Monday, January 9, 2012

Where are we now?

We now have two blogs. This blog is primarily the one we will use when we are traveling around this great country. You can find our second one at http://blueheron98.wordpress.com  In this blog you can follow us in our new life adventure of gate guarding in the oil and gas fields of south Texas.

Since leaving Moab, Utah in October, we went on to Las Vegas, Nevada. We visited Bob's daughter Julia and her family (hubby Chris, sons Austin & Ben) and Bob's brother, Richard, and our sister-in-law, Carolyn. It was great to see them all. We ate lunch at the Rio, where Carolyn works as a waitress. I've never seen a buffet so large... never seen so much food at one place in my life!

One thing we never get to do with our out of state grandchildren is to attend their sports functions. As luck would have it... we were able to attend one of Ben's baseball practices. What a treat!

One of the things I wanted to do is eat at the Top of the World Restaurant in the Stratosphere. Bob's brother Richard joined us for dinner. I had a hard time deciphering the menu, but the food was good and EXPENSIVE! If you've ever dined in the Reunion Tower restaurant in Dallas, this restaurant operates the same way. In about an hour you rotate and get a breathtaking 360 degree view of the cityscape. At sunset it was quite a site.

Next, we went down the strip and saw the magnificent light show at the Bellagio. The light show is coordinated to music. It's awesome!

We stayed at the Circus Circus KOA because our rig is too big to stay at Julia's or Richard's place. We had a deluxe spot which means that in addition to black top, we had grass, a tree and patio furniture. Capt. Jack & Jesse James were grateful for the grass!

This is not our Silver Bullet in this picture, but it's looks like our lot. A breath of fresh air in the heart of Las Vegas for sure. :D

When we left Las Vegas we traveled across the new bridge at the Hoover Dam. If you plan to go over that bridge, don't count on seeing the dam as all. It is hidden. Fortunately we had already seen Hoover Dam in a previous visit to town.

On the way home we stayed at the Petrified Forest KOA. It was a great park with very friendly people. We find that KOA are among some of the friendliest campgrounds to stay at. I've added seeing the Petrified Forest to my bucket list... next trip out west.

When we got home it was time for annual maintenance on the Silver Bullet, us, and the doggies. No stone was left unturned but everyone and everything checked out okay. The rig still needs some things fixed, but they are on the long list and can wait.

On December 19th, we reported for duty at Gate Guard Services at the Carrizo Springs yard in south Texas. You can read more about our preparations for this job and what it's all about. Our trials & tribulations in this new adventure are included as well.

I'll write more in this blog when we get back on the road again.

Happy Trails!

Vicky & Bob Heron (Capt. Jack & Jesse James)
How to work & live wherever and whenever you choose!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sanitation Rant #2

A while back, I don't remember when, I wrote a post or two on campground etiquette and how to stay healthy through proper sanitation procedures.

Now I don't want to get on a soapbox and I don't want this to be a lecture on proper RVing, but I have to get a few things off my chest!

When we go to Moab and Las Vegas, and even in Holbrook, Arizona, we see a LOT of RV rentals. Many are foreigners who are traveling the National Park circuit or just wanting to see the beauty of the United States.

Not all of these renters are foreigners though. And they all need about an hour course in:
  1. RV Safety (and health safety)
  2. Proper sanitation and waste handling procedures
  3. Good ole RV etiquette!
I won't repeat the horror stories I've written about previously. Just scroll down and you'll find them. But, one of the biggest things I would like to see is good old respect. I've seen Bob Livingston write about this also. Do NOT walk through other people's campsites. Stay on the road. And please don't think I'd love to have your pooch leave me a gift on my postage stamp of a yard. When my dogs do something I have bags with me and I DO use them to pick up poop. P-l-e-a-s-e!

When we were at the Las Vegas KOA at Circus Circus last week, we had an upgraded site with a corner lot, grass, and a patio set. Jack & Jesse loved the grass! On our last morning, a renter couple decided they liked our upgraded site and brought over their coffee, cigarettes, and road map. They proceeded to plop down and make themselves at home, planning their next leg of their trip. We were parked right next to it and yes they did know we were home.

Excuse me, but this is our upgraded site. It does cost more money. If they wanted the patio site, all they had to do was to pay the upgrade charge and get one. I guess I was raised in a different era. My parents pounded it into me that we did not do things like that. Ever!

I saw something today that I had to marvel at (and I've seen this a lot with the renters which is why I think they need a course).

Picture this... the guy puts on his rubber gloves (not disposable, but hey, better than nothing) and proceeds to empty his sewer hose. Okay so far. Then he puts that hose on the ground with water dribbling out of it. Come on fella, someone will pull into that sight after you and step in that & not know it and track it in his rig. See where I'm going here???

Okay, so now he turns off his fresh, drinking water hose and unhooks it. He's still wearing the same gloves he just handled his sewage hose with. GROSS!!!

Next he puts the water hose away (at least he did not rinse his sewer hose with it... I've seen that more times than I want to say) and he's still wearing the nasty gloves and touching everything in sight.

Finally he takes the gloves off. He does this just in time to roll up the sewer hose and put it away... bare-handed. Then he wipes his hands on his jeans, grabs the door to enter his RV, puts his hands on the steering wheel and starts the engine.

That's why I get Bob disposable gloves. He handles the fresh water first--ALWAYS! And he always, always sprays Lysol on the water handle and all around the opening. You just never know what the person before you did.

In Utah, they are now cracking down on these sanitation issues. Backflow preventers have been installed. The police come through parks and if they see leaking or unsealed sewer hoses (ones not secured with a donut ring or screwed down into the outlet) they will issue tickets. And it is now against the law to use the fresh water faucet to rinse your sewer hose. Hallelujah!!!

So, in my opinion and in the interest of health safety, a quick, simple, yet thorough one-hour course would be a very good idea for RV rental customers.

Okay, I'll try not to get on this subject again... at least not for a long time anyway :-)

Till next time (and I will write more about the La Sals),

Happy Trails!

Vicky & Bob Heron (Capt. Jack & Jesse James)
How to work & live wherever and whenever you choose!

From Rock Crawling to Mountain Climbing

We always have so much fun in Moab, Utah. This year is no exception. If you'll look at my post from October 3, 2010 you'll learn about our death-defying, rock-crawling adventure with Dan Mick in his Hemi-powered Jeep.

Every year I'm absolutely fascinated with my mountains... the La Sal Mountains that majestically overlook the Moab valley. I've always wanted to go and see them up close & personal... to explore them and marvel at their beauty. It's the second highest mountain range in Utah with six peaks over 12,000 feet. And the entire range is only 15 miles long by 6 miles wide. It is indeed small but mighty!

We knew we'd be taking another trip with Dan Mick again this year so when we got to town we called him and asked if he did Jeep tours of the La Sals? He did. Oh boy--were we in luck!
All aboard! Vicky getting into Dan's Jeep.
Bob next to Dan's Jeep.

We set a time for one week later and prayed the weather would hold. You see, Moab has been very wet this year. I couldn't believe all the green vegetation springing out of the slick rock and red rock surfaces when we arrived. This normally arid, high desert (about 4,000+ ft elevation) area was suddenly lush and actually had some humidity (not to rival Texas though).

Three days before our trip the La Sals were completely socked in with ominous clouds. I couldn't tell if it was snowing or just raining but it was dark up there. I just knew we were going to get soaked on our Jeep tour. Or worse yet, the trip would be cancelled. :-(

Mountain Man Dan Mick overlooking Castle Valley--it's about a 1000 ft drop--be careful Dan!!!
Our day came and the sun came out like a great big smile. It was a perfect day for our adventure! When we got underway, Dan said we'd take Scenic Route 128 to Onion Creek Road. As soon as we turned off 128 I knew this was no trip for our Saturn Vue :-)
The "Finger" spire.
The red rock scenery along Onion Creek.

With all the rain over the last three days, the washes we were driving through were wet enough that the tires kept kicking up red mud. Since I was sitting in the back seat with no cover behind my seat I was the depository for said mud. But, with the view we were getting it was a small price to pay!

The red rock formations along Onion Creek Road.
Bob & Dan chatting with a man & his boys as they fish in Hidden Lake. One of the many pristine lakes tucked up in the La Sals.
We were next to Castle Rock and the Priest & Nuns. We saw Round Mountain, which is about 6075 feet and is loaded with nickel. The scenery is so unique at every turn. Red rock canyons, slick rock, sandstone arches, mesas, spires, and then the Aspen forests. We went on this trip with Dan on September 12th. The Aspens were still pretty green.

Did you know that the Aspens are not individual trees at all? An aspen grove starts as suckers shoot off the roots of a mother tree. No wonder they are so close together! They are long and straight as they all fight for their share of sunshine.

Just past the trees is Paradox Valley, Colorado. Very faintly you can see Telluride in the background. It's pretty hazy though.
There are no guardrails on these back country trails. Heck, sometimes I had a hard time seeing the road when I looked down from my perch in the back of the Jeep. As we climbed on barely distinguished trails, the view became even more breathtaking. We got an awesome view of the Paradox Valley in Colorado since we could see for miles.

We could even see Telluride in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado!

As we made our way up to the mountains, we drove (or should I say slid sideways) through a road called Taylor Flats. This road is always a wet pit and with this year and the last three days in particular, it was extremely bad. When we got through I had mud all over me, my camera bag, seat, you name it! But it was worth it. Only one problem, there are cattle up there too and some of that mud was mixed with... well you get the idea. YUCK!

Finally, we got to Geyser Pass so we could cross the mountains (the saddle between Haystack Mountain & Mt. Mellenthin). Remember when I told you that three days before our adventure the mountains were socked in with a weather system? Well...

As we were entering Geyser pass, at 10,528 elevation, Dan did a double take. He saw snow! It was several weeks too early for snow. So we all piled out of the Jeep to take a closer look. To our surprise, it was pea-sized hail! Hail yes!!! (Sorry, got carried away.)

Bob & Dan playing in the hail. They formed snowballs and through them at me & hit me!
Bob holding a handful of the hail. We don't see this often in Texas!
Just as we got over Geyser Pass, we took another road, can't begin to tell you what it was, and BELIEVE IT OR NOT we met some people we knew. What were the odds since we only come once a year for a few weeks!

We stayed at the Moab KOA first (of our three parks). One of the workampers was named Brad and for the life of me I cannot remember his lovely wife's name. But they were great people. Anyway, we were going along the road and noticed a couple having a wiener roast about 100 yards away. How nice... they were waving at us. Then they were jumping up and down and waving us to come over???
Brad's wife is wrapped in a blanket because it's cool and when she opened the mustard it sprayed all over her at this elevation. Dan & Bob are cooking hot dogs.
We were all on the lookout for bears. They can smell this food for miles!

It was Brad and his wife having a wiener roast complete with marshmallows. It just so happens we were all just remarking how good a wiener roast sounded and voila... here it was. They had plenty of food left so we all got our loaded forks in the fire and feasted on roasted hot dogs and marshmallows. We shared our Rice Krispie treats we had in our backpack.

In our travels, we are often struck by how small the world can be. This was one of those moments. Who knew we'd meet people we knew way up here on these remote trails. Yes, Brad and his wife drive a Jeep too... that's why they could be up there. Moab is Jeep haven!

On the way back we took Sand Flats Road and stopped by a great lookout place. It was where Curly (Jack Palance) and Billy Crystal camped out one night in the movie City Slickers II. Speaking of camping out, remember on my last post about the burned cans on the trail and that they are considered artifacts from the old wagon train & cattle drive days... we saw some of those artifacts on the mountain trip also.

In the weeks remaining in our trip, we took two more trips into the La Sals on our own. We had to stay pretty close to the La Sal Mountain Loop Road because our Saturn Vue does not have the clearance or the kahunas a tripped out Jeep has.

I'll tell you more about these trips in my next post!

Till next time...

Happy Trails!

Vicky & Bob Heron (Capt. Jack & Jesse James)
How to work & live wherever and whenever you choose!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Riding a bicycle is not the only thing you never forget how to do!

We're in Moab, Utah and as usual, we're having a blast. Recently we decided to go on a horseback ride. The riding trail skirts the Arches National Park and 7-Mile Canyon.

I'm getting ready to get on top of Elliott.
Bob is getting to know his horse Sam.
Our little wagonmaster was Audry. She was a jolly young lady and put our fears and reservations at ease immediately. I remember thinking, as we were walking up to the horses... Gee, I don't remember them being that big!

video
Fortunately, these horses were gelded males and were 17-20 years old. So they were very tame and easy-going.

When I was a kid we had an Arabian horse named Saru. He was MEAN. He'd try to bite you while you were on top and he was forever trying to throw his riders off. The older he got the more successful he became in this feat. We finally had to sell him because he was so high spirited.

Hence my trepidation at my decision to ride a horse again. But these horses were entirely different from Saru.

And you know you've gotten older when you need to use a stool to get in the saddle. That sure is a long way up! So once we were perched safely in our saddles, we were off on our nose-to-tail, 2-hour trailride. As our horses trod over the slick rock valley, it was a little unnerving to hear the sound of horse-hooves stepping on hollow rock. You see, many of the rock formations used to be full of salt. That's when these rocks were actually part of a seabed. Now these rocks are not even close to any sea and are empty of the salt. So when the horses walk across them they sound hollow. I kept praying we would not find a weak one and fall down to China... think I watch too much TV!

One thing I particularly enjoyed was the familiarity of rocking in the saddle. It was oddly comforting that something I had not done for more years than I care to admit was so familiar that I felt that I had done it just last week. I'd forgotten just how much I enjoyed riding horses. (Tame ones that is...)

My poor, dear husband, Bob, was a real trooper. He has a stenosis in his back so this was a new adventure in PAIN for him. Plus, his horse had a voracious appetite so Bob was always having to pull his head up. It's amazing what these creatures can find to eat in the desert.

Did you know trash can eventually be known as an "artifact?" It's true. Along the trail Audry pointed out burned cans half buried in the ground. These were leftovers from the old cattle drives. I can't imagine how those guys did what they did in that rugged countryside. We were warned that it is against the law to pick these artifacts up. Note to self--look up that law. Hehehe!

At the end of two hours on the trail, Bob and I had a real fear... how were we going to move our legs and get down off these creatures? I just knew my legs would never be straight again and I could not feel several of my toes.

I bit the bullet, so to speak, and threw one leg in the air, brought it down and thankfully found the ground. To my surprise, I could actually still walk. Poor Bob on the other hand, with his stenosis, could hardly tumble off even with the stool to aid him. Thank you Bob for joining me and humoring my adventurous nature... even when it causes you pain.

Audry up front on Pickles, followed by Me & Elliott
Just like the old saying, "It's like riding a bike, you never forget how." This applies to riding horses as well. When we were finished, we gave Audry a big tip and told her how great she had been to keep us safe and entertained. Her response, "I don't get to say this very often, but I really had fun with you two today. And that's rare!"

Nuff said! Thank you Audry.

Till next time,

Happy Trails!

Vicky & Bob Heron (Capt. Jack & Jesse James)
How to work & live wherever and whenever you choose!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Who Knew Clean Carpets Could Make You Sick?

I'm sure you all know what a rough year Texas has had weather-wise. I just heard that Wichita Falls, Texas had the record as the worst weather city this year. I can believe it!

We were there in May working on the guest guides for Coyote Ranch Resort and Burkburnett/Wichita Falls KOA. As early as May it was in the 100s. It was miserable. Of course the fact that Bob had pneumonia while we were there (courtesy of being with his sick 97-year-old mother in the nursing home just before we departed Teague and the extreme allergy season) and I had a back spasm that put me on bed rest for 2 weeks had nothing to do with it.

Poor Bob, he had to go out and make the sales calls because I was on pain meds and in bed sleeping for almost 2 weeks. I'll give him credit, he did well for an accountant! :-)  (He'll get me for that one!)

Part of Bob's treatment for his pneumonia was to go out and get a nebulizer and use an inhaled medication to sooth his airways. Between the pneumonia and his allergies he came down with a terrible, lingering cough.

Over the next few months his cough finally got much better. Until...

...we had the carpets cleaned. I'll explain...

After we left Wichita Falls, we spent a good amount of time in Houston getting some things fixed on the rig. With the extreme heat, our air-conditioners were tripping breakers. While they were trouble-shooting the A/C issues, they were tracking in a lot of grease & grime into our carpets.

Oh yes, we also had one of our inverters turn to toast and took out the microwave/convection oven with it. And of course, the new mic/conv oven did not fit into the space correctly so we also had sawdust everywhere, including embedded into the carpet, as they worked to make it all fit and look good.

After all was said & done, the dealership graciously agreed to pay for the carpet cleaning. Once we returned to Teague, I found Stanley Steemer. I've seen their commercials and they looked competent plus they were about our only choice in this rural area.

Two young men came out right away and cleaned not only the carpets, but all of the throw rugs too. Way cool! Then they said for a few $$ they could put down a deodorizer since we have two little doggies and scotchgard to help keep it cleaner. I said, "Why not!" Sounded good to me... Silly me!

It looked great when they were done. Now all we had to do was relax for a week before heading out to Moab, Utah and points west.

Then, Bob started coughing. We wrote it off to the severe allergy season going on with the drought in Texas. We figured that once we got out of Texas he'd start to clear up. By the time we left a week later, he was starting to use his breathing treatments again and sucking down cough drops.

We took our time getting to Moab and still he continued to get worse. He planned his breathing treatments so that he could drive most of the day without coughing. (We only go about 250-300 miles a day.) Then he had to start sleeping on the couch so I could get some sleep since he was having coughing fits at night.

Three weeks after we had the carpets cleaned we couldn't even have a conversation together. He was continuously having coughing fits. I thought we were going to have to go to the ER!

Then I started thinking, okay, we're out of Texas and he's getting worse. What has changed?

The only thing that changed was we cleaned the carpets.

So once we got all set up in Moab we tried an experiment. We opened up the windows. His cough got better. We went into town... his cough got better. When we closed the rig up and turned on the A/C, he went into coughing fits again.

I got a phone book and called a local carpet cleaner. It is a family owned business, Arrow Carpet Cleaning, and the two sons came out to survey the situation. It seems that the chemical used for the deodorizer causes many people problems and the scotchgard turns into airborne dust particles shortly after you begin walking on it.

Who knew?!?!?

And, we found out, many carpet cleaners use steam which is not a very good thing to do and they frequently don't get all the gunk & water out of the carpet... I mean really out of the carpet. So all of this gets into the air and we breath it in.

These guys suggested a cold water rinse and they had a machine with a 5hp motor so it would suck all the water & gunk out that was left behind. And yes, they would be happy to do all the throw rugs for one flat rate.

It took them over two hours! Each of them had to take turns going outside for fresh air with the fumes they were stirring up. When they finished, we looked at the container of goo they sucked out. There was a 4-inch head of foam sitting on top of pure black, thick goo. It was disgusting (that's our 5-year-old granddaughter Katelyn's favorite word).

When they finished, the carpets looked and felt like brand new.

What about Bob's cough? It started going away within days and by two weeks it was a thing of the past.

I'm reminded of something I've heard over the years. They say the air inside your home can be much more polluted than the air outside. Well, here was proof!

So now we will keep it simple. Cold water rinses when we need the carpets freshened up. NO MORE CHEMICALS.

You want to know what scares us the most? If I'd have taken Bob to the doctor, they could have run all kinds of tests and they would never have discovered what the problem was. I'm sure they could have tried to get him on a half-dozen medications too.

Thank goodness I tumbled to the "clean carpets" making him sick. Oh yes, my eyes are not burning anymore and the doggies are not sneezing their little noses off either.

And Bob no longer needs breathing treatments. All is well!

Till next time...

Happy Trails!

Vicky & Bob Heron (Capt. Jack & Jesse James)
How to work & live wherever and whenever you choose!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Don't Believe Everything You Read In The Books, Websites, & Brochures...

I'm upset!

Bob & I have stayed at this particular RV park for several years on our way to Moab, Utah. The Amarillo Ranch RV Park is conveniently located just off I-40 so it's easy on & easy off. This time we decided to take it more leisurely on our way to Moab. So we're spending two night at this park and two nights in Albuquerque.

The reason we chose to stay here for two nights is (1) it's a Camp Club USA park and we can stay for 1/2 price for the first night. Sweet!

The second reason was to spend a good deal of time in the "indoor heated pool." Since Bob's allergies are giving him fits with the dry Texas summer and considering it's still triple digit heat in Texas, the indoor pool sounded good. I don't like to get too much sun with my fair skin.

After we arrived late yesterday afternoon. We still are not able to run all three air conditioners in the RV because of a wiring issue that our last tech did not get fixed... arghhhhh! So we were hot and soooo looking forward to a long, fun swim and some water aerobics.

So we put our suits on, grabbed our noodles and towels and off to the pool we went. As soon as we opened the door to the building, the stench of stale chlorine assaulted our nostrils. They had the windows and doors open and it was still enough to knock us over.

Trying to be hopeful, we looked at the pool and we could hardly see the bottom it was so murky. Bob decided to test the temperature. Well, they must have figured that an indoor pool in this hot weather did not need to be heated because it was COLD! Not cool, but COLD!!! We were so disappointed. It sounded so nice in the brochure and on their website.

On our way back to the rig our neighbor in the next campsite looked at us and said, "That was a quick swim." So we told him all about it. He was thinking of going over to swim but changed his mind after we described the pool. As we talked to this fellow more, come to find out he was driving the tour bus for Bob Wieland. You can learn all about him here http://www.dreamride3.com/

The man we met drives a tripped out Prevost Coach pulling a 25' trailer with all of Bob's bicycles and parts. And he said Bob actually sleeps in the trailer and not the Prevost... go figure that one out!

Bob is a double amputee and is in the middle of his current trip across the country and was meeting with some Amarillo officials last night. We wish him good luck on his current trip and in this heat, please be careful!

As we got to our rig, another neighbor was experiencing a problem. As I looked out the window I could tell just what the problem was... a cone stopping up his waste tank.I'll explain...

If you are going to go RVing you should do some reading and go to forums to learn about what problems can occur and how to avoid them.

You see, many people think that these "homes on wheels" are just like a land based home. Well, they are and they aren't. One big mistake people make (including this person) is to hook up to the utilities (water, sewer, and electric) and viola, open the valves on the waste tanks and you're ready to kick back and relax.

Not so fast buckaroo!

You see, RV toilets are not the same a household toilets. First of all they drain into what's called a holding tank. This tank should always be left closed until it is near full and then you can pull the lever and dump into the sewer line. Adding a good bacteria/enzyme additive is a great idea as it will help break down the solids and paper that sit in the tank waiting to be dumped. And the biggest thing to remember is to always use plenty of water at all times when flushing.

When Bob worked at an RV dealer we took a used unit on vacation one time. Bob and my Dad spend three days trying to get rid of the "cone" problem in that unit. The bad part was it was not even our cone material... yuck!

So what is this cone?

Sometimes when RVers hook up to the utilities, they pull the waste tank valve, assuming they can leave it open and just let everything drain with every flush of the toilet. Well, that is not exactly how it works.

Since the waste goes into a holding tank, it hits a flat surface on the way out. So when the valve is left open, the liquids drain and solids are left on the flat surface. Now keep doing that and you start getting a build up of solids and sludge. When you go out on the road and drive on these hot roads you bake this material and it turns into a very hard substance, like concrete. As you keep doing this, solids keep building into a sort of cone and before you know it you can no longer flush anything into the tank because it is full. And in our neighbors case, he could not empty his tank.

Well, he was at that point. After going to the office to see who he could call, three men came out and spent hours helping him get some of the crap (pun not intended) out so he could empty his tank. I saw the technician describing how this cone effect builds. I did not have to hear the words I could see by his hand gestures.

So if you are going RVing, get some knowledge. Go visit some forums. Get a book explaining the basics. Many problems like this one can be easily avoided. I can imagine that this poor guy had to pay a portion of his gas budget on these three men helping him out.

In the morning we head out to Albuquerque for a couple of days. We're going to get the rig washed at the Blue Beacon truck wash nearby first then we're on the road again.

We'll be staying at a Coast to Coast park in Albuquerque. We've been members of C to C since 1992 and we enjoy staying at member parks for about $15/night. These days that's a real bargain.

Till next time...

Happy Trails,

Vicky & Bob Heron (Capt. Jack & Jesse James)
How to work & live wherever and whenever you choose!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Looking Forward To A Wonderful & Fun Trip Out West

What a year 2011 has been.

First, you can scroll down to see we bought a different rig last fall. The Travel Supreme Select. While we knew it had some issues we'd need to address due to lack of proper care, the repairs were a bit more extensive than we had anticipated.

It's all good however. We now have a "history" with our new casa on wheels. And yes, we would do it all over again. The luxuries this coach affords us has made our full-timing experience so much more enjoyable.

I've been remiss in posting to this blog because of several factors, the biggest is as we were working our parks (producing guest services guides for RV parks) this year, we found ourselves in a Cummins, Spartan, or RV dealer repair facility in almost every city we worked in.

We discovered there are some very good places out there to take these big rigs to and they do like full-timers. We also discovered that not all (like Cummins, Freightliner, etc.) "big-truck" repair facilities like RVers though. And it's not that they don't like RVers, it's just that they find it hard to work on peoples homes and not track in the grease & grime from their shop floors. And of course, RVers don't want that mess on their floors.

So here we are, on October 25th we will celebrate our first anniversary in our beautiful Travel Supreme Select and we are very happy with it. While we do have a list of things we want to eventually upgrade since it is a 2004, the Silver Bullet (as we call her) still shines bright wherever we take her. People think she is much newer.

Now we are heading to Moab, Utah to work in our three parks out there and to PLAY! Last night we went to Cabela's and enjoyed the Texas Tax Free Weekend. We bought hiking boots, nice wool hiking socks, new tennies, and for me a new pair of top-siders. It was fun getting outfitted for some fun for a change.

After spending six weeks in Moab, we will mosey on over to Bryce Canyon, Utah for more breathtaking hiking & sightseeing. I'll be posting pictures & updates often... I promise. I've set up my iPhone so I can post from wherever I am whenever I want. After Bryce, we'll spend some time in Las Vegas, to visit family, friends, and to be tourists.

Next stop will be Palm Springs, California to visit friends who are working several parks in that area. Then on to Phoenix where we'll see my cousin Spencer Wallace & his family. Recently I discovered, thanks to Facebook, where my dear childhood friend Angie Darzes lives... in Phoenix as well. We will arrange to see her if possible while we are there.

We just love this lifestyle! Traveling today is so easy these days (excluding the fuel prices that is). I look back on the last 26 years of my parents and their RV traveling, now we have computers & smart phones. Try to find a pay phone these days!

One big thing I love is we can keep in touch with the grandkids via video chat on Skype. We can email and text and keep in touch with friends & family quickly & easily. How cool is that! I wish we could have enjoyed all of this technology when my parents were traveling.

Speaking of gadgets, I have over 200 of my music CDs on my iPod and several audio books for Bob. I also have a Nook which has tons of my reading materials and books on it. I love to read and Bob loves to drive... a match made in heaven :-)

Friday we arrived at our old hometown of Denton, Texas. Bob visited with his former co-workers and everyone enjoyed catching up. Yesterday Glenn & Cindy Brazzel, friends from the USCG-Aux came over to visit. They are fellow RVers as well.

Tuesday morning we will head out for Moab and points west. With all the work we've done on the coach this year, we are looking forward to a fun and uneventful trip. Plus, we are so ready to get out of this Texas heat. It's truly been a brutal summer. Record setting high temps and sever drought over 98% of the state. As much as I love Texas, I'm ready to get out for a spell.

Happy Trails!

Vicky & Bob Heron (Capt. Jack & Jesse James)
How to work & live wherever and whenever you choose!