Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Full-Time RVers, Travel Nursing

Hey, I Need A Boat Here In Ohio

Apparently Ohio is competing with Eastern Washington for the rainfall totals. It is so wet here I saw a new ride share service Canoeuber paddling down the road near me. We are finally getting a ‘break’ from the rain. Independence Day week we are only saw a handful of days of rain, although those days were heavy. The forecast over this coming weeks is looking much dryer.

Since my last update we had an interesting electrical issue. So apparently when assembled the personal may not pay attention to detail. In our case loose wire nuts. I started smelling this electrical burn smell and noticed my main line surge protector was not showing normal lights. After some trial and error I realized that the problem was on my end and not the campground. This meant a couple of nights of no power. Fortunately the lights are on the 12 volt side and the battery was fully charged so we had lights. RV Mobile Tech came out and found the problem. Where the main power wire come ins there is a metal junction box where that wire connects to the wire that goes to the panel and inverter. The wire nut on the neutral loosened up causing the wire to make contact with the metal junction box. He got us fixed up and back in service!

Went to dinner with my sister Betsy and her family. In a little town near is a quaint pizzeria called Fracasso’s Village Pizza. They had a really good pizza pie there. After dinner we went to the Alum Creek Dam and Recreation Area. Water was at super high flow because of all the rain.

Great Blue Heron we saw as we were leaving the rec area. Picture by my niece Katy

My other sister Tami, her hubby Bob and her daughter Arieanne came down for some of my awesome John Wayne Casserole with watermelon for desert.

Me catching both my sister and her husband with watermelon in their mouth. 🙂

July 2nd was not friendly to us. Dianne came home from work 3 hours early with the stomach bug. 3 hours later it hit me, with a vengeance. Great weight loss program. Dianne could finally start eating again on Saturday and I could on Sunday. It made for a rough week.

July 1-6 was the annual 13 Colonies Amateur Radio Special Event Station. Lots of fun trying to make contact, competing with 100s of other amateurs world wide, with each station. I got all 13 colonies and the extra station out of Philadelphia, PA station. I just could not get the extra station out of Great Britain.

That wraps up this update. Until next time, stay cool!

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Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Full-Time RVers, Travel Nursing

Ohio For Fathers Day

Greetings from Harlem Ohio!! We have been here a few weeks now. We have been doing the family thing with all my folks in Ashland, Ohio. Been great to spend time with my sisters and their families as well as my parents. I also got to spend Fathers Day with my dad. Have not done that since 1987. I can tell you he looked pretty happy to have 3 of his kids eating breakfast with him at the American Legion. I can also tell we three kids were pretty happy about giving him that time! There is a lot to be said about taking time with our parents. I, for one, have not done the best job. I will be changing that.

So before we left Rapid City we made one last trip up to Mount Rushmore. It is such an awesome symbol of our great country. It is a sight to behold and humbles you each and every time you see it.

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We finally went downtown to see the President Statues. Every President has a statue in downtown Rapid City, President Obama’s will be placed this summer. The City of Rapid City encourages its citizens to place hats, gloves and scarfs on these statues from the fall until April. Like many towns Rapid City has a homeless population, many are Native Americans. So this is an awesome way the community can give back to those that need it the most. We took some pictures of some of our favorite Presidents.

And leave it to Dianne to find anything Basset Hound related. Rapid City has all their traffic control boxes painted or wrapped. Dianne found one with a Basset Hound on it!

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We began our travels East. Day 1 was just a short drive to the western side of South Dakota across the Great Plains. The farther East we traveled the realization hit that we were leaving the massive and majestic mountains of the West.

Day 2 took us to North Sioux City, Nebraska. We stayed in a City Park right on the Missouri River that had an RV Park. Not only was the RV Park top notch and well kept, but the whole park was. Beautiful facilities, dog areas, softball/baseball diamonds and little cabins to rent. It was also very inexpensive to stay there.

Day 3 was a challenging day. It was windy, rainy and cold. The rain finally stopped the last 30 minutes of the trip. The devastation from all the flooding this spring was obvious. Many farms were still flooded when we went by. We were greeted by a giant pig at our destination RV park.

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Day 4 was quite eventful. I noticed that my already crappy gas mileage pulling the RV was getting worse. So on a whim I checked the air filter. Things was stopped up dirty. So I said to myself “Bob, just take the air filter out and replace it when you get to the next destination in Indianapolis”. The first two-thirds of the trip it was very windy. The last one-third was no wind, but we got the first blast of a strange thing we had not felt in a long time….. HUMIDITY. Then, 5 miles from our destination, the truck went into a low power mode. Oh, great for me. Limped to the RV Park praying for it to be nothing major. A little research on Google and found out that it was probably from too much air flow/dirty air coming to the intake. So after dinner at the place I had been waiting to eat at for almost 4 years, I obtained a new air filter. And I bet anyone who knows me knows what restaurant I missed………

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….That’s right Waffle House!!! I had the Chicken Sandwich Plate, Scattered, Smothered and Covered and a waffle!! Man oh Man I missed Waffle House.

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Got back to the RV just in time for a thunderstorm. Been awhile since we had been around one of those two. Morgana and Mahana did not like it one bit, Monty slept right through it.

Day 5 was a short drive to our destination in Ohio. We slept in a little, took the dogs for a nice walk and I put in the air filter. As we do each day we said a prayer and were on our way. I-70 from Indianapolis, Indiana to Dayton, Ohio SUCKS! That has to be the worst maintained stretch of road I have traveled on in our 4 plus years we have been doing the travel nursing gig. The truck had zero issues and got the best gas mileage of the whole trip. Conclusion – tow rig needs to breath, it just needs to do it through a filter!!

We got here Memorial Day weekend. The weather was not bad that weekend. I worked with my sisters to pull off a little surprise party for Dianne’s 50th Birthday or as we now call it the 1st anniversary of her 49th birthday!! Lots of fun was had by all.

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Me and my sisters with our babysitter Abbie

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Dad

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Mom

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My Nephew Nick with his Niece, my great Niece, Elle.

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Elle’s dad, my nephew, Blake after breaking a plastic chair. He did hold on to the hotdogs he was about to cook!!!

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Dianne and her cake!

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My wife got some wonderful presents from her friend, who is also a travel nurse. She sent Dianne a stuffed basset hound and basset earrings. They also sent a set of pug earrings. Here is Blake modeling them!!

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My Brother-in Law John and myself rapping to some old school rap!!!

Since our arrival my sister Betsy and her family have been down a couple of times to visit. I even cooked for them. Yes it was edible and enjoyed by all! My sister Tami and her family are trying to come down next week.

Other than the rain, lots and lots of rain, we are enjoying our time here in Ohio. Looking forward to many more days of fun with my family between now and August. Dianne seems to be enjoying her assignment at the Ohio State University James Cancer Center. The staff has been super nice and helpful to her. She has noticed that ‘Buckeye Pride’ is a real thing. Everything in the hospital is scarlet and gray. The OSU “O” is in the architecture of several places in the building. Even statues of Brutus, the Buckeyes Mascot, adorn the entrances to the hospital buildings. I just smile at her each time she tells about something new she has discovered that shows the pride of OSU. Man it is great to be back in the land of my beloved Buckeyes, Indians and Browns!!

Until next time, be safe and enjoy your summer.

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Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Full-Time RVers, Travel Nursing

Where The Wild Things Roam, Freely Still

We Saw The Buffalo!!!!! They were roaming freely, chewing the cud, just like they did decades ago!!! We were traveling around Custer State Park looking for these majestic creatures. A decision was made to leave the paved road and take an improved road. For the next hour or so we so no other human being, but we saw unrestricted nature.

Custer State Park keeps about 1400 head of Buffalo. This is the amount that the parks land can sustain. They do a round up each your and sell off some Buffalo. We saw only a small number of the 1400. But man, what an absolute beautiful site. There was a time where 100’s of thousands of buffalo roamed these lands.

Then we encountered several towns of Blacked-Tail Prairie Dogs. Prairie Dogs are rodents. They stay in large social groups called towns. They have a bark like call. They are curious little creatures. We probably saw several hundred scattered between several towns.

We ended up in a foggy part of the park at one point. There we found the White Tail Deer.

Also roaming freely and enjoying the safety of the park are wild turkeys. Here is Tom with his lady friends.

Throughout the park are three one lane tunnels through the rock. Each is unique. Here is the Needles Eye Tunnel.

Dianne also decided to do some ‘Rock Climbing’….

If you are in Rapid City, plan a few hours in Custer State Park. The time there will be worth it, and the sights to see there are abundant.

We are just days away from leaving South Dakota and starting the trek to Ohio. Started the usual pre-travel stuff. The route is planned and the stops are set. Hoping to catch up with some old Army buddies in Illinois, we shall see. Takes about a week to get two vehicles and the RV ready for a move. Of course it would only take a few days if I was not such a procrastinator. 🙂 Many items in the RV have to be packed up so they do not get broke. Other items have to be shifted for weight distribution purposes. Just part of the full-time RV life style.

My wife did an online Pampered Chef Party. She had huge sales and got lots of free stuff. One item was the waffle maker. Waffles are super easy with this item and are very tasty. The dogs also like waffles.

I see you have the waffle. We, sir, like the waffle too!!!

My daughter-in-law Kayla lost a grandparent in Iowa this past weekend. Steven, her and the kids, added 30 minutes to their route and came by Rapid City for a quick brunch and visit. Got to see the grand-babies. Nice way for us to start the week.

Should be seeing the Alabama grand-babies in the coming weeks. We are super excited about that.

Mahana had her yearly vet visit. She is a healthy 60 lbs!!! She did really well. We then took her to a self serve dog wash and gave her a bath. She did well there too. Sooooo the spoiled one got a special treat from DQ.

And finally we went to Ft. Hays this morning for the all you can eat Cowboy Pancakes for $.99!!! They were big and excellent. Cannot go wrong for $.99. Of course if you want juice, sausage, etc you pay more.

Well friends that is all for now. We hit the road in two days so look for the road trip photos soon.

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Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Full-Time RVers, Travel Nursing

Man, We Have Been Busy!

So much has happened since our last update in March. We extended 8 weeks here in Rapid City. Partly because we could not find an assignment where we wanted to go and partly because we were concerned about the weather and traveling. Man, are we thankful we decided to stay. We have had 3 major snow events in the last 6 weeks.

Between the snows we managed to do some stuff in the area. First was the visit of my cousin Rick Summerton and his family. I had not seen Rick since the 80s. He and his family live in Wyoming, just a few hours away. So Easter weekend Rick, his wife Stacy and their children Hunter and Emilia came up from Casper and spent the weekend here. Friday night we met up for dinner and caught up. Great time and it was like we have been hanging out since 1987. Rick’s kids found humor in the similarities we have. Saturday we went to check out a couple cool sites near Rapid City. First stop was the National Park Delta-09 Minuteman II Missile Silo Launch Facility. Having grown up during the cold war, the threat of a nuclear attack was part of my growing up. I even remember watching the movie The Day After and the feeling that I had afterward.

We then traveled to Wall, SD and visited the Famous Wall Drug Store. Wall drug has been around since 1931. It is a shopping oasis, tourist exhibits and eatery surrounding a drug store. We all had a fun time.

That evening, joined by a fellow traveling nurse from Dianne’s work and his family, was time around the fire making Smores, pie iron fruit pies and more catching up.

Easter Sunday we met up after church at the Reptile World. This was a super cool place. Lots of exhibits and shows. I personally liked the tortoises.

I truly had a great time catching up with Rick and meeting his family. Look forward to seeing them again.

Dianne and I also have done a little sight seeing, now that the weather has gotten better. We drive through Spearfish, Deadwood and Sturgis, yes motorcycle Mecca Sturgis. We got to see some beautiful falls in Spearfish Canyon, absolutely stunning scenery and some cool wild west history.

We are planning on visiting a few more places here before we pull out May 19. We are headed to Westerville, Ohio, just outside of Columbus. Dianne has taken an assignment at the Ohio State University Cancer Center. This will be a fun 13 weeks.

Well friends and family that is all for now. May the Force Be With You!!!

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Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Full-Time RVers, Travel Nursing

Blizzard Of 2019

Greetings y’all!! The last few weeks have been a blast. Between some great eating, a Blizzard and warmer weather we have had a great time.

The Blizzard of 2019! This fun weather event found Dianne working 38 hours straight at the hospital and me at home taking care of the hounds. And the snow, lots of snow, blowing drifting snow. Took me a day to get the dogs to go outside to use the bathroom. The winds were ferocious and add the snow equals unhappy doggies.

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We had a few eateries recommended to us, so we took a couple Saturdays and tried them out. The Alpine Inn in Hill City, SD was awesome. They have a limited dinner menu. This allows them to perfect the bacon wrapped steak. Add the baked potato and salad and you have a phenomenal meal. And the deserts are huge!! All this for less than 40 bucks. We highly recommend this restaurant.

Another Saturday found us going further up into the Black Hills to Custer, SD. There you will find the Black Hills Burger and Bun Company. This little establishment turns out some mouth watering burgers. We tried the Fried Pickles for an appetizer, fried pickles seem to be big here. They serve them with ranch sauce. They were AWESOME!! The burger selection is filled with selections like The Hot Granny, The Texan and The Black Hills Blues. They also have buffalo burgers you can substitute for the ground beef. The Granny’s Baked Beans were a great side to my Texan burger. Dianne enjoyed the sweet potato fries with her burger. It was snowing in Custer and made for a beautiful scene.

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We celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with the usual fare of corned beef and cabbage. Dianne, once again, nailed it. 20190317_215511915_iOS

We extended 8 more weeks here. We will be leaving around May 18. Hopefully we will know, in a couple weeks, where we are headed to next. It rained last night. First rain we have seen in months. Temperatures have been warmer as well. That is a huge help to the propane bill. The kiddos are all doing well. Overall, things are going well.

Anyway, until next time, safe travels…..

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Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Full-Time RVers, Travel Nursing

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!!!

So the last couple of weeks have been a mixed bag of weather. It can be sunny and in the 50’s one day and a cold snowy day the next. Of course the last few days and the next 10 days look to be highs in the teens and lows in the single digit to negatives. Been awhile since we have been in temperatures like that.

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Morgana
Monty
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LET IT SNOW, (JAN 22, 2019)

LET IT SNOW!!! (Feb 7, 2019)

We have not done much the last few weeks. Did visit a local candy maker Mostly Chocolates. They have some delightful selections there. We bought some to sample and they did not last long!!! We also found a pizza buffet, Pizza Ranch. Good pizza for buffet pizza, plus they have salads, hot veggies, various potatoes and chicken on the buffet as well.

Dianne flew home to Georgia January 25th to the 28th. She got to see family and friends. It had been for years since we left so it was awesome for her to go home. She had a good time and thanks everyone for the visits and meals.

We had a good snow over the last 36 hours. Most snow I have seen in years. Been pretty cold too, -11 degrees this morning and only warming up single digits. Life Lessons learned over the last few days, car batteries that are cheaper work in Georgia and the Pacific Northwest, but boy do you want those cold cranking amps in negative weather. Hoping to not have to buy a new battery to deal with the cold, we shall see.

RVing in the cold has a new set of challenges. Under-skirting the RV has been a huge help. The heated water line has also been an asset. The metal door frames and window frames frost over every night. Had to install a heat lamp to keep the black and gray valves from freezing closed. For anyone who does not RV: the black valve empties your black tank, the tank where all your toilet water goes and the gray valve opens the gray tank where all the sink water goes.

Anyway, a few more pics from the last few weeks. Until next time, stay warm!!!!

Mahana and Monty
Squirrels, Deer and the Neighbors Dog Scents
All 3 that close together, MIRACLE!!!!
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Travel Nursing

Empty Nest Awakening

We are finally getting into a ‘normal’ in South Dakota. We got here just before the Holidays and were busy finishing our shopping, getting stuff shipped, getting the RV set up, and figuring out Rapid City that we were surprised how fast we found ourselves in 2019. The dogs are loving the colder weather and all the smells out here in the sticks. We have heard Coyotes twice over the last week. They sounded fairly close, but then with the way sound travels through the hills here, they could be farther than we think

The one thing that has become obvious since the Holiday slowdown was that fact that we are truly Empty Nesters. It is awfully quiet around here. Especially when Dianne goes to work. The Hounds fill the void, but not having at least one youngin’ in the house is kind of depressing.

I also have been thinking a lot about mortality lately. A great friend from high school lost his dad this past week. It really got me thinking about my parents, whom are both still alive, and how I need to spend more time with them. That is one of the reasons we are heading back East. Dianne’s parents have been dead for awhile, but her siblings and mine are still alive and kicking. Our nieces and nephews are now starting their own lives and we want to part of that. We also want to be closer to our grandchildren in Alabama and still be in range to visit the grands in Utah as well. We will see where our travels take us.

We spent the past Saturday night in Billings Montana. We had a business dinner to attend. Great meal and awesome speakers. Great way to kick off 2019.

The weather here is looking to be fair for the next 10 days. Unusual for here from what we have been told. I’ll take it, as the cold and wind messes with Dianne’s Trigeminal Neuralgia. We are planning our trips to historic sites we want to see before we leave, so look for those updates over the coming weeks.

Until next time, be safe and look for us on the open road……

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