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What's New from August 2002

August 2, 2002
Yesterday we put Robyn and Jonn on a plane for home and we moved to a very nice park here in Spokane so we could rest up and catch our breath. We may be here for a few weeks because the park (Alderwood RV Park just north of Spokane) is lovely and conveniently located near shopping and things to see and the weather is nearly perfect. 

Ron and I have been talking about our web site for quite a while. It takes quite a bit of our time each month to especially take care of the Coffee Break and Letters.Our decision which some of you will be unhappy about is that we will no longer publish Coffee Break and Letters. We will still update this page and other pages, but we will not answer email questions any longer. I really get some strange questions and just don't feel qualified to answer them. Just this morning we got a huge picture (the file took 10 minutes to download) with someone asking if we knew the make and model of this trailer they are refurbishing. We also got an email this morning from a man who wants to know how to become invisible out here. He is tired of  court process servers. I am really tired of some of the junk we get. 

We honestly feel that our book answers most of the questions we have ever been asked. I may add a page of FAQs on this web site at a later date, but really the book has it all. If you do not have our book please take a minute to look at all the options we offer for ordering our book, Movin' On. Book Ordering Information. In the next few days I will begin to erase all references to Coffee Break and Letters and remove those pages from our site. 

We will still continue to do seminars and in fact plan to promote our seminars more. If you belong to an RV organization that has large rallies please tell the powers that be that we would be interested in doing a seminar at one of those rallies. 

Ron and I haven't written our articles yet, but we will in a few days. 

I have changed the quizlet. The new question is:
As a full-timer what insurance carrier will you use to protect your RV and other vehicle? We are mainly interested if you will be using those companies that specialize in RVs or if you will be using ones you used to use before you owned an RV. 

Please go to our questionnaire to answer and to see the results from other months. 

New Mystery Picture

Where were we when we took these pictures? 

No one answered correctly last month so this month I think I will get more responses. To play from this month or from other months please go to our Guess Page

August 3, 2002
We realized yesterday that we have really never spent any time in Spokane but we have been here three or four times just to pick kids up at the airport. We plan to play tourist and will report some of what we see here. Oh and we will go next door to Idaho also; I have always wanted to visit Wallace. Keep checking in.

August 3 afternoon
I have just uploaded my article: The Thrill is Gone. It is not what you might think it's about. I also uploaded Ron's newest prose: It's a Matter of Timing  I also had fun playing with the map below. My son, Jim,  had suggested I put hot spots on each state and I did. If you click on a state you will be taken to that state's section in Places. 

Augustr 5
We played tourist today. For starters we went downtown Spokane and spent a little time at Riverside park and the mall. Does it look like there's a real person mixed in with the statues? I wonder who that could be!

We were in the mood to do a little driving so we hopped on I-90 and headed to Wallace, Idaho, a town I have always wanted to visit. We picked up a brochure on the area and followed a side route to the old town of Burke which is unique for having two railroads before the first road reached town and for being in "Ripley's Believe it or Not" twice. This town is listed once because its main street was so narrow that the merchants had to pull in their awnings so the train could go by and secondly because both the creek and the railroad ran under the Tiger Hotel. The town has a very famous daughter; actress Lana Turner spent her childhood in Burke and the foundation of her childhood home is still visable. About all that is left of the town are a few ghosts. 

August 6
I forgot to include a couple pictures of Wallace, Idaho, which is an old mining town which is only one of a few cities in the US to be totally included in the National Historic Register.  I remember hearing that the stop light at the corner of 7th and Cedar was the only stop light on I-90 for many years. I couldn't find out when the Interstate finally bypassed the town thereby eleminating the stop light. Now the light is just a blinking caution light. Wallace is a tidy town with a lot of mining history.

August 7
Our week is up here tonight and we finally know where we are going---Vermont. No, you didn't read Ron's article wrong last month. We were planning to stay west, but we were eating some sweet corn a few nights ago and it really was disappointing. Jokingly I suggested that we take a drive east to get some good midwest corn (as in Michigan). Ron liked that idea too, but didn't go for going east then crossing the country to get back to Mesa in September. Then the other day when I was putting the hot spots on the map below, I realized I will never have anything on our site about Pennsylvania, eastern New York, Vermont and so on unless we visit there again. We visited those states our first fall as full-timers when we weren't writing about our travels yet. So I suggested that we go to Vermont and stay east again then go to Florida. I further suggested that we can go back to Mesa for the doctor and dental appointment in March. It would just mean moving the appointments from September to April. 

There is a lesson here: Be spontaneous and if you are not reserved tightly you are free to flip and coin and go anywhere. We have traveled parts of  US 2 but have never traveled the whole distance. We are in a perfect location to do that. We are on US 2 north of Spokane. Yes, we just traveled from here to Glacier so we will do it again. We know the way. We will go straight to Kallispel then it's pretty much "new territory" from there. So that is where we will be. We will stop and visit friends in Hackensack, Minnesota, spend a little time with family in Michigan then go east. What a life!!!! 

August 10
Wow!!!! We have been moving. This is not our typical way to travel but we needed to make tracks. We are in Devil's Lake, North Dakota, (not far from the Minnesota border). U.S. 2 has been easy to travel on except for 14 miles somewhere between Shelby and Chester, Montana. They were rebuilding the road and although no one was working, it was rutted mud and very slow going. You should have seen how terrible the motorhome and car looked after that drive. We could only go between 10-20 miles an hour and what a bone jarring ride that was. When we got to Havre, we found the Montana Department of Transportation and Ron went in and got some names to write to. Only secretaries were in the building or he would have told the project engineers a thing or two. There was no excuse for tearing up both sides of the highway at once and for 14 miles.

When we got into the Elks club here, we gave both vehicles a bath and feel like new again. We should be in Hackensack, Minnesota, by Tuesday afternoon to visit friends for a few days then we will head to Michigan via the upper peninsula. 

August 15
We are in Hackensack, Minnesota, visiting friends, Tom and Carol Vind. We did the houseboat trip with them back in April 2000. We are having a reunion today with the other two couples who shared that Lake Powell trip. We will be here until Saturday when we head out across US 2 again toward Michigan.

We spent two nights at the Laramore, North Dakota, Campground before coming to Hackensack. We wanted to play golf there at their nice golf course. The day we arrived it was very hot and we were tired from traveling; besides it was a Sunday and busy on the golf course. We planned to golf Monday, but woke up to cool and very windy conditions. So we drove into Grand Forks and did a little tour of that town and the sister town across the river in Minnesota (East Forks). We were trying to picture the town under water as it had been in 1997 with the terrible floods. In East Forks they have those cute statues on different street corners. I thought they looked familiar and when we compared them with the ones we had photographed in Mesa, Arizona, found the same artist did both. I couldn't help but take one picture of Ron sitting next to a statue of a woman. Some gentleman was sitting on the same bench and seemed oblivious to what we were doing. He was just content to read his book. 

Ron with his lady friend        A boy throwing a frisbee to the boy (arrow) across the street (close up in #3 picture

I thought I would show you what the view out our windshield was like across eastern Montana and through all of  North Dakota. It only changed a little through a town but not much. They say that the state tree is a telephone pole and we can agree with that. It was only as we got closer to Minnesota that we began to see a few trees. Now maybe you know why we just kept on going. There really wasn't much to see except fields of sunflowers and wheat or other grain. 

August 22
We have been in the Lansing, Michigan, area since Sunday, but we have been so busy with family and things that I just didn't have time to update this page until now. I have some bad news; the company that provides us with the quizlet will no longer be doing that after August 26. Darn. I have enjoyed getting your responses to questions. If any of you know of another company that is doing that sort of thing (free or otherwise) please let me know. I will be deleting that link (on the top of this page and the main page) in a day or two. 

Besides being busy with family I am also reworking each and every page of our web site to make sure they all look good. I think we will be having a lot of new visitors early in September so I want it to look extra special. I will tell you why we expect a lot of new visitors in a week or so. I don't want to jump the gun. 

August 26
As you go from page to page, you may notice some changes. I have moved a few things around and tried to give our site a more uniform look. The list of links to our other pages has changed a little (just to keep you on your toes) mainly to eliminate the Coffee Break and Letters listings. 

Now I have time to tell you why I wanted the site to look good. We have been interviewed and photographed for an article in the New York Times Sunday, Business section. With a circulation of over one million, we hope to have a lot of new visitors. I hope the article mentions our site, book or both. If you get that paper or are able to be on line, it should run September 8 or September 15. We are very excited to be able to share this lifestyle with so many.

We are parked at Ron's daughter's new home in De Witt, Michigan. They only moved in a few months ago and are enjoying their 20 acre piece of property. They were so excited to be able to provide us a place to park close to the family. It is fun to sit and watch the comings and goings of the kids and their friends, to be able to have a cup of coffee with Marty before she goes to work or talk to the kids when they come home from school. This is the best kind of campground.

We will be pulling the motorhome out Saturday morning so we can set up at MSU (Michigan State University) for a tail gate party where my sisters and their children will be gathering. Too bad that we don't have the MSU fight song on our musical horn. From there we will head north to that campground we stayed at last summer (Red Pines in Carson City). We will stay until Tuesday (Sept 3) when we will head east towards Vermont. 

I just realized that I don't have a Canadian map to add to my map below. How can I show you that we will be crossing Ontario? Do any of you know where I can find such a map? Email me if you have any suggestions. 

We will be adding our articles before the first and I will be sending out our monthly update soon too. 

August 28
Ron's son, Karl, has a new boat (cabin cruiser) that we hadn't seen yet. He keeps it in a marina in Grand Haven (west of Grand Rapids and very near Lake Michigan). We got to see it today because he took the day off just to take us for a little cruise. It is 33 feet long, named Double Trouble and is very comfortable. Our little cruise today took us around Spring Lake then we stopped for lunch before heading back to the marina.

Outside                        Inside 

 Ron on deck

             Karl and Ron 

A few of the many beautiful homes on Spring Lake

August 29
Our readers are the best. No sooner than I asked for help getting a map of Canada did I get three from one person and many others. I don't need any more.  One person sent a link to a map of North America and I will work on putting all of the hot spots on that but for now I will just leave it the way it is. We really won't be in Canada much this fall and of course not in the winter.

I sent out our mini email update yesterday. If you didn't get one it means that either I don't know you want to receive it or your address is not correct and it was returned to us. To subscribe simply send an email with "update" in the subject line.

September 1
The article was in the NY Times today and we are no where near a place to purchase one. I did call a book store in Grand Rapids where we will be Tuesday (for an oil change) and they saved me one. 

We will be a tiny bit late with our articles this month. Holiday weekend etc., you know. Thanks for understanding.

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