Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Home at last!

We are home without an incident to the trip. Long drive though, as I thought might happen. But before that trip...
Sunday dawned and We ,all, answered the call of day break. I slept in the camper, as i entered the house i saw Penelope. She saw me! She was gone! Scared by that tall man who is supposed to be a grandfather. Really, what is a grandfather anyway? Some one you don't see often enough to know. We worked on that for the weekend.
Usually, out of towners  disrupt the day habits of the people they visit. We didn't change that at all. My son and daughter-in-law continued with their day to day and we boys traveled the countryside. We visited Black Canyon and witnessed the enormous drop in water level at the Blue Mesa Reservoir. Gunnison and surrounds are experiencing a drought of several years now. We traveled to the Hartman Rocks Recreation area and the Gunnison River. We did hook up with the family to shop the yard sales. I have several purchases that will leave one breathless. Among them are sweet pickled jalapenos!
After returning from our tours, we paired up and George and i took on Matt and Bert in horseshoes. Now one may hear me talk about my prowess at horseshoes. When one sees my perfect form as i loft the shoe. When one follows the graceful arc of the shoe while it turns slowly to open the shoe for perfect landing on the pin at the other pit. When the sound of metal on metal screams across the countryside to announce another perfect throw and score. It brings a tear to the eye of the beholder as only a thing of beauty can. Thus do i describe my capabilities on the horseshoe pits.
I describe but in actual play i defer to my son. As a father i must lead my son and daughter into the future and provide them with skills to live. So i lose most of the games to my son. Oh i won once. Just to keep him in line. But of the 30-40 games we played i showed how to be a great loser. Brings a tear to the eye of how humble i am!
Sunday night brought discussions and somber moments as we decided what time we would get on the road home.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Monday, going home.

We are set to travel home today. We think we will not travel straight through as we did coming here but we are not on the road yet. we will meet with one of my long time friends in Denver before setting out. But even before that...
The drive from St. Louis to Gunnison was uneventful save the darkness for 10 hours and the fact that there are not so many gas stations on I-70 in Kansas. We found one, finally, which was unattended but still available for fueling. If not for this we still may be on the side of the road.  We reached Gunnison on Friday afternoon. I believe the trip took about 27 hours. We drove 2 hours on and 4 hours off and were still dead tired. We managed to stay up long enough to greet the grandkids and son and daughter-in-law. Talk for a little then to bed. I do not know if my head hit the pillow but i did wake up the next morning snug under the blankies.
Saturday, we woke at Traverse City time since our internal clocks hadn't adjusted during our drive. Still we survived the day with talk and getting to know the grandkids and they getting to know us. We chatted about this and that and just enjoyed the company. In the afternoon, we drove to Crested Butte to watch the bikers(peddle) rid eup and down main street in honor of the 4/20 day. It is legal to own grow and use marijuana in Colorado and has been since 4/20/2012. Hence the celebration on Saturday. the bike crowd measured in the tens of hundred and with no shots fired. We had dinner in Crested Butte while watching the tragedy in Denver at their celebration. What is up with that?
We finished the day at home talking and playing with the kids. Of course, as a grand parent, my job is to rile them up so bedtime is a long process. I did good. However, sleep won out in the end and with the kids down, we all took to bed as well. Traverse City time being what it is in Gunnison, Colorado.
night, night.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Just reminded....

I have just been reminded that i was doing a blog of this trip. I will explain why i needed reminding.
George and I left Thursday noon for Chicago to pick up my brother, Bert. Our(my) objective was to drive straight through to Gunnison, Colorado. sounded simple enough to me. My Garmin said it was 24 hours and with three drivers... Before my trip started and during it, My brother, Jon, texted that there was terrible thunderstorms and weather and i should reconsider my trip. I am not easily dissuaded. I pressed on thinking the storms would travel East as they always did and i would arrive in Chicago after they passed through. After all it is 6 hours to Chicago.
George and i drove through rain showers but nothing intense. Simple driving, really. However, once near Chicago, one could see rivers over flowing and wet streets everywhere. I had to pick up Bert in South Holland, the first exit leading to Chicago fro the I-80. Bert lives in the city limits but his girl friend lives on the south side. Thank goodness!
Just as we crossed the overpass we noticed all the traffic going north, our direction if we had to go into Chicago, was at a stand still. More precisely, cars were backing up to the exit ramp and getting off. The intense rain, we missed, flooded the expressway and cars were backed up for a mile or more. no exit from the flood to the exit we got off at so no retreat for any already on the expressway. We picked up Bert and got on the expressway going away from the flood and on to Gunnison.
Our trip to St Louis missed the big rains. Just as i had surmised, the storm was past but not completely. We battled, and i mean, battled winds from the front right quarter all the way to St. Louis. I guess about 20-30 mph with gust above that. We drove with the steering wheel turned slightly into the wind to go straight. When we drove through and overpass and when we passed a truck the wind abated and we had to straighten the wheel. Immediately and passing said overpass or truck the wind hit us and nearly blew us off the road until we could return the wheel to the former position. This constant adjustment went on for several hours until St. Louis when we turned West and the wind became a headwind, much easier to manage. Missouri and Kansas we drive through at night. We saw nothing but some red lights denoting wind arms and little else. As dawn broke we had more, much more of Kansas to see which is flat lands as far as the eye can see. Really, the drive was getting long.
Did i mention we were towing a pop up camper? That little contraption was a diligent follower but cost bunches in gas. We averaged about 8 mpg. Here's looking at better mileage coming home.
more tomorrow or later tonight.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

On the road again.

I am off to Gunnison Colorado to drop off my pop camper for my son. I have a Roadtrek motor home to drag it and leave in, in comparable luxury.
George Hunting, newly retired is accompanying me as well as my not so newly retired Brother, Bert. We will pick Bert up on Chicago on the way.
The current weather is a line of Thunderstorms from St. Louis to Traverse City. However, it is still 10 hours before George and i set out. The storm system should pass and we will have clear to Gunni.
This  link is a  RoadTrek look alike
Stay tune for the adventure.