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Old 05-03-2009, 10:26 PM   #15
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Cheif, it isn't only retired air force that are anal, retired lawyers are the same way. Nonetheless, I'm letting go of some of that (a little).

In summer Grand Junction is often 100˚ and that can happen by the end of May. Colorado National Monument, a few miles south of GJ, is a good place to stop and I believe they have campgrounds there. the KOA just east of town on US 50 seems to be full or close to it a lot of the time—full of permanent residents attached to the oil and gas development. There's a very nice state park at Ridgway, about 75 miles SE of GJ on the way to Ouray. Crawford State Park (75 miles from GJ) is also nice and a few miles from our house (we're on the road for most of May). In GJ you are only a few hours from Moab and Arches National Park. A small campground in the Park and several nearby around Moab. You're also close to Canyonlands NP. Sounds like from there you'll be going to Capital Reef NP, Bryce Canyon NP and Zion NP. Natural Bridges NM is also in southern Utah, though a bit off that route. By June, Utah and the GJ area are very hot. There's so much to see in southern Utah you could spend months there.

You said Carlsbad—also very hot in summer and very crowded. The cave is wonderful, the crowds are not. There are some primitive caves there too, not nearly so crowded and well worth seeing.

You're going to be covering a lot of ground, something we also do. We find that we often have to drive hard for several days to get a couple of thousand miles and then we are so tired, we have to give ourselves some time to recover—we don't like that, but we aren't 20 years old anymore. I know you have figured all this out, but try to give yourselves some free time to relax and enjoy the rest of the time. Now that you are retired (congratulations!), you can come back next Fall when it's quieter and cooler and see what you missed.

Gene
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Old 05-04-2009, 07:26 AM   #16
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No camping is allowed at the monument, but plenty of o.k. campgrounds in the area. Join the KOA club, they have a cool map of their locations. Camping and Campgrounds - KOA Kampgrounds of America, Inc.
There is a nice article in the last issue of Airstream Life that talks about the camping in the White Sands area. Rich does a good bit of hiking in that article and talks about how to prepare for hiking in the desert in the heat. Great article BTW.
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Old 05-09-2009, 09:02 PM   #17
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Day 1

"On the Road Again".........just can't seem to get that tune outta my head! Short 350 mile liesurely drive today, from home to Vicksburg, MS. Took some secondary roads through the Mississippi countryside, just to enjoy the freshness of Spring (and avoid the Interstate around Jackson).

We're spending the night at the Ameristar Casino RV Park.....great little park with about 64 all pull-through spaces, with pads, full hookups, cable, and wifi for $22.50 per night. Plus, you receive two free coupons for the breaksfast buffet. Speaking of buffets.....this one is really great....the crab legs are almost, maybe even, better than the Beau Rivage in Biloxi. Jennifer and I ate ourselves into a coma this evening.....had to do a couple of laps around the park just fit back into the Airstream. The park has a free shuttle to/from the casino.....where I took one pull on a machine and won $10.....figure that, coupled with the free breakfast buffets just about makes our stay free.

See ya down the road.
Next wifi won't be for a couple of days.
Chief

Photo #1 - Pre-departure, all shined up and ready for the love bugs to splatter (some of you definitely know what I'm talking about)

Photo #2 - Our site at the Ameristar Casino RV Park
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Old 05-09-2009, 11:16 PM   #18
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Happy Trails Chief. We are finally out West! We entered Mountain Time yesterday evening and are camped at a N.M. KOA.

We'll miss you in Zion, we'll be there from 5/20-5/23.

Tomorrow we need to decide whether we'll brave the heat of White Sands or skip it and head up towards Santa Fe.

Cheers!
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Old 05-11-2009, 10:27 PM   #19
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Days 2 & 3

Day 2 dawned with the expectation of a great Mother's Day (free) breakfast buffet at the Casino.....bad news.....as good as the previous night's dinner was, the breakfast was on the opposite end of the scale. The morning was not a total loss....decided to risk $5 of my previous days winnings of $10 and pocketed another $50 on the third try.....time to leave before they realize I'm ahead.

After dodging some interesting weather in Southern Arkansas, we arrived at our digs for the evening......parking lot of Airstream of Arkansas.

Day 3, and the great crew at AS of AR started on the mods and repairs bright and early. A new skylight was installed, new tail lights, and a set of rock guards was added to the rear to cut down on the heat and provide more privacy. We were on the road to Branson, MO by 1:00 PM. We'll spend the next day touring Branson, and maybe catch a show and dinner.

Chief

Pic #1 - Airstream of Arkansas
Pic #2 - The guys working on our new Rock Guards
Pic #3 - The finished project...let's hope I don't enjoy too much Jack someday and try to hitch up the wrong end
Pic #4 - Arkansas countryside on the road to Branson, MO
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Old 05-11-2009, 11:01 PM   #20
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Looks great. Seems they always do a good job. Glad you made it out ok, what with the flamingo and all ...............
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Old 05-12-2009, 07:03 AM   #21
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Pranksters

Greg,

The "wanted" poster was funny......and caught me by complete surprise. I can't believe that Gene actually tried to have the local Sheriff "arrest" me. Now......you guys will have to constantly be looking over your shoulders, as this devious mind comes up with an appropriate "payback!"

Chief
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Old 05-12-2009, 08:58 AM   #22
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Greg,

The "wanted" poster was funny......and caught me by complete surprise. I can't believe that Gene actually tried to have the local Sheriff "arrest" me. Now......you guys will have to constantly be looking over your shoulders, as this devious mind comes up with an appropriate "payback!"

Chief

A little harmless fun. I learned long ago, if you dish it out you have to be able to take it. Bring on your best Chief , I can handle it. I hope Jennifer was entertained by our little joke. Enjoy your trip
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Old 05-12-2009, 09:36 AM   #23
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Greg,

I did put all of our Flamingos away while "The Flamingo Bandit" was here...all are OK!

Really though...I hope Ron and Jennifer have a GREAT trip...they are two of the best folks in the world along with you and Pat, of course!

G
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Old 05-12-2009, 05:44 PM   #24
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Day 4

Arrived at the Ozark Country Campground yesterday evening, where we will spend one more night before heading NW. The campground is not real fancy, but has all the right things for the Passport America rate of $18.00 per nite......has great wifi, and nice looking pool....still too cold here for us Floridians to swim.

Spent part of the day touring Branson, but since we have been here before.....it became a bit boring. The one good thing about Branson is that we feel "young" here......I wonder what the media age of the visitors is???? Went down to the riverfront for lunch, and was impressed with the renovations they have done......including a $7.5M water fountain that dances to music and mixes a bit of fire into the show.

Came home early to do some housekeeping chores in preparation for tomorrow's early departure......good thing, as it is steady rain outside now....something this part of the country is really getting sick of.

Tomorrow's destination is Kansas......why didn't someone warn me that mid-May is the height of the tornado season. To make matters worse, the Weather Channel is out chasing them for some Vortec show. The forecast is not good for the area we have to travel through. We can only hope for the best.

We'll probably be off the air for a few days, as the next few parks do not have wifi.....hopefully, we will be able to reconnect in five days.

Chief

Pic #1 - Our Ozark digs
Pic #2 - The centerpiece of downtown Branson
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Old 05-15-2009, 11:19 AM   #25
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Day 5

After a night of 50 mph wind gusts, we were up and on the road by 7:20. The weather forecast was not good…..large hail and tornadoes……an Airstream nightmare! We hauled butt through MO and SE Kansas, trying to put some distance between us and the severe weather predictions. Winds were terrible, probably sustained at 25-35 with gusts to who knows what…..not sure I could live in this part of the country. We called it a day after 450 miles, pulled into a $10 per nite Passport America campground and hit the weather channel to catch up on the latest. We had made it out of the zone, but the area we had driven through was getting pounded…..and, we had seen evidence of previous damage….I feel for those folks.

Speaking of wind….does it ever stop in Kansas? They have some interesting wind farms to harness the power. I needed an anchor when I got out of the truck to take a few pictures…..which I have attached.

I forgot to mention an interesting thing that happened on our short trip to downtown Branson. We parked at the Bass Pro Shop, and returned to find a mini-van impaled on our trailer hitch. I normally remove the hitch when we’re stopped for a few days, but this was just a short excursion and I placed my bright yellow tennis ball cover on the ball and left the hitch in the receiver. BTW, I was parked within the parking slot….hitch and all. The mini-van had a nice v-shape in it’s front bumper and license plate, but the really odd thing was…..whoever ran into the hitch didn’t even back up…..it was still against the hitch. I was so surprised that I did even think to take a picture.

Chief

Harnessing the wind in Kansas
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Old 05-15-2009, 11:36 AM   #26
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Day 6

OK….it’s official….we really don’t like Kansas. My apologies to 2Air, and other fine folks from Kansas, but we just couldn’t wait to exit the state. Wind….wind….and more wind. I really thought we were going to be doing a modern version of the Wizard. When we stopped for lunch at a roadside park, it felt like the trailer was moving a good foot side-to-side. There were high wind warnings everywhere.

We finally made it to the calmness of Denver, and are staying at really nice State Park for the next four nights while visiting wife’s relatives. Cherry Creek State Park, in the middle of town…..I’m impressed. Great pull thrus, modern hookups, wifi (nice surprise) and very well kept……I would definitely stay here again. One other Airstream in the park…..nice couple from MN who winter in AZ. There is also one really nice new Prevost a couple of sites away…..but, they’re not sociable.

Interesting that the altitude has ballooned all the sealed plastic containers….I suspect the tire pressure may be a bit over 65 psi at the moment.

Chief

Pic #1 - Scenic View in Kansas
Pic #2 - Cherry Creek State Park Site
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Old 05-15-2009, 11:49 AM   #27
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I hope the last few days will be the worst for weather on your trip. Too bad the wind wasn't at your back while driving.
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Old 05-15-2009, 12:01 PM   #28
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Keep the postings coming Chief - as I sit here at my desk and dream of my escape some day........
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