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Monday, April 11, 2011

END OF VACATION– now heading home between storms

(this post is about Saturday, Sunday and Monday, April 9-11, 2011)

I woke up Saturday morning in Bethel, MO not feeling well at all. The llamas were hanging out by the motorhome, wondering if we were coming out or not?

Even Jewel/Gem/Jinglebuns/WhatsHerName was humming to us through the window!

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Steve said he likes llamas for pets, they are much quieter than dogs, and they all poop in the same pile so you don’t have it all over the yard to clean up! Plus Rosie shears them and spins their wool!

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I managed a few shots of them from the window, then I crawled back into bed and left Steve and Rosie to their own devices.  They found stuff to talk about and things to do, so I laid around like a bump on a log. 

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I managed to poke my head out about mid-day to wander around her barns and check out some of the big looms she has in storage.  Rosie has a large barn with three portions- the two end portions available for the animals and feed.  The center section (which used to house an RV) is perfect for her to put more of her looms in working order to make a studio, once she gets it all set up and maybe rehabs the big sliding doors into something smaller and more manageable.

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She has collected a variety of looms to stock up her studio.  This dusty Union loom is really painted blue!

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We found Miss Molly again, looking as cranky as ever.  This time she is in a lettuce box???

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Back behind Rosie’s barn is a big pond, and someone keeps their pontoon boat ready at the dock

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Spring is in full bloom down in Missouri, with flowers and fresh green grass (which the llamas love!)

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We took out my Easy Bake Oven for some chocolate chip cookies while out on the deck

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And I stayed up as long as I could, enough time to snap this sunset shot

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Sunday morning we had some coffee, did some last minute computering with some programs for Rosie’s photos---  and we said it was time to leave.  There were storms headed across Missouri for later that day and we wanted to get north of them before they hit.  Also there were tornados and severe storms headed across up in Wisconsin too, so we didn’t know how far we were going to get.  Had to plan our route carefully now to avoid either tornados or snowstorms! 

Our plans were to stop by and spend the night in Norma and Jim’s driveway in Beloit, WI.  And possibly stop for a hug with Juanita at her studio in Shopiere, too.  But I sure didn’t want to get them sick, either.

We backed outta Rosie’s barnyard and said our “See You Soon”s and pulled outta Bethel.  We drove about 5 miles away when Steve noticed our alternator was not putting out a charge…. oh my!   We pulled over and lifted the bed.  The tensioner pulley for the belt that runs on those pulleys to charge it had somehow lost it’s springiness.  We had changed that one a couple years back, and now it’s broke again.  Good thing Steve has a running scan going of all engine and tranny systems on the Silverleaf VMSpc on the screen of the Safari.  He can tell at a glance if anything is amiss. 

Steve got out some heavy black wire ties and was able to secure the pulley in a tensioned position, and I checked the readouts… yes!  we were charging again!

Let’s hear it for wire-ties!  The World’s Best Invention Next to Duct Tape!

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We hit the road and headed NE into Illinois.  The winds were mostly behind us from the SW, so we had a tail wind for quite a ways.  Every now and then when we had to turn more east or more north, Steve had to fight the winds with both hands on the wheel.  He was getting tense and cranky…

I roused myself enough to monitor the storms via the internet, both the storms behind us and the storms to the north.  About 4 pm it was looking wayyyy too bad up into Wisconsin with tornado warnings all over the state.  We stopped about 85 miles south of the border and hunkered down in a Wal-mart by Peru, Illinois.  It was hot and humid and windy, the skies looked awful and we kept our eye on the weather.  But luckily we didn’t get a warning for a single thing in Peru!  We had our weather radio on, tuned for their county.  We were watching the weather on the tv, and also on the net.  Looked like we were in a section of the state that was omitted from any warnings. Imagine that?

We have made a tradition of starting out each trip with a broasted chicken from Walmart on the first night, if we can.  So Steveio wanted one for the LAST night of our trip too.  He got a few stock-up items for when we would be getting home too.   A few cobs of sweet corn at 50 cents each were a special treat too. 

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(sigh--- I could only eat a bit of it, but it looked SO GOOD!)


Woke up Monday morning where the temps had dropped overnight about 50 degrees.  We had fallen asleep with the motorhome windows open and woke up completely chilled and frozen.  Not too good of an idea when you are sick, huh?

We turned on the news and saw that tornados had touched down all over in Wisconsin, and we had been very lucky to avoid all that severe wind, rain, hail and thunderstorms.   Glad we watched the progress and travelled accordingly. 

We pulled out of Wal-mart about 8 am and drove over to the nearby Flying J.  They have a dump station there so we can get a good last dump and rinse to the tanks before heading home.  The rig might be sitting a few weeks in the driveway, so now the tanks will be all neat and tidy before our next trip.

Mailed out the last three postcards to the grandkiddies… been sending them all along while on the trip, so they have a good collection of mail from their grandparents! And now we are heading up the highway into Wisconsin as I type this…..   heading home, (as much as we don’t want to go there)


285 miles travelled today

4,671 miles travelled so far


  1. I have enjoyed following you. Thanks for a terrific trip. Relax and get well now.

  2. Might there be some llamas in your future?

    You're doing a great job of avoiding storms, enjoyed your trip. Too bad you had to get sick but at least it was at the end instead of the beginning!

  3. Good to see you are almost home, we sure missed you guys not being able to stop on the way home.Hope you get rid of your bug before all the Grandkid's swarm in. I know how that is after a trip.Be safe out there. Sam & Donna...


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