that both Paityn and Cameron enjoyed playing at…mostly the slides though.  However there were swings too.

A crazy scary T-Rex!

A crazy scary T-Rex!

We had fun trying to pronounce the crazy complicated names of many of the dinosaurs and I was very impressed at how many of the dinosaurs the kids knew the names of…Triceratops, Tyrannosaurus Rex, Stegosaurus, Brachiosaurus, Pterodactyl….that’s pretty awesome!

It was pretty warm out (mid 90s) and the concession stands were closed but thankfully there were a few water fountains around for us to get a drink every now and again.  There weren’t a whole lot of people at the park so there was no waiting to get a drink.

Fossil finders!

Fossil finders!

The kids enjoyed hunting for fossils in a sand pit with brushes and Nana and Papaw enjoyed the ‘rest time’ while Paityn and Cameron did their best archaeological work!

I’m a little late to the game but glad I finally showed up!  Kelsea mentioned that she’d tried ordering groceries online at Walmart and that the experience turned out awesomely for her so I thought I’d give it a shot too.  By going online to Grocery.Walmart.com I was able to place an order for all of the items I had on my grocery list.  I then selected a pick up store and then a date and time to pick up my groceries.  You’re given a 1 hour time frame to pick up your groceries…I chose 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm.

Online grocery shopping...it's a breeze!

Online grocery shopping…it’s a breeze!

You don’t even have to go INSIDE to pick up your groceries!  They have a place set up on the side of the building for your to park, which is labeled.  You call the phone number listed in front of your parking spot, tell the person who answers the phone your name and what parking spot you’re in and they bring the groceries out to you and place them in your vehicle!  So easy!

I sure wish I’d have taken advantage of this service (no fee, by the way!) earlier in the summer as it would have eased some of our day off stress since most days are filled with appointments, errands, kids/grandkids and grocery shopping.  I have just one more week to grocery shop while workamping but you can be sure I’ll be utilizing Wal-Mart’s online grocery shopping option!  Best thing since sliced bread!

We had a coupon from Restaurant.com for Maria’s Mexican Restaurant in South Ogden that we decided to use this week and Kelsea and the kids joined us.

The restaurant itself was nice enough and the waitress was friendly.  Unfortunately, the waitress wasn’t really on top of things though.  Orders were messed up, drinks weren’t filled, we weren’t informed of extra charges, etc.  The food wasn’t the greatest either…not bad but not great either.  My chimichanga was soggy, Kelsea’s tortillas for her carne asada were thicker then I’ve ever seen, etc.  We even tried the fried ice cream and that turned out soggy too.  Granted we aren’t in south Texas but since there are other restaurants around to try…we definitely won’t be going back.

What a mess!

What a mess!

Last weekend Michael noticed that there was water bubbling up through a crack in the road in our loop and let the maintenance people know.  The forest service sent people out to take a look at it and on Tuesday they dug holes on either side of the road to find the leak.  While we were gone on Wednesday (our day off) they most have worked some more because when we did our rounds Thursday morning we found that our loop was closed (thankfully we only had 1 reservation on Wednesday and they were moved to a different site) and the road over where the leak was occurring was dug up.   We’re being told that they’re suppose to finish up today (Thursday) so that we are ready for all the campers that have reservations for the holiday weekend…we will be completely full, once again.

As our time winds down here at the park (just 12 days left!) I’ve been continuing to make plans for our ‘vacation’ before we head back to the oilfield.  Last week I purchased tickets to see ‘Piff the Magic Dragon’ while we are in Vegas at the beginning of October and today I made reservations to visit the Neon Sign Boneyard for the same time frame.  Woohoo!

 

 

 

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Experiments, New Things & a Fun Day

I’ve still been experimenting with my Instant Pot.  Hard-boiled eggs are a favorite.  Six minutes on high pressure results in perfect eggs with no green around the yolk!

One night I got brave and made two dishes.  The first was a whole rotisserie-like chicken and then while that ‘sat’ and rested I made some macaroni and cheese to go with it.

Instant Pot Chicken and Macaroni & Cheese dinner!

Instant Pot Chicken and Macaroni & Cheese dinner!

The rotisserie chicken wasn’t fully thawed when I put it in the pot so it could have been cooked a bit longer.  And had I read the directions correctly I would have known that I needed to turn the chicken over and cook it another 15 minutes.  Geesh!  Oh well…we win some we lose some.

Now the macaroni and cheese….THAT turned out oh-so-good!   And so very easy!  In less than 10 minutes we had home-made, from scratch super creamy macaroni and cheese.

 

Instant Pot Chops w/leftover macaroni & cheese

Instant Pot Chops w/leftover macaroni & cheese

I also made Honey Maple Pork Chops and they turned out really good…great flavor and perfectly cooked…not too tender.  A definite ‘do again’.

Checking out the issue with Michael's hearing aids

Checking out the issue with Michael’s hearing aids

Michael had another appointment to have his hearing aids adjusted as they were not working right and giving a lot of feed back.  I could actually hear myself talk through his ears even when I was 3 or 4 feet away.  We thought that they’d been fixed the last time we were there but no such luck.

This time the audiologist actually got the same feedback and said, ‘Oh, that’s not good’.  She did some adjustments and the feedback seemed to be omitted so we were on our way but she did say if that didn’t help or it started again to let her know and she’d have to send them in to be adjusted.

We weren’t 10 minutes down the road after leaving the Audiology clinic and the feedback started all over again…just like before.  Dang it!  Michael called the clinic to make arrangements to be able to drop the hearing aids off next week when he has another appointment.

All done! Now just to reinstall the fuel/tool box and hitch!

All done! Now just to reinstall the fuel/tool box and hitch!

The appointment to have the spray in bedliner added to the truck was Wednesday at Ed Kenley Customs in Layton but to save a little chaos we dropped the truck off Tuesday afternoon.  Since Zack is in Korea for a couple of weeks we were able to use his truck while ours was being worked on.

Paityn had a dental appointment on Wednesday afternoon and wasn’t able to drink or eat for 4 hours before the appointment so we picked her up from school about 9:00 so that she didn’t have to watch all of her school friends eat lunch and not be able to.

Nana & Pnut racing to a fire!

Nana & Pnut racing to a fire!

We took her out for breakfast about 9:15 to fill her tummy and to tide her over until after her appointment and then visited the Treehouse Museum again.  We were there a good 2.5+ hours at the museum with Paityn pulling us there…and there….and then over there.  She had a great time taking our order in the little diner, painting a colorful picture, driving the fire engine, riding horses and making a fun, creative art project….among other things.

Busy preparing Nana & Papaw's orders

Busy preparing Nana & Papaw’s orders

After a fun time at the Treehouse we met Kelsea at the dentist’s office.  We ended up staying with Kelsea in the waiting room to give her a little moral support as I think she was more nervous than Paityn.  Pnut was give an oral sedative to relax her for the procedure and when it was over she was a bit loopy but content since they’d given her a freezy pop.

From there Michael and I headed south to Layton to pick up our truck which was ready.  It was a quick stop as the truck was in the parking lot waiting and Michael just need to go inside to pay.

Imagine ALL the walls, outlets, switches, vents looking like this...eww!

Imagine ALL the walls, outlets, switches, vents looking like this…eww!

The new & improved look of Cameron's room

The new & improved look of Cameron’s room

Michael and I parted ways there and he went to Zack and Kelsea’s to switch out some electrical outlets in Cameron’s bedroom.  The old owners had painted the outlets & covers when they painted the walls (ugly, ugly I might add).  Kelsea had been busy and had painted the walls and bought new outlets/covers and was ready for the new outlets/covers to be installed.

While Michael did that I stopped at Walmart and picked up our weekly groceries and then headed over back to Zack & Kelsea’s.  After Michael was finished the five of us tried a new Chinese restaurant in their new ‘home’ neighborhood.

All this PLUS soup and an appetizer for $8.25...not bad!

All this PLUS soup and an appetizer for $8.25…not bad!

Rice King Express turned out to be pretty darn good.  Hot & sour soup was good, egg drop soup was ok, crab rangoon was good, egg rolls…a no go.  But…everyone’s meals were good.  I went with chicken and vegetables (which was very good), Michael, of course, had sweet & sour chicken and was pleased that it was served with veggies, the kids shared beef & broccoli which they gobbled up and Kelsea went with a fancy dish that had scallops, shrimp, beef, chicken and veggies and enjoyed it too.  Don’t let me forget to mention the humongous portions we were each served!  We all had at least 1/2 of our meals left to take home and enjoy another day.  So I think we’d call it a success.  They deliver so while we’re at ZnK’s for 2 weeks before we leave the area we might just have to check out their delivery skills!  😉

When we ordered our coach it came with a central vacuum system, which was great.  It worked great and we had very little problems with it.  But that was 5 1/2 years ago and it just doesn’t quite ‘get it’ anymore.  It’s become a hassle to pull it out of its drawer and then get it all back in place when finished using it.  It also doesn’t seem to have the power that it once had.

There she is! My new vacuum cleaner...she's awesome!

There she is! My new vacuum cleaner…she’s awesome!

With all of that in mind we finally bit the bullet and ordered a vacuum cleaner from Amazon.  After some research on the best vacuum cleaners under $300 (no need to spend more with less than 300 square feet to clean!) I chose the Shark Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe (NV360).  With our Amazon Prime account the vacuum arrived 2 days after I ordered and I used it for the first time the day after it arrived since we weren’t home when it arrived.

All I can tell you is it works awesomely!  I moves so smoothly and the pivot action is perfect for going around curves.  It’s also light-weight and small enough to fit nicely into our bedroom closet.  But the big HUGE plus is how well it cleans!  I didn’t think it was suctioning the greatest until I was finished and went to empty the canister, thinking it wasn’t going to be very full.  Oh my….was I wrong!  I think it picked up every hair I ever lost (and I lose a LOT of hair!) and then some and along with that every stray piece of dust or dirt that ever enter the house!  If you’re in the market for a new vacuum cleaner…keep this one in mind.

Here's June taking her turn doing figure eights at the store!

Here’s June taking her turn doing figure eights at the store!

Michael and I each got Fitbits a while back and have been enjoying being challenged to get our ‘steps’ in each day.  I especially like that it encourages me to get up and walk at least 250 steps each hour.  Since we’ve been pretty slow in the store I’ve taken to walking figure eights through the store to get my steps in each hour.  I do it so often that I have a couple of the other girls jumping on the band wagon too!  LOL  If you’ve got nothing better to do you might as well walk, right??

 

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Long Post Ahead!

Wow!  I’ve really fallen behind in my blogging!

We are still getting 40 hours each at the campground but that will be reduced, most likely, right after Labor Day.  Reservations won’t be taken after September 4th so things will really quiet down then.  Although we can already see a HUGE difference as school starts the 23rd we have almost no campers in the park during the week.

Our days off are still jam-packed with errands, sight-seeing and time with Zack, Kelsea, Paityn and Cameron.

I'm not sure who's having more fun...

I’m not sure who’s having more fun…

We spent one afternoon with Paityn and Cameron at the Treehouse Museum.  We got them each a membership for Christmas.  They loved it and we plan to go back at least once more before we leave the area.

Finger paint fun!

Finger paint fun!

They built things with giant Tinker Toy-like things, played with trains, puppets, put on dress up costumes, played in a kitchen, planted veggies at the farm, milked a cow, rode horses, did a finger painting project plus lots more.  It’s a great place and we all had a great time.

Firefigher's Nana & Cameron

Firefigher’s Nana & Cameron

They played so hard at the museum that they both konked out pretty quickly once we got back to the car but were raring to go when we met their mom and dad at Pizza Pie for dinner.

Friends of Zack and Kelsea’s from Wisconsin just moved to the area (he’s in the Army too) so we had Erin and the kids join us for pizza since Bob was out of town for work.  We had a nice dinner and it was nice to get to know Erin.

Papaw roasting hot dogs...no black for the babies!

Papaw roasting hot dogs…no black for the babies!

Zack and Kelsea celebrated their 7th wedding anniversary on the 7th of August.  The kids spent that Friday night with us so that Momma and Papa could go out and enjoy themselves.

Bathing beauties

Bathing beauties

We had such a good time!  We played outside almost all day on Friday, roasted hot dogs for dinner, and had s’mores later on for dessert.  Paityn, Cameron and I played in the lake while Papaw walked the beach and picked up trash and left behind items.  The sun had almost set on the beach so it was a bit chilly in the water but we powered through and had fun.  Not surprisingly, both babies were out like a light soon after we put them to bed.

No arguing involved...they did so good!

No arguing involved…they did so good!

When Zack dropped the kids off to spend the night with us he also made time to help Michael get the new tool/fuel box installed in the truck.  It took them about 45 minutes or so to drill holes in the bed of the truck and get the fuel lines set.  Way less expensive than having someone else do it.

Tool box modification. The left hand side was cut down to make way for the hardware on the tonneau cover

Tool box modification. The left hand side was cut down to make way for the hardware on the tonneau cover

He had to have the tool box modified slightly (as he did with the last one) since the Tonneau cover he wants to install would interfere without the modification.

The hitch's temporary home in the back of Fred's pick up!

The hitch’s temporary home in the back of Fred’s pick up!

We have an appointment on Wednesday to have a spray in bedliner put in the bed of the truck.  Michael had a couple of the guys here at the park help him get the 5th wheel hitch out of our truck and it is now in the back of our neighbor Fred’s truck until the bedliner is installed and ready to go.  This way they only had to scooch the 300+ pound hitch from the bed or our truck to the bed of Fred’s truck then they’ll do it all in reverse when the bedliner has been installed.

The Shooting Star...just a little bitty place

The Shooting Star…just a little bitty place

We had lunch at the Shooting Star Saloon one day last week.  Opened in 1879, the establishment is said to the be oldest continuously running saloon in the state of Utah.  The ceiling is covered with dollar bills with names, dates and cute sayings written on them.

Check out all of those bills hanging from the ceiling!

Check out all of those bills hanging from the ceiling!

There are all sorts of doo-dads to check out but the most famous is Buck.  (Darn it if my picture of Buck didn’t turn out!) Buck was a St. Bernard owned by a friend of one of the owners.  The dogs owner, Ernie, loved him so much that when the dog died in 1953 he had Buck stuffed.  However, at 298 pounds Buck wasn’t easy to find a mold for so the taxidermist used a grizzly bear mold so poor Buck looks more like a bear than a dog.  Buck is displayed proudly on the wall over what is affectionately known as the ‘Buck booth’.  Buck even made it to Roadside America!

Good stuff!

Good stuff!

The Shooting Star is ‘famous’ for burgers too!  They’ve been voted best burger several times and since Michael is a burger connoisseur I knew we had to try the place out.  We each ordered a bacon cheeseburger and were happy with our burgers.  They were good but we both still prefer the burgers at Gonzales Burger down in the south Texas valley.

As we finished up our meal Fred and Debbie (fellow camphosts and neighbors) came in.  We had them join us and we visited while they had a burger.

Discussing his back issues with the doctor

Discussing his back issues with the doctor

This past Wednesday Michael had an appointment for an evaluation for his back issues to determine what to do to help manage his pain.  After a pretty thorough screening it was determined to try steroid injections first to see if that helps.  He has an appointment for September 23rd to have the injections done.

That evening we met our Utah Barnett’s in downtown Salt Lake City to watch the Salt Lake City Bees play baseball.  The Bees are a minor league team for the Los Angeles Angels.  We love our baseball and haven’t been to a game since last summer so this was perfect!

Great seats! Up close view of the relief pitchers warming up!

Great seats! Up close view of the relief pitchers warming up!

We had great seats on the 1st base side of the field.  It was $1 hot dog night so everyone enjoyed hot dogs.  Near the beginning of the game Cameron was given a baseball from a kid in front of us that had already been given two.  (Our seats were right behind the relief pitchers bench).

Toward the end of the game Paityn decided she wanted a ball too.  She and I went up one row to the first row and sat very patiently, for 2 innings, and waited for foul balls to be hit down the 1st base line.  I’d figured out that the only way the pitchers could hand out balls was if it was a foul ball…they couldn’t just hand us one of the many balls that they had in the ball bag sitting next to them.

This is how close we were to the relief pitchers bench. The guy second from the left is Paityn's hero.

This is how close we were to the relief pitchers bench. The guy second from the left is Paityn’s hero.

We quietly chanted ‘foul ball’…just loud enough for the pitchers on the bench to hear us.  Nothing loud or rude…just loud enough.  We’d talked with one of the pitchers a bit earlier and hoped he’d come through for us.

When the game ended we still didn’t have a ball…Paityn was pretty disappointed…until…our friend, the pitcher, came through!  He got up to head to the dug out, put the ball he’d been tossing around in the ball bag…but then he bent over, grabbed another ball and walked over to her and handed her the ball.  She was so happy!  He made a friend for life!  Unfortunately, he didn’t pitch at all and had a jacket on over his uniform so we don’t know his name or number.  Boo!

 

 

 

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