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Sunday, August 12, 2012

A busy weekend and now all settled in at High Cliff State Park

We had such a nice weekend, but it was a flurry of activity from Friday till Sunday.  Just now am I setting down at the computer for a bit of blogging.

Started on Friday with it being Steve's last day of work at UWGB.  He will be starting his new position at High Cliff State Park on Monday!    So we have a LOT to cram into the weekend before moving down to the park, about 30 miles south of Green Bay, on Lake Winnebago.

Friday I picked up the grandtots, Allegra (2yr.) and Mason (4mo.) for an overnight.  Into our little Saturn,  I jammed in their double stroller, porta crib, diaper bag and other assorted goodies, plus of course the two kids and their car seats  (and all the treats I picked up at the grocery store beforehand)  Got everything all hauled into the motorhome and set up and happy.  Wheeee it sure was fun to have them, but my oh my the energy of the 2 year old!   We took her for a long, long walk, while Mason rode along in the stroller.

This next shot makes me think there should be some whistling going on.. with Andy Taylor and Opie walking down the road?   She also had to stop at each and every mud puddle to throw in a stone.

Mason rode along like a good little boy, and was content. 
We also learned about "shadows" 

THIS has to be one of my most favorite pics now of what being a Grandparent is all about.  Just look at that face as she listens to her Pop-Pop tell her all about the big boats, the fishes, the birds and the water.

Our long walk worked, both kids were out at 8:30 p.m. 

BUT---- they were UP at 5 a.m.!   

There is plenty of room in front of the new loveseat for a play area, even with the portacrib up on the other wall.  (that is where my table loom usually goes).   We had a nice morning together, and then I had to start packing up all the gear again to return the kiddos to their parents.  But not until we first took them to a PARADE!

Off to the Shanty Days Celebration in Algoma, WI.  The kids were so excited and we met up with our other grandson, Jameson and our daughter Heather and her husband Jesse's family.  All the little ones had a blast and got a haul of candy to take home.    Little girls dancing to the marching bands is a staple of a summer parade.

Our grandson Jameson was outnumbered by the girl cousins, 
so he retreated to his Grandma Wade's lap for the rest of the parade. 

 This is just so "Small Town Summer"

We did the "hand-off" of the grandtots to their parents after the parade, and were relieved of grandparenting duties for the rest of the weekend.  We also did a "hand-off" of our Saturn car to our daughter Heather as we really don't need two vehicles any more.  She is paying for the new tires and alignment, but the rest of the car is hers to do with as she wishes.  HAHA

We wandered on over to out friend's booth, Jim and Norma of Pa and Ma's Rugs...  we sat with them till the vendor area closed at 6pm.  They have a great display of rugs, check out their link.

Dinner out with Jim and Norma was a great time to catch up with them.  Jim recently retired from his day job, but works now as a consultant when needed.  Norma keeps cutting, sewing and preparing the fabrics for the rugs that Jim weaves in his *spare* time.  LOL   They bought us dinner at a nice supper club, S&K Food and Spirits by Rankin, WI.

We gabbed and gabbed and ate our fill of the good food.  It's so nice having a chance to visit with them, and we promise to come and park in their driveway sometime when we are down near Beloit again.

Saturday night came fast, and we dropped into bed--- two very tired grandparents.  It was peaceful sleeping in the quiet of the waterfront cottage we were parked at.  It would be the last night here before we move on to High Cliff State Park the next day.

Ohhh my we slept in till after 8 a.m.  We never do that!  But we got up and chatted with Ernie and Maryellen, and thanked them again for letting us park at their cottage for 10 days.  It was such a nice break after the hectic months we have had with packing and moving and selling the house.

Once the motorhome was made "road worthy"  ---  which really doesn't take us too long ---  we headed on south towards Green Bay.

As we were entering the interstate on a ramp, our pac brake STUCK in the closed position!    Oh my, we could not go anywhere.  We carefully pulled to the side with cars whizzing past us at 60-70 mph just inches from us.  Luckily we were able to get far enough off the road.   We lifted the bed, and Steve used a hammer to reach down into the engine compartment and release the pac brake with a few whacks. A pac brake is an engine exhaust brake.  It utilizes the engine to slow down the motorhome instead of the brakes on the wheels.  Hmmm it's newly lubed with the right stuff, and was operating fine, until today.   We will look at it later, but for now we could at least get back on the road.

Here is a post about when he just worked on our pac brake:

We planned a stop at the CAT scales at a truckstop for a good complete weight of our rig, gear, and toad.  We know our GCWR (Gross Combined Weight Rating)  is 32,000 pounds.  And we had kinda figured we were getting up there, but wanted to be sure we were still within the safe limits.

I went ahead to guide Steve onto the scales to try to get each axle on a separate panel of the scale. Once we were parked on the scale, we had to "hit the CALL button"   well... as you can see from this pic, I am NOT that tall!

I jumped up and managed to hit the CALL button. We got the okay from the guy inside to come in for our slip.
The motorhome has:

  • all of our gear
  • full fuel tank
  • full fresh water tank
  • almost full black waste tank
  • almost full grey waste tank
  • half full propane tank
  • plus our Tracker toad

Paid $9.50 for our yellow piece of paper that reads we are UNDER our GCWR limit by 2,000 pounds!  Wheeeeeee  Our rig, gear, and Tracker are a total weight of 29,900 pounds!

Our UVH (Unloaded Vehicle Weight) rating is 18,600
Our GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) is 28,000
Our GCWR (Gross Combined Weight Rating) is 32,000

We carefully balanced loads when installing Steve's tool drawers on the passenger front side to offset the double door fridge on the driver's side.  We also added a full sized spare tire and rim on the front frame for balance too.

From there we cruised on to our new destination.--- High Cliff State Park!   We pulled into site 100 for a few days and got all set up.

Steve will start his new position as Facilities Maintenance Specialist Advanced tomorrow at 8 a.m.   How on earth is he gonna get used to an 8 a.m. start time,  and just a 2 minute jaunt over to the maintenance building?    He used to have a crazy 40 mile commute through construction and interstate and half asleep, texting, phoning and coffee-gulping commuters???????



  1. Welcome to your fulltime dream! Best wishes for your new life. You already look 10 years younger in the pictures. :c)

  2. great blog Karen and great weekend....congrats and good luck with the new job..sounds like a dream come true....

  3. Hmmmm, how come you are only in site 100 for a few days?? Do they provide a site for you at the park with full hookups??? Enjoy your new life!

    1. We have to leave for Steve's surgery on his knee on Friday... up to Green Bay. This campsite is reserved for the weekend by someone else anyhow.

      Once the regular hosts leave their site, we can probably get that one for the rest of the season. Steve is working a regular job here for the DNR for his regular state wages, he just did a job transfer within the state system. It's not like workkamping.

      Originally we were going to get the host position too, if they had gotten Steve hired and set up by the first week of July we would have been next in line for the host program by August 1. But they ran outta time and assigned another host for the month. Hopefully their host program schedule will allow us to take a host site soon and do both. His regular work plus our together job as hosts. In the meantime, we will work out what we can once he finds out more tomorrow.

  4. I didn't realize he would have such a long commute to work. Hope everything goes well with the surgery.

    1. LOL .. Gypsy... I guess I should have made that more clear... he USED to have a crazy 40 mile commute through construction and interstate and half asleep, texting, phoning and coffee-gulping commuters ... NOW it will be a 2 minute jaunt over to the maintenance building!

  5. Hi, I hope the knee surgery goes well.
    Now you can enjoy fulltiming while w*rking.
    Sounds like the best of both worlds.
    Happy Tails and Trails, Penny

  6. So very happy for you both!! I love, love, love this post!!! Yipppeeee!

  7. Glad you made it to High Cliff safe and sound. Thank goodness for hammers! LOL!
    With the new short commute Steve can get up at 7:55 and still make it to work by 8:00.
    We are really very happy for guys and that everything has fallen into "perfect" place for you.

  8. Sounds like you have everything all; figured out and planned. I am so happy for you both. Good luck to Steve on his knee surgery.

  9. You two will have so much fun. I wish you all the happiness there is in your new life.

  10. So glad you are enjoying the good life. Looks like it was a great weekend and a super place to be parked up for work. I really hate the traffic going from the motorhome to the office :)! We will NEVER do that morning rush hour drive again.

    Kevin and Ruth

  11. Had to chuckle when I saw the little play barn. "Playschool"? "Playmobil"? I don't remember. All I know is, we have one in with a bunch of toys at our house that we keep around 'just in case'. It's about 35 years old. Those things are always good fun.
    Steve will be early for work, you watch. Eight almost seems late to me. I used to start at 6:30, and where I worked was only 8 minutes from our front door. If it snowed, I'd give myself longer, but I had a 4x4. I sure couldn't see myself travelling 40 miles. Yikes.
    Steve will feel like he's on vacation.
    Hey! He'll probably come home for lunch!

    1. Yup. That is a Fisher Price Farm... From the late 60's at MY Grandma Kafehl's house... Now being played with by her GREAT GREAT GRANDCHILDREN! Bet she is smiling down on them each time we haul it out....

  12. Wonderful post, and sorry to hear something went wrong right away. But your man knows how to fix things and that is a WONDERFUL blessing when you are full timers! My favorite photo is your little granddaughter listening to Steve. It's a wonderful life out there, and congratulations on starting! Here's to many more years of traveling and learning and meeting new people!

  13. Congratulations on your new life. I think in a previous life you and Stevio would have been found on the trail to Oregon or Salt Lake. You've planned your life well, and deserve the "good luck" you've earned.
    Blessings to you, and best wishes for Stevio's surgery.


  14. I am originally from Egg Harbor in Door County.....so that was fun seeing the Algoma parade photos !!!! Usually make it home in the summer but not this year .... Thanks for sharing, that was fun..... I like the rugs your friends make, great you passed the site along ..... Have fun at your new spot, it looks like a winner ..... Things work out for the very best , don't they ???

  15. Good luck to Steve with his surgery.. and good luck to you both in this new adventure!


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