Sunday, July 29, 2007


Youth Revisited!

Tomorrow we leave Rockford for points North. Tomahawk, Wisconsin. I visited the town each Summer from about age 12 to 16-17. Fell in love with the daughter of the resort owner, who was a year younger, each year, (may have been the buxom look as she had the personality of a pit viper!) and will now revisit to see if the resort is even there.(I already knew the buxom lass moved to California decades ago!) Should be fun! Probably will not even know the town.

My Dad used to take me to town when he went for fishing supplies, etc., and we'd visit the downtown pub with the old wooden bar. They served me glasses of beer from age 15 on! Loved Wisconsin!....actual drinking age was supposed to be 18 I believe, but they were really relaxed about it! I also remember fishing and driving the boat to a combo store/dock/pub at the head end of our Lake Alice. They served dime glasses of beer which you took to your boat, and then left the glasses on the dock and a store employee picked them all up every hour.

Next night (Tuesday)....Mackinaw City, and our visit to Mackinac Island the following day!



A Surprise in the Dells!

THIS IS A TEST! - Below is the picture of the Severson Dells Office and Museum as we drove into the parking lot (the 1st cars in!). Notice anything?
Sharp eyes showed you this (below) in the middle of the above picture.....A fawn about 20-24 inches tall, just standing there.
The pond in the meadow at Severson Dells.
Finally, a lone red flower in the midst of a field of yellow and green.....I zoomed this at 50X to get the picture...



Rockford Visit

Severson Dells.....a forest preserve in always a prime stop for us. The sign welcomes you to treats of sight and sound in a natural setting.
Near the meadow area and pond a monarch butterfly enjoys a visit to pink flowers
Two bugs "get-it-on" on a leaf between bites of the green plant.
Daughter Nancy changes grandson Eddie "on-the-fly" between two parked is life folks! I snapped this, believe it or not in my side mirror as we sat waiting to depart the Dells.
My next post.....our sighting of a fawn as we entered the park.



Saturday, July 28, 2007


Visits with "Chinks".....Pekin and Rockford

PEKIN LUNCH at Applebees.....
We met at noon on Thursday......6 of us!
Althea (Knoll) lovely evervescent blonde lady....
Miss Jilly...Jill (Harris)
Vic & Linda McDonald joined us!....
A great lunch and fine conversation!
ROCKFORD....and our lunch at Der Rathskellar! YUM!!!!!
Left to right...Milt Gray, his wife Luann, and Ken Eitenmiller
A Fine meal, and again a good visit....we were joined by daughter Nancy Koteski and my lovely bride Sandra.


Thursday, July 26, 2007


Covered Bridges, Water Wheels, Etc.

Mansfield, IN's Water fall....The mill wheel is visible at the left of the picture.
The mill and wheelMansfield, and nearby towns hold a giant festival each fall to celebrate their 28 covered bridges. Tours take folks to the bridges, many of which cannot hold the weight of cars any longer. Food, crafts, and crowds highlight the event.

I took a nice picture of the covered bridge across which we traveled in our friend's, the Halls, car....but a freshman photo mistake rendered the picture a fuzzy mess.....I let the camera focus on their windshield and not the bridge.

Today.....on to my hometown of Pekin for a lunch with classmates, then on to Rockford, IL for four days.


A Day On The Water - Indiana (With The Halls)

Staying at Terre Haute's KOA, we spent yesterday on-the-water with friends Dick and Norma Hall. Here's "Captain" Hall at the helm of his new pontoon boat.

The lake, located about 15 miles North of Brazil, IN, is 2,500 acres and a wonderful place.

The next picture is Norma Hall, the Captain's lovely bride.

The lake is lined with homes ranging from cabins to huge estate-homes. Most all are located a good ways up the hills surrounding the lake. Each Spring the lake rises a number of feet from the rains and melting....Thus everything must be quite a few feet above the normal water line.

Of course, The Duke had to take a turn at the helm as well. The weather was just perfect, the boat smooth and comfortable, and the food (enjoyed in a shady secluded cove) was delicious!

The Halls live in Brazil, IN, and have a lovely home surrounded by beautiful plants. Thanks to the Halls for a great day!


Wednesday, July 25, 2007


KOA - Terre Haute Style!

Arrived in Terra Haute......Indiana has several nice is about 60% less humidity than is cooler at night....
Shady campsight.....NICE!!! Many here are shady!
The place has a claim-to-fame of miniature donkeys...a decent picture op, and they offer a loud breying noise sometimes....We loved the place, despite rates above what we are used to paying!

PLUS: The folks in the office are super friendly and they went out of their way to help our local guests get to our site....with a golf cart! THANKS KOA!



Beachaven Winery - Love It!

Stopped at one of our favorite places, Beachaven Winery. This lovely place is located off I-24 at exits 4 & 8 in the extreme northern area of Tennessee. If you get off at exit 8, turn left at "International Blvd". There is no sign as construction proceeds in the area. From exit 4 the signs are plentiful, but it is a 2.4 mile drive.

This winery....winner of many awards....has a bevy of great finds in their cellars. Wines with names llike "Tempo", "Jazz", "Harmony" and "Melody" lead the menu for tasting. There are many more, including "Cumberland White", the only wine we've found outside of the New York fingerlakes area which is made with the delicious Niagra grape.
This lovely sight is the field of young vines outside the winery....both vines and winery are visible from I-24.

Stop in....taste and buy. I proceeded to have a nice exchange of books-to-read ideas with two of the employees as we tasted. Nice break from the road! We left with quite a few bottles and enjoyed our first last evening in Terre Haute, Indiana with good friends. We just L-O-V-E traveling.



Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Monday, July 23....Tifton to Nashville

I-24 N. of Chattanooga Climbing a 7 mile hill. This is a test, and Roadhouse, while only a gas-powered RV, is OK in these mountains. We'll see later about the Rockies!
Nickajack Lake We stopped at the view park in the middle of Nickajack Lake...high in the mountains. Duchess and I have vowed to begin looking in this area for potential home for our later retirement. We stayed this night at I-24 Campground (exit 66 off I-24) in Smyrna, S. of Nashville. Great place....good store, laundry, and open sites with some shade. This year they added WiFi....Thanks folks!

Tuesday (after I sleep a bit more) we're off to Terre Haute, IN to see friends who stood up with us at our wedding.



Sunday, July 22, 2007


40557 to ?????

That was our mileage on departure from Tampa about noon today. We'll easily do 5,000 miles on this three and a half week trip. The picture above is my "comm center", dash at left with GPS, and rear camera screen. The weather was doing what it always does in Summer in Florida....raining!

On the road.......Tifton, Georgia this evening where we are re-visiting The Pines Campground. Easy in and out from I-75 exit 61 in Georgia. Full hook ups, and $20 for a night. On the road in 2 minutes in the morning....
The usual Georgia perpetual-forever road building. Here they remodel 30-100 miles at a time, and the cops use the reduced speedlimit as a nice way to catch some out-of-state dollars.

The trip was smooth and "Roadhouse" is performing well, while Side-road-Suzie follows along obediently.

Tired tonight more tomorrow.



Thursday, July 19, 2007


Preparation & SNAFUs Aplenty!

Duchess and I are rushing toward our departure Sunday on the BIG swing North and West for three weeks.

As the time slips away and we begin the process of loading clothes, food, etc. into the motorhome, the usual SNAFUs plague us!

Yesterday I fired up the genset to supply power for the AC as we paraded back and forth between the house and the coach carrying our worldly goods. Note: I bring the coach to the house and driveway to facilitate this process. I also keep it plugged in to a house 110 v circuit so i can charge batteries, and run the refrigerator, etc. 110 v will not run the AC, so I have to use the genset. Three hours later I had a flood of water dropping from the central air system onto the carpet in the living room area.....Seems something has plugged the drain for the AC on the roof. Today I go mountain climbing to remove the plug which is likely a wasp nest! Fun!

Meanwhile we are awaiting shipments of our meds (we buy online and get a 90 day supply at a time). I got all but one new prescription which is due here today, through Monday!!!! We leave Sunday. Nice!

Duchess has now switched to Medicare as a primary and another company as backup (2ndary). Yesterday, having not received her drugs, she called the company which informed her they had shipped her prescriptions back to her as the insurance was not yet shown correctly on their records. Thus NO drugs for her, and the scrips in the good hands of the USPS! Really Nice!

Today Duchess trundled off to her water aerobics class and then to get a haircut. I, thus, am left with two phones....hers in case Medicare calls back about the insurance switch....mine to do the calling for a 30 day supply of her drugs for our trip! Plus I still have to climb on the top of the 12 foot tall motorhome to open the wasp-plugged drain. Really, Really Nice!

I need a vacation! - OH WAIT! That is what is causing this in the 1st place!

The countdown continues.....