Saturday, August 28, 2021

Leak Fixed - Heading to Indiana

 We found a local service husband and wife team, Chad & Ashley Robinson, that replaced the leaking hose on Friday morning. Ashley folded herself into the smallest cabinet under the motorhome and was able to change the hose. I doubt anyone else could have managed to do that. Seeing her in there worried me that she could never get back out! The other way would be a major project to disassemble the plumbing panel to reach the hose. 

This was the shortest stay, three days, we ever had in Red Bay Alabama . We leave Sunday morning to drive to Indiana. This worked out great so we will not be here when the storms from hurricane IDA arrives in Red Bay by Sunday evening. Tornados are usually a threat when hurricanes strike the Alabama Gulf Coast and head north.

We always go to Red Bay when we need a repair. It's worth the drive to go to Red Bay. They have the parts and knowledge to handle anything we need. We do not go to any other RV dealers or RV repair shops.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Illinois and Alabama

 We left Kansas last week and went to Illinois, southeast of Springfield at the Bo Wood COE Campground. We intended to visit the Lincoln Museum and Home but did not get there. I think it may have been closed due to the virus. I had to get my every 8 week infusion of Remicade at a clinic in Springfield. That takes planning ahead a few weeks when we are traveling so I had that appointment arranged a month ago for Springfield.

When we arrived at Bo Wood, I discovered a water leak from our hot water system. I was working for a few days trying to locate the source of the leak. Yesterday, I figured out where the leaking hose was but I could not reach the hose. Today, we drove from Bo Wood straight to Red Bay, Alabama where I can have this repaired. It was a 450 mile drive through Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee and Mississippi to reach Red Bay, just across the state line from Mississippi. I don't trust other places to repair anything on our motor home so it's worth the trip to have it done correctly. Someone is stopping tomorrow morning to look at it but everyone here is very busy. I hope he can replace the hose quickly so we can head back to Indiana. The hurricane coming into the New Orleans area will push some bad weather in here by Tuesday so we would rather not be here then.

Here is some good advice.

When you think YOU can fix something, consider this!

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Greyhound Hall of Fame

 The Greyhound Hall of Fame is in Abilene, across the street from the Eisenhower Library. Greyhound dog racing started in the early 1900's in the United States, in the Abilene Kansas area. This Hall of Fame is for the dogs and people that were famous in the dog racing years. Today, only a few tracks left among four states, West Virginia, Arkansas, Iowa and Texas. It was popular in Florida but all tracks were closed. The racing seems similar to horse racing with tracks and grandstands looking the same. We were the only people at the Hall of Fame, except the lady at the front desk and Ginger, a retired Greyhound that lives at the Hall of Fame.

You can find information about adopting a Greyhound at this link.

Ginger greeted us at the entrance.
I had never been close to one and she was quiet and friendly.

This is the "lure" that ran ahead of the dogs on a rail.
This kept the dogs running forward as they chased the lure.

The original "mechanical lure".

This was the starting gate. The dogs were loaded into these and released all at once, just like a horse race. The lure was just ahead of them when the gates opened.

Abilene Kansas, Home of Dwight D. Eisenhower

 We are at Abilene Kansas for three nights. Abilene is a nice clean town of 6800 with many large old homes that are maintained in great shape. Most are wood sided and painted, not vinyl sided. Abilene is an old western town started in 1860 when cattle drives came north from Texas. The Chisholm Trail ended in Abilene. Wild Bill Hickok was the town marshal for a short time in 1871. 

We stopped here to see the Eisenhower Presidential Library but of course it was closed due to the Covid-19 virus. We could only walk around the grounds to see the buildings. The most famous person was General Dwight D. Eisenhower from WWII, then became President for two terms, leaving office when John F. Kennedy was elected in 1960. I-70 is named the Dwight D. Eisenhower Highway. He started the interstate highway system in the 1950's. He knew that major roads were needed, as he learned from WWII when trying to move the army across Europe.

Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum and Boyhood Home

My photo through the locked door of the Library.


 We left Denver and entered Kansas on Friday, I-70 all the way. The first stop was Goodland Kansas at a KOA. We arrived at Abilene Kansas on Saturday for a three day stay. Abilene is 450 miles east of Denver and we are finally out of the smoke and air pollution. Kansas is known for storms and hail but so far the storms are staying west of our location. 

Here are a few things we observed as we drove east on I-70.

I-70 is a good road with a few rough areas that need work

Scenery along I-70 does not change 

The mountains are gone, Kansas is flat 

Corn fields start appearing as we go east

Oil wells are scattered along I-70

Hundreds of wind turbines for electric power are along I-70

Trees start appearing more as we drove east

Ground elevation slowly going down from Denver's 6000+ elevation

Abilene elevation is 1160 feet

 Click the arrow two times to start the video. This video is from the wide angle dash camera in the motorhome windshield.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Littleton Colorado & Pikes Peak

 We have been in Littleton just south of Denver for a few days, staying at the Chatfield State Park. We are leaving tomorrow for Kansas. The drive from Wyoming to here was not easy. I-25 has construction everywhere and heavy traffic, another reason to stay out of Denver. It's hot here but low humidity so overall, the weather has been good. The exception is the smoke from California fires and the air pollution that is apparently always present in Denver. The Rocky mountains are just west of us but some days you can not see them. 

Yesterday, we made the trip to Pikes Peak. Anyone going there will need to study maps carefully. The road to the entrance is poorly marked and no signs point to it along US-24 in Manitou Springs. It's twenty miles up hill and worth the drive. The fee is $12.00 per person. There is the Cog Railway that you can ride but tickets are booked two months out so we had to drive. The summit is being rebuilt so there was lots of construction equipment. We had to ride a bus the last four miles due to no parking at the top. You are right on the edge of the road with a very long drop. If a wheel gets off the edge, there is a long way to the bottom. The bus driver kept the wheels on the road. The summit is 14,155 feet above sea level. They still have the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb up the hill. This year it was June 28, the 99th year since it started in 1922. 

Click the arrow two times to start the videos.

This is going down from mile 16.

Getting on the bus at mile 16 parking lot.

Finished visitor center. Other work is under way.

Food is available. 

The Cog Railway. There are two trains.

This is the "cog" that the train used to get up and down the hill.

A wall from the original building in 1873.

The high altitude with 60% oxygen make you feel odd.

The sky was clear but looking down the haze made the view poor.

Construction everywhere.

Friday, August 6, 2021

Salt Lake City, Utah

 Salt Lake City, Utah has been less inviting than what we thought it would be for or trip west. It's a big city with heavy traffic. We are at the Pony Express RV Resort on the northern edge of Salt Lake City, just off of I-15. Smoke from the forest fires is real thick today but temperature today was finally well below 100 degrees. Traveling to anything you want to see is an ordeal with traffic and distances being 75 to 100 miles or more. The Temple Square and Mormon Temple in downtown Salt Lake is not easily accessed. Heavy traffic with no parking in site and there is a ten foot wall around the entire area. We gave up on seeing it. We leave Saturday, heading east on I-80 and I-25 to Denver Colorado.

We did drive north today to the Golden Spike National Historic Park north of Brigham, Utah. That was a 90 mile drive, one way but worth the trip. The railroads met there on May 10, 1869 and drove the final "golden Spike" that linked the east and west. The site was busy with railroad construction workers and became a small town called Promontory, Utah. It was dismantled in 1869 when it was no longer needed. The park site where Promontory was located, north of the Salt Lake and 35 miles out in what looks like desert area. There is a lot of history here at this small historic park so I have a lot of photos.,_Utah

An unexpected find was the large Northrup Grumman plant that tests (makes?) rocket engines, not warheads or satellites, for military and NASA. It's just north of the Golden Spike so we drove to it. The plant is spread over the hills in an area of a few miles in length. It appears to be empty, just a few vehicles here and there in the parking lots. There is the ATK Rocket Garden in front of the office building. Below the Golden Spike photos are a few photos of rocket engines.

These are very detailed replicas of the original locomotives that met at the site.

The original golden spike is now located at Stanford University.

These boys are talking about the "cow catchers" on the front of the engines.
The railroad called them the Pilot, designed to deflect objects on the track.

Union Pacific from the east.

The Central Pacific from the west.

Union Pacific locomotive was coal fired.

Central Pacific was wood fired.

The restored monument.

Buffalo were killed for sport by hunters that came by the new trains on the railroad.
The estimated 1000 buffalo left by the early 1900's were headed to extinction.

The ATK Rocket Garden

The two photos below are the shuttle reusable rocket

The Minuteman's were the missiles located in silos around the country,
one site we visited in South Dakota.

Small rocket motor used to steer larger satellites. 

The Patriot is the missile used to protect against other missile attacks,
used in Desert Storm and in Israel.