Well, it's catch up time again .... it seems so hard, while doing all that we're doing, to make the time to update this. And we'll continue to work toward being more time sensitive.
With all of the family time we've had in Wisconsin, which was really what this was all about, I didn't want this to become just a family record, which many of you reading won't really find that interesting (I too have read those kinds of blogs), so I will try to get back to life on the road, and what "that's" all about. So here goes ......
Our time in Wisconsin was nothing short of wonderful. We were with family each and every day. And our lives (Jackie & I) was becoming better. Yes, we had our challenges in Colorado, with Jackie missing the kids & family in AZ, and yes she did make a trip back there, not to mention the unpredictable spring weather in Colorado. And while in Wisconsin, she & her sister made a trip to AZ to celebrate their Mom's birthday .... that may not have happened if we were still living in AZ. I don't think either of us could have predicted how this "life change" would effect us. But as we move on, you may see what I'm talking about.
As we prepare for the next leg of our tour, we have mapped out a pretty direct route into northern California. Jackie's sister has just moved to Reno, so a stop has been scheduled to at least spend a day there. And of course we are rather anxious to get to San Fran. With the Bus serviced, we pack up the camp, load the car into the trailer ..... and we're off.
We have found, there are several necessities that travel with us. Outdoor mats, lawn chairs & tables, lighting, cooking grill, etc. Space in the storage areas of the Bus are essential for these items. And it seems,. as we go, Jackie continues to finds things she doesn't need. So packing up is becoming a bit easier.
So our plan is to try all the places we've read so much about on the forums that we could stay while en route.
Our first night out we decide to just drop in on a rest area along I80 in Iowa. Very nice rest stop, even though we couldn't pop out the slides, we called it a day. We're parked in the "truck section" of the rest stop, so outside activities is limited to the grass area of the rest stop. The hour or so before dinner was simply a quick walk around and it was back inside to bus for us. After a quick dinner and getting caught up on email & facebook we put it to bed. Now even though the price is right (no charge), there is a price to pay. I80 is a major east/west truck route. And they're rollin all the time .... like all nite long. And even though we were off the road a bit, and our bus is normally pretty quiet, it was a little tuff getting to and staying asleep. So what seemed like a long night, it turned to be a short sleep. Once up, it didn't take long to make a cup of coffee, do a quick walk-around checking tires, trailer connections and overall condition and we were back on the road.
Additionally, exactly where we're going to be staying once we arrive in California is still a question, as we've not as yet found "the" place for our long term stay. But never fear, the girl's on it as we go down the road. More on this topic later ....
During this segment of our trip, there were a few lessons learned. As we got into the rolling hills of Iowa, I noticed our engine temp was climbing a bit. We had the cruise control set, between 65 & 70 mph, the rpms at about 13-1500. I thought the engine control would automatically shift down when necessary, however this wasn't the case. With the cruise control on, it would simply add more fuel, thus causing the heat to rise. My first thought was to take off the cruise control and manually shift down when needed. This turned out to be a lot of work and quite frankly we lost momentum. Instead we left the cruise control on and simply shifted down to 5th gear. That brought the rpms up to around 1800, thus keeping the engine heat where it needed to be.
As I've mentioned before, I don't know what I'd do without my navigator .... as we got close to the 5 hour of driving mark, Jackie got on her phone and found us a really cool RV park that was about 45 minutes away. It was off the highway a couple of miles, but turned out to be an awesome spot.
Now that's a campsite !!!