Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Not All Who Wander Are Lost
June, 2019 - Mount Denali, Alaska

Monday, April 30, 2012

*Disneyland Tickets*

About two years ago our family visited Disneyland in California. We went the week before Christmas. The weather was beautiful with warm temperatures and sunny skies. The great thing about visiting Disneyland is that the Southern California weather is almost always fantastic.

We had a wonderful time and enjoyed many of the attractions at Disneyland Park such as the Matterhorn ride, Haunted House, Pirates of the Caribbean, Indiana Jones Adventure, Space Mountain, Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Splash Mountain and many, many more.

We watched the parade which featured magnificent floats and many Disney characters. We also ate some delicious food at one of the many restaurants.

At night we watched the spectacular fireworks display. We also saw Fantasmic! which uses digital projection, fireworks, live performers and larger-than-life set pieces to recreate the fantastic imagination of Mickey Mouse. It was a magnificent show!

There are two theme parks at Disneyland. Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park. The adventure park has thrill rides such as roller coasters and Tower of Terror.

Disneyland tickets are easy to purchase online. Get your tickets ahead of time to avoid waiting in line at the park. Disneyland is a magical place for everyone. You won’t be disappointed. Get your tickets now and have the time of your life!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Busy, Busy, Busy

We’ve been so busy since we’ve been back in Wisconsin. We had our hair cut by our favorite stylist, Carol. We’ve run errands, Kevin has worked his 24 hours, I did laundry and some shopping.

On Tuesday we picked up Eric and went to the Brewers baseball game. It was an exciting game with lots of scoring and the Brewers won. It was great spending time with Eric.

Tomorrow morning Korey arrives. I’ve been cooking and baking for days making some of his favorites. Kevin’s favorite cake is a poppy seed cake his mom used to make. It literally takes all day to make and uses every pan and utensil I own :)

I used to make it for his birthday, but this year we were at Amazon and I was just too tired. Korey loves the cake too, so I promised Kevin I’d make it when we got home and Korey came to visit. So, today was the day. I’m finally done. I have to say, it is a very tasty cake.

Tonight we’re going out for a fish fry with a great group of friends. We used to get together with this group once a month for fish fry before we left. Now we try to get together each month we’re here. Last year one of the couples actually came to Arizona for Spring Training.

Oh, and we also managed to find time to buy a new truck!!!

We’d been talking about buying a diesel since we started our fulltime journey. Our current truck has a gas engine, and we knew were at our weight limit for towing.

Kevin had been talking to one of the salesmen he used to work with and in February he ordered the truck for us. He was kind enough to order it as a vehicle to put on the dealership lot so that we could wait until some good rebates were available before we had to take delivery.

General Motors actually had some good rebates that end on April 30th including an extra rebate for your trade-in. So, we were able to trade in our truck and get more for it than we think we could have gotten privately and don’t have to hassle trying to sell it.

It’s still a big chunk of change so we’ll be working at Amazon for a few years to recoup this expenditure. We’ll definitely feel safer with this more powerful truck.

It’s a GMC Sierra 2500HD diesel with all the extras needed for towing. I don’t know all the exact details, but Kevin assures me it’s what we need. I know that I like the color I picked out. I’m also excited to have dual climate control so I don’t have to freeze when Kevin has the air on.

They’re putting the bed liner, tonto cover and hitch in it so we’ll be picking it up early next week. Here’s a picture of it on the dealer’s lot.


Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Cool Weekend

Our first weekend camphosting in the park was a cool one. Temperatures were in the 40s to 50s during the day with a cool east wind and near or below freezing at night.

Kevin actually had to turn the outside water faucets to a trickle to keep them from freezing. We certainly don’t want any pipes to burst. We’re just grateful they turned the water on for us.

There were two sites occupied over the weekend. Both had RVs. On Saturday morning one of them told us how they had problems on Friday during the night with their carbon monoxide detector going off. They didn’t know what was causing it so they turned off the furnace. It sure must have been cold in there!

We’ve always had an electric heater in any camper we’ve owned just in case there is a problem with the furnace or the propane should run out. And when the electric is included with your site, why not use an electric heater and save on the propane cost.

On Thursday Kevin hauled out the push mower to cut the grass on our site. He got the part in front of the door done before it ran out of gas. It sure was long.


As you can see, he was quite optimistic and still wearing shorts. He has since switched to long pants. Then we took a walk before the rains started. It rained all afternoon and most of the night. Today he will be out on the big mower all day before the grass gets any longer.

On our walk we saw lots of lilacs and crabapple trees blooming. I can’t believe how early everything is blooming this year. In other years, we would be lucky if the lilacs were in bloom by Mother’s Day. They sure are pretty.


The park entrance sign was repainted over the winter. It looks nice and bright again.


Our son Korey is coming from Minnesota this weekend for a short visit. He can only get away for three days, but I sure am looking forward to seeing him and am very grateful that he’s making the nine hour drive. Tomorrow we’re going to our son Eric’s house and taking him to a Brewers game. I can’t wait for hugs from my boys!

We went to my mom’s on Thursday to see her and pick up our car and some stuff we had stored at her place over the winter. She sure was happy to see us, and it was great to have some mom hugs.

Just a reminder that when you see a post on my blog with stars * before and after the title, that is an advertisement post for Blogsvertise. It’s up to you whether you want to read it or not.

I also have updated our travel map and campground reviews page. I find campground reviews from fellow RVers to be very helpful and hope my reviews may be of value to others.

We may have a surprise later in the week. We’ll have to see if it all works out!

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

We’re Back!

Even though we don’t have a sticks and bricks home anymore, it still feels like I’m home when we arrive in Wisconsin. We’re grateful that we didn’t have any problems in our travels this winter. No ladders in the road and no tires damaging our RV. It was a blessedly uneventful trip!


We’re looking forward to spending the summer at Derge Park again. We love the peacefulness and beauty of this park and feel very fortunate that we found this camphost position.

The great news is that we have a full hook-up site this year. I’m sure Kevin will not miss pulling the tote to the dump station.


Wisconsin had a very mild winter. The grass is super long. Last year when we arrived here on April 20th there was snow on the ground. This year they already had to cut the grass once before we got back. Kevin will be quite busy just getting all the grass cut his first week back to work.

As we traveled back home, I spent some of the time hand sewing the binding to the quilt I made to donate to the camp our son Korey works at. Here’s the finished product. I sure hope they like it. I’m learning with every quilt I make. This quilt is not perfect, but I worked very hard on it. One thing I learned is to not use solid, dark fabric for the backing. I had a very hard time getting the tension right so the top thread didn’t show on the back. Oh well, I think they’ll be hanging it up and no one will see the back.


I had found this pattern with the Bible verse fabric at a quilt expo last year and thought it would be perfect for a church camp. I printed a label on some printable fabric I bought. This is the first quilt I’ve put a label on.


Rain and cool temperatures are predicted for today. We’re going to drive to my mom’s and pick up our car and some things we stored there over the winter. It will be good to see her again.

I’ll leave you with the sunset we had last night. It’s great to see the sun set over a Wisconsin farm again.


Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Lincoln Tomb and Museum

We spent the day today exploring some of the Lincoln sites we didn’t get a chance to see last year when we stayed in Springfield.

Our first stop was the Lincoln Tomb. We visited the site last year, but the interior was closed on Sundays and Mondays. So, this year we made sure to visit on a day it was open. The inside of the tomb is beautifully done with marble walls and floors throughout.  Lincoln is buried in a vault ten feet under this marble marker.


The flags on the left represent states Lincoln family members have lived in. The flags on the right represent states Lincoln himself lived in. The far right flag is the Presidential Flag given by Ronald Reagan.

Lincoln’s wife Mary and three of their four sons are buried in the crypt across from Lincoln’s tomb. His eldest son Robert is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.


I had heard on the news this morning that Wisconsin Governor Walker would be in Illinois today. I didn’t pay close attention to the story. As we drove towards the Lincoln Museum we saw lots of police officers and union protestors. That’s when it hit me that Walker was right here speaking at the Abraham Lincoln Hotel Convention Center.

By the time we parked and walked past the hotel, the speech had ended and the protestors were leaving. It turns out Walker had been invited to speak by the Springfield Chamber of Commerce.


I try not to blog about my political viewpoints, but I have to say that I was a member of ASCME for many years through no choice of my own. My personal observations were that the union protected the lousy workers and did very little for the rest of us. Good work was not rewarded. I am a firm supporter of Governor Walker and hope he wins the recall election!

We spent about three hours at the Lincoln Museum. Admission for adults is $12. We had been given $5 off coupons at the campground so only paid $7 each. Parking was $8. I definitely think the museum is a worthwhile place to visit.


All exhibits are off of the main lobby in the center where there are these statues of the Lincoln family. The youngest son died at the age of three in Springfield before Lincoln was elected president.


The first exhibit is a replica of the log house Lincoln was born and raised in with lots of information about his childhood.


There were two movies. The first one we saw was about Lincoln’s presidency and the Civil War. The second one was about artifacts at the Lincoln Library. Both movies were very informative and well done.

There was an exhibit about his adult years prior to being elected president and then the White House years. Lots of great exhibits and information.

One thing I learned was that oldest son Robert Lincoln had his mother declared insane and institutionalized in her later years. Six years after Lincoln was shot she lost another son to disease. After outliving three children and her husband, she fell into a deep depression and started doing some crazy things. She was eventually released from the institution, but was estranged from Robert. That probably explains why he’s not buried with the rest of the family. Apparently, it was his wife’s decision to have him buried at Arlington.

One exhibit really made me think. It showed the Civil War timeline condensed to four minutes with a casualty count throughout. Over one million lives were lost. As long as I’m being political in this post, I’ll tell you that this really bothered me. I am not at all in favor of wars and feel most of them could and should have been avoided.

I believe Lincoln’s motives were correct, but could there have been another way. I also didn’t realize that he had stated he would not fire the first shot and it was the Confederacy that started the war. It makes me wonder how things would have turned out if there hadn’t been a war. What would our country be like today? Would slavery have ended due to advancements in technology and machinery? Did all those people have to die? We’ll never know, but it sure seems to me that we have not learned from our history as our country continues to support war. These are just my opinions, not meant to offend anyone.

Across the street from the museum is the restored Union Station with some Lincoln statues. It is now used as office space. There were beautiful rose bushes growing in the park next to it.


A few blocks away is the old State Capitol where Lincoln pleaded cases as a lawyer. After his death, his body was brought by train to Springfield for burial and people were able to view the body in this building.


It sure was an informative day with lots of information to reflect upon.

We’ve been on the road for a couple of weeks now and are looking forward to settling down again for a while. Tomorrow we arrive back at Derge Park in Wisconsin for a summer of camphosting and Kevin’s maintenance job. I’m hoping to find a part-time seasonal job. I also plan to continue helping our son Eric with some home redecorating.

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Crazy Weather

There certainly has been some crazy weather the last few days. Luckily, we’ve avoided any severe weather. But, we’ve certainly seen our share of rain.

While in Oklahoma two nights ago, there was a tornado in Norman about 70 miles southwest of where we were staying for the night. We had some strong thunderstorms with heavy rain, but that was all.

Last night we stayed at a very nice Passport America park in Carthage, Missouri called The Big Red Barn RV Park. They had over five inches of rain the night before we arrived and it rained again while we were there. In fact, it rained quite a bit this morning. Around 10:00 Kevin finally decided to go out in the rain and hook up. Luckily, it didn’t rain for most of the drive today, just overcast skies.

Tonight we’re staying at another Passport America park called Meramec Valley in Cuba, Missouri. This place is quite run down and neglected. We won’t stay here again. It’s been raining for four hours. I sure hope we can get out of here tomorrow morning. Here’s what the road behind us looked like earlier. There was literally a river rushing down the road.


We did manage to visit the Precious Moments Chapel in Carthage yesterday. I had heard about this place from a friend and wanted to see it.


Samuel Butcher is the artist who created the Precious Moments figurines. He has a strong faith and wanted to create a place people could come and see stories of the Bible through Precious Moments art.

He had the chapel built and did all the paintings himself. It’s quite an inspirational place. The grounds are beautifully landscaped with many fountains and statues, as well as lots of pretty flowers. It’s all free, but there is a huge gift shop. I think it’s definitely worth checking out if you’re in the area.

This is the main room of the chapel. He even painted the ceiling, laying on his back for many weeks to complete it. He’s 73 years old and still in good health.


As we were driving through Texas, I saw a sign that said the largest cross in the Western Hemisphere was in Groom, Texas. I don’t know what the story is behind it, but it certainly was huge.


Tomorrow we’re headed to Springfield, Illinois (if we get out of this mud hole). We plan to stay there for two nights. I sure hope it stops raining pretty soon!

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

New Sites

Today we traveled from Carlsbad, New Mexico to Amarillo, Texas along highways 285, 70 and 60. This is a route we haven’t taken before and I saw some interesting sites.

P1120885Roswell, New Mexico had lots of aliens and spaceships. Even the Colonel is hanging out with aliens.








Hereford, Texas has a sign claiming it’s the beef capital of the world. There were several areas with pens of cattle as far as you could see. I was sure sorry when I opened the window to take a picture. The smell was horrendous!


I’m not sure what town we were in when I saw the biggest cowboy I’ve ever seen. The wall along the road was in the way so I couldn’t see what he was advertising, but he sure was big. I guess they’re not kidding when they say everything is bigger in Texas.


We stopped at a wayside to use the bathroom in the RV. Everything inside was fine. When we got to the campground, I had quite a surprise when I opened the door. The cabinet I keep our dishes in opened.

Our first year fulltiming we used plastic dishes. Last fall while working at Amazon I bought some Corelle dishes using our discount. They are supposed to be break resistant. Well, the eight dinner plates and six of the saucers didn’t break. However, two of the saucers shattered all over the place. There were tiny little shards all over the floor and counter. Pieces had flown everywhere. Here’s what the floor looked like when I opened the door, and that was only part of the mess.

I’ve now got a bungee cord so I can strap the cabinet door closed while we travel. We’ve only had one other instance of a cabinet door opening en route. That time some of our board games spilled on the floor with little pieces all over. I guess it’s one of the hazards to expect while traveling.


Kevin also noticed that the spring on the latch of our screen door was broken so he temporarily rigged it to work until we can get a new spring. Then he knocked over his beer. Luckily, it was already empty :)

I’m sure hoping that we used up all of our bad luck a day early since tomorrow is Friday the 13th! At least we weren’t in Amarillo yesterday. They had some massive hail in this area last night.

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


The entire time we were in Arizona this winter it only rained twice. It’s stormed three afternoons in a row here in New Mexico. They very much need the rain, but we’ve had some strong winds and heavy thunderstorms. I can do without those. It’s always a little scary. Today there were actually two tornado watches not too far from us. I didn’t know they even have tornados in New Mexico.

The pecan farm cannons were firing again today. They don’t fire anything out of them, just the sound is supposed to prevent hail. It’s the strangest thing, but we didn’t have any hail. The weatherman was talking about golf ball size hail in other areas so maybe they actually work. There was a beautiful rainbow after the storm today. Notice the puddles, we had quite a bit of rain.


This morning we went for a walk around the park. There are some cacti growing on some of the lots that have beautiful blooms on them. I don’t know what kind they are, but they sure are pretty.


We’ve encountered many RVers with pets over the years including all kinds of dogs and cats. But, today we saw a pet we’ve not encountered before. This lady is Annette and she’s holding her pet parrot, Calliope. What a beautiful bird. I don’t know much about birds, but this one was snuggling with her and sure did appear to be affectionate.


We’re leaving early tomorrow morning. Hopefully, we won’t encounter any bad weather on our trek back to Wisconsin.

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Guadalupe Mountains National Park

We hope everyone had a wonderful Easter. We spent the day at the RV park and then joined the members for an Easter dinner. We met some nice people and enjoyed the delicious meal. Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures.

Yesterday we drove about an hour to the New Mexico/Texas border to visit Guadalupe Mountains National Park.


The peak on the left is called El Capitan. The peak on the right is Guadalupe Peak and is the highest point in Texas at 8,749 feet. There is no road to the top, only hiking trails. We were not up for an eight hour strenuous hike to the top, but we did find two enjoyable hikes.

The first was a 1/3 mile easy walk to what is left of the Butterfield stagecoach station.


The Butterfield route was a forerunner to the Pony Express and was the first overland mail route from St. Louis to San Francisco. It was a 2,700 mile journey that took 25 days. Coaches stopped at this location for about a year in 1859 and then a different route was used. I’m glad our coach has a lot more horsepower than the six horses they used in those days.

From what I’ve heard and read, the desert is not blooming much this spring due to a dry winter. I did find a number of pretty flowers growing. It’s amazing to me that these cute little flowers can survive in such a harsh, dry climate.

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Our second hike started at the Frijole Ranch site. The site includes a 1906 ranch house museum, schoolhouse, bunkhouse, barn and springhouse. Unfortunately, all of the buildings were locked up tight.


We hiked the Smith Spring trail which was a moderate 2.3 mile loop trail ascending about 500 feet. Along the hike there are two springs which provided water for the Frijole Ranch. The first is called Manzanita Spring and was close to the house.


The Smith Spring was quite a bit further up the mountain trail. You would never guess there is a spring out there. Here’s what it looked like from a distance.


And here’s what it looked like up close. It felt like we were in the woods in Wisconsin with hardwood and pine trees and lots of greenery all around.


We found a nice setting for a picture.


We saw lots of these trees growing along a wash next to the trail. I don’t know what kind they are, but they have orange bark. We’ve never seen that before.


As I mentioned, it’s been very dry in the southwest and they are desperately in need of rain. Just as we were returning home, it started to rain and thunder. All of a sudden we started hearing very loud booming noises. They weren’t coming from within the park, but it was definitely close by. Very strange and annoying.

Our neighbor came over to tell us that it was cannons being fired into the clouds from the pecan farm a few miles away. Apparently, the noise from the cannons keeps hail from forming. That’s a good thing for an RV park as well.

He told us that there has only been hail at this park once in as long as anyone can remember. And, that was when the cannons weren’t working. That’s certainly a new experience for us. Who would have ever guessed that firing cannons at clouds can keep hail away!

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Today we visited Carlsbad Caverns National Park. We got there about 10 am and watched an interesting movie at the Visitor Center about National Park Caves.

You can travel the 700+ feet into the cave by taking an elevator from the visitor center or by entering at the natural entrance and following a path for a mile. Both ways get you to the rest area down below where there are bathrooms, snacks and some souvenir stands.

We chose to enter via the natural cave entrance. There is a nice path that goes down and down and down for a mile. It is rather steep in a few places. I was feeling the arthritis in my knees, but it was doable. Its definitely not for everyone.


Once we got to the bottom we followed a self-guided path for another mile around the Big Room. There were a number of interesting formations to see. Both of these are columns formed when the stalactites and stalagmites meet.

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Many of the formations on the ground look like coral, but they are not. They are mineral deposits formed from water dripping into the cave.


After we were finished with our self-guided tour, we waited for the ranger to guide us on the King’s Palace Tour. I had heard that tickets sell out for the ranger tours, so I had pre-ordered our tickets online. Good thing because the tours were sold out when we arrived this morning.

The ranger took us to the King’s Palace room of the caverns which is 830 feet underground. Lots of amazing formations in this area.


This formation is actually a very large section that broke loose from the ceiling many years ago. As the water continued to drip onto it, this flowing sheet of rock was formed.



P1120841This formation is called a drape. It’s forty feet tall but only one inch thick in the center which allows light to shine through it.







At one point in the tour the ranger turned off all the lights so we could experience the total darkness of the cave. Then she let us experience cave fireworks. We all pointed our cameras at the ceiling and when she told us we all flashed our flashes at the same time. It was quite a cool experience.

P1120845Here’s one more amazing column formation.








As we drove the seven miles to get to the visitor center, we noticed a great deal of burned landscape. The ranger told us that there was a fire on the grounds last summer that burned over three-quarters of the park lands. The fire was caused by someone being careless. What a shame.


We thoroughly enjoyed our time at Carlsbad Caverns. My only regret is that we didn’t get to see the bats fly out of the cave at dusk. Thousands of bats make their home in the cave during the summer. Every night at dusk visitors are allowed to sit in an amphitheater outside of the natural entrance and watch the bats fly out of the cave. I would have loved to see that. Unfortunately, the bats don’t usually come back until mid-May. Here’s a picture of a picture I took to show you what it might look like.

P1120823 We’ve been to Mammoth Caves in Kentucky and Jewel Cave and Wind Cave in South Dakota. I can’t say that I have a favorite. Each one is different and worth exploring. Pictures definitely do not do it justice.

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!