Saturday, May 1, 2010

Quick Post...

We left early!

We have had problems getting internet connections so we missed a post.

We will post more tomorrow when we get to our first campground.

Tonight we are riding out bad weather at a Walmart.

Hey the price is right!

Everything is going well.

It is so exciting finally being on the road!

Stay tuned!

Ken and Nanette

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Apparently Mother Nature Is Really Mad At Us!

So today the weather alert went off on my phone.

It seems starting tomorrow night it is going to start raining.

Then there is going to be a round of thunderstorms Friday night and Saturday morning.

Then on Saturday night and Sunday morning the REALLY big thunderstorms arrive.

Oh just in case that isn't enough by Sunday afternoon we are to have received 4 to 6 inches of rain!

So we are changing site locations tomorrow because with that much rain we would have no possibility of getting out of the site we are at.

We would sink to China!

No matter when we would leave it appears we will be facing the potential for very bad weather.

We are wondering who planned this?

We will just watch things carefully and take no chances.

We are completely ready to go now - no more lists - nothing else to do.

We are eager to go. Now the weather just needs to give us a break.

Stay tuned!

Ken and Nanette

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Transfer Switch Installed and Roof Leak Fixed.

Finally received the new Transfer Switch today.

It took a few hours to get in installed.  The time to install it was mainly due to the limited space and the way we are configured with the EMS -- it required a lot of rewiring.

With the number of connections that were required and the tight quarters it was very tedious work. 

Not to mention having to do all the curves and bends with 10/2 wire.  That size wire does not like to bend!

It is now installed and actually I can tell a big difference in the way it switches.  It is much more of a positive switch.  It has a built in delay and when it activates you can hear the relays engage.

With the old switch it was an instant connection and I heard nothing.

This switch seems more heavily built and the time delay is a little different than what we are used to but I think it was a very good upgrade.

I started the generator and it switched over just like it should. 

There is a longer delay for the generator side which allows the generator to stabilize and with this transfer switch it does a synchronization check with the generator before it connects the circuit.

So we now have all our major electrical components upgraded and working fine.  After seeing the difference in the old and the new I am very glad we upgraded the things we did.  I feel much more comfortable having new equipment in these critical areas.

Then...it was time to climb up on the roof to find that leak. 

I found it right away and it was evident that what had happened is that with the heavy rain the water had pooled against the seal.  Apparently it found a way to penetrate the seal. 

I cleaned up the area and re-sealed it.  There will be no more leak from that area.

I then moved to the front of the motorhome to redo the antenna connector that I didn’t get to when I installed the new antenna.

Guess what? 

There is no second connector up there! 

There is only the one at the antenna and the one inside the motorhome.  I must say I was a little surprised at this.

The only problem with this is if the coax goes bad the whole run would have to be replaced.  It isn’t the cost of the coax that would be the problem it would be the chore of having to reroute the entire coax run.

I guess in one way it is a good thing in that there is no second connector exposed to the weather to fail.

I guess you learn something new everyday!

All of this took the entire day but very worth the effort.

Tomorrow -- more cleaning in preparation for leaving Sunday.

Oh did I tell you -- we are supposed to have thunderstorms and heavy rain here on Saturday and Sunday.  Good timing huh?

So three more days here and we are off.

That is all I have for today -- I think I am going to hit the bed early tonight -- I am kind of whipped!

Ken and Nanette

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

List Is Done...Getting The Motorhome Cleaned Up and UPS Has A Malfunction At The Junction!

Our lists are officially done!

I got the last appointment out of the way today.  I went to my doctor for a checkup before we leave.

I told the doctor what we were getting ready to do and he was very supportive and quite curious.

He went out of his way to make sure I had his private number should something come up while we are away that I might need his assistance on.  How cool is that?

I have known my doctor for many years and we have always had very open conversations about many subjects.

Today as I told him about our plans and he had a bunch of questions. 

After I answered them he told me that it really intrigued him and that he was going to do some research on it.

I wrote down a few websites and some of your blogs for him to read through. 

Who knows -- someday we may pull in next to him and his wife!

We are in the process of cleaning up the inside and outside of our motorhome.

Having sat in one spot for a few months and after a hard winter it needs some cleaning!

Actually it won’t take to long to get things in shape.  Plus there are a few cabinets that need rearranging.

Can you believe after all this time we are still finding things we didn’t know we had packed? 

There are probably things we will never find that are packed away in the deepest parts of the RV. Surprised

We have gotten a lot of rain over the last few days and today I was looking at the ground under the motorhome.

Yep, it is very soft and muddy in spots.  I am hoping it dries up before Sunday.  But either way I will have to be careful once I start rolling out of the site. 

Just before we arrived here another motorhome had gotten stuck and really tore up the ground and left huge ruts.  I must avoid those ruts when pulling out or we will sink too!

I still have not received the new Transfer Switch.  It seems UPS overachieved at messing up.

After 2 calls by me to them and two calls from the supplier it is “supposed” to be delivered tomorrow.

I don’t think I could have written a better script than what UPS followed in figuring out how to not get something to someone.

First they came into the campground -- which they are not supposed to do -- our address here is #12 which is for the office. 

Once the UPS driver got past the gate he thought we were on site 12 which is empty.

So he decided we had moved and were no longer here. 

Obviously the thing to do was to send our Transfer Switch back to Texas!

Thank goodness the supplier and I were both watching the shipment online.  I called UPS at about the same time they did.

So I explained to the UPS rep in Atlanta what had happened.  They said no problem -- we will just have it redelivered to you.

Well...I just happened to check online again and to my amazement they were sending it out again -- but to our old house address! 

How did they get that anyway?

The supplier wrote me an email to tell me that they we also trying to get UPS straightened out with little luck.

Finally either the supplier or I was apparently successful in getting their attention.  It now sits in an “Intercept” condition with delivery scheduled for tomorrow.

So...if I get it I will get it installed tomorrow.

We discovered a very small leak around our bathroom vent today. 

Nanette just happened to look up and see the ceiling fabric damp.

The way she described it I thought we had a 6 inch hole in the roof!

Bless her heart though -- she is very attune to things like this and considers anything that doesn’t look right as something needing immediate attention. Nothing wrong with that though!

She really is the ultimate co-pilot!

What I think happened is that with the downpours we have had for 3 days the water has been laying against the side of the vent and apparently made its way past the seal.  It is not a drip but it is a very tiny trickle that comes and goes.

So guess who is going up on the roof again?

I am going to take the time to pull all the MaxAir covers and reseal the vents while I am up there.  I also still have that connector to redo on the antenna.  It should be a very productive day up on the roof for me!

See how I keep myself busy?

You know everyday we look at all the readers that come in to read our ramblings and we are so honored that you all take time out of your day to follow our little adventure.

It is hard to describe how this makes us feel.  It is like you all are right here with us. 

Thank you for sharing our adventures!

We can’t wait to start sharing pictures with you as we travel and get into something more exciting than just sitting here waiting to leave.

They will come I promise.  I know there are a couple of places we are going to stay that doesn’t have WiFi so there may be a delay a day or two before we can get them uploaded but we will.

Until tomorrow!

Ken and Nanette

Monday, April 26, 2010

Our Route and When Hard Times Come...

We have completed our travel plans!

We will pull out on Sunday, May 2nd heading for North Hudson, New York.

Here is a map of our route taken from our GPS software.

SP32-20100426-174842

Our Itinerary...

Date

Depart/Arrive

Distance

Route Duration

5/2

Camp Nelson RV Park to Stonelick State Park OH

150 mi

3:14:49  

5/3

Stonelick State Park, OH to Town & Country Campground, OH

204 mi

4:17:42

5/4

Town & Country Campground, OH to Evergreen Lake RV Resort, OH

118 mi

2:34:03

5/5

Evergreen Campground, OH to Hickory Hill Campground, NY (2 Nights Stay)

204 mi

4:11:51

5/7

Hickory Hill Campground, NY to Tall Pines Campground, NY

140 mi

2:57:36

5/8

Tall Pines Campground, NY to Paradise Pines Campground, NY

195 mi

3:57:09

We still have a few last minute things to finish but we are essentially ready to go.

I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow which is the last bit of business items we have to take care of.

Now it is just waiting for the 2nd to come around.

A couple of days ago I received an email from a reader asking me a very hard question.

The email writer asked me for advice in dealing with what happens when hard times come. There was a list of things that the writer and their family had experienced over the last year.

From their perspective it seemed like we had found a way to get up and over such things in our lives.

I suppose our writings could in effect seem to look that way.  We picked up at a specific point and time in our lives and have captured the events since that time.  Of course a lifetime is more than a few months.

We have certainly not found a secret to dealing with the challenges that life throws at us sometimes.  We work through them just like everyone else.

There are times it seems that the problems come in waves -- one hit after another.  These times seem the worst.  You can’t seem to get up before you get knocked down again.

It seems to me that if you realize that there are moments, even in hard times, that one can capture to find a time of relief it may offer a different perspective.  Moments that can be claimed as “free”, even if for a brief while, to find a rest from the world.

So I guess we can live life from peak to peak or we can live life by moments.

I have seen times where it seemed it was nothing but one big bad time. 

What I realized was I was sitting back and waiting for the next bad thing to come. 

But what was I doing during the times in between?

It was this question that caused me to think about the “moments” in life instead of a linear timeline that just marched along from point A to point B.

I have written about the fact that capturing the important moments is not a passive activity. 

It is something that takes an active approach. 

It takes looking for the opportunities to find happiness and to key in on the things that really matter.

To do this is not necessarily easy. 

The “world” is not looking out for our happiness. 

As the world moves forward day to day it can bury these moments and blind us to the opportunities to capture happiness that are right before us -- each and every day.

So...is there an answer to what to do when hard times come?

Maybe the thing to do is to make the best of when they aren’t here. 

To build up our internal resiliency for when they do come.  To always remember that bad times will pass at some point. 

Belief is a powerful thing -- both physiologically and psychologically.  The mind is somewhat of a servomechanism -- it does what it is told to do and no more. 

There are many studies in World Class Athletes that have shown the difference in performance levels based on an athletes belief in their ability to be successful.

This is called self-efficacy and it is a powerful tool in the battle against adversity.  It allows us to bring to bear all of our tools and abilities when we need them the most.  For this to happen though we must have a belief in our ability to make happen what we want.

Why even try to do something you “know” you can’t do?

One last thought...

The only moment we can be sure we have is this one -- no more. 

I say lets make the most of each one in our control -- the rest will come and we may not have control over those.

Even when hard times arrive I have to remember to keep the tool sharp that needs to be used to navigate through them. I need to tend to myself as much as the problem before me.

Today Nanette and I realized there are no more “next weeks” for us in regard to leaving. 

We have been saying “we will do that next week” for a while now. 

But today -- there is no more “next week”.   We have until Sunday -- then we roll!

There are some apprehensions with all of this simply because it is new. 

The traveling and the workamping both.

The traveling will be fun I am sure -- the workamping is something we just need to figure out and then decide the next move from what we gain in this first job.

I still believe it will lead to even better opportunities and bigger adventures!

Well that is all I have for today -- see you tomorrow!

Ken and Nanette

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Making Room and Loading The GPS Routes.

Remember that grill we bought?

Well we had to make room today for it and the cart.

Making room for them wasn't hard but finding room for my tackle bag that made the room is somewhat of a challenge.

Let's see - something in something out - easier said than done.

I am thinking I need to rearrange the bag so I can rearrange the storage space.

I think we will just never buy anything again!

We started loading our route legs into the GPS today.

It is starting to get exciting knowing the routes we will take and the campgrounds we will stay at.

I guess starting to "see" the future developing in front of our eyes makes it more real to us.

We are still not exactly sure what day we will leave. Kind of depends on weather and when the feeling hits us!

I had a question emailed to me this morning asking how much we can tell about our visitors.

We have been asked this before by some that are interested in starting blogs.

The answer to the question is - a lot.

We use a number of programs that tell us different things.

The things we can tell are:

- The city, state and country of the visitor.
- The type of computer operating system.
- The type of browser they are using.
- What date and time they arrived.
- If they are a new or returning visitor.
- Where they came from - bookmark,google or yahoo search,or a link from another website.
- If they found us through a search we know what words they typed in the search engine.
- What pages they looked at.
- How long they were on each page and the site total time.
- Where they went when they left.
- The IP address they used when they came in.

We also track activities in real time so we can watch as people come and go.

There are a gazillion reports we can run if we wish that will give us trends and new stuff that is happening.

So there you have it.

The new transfer switch arrives tomorrow and I will get that installed and tested.

I will also try to get some pictures uploaded of our cabinet door locks for you.

That's all for today!

Thank you for stopping by and tomorrow I want to address a very serious and touching email that we received.

Ken and Nanette

No Internet and Got A Grill...

The storms rolled through - boy did they roll through.

We were missed by the worst of it but as the storm front came in toward us it didn't look good.

It was black to the Southwest and the weather alerts were going off every few minutes.

The worst part of the storms went just to the west of us.

It was enough to take out our internet and my cell service. That is why our post is so late.

We didn't see the direct high winds as I think it went over the top of us since we are tucked down in a valley.

The campground manager came by again before the storms arrived to re-emphasize what to do in the event we needed to seek stronger shelter.

I also found out they had the radar on constantly and were monitoring the line of storms as they came at us.

We did get a LOT of rain - the longest and hardest we have seen since being in our RV.

We managed to make it to look at portable grills yesterday.

We decided on the Weber Q120.

After looking at it we decided it is the perfect size for how we cookout.

We don't tend to cook lavish large meals when we fix the food outside. We are mainly a burgers and hotdogs as well as a steak once in a while kind of cooking group.

I also remember the space I usually used on the large grill we had. I usually used half of the grill.

We were very impressed with the compact size. It is not very heavy either.

We got the optional cart which also folds up perfectly to fit in our lower profile basement compartments and will certainly fit in the large ones.

I also like that it can take two different size fuel canisters or can use the Extend-A-Stay adapter on our motorhome.

Thank you to everyone that shared suggestions for a grill!

I also picked up some aluminum rod to make our awning lock - Thank You Karen!

We also installed a little something else.

We purchased some small D-Rings. The kind that are used for hanging pictures and other small items.

We installed these under our cabinets so that we can use Velcro to "lock" our cabinet doors while traveling.

The way we installed them when not in use they tuck up so they are unseen.

Once the removable Velcro is put on and run through the D-Ring and then the handle the doors will not open - they are locked closed.

I looked at all kinds of locking devices on the internet and didn't like what I saw actually or the price!.

So we did some "field engineering" and knew what we wanted. We just needed to find something for the anchor point.

Nanette came to the rescue when she walked up to me and handed me the D-Rings she found at Lowe's.

Perfect!

Nanette ALWAYS comes through when I get ideas like this!

The whole setup cost about $15 and that included enough for our side-by-side cabinets and closet doors. Now that is a price I could live with and I think they are more secure and convenient than what I saw.

So now no more worries about cabinets flying open going down the road!

The other thing is we don't have to try to arrange things and either remove or tie down the heavy stuff like converter boxes or electronics that sit right over the head of yours truly while driving.

Nothing like worrying if you are going to get whacked in the head by a Wii while going down the interstate at 60 MPH!

Our drawers are not a problem since they lock very well based on their design.

Well that is all for today!

Ken and Nanette