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A nasty (and painful) experience

January 14, 2012 3 comments

Yesterday, I was doing some work on top of my motorhome.  My normal method to get back down is to face forward, grip the top of ladder (which is attached to the motorhome), step down with my left leg, then continue on down.  Never been a problem.

Until now.  The top step was wet and slick, and my shoe slipped.  So my left leg and entire left side slid down until it was wedged between the ladder and the back of the RV.  Meanwhile, my right leg was sticking out straight in front of me, on top of the motor home.  I had absolutely no leverage to remove myself from this awkward and painful position.

Fortunately, I was able to attract Romola’s attention, and although she tried she did not have the strength to push me up.  Fortunately, a few passersby saw my predicament and together they managed to push me up so I could get out of the ladder space and back on solid ground.

This could have been much worse.  Had I lost my grip, I may have fallen over backwards, essentially leaving me hanging, upside down, from a possibly broken femur or a displaced hip.  I shudder to think of that!  I feel fortunate this ended the way I did; only some serious bruising and pulled muscles.  It could have been much worse!

Next time I will be more careful.  I’ll also added some traction material to the top step!

Categories: RV Stuff Tags: , ,

Lap of Luxury, MH style

August 7, 2010 Leave a comment

Recently a new, luxury motor home resort was opened near Bay Harbor, MI.  Surrounded by gated yacht clubs, gated golf clubs, and gated resorts, this new facility was beautifully landscaped, and well equipped.  The club house includes swimming pool, hot tub, saunas, card rooms, billiard room, party room, and more, all done with an eye for those that are well off.  Nights here cost $85 for a full hookup pad.

Just down the road is a house for sale: 9,000+ sq. ft., 6 baths, 5 bedrooms, and voted 2010 Detroit Home Design award as “Best Vacation Home of 2010”.  Not to shabby, for a vacation home.  Check out http://www.penthouse56.com.

But wait, in an effort to popularize the facility, there were on line coupons giving two nights free!  Just had to take advantage, so we’re parked here for the weekend.  Probably the most luxurious RV spot we’ve ever been at!  Across from us they have an “Open House” on a $1MM Newell motor home.  Ahhhh, living the life we’re (un)accustomed to, or at least, wouldn’t mind!  Too bad it all ends Monday.  Here’s a picture taken out our front window:

A view out of our windshield

And out the back, with club house, tennis courts, and pool

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Mackinaw Island

August 6, 2010 1 comment

In 1901, a law was passed on Mackinaw Island forbidding motorized vehicles.  That law still exists, so no cars on Mac Isle… only horse drawn carriages.  So a visit tothe Island means lots of walking, cycling, or horse carriages.  But it is a very interesting pace, with a lot of history.

Originally, it was a US fort, with a commanding view over the north end of Lake Michigan.  In 1812, during the British war, it was a British stronghold.  When the war was over, the US got it back, and the fort was abandoned.  The railroad built a very fancy hotel (Grand Hotel), and the migration as an exclusive vacation resort was on.  But now, it is accesible only by boat (or private plane) and is a popular tourist destination.

A view of the bridge from the boat

Residential street scene

Downtown street scene, with horse drawn carriage

A downtown hotel

View of the Grand hotel

Grand Hotel gardens. Note the horse and carriage shaped shrubs, lower left.

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Yellowstone: water falls

July 12, 2010 1 comment

Yellowstone has some terrific waterfalls.  Also, it has the Yellowstone Grand Canyon — maybe not as big as the one in Arizona, but certainly noteworthy.  Here are some pictures taken on a recent walk, featuring Upper Falls.

Upper Falls, taken from far away with a telephoto lens

Looking up river from the falls

Here the water goes over the falls, and down it goes...

A rainbow decorates the bottom of the falls

A look further down the river, and Yellowstone Grand Canyon

Obligatory bison photo, laying in the flowers

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Yellowstone and Old Faithful

Made it to Yellowstone and spent the first day at the most well known sites.  This includes, of course, Old Faithful (which was 13 minutes late) and the Prismatic Pond.  Great photo opportunities:

Old Faithful doing its thing, although 13 minutes late

One of the original Yellowstone tour busses

Inside the all log Yellowstone Lodge, famous in its own right

Fabulous colors at the Prismatic Pond

One of the many hot ponds

Runoff from the Prismatic Pond

Another hot pond showing mineral buildup

Some plants grow anywhere, like this unique thistle

And some plants are strangely delicate

Categories: RV Stuff, Traveling Tags: ,

Our campsite at Dinosaur Nat’l Monument

May 26, 2010 2 comments

We  love our lifestyle, full timing in our Monaco motor home.  Here we are, parked at Dinosaur National Monument.  The Green River (famous for wild raft rides) passes right behind us, and Split Mountain is a little farther on.  Can’t get much better than this…

Retirement beats working hands down!

Categories: RV Stuff, Traveling Tags: ,

At work at Dinosaur

May 8, 2010 1 comment

This was a momentous week for us– both Romola and I went back to work!  Well, work: we’re volunteers at Dinosaur National Monument in far eastern Utah.  We work for a total of 32 hours per week (that’s 16 for Romola and 16 for me) in the visitor center.  Our job is to hand out maps and answer questions.   So far, it’s been fun meeting a huge variety of people.

We also have to learn a lot so that we can answer the many questions.  That in itself is pretty great, it is extremely interesting to learn about this area and the historically important dinosaur find (more dinosaur bones have been found at this site than anywhere else in the world).  Here we are, with out official shirts and smiles on:

Posing in front of the visitor center....

Skeleton of an allosaurus, one of the few items here older than we are

If you’re interested in finding out some more about the park check this link: http://www.nps.gov/dino/index.htm

Categories: RV Stuff, Traveling Tags: , , ,

Adding a steering stabilizer

March 29, 2010 Leave a comment

The instructions are easy.  No problem, no sweat to add a steering stabilizer to our motor home (a steering stabilizer help keep the coach from running off the road if you have a tire blowout).  But, it’s not THAT easy to get to.

Crawling under the coach

Getting to the suspension calls for crawling

The bolts were REALLY tight.  I ended up buying a heavy duty impact wrench (with 900 ft-lbs of torque) and even that had a hard time.  Same for doing the installation; the 3/4″ Grade 8 bolts with lock nuts required a long time to tighten up.  This is some serious hardware!

Bracket end of the install

I had to install one of the new, longer bolts “upside down” because there was not enough room in the front axle location to actually insert the new longer bolt.  The extra 1/2″ length made it impossible to insert because of interference with te mounting plate.  I also had to install the stabilizer attaching bolt upside down because otherwise my new air impact wrench would not fit between the ground and the bolt, and I didn’t feel like trying to raise the coach anymore!

Opposite end

Opposite end, attached to the tie rod bracket

Well, it’s all installed now.  I assume I will have less problems with side winds, and should I have a blowout it is a huge safety item.  But it sure took a lot of work to get the final installation!

Completed install

Completed install

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At the lake

December 29, 2009 2 comments

We are in Hemphill, TX on the Toledo Bend Reservoir.  Daughter Tanya’s mother-in-law Mary has a really nice place on the lake, some of the nicest real estate in Texas.  We have gathered here with family to enjoy the season.  We’re playing games, taking walks, enjoying conversation — and eating way too much!

View from Mary's porch

We parked our “house” right next to Mary’s garage. Son-in-law Shane was nice enough to take the time to install a 30A power outlet, so we have all the comforts of home — even if it is freezing outside!  Mary’s place used to have a mobile home parked here, so there was an unused 100A line Shane could tap into.  Thanks a lot!

Parked in front of Mary's place

And it’s not only us people having fun, Tanya’s labradoodles Buster and Brandy just LOVE to run and get into everything they can!

The dogs love it here!

Categories: Family, RV Stuff Tags: , , , ,