Monday, October 4, 2010

Dancing Into Fall 2010

Dear Friends,
    We arrived “home” at RoVer’s Roost at 8:30am Oct. 3rd.  We’d left Meteor Crater at 4am to drive thru Phoenix early on a Sunday morning.  We’ve found that to be the best time for towing, or maybe I should say the least worse time, considering it’s Phoenix.  We had a fun two weeks on the road traveling down here, leaving Evanston on the 20th of September. 
    Before we left, we made a trip to Orem, UT to return AL&L equipment.  On the way, I shot some gorgeous pictures of Utah’s Fall colors.  Leaving Evanston, we spent the first night in Bar Nunn, WY at our friend, Betty’s house.  I used to work with her about 20 years ago at Wy State Hospital.  Where does the time go?   We parked in her driveway and had a great visit.
    The next day we headed for South Dakota and stayed at Wind Cave National Park, just outside Hot Springs, SD.   We were geocaching on the way and imagine our surprise when we signed a log on the WY-SD border right after friends from Casa Grande had signed it.  More coincidence, even though we were going in opposite directions, they pulled into RoVer’s Roost  the same day we did, about 3  hours after us.   
    The campground at Wind Cave was beautiful with wild turkeys wandering thru and buffalo close by.  It’s the largest maze cave in the world with over 100 miles of tunnels on three different levels, all under 1 square mile of earth.  Pretty amazing!  After that we left to tour Crazy Horse Monument.  It was our first time there and we really enjoyed it.  The museums are fantastic and we even got to bring a chunk of the rock they blasted away for our little rock and cactus garden.   We also revisited Mt. Rushmore.  Where there had been a large parking lot when we were last there, 15-18 years ago, is now a 6 story parking garage.  Time marches on.  As always, the monument is very inspiring.
    When we set up the 5th wheel at Wind Cave, the motor for the front leveling jacks quit working just as Gary got them extended.  He checked everything he could, including all the fuses he could see and the motor without finding the problem.  When he called the company that makes the jacks a tech support person said it was most likely the switch and told him the part he needed to replace and an RV dealership in Rapid City where he could most likely get it.  They had the part and the next day we drove up to get it.  Rapid City was about 55 miles from where we were camped and we had planned on towing the trailer up there after 2 days at Wind Cave, but without being able to lower the jacks, that wasn’t happening. 
    We went straight to the Drivers’ License bureau first and had our renewed licenses in about 20 minutes.  After picking up the part, we drove over to our mail forwarder, picked up our mail,  and saw our little box in their store that has been our address for the past 10 years (3213 W. Main St. #115 Rapid City, SD 57702).   The other place we had wanted to go was Badlands National Park and Wall Drug Store.  We had taken the dogs with us, so we decided since we had to drive to Rapid City to get there anyway, to just keep going and see those things the same day.  The Badlands were beautiful and between thunderheads and sunshine peeking thru, we had some awesome views. 
    The third day at Wind Cave, Gary tackled the switch and as we started to remove the old one, he had to unwind and remove 3-4 feet of electrical cable connected to the switch.  He discovered an inline fuse part way down the cable and sure enough, the fuse was blown.  He replaced it and the old switch worked fine.  We called the RV dealership and they said we could mail the part back to them for credit.  We decided at that point to take a day to rest before leaving Wind Cave,.  Resting was easier when we knew we could lower the jacks when we were ready to leave.  
    Then it was time to head south.  We went through Nebraska and stayed at Elk’s lodges in Sterling, CO, Rocky Ford, CO, and then spent three days at the Elks in Las Vegas, NM.   This was a new area for us and we enjoyed local Hot Springs and then spent a day at  Pecos National Historical Park and Santa Fe. 
    Our favorite spot in Santa Fe was the Loretto Chapel with its miraculous spiral stairway.  The chapel there had a design flaw, a conventional stairway to the choir loft could not be installed without adversely impacting the diminutive chapel’s seating capacity as well as it s aesthetics.   Seeking divine guidance the Sisters prayed to their patron saint, St. Joseph the Carpenter.  As legend has it upon the ninth and final day of the Novena a mysterious carpenter arrived to design and construct a circular stairway to the chair loft.  The tools upon his donkey were just a saw, a T-square, a hammer and tubs in which to soak the wood.   His miraculous stairway includes 33 steps in 2 full 360 degree turns.  The stairway has no center support nor is it held from its sides.  Its full weight rests on its final tread.  Upon completion the carpenter disappeared without seeking payment.  No records have been found of the purchase of the materials with which the
stairway was build and many sisters believed the craftsman to have been an embodiment of St. Joseph.  Engineer and architects continue to marvel at the stairway.  There is no known duplication of its design and it even made it’s way onto Ripley’s Believe it or Not. And there’s a geocache there!
    Leaving there we made a long drive to Meteor Crater, AZ, where we had worked in 2005 and 2006.  Friends we met there had just returned and we spent a few days visiting them, as well seeing others we had worked with.  It was a relaxing and fun 3 days.  Having some extra time while there and full hook ups, we even got the dogs groomed. 
    That pretty well covers our trip south to AZ.  It was a round about way covering 1839 towing miles and almost another 600 sightseeing miles.  It reminded us of what we enjoyed most about this lifestyle and we look forward to more traveling miles in the future.  Although we may be in and out a few times, all our mail can be sent to us here at the Roost through next April as far as we know now.  The address is:  3241 S. Montgomery Road,  Casa Grande, AZ 85193.  We’ll let you know when we head out for our summer travels.  Take care everyone and we look forward to seeing our snowbird friends who will wind up here later this Fall.  You know we  had to be doing some Geocaching on our trip and we managed to pick up 57 caches as we traveled.  It’s not easy to do when towing a 5th wheel and looking for large parking and turn-around areas.  We moved a travel bug from Germany that’s trying to get home and now have one from Austria to place.  As usual, we
found unusual spots and met some interesting people while caching.   
    We’ve gone from snow in the mountains as we moved from the forest to town in Sep, to the mid-90’s degrees here today. 
    Dancing into the heat,  Hugs, Katy, Gary, and of course Rusty and Spicy too!