Browsing "Campgrounds"
May 3, 2013 -

Hanging Out With the Cat

That post title really has sent me into ‘crazy cat lady territory’ hasn’t it? 😀 But it’s true. Neelix and I have always been more of polite roommates than companions. Since it’s been just us, he’s stepped in to take Tabitha’s job of Chief Cuddler. He even asks for my lap now! He’s a great comfort.

My last post sure did stir up some comments! I would like to clarify that even though no payment is expected and that I am unimpressed with Strombsburg’s inflexibility, I am going to be leaving some money in the donation box, just not as much as I had planned to ($2 vs. $5 a night). That will more than cover the services I have used.

Even though I have permission for four nights, taking me to Sunday, I’m moving out tomorrow. I’ll be going about one hour up the road to Columbus where there are a number of free parks with no donations accepted (although I would leave one if there is a collection box) that allow a seven-day stay. I wish I had known about Columbus earlier on. I would have stayed in York Wednesday and arrived in Columbus on Thursday. Oh, well.

Columbus puts me an hour closer to the border and 17 miles closer to Omaha, so I will still be able to meet up with P.J. and her hubby as planned on Sunday.

Monday, I plan to haul ass to the casino in Hankinson and reassess the weather. If it looks clear, I’ll make it to Minot on Tuesday, and Canada on Wednesday, but I’d have two extra days in case I want to hang out longer in Hankinson to catch a crab leg buffet. 🙂

My mother called today to catch up and had the same thought I did: that I can land on my property, even if it is spongy, if I lay my levers perpendicular to the tires to get them to absorb the weight of the rig. If I do that, then I am going to try the Montana entry point that’s right at my property rather than the bigger one at Portal, ND, which will save me beaucoup bucks on fuel. I can drop the rig, then make a grocery and internet run with the toad the next day.I can’t believe I’ll be in Canada no more than a week from today. Where did the winter go?!I’m off to reread earlier blog posts to remind myself that until I pointed the rig north from San Antonio, I was having an awesome time! Yes, some pictures of palm trees would be just the ticket right now!

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Campgrounds, Cats, Countries, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Personal, Travel, USA    3 Comments
May 1, 2013 -

Wichita, KS to Stromsburg, NE

Oh, I feel battered. What a horrible good day on the road.

I impressed L, B, and S with my toad hookup skills this morning, then took off around 10:00 or 10:30. L lives right off of a highway, so I barely had any work to do to get going. I also had full tanks of gas and propane, so my only job today was to get to Stromsburg.

I was only about 70KM out of Wichita when the weather hit. Just spittle at first, but really bad wind that had me wrestling the steering wheel. I had left Wichita in a medium-weight long cotton skirt, sandals, and a tee-shirt. Two rest areas up the road (less than an hour of driving), I had to add leggings, socks, closed shoes, a fleece sweater, and a windbreaker/rain coat!


The original plan was to spend two nights at the Ottawa State Fishing Lake near Minneapolis (yes, both still in Kansas) just north of Salina and I was already wiped by the time I reached that exit! But I knew that I had to stay on the main roads and get to a place with power and internet so I could stay on top of the weather.

I stopped at every rest area to check the rig and take a breather, but the freeway eventually ended and I was going nowhere slow, so I pushed on resolutely all the way to York.


There, I pulled into the Walmart for some supplies. L made sure I was fed all the time I was in Wichita, so having to cook again for myself is going to be a tad brutal. 🙂

It was really tempting to just overnight in York, but Stromsburg and its donation campground was just 20 minutes away. It made sense to make that final effort and get squared away so that I can just relax tomorrow.

A few minutes from Stromsburg, I discovered that the line between ‘ice pellets’ and ‘hail’ is very fine. Was I glad to see the railroad crossing sign as we enter town as I knew the entrance to the campground was my next left!

This is a nice city park with power (up to 50A). There are faucets but not right at the sites, and there is a dump station. The only negative is that we are right against an active railroad with a train that whistles.

I unhooked quickly, backed in, and immediately started both the electric heater and the furnace!

Today was noteworthy in three respects.

First, it was my worst gas mileage day EVER. I am just at the red line and have gone less than 400KM! When I get fuel, I will note how many gallons I get so that I can calculate just how bad the gas mileage situation was today. I am generously estimating 4 to 5MPG. Yes, I’m hauling a heavier toad, but I was also going straight uphill the whole way, plus there was all that headwind. In closer to ideal conditions, the toad hasn’t been affecting my gas mileage noticeably.

Second, today was the first time I ever hit anything backing up with Miranda! No B.S.! Until today, I have NEVER so much as grazed anything backing up. I went back one foot too much and the very top edge of the RV went into a tree branch. I can tell there is some damage to the fiberglass, but nothing that is particularly depressing me. I’ll just slap a piece of Eternabond over the area when the weather clears up and no one will be the wiser. 🙂



That white stuff on the ground looks suspiciously like snow.

I will likely be quiet in the next few days since I have projects to do and there isn’t much in the area.

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Campgrounds, Countries, Kansas, Nebraska, Travel, USA    5 Comments
Apr 30, 2013 -

Another New Used Tire

I’ve edited my post about the drive to Kansas because my bad luck has had absolutely nothing to do with the fine folks at Cramer Tire in Midwest City, OK.

L suggested that I go get the flat tire looked at today so that it could sit overnight and we could monitor the pressure, plus it would cut down on the Wednesday stress. Great idea!

He fortified me with a blueberry pancake and bacon breakfast and then we slooooowly motored over to Wiechman-Bush Tire.

A tech came right out to look at my tire and would you believe my dumb luck: there was a HUGE hole in the sidewall! He says that the only explanation for that is that I hit something on the way here. He believes that the tire was good and that Cramer did right by me. It was just one of those bad days on the road. He promised to replace the tire with another used one, move the outside tire (the worst of my six) to the inside, and mount the ‘new’ tire on the outside, and that my rig would be ready in a couple of hours.

L and I went off so he could show me a good place to get gas. We then stopped at the U-Haul place where he gets his propane tanks filled to find out if they fill motorhomes (yes).

Next, he suggested we stop in his favourite thrift store, which was great since I was able to score some badly needed sporty summer skirts for just a couple of bucks a piece.

There, I made the most hilarious thrift store find of my life:


I am in Kansas and that is a pair of ruby slippers!

Back at L’s house, he took out his computer to show me a free state campground on the way north. I have five days to kill before I meet PJ and her hubby near Omaha, so the idea is to stop at that campground for a few days before pushing on to Stromsburg and its city park.

We’d just finished do that when my phone rang with news that the rig was ready. L dropped me off there and had a look at the tire. He is very happy with the one that was put on. He headed out to an appointment and I went in to pay the massive $39 bill. No, that is not a typo. That sound you hear is relief.


I then got gas and headed back to U-Haul on Seneca. I hadn’t noticed that the entrance was quite steep and I scraped the bottom of my tow bar getting in. The exit was even worse, so I ended up backing across the lot to go back out the way I came in, but at as much of an angle as possible. I still heard some scraping, but not as bad as when I came in.

Now, I’m back in front of the house. My birthday boy got roadsick, so I’m glad that I procrastinated on cleaning the bedding since I would have had to redo the job. Once the laundry is done, I’ll be ready to hit the road again. I’ll leave fairly early tomorrow, get supplies in Salina (Sal-EYE-na), and then check out the lake.

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Campgrounds, Cats, Countries, Itineraries, Kansas, Maintenance & Repair, Nice Folks, Oklahoma, Personal, Preparations for Departure, Social, Technical, Travel, USA    2 Comments