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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Home Again - Home Again - Jiggety Jig!

First and foremost
I want to wish my beautiful daughter Heather a 

30 years ago I remember the day as if it were yesterday....

Sooooo on to my other news!
Snow has been chasing up the highway from mid-Illinois to Wisconsin,
and we have been keeping one jump ahead of it.

This is it... we are HOME! 

and there isn't any SNOW on the ground!!

Two years ago we came home and had to snowblow out the driveway of foot deep drifts before we could even get the Tracker and motorhome into the yard.

I know my last post was from Thursday, but I haven't felt up to posting much as I am under the weather.

Our recap of the last four days:

We left the Mexican border area of New Mexico
436 miles - Thursday to Ute Lake, NM
538 miles - Friday to Topeka, KS
254 miles - Saturday to Bethel, MO
500 miles today to HOME! 

!!!~1,728 miles in four days~!!!
(total trip 3,695 miles)

I have not been feeling too well. Not sure what is going on.  Steve wanted to get home to be able to get to work on Monday, and not use up any extra days other than his paid vacation time off. We decided to bomb our way north and head on home.  Tomorrow there is 1-3" of snow forecast and icy roads in northern Illinois, so it is best we push on our last day today and get to Wisconsin. The sun is still shining to it's a good idea to rush the last 500 miles to home today. Here is the weather report for N. Illinois tomorrow that clinched our decision to leave  :

... Accumulating snow Monday morning... 

Snow is likely to begin late tonight and will continue through
Monday morning. A period of moderate to possibly briefly heavy 
snowfall rates is becoming more likely for the region during the
Monday morning commute. Even with mild pavement
temperatures... these snowfall rates will likely lead to
accumulations especially on untreated surfaces.

Those traveling Monday morning... including during the morning
commute hours... across northern Illinois and far Northwest
Indiana should prepare for potential slower commute times... as
well as possible hazardous conditions.

Oh, I wanted to a give a shout-out before I forget:  RVing friends Debbie and Steve wrote a nice blog about our visit together in Pancho Villa State Park, you can read about it here:  Down the Road With Steve and Debbie

Our overall impressions of New Mexico are very favorable. We would like to snowbird there once Steve retires.  We like the cooler temps compared to AZ or Southern CA.  Also it seems less dusty and sandy than AZ or CA.  We like the dry air humidity levels there...  (and returning to the Midwest has brought back our joint aches and pains and Steve's continual sinus issues)  We like the rate fee for long term camping in New Mexico ($225 for a yearly pass, the all state campgrounds are free for unimproved sites and only $4 if you want an electric site)   The only drawback we don't care for is the GOATHEAD spurs for the dogs' feet and some areas seem really messy and unkempt with trash by residents who don't seem to care about their surroundings. But all in all, we think we will look forward to spending more time in New Mexico than we thought we would before.

Yesterday we had a nice (but short) visit in Bethel, MO with our dear friend Rosie.

As soon as we arrived at her house, we parked the motorhome out front...

then we hopped into the Tracker and zoomed up to her favorite restaurant at Heartland and met up with her friends Mike & Lisa, and Joe & Sue.

I just love this lady!!!!!  

Steve found plenty to gab about with the guys....

The restaurant is a pretty cool place, and has a whole side of collector cars to oogle over.  The whole Heartland complex is very interesting and you can find out more about it here at this link:

We spent some time gabbing (and gabbing and gabbing) to catch up and share.  Little Binney was placed on Rosie's lap for some cuddle time and socialization.  I whipped up a salad, some chicken alfredo lasagna and garlic biscuits while Rosie babysat the dogs and Steveio.  

She was so comfortable and relaxed being in a someone else's lap.  What a long way she has come from the little scared tyke we got 3 months ago! 

It was the first time our little doggers were introduced to alpacas and sheep!!!!   At first Finnegan was nervous and barking.... little Binney just turned her butt to the fence and ignored them.  But Val was curious about them and leaned over the fence to sniff Binney's butt!!!!   Soon they were both looking at each other with curiosity.

  Val is the male and the brown colored one, 
Jewel is the female and is white. 

I took both dogs over on leashes and made them sit/lay nearby until they got used to those "big fluffy doggies" and soon were okay and not so scared.

Steve had a few little projects to do around Rosies house.
He is her "tall man" to come and find a few things each time we stop that she could use a hand with.

After a fitful night of not getting much sleep, we said our goodbyes in the morning and hit the road to get home.  With the weather report fresh in our minds, we wanted to get these last 500 miles over with before the snow began.

My, oh my, we forgot how rough and bumpy these northern roads are .. .the frost heaves and the potholes!   Even on the interstate in northern Illinois it was quite lumpy and bumpy while I tried to sleep.

We even had a few *S*N*O*W* flurries as we drove through N. Illinois and into Wisconsin. EWWWW  We sure don't want to be driving on icy and slippery roads.   Steve slowed down we didn't miss any exits and we got home safe and sound.

3,695 miles
averaged 8 miles per gal

Vacation Related Expenses:

  • diesel costs of appx. $962.00 but we had a full tank to start out worth 800 miles.
  • tolls were $42.00 (Illinois, Oklahoma and Kansas are buggers!) 
  • campground fees $455  which is higher than we are used to, but we wanted to enjoy exploring the NM state parks to gather information and research for future retirement possibilities.  Most were $14 a night, some were $8 a night. 34 nights of campground, the rest was boondocking. 41 total nights away.
  • groceries and mis. walmart type items were $453  We brought a lot of food from home too.
  • restaurant eating out was $157.00
  • propane fill up was $84.25

total vacation expenses $2153.00  for 41 days of fun averages out to $52.50 a day!

Non-vacation related expenses:

  • Steve's eye glasses $140 and his dental $250 
  • bought a new tv and bracket for $238.00
  • repairs $1.767 total between the motorhome and tracker.... but oh well, we had to. 


the memories????



  1. As great as it is to travel it is always a relief to arrive back home safe and sound. I hope you start feeling good soon. Maybe it's something to do with the stars and planets, because for some reason I haven't felt up to snuff the past week. Prior to that I was on top of the world, but now I'm just lethargic - hope we both get back to normal real quick.

    1. Yah, Steve and I both seem to have the same bug now, and I think I am going to lay low today... we hauled in most of the stuff from the rig yesterday, but now I have to put t all away.

  2. Glad you made it home safely without any further visits from Murphy.
    Glad the doggers have adjusted so well to traveling and to experiencing new things.
    Now you can start planning your next Snowbird trip until Steve retires.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

    1. Steve has some serious thinking to do about retirement. we have to consider all of our options.

  3. Glad you arrived home safely and avoided the snow. I just don't think I could do 500 miles in a day, though. I'd just stay put and wait it out, but then I don't have to report to work on Monday.

    1. Wish we could have waited it out.... we only like to do about 200 miles a day if possible. Bugger that we had to delay so long to wait for the Tracker, otherwise we would have been starting back north a week earlier.

  4. Glad you made it home safe! I hate that after having such mild weather you had to return to snow.... Will it ever go away and spring arrive? LOL Hope you feel better soon.

    1. Looks like most of the snow went south of our home... more across Chicago and western Wisconsin. But so glad we were able to drive ahead of it before it hit the ground!

  5. Happy birthday to your daughter. Looks like you all made a mad dash home. Hope you feel better.

  6. Welcome home, my wanderer friend! See you soon! (Feel better!!!!!!!!!!!!)

    1. Ahhh my plants look great, my house looks great and all is fine.. You did a great job!

  7. It must be wonderful to be home, but I wish you could have stayed longer. I loved reading about your time in New Mexico and wanted more posts from other state parks. I guess the Tracker issue screwed up your park hopping - trust me, some of them are just wonderful, even nicer than Pancho Villa. Yes, the goathead stickers are a problem in some of the parks - I wish they could get rid of them, but other parks don't have them. I'm so glad you loved New Mexico State Parks - they are my favorite places to be during the six warmer months.

    Now I'll enjoy your around-the-house escapades. You have things looking so nice, it'll be fun to see what you're up to in the coming months.

    I hope you are feeling back to normal soon. Rest and relax and take care of yourself. :)

  8. I'm very sorry t hear that you are under the weather! I have sure missed having you next door! I'm so glad that you made it home safely and without any more repairs! Please give cuddles to the babies!


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