Warning: Adult Content
Wake up, to break up…
Me: Oh Lord. Morning wood.
Brad: That’s not much wood.
Me: It’s enough. Oh my God, it’s getting bigger just talking about it.
Brad: Of course it is. It isn’t deaf.
Me: Well put some ear muffs on it.
Brad: I’ll put some muff on it.
Me: Here we go.
Brad: Just look how it’s resting on it’s own bed of balls. Your nose could do that.
Me: My nose isn’t tired.
Brad: Look how happy and youthful it looks resting there.
Me: If by ‘youthful’ you mean ‘old and wrinkled.’
Brad: [whispering] Careful. It’s listening.
Oh look! That’s an old cowpoke.
You’ve got something I’d like to poke.
Slow down, I wanna take a picture.
I got something you can take a picture of.
Yellowstone National Park
Man, fly fishing is huge out here.
I got a fly you can fish something huge out of.
Will you ever grow up?
I got something growing up right now.
Here’s a tip, ‘shut the fuck up.’
I got a tip for you.
OMG. I was really behind the ball on that one.
I got some balls you can get behind.
This never gets old.
While we were “on-the-lam,” we stayed right on the Mighty Mississippi at the Thomson Causeway Campgrounds. Great place to be, fyi.
I love him for making the time for our little weekend getaway. All those years running up and down the sidelines shooting the high school football games really paid off. Of course, I told him he should have used a camera instead of an AK47. He never listens to me.
Brad catching a breather before we head to the Mississippi. Always the tourist.
So here’s the deal. Brad and I have been dreaming about getting an RV for years. We’ve had a subscription to Motor Home magazine for about 13 years. We have been to several RV shows over the years. We even went to RV dealers and talked about the Navion View because we knew that was the size and brand we wanted. But as much as I pushed, pleaded, cajoled and tantrumed, Brad was always in the “It’s not time yet” mentality.
“Wait ’til the kids are out of school.”
“We can’t afford it.”
“The stars have not aligned.”
“You need to be naked more.”
I explained to him that whenever he takes the plunge, I will never hear the words, “I wish we had waited longer.”
He held out. One day after getting some bad news about a peer’s health, he started caving. He started to fear not being able to do it at all. Then the perfect 2006 View became available in Central Illinois for the right price and the right mileage. An elderly couple was ready to sell and we swooped in to grab it.
We picked it up on a frigid, windy day in January of 2011. I only tried to kill us once while swerving to an exit. The hardest part was seeing it sitting in our driveway for months until we could de-winterize it and take it out.
The whole point of this blurb is to explain the coolest sign ever made by my nephew Ben in California. My brother Nick helped engineer the hinges to make it foldable because we didn’t want it to take up too much room in our little RV. It. Is. Perfect. People that know the show have stopped to take pictures of it. It is a great conversation starter. And it will always serve as a reminder to Brad that I was right, am always right, and will forever be right. Case closed, bitch!
Well, it’s finally October and it’s been about three weeks since we returned from our Big Western Adventure, so I just wanted to wrap it up with a few pictures. It was one helluva ride, and Brad and I would retrace it all if we could. (But we can’t because Colorado flooded and the government just shut down.)
This campsite will forever remain as one of our favorites because nobody else was there. We were only a few yards from the Cache La Poudre River and we watched a lightning storm that silhouetted the pine trees against the hill. But what we REALLY got a kick out of was how dark it got that night. Because of clouds and no moon, it was pitch black. We put a bandaid over the tiny light on the refridgerator just to test the darkness and it was so black inside our camper we couldn’t see each other across the table, or our hands held in front of our faces. Total sensory deprivation, except for the sound of the river running. For the first time in my life I felt the powerful blackness of being blind. It’s oppressive. Something I will never forget.
Camped two nights at Grand Teton National Park at Jackson Lake. Not that impressed with the campgrounds. Tiny sites, narrow road, no showers. On the way out though, ya gotta love the view. I did learn something interesting: the Tetons are the youngest range of the Rockies, which formed only 6 to 9 million years ago. This explains their sharp edges because they haven’t had time to be worn down like the Rocky Mountains that formed 80 to 55 million years ago. Apparently age does matter. I’m certainly more rounded than I was many years ago.
And now I know why it was called Yellowstone. Duh. Beautiful/stunning/eye-popping beauty. ‘Nuff said.
Just liked the old sign to the Lariat Motel in Hardin, MT. Definitely recommend La Chalupa Mexican Restaurant in Hardin. Call for directions because they are on Center Street, which isn’t what is posted online. (406) 665-1175
Just an idea of what we drove through in Montana. We started on Beartooth Hwy, but ended up doing this route. (I can’t remember the name.) It was a fabulous drive that required lots of concentration and down-shifting. That’s our little RV making its way along. Do you smell burning brakes?
Well, time to mosey along. I couldn’t possibly cover everything and every place we did on this trip, but it was a dream vacation and incredible journey. (BTW, I hate the word “journey” because it is overused for every life experience now, but I can’t seem to come up with a better one.) Let’s just say it was the best acid-less trip Brad has ever been on.
While working our way home through South Dakota, we had to stop at Wall Drug Store. I had never heard of it, but apparently there are signs all over the world promoting the place. It was started during the depression and the one thing that got people stopping were billboards promoting free ice water, which it still offers to this day.
But nothing could top their newest addition. I actually waited 12 agonizing minutes to capture this amazing show. Walgreen’s and CVS need to up their game for sure.
T Rex (click on that, but lower your volume)
This guy made us hungry so we finished up with some homemade donuts. Note: They do offer a free donut to vets, but without frosting. I guess risking your life doesn’t quite qualify you for the only reason to eat a donut. Here, have a tiny cup of free ice-water to choke down your frostingless donut. The frosted ones are worth the money though.
Okay, so there is a whole subculture of Winnebago View and Navion owners. Brad belonged to the Skinnie Winnie forum long before we bought ours and it has proven to be invaluable. Anytime we see or pass another View, we have to call it out and try to get their attention with a wave. It’s rather cult-like. Usually the ones we pass are newer models, but right after parking at Mt. Rushmore, another 2006 View pulled in to park right next to us. What were the odds? The excitement was palpable. You. Have. No. Idea.
We spent the first half-hour talking about our Views and trading notes. Theirs was identical to ours except for being a different floor plan. (Ours in an H, theirs is a J for those who know what we’re talking about.) They currently live in Florida, but Steve had a Dixon, IL connection. After slobbering all over each other, we finally broke away to go see what we came there for. Rushmore would have to be pretty impressive to top this little love fest.
It happened to be September 11th when we were there and besides the American Flags being at half mast, there were yellow ribbons around Pennsylvania, New York and Virginia. Each state is represented in the columns leading up to the Monument.
It just so happens we ran into each other on the road again, despite leaving at different times and making different stops. This could possibly be the first View drag race in the history of drag racing. Totally safe. I’m sure we didn’t even break the 75 mph speed limit.
This guy was so popular a ranger had to control traffic and make sure everybody stayed on the far side of the road. This was right outside of Yellowstone Park, which reminded Brad of a man he met the last time we were in this area.
The man and his family were enjoying Jenny Lake. His two-year-old was playing at the water’s edge. Unbeknownst to them, a black bear had been napping in the brush. He popped up, walked right next to the man’s little girl and continued on into the water. Heart attack with a happy ending. The man was still shaking when Brad talked to him. If I had scripted that chance meeting, the kid would have been eaten, somebody would have been slapped, and I’d have a best-selling book out called “CLAWS.”
THIS is the vehicle I would have stolen while on the lam from prison. Nobody would suspect a killer to be driving an old woody Jeep. This beauty made it up to the top stop in Rocky Mountain National Park.
And I’ll bet if this guy had one, his clean water holding-tank wouldn’t have leaked out the pressure-release-hole because he filled it to the brim right before driving up here, and the altitude made the water expand so much it had to escape. Live and learn. Note to self: Do not drink soda while slowly weaving up a mountain road to 11,796 feet above sea level. I already leak enough without any added pressure.
This is the mural at ONE LOVE’S head shop in Loveland, where we found out the new Colorado marijuana laws do not take effect until the new year. The clerk told us some people were stupid enough to sell their homes and move to CO immediately. Color us premature, but rational. Anybody looking for a four-bedroom tudor-style home not too far from Chicago and all it has to offer? (Except that.)
Unfortunately these guys have to graze elsewhere because Estes Park flooded a couple of weeks after we stayed there. This campground was right next to a branch of the Thompson River. It’s unimaginable what the flooding has done to Colorado. We were so lucky to be there when we were. I hope this herd got their flashy butts to higher ground.
We knew we were in the Wild, Wild, West when we saw THIS sign driving through Wyoming. The next digital message warned drivers not to pick up any hitchhikers. We could have used that tip before we offered some lonely guy in an orange jumpsuit a ride and the use of our toilet. He said he just wanted to lay low for a while on our couch. I corrected him of course…”Actually, it’s ‘lie-low.’ Chickens lay eggs, people lie low.” He thanked me and said he should know better because he knows people lie all the time.
Seriously, for the next fifty miles Brad and I had our eyes peeled, hoping to see someone running through the sagebrush with choppers in hot pursuit. Personally, I would have tried to make it to a nearby housing division beyond all the open desert. At least you could get into a home and steal a gun. Everyone in Wyoming has a minimum of one gun. Per drawer. THEN you could hitch a ride for sure.