Wednesday, October 11, 2017

2017 Activities and Florida Plan

In July, we attended the big Airstream Rally in Escanaba, MI'  Unfortunately, before the rally, I fell and (unknown to me at the time) Crushed my L-4 Vertebra. During the rally the pain went from bearable to unbearable. When we got home a hospitalist misdiagnoses of the X-ray which lead him to prescribe Prednisone, for a non-acute injury. This caused onset of  type 2 diabetes. Four days later, further injections in the emergancy room lead to  neuropathy in both feet and an impacted bowel. The next day the new doctor did  an MRI, which lead to proper diagnosis and open back surgery on August 29th.  They fused L4 to L5 with SS plates and cadaver spacer. Three months of rehab and we will go to Florida in December.  Need to get diabetes under control and body back in shape.  We will not be taking the Airstream to Florida this year.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Florida Snowbirds

We decided to spend  the winter out of the snow again this year.  This year, we decided not to take the Airstream along.  We left for our winter home in Dunedin, FL on December 14th.

We stopped and visited our first grandchild, Robert, at Rose Hullman College in Indiana.  The early snow had melted off and the roads were good.

The next morning, we had only put on 150 miles when the right rear wheel bearing failed while were doing 70 mph on the expressway.  The car acted erratically, so pulled off at the exit, that was only a couple miles away, and called for a flat bed tow. The tow driver said it acted like a wheel bearing and took us to the local Kia dealer.  When the tech lifted it on the rack and rattled the wheel, the total wheel assembly came completely free and fell to the floor.  The only thing holding the wheel on was the weight of the car which caused outer wheel bearing inner race and nut had fallen into the gap in the drum brake hub. No replacement axle hubs were available in the eastern US, so it was decided to just replace the bearings and seals and clean up the damage to the axle.  Six hours later, and $738 lighter, we found a motel and called it a day.

The next day, we reached Dunedin and our little double wide trailer. My sister, who lives full time three trailers down the block, was there to greet us.

The weather this winter, in Florida, was mild and uneventful. Our ROC 55+ park was unchanged except for the 25 people (out of 700 residents) who had passed during 2016. We had a luncheon with members (and former members) of the Northern Illinois Unit of Wally Byam (Airstream) Caravan Club International at Travelers Rest in Dade City and another luncheon at Tarpon Springs.,

We plan on leaving Florida before May 1st to return to Illinois.  We are planning on attending a few of the NIU functions and the International Airstream Rally in Escanaba, Michigan in July.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

2016 Summer Airstream trip

We attended the WBCCI rally at Lewisburg, WV in late June and into early July.  The rally was pretty well attended at about 670 trailers/motorhomes.  Five of our Northern Illinois member couples attended.  It is picturesque hill country with some deep valleys.  Unfortunately we had almost 10 inches of rain, in about 4 hours, the second day we were on site.  This resulted in massive flash flooding in the valleys were all the little villages, railroad lines, and road are. Some communities and resorts were completely under 9 foot of rushing water. Thirty people lost their lives in the county. We were parked on high ground with a crushed rock parking lot. We were not affected except for losing power for 12 hours and water for 24 hours. The local water works was contaminated so a boil order was in effect for 3 days. The rally events were held at the State Fairgrounds, which was fairly high, so most activities continued.  We did a bit of touring in the local area before the rain.  Some local tours that were to be conducted during the rally had to be cancelled because the facilities were flooded. The International WBCCI organization contributed $30,000 to the local flood relief agencies and another $10,0000 was  collected from the attendees.  We left the rally on July 5th and proceeded through the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Skyline drive to Pennsylvania and eventually arrive back in McHenry.  We spent 18 days on the road and put on almost 3,000 miles.  It was 10 days and 2,000 miles shorter than last year's adventure.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

We are in Florida again to avoid the winter weather in Illinois.  We came down December 16th and hope to stay till May.  We are living in our coach at WestWind Mobile Home Park. We did not bring the Airstream along.  We will resume our Airstreaming in the summer by attending the International Rally in West Virginia.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

International Rally at Farmington, NM

We decided at the last moment to attend the rally and visit Carol's sisters in Prescott Valley, AZ.  We left on June 18th for Farmington.  We stated having tire problems the first day out.  The tire stems are failing by forming cracks and leaking.  I replace one stem at CarX in Missouri.  We did not catch the next on in New Mexico and the low pressure resulted in a shredded tire, but no damage to the trailer.  We replaced it with a new Goodyear Marathon.  The next morning, another valve was leaking and I decided we needed to get a complete change of all of the stems before we did $1,000+ damage to the trailer.  I took off the defective tire at Santa Rosa State Park and decided to go to Albuquerque to buy two new tires.  I changed them out in the Walmart parking lot. When we got to Farmington, I decided to change the rest of the tires. I bought 3 more Comando E rated tires. These got put on with metal stems.

I also had to replace the air conditioner compressor and the alternator. It is getting to be a pretty expensive trip. We arrived at the rally on June 21 and joined the VAC parade into the campground the following morning.  The rally was fairly attended at 425 trailer/motorhomes.  The seminars and entertainment were good.  We left the rally on July 5th and headed to Arizona.

We spent the first night near Winslow, AZ and arrived in Prescott the following afternoon.  We camped at Lynx Lake State park for 4 nights and met and toured with the sisters. We retraced our steps via Flagstaff and Santa Rosa to Tucumcari, NM, where we then took 54 north east back to Illinois.    

Saturday, May 02, 2015

We did get to the Travelers Rest potluck at Dade City in January. We came home early this year on February 20th.  We picked a good day, between the storms, and had good driving all the way.  Saw some accidents, but it uneventful for us. We got home in two days arriving at 7:00 PM and had to shovel myself into 6 inches of snow in the driveway.  We did some work around the houses and prepared for spring, that was a little late in arriving.  It is May 1st today and all our flowers are all up (including danekuns and weeds).  We sprayed 4 houses and waiting to see if the chemical is effective. We did get the 1963 Airstream out of storage for the rally at Amboy on April 15 -17th,. They had a pretty good show up with 14 trailers plus one Interstate. We had a nice tour of the Northwest museum in Dixon.  

Sunday, January 11, 2015

We were in Florida from December 2013 to May 2014 at our mobile home in Dunedin.  We dropped off our son, David, at the state park on the Suwanee River with his camping kayak. He hit all the state parks on the Suwanee as he proceeded to the Gulf of Mexico.  After reaching the coast, he followed it down till he came to the Dunedin Causeway. It took a total of 28 days. We picked him up there and he spent an additional two weeks with us.   He flew home and lashed the kayak to the top of the minivan for the return to Illinois after the first of May.

We did a bit of Airstreaming with the Northern Illinois Unit of  the WBCCI club during the summer.

This year we are again in Florida for the winter.  We came down alone this year in December and will stay till May.