Thursday, June 28, 2018

It didn't fall down

My bridge was still there and didn't fall down with us crossing it. 😊

Then after lunch we crossed another bridge that I designed and couldn't think of with yesterday's post.  It is just south of Columbia, MO on the southbound lane of US-63.  It is the first small stream crossing just south of the TV station and tower,  The structure type was a concept idea by a University of Missouri Professor and was supposed to be more economical to construct than other types of designs.  This was the very first one of it's kind and there are three more somewhere in the State.  The problem was that our contractors didn't think it was easier or more economical to construct so we stopped designing that type of structure.

Made it back to the Martin Manor early this afternoon and now the laundry and restocking begins as our next outing is on schedule to begin on July 11 when we plan to follow the Mississippi northward to it's origin.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

a slight detour

The planned route is down I-29 to St. Joseph and then US-36 east to Macon.  I now plan a slight detour and take I-229 into downtown St. Joseph and connect with US-36 there.  My reasoning is that will take us over one of my designed bridges.  It is the curved flyover ramp from I-229 southbound to US 36 eastbound.  If I don't post tomorrow evening then you will know that it fell down with us on it.

I also did the coordinating geometry for this whole interchange so all the other structures would tie in properly.  There were several other designers working on other bridges and all used my geometry calculations.

There are many bridges in the state that I designed but this is one of only two that I know/remember where they are.  The other one that I know of is one of the US-65 bridges over lake Taneycomo in Branson.  When it was built it carried both north and southbound traffic but since then there has been a parallel bridge built so the traffic is divided.  I would imagine that they would have used my same design on the second bridge.

Breathing Missouri air

Tonight we are in Big Lake State Park near Mound City, MO just a little north of St. Joseph.  It is several miles off of I-29 on narrow local roads but it will be quiet without the heavy traffic noise of the interstate.

Half of yesterday and most of today's travels were through Nebraska.  No snow capped mountains, no unusual rock formations, just not much to break the monotony.  The only break in the views is the Arch Monument in Kearney and sometimes as we drive along the Platte River we might see a deer which we did this morning.  I kept thinking about the story of Gen. Custer.

General Custer gathered his troops and told them he had some good news and some bad news.  The bad news was that they were surrounded by thousands of savages and were probably all going to die.  The good news was that they wouldn't have to go back across Nebraska.

When we crossed the Missouri River near Nebraska City as we entered Iowa we could see that the river was out of its banks quite a bit.  Since our campground for tonight is in the MO River floodplain I kept my fingers crossed but looks like we will be high and dry for tonight.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

back on CDT

It's good to be back on Martin Manor time.  We crossed the the time line a little past lunch time today and that means that we have now lost the two hours that we gained on our trip West.

We have a clock in the camper that is always set on Missouri time so we never lose track of what time it is at home.

More on our ups and downs

Rawlins, WY as we reported in a previous post is our highest in elevation campground and it is right on the Continental Divide.  Once we left there we continue to climb toward Cheyenne, WY and just west of Cheyenne there is a rest area with a statue of Abraham Lincoln. Informational signs there describe that this is the highest point in elevation of US Hwy 30 which is known as the Lincoln Highway.  From there its a short distance to Nebraska and it's all downhill from there to the Manor.

Slight change of plans

It's snowing outside right now.  Our campsite tonight is in a cottonwood tree grove and the seeds are falling all around us like snow.

The change of plans is that we are in North Platte, NE instead of Gothenburg.  We had been to this campground many years ago and knew about the facilities while the campground in Gothenburg was an unknown and it was only 30+ miles away so really doesn't affect the trip length of either today or tomorrow.  An other plus is this campground has 60 channels of cable TV while the county park in Gothenburg wouldn't have had any TV.

Two more days and we are back at the Manor.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Homeward bound

Left Pocatello this morning heading for the Manor.  We cut off of the interstate onto US 30 and the next 180+ miles were very scenic, half in Idaho and half in Wyoming.  Just after we entered WY we saw a mule deer cross the road right in front of us and it wasn't very long until we began to see some antelope.

Tonight we are in Rawlins, WY in a KOA that we have used on several other trips west.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Another nice visit with sister

Had a very nice lunch with Sister Vena and Curtis.  Sis had prepared a green chili casserole which was delicious.  Plus we had a lot of time to talk about everything.  It was good that we were able to visit with Sophia on Thursday as her mother took her to a cabin retreat for the weekend.  Here are a couple of pictures that Vena took on our arrival last Thursday.

This is Sophia insisting that Aunt JoAnn hold her hand on the way into grandma's house
and this is Sophia teaching me how to set the table for dinner that evening.
She has her chef's hat and apron on because she had rolled out the crescent rolls for dinner.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Doing the tourist thing

Today we drove to Twin Falls, ID to see the Shoshone Falls.  It was a two hour drive each way but the visit to the falls was well worth the drive.  On the way we stopped at a "Register Rock" which is a large boulder that when the wagon trains were on their way to California as the passed they would carve their names and usually the date of their visit here.  The State Park folks have put up a chain link fence to keep current visitors from defacing this historic artifact but it made for a difficult photo opportunity.

Here are my shots at this Rock

From there we went to the Shoshone Falls

Thursday, June 21, 2018

A visit with Sophia

Arrived in Pocatello in the early afternoon and got setup in a very nice campground that we have used for visits here a couple of other times.

Sister Vena brought Sophia over to see our tiny house and then back to her house for a nice dinner.  The rest of the afternoon was occupied by a very active 5 year old entertaining young girl until her daddy came by to take her to bed.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

our ups and downs for this trip

Just to document our ups and downs for this trip here is a listing of elevations for all of our campgrounds.

Martin Manor                    850'
Hutchinson, KS               1535'
La Junta, CO                   4078'
Grand Junction, CO 4593'
Baker, NV                       5315'
Carson City, NV             4802'
Bodaga Bay, CA                   5'     a few feet above sea level
Verdi, NV                        4905'
Winnemucca, NV            4295'
Wells, NV                        5630'    where we are tonight
Pocatello, ID                    4462'
Rawlins, WY                   6834'     our highest campground
Gothenburg, NE              2569'
Mound City, MO               889'
Martin Manor                    850'

Almost out of Nevada

Tonight's campground is in Wells, NV in the Angel Lake RV Park.  Tomorrow we have only about 70 miles of Nevada before we enter into Idaho heading toward the Cowboy RV Park in Pocatello, ID.

Here is our view to the west from our campground tonight.  This is Humboldt Peak at a height of 11,025'.  On the way here we passed Ruby Dome, a peak just south of Elko with a height of 11,387.  Our campground is at an elevation of 5,630'

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

A nice quiet day in Winnemucca

It's been a peaceful, lazy day of rest today.  It was cool this morning at 48 degrees but has warmed up to 80 this afternoon.  Tomorrow we head for Wells, NV as our last stop before Pocatello where we will bother Vena and Curt while enjoying a visit with the recent birthday girl, Sophia.

Tomorrow isn't a long trip so we will not have to get around for an early departure in the morning, more like - 11 o'clock. 😊

Monday, June 18, 2018

good as new

Bring on the grub, my tooth is ready for some meat and taters.  It was good to be able to get into the dentists schedule and get my crown back like it should be.

We are back on schedule and now resting for two nights here in Winnemucca, NV.  A day of rest tomorrow before we head out toward Idaho with one more stop in Nevada.

good news - bad news

First the bad news.  Yesterday while flossing, as my dentist has told me to do, one of my crowns popped off of a molar.  Today we are heading to Winnemucca, NV with a day of rest tomorrow so I Google located a dentist there thinking I should be able to get it cemented back on.  The first dentist I called apparently is not in business anymore because a Verizon agent answered the call to say that the telephone number had been discontinued.  The next dentist that I called had a voice mail answering message to say that they are open only Tue through Friday, bummer.

Just for grins I checked for a dentist in Reno as we are only about 10 miles from there and that is the good news.  I now have an appointment in West Reno at 11:00 this morning to get my tooth problem fixed.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Goodbye California

Now on our way back to mid-Missouri with a detour up into Idaho to visit our sister.  Today we made it to Verdi, NV which is only 4 miles East of the Cali border.

Quite a difference in the weather today.  It never was real hot but as we climbed the mountains (as we went up) toward Truckee the cars outside temp gauge kept going down.  When we stopped at the Donner Pass Summit rest area at 7200 feet it was 50 degrees just a little past lunch time.  The parking lot was near full so it was a long hike without a jacket to the restroom.

Our original plan was to stay in the Donner Memorial State Park tonight which is a state park without hookups.  Since it is forecast to be very cool tonight we passed that up and a few miles further in Verdi, NV we are in a KOA with full hookups so our electric heater will be free heat vs using our furnace on propane.  Also in the morning I will be able to use the electric teakettle to heat water for my french press coffee maker and not have to use the stove on propane.

Our GWF is taking care of us.  The forecast for this area was for an 80% chance of showers.  When we arrived the skies were overcast but nothing falling.  It waited until we were totally setup and right now it is a nice light shower and in the camper the pitter patter will lull us to sleep tonight.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

dumb seagull

Watched this dumb seagull trying to find a way through the gate on the pier walkway.  This back and forth went on for several minutes before it realized that wings could take care of it's need.

Tripp Distillery

Back home, our next door neighbor, Judy Tripp has a son Jason who currently lives south of San Francisco in Pacifica, CA.  He just recently went through a long process of getting licensed to operate a small (basically a one man operation) distillery where he makes rum and vodka.  In a few weeks he will also have Gin.  Since he still has a day job he is only open for business Friday evenings and both Saturday and Sunday afternoons.  We drove through San Francisco this morning and found a nice English pub for lunch and then had a very nice visit with Jason.

Jason was about 4 or 5 when we moved into our current house and not long after that he went to live with his dad in Arizona so we really hadn't seen him since then.  We each had a cocktail of his wares and then brought home with us a couple of bottles of his rum.  Here are a few pictures that I took this afternoon.

The copper still, he had made especially for him in Arkansas
 not a very large room for his operation
 Jason explaining the process to his customers

Friday, June 15, 2018

Santa Rosa, CA

Today was the day that I needed to have my stitches removed so I did an online search for an urgent care facility.  The closest one was in Santa Rosa about a 40 minute drive from our campground.  It was a nice place and they took care of my needs nicely.  Then we found a nice large Safeway supermarket for some pantry refilling.

On the way back to the campground we stopped at a very nice small restaurant for lunch.  The name of the restaurant was "the birds" as we entered it was past the counter with the small menu up on the wall where we left our order.  The seating was all outside under umbrellas for shade with a view overlooking the Bodega Harbor and our campsite.  Very quickly they brought our food to our table and it was delicious.  I had some raw oysters and a bowl of clam chowder.  Jo had a combo of fish and shrimp with chips.  Everything was very tasty.  There were a few birds around the tables but none that caused any problems.  Here are pictures of our plates.

In the yard around their patio there were these odd flowering stalk like plants.  Weren't able to ask what they were as everyone was busy with customers.  On our drive to Santa Rosa we had seen several of these in the area.

Back at our campsite I took these two pictures just outside our front door, also identification unknown.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

US Hwy 50 day ten, mission accomplished

This afternoon around 2:00 we backed into our site on Bodega Harbor.  The water around us is in Bodega Bay but it is waters of the Pacific so we have completed the trip from shore line of the Atlantic to shore line of the Pacific.  US Hwy 50 began only a few yards from the beach in Ocean City, MD but on this west end the last route marking sign was seen along I-80 as we drove around Sacramento, CA.

Here is our camp-site for 3 nights

Today's drive was simply beautiful.  Soon after leaving Carson City we were skirting around Lake Tahoe and then up and over the Sierras with many switchbacks and long up and down grades.  There was much traffic but the speed was slow due to the curves.  Today's drive sure wasn't on a lonely road.  There was heavy traffic all day especially around Sacramento on I-80 with 6 to 8 lanes.

We have now completed all 3131 miles of our planned trip and this is the combined ten days all together

and this is our day ten route 247 miles

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

US Hwy 50 day nine

This was the longest day of the series for this trip at 382 miles which is much longer than we normally like.  It did get us across the "Loneliest Highway" almost border to border in Nevada.  Jo was amused that on the official State Highway map that name is on this route.  Aside with being a long day of driving, there was some variety in the scenery along the way.  The route is mostly straight lines through wide valleys where you can see for miles but then between those valleys are mountain passes that cause the road to corkscrew up and down which breaks the monotony.  On most of those mountain passes there were some peaks that still had some patches of white snow.

Tomorrows trip will be over 100 miles shorter which will be a nice change from today.  That trip will end our adventure following US 50 but we have some touring plans while there before heading back east.

We have now completed 2884 of the total 3131 miles

This is our day nine route 382 miles

and this is the combined days 1-9

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

US Hwy 50 day eight

Today's scenery was divided into three distinct phases.  The first third was very blah with just bare ground or some mesquite and sage brush.  The second third was striking as we came through some rock formations that Utah is noted for and here are a couple of pictures from an overlook pull-out.

Then the third section was back to almost blah except that there were some ranches with cattle, dairy herds, and hay producing field that have been irrigated to promote growth and production.

As we pulled into the driveway of our campground for tonight we crossed the time line and are now in Pacific time zone.  The business here advertises "sleep in Utah, play in Nevada" as their motel rooms are on the east side of the property and the gas station, casino, and rv park are on the west side.

Here is our camper setup for the night and that is snow on the peak right behind our camper.  With normal eyesight it shows up bright white but the camera just didn't catch the contrast.

We have now completed 2502 of the total 3131 miles

This is our day eight route 370 miles

and this is the combined days 1-8

Monday, June 11, 2018

a day of rest

The past three days of driving have been nice but it is good to have a day of not watching traffic, not bouncing over the rough patched roadways, and just being a bit lazy before we get back on the road.

It has been a beautiful day here in Grand Junction, CO starting with a very cool morning in the low 50s.  I got out mid morning and drained our holding tanks to get rid of the flood water that went down the shower drain.  Also refilled the fresh water tank so that should hold us the remainder of this trip.  We had windows open for nice fresh air up until a little before lunch time when we closed up and let the AC take care of the afternoon temps.

Tomorrow we get back on Hwy 50 and head through Utah with our stop tomorrow night right on the Utah/Nevada border.  In fact the campground is "The Border Inn" Casino and RV Park.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

a few pics

Here are a few of Jo's window shots from today
The Arkansas River

 snow at high elevations
 Blue Mesa Reservour

US Hwy 50 day seven

Today's drive was the most scenic so far.  We fueled up in Pueblo, CO with mountains in the distance, soon we were into the mountains.  First passing by the Royal Gorge and then the drive up through the Arkansas River canyon with lots of folks enjoying white water rafting.  Then it was up and over the Monarch pass at 11,300 feet and soon along the Blue Mesa reservoir and on to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.  There was one other summit along the way at a little over 8,000 feet.

Tonight we are in the Grand Junction, CO KOA and will be here for two nights.  After the past three long days of driving, a day of rest will be welcome.  Our site has full hookups so I will take advantage of tomorrow to correct the tank situation following our flood.  I will dump both waste tanks and refill the fresh water.  When we leave here highway 50 follows I-70 through most of Utah.

We have now completed 2132 of the total 3131 miles

This is our day seven route 341 miles

and this is the combined days 1-7

Saturday, June 09, 2018

today's flood

No not the result of 40 days and 40 nights but just a half day.  Around noon time when we stopped for both fuel and food as I got out to fuel up there was water rushing out of the bottom of our camper and I could hear the water pump working to pump out more of our fresh water tank.  I got inside and turned off the pump to prevent any more but the floor of our camper was flooded.  After fueling up we pulled to a parking space and opened up all three slide-outs so we could get in to assess what happened.

We started from home with a full fresh water tank and during traveling I hadn't been turning off the water pump as it had not been a problem before, live and learn.  It seems that my rain coat that was needed for several days of the previous trip had been left in the shower just as a place for it to drain.  Jo had picked it up and hung if from the shower faucets which turn down to turn on.  Apparently some of the bumps of this mornings travels added some weight to that force downward on the faucets and turned the shower on.  Also as luck would have it the shower drain was pushed down and as a result the tub base was filled to overflowing.

We pulled the plug to drain the tub so now I need to empty the grey water holding tank.  We turned off the water pump so no more would be pumped out of the fresh water tank and turned on the exhaust fan to assist in drying things out while we made the rest of today's trip.  At today's outside temperatures (103) and with the air circulating things were almost dried out when we stopped at our campground for this evening.  Monday we will have a day of not traveling so I will dump the grey tank and top off our fresh water tank and we should be as good as new for the remainder of this trip.

Just another oops!

US Hwy 50 day six

Today's trip took us through the rest of Kansas and into the southeast corner of Colorado.  There were miles and miles of very little to no traffic with only one hiccup and that was in the town of Cimarron, KS where as we got close to town the police had the road blocked and were turning folks around.  There was a big fire just ahead and the fire trucks needed the roadway to do their work.  Our detour was to backtrack to almost Dodge City before there was a paved road to then go north to another local road that took us back west to get around the situation.  We had plenty of time in the day and plenty of fuel so not a big concern for us.

This morning just a few miles before we got to Dodge City we passed the mid point (by miles) of this coast to coast trip.

we have now completed 1791 of the total 3131 miles

This is our day six route 334 miles

and this is the combined days 1-6

Friday, June 08, 2018

US Hwy 50 day five

After a brief rest stop to do laundry and restock the pantry, we got back on Hwy 50 this morning right where we left it on May 22nd.  Continuing our trek West toward the Pacific Ocean coastline we are tonight half way in the count of days, 5th of 10.

We did have a detour around the KC area due to major highway reconstruction.  Our detour took us from hwy 50 and put us on hwy 150 so we can say (if you ignore the 1 in the front) we were still on hwy 50.  The detour was more direct and much less traffic congestion.

Our campground tonight is on the Kansas State Fairgrounds.  The campground is huge and all sites are full hookups with Electric, Water, and Sewer connections at $30/night.  the sites are relatively level but not a tree in sight so we sit here in full sun and outside temperatures in the low to mid 90s.  Our AC has been working hard since we turned it on and we now have 85 degrees inside.  It should be comfortable by bedtime.

We have now completed 1457 of the total 3131 miles.

This is our day five route 345 miles

and this is the combined days 1-5