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      What's New from August 2001

August 5, 2001
Here are the recent files I have updated: Ron's article; A Healthy Lifestyle, Barb's article; The Uglyness in Beauty, and three wonderful guest articles about Alaska from one of our favorite writers, Carol Stewart: Our Barrow Adventure, Kenai part 1 and Kenai part 2.

Thanks for being patient. We are now comfortably parked in a very quiet, pretty campground in Carson City, Michigan, (northwest of Lansing). It is sooooo good to just sit and not move. We acted like a family on vacation by traveling far too fast (hurry up and get somewhere) and we saw too much in a short period of time. Now we are back to normal for a while and it feels very good. 

Here's an update about our vacation with grandsons, Kristopher and James.
After the Life on Wheels conference in Moscow, Idaho, we went straight to Spokane, Washington, where we picked up the boys at the airport on Sunday, July 15.  The next morning we left for Glacier by driving on US 2, and stopped for the night in Libby, Montana, which was about half way. 

The Glacier campground in West Glacier is wonderful. We have camped there before and will go there again. It is heavily wooded, but the sites are cleared nicely and sort of have a privacy forest around each site. Since the campground is only one mile from the entrance to Glacier, we went to the national park the first thing to see when and where ranger programs were to be held and to get the papers for the boys to work on for their Junior Ranger Badges. Our days there were filled with activity until that morning when the motorhome wouldn't start. [read last month's entry]

Kristopher and James stoking the fire.              Ron enjoying a s'more. 
We did the traditional camping stuff like hot dogs and s'mores. The days were perfect temperature wise and the nights were very cool---perfect for sleeping. 

One day early we started off on the Going to the Sun road which is 50 miles one way. We stopped at every overlook to read the plaques and enjoy the vistas. We also took the time to take three of the hikes. The one that was most memorable was the trail to Hidden Lake which starts from behind the visitor center at Logan Pass (9,642 feet). It was cold and terribly windy but we managed to hike the one and one half mile up-hill trail. The reward was seeing mountain goats and long horned sheep that were near enough to touch (but we didn't).

On the way to Hidden Lake we met these long horned sheep. 
After we left Glacier we took two days to get to Yellowstone. We had planned to travel US 2 to US 89, but because of the motorhome problems, we had to go to Kalispel for the repairs so we took Montana 82 and 35 around the east side of Flathead Lake then US 93 to I-90. We don't normally travel the interstates but we were way behind schedule. We stopped for one night along the way ( I think it was Whitehall) and the next day we exited I-90 at US 287 so we could stop at the Earthquake visitor center which is very near the west entrance of Yellowstone. If you have never been there it is very interesting. It is about the 7.5 point  August 1959 earthquake that killed 28 campers and did a lot of damage.

I did not take a lot of digital pictures while with the kids because I was busy video taping much of their trip as a keepsake for them. 

Yellowstone's Grand Canyon       James and Kris at one of the thermal features. 

Old Faithful
The kids made a list of all of the animals they saw on this trip. Of course we saw lots of  bison (buffalo), elk, mountain goats, long horned sheep, long tailed weasels, eagles, grizzley bear, brown bear, and a moose and more. We had a terrific time with the boys in the parks and on our way from one park to the other. We really enjoyed sharing so many of the features of each park with them and helping them earn their junior ranger badges at both parks. 

We left Yellowstone on Saturday, July 28 and drove and drove and drove. We departed from the east entrance and followed US 20 until we came to I-25. We took that to US 26 and followed that until we came to I-80. We took I-80 all the way to I-29 which led us to 435 in Missouri. We had the boys back home (Belton, MO---just south of Kansas City) by dinner time Monday the 30th. 

We only stayed two nights in Belton then headed to Michigan. Again we had to "put the pedal to the metal" and hurry. We had an appointment for an oil change at Cummins in Kansas City (northeast side of the city so it was on our way) but that meant that we got a late start on Wednesday. We had never traveled US 24 in Missouri so thought we would try that---don't do it. The road was in terrible condition, but once we were on our way we got further and further from I-70 so we just continued on. In Illinois though we traveled I-72 which turned into I-74 at the eastern edge of the state. There were no decent campgrounds along the way so we just kept gong. In Indiana we got off the freeway at Crawfordsville and spent the night in the Wal-Mart which was great. In the morning we found Indiana route 32 and went east on that until we came to US 31. We followed that until we were just south of South Bend where we jumped on US 20 and went east. Next we turned north on Indiana 13 which turned into US 131 in Michigan. North of Grand Rapids we turned east on Michigan Route 57 and finally stopped when we got to Carson City. We could have gone a shorter way (around Chicago) but didn't want all of that traffic and congestion. 

As I said before being in the parks with the boys was wonderful; we enjoyed every minute. It was the long driving to get them home and then for us to get to Michigan that was the rough part. Now we need a rest!!!!!

We do have some exciting trips planned though so stay tuned. 

Another mystery picture. Where were we?  I'll give you a hint. These totems were all found in one campground and I didn't get to photograph them all. 
If you want to play please go to our Guess page and see how much you know.

August 12, 2001
I have just changed the quizlett (go to the main menu to see it). 
Our last quiz on health insurance showed:
30% will (do) have a HMO/PPO included in the retirement package.
23% will (do) have private pay insurance (not in retirement package).
18 % will (do) have non HMO/PPO included in retirement package.
15% will (do) pay for HMO/PPO coverage
10% will (do) have catastrophic insurance only
4% will (do) self insure only.
604 responded to the quizlet and we thank all who did. 

We are really enjoying our time in our little campground here in Carson City, Michigan. Red Pines campground is so quiet that one could hear a pin drop. And we are near Ron's kids and sisters so we get to see them often. After Labor Day we will head south to another part of Michigan where my Mom and Dad and a sister live. 

Good News
We will be presenting our full-timing seminars the whole month of January at Lazy Days RV Supercenter in Tampa, Florida. We don't have a schedule yet, but as soon as we have one we will let you know. We would sure love to meet all of you and what better place than Lazy Days. Come on down and look at all the RVs and take an RV driving lesson or just come to see us. We think that will be a fun time so we hope you will come. 

August 21, 2001
We had a wonderful time in Mackinaw and points north (I will do a full report later) and are now in the little village of Empire which is near the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. We have been sharing this area (and Mackinaw with our friends Judy and Cec (full-timers from California). 

Cec, Ron and Judy                                   Cec & Judy 

Mr. porcupine
We purposely traveled on I-75 south of Mackinaw (with Judy and Cec behind us) so we could stop at Ron's rest area. Most of the rest areas in Michigan honor some former highway department employee by placing a big plaque at the entrance. Ron's rest area was the second one south of the Mackinaw Bridge. What a disappointment we got; it wasn't his anymore. We wish they would have let us know and perhaps they had mailed a notice to our old address and it got returned. Anyway we just wanted to let you know that it had changed.

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