Browsing "Nebraska"
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!

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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.

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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. 🙂

Third:

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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 17, 2013 -

Visit From Dallas Code Enforcement

Wow, I went almost five full years without having The Law tell me to move along!

Let me tell the story before y’all get up in arms! 😀

I saw the code enforcement vehicle pull up this afternoon. I let the driver come out and show interest in the rig to make sure he was after me before going out to speak with him.

He was very polite and said that there have been changes to some city ordinances and that my motorhome is too big to be parked in a front yard in Dallas. That said, he’s cognizant of the fact that Dallas has no RV parks and that Walmarts only allow a night’s stay. So he usually let’s these violations go if the plate is from out of state and the person is obviously not staying long.

But a neighbour called and made a complaint! I can’t believe some people! How about going up to the very accessible motorhome (windows and door open during the day) and getting some intelligence on the person’s plans?

I told him that I had planned to leave this weekend or early in the week, but that I was packed and could be out and on the road within the hour. He gasped and said, “No, no! I don’t want to ruin your weekend! Just be gone by Tuesday night.”

My concern at this point was that Ms. Cinnamon was going to get a ticket. He said that if I hadn’t come out to speak to him, she would have likely received a hefty fine that she would have then had to contest. But since I was so agreeable, he could issue me a warning and essentially leave Ms. Cinnamon out of it.

So I’m now on record with the city of Dallas!

Ms. Cinnamon will disagree, but I do feel like I have overstayed in Dallas, so it’s good to have the fire lit under me even though I really did intend to leave this weekend. The only difference now is that I have actually figured out my next move.

Going west just isn’t going to happen. I don’t have the money for it. So I’m sticking with plan A and will be going northwest slooooowly. Weather can change very dramatically in a month!

Weather reports from Wichita are making me hopeful that spring has sprung there, so I feel comfortable heading in that direction. There is a rest area about 1.5 hours north of Dallas where I can stay for 24 hours. So I will leave Dallas late Sunday afternoon and arrive at the rest area for dinner.

Same thing Monday, except I’ll head to a Walmart just shy of OK City. Same thing Tuesday, only I’ll head to a casino in Shawnee to finish up the week as I should be able to stay a few nights.

Saturday or Sunday, I’ll head to Wichita. I’ll be on the street there, so I’ll really only have two or three nights. After that, it’s a long day to a city campground in Strombsburg NE that takes donations.

From there, I’ll be facing three days of hard driving (about 500KM per day) to get to my property. If the weather continues to clear up (the 14 day forecast for southern Saskatchewan is surprisingly encouraging), I may continue to inch my way northwest. Otherwise, I will looking for a four-day window of clear weather and just do a cannonball run.

The important thing by this point will be to get across the border. It won’t matter where. I just need to get there before the customs deadline. If I have to, I’ll go straight north into Manitoba. I would rather do the U.S. route for the gas savings, but if I end up shy of the property, I can just drop anchor where I am, catch my breath, earn some income, and then start working my way west for the seminar.

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Countries, Itineraries, Kansas, Law and Government, Nebraska, Preparations for Departure, Texas, Travel, USA    15 Comments
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