Thursday, September 30, 2010

Get 'er done !!

I gave myself permission to stay in bed until 8 o'clock. Then I took a **l-o-n-g** shower. That was followed by organizing things (a never-ending process). I always think I will discard things I haven't used but decide to keep the extra towels and blankets, etc. There isn't a site here for washing dishes (like State Parks furnish) so I finally washed a dozen items in my little sink. (More spitting and sputtering from the faucet. I spent time trying to repair....) This afternoon I did a load of laundry. Frankly, I think the cost is excessive!! $2.00 to wash a load and $1.50 to dry a load!! I have things hanging inside the T@B--things that didn't get quite dry.

It's 83 degrees inside my little "oven" (LOL), at 5:15. I have the door and windows open. Someone said it was over 100 degrees one day last week. I wonder how long we'll enjoy this delightful weather. ~~ I'm meeting the other RVers and learning things about employment at Amazon. As you might expect, RVers come to my T@B and comment on "How cute," "How unique," and "I love the Smiley Face on the back." Be assured, I **will** keep you informed about my job with Amazon.

Lincoln Homestead State Park

Yesterday, en route to Campbellsville, I spent over an hour at a Kentucky State Historical site (near Springfield). During that hour, I was the only visitor.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Kentucky "Konfusion"

Kan't Komprehend!! Kapability of kautious Kaliforian klearly konfusing!! ~~ After a "krazy" play on words, the fact remains that I got hopelessly lost on Kentucky secondary highways. Frankly, two of the least enjoyable days of my six month travels.

I left Panera Bread, in Lexington, at 11:20 AM Tuesday en route to the Galilean Children's Home. That was seventy-three miles. I was shown the Angel House, and Blessing House, and introduced to the residents being cared for. I was free to roam the area but felt "konfusion" (confusion) because I didn't sense that anyone "kared" (cared) whether I was there or not. The Galilean Home advertised on their web site that they need mature women volunteers. I'm a mature woman ready to volunteer but nobody questioned my reason for the visit. My camp trailer in the parking lot should have been a beacon advertising my availability?!?! I was wearing a long skirt and dressed modestly; I would have passed for a Mennonite if I'd been wearing a covering over my hair. ~~ I was heavy-hearted as I drove away and questioned my Heavenly Father about why He directed me to that remote location. Very remote!!

I turned left on the State route (when I should have turned right) and became hopelessly lost. I couldn't even locate my position on the Atlas because I was looking East of Liberty, Kentucky, and I was West of Liberty. When all else fails, try to find a Wal-Mart. Carmen (my Garmin GPS) took me to Danville, sixty-nine miles from the Galilean Home. I saw far more of rural Kentucky than I planned!! As I said, not a memorable day. Correction: Memorable but not pleasant!!

I slept well in the parking lot of a busy Wal-Mart SuperCenter with lots of traffic nearby. Also with my refrigerator running all night. I was up at 6:00 this morning; it was 55 degrees inside the T@B. I'm ashamed to admit (but I'll confess) I made another wrong turn leaving the Danville Wal-Mart. I was positive I wanted to drive East. It was dark when I departed at 6:40, and I encountered lots of commuter traffic. Soon I was on narrow roads and engulfed in fog. It was scary!! Finally, an eerie sunrise about 7:50. I couldn't stop to take pictures of the fog that bathed the landscape and the sun casting light and color on the scene. Beautiful but eerie.

I was frustrated to find myself back in Lexington--during morning commute!! I had stopped several times to consult my Atlas. My sense of direction was hopelessly wrong!! As I said earlier
"When all else fails, try to find a Wal-Mart." Actually, eventually, I asked Carmen for "Campbellsville, Kentucky," and was delivered to their doorstep.

The Garmin GPS tells me that the Galilean Home is twenty-six miles away. I drove a total of 205 miles (yesterday and today) from point A to point B. The Danville Wal-Mart (where I spent the night) is 37.7 miles away. I drove 136 miles today.

Can you get a sense of my "Kentucky Konfusion"?? Now you understand my opening comment: "Kan't Komprehend!! Kapability of kautious Kaliforian klearly konfusing!!" Translation: Can't comprehend!! Capability of cautious Californian clearly confusing!!

Hired by

I hear your question: "Why are you in Campbellsville, Kentucky?" Answer: I'm a subscriber to Workamper News and several weeks ago there was an advertisement for RVers to work at Amazon, in their two locations (for the holidays). I didn't "follow through." A recruiter was at the Escapade seeking RVers and I attended the seminar. The prospect of six weeks of excellent salary, completion bonus, and free RV parking, tweaked my curiosity. However (armed with all the necessary information), I didn't phone until yesterday afternoon. (Yesterday afternoon, after I left the Galilean Home.) I left my name and number on voice mail. The call was returned while I was driving--and I don't talk on my cell phone while driving!! Yes, Amazon is still hiring for November 8th through December 23rd.

Let's be extremely honest, my T@B is tiny!! No bathroom, no shower!! I wanted to visit Campbellsville and see what the campgrounds looked like. There are several... but my first stop was at Heartland Campground predominately across the highway from the huge Amazon warehouse. At the moment, there are many vacant spaces but everything is reserved starting the end of October. I'm able to stay here for $16.60 per night. In addition to nice restrooms and showers, they have WiFi. What more could I ask for?? I'll be on a waiting list for the first cancellation. ~~ I had a telephone interview this afternoon and I've been hired. In fact, due to my availability, I might start on October 31st.

I see the days ahead as an opportunity to catch up on my blog. I'm not tired of my travels but I'm tired of driving!! The last two days were
"the straw that broke the camels back." Imagine: Driving 205 miles when the distance was only 26 miles. FYI: Seven thousand three hundred fifty-five miles since I left my apartment on Monday, April 5th, 2010. How many states have I visited?? Right now I'm too tired to count!!

It has been a beautiful, sunny day. It is 78 degrees inside the T@B as I publish this blog at 6:45 PM. I've had the windows and door open. I'm told the winters are mild.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sleepless in Lexington, Kentucky

The Wal-Mart parking lot was "too quiet." I couldn't sleep!! I am accustomed to hearing trucks entering and exiting--or parking near me for the night. Furthermore, this Wal-Mart is about one mile from Interstate 75 so no noise from the Freeway. Curious, isn't it, that traffic noises don't interfere with my sleep and lack of traffic noise keeps me awake!?!?

I had already gone to bed when I remembered that I didn't disconnect the KIA and T@B electric. The T@B floor area was full of the items usually on the bed during the day. I didn't want to move them to get out the door. The easiest thing to do was turn off the refrigerator. Maybe lack of noise from refrigerator contributed to my sleeplessness??

While I'm commenting on "trivia," I'll mention that Carmen (my Garmin GPS) is a blessing--and a mystery. I would NEVER locate the Panera's and Wal-Marts without her directions. Yesterday she brought me to this Panera via a series of seventeen (more or less) twists and turns off I-75. But I-75 is visible from this parking lot, perhaps a quarter mile away. Why didn't she direct me another four or five miles on I-75 and send me off the nearby ramp??

Yesterday, I told the Panera Manager:
"I love Panera!!" I shared with him that I drove Panera to Panera, Goshen to Dayton, and Panera to Panera, Dayton to Lexington. I shared that my blog is full of references to my regular stops at Panera--and how I appreciate finding them via the GPS. "I give Panera a lot of publicity" was one of my comments. As I was leaving last night, the Manager beckoned to me and said he wanted to give me a gift. He put several pastries in a bag for me. This morning, I only bought coffee and heated one pastry in the microwave.

Little acts of kindness mean so much to me!!!! Remember my friend Debbie--from Exeter, New Hampshire?? She follows my blog and has been doing research to find a submersible water pump for me. She has invested her precious time and energy to help resolve my "spitting, sputtering, and leaking" pump problem. THANKS DEBBIE !!

Sunshine this morning. Several things I need to do in the KIA and T@B. I'll drive to a vacant corner of a parking lot and do some rearranging. When I leave Panera, I'm heading for the Galilean Children's Home in Liberty, KY.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Greetings from Lexington, Kentucky

Traveling Panera to Panera!! I left Panera in Dayton at noon; I'm at Panera near Lexington at 3:45 PM. One hundred fifty-three miles Panera to Panera; 183 miles traveled today. Carmen (my Garmin) tells me there is a Wal-Mart less than one mile away. ~~ It stopped raining earlier but it is a dark, gloomy day!! It's comfortable sitting in Panera but I know it will be cold in my T@B when I retire to it later this afternoon or evening. (The last two nights I've had electricity and used my small ceramic heater during the night and when I dressed.)

I'm not far from the Galilean Children's Home in Liberty, KY. I intend to drive there tomorrow. Their mission statement: "Founded in 1986, Galilean Children's Home is a home for children that are either castaways or come from homes whose parents are unable to care for them, or a few are placed by loving families who needed assistance in caring for their severely disabled child. We provide food, shelter, clothing, medical care recovery and therapy care, Christian education and recreation for infants and children. Over 800 children, including more than 400 newborns, have been rescued from their fate by the compassionate and caring hearts of Sandy and Jerry Tucker, who founded the Home."

Galilean Children's Home
Annual Quilt Auction
Held Each October in Liberty, KY

This year's auction date: Friday, October 8, 2010, (one day only).

To date we are heading into our 21th annual Quilt Auction Benefit! We begin our yearly Quilt Auction with a pancake breakfast at the Children's Home, followed by our 10:00 AM auction featuring handmade Amish/Mennonite Quilts, crafts and furniture from all over the US, homemade fudge, concessions, unique gift items and more. Tours of the Home will be given throughout the day. For more information, call 606-787-5120.

Feels like winter !!

(11:00 AM) A cold, rainy day as I head South toward Kentucky. Maybe not a day too soon?? I'm in a Panera just off I-675, outskirts of Dayton, Ohio. More about my weekend in a later posting.

I'm chilled to the bone!! Earlier, I spent over an hour in a cemetery where many of my ancestors are buried. Rain..., and cold..., but I wanted to sweep leaves off the tombstones, and take pictures.

My destination for tonight, and tomorrow, is uncertain. I ***know*** (in my spirit) that there isn't anything else for me in Ohio. ~~ Have you ever reached out in love and found that your arms were too short?? That's what happened to me this weekend!!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Goodbye Indiana; hello Ohio !!

On-the-road again. Today: Panera to Panera!! Panera in Goshen, Indiana, at 6:00 AM; Panera in Dayton, Ohio, at 4:00 PM. Two-hundred-five miles today. Numerous stops. ~~ I visited with the staff at Sullivan RV in Decatur, Indiana (they used to sell T@Bs). Scott, adjusted the water pump (installed yesterday in Elkhart). It was spitting and sputtering and a real frustration to me last night and this morning. The water pump was "only $60" but the overall cost was almost $200. with extras (I won't use), and two men "with good intentions" but didn't finish the project.

I went back to the RV Surplus store on Thursday afternoon--planning to buy every accessory I might need for the water pump hookup. The sales lady remembered me from earlier purchases (last week). When she learned that I was planning on a "shade tree repair" (at the Great Smoky Mountains T@B rally) she suggested an independent RV repairman. He was available and arrived almost immediately with his cargo trailer workshop. Repairs were made in the parking lot!! Half-a-dozen times we had to run back into the store and get another item. For all **my** good intentions, I would not have had all the necessary fittings for a "shade tree repair."

I know I sound like a broken record: Much more information will be published as soon as possible.

Below: Really cramped quarters for the repairman!! Above: Leaving the RV Surplus parking lot.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Very happy camper !!

I have so much to write about as I have time. I learned so-o-o-o-o much at the recent computer workshop. Furthermore, one of the attendees has been nicknamed "the computer wizard" and he (Roger) spent over six hours working on my computer. There were so many problems!! Now the computer boots fast, runs fast, and is free of burdensome software that was cluttering it. Praise the Lord !! ~~ I'll be leaving the Elkhart Campground this morning. Life on-the-road will be more enjoyable after my "vacation" in northern Indiana. (Just need to get my water pump installed and operational.)

(Later info.) Thursday morning was spent at the rig of the host and hostess of the computer seminars (the Escapee Computer BoF "after rally"). My computer had a thorough repair the night before and (to my dismay, Thursday morning) I couldn't upload pictures from my camera. It took a while but the problem was resolved. (We had wiped out all the "cookies.") ~~ I pulled off my campsite moments before noon--moments before I'd be charged for another day.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Valuable information

Soon our group will assemble for instructions regarding "Working with Photos." Boy, do I need that!! Later we will discuss "Blogging & Social Networking." Then a session on "Using RSS to Read Blogs, [&] Converting files to PDF." ~~ Everything wraps up in the late afternoon and we plan to go to dinner together.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Awesome, educational, inspirational....

I feel so blessed!! Despite the frustration of a slow, weak WiFi, I'm learning so much at the computer workshop. The fellow attendees are delightful. I purchased a book titled "Sights and Insights" by Linda A. Scott (a fellow attendee). ~~ More later.

FYI: When I resume my travels (in a couple of days) I'll briefly visit friends in the Dayton, Ohio, area. I plan to be in Liberty, Kentucky, before October 8th. If there is a need... I may volunteer at the
Galilean Children's Home.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Attending an "After Rally"

I have WiFi for the first time in several days. I'm attending a three day computer workshop with other members of the Escapee RV Club. We're at the Elkhart Campgrounds, in Elkhart. Last week we were at the Elkhart County Fairgrounds, in Goshen.

The WiFi signal is very poor (and I'm "not a happy camper") so I can't promise to be able to update blogs. My sincere apology!!

Postscript, 8:30 PM: My brain was bombarded with new information today. I learned a lot!! I'm back in my tiny little T@B after ice cream and socializing this evening. I comment on "my tiny little T@B" because everyone else has a LARGE rig!! It's a fact: I spend less money on gasoline!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Rainy day in Goshen, IN

Rainy day for last hours of Escapee's Escapade. The weather reflects our mood as all the festivities wind down. Now we have to say "goodbye" to friends. Beautiful sunny days and moderate temperature Sunday through Wednesday.

Dutchmen (that built the T@Bs until 2009) didn't have a water pump for me. They sent me to Menards (and they couldn't help...) and Menard's sent me to a store that caters to the boater and fisherman. The old gentleman (at the latter) is going the second and third mile to attempt to provide a pump. I always hate to impose on people so said "That's OK. I'll just rely on a gallon container of water as I need it." He insisted.... I'll let you know when I have running water again--at the sink.

For the T@BBer family, here's the address for Service & Parts:
Dutchmen Manufacturing
2402 Dierdorff Rd (County Road 27)
Goshen, IN 46526

I share this information because there is no sign on the building. I drove around in circles trying to locate.... After I found... and they couldn't help with a water pump, I was given a T@B Manual and Dutchmen coffee mug. Note: Originally, I drove to the Dutchmen address in the Goshen phone book and no signs other than "Visitor Parking." No reception area!! I finally found an employee and she said "Go back to the main road and make a left. Go to next street and make another left."

Postscript, Monday, 9/27/2010: The old water pump (submersible) on the left; the new purchase on the right. Strangely, that little pump was "too small" and I (later) bought a larger one. The larger pump spits, sputters, and LEAKS!! I worked yesterday (seemingly for hours) trying to stop the leak and regulate the flow. The original pump was so quiet--and faithful. The new pump is a "challenge"!! ~~ See my more recent blog.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Lorraine's on Vacation !!

Lorraine's on vacation!! The "Escapade" is Exciting!! The Fellowship is Friendly!! The KIA is Keen!! Life is Lovely!! Plumbing problems are Phorgotten!! Seminars are Stimulating!! The T@B is a Treasure!! The Weather is Wonderful!! The WiFi is a Whiz!!

Been there, done that !!

At the Escapade, I attended a seminar regarding Picasa--the software I use for my digital photos. I learned valuable information and began to experiment with some of my pictures. This collage shows a few of the "banners" that were created each year for each Escapade. The banners hang high above the attendees, in the auditorium. I used telephoto for each picture and later enlarged and cropped in Picasa. Just a fun little project!! These are the Escapades I've enjoyed: Lancaster, CA, 2000, 2003, 2004; Chico, CA, 2001; San Bernardino, CA, 2002; Van Wert, OH, 2006; Goshen, IN, 2000, 2010.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Enjoying everyone & everything, Escapee's Escapade

I"m at the Escapee's RV Club 50th Escapade in Goshen, Indiana. Free WiFi !! And it's a good strong signal. Oh happy day!! I haven't heard the official attendance but a very nice crowd. Beautiful weather!! ~~ This morning, I enjoyed a very good seminar titled "Picasa: A Free Program for Managing Your Digital Photos." (I use Picasa and learned techniques.) In a few minutes I'm off to the seminar titled "Having Fun Volunteering." Tomorrow: "Computer Safety & Security," "Surviving Your Life in an RV," and "Get The Most From Your Digital Camera." Thursday: "Switching to (Free) Open Office Suite," and "Boondocking Panel Discussion." Many opportunities for fun and fellowship!!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Fresh water, water tank problems !!

Off and on, for two days, I've tried to resolve the problem of no running water from my faucet. I'll eventually have the solution--and I suspect it will be very simple!! I've checked the fuses, and replaced a blown 20 amp fuse. I've checked the plugs. The water tank is half-full, the cap is screwed on tight; everything is as it should be. However, no running water!!

To check... I pulled everything out of the closet and cupboards. (The converter is in the closet; the plug for the water tank is at the back of the cupboard with canned goods, under the sink.) As I put things away, I "rearranged" and pulled a lot of things to donate to a Thrift Shop or worthy organization. I've just been hauling too much stuff!!

Sunday afternoon I'll drive to Goshen for the opening day of the Escapee's Escapade. Stay tuned; I'll tell you later about the events.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Greetings from Indiana

I've been "in neutral" the last couple of days; I didn't prepare any blogs. Panera is about 15 miles away; McDonald's air conditioning is extremely cold (McDonald's is less than a mile away). I have electricity at "cousin Doris'" home so I've spent a lot of time organizing my pictures into folders. Yes, I found the lost pictures!! I learned last night that the local library has WiFi but we have to ask for the daily password. I'm coming to you from beautiful downtown Wakarusa, Indiana.

Good news, bad news. Good news: On Labor Day Monday, I spent several hours cleaning the grime off the T@B. When I left McDonald's, there was a self-service car wash about a mile away. I used the soup brush and lathered the trailer but, unfortunately, it didn't take off the construction dirt acquired when I drove through Canada. So I used a spray bottle advertised "for RVs" and sprayed, and wiped, and sprayed, and wiped. Then I drove back through the self-service and gave Mercedes a second bath. Now the aluminum and trim is smooth as satin.

Bad news: I didn't make a reservation to camp on the Fairgrounds in Goshen, for the Escapees Escapade. They were "sold out" when I went on-line... so I phoned. No, there isn't room for even my tiny trailer!! Good news: I can stay in Doris' yard, with electricity and access to bathroom and shower. It will be about 30 miles round trip each day to attend the Escapade.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Frustrated, and cold !!

I've been working on the previous blog almost all morning. It's 1:50 in the afternoon and I'm cold as an icicle because of the air conditioning in McDonald's. I'm frustrated because I uploaded the pictures from yesterday--AND LOST THEM SOMEWHERE IN THE COMPUTER. I CAN'T FIND THEM!!!!!!!!! Time to walk away for awhile?!?!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Greetings from Goshen, Indiana

Specifically, greetings from Panera Bread in Goshen. I've been here (Panera) before; this is like a homecoming. I left Holland, Michigan at approximately 8:30 this morning and took a State Route south to Indian. I owned the road!! There wasn't any traffic; the road was great; the weather was perfect!!

This is brief because Panera is now limiting WiFi access to half-hour on weekends (new to me). I'll be back as soon as possible.

Postscript, 11 o'clock, Labor Day Monday, Sept. 6th, 2010: Above is the message I published yesterday. Below are the details of the day from my handwritten notes. I'm in a McDonald's, in Wakarusa Indiana, using their free WiFi.

"It was a beautiful sunny morning as I prepared to leave Sam's Club parking lot in Holland, Michigan. The wind had subsided, the rain had long-since stopped. However, it had been a cold night and I had two blankets on top of my sleeping bag!
* Sixty-three degrees at 10:25 PM when I went to bed.
* Sixty-four at 11:15,
* Sixty at 3:00 AM,
* Fifty-seven at 6:00 AM,
* Fifty-six at 7:02 when I got out of bed because a big truck arrived and left the engine idling so no going back to sleep.
* Fifty-three at 7:30 with the thermometer on the ground outside the T@B. My cute little weather station (that records info from a satellite) said the current temperatures was 46 degrees in Grand Rapids.
* Sixty-four at 8:20 when almost ready to leave Sam's.

"Carmen (my Garmin) was not happy when I turned off U.S. 31 onto M-40 (Michigan 40) shortly after leaving Sam's. A nice man--in Barnes & Noble--suggested M-40 as a direct route 'and nice farm countryside.' I decided to challenge Carmen hoping she would 'recalculate' and decide that the alternate route would lead to Wal-Mart in Goshen. (She was programmed for Wal-Mart in Goshen.) Carmen was 'recalculating' every few miles; she was determined that I would turn around and eventually get on I-196. Carmen was tracking my every move, she knew the names of all the crossroads before I got there. So I listened to her irritating voice for two hours twenty minutes. When I was approximately two miles (five minutes?) from Wal-Mart (at 10:56) the GPS was advising that I would arrive at my destination at 1:35 (two-and-one-half hours). She NEVER 'recalculated' to put my KIA in relationship to my destination--Goshen Wal-Mart.

"I arrived at Panera at 11:05. I've been there previously and thought I'd get there on 'autopilot.' Things didn't look the same; the railroad tracks were on the wrong side of U.S. 33. I overshot it by three miles and had to backtrack. PBKTL (please be kind to Lorraine): This Panera is NOT in my Garmin GPS; I was relying on my memory (and let's be honest, a lot has happened in one year).

"While the computer was booting, I got my customary whole grain bagel, veggie cream cheese, and hazelnut coffee. Boy, did that taste good!! IF my memory serves me correctly, the last Panera was at Plymouth, Massachusetts. (Nope, it was
Danvers, Massachusetts.)

"I knew my WiFi time would be limited because Panera limits us to thirty minutes between 11:30 and 1:30. To my surprise, a new message said customers are limited to thirty minutes on weekends. So I prepared a brief blog and checked e-mail messages.

"When 'they' (Panera) logged me off the Internet, I packed up and went next door to Great Clips for a haircut. I'm please with the nice way she cut and styled my hair.

"Because the weather was warm and beautiful, I took time (in a discrete corner of the parking lot near Panera) to arrange things in the T@B, and sweep the floor. I can't eliminate all the clutter but I can organize and clean before 'cousins' look at Mercedes.

"I tried several times to contact cousins. No answer and no voice mail to leave a message. Then I drove to Wakarusa, to the home of a cousin (didn't have her phone number). She wasn't home. I sat in my folding chair, in the shade of an enormous old tree. I read for awhile and I sat quietly doing nothing for awhile. It was so peaceful. While writing the details of the day, and watching the sunset, I finally reached 'cousin' Dale.

"'Cousin' Dale arrived about 7:45 and stayed for approximately two hours. Here's an interesting note: Dale and I were en route to Menno-Hof, in Shipshewana, eleven months ago when I saw
this T@B parked along the road--with a 'for sale' sign. All these months later, Dale was my first visitor! He made a point of driving to my location; he sat in the trailer for two hours reminiscing with me. My first visitor!!

"You ask 'How can that be? You always have 'visitors.' Yes, many people stop to converse about 'That cute little trailer.' They step in and check the headroom and admire the efficiency. Nobody sits down for a prolonged social visit. I think it is so appropriate that 'cousin' Dale was the first.

"Going to bed at 10:10; 70 degrees. Sixty-eight degrees at 2:00 AM and I reached for a blanklet to put over the sleeping bag. Sixty-seven at 7:40."

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Lorraine has visitors !!

AOL has a voice that tells the subscriber "You've got mail." Lorraine has a voice (blog) that tells the reader: "I have visitors!!" While eating lunch, I had a couple peek in the window--and quickly apologize. I opened the door and assured them it was "OK." We talked for quite a while and they departed as another couple arrived. People drove by and rolled down their windows to say "That's so cute." At 12:55 (and all alone) I was an icicle!! First I was in the doorway but moved outside to explain the "jockey wheel" and track for the awning and/or add-a-room. ~~ Chilled to the bone, I knew that Barnes & Noble is my "port in the storm." This is where I'm supposed to be.

I moved to the Cafe area of Barnes & Noble, found an electric outlet, and turned on the computer. I saw my "second couple visitors" and we continued the conversation. I was able to demonstrate (on the computer) some of the information I shared with them earlier. We went to the T@B Forum..., we checked the Marketplace..., we had great fellowship. They left at 2 o'clock and I started this message.

Earlier in the day, my "second couple visitors" had been walking in the Park. Many large trees blew down in last night's windstorm. They said wind had been in excess of 75 miles per hour. No wonder my little T@B was shaking last night. (I tried to find more details--on-line--but only found one story.)

Footnote: It's 6:45 PM and I'm still glued to my chair in Barnes & Noble. I'm hungry and plan to go to the trailer and fix a bowl of soup. I was able to publish more details for Greetings from St. Ignace, Michigan, and publish Little Old Lady Lost.

7:15 PM, and it was a windy, 62 degrees, when I went to the T@B to prepare a can of soup. (It's difficult for me to spend $3. [or more] for a cup of soup in an Internet Cafe. Call me "cheap"!!)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Greetings from Holland, Michigan

Counting my blessings!! It has been a long day (although only 245 miles). I had considered stopping at Wal-Mart in Muskegon, Michigan. However, I hate to be "on the road" on a holiday weekend so pressed on with Goshen, Indiana, as my destination. (There's a Wal-Mart and Panera in the same area [if my memory serves me correctly].)

It has been a rainy, windy day so I've "fought" the road every mile. I was looking for a convenient place to pull off for a potty-break. Gratefully, there was a Barnes & Noble!! I've asked "Carmen" (my Garmin) for Barnes & Noble, Borders Books, and Panera, and everything was over one hundred miles away. I repeat: "Counting my blessings!"

Now a little about the last twenty hours (from my notes):
* Going to bed at 8:45 PM, 78 degrees; 10:55, 74 degrees.
* Hard rain and lightening from 12:15 'til 12:45 AM; violent wind, too; 73 degrees.
* Storm had stopped before 1:35 AM; 72 degrees.
* No rain, 4:25 AM; 71 degrees. Noisy motorcycle awakened me!!
* Strong wind is shaking the trailer, 5:10 AM; 71 degrees.
* Looking at charcoal-gray clouds and sunrise behind clouds; sunrise at 7:25.
* Left Wal-Mart at Petoskey, Michigan, at 8;30.
* Rain at 9:11 but didn't last long.
* 'Cold' when I stopped at McDonald's for coffee and restroom.
* Bank thermometer display, at Traverse City, 11:04, said 64 degrees.
* A herd of buffalo, near Traverse City, at 6,000 'trip' miles!! Honestly!! Unfortunately, couldn't stop for pictures. ~~ I Googled... and they are part of Great Wolf Lodge.
* Menards from 11:11 until 12:40; a neat place to shop. (Menards might be described as a mix of Wal-Mart and Lowes (with reasonable prices.)
* At Ludington, MI, 2:20 PM, an RV dealership had many R-Pods on display. R-Pods with slide-outs! Didn't stop. Mine is cuter!!

Very Scary !!

Postscript, 9/04/2010, 9:15 AM: I wrote the following--last night--after I left Barnes & Noble, Holland, Michigan.

"I haven't seen or heard the news. At Straits State Park, thirty-six hours ago, people were talking about a hurricane with unpredictable destination. Am I--in Holland, MI--experiencing weather conditions from the East Coast? The T@B is shaking violently!! It feels like I'm on a boat in choppy waters!! I'm getting seasick. (Remember, as recently as May 28th, I was on a boat [Maid of the Mist] at Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.)

"I left Barnes & Noble at 7:47 because it was getting dark--and it was raining. It was time to find the Wal-Mart and settle for the night. As I suspected, Wal-Mart was less than a mile away (with Sam's Club across the driveway). Because of the violent wind, shopping carts are being propelled across the lot and I pray one doesn't hit my vehicles.

"It's 9 o'clock and I repeat 'very scary.' It's raining hard and the T@B is rocking. At times like this, I wish I had TV reception.

"It's 9 o'clock and I can see a steady stream of traffic on US 31. It was bumper-to-bumper at 4:30 and I attributed part to 'getting off work' traffic. Yes, a lot of recreation vehicles on-the-road for the Labor Day holiday. Honestly, I hate to travel on holiday weekends. 'Very scary!!'

* To bed at 9:20; 69 degrees.
* 10:30 and I can't go to sleep. Through my front window, I'm watching the tree branches whipped by the wind.
* Extremely hard rain at 10:35!!
* 11:50 and I did fall asleep briefly but shaking awakened me; 66 degrees.
* 12:35 AM and calmer, no rain; 65 degrees and I reached for a blanket to cover me and the sleeping bag. (The same light-weight blanket that was 'too warm' [during the night] just three days ago [but those details not published yet].)
* Awaken at 3:05 by kids whooping and hollering in the parking lot. Still some wind but calmer; 64 degrees.
* 4:40 AM and the storm is still buffeting the trailer and wind is whipping the trees; 62 degrees.
* 7:09 and the clouds that were charcoal gray a few minutes ago are now tinged with shades of pink. It's beautiful!! The Eastern horizon is bright orange. (I only took one picture. With a better camera, I'm sure I could have captured many pictures of the awesome sunrise. Thirty minutes of time-lapse photos would have been spectacular.)
* I was up briefly about 7, then back to bed. 'Up' at 7:54; 62 degrees."

Another postscript, 11 AM, 9/04/2010: I could sit in this Barnes & Noble all day and work on my blog. However, I think I should continue down the highway toward Goshen, Indiana. The sky is very cloudy, the wind is still blowing, but milder than yesterday. I went to get to my destination and "get off the road."

For the record: I started this adventure on April 4th so five months "on the road."

Yet another postscript written on 9/04/2010: "Sixty-six degrees inside T@B at 11:25 when I left Barnes & Noble. Sixty-one degrees outside at 11:40 because I put the thermometer on the ground next to the step. The wind was so strong the thermometer had blown over. ~~ Boy was I wrong!! I left the comfort of the B&N Cafe planning to continue to Goshen. Just outside the bookseller, the wind and cold almost took my breath away. Then the force of the wind blew the T@B door out of my hands. From inside Barnes & Noble the trees didn't appear to be blowing hard. Looks are deceiving!! Do I want to drive in the wind?? Maybe this shopping center is the safest place to be!! I prepared salad and had a 'rockin' good lunch. Yes, the trailer was rocking in the wind. I heated water for tea and that took away some of the chill in the T@B."

The decision became apparent; I returned to Barnes & Noble and wrote Lorraine has visitors.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Greetings from St. Ignace, Michigan

I stayed at Straits State Park last night. A hefty $36.!! I had BIG plans while I was in this area but have decided to forgo visiting Mackinac Island and continue toward Goshen, Indiana. (A BIG storm is brewing, I'm told.) I'll fill in details when I have WiFi again. I learned (at the campground) that the Big Boy Restaurant has WiFi so (on my way out of town) I stopped for the soup and salad lunch. And use the WiFi!! Wanted to "touch base."

Above is the message previously published. In Barnes & Noble, Holland, Michigan, Saturday, Sept. 4th, I uploaded the pictures. First: The bridge from Canada to the U.S.; second: Border station; third: Straits State Park.

From my notes: "I only drove fifty-one miles today. I intentionally took my time at the Straits State Park because I didn't have to be out until 1 o'clock. (Honestly, I wanted to get "my money's worth" [ha!].) I took a shower but the numerous other campers had depleted the hot water!! Then I took what I anticipated would be a short walk. Read about the experience in Little Old Lady Lost.

"There's always several things to do when 'breaking camp' so that took time and energy. Then long conversations with other RVers at the area to dump black water tanks--and porta-potties. Finally my potty was empty and the fresh water tank was full.

"It had been my desire to make the ferry trip to Mackinac Island. By the time I drove out of the State Park--at 12:47--I was too tired to think about walking around the Island. I opted, instead to go to Big Boy for all-you-can-eat-Soup-and-Salad-Bar. The campgrounds map had an advertisement for Big Boy and said 'free WiFi.' I didn't spend hours..., I saved several time slots and checked for messages."