Travel Day to Flagstaff, AZ.

All Ready For Travel Day.

Saturday 04/30/22 Travel Day. Today we go to Flagstaff, AZ. We got ready to go and pulled out of Needles, CA at 9:00 am. I followed Kevin in the car. We didn’t need fuel but decided to stop at Kingman to top off. Kevin wanted to use his new Fuel Discount Card so he found a place that had the cheapest diesel. He pulled in line and I went around to the car pumps. I couldn’t figure out the pump machine. It said my card had a chip and to do something different. I couldn’t find where to do anything different. Pulled out and parked. Kevin had 2 semi’s in line ahead of him. It took, I kid you not! over 50 minutes in line. My blood sugar was in the basement (we hadn’t eaten breakfast because we were in a hurry and wanted to get on the road.) I started getting dizzy and seeing stars. We went inside to find a fast food but they only had a sit down restaurant with a long wait. We didn’t want that. So we each got some crackers and cheese. I felt better after eating. I-40 is a horrible road – lots of deep holes, ruts, and bumps. We got to J & H RV Park in Flagstaff about 2:00 pm. The drive is usually 3 hours but we stopped for gas and Kevin drove slower due to the bad roads. Despite the bad roads, he said he liked driving the 5th wheel and it was very fun. 

Told Ya The Roads Were Bumpy! Poor Hamburger Buns! HAHA

J & H RV Park: went in to the office and met Joann and her daughter. Joann got us all checked in. She is very funny. There is a huge and steep volcano mountain to the west of us. We have Ponderosa Pines all around. Big bushes behind which makes a nice view for Kevin from his office windows in HOWE (our 36 ft 5th wheel we named for Home On WhEels). So very nice! Inside HOWE, ah, the food in the pantry crashed to the floor. I told you I-40 is very bumpy! The hamburger buns didn’t survive their shape. HAHA

All Set Up. Starlink’s Dishy Is Working Great!

Asked at the office their suggestion for dinner. They said LaFonda and Fat Olives. We went to LaFonda. There was a 30 minute wait. We just sat in the car and then they texted when our table was ready. The Mexican food was delicious. We agreed, better than the one in Mohave Valley. I had shredded beef taco and you could see and taste the not-hot peppers and onions. My chicken enchilada was the same. Kevin had chicken chimi and thought it was divine. Score! We rate this place as “eat every day”. When we got outside, it was chilly and I was a little cold. I said to Kevin as we got in, “I am going to turn on the seater heater.” He starts laughing, trying to hide it.  I said, “OH, I am going to turn on the heater seater.” At this point, he was crying laughing so hard. When I realized the words that came out of my mouth, I started laughing too. Being deaf for 2 years as made me forgot how to say the right words sometimes. 🙂 I texted this funny to a bunch of friends. Some said that is what they are now going to call it!! HAHA. One of our friends call it a “rear defroster”. We like that too.

The next day: I am in search of a good grocery store. I found there is a place called Bashas’. Their website has a great history section and it is fascinating. There are two stores here in Flagstaff. After checking the reviews, I will go to the one a little farther because it is the bigger of the two. It was about a 15 minute drive but easy. I was happy with the store. Good produce, much better prices than Safeway, a small but nice meat/cheese counter, and super nice people. I wanted some queso blanco cheese to try out a new recipe. They didn’t have it. The recipe says you can use white American cheese. So I wrote on my little notebook what I would like. The gal, Jocelynn, was great help. She signed with American Sign Language: thank you. I signed, “sign, you?” She said a little! Her aunt is deaf. I was thrilled to have a tiny conversation with her. At the customer service, I wrote asking how to get a Bashas’ loyalty card and she gave me the paper and pointed where to fill things out. Very nice. I have decided this will be my weekly grocery shopping store while in Flagstaff.

Before I left this morning, I put the ingredients in the crockpot for Italian Chicken w/ Cream Sauce. When I got home from the grocery store, I could smell it outside. Deliciousness! Dinner was delicious. I added a green salad, crusty bread, and fresh watermelon. After clean up, we played one round of Ticket To Ride. What a fun game!

Text to friends: All my plastic bottles give a “pop” sound when I open them and squirt out. Example: mayo, laundry detergent, shampoo, etc. We went from elevation of 300 to 7000. HAHA We are now in Flagstaff. The first one, the mayo, squirted all over the plate. I was making us sandwiches. Since then, I open rrrreeeaaaalllll ssssllllloooowwww. HAHA

We Rate This As “Eat Everyday!” El Rincon Restaurants Mexicano, Sedona, AZ.

We left home at 3:00 pm to go see my aunt and uncle who were staying the week in Sedona. Sedona is about an hour away. We got to where my uncle suggested we meet and the restaurant was the same as the one we liked so much in 01/21. After dinner, my uncle and aunt drove us around and showed us Sedona. Neat places to come back and explore. We had a wonderful evening.

Grand Canyon Rail & Hotel Package, Part 1.

Williams, AZ

GRAND CANYON RAILWAY & HOTEL Kevin’s work is off on Good Friday so we had planned accordingly. 🙂 We left home (HOWE, our Home On WhEels) in Needles, CA around 8:00 and drove to Kingman to pick up our mail and a stamp. Before we were Full-Time, I had had a stamp made with my name and return address. It makes it nice when sending out notes and cards. I had one made up with the new mailing address.

Williams, AZ

Then on to Williams, AZ. We hadn’t been east of Kingman so the territory was new for us to see. The area has lots of pinion-juniper (cedar) trees. As you climb elevation it gets into Ponderosa Pines. Very pretty. There isn’t a lot of stops along the way on I-40. At Williams, we walked around the old downtown main street. There is a lot of history and it is along Route 66. A sign said, “ In 1926, the Old Trails Highway was officially designated US Highway 66,  and it became the “Main Street of America.” In 1984, Williams was the last route 66 town in America to be bypassed by the interstate highway system.” When we were ready for lunch, we went to Pine Country Restaurant. Kevin rated his patty melt as a once a week and a rated my hot roast beef open faced sandwich with mashed potatoes as every day. They say they are famous for their homemade pies. We saw some and they are piled high! But we were too full to try one. We would definitely recommend this restaurant.

This Stop Light Was In Williams, AZ.

Next we went to the Visitor’s Center for some history.  Inside is hanging the Last Stop Light on Route 66. We laughed that we also saw the last stop light before I-90 in Wallace, ID last July.

Beautiful Monument From Desert Storm, Williams, AZ.

Next we walked along a memorial park that is in between the both directions of the street. There we saw  “Desert Storm Monument. Constructed January 1991. To show community support for William’s servicemen and women involved in the Gulf War. Candles representing each individual burned inside continuously until their return.” WOW! What a beautiful thought and way of supporting those off to war. It is made of concrete bricks with glass windows to see the candles burn. Touching! Williams in named for William Sherley Williams 1787-1849. He was “a colorful mountaineer, guide and trapper who is generally credited with being the first American to explore Northern Arizona – 1830 or earlier. Williams lived at different times among the Osage and Ute Indians, and earlier had been a Baptist circuit rider in Missouri. He was killed by Indians in 1849.” After that, we went to the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel and checked in. Our room is very nice and….has a bathtub!!! I was so thrilled. I love love love taking a hot, bubble bath and that is all I miss about a stick and brick house. We walked to the train depot and got our tickets for the train. When Kevin asked the person about a script for the train, she went and checked with someone. A lady came out and said yes, she had received Kevin’s email about me being deaf and she would have a script put in our hotel room. So very nice. Kevin wanted to spoil me with The Grand Canyon Package. We got the luxury package of everything and it was so wonderful. It included: hotel at Williams, luxury train car ride to Grand Canyon, hotel at Grand Canyon, luxury train car ride back to Williams, all the meals included, plus Sunset guided bus tour of Grand Canyon. After we got the train tickets, we ate supper at the restaurant there. We had taken our swimming suits just in case but there were a lot of kids in the pool and it was crowded so we didn’t do it. We went back to our room and I had a wonderful 1.5 hour long bubble bath! Kevin set a chair next to the tub put my iPad on it so I could see it from the bathtub. I watched a movie. Doesn’t get better than that! HAHA Funny though, we slept horribly! The bed was too soft and we kept waking each other up as we rolled around. 

Next blog, train ride to Grand Canyon!

Things We Changed & Our Favorite Thing. Plus, Kevin’s Firm Restriction!

Boondocking – Camping With No Hook-Ups Out In The “Boonies”.

If you have been reading along (Thank you!!!), you know that we camped almost 200 days September 2020-January 2022. We have always loved to travel whether by car, airplane, ship, or trailer. We wanted to travel more. So in February 2022 we sold our house, quit our jobs, Kevin got a new job, and we started RVing Full-Time. In March 2022 Kevin decided he wanted a desk and we went from a 25 ft 2020 Shadow Cruiser travel trailer to a 36 ft 2022 Alliance Avenue 5th wheel.

Several of you have asked for more information about our new HOWE (the name we give our Home On WhEels). Today we are going to share with you some of the changes we made (not a lot), things we added, and what our favorite things are.

(Charla:) I love to cook, and eat 🙂 , and the stove/oven we have in this HOWE exceeds all my expectations. The brand is Greystone. In our first HOWE, the stove/oven was small and a different brand. The stove top worked fine but the oven would burn biscuits on the bottom and not be done on the top. Well, worry no more! The Greystone stove top has three large burners and I am able to put large pots/skillets on all of them at the same time. Now for the oven, oh my! Just look….

Homemade Fudgy-Cookies!

I think the oven might just be one of Kevin’s favorite things! HAHA It makes delicious cookies, biscuits and everything I have cooked. Everything cooks perfectly 100% of the time, so far. I do have to add some minutes on the cooking time but that doesn’t burn anything.

Setting Up Kevin’s New 77-Inch Desk

(Kevin:) I work in IT, and need room to spread out. We joked about me needing a new desk so we bought a new trailer! Well, there is more truth in that than I would like to admit. When we bought HOWE II we requested they take out the couch in the back. That left us with a blank canvas! After looking at a lot of posts and YouTube videos, I settled on IKEA drawers and table top. I measured the area where the desktop was to go, and thought it would fit. We ordered everything for pickup, so we did not have to fight the maze of IKEA! We brought it back to HOWE II and I put it together. The side compartments built into the trailer lift up for storage, and they cleared the table top by 1/4″! I would say that is pure talent and skill, but mostly it was just luck. I love the new desk. The view from the windows beats any corner office I have seen.

Splendide Washing Machine
Splendide Dryer

(Charla:) Best decision we made, since getting the new Alliance Avenue was having the dealership install a new Splendide brand washer and dryer. For me, it is nice to not have to find a washer and dryer at a campground. While the laundry rooms at the campgrounds we have recently be in are nice, you just never know about them. Yes, these are smaller than the typical house appliances, but for the two of us, I can get all our laundry done in just a few loads each week. The spin cycle can shake the 5th wheel a little bit but it isn’t worse than desert winds.

Picking Up Our New Starlink

(Kevin:) Because of my job, I need reliable internet. Cellular data is great, and would meet my needs, but the coverage is spotty. I looked into different alternatives, and found Starlink. If you haven’t heard of it, it is a new company owned by Elon Musk and is working with SpaceX. They are putting up a grid of low orbit satellites to provide high speed internet no matter where you are located. Well, we purchased it! I was like a kid at Christmas!

Starlink’s Name For The Receiver is “Dishy McFlatface.” 🙂

(Kevin:) The setup is amazingly simple. You plug it into the provided wireless router, plug in the router, and use the app on your phone to finish setup. When we first received it, it was BLAZINGLY fast! Most times, over 150 Mbps. Recently, it has slowed down some, but still very serviceable for our needs. The more birds Elon puts in the air the faster and more reliable our connection will be.

Adding A Map

(Charla:) I have a slight obsession with maps. A few years ago, I started highlighting a map to show the road trips we took. The map soon completely wilted with all the marks. 🙂 When we travel, you will often see me with Apple Maps on my iPhone and a paper map or two on my lap. Kevin surprised me with this map. But he has a firm restriction! We can only fill in each state that THIS new HOWE has been. HA! OH, and, we can’t count a state if HOWE just drove through the state. HOWE has to spend at least 1 night in that state before we can add a state sticker. 🙂

Sad, Sad Looking Map

I want to write in Sharpie above this map, “This Home On Wheels Has Been To…”. HAHAHA (Kevin and I have been to most states in the US.) When we plan our Full-Time routes, we just pick where we want to go. But now, as I look at this map every single time we go in and out the door, well, makes me want to plan a little differently so we can stay 1 night in a state that is near. Oh dear! 🙂

Our Skin Is So Happy With The Water Softener!

(Kevin:) Our experience with a lot of campground water is that the water is HARD. It makes our already dry skin drier. It was starting to stain the toilet bowl. Time for a water softener! The brand name is On The Go. It ties into the input hose from the campground water supply, and feeds HOWE nice soft water. Typical home water softeners need to regenerate with salt pellets – 40 pound bags – this one regenerates with regular table salt! The size we bought takes two containers of salt. (cans? cylinders? paper tube with a metal spout on top) After installing it we noticed an immediate difference in how our skin felt, and the toilet bowl thanked me too.

Stop The Splinters.

(Charla:) Under our mattress is a sheet of plywood. The rough edges of the plywood would snag the sheets. I would also get splinters making the bed. I thought of this one night – put Gorilla Tape (similar to duck tape) over the edge. We used a wide tape, put half on the top and then folded the rest over the side and underneath. No more snag sheets and splinters!

(Kevin:). HOWE II has excellent tinted windows and MCD pulldown shades. The only exception is the door. Someone could step right up and look in our trailer! It also generated a lot of heat coming through the window. The answer was privacy window film. The first time I tried installing it, it fell down the first day! I then read the instructions – the second time was a success! It gave us privacy, as well as cutting down the heat coming through.

It was fun sharing these things with you. Please let us know if you have any questions. Have an idea that you think we might like to try? Let us know.

NASCAR A Loud Race? Not For Me, I Am Deaf.

NASCAR at Las Vegas March 6, 2022

NASCAR stands for National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing.

Panoramic View

Sunday 03/06/22 NASCAR race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway! We had watched some RVers on Youtube and saw that they camped AT the race. That looks like a lot of fun. A few weeks ago, we decided to get tickets. Not for camping, as we didn’t know the set up for work and such.

Our First Time To A NASCAR Race And We Sure Had Fun!

Off we went early in the morning. Got to the speedway with ease since we were early. The race starts at 12:30 but we were there at 10:00. Fun to walk around the Fan Zone outside the gates and see all that was going on. Then inside, we walked the length and saw a lot of food vendors.

This Guy Was Very Talented! Lots To See In The Fan Zone.

We found our seats…literally on the very end of the entire seating and next to the last from the top. Seats 1 and 2, row 81. We thought these were perfect as we could see the entire race track. Thankfully, no one sat in the three rows in front of us so the view was completely clear. Later, we both commented on how both of us thought we would see some rowdy and drunk people. But we didn’t see anyone like that at all. Kevin said the price of beer was too much to get drunk on. HAHA It was clean, the bathrooms spotless, there were stadium seats with armrests and they were clean. Very impressed.

The Great Smells of Food… Like A Campground When Everyone Is Cooking Outside. 🙂

For lunch, Kevin got one sausage dog with peppers and onions on it on a regular bun. It cost $13! I got pizza and we didn’t even look to see how much that was. HAHA

NASCAR @ Las Vegas

The race was great. Everyone had ear protection on. Of course being deaf, I couldn’t hear the engines but I could feel it and it was incredible. It felt like a big ole pipe organ, playing a chord of low notes and it would swell and get bigger and bigger. I loved it!

Clearing The Track After A Wreck

We didn’t have anyone we wanted to win so we picked #11, FedEx, since Kevin receives and sends a ton of stuff with them for work. #11 was doing great..until he blew the transmission lap 219 or so (out of 267).

Look At All The RVs parked at the race!

We decided to leave after the FedEx car was out. Where did we go? Well, don’t forget to read last week’s blog to see where we went after the race. Kevin wanted a desk! 🙂

He Wants A Desk…Need Bigger Home-On-Wheels? YEP!

Brand new 2022 Alliance Avenue, 32 RLS, 3 Slides, 35 ft 3 in Long, Wide-Belly 101 in

Sunday 03/06/22 Kevin wants a desk! There isn’t space in HOWE (our name for our travel trailer – Home On WhEels) to have a desk so he works from the dining room table. Since we are now traveling Full-Time, a desk would be much better. Kevin has been researching travel trailers the whole year we have been learning about Full-Time. He found he likes Alliance the best. This day we went to NASCAR Race in Las Vegas. (I will tell you more about that in the next blog.) When we left the race Kevin had me look up Johnnie Walker RV in Las Vegas. He had found them online last night and they have Alliances for sale. I was sure they wouldn’t be open on a Sunday but they were. They closed at 5:00 and this was about 4:00. We stopped in, told them we knew they closed soon, and we just wanted to see the Alliances they had. Robert, the salesman, took us to see them. They had the floor plan we were interested in. Alliance Avenue 32RSL. We looked at it and ah man, soooo beautiful! Light and bright with tons of windows. Truly, our dream floor plan, too. Oh my gosh, from what we see, it is everything we want. The back has a huge couch but we will take that out and put in a large desk for Kevin to work. Robert took us to the office and ran some numbers. Pretty soon, we were filling out all the paperwork. Done! HAHA We left, got in the car, looked at each other and said, “What did we just do?” Laughing our heads off!!! But oh no, we don’t have a truck big enough to pull it because it is a 35 ft 3 inches long, 5th Wheel. Last night, he had also found online a Ram truck, 3500, diesel, long bed, with a 5th Wheel hitch in Kingman, AZ.

Our New Truck, Hitching Up New HOWE

Monday 03/07/22 We went to Martin Swanty Ram in Kingman. The truck that Kevin found online was sitting right there for us. 🙂 Chuck was a good salesman. He had on jeans, boots, a Car-Hart jacket, and a hat. Looked like he just came in from the farm. HAHA He gave us the keys and let us test drive it. It is the truck for us and we bought it. We didn’t have a Wells Fargo check with us so they said for us to take the truck home and bring a check tomorrow. Wow! As we left, I asked them their favorite place to eat. Chuck said LaCatina Mexican is his wife’s favorite and she would eat there every week. So we went there, just down the road from the dealership. The food was fine.

Tuesday 03/08/22 Called Robert and told him that we got the truck and have new insurance for the new truck and new HOWE. He said it would be ready for pick up on Monday. Then I thought about campgrounds. If you have been reading along (thanks!) you know that we booked a campground in Flagstaff for a base this summer. It is much cooler than other parts of Arizona and we want to explorer Northern Arizona. It seems that “most” (slight exaggeration!) people in Arizona camp in Flagstaff for the summer! I had a hard time finding a place even though we were booking it back in February. I remember when Kevin booked the one in Flagstaff, they had told him it was a small site, but wide. He called and there is no way a 35 ft 5th Wheel will fit in the site and they had all the other sites filled. I had a little panic as I knew all the other places around we had called were full. I found a few places and since I am deaf Kevin called them. All full. You can be on the waiting list, #12. No thanks. Thankfully the campground in Flagstaff called us a few days later and had a bigger site for us. Next was to talk to our current campground named Deseret View RV in Needles, CA. We were able to get a bigger site. So very thankful how things are working out. It is just amazing.

Later in the day, we back to Kingman. Stopped and picked up our mail. Kevin got a “Employee Appreciation” box from his work. It had healthy snacks, lavender essential oil, a Starbucks gift card and several other things. What a great company! At the dealership, we gave them a check. Back at HOWE, I made stroganoff for dinner. I had bought a garlic butter spread and I put it on some sliced tiny French bread from Smiths then heated in the oven. Very delicious. 

Wednesday 03/09/22 Laundry day. Got me thinking…what is it like to have a washer and dryer in an RV? Our new Alliance Avenue has places for them and hook ups ready on both sides of the closet. I started researching and even asked the question on a Full Time Living Facebook page. I found out there are two kinds. One is a combo (hardly anyone likes this!). The other kind is a stackable but can be apart, too. Lots of great reviews on having them in the RV and Splendide is the brand to have.

Thursday 03/10/22 Kevin called Robert at Johnnie Walker RV and asked for the couch to be taken out and how to get a washer and dryer. He gave Kevin a number to call for Service. Kevin said the service guy was really nice. He would have the couch out and they would order and install my washer and dryer. He moved out inspection time from 11:00 on Monday to 2:00.

I tried baking potatoes in my crockpot. They turned out great! It took about 5 hours on high but they were tender and fluffy. We had chili and fixing on top.

Johnnie Walker RV in Las Vegas, Backlot For You To Stay A Night Or More To Make Sure You Know How To Work Everything

Sunday 03/13/22 We felt we didn’t need to leave until around noon so hung out. We hooked up HOWE to our new-to-us truck and I will tell you, we couldn’t even feel it behind us when driving! It felt like we were cruising in our car. We drove to Johnnie Walker RV, parked in the driveway and walked in. He walked us to the gate, gave us the code, showed me our new HOWE -getting the washer and dryer installed right then- and went to the back of the lot. We are very impressed! They have several full hookups plus in the corner, a nice large bricked patio with clean plastic chairs, picnic table, umbrella, fire pit, grill with grilling utensils, horse shoe and pits, mini golf and nice palm trees. They really thought about the customer.

We sat on the patio for awhile reading and then decided to go to Walmart. Kevin needs a bunch of stuff (grease gun, etc) but they didn’t have it. I got some food. Then home to read. For dinner I made grilled cheese sandwiches. Oh, this large Walmart had Grandma Sycamore brand bread! I was so excited. HAHA

Our New 2020 HOWE Next To Our Old 2020 HOWE! 🙂

Monday 03/14/22 We were told by Robert that new HOWE wouldn’t be ready today. We are a little disappointed but we guessed that would be the case. No worries. Kevin worked and I read. Later that day, they parked HOWE right next to HOWE. Wow! It is huge! 35 ft 3 inches compared to 25 ft. Chris, one of the shop guys, said we can walk around and look inside but not to move anything in to it yet. So excited. So amazed at this new one.

Tuesday 03/15/22 Our walk-through was at 11:00 am. Chris showed us lots of things. We found a few things that need fixed, liked a light bulb out in the fridge, etc. At noon we signed the papers, gave them the check, and it is officially ours! Moving in time. Kevin loaded up old HOWE in totes and then would bring it to the door of new HOWE. It is fun to decided where to put everything. There is a lot of room and still empty spots.

Kevin Got His Desk!

Wednesday 03/16/22 Chris came over and did a few things. Kevin got his work desk all set up. We had them take out the back couch (77 inches long) before they gave it to us. Today Kevin finished putting together his work desk that we got from IKEA. It is great! Nice cabinet drawers on both sides. The desk top barely allows for the side table storage to be accessed. Wow! Today Kevin finished putting all the wires and L-brackets to secure it. We went to the store and got groceries to stock up the fridge. It is a blast setting everything up. We said to each other that we don’t even need a stick and brick house now. Kevin said we would pull HOWE into the garage and sill work from HOWE. I said we would sleep in HOWE since our bed is so comfy. Then we laughingly said we would just live in HOWE inside the garage. HAHA

I Can’t Reach This Cupboard…So Kevin Uses It For His Snack Stash!
Enjoying The Fireplace. It Even Has a Heater.
This Is The Way Kevin Watches Church! HA
Perfect Spot For My Sewing Table!
Looking Good!
Pulling Into Desert View RV, Needles, CA

Please check out this website and see more pictures of the inside of our new 2022 Alliance Avenue 32 RSL. Ours looks just like the company pictures. Alliance RV

YEP….Kevin got a desk! 🙂

How Do You Get Mail When You Travel Full-Time?

Along Route 66, Needles, CA.

Monday 02/21/22 Happy President’s Day. Today Kevin is off work. I made pancakes for breakfast. As I got out the mix, I wondered if it was just flour because the batter didn’t bubble up as normal. I went ahead and made a pancake and gingerly tasted it. Yes, whew, it was pancake mix. HAHA (In the past, I had it in a container with a dry eraser pen written on it but it wipes off too easily). After breakfast, we got in the car and drove to Kingman, AZ. It is about an hour from Needles, CA. We wanted to gather our mail. For full-timers with no “home” address there are companies who will give you a real street address where the mail comes. We use iPostal1. They will take a picture of the outside of the mail and we see it on the iPostal1 app. We then have several options: hold for pickup, open it and scan it to us, shred it, or forward to where we are. Our postal box is in a Staples. It was easy to pick up.

St Patrick’s Day Yard Flag I Quilted.

Here is the finished Yard Flag:

Kevin Made the Wood Sign in His Wood Shop When We First Got Our Trailer, Sept. 2020.

Tuesday 02/22/22 I was happy to get sewing again. I made a 12 inch “Folded Square” out of material for St Patrick’s Day. It turned out really cute and I want to use the pattern again. After dinner, we watched together the recording of the History Channel – Abraham Lincoln. It is sooo good! We like how they interview experts plus act out the scenes. 

Wednesday 02/23/22 We have been “full-time” for two weeks. It is going great and feels like the others times we have “lived” in HOWE. Today I decided to tackle laundry, especially since Kevin told me he has just one clean shirt left. HA The laundry room here at the campground is very nice and big. It has four large washers and four huge dryers. Plus a nice table in the middle to fold clothes. The washers are $2.00 a load and the dryers are $1.50. I said the best going away present for someone who is living in an RV is a box of rolled quarters! 🙂 The office has them for sale, which is nice. The washer was easy to use and get started, so was the dryer. The laundry day went very fast because the washers only take 28 minutes while mine at our former house takes 52 minutes. 🙂  I didn’t dry my pants but just hung them out around HOWE. Kevin kept thinking I was standing by the door.

Found Roxy’s Quilt When We First Checked Out This Area in Arizona.

Friday 02/25/22 My adventure out today was going to Roxy’s Quilt Shop. We had found the fabric store last October when we first came to the area to see about having a house in Fort Mohave. We have been in a few times and the ladies are always nice. It is a small shop but they have a huge room where you can rent a table to sew on. This time I went myself. I showed my little notebook that says “I am deaf” and looked around. I found some backing for my St Patrick’s Day yard flag. The lady who helped me remembered me and wrote down, “Where is your husband?” That is cute. Next stop was to Smith’s. I love sending out cards and I like them to be very nice cards. Over the years, I would get them at Papyrus but a few years ago they closed. Thankfully, I had a good stock. Now I needed more, as I have gone through that box already. I looked online and it seems you could order online but then it sent you to a local store. The stores are all in other businesses, like Smith’s and Safeway. I went in and look down the card isle. I didn’t see any and they only had 2 packages of cards. So disappointing. I happen to go around the other isle and there Papyrus was! Score! I was so excited. I bought 3 different boxes. One has a cactus on the card and envelope. So cute and very appropriate for this area. 🙂

We had to go to the storage unit to get a copy of our marriage license for Kevin’s new employer so I can get benefits. All morning we joked about us not being married. It was pretty funny. We have been married for 33 years!

Looking at Elk through the glass window at Hualapai Mountain Lodge.

Saturday 02/26/22 I fixed breakfast burritos with eggs and a new-to-us brand of tortillas. We warmed them in the microwave and I will be definitely getting them again. Then, off to Kingman. Picked up our mail and sat in the car going through it. Our new bank debit cards came and we got those activated. After Kevin spent time throwing the discarded mail and envelopes in the back seat with quite the dramatic flair 🙂 he started looking up places for lunch. I asked if we could drive 20 minutes to Hualapai Mountain Resort. Their website says, “The Hualapai Mountain Resort started as a feeding hall for the Civilian Conservation Corps during the depression. Back then if (sic) was known at (sic) the Pine Lodge and later as the Hualapai Mountain Lodge.” It was incredible to drive just a few miles and be at 6100 ft in elevation and see pine trees and snow. The highest point is the peak at 8000-some ft. We walked in and was lucky to be seated by a huge plate glass window. Through it, we saw 3 elk. I asked Kevin if they were real because they were so close. Yes, they are real. They would slowly stand up, go to the water bucket, and then wander around during our whole meal. What a delightful find! Kevin had a burger and I had hot turkey sandwich. The garlic mashed potatoes are the best I have ate in Arizona, so far.

Have a Great Laugh Over the Text Below at Hualapai Mountain Lodge.

After texting pics to my siblings and parents and saying we “ate with the elk” My sister asked what we ate. Kevin said, “Elk burgers”. HAHAHA No, he didn’t but that was such a funny answer!

POW in Rocks Along Route 66 in Needles, CA

As the sun was setting, we went on a walk along the road leading to this campground. It is the historic Route 66 and along the way, there are rocks placed in patriotic words. For example, POW/MIA, USAF, etc. They each have a little American flag. This evening I found a covid mask near the POW that said, “never be forgotten”. Here is a link to more information about the monuments.

Storm Moving Across Valley to Mohave Valley, AZ.
Storm Over Needles, CA.

A Rest Stop, Anyone Need to Stop?

Rest Stop, on in the middle of Golden Valley, AZ. Isn’t that hilarious? We just laugh out loud every time we see it.

As you read in our post last week, we are now traveling full-time. We sold our house, quit our jobs, Kevin got a new one (so he can work remote from anywhere), and we are starting our new adventures. Since we want a home base, we are having a house built in Fort Mohave, AZ. Home is “where you park it” and our home is named HOWE. It is our 25 ft travel trailer, named for Home On WhEels and pronounced How-ee.

Oleander Blooms

We decided to start our full-time travels in Needles, CA. The campground is named Desert View RV. The picture above was taken from inside HOWE. You can see the blooms on the Oleander bush and this is February!

Homemade Salsa

This area’s growing season is October – March. I found a farmer’s market at Triple Farms Produce. The fresh salsa I made was delicious. Again, in February. I smile.

RV Lock

We got tired of locking and unlocking HOWE with a key. So Kevin researched and found this keypad. He bought it and it makes locking and unlocking much easier. The install was pretty easy with great instructions.

New Bak-Flip

Kevin order a “Bak-Flip” for our truck. He had thought about buying a shell but we looked at them and decided this other way was a better way. Since Kevin had to work at home (Home Is Where You Park It), I went to Lake Havasu, AZ, about 40 minutes away. We had been to this place last week so I knew where I was going. He was nice to tell the worker on the phone that I am deaf. As I got there, I parked across the street because the tiny parking lot was full. As I went through the front door, the nice man walked out with another customer. He smiled and I handed him the keys and pointed to the truck. Then I plopped myself at the end of their counter where there was a bar stool. I got out my pad of paper, my iPhone and my iPad and started reading my book. The guy gave me a thumbs-up when he came in. It was very nice and it took about 1 1/2 hours, which we knew. After I paid, I wrote on my pad is there anything I need to know about the new thing. He wrote did I want him to show me how it works? Yes, thanks. Back at home, Kevin was very pleased with it and started loading up totes for the “warehouse” – what he called the back of the truck. 🙂

We like to look around the area, wherever we are. So many things to see and discover. We decided to try Wagon Wheel Restaurant in Needles. Inside there is a lot of memorabilia about Route 66. We ordered our Diet Pepsi drinks and then another lady, Kim, came over. She saw us signing American Sign Language and asked if we are deaf. We told her I am. She said she is hard of hearing, 40%, has hearing aids but doesn’t use/like them because it makes everything too loud. Her parents and siblings all have hearing loss. We connected right away. She was interested in us and we in her. Soon she took our order, haha, and then brought back her 8 year old girl, Minnie. She is a firecracker and full of life! She asked a ton of great questions. She asked me to teach her everything in ASL. HAHA I told her to give me 3 words and I would teach her the signs. She wanted Minnie Mouse, wheel, and I can’t remember the last one. After visiting for awhile, Kim said they needed to go and let us eat our food. I signed the whole time I am talking. I signed and said to Minnie that it was very nice to meet her. She said, with a dramatic brush of the hands as she pointed to my hands, “Oh, you don’t need to do that stuff…I can hear you!” Kevin, Kim, and I about fell over laughing so hard. As we left, Kim gave us big hugs and was so happy to meet us. We told her we would be back. As we left, Kevin told her “Don’t settle” on hearing aid settings. Go back, get it adjusted. It is a great speech he gives a lot of people with hearing aids and I think it is wonderful. I told Kevin in the car, “Well, there is our community.” We found out later that they have a YouTube channel. You can check it out here: RealTruthTalk

Baseball Tournament in Overton, NV

One Saturday, we got up at 5:45 AM and started driving the car to Overton, NV (2- 1/2 hours away). We went to watch our friend, Bryce, a senior in high school, play a baseball tournament. We have attending a lot of his baseball games over the years. We stopped at Searchlight, NV for drive-through breakfast at McDonalds. We had quite a shock because the total was $20. Two breakfast burritos, two egg biscuits, and two drinks. Where we used to live, that would be a dollar per burrito and drink and about two for each biscuit. He double checked at the window and the order was right. The receipt showed the biscuits were 2@$10.98, the burritos were 2@about $6. My goodness! We wondered if all the McDonalds have jumped in price. Kevin said he would put his brother, who likes McDonalds and lives in the Mid-West, on a search-and-learn mission. HAHA Bryce’s team played two games, one at 9:00 and one at 11:00.  They lost the first one and won the second. He is always a joy to watch. He has a great attitude and encourages his teammates. The weather was perfect, sunny, slight breeze every once in a while but not cold. After the games, we decided to go home the back roads and it was great. We went south out of Overton past the east entrance to Valley of Fire, which we went to last year. The road is a great, paved, two lane road. At times we could see Lake Mead. The landscape would be flat and then climb through a canyon. At one point there are some red rocks, like Valley of Fire. A lot of people where parked there. In front of us, there came a pack of people on bicycles. They were going 40 mph. We passed them and then came around a corner where the traffic was completely stopped. We could see flashing lights way ahead of us. Thankfully, we only had to sit for 5 minutes and then the traffic started up again.  We never saw what the problem was. The road ended up on the east side of Las Vegas Valley, at Henderson. I didn’t want to cook that evening, so we went to Wagon Wheel. They were very full but there was an empty table. Kevin had the western burger and really liked it. I had the roast beef skillet and let me say, it tasted as good as mine! Crockpot roast beef, shredded, in gravy, over mashed potatoes. Back home, we sat outside and read our books…in February! LOVE this weather. 🙂

Desert Sunset from Desert View RV in Needles, CA

We leave you with this beautiful sunset. Or…maybe we will make you hungry –

Kevin Cooking On Our Blackstone Griddle

🙂

A Great Surprise…Someone Who Signs American Sign Language!

33rd trip – days 157-159,  Nov 5-7, 2021 Snow Canyon State Park, UT

HOWE (our Home On WhEels) and the Gorgeous Night Sky. Snow Canyon State Park, UT.

Friday 11/05/21 For several reasons, this day took longer than most. Of course it starts at the local Maverick gas station for gas, drinks, and ice. Since HOWE (our travel trailer’s name, short for Home On WhEels) is at the storage spot in St George (4 hours south), where it is nice and warm, we need to take a cooler. Once we get to HOWE and the fridge is cold, we can transfer the items. As we passed Rowley’s Red Barn, in Santaquin, UT, we decided we should stop. I grew up with Rowley’s as neighbors and in school. They had fresh apple cider donuts and I just had to have a box. We also got fresh apple cider and some apples. The “barn”-store has ice cream, candy, boxes of meat, all sorts of breads made in that town as well as a variety of salsas, spreads, you name it, all made locally. We like to support things made and grown locally. Down the road we went, eating our  just-out-of-the-oven warm donuts. At Cedar City, we saw the remains of a van that had rolled off the side of the road. The emergency responders were there working. Usually when you pass a wreck the speeds will pick up. But they didn’t. We moved a few yards, slowly, and then came to a complete stop. So stopped, that I turned off the engine. 35 minutes. I even saw people walking around the center median looking ahead. Finally we got moving again. We saw the police standing by a barricade that stops people from going into a construction site on a bridge. On the tow truck was a pickup that was completely smashed, who obviously hit the barricade. We aren’t sure someone could survive after what the pickup looked like. We finally got to St George and HOWE. Then, the jack wouldn’t raise because the batteries are dead. Why? We don’t know. Kevin got on the ground and checked the fuse; it was good. Thankfully Kevin was able to charge it from the truck. Standing there watching him, I felt this red-hot stab of pain on my left hip. Oh, that was weird. It didn’t take long at all to get the jack going and get all hooked up. As I was getting into the truck I felt a red-hot stab of pain at the top of my right leg. Ouch. That was weird. As we were driving, I felt the pain still on the left hip and right leg. Soon I felt the red-hot stab of pain on my left shin. I pulled up my pant legs and there was this huge black ant! I squashed it immediately. I was surprised how big it was. I started squashing movements all around my body! When we got to Snow Canyon State Park and our campsite, I went in and checked and yes, there were bite marks! Ugh. We thought it was strange that Kevin didn’t feel any since he had laid on the ground. Kevin decided he wanted pizza so we drove down the canyon to the city (only a few miles). We drove to a pizza place we had been to before with our friends, Bryce and Heather. So sad, it was out of business. It was #1 on Trip Advisor. Probably couldn’t hold on through Covid, but not sure. Okay, looked up #2, drove some miles to that place and nope it was closed. Remodeling, the sign said. Looked up #3, drove around the city and this place was so packed, we couldn’t even find street parking for more than 6 blocks.We are sure it would have taken forever to get in. Keep going. The next place we found, around the city, was Pier 49 Pizza. There wasn’t a wait and the dining room was empty. Yes! We had the Dinner for 2 which included Cheese bread, our pizza of 1/2 bbq chicken and 1/2 combo, and then a dessert pizza. Very good. Not our favorite pizza but it was good for tonight. 🙂 We made many circle 8s around the town. 🙂 Back at HOWE, we sat outside and watched the stars. Too bad a large motorhome next to us kept their bright outside light on all night. It made a difference in how we could see the night sky. As Kevin went to bed…he said he had several ant bites!

Enjoying Lunch at Snow Canyon State Park, UT.

Saturday 11/06/21 We skipped the lemon poppy seed muffins I made, :), and had more apple cider donuts with apple cider for breakfast. Snow Canyon State Park had a 1/2 marathon this morning. The runners start at the top and go down the canyon, which is good because it is pretty steep. We walked out to the road and saw a lady there cheering everyone on. A guy had a sign “You can do it” and was cheering. I was so impressed with the lady, she is older and a little humped over with arthritic hands. But boy, she was so encouraging to each and every person passing by (1500 people did the full length). Kevin and I cheered, clapped and did thumbs up. Kevin signed to me that the lady is the campground hostess. Pretty soon she camp over and started signing American Sign Language! Her name is Nancy, she signed. She had a friend who was deaf so she became interested and learned ASL. She went on to Rochester School of the Deaf in New York! She even taught ASL and became an interpreter. I was so happy and excited to be able to communicate with someone in my new language. She signed beautifully and I was able to understand it all.  Made my day, week, month! After the race, we set up our camp chairs in the large grassy area with huge trees. It is a place for anyone who is in the canyon to sit, eat, and relax (not just campers). It was fun to watch people: trailers pulling in and waiting until check in time, bikers stopping for a bathroom break and fresh water, families who are camping here passing by us as they go on a hike (over 30 people all in a line!), and we saw 2 couples on dates who brought up picnic baskets. No matter which direction we look, we see the awesome views of the red rocks so close. Soon, Kevin was taking a nap after reading his book for awhile. We were there so long, we had to keep moving our chairs to be in the shade. 🙂 Oh, for lunch, I heated up pulled pork shoulder that I had cooked at home. I had shredded it and sealed it with my Food Saver. So in HOWE, all I had to do was heat it up. I served it on hoagie buns. I took our lunch outside and we ate right where we were sitting.

Johnson’s Canyon Trail, Snow Canyon State Park, UT.

In the afternoon, we decided to go on a hike. We drove down to Johnson’s Canyon trailhead and walked. It took us to a very unique place. A very narrow canyon with big trees with green leaves and willow trees. This is something you don’t normally see around here. But alas, it is because there is a little spring of water and it made green things grow. What a sight to see – the straight up red rocks with green down in the bottom. Gorgeous. The hike was very easy and we are glad we took it. When we got back to the truck, Kevin said we needed to get antifreeze for the pipes. I suggested, strongly!, some sort of ant replant, as we don’t want them in HOWE and obvious got them at the storage spot. We went to our favorite Ace Hardware (I wrote about it when we were in this area before).  It has a large fabric section – bigger than a lot of fabric stores! Plus, it even has a Post Office in it. HAHA Kevin sent me to look at fabric while he got supplies. After that, we decided to find a place to eat. Hopefully not the double-8’s around the city like last night! HAHA We found a sports bar and went it. We we able to watch the Jazz play and the mushroom burger Kevin had was one of the best, he said. I had a California club sandwich and it was yummy. My favorite was the seasoned fries (tasted like Red Robin) and fry sauce. We will definitely come back here again. Back at HOWE, Kevin sat outside for a bit. I came inside and organized my Paprika App on my laptop. Soon, off to dreamland.

HOWE at Snow Canyon State Park, UT.

Sunday, 1107/21 Breakfast was the last of the apple cider donuts and some juice. We did another walk-about this morning. This is our 2nd time camping here and is a favorite place. We like the sites with hook-ups and they have a dump station. The scenery all around is breathtaking. Checkout is at 2:00 and we plan to stay until then. We will drop off HOWE at the storage spot and then plan to stop at Mexican Restaurant in Beaver. This is getting to be a tradition or habit. HAHA

NEXT BLOG POST: it will be trip #32, which we skipped here. We have some VERY EXCITING CHANGES to tell you about. 🙂

Autumn Leaves, Rain, And Snow

31st trip – days 151-153, Oct 7-10, 2021 Mountain Valley RV Resort, Heber, UT

Lake Creek Rd, Heber, UT Oct 7-10, 2021

On Tuesday, Kevin took the gas tanks to ACE Hardware to be filled and topped off. Then he put them back on HOWE (the name for our trailer, Home On WhEels). Thursday he texted me while I was at work and told me when he hooked the tanks up, it must have flipped a breaker because the power was off and the refrigerator was off. I wasn’t upset or mad at all; I was thankful he found it when he did and that it didn’t happen while we were traveling. No worries, he threw out the food we had in there and I went to the grocery store and restocked.

Provo Canyon, UT Oct 7-10, 2021

Thursday 10/07/21 The drive up Provo Canyon was stunning. The leaves at the top of the mountains have burst out with color. Provo Peak, at 11,068 elevation, is full of all the Autumn colors. Along the Provo River, the colors are bright yellow and green. Add a little sunshine shining on the leaves and it looks like the sun shines right through them. We are in a different part of the RV park this time but it is very nice. A pool, tennis courts, bathhouse, and fire pit is behind us. As we pulled into our pull-through site, 3 little girls rode up on bikes and asked Kevin, “Do you have any kids with you?” Kevin said, “No.” Girl says “Well, do you have any grandkids with you?” Kevin said they had the sweetest voices and they must checkout all “Incoming” to see if they have new playmates. It was darling. For supper I fixed chili dogs. After eating, we went out and sat by the communal fire pit. The gas fire has the flames so high and jumping around. We were the only ones around it and it was so relaxing just to stare at the flames.

Mtn Valley RV, Heber, UT Oct 7-10, 2021

Friday 10/08/21 While Kevin worked (in the office at home), I worked on our blog and pictures. I am so very behind on the pictures. I have a gorgeous view out the windows – a bright red leaved tree, yellow and green leaved trees behind that and a mountain covered with small trees and bushes that are full of all the Autumn colors. Sometimes I just look out and soak in the beauty around us. Later it started raining. It may be weird, but I like taking pictures of windows with rain on them with something neat in the background. We had thought we would go swimming in the adults-only heated hot tub and pool but it was too rainy and was in the low 50’s down in the 40’s. For lunch we had soup and sandwiches. It is cold outside but we are toasty warm in HOWE. We watched some movies on our laptops and then for supper I fixed New York steak and rice. The steak was so tender and perfectly delicious. Since it was raining and cold, we didn’t cook outside. I just cooked the steaks in my big pot with a little olive oil and salt and pepper. Yum!!!

Lake Creek Rd, Heber, UT Oct 7-10, 2021

Saturday 10/09/21 Still raining and cool outside. We had invited some friends to come up for a camping dinner and was planning on making Smash Burgers outside. We had texted during the week that if it was too cold, we could just go to a restaurant in the area. This morning we texted and all decided to get together in the next week or so. We completely understand. For breakfast I made pancakes. It was the first time we didn’t make them outside on the Black Stone griddle. I just made them on the stove in a skillet. That worked perfectly. After breakfast, we drove around. We thought to drive Hwy 40 out to Vernal, 99 miles away, but then we saw online that it is snowing along the mountain passes so we decided to just drive through Heber. We took Lake Creek Rd and I tell you, the leaves were so beautiful. We saw the tallest pine trees along side brilliant yellows, deep red, burnt orange, and green leaved trees. We got to 9000 ft elevation. 6 miles and you end up at a National Forest. It was snowing by then. What a drive! As we got back down to town, it started hailing and raining hard. We made a quick stop to Maverik (convenient gas station) for soda pops and then back to HOWE. The rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing with Kevin taking a nap and I worked on photography. For dinner, I made pork chops and stuffing. It continued to rain off and on all afternoon. But after dinner, it was a balmy 42 degrees, no wind, no rain. 🙂 So we decided to try to adults-only heated pool and hot tub. The pool was fine but I quickly got out and went to the hot tub. Awww, perfect. There was some fog rolling on the top of the water.  There were several couples who came and we ended up having great conversations with them. One couple has been living full-time in their RV for one year. I asked her if she had any surprises or regrets. She said only that she missed her hot tub at the house they sold and the doggie door. HAHA They are from Tennesse but love it out here. They are going to spend the winter at Las Vegas military campground. She finger spelled her name: Terri. So sweet. Another couple, full-time RVers are from Sandy, UT. They are here at this campground for a month and then going to Southern Utah RV Resort, where we will be. They even asked our site number so we can meet up! I love this life! We left the hot tub after 2 hours! HAHA I think Kevin’s hands must have been tired from all the signing he did for me since I am deaf.

Sunday 10/10/21 We both slept in until 9:20. The sun is out, right now, and we can see the snow on the mountains here. I fixed hash browns and eggs for breakfast. Check out time here is noon so we will hang out until right before that time to leave. 🙂

Mostly Pictures

25th trip – days 129-131, Aug 20-22, 2021 Provo Canyon “Resort”, Wallsburg, UT

Provo Canyon RV, Wallsburg, UT Aug 20-22, 2021

As I mentioned in the last post, I started getting headaches and very dizzy. The headaches were debilitating. Along with the dizziness, I was getting vertigo while laying down. Two days before this camping trip, I went to the doctor. He referred me to get an MRI.

I didn’t write anything in my travel blog for this trip. I just didn’t feel well enough. But I was able to snap a few pictures. I was glad to be out in the beauty and nature. I figured, headache and dizziness at home or headache and dizziness out in the beauty of nature. 🙂

Provo Canyon RV, Wallsburg, UT Aug 20-22, 2021

Kevin cooked delicious steaks and veggies on the Black Stone.

Who Is Hungry? ME!

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