Friday, July 31, 2009

Roadrunner to Ontario and Miller Lake

We loaded up and got underway about 9:15. Half-way to Port Huron and the bridge to Canada, we stopped to fill up the Roadrunner. $199.92 lighter but with a full 150 gallon tank, we made our way to the bridge and took our turn in line.

Adam had a 9:00 interview in Port Huron and then was going to check out a couple of apartment possibilities in town. As it turned, out he was in line about the same time we went through.

We angled over to a line that had some RVs ahead of us and it took about 4 minutes to pass through. The border guard asked where we were from, what our license plate number was (?what who knows that?) and where we were going today. (Miller Lake near Tobermory). She asked how long we were staying (about 2 weeks) and if we were going anywhere else (Lake Talon near Rutherglen/North Bay). Finally she asked if we were carrying any firearms, tobacco or alcohol. (No to all.) That was it and happily quite anti-climatic.

10 yards past the booths, we pulled over for a few minutes and Pam and Adam switched places. Pam ended up following us in the Pathfinder so Adam could check out what it is like to travel in the Roadrunner and take over chief navigator duties.I am getting more used to driving on 2 lane hiways. It is a great way to see the country. It can be a little nerve wracking at times but it is really great to see what the country is like by passing through towns with 10-12,000 population.

Like central Illinois and some places in Michigan, Ontario has a number of windmill farms. I hope it is cost effective (I'm very sceptical) although I think it messes up the countryside. I wonder if the oil tycoons in Texas and Oklahoma had to contend with 'visual pollution'?We stopped in Goderich for gasoline for the Pathfinder and a large enough area for the Roadrunner to get into and out of easily. Pam pulled over alongside afterwards and we stretched for a few minutes before we continued on to Miller Lake.The place was sold out since this is Canda's Civic Holiday. However, they had cleared a seasonal site and we were able to get the reservation and shoehorn ourselves into it. Very nice campground and site.

I took a scrape and a bruise on the Roadrunner but nothing major. We got set up and have full hookups and are truly happy campers as we wind up this edition of the Roadrunner Chronicles. Thanks and looking forward to you checking in again next time.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Couple More Errands Before we Leave Croswell

Yesterday we found a great little laundromat in downtown Croswell. It also has a tanning salon with five booths. I have never heard of that but it seemed to get plenty of traffic the hour and half we were there. We talked with the lady who was running it and we were very impressed. It had snacks and drinks and was one of the cleanest we have seen.
After the laundromat, we headed into Fort Gratiot to WalMart and Meijers. We had a prescription filled at WallMart. It was the first time I have ever used them. I normally get prescriptions filled through Tricare near a military base. But since we aren't close to one I tried WalMart and they manuevered through the Tricare system easily and I only had a small co-pay.
We loaded up on groceries since we will be in Canada for two weeks and then headed back to Adam's place. We had hamburgers for dinner along with brussel sprouts and beans then had time for an after dinner walk.

We went down through Croswell again, by the swinging bridge and ended up walking a couple of miles. It was a beautiful way to end a nice time in a great American small town.

Next edition of the Roadrunner Chronicles will be from Canada! We look forward to see how our first border crossing will go. Until next time, be safe.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Last days in Croswell (Port Huron too)

Can't believe we have been here almost two weeks. We are planning to head north late tomorrow morning. Adam has an interview in Port Huron so we will head out about that time and get in line at the bridge. After his interview he will rendevouz at the first exit in a WalMart across the border and have him follow us to our next campground site.

Yesterday we had a good day running errands and getting caught up. I spent a couple of hours on the blog and tweaked some things. Then I did some more work on our financials. We are paying all our bills on line and using our credit card a lot so we can track where it is all going.

I have spent the last week going through all the receipts I have collected since May. I also went through and entered all the Visa and American Express charges. I am sure there is some good news/bad news in the results. Hopefully I will have some of that data to share soon. For now here is how I broke out the budget:
After the blog and financials work, we headed over to Port Huron with Adam. He is able to get out of his rent house with a few weeks notice and he is considering moving closer to the bridge and Port Huron. If he gets the job he is interviewing for it would save him 30 minutes commute time each way.

Also - it would make it quite a bit easier to get over to Petrolia, Canada to see Meghan.
Speaking of Meghan, she has her followup appointment in Toronto today with her surgeon, onocologist and others to decide where thing are and the next steps. We are praying for good news there.

While Marg and Bill were here, we talked a little about what it has been like the last 18 months with the breast cancer. I wish it were different but like probably most all that are stricken--it has been rough. Hats off to Meghan and her family for the way in which they have faced it: with courage, compassion, strength and determination. There are more graphical and awful ways to describe it all, but suffice it to say: rough.

Back to our day: we looked at an apartment for Adam just outside of Port Huron. I took a picture of the office but forgot to take more shots of the apartment itself. Nice and affordable two bedroom.
It was in his price range and a lot newer than the house he is currently in. So that is a possibility. Next we went into Port Huron and took some pictures of the bridge and parks nearby. This is a side of the town we had not seen before.Did you know Port Huron was the boyhood home of Thomas Edison?

We toured through quite a few neighborhoods near the water in hopes finding a 'Room for Rent' sign. Adam called half a dozen and we will see where that goes.

Later, we stopped for lunch at the local Burger King. It offers a veggie burger so that worked for Adam.
Then we went to the local used bookstore a got some reading material for our two weeks in Canada. I didn't think it would be that hard to find a copy of 'Centennial' or 'Texas' by James Michener. So I settled on some James Patterson novels and a couple others.

Then we spotted a local farmer's market and checked it out:On the way out of town back to Croswell we spotted a 2003 Fleetwood Discovery pulling a long covered trailer. Turns out the owner was walking back from some purchases at WalMart and has a complete workbench in his trailer along with his minivan. Havent seen that before.

He was touting the benefits of Thousand Trails and recommended we find a membership that someone wanted to sell. We'll have to check that out more. We have heard both good and bad about that -- even the Platinum memberships.

After we got back to Croswell, we had dinner and I went to a local car wash to clean up the Honda.After I got back to Adam's I did some reading and we talked about our trip to Canada. We had tried for a couple of days to find a campground near Tobermory which is where Meghan and her parents have a cabin. Most sites we contacted were full because of Canada's Civic holiday. Fortunately we got a call back from Summerhouse Park Camgpround and made reservations for a week.

We listened to the rain as we went to bed and enjoyed another day in the Roadrunner. Thought I'd Chronicle what we do on our non-travel days. Thanks for checking in and let us know what you are doing these days...

NOTE: We may be offline for a couple of weeks depending on how /if our AutonetMobile wifi works.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Golf in Croswell

We had a great couple of days with Bill and Marg and Meghan. They came over from Petrolia, Canada about 50 miles away. They stayed at the Lakeview Hills Golf Resort in Lexington, MI (about 3 miles from Adam's place in Croswell, MI) and we played a couple of rounds of golf.On Sunday afternoon Bill & I played the South Course. It is a par 72 (69.2 rating/slope119--for you golf enthusiasts). We were all smiles in the pro shop...and then ran into a mix of weather.
The mix was mostly rain and drizzle. It cleared up enough to still be an enjoyable time. As my friend Gil once said, "There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad equipment". I put on my rain pants and jacket a couple of times, but only for a couple of minutes each.

Afterward - we headed to the local Dairy Queen. It was a bit cool but the ice cream and sundays were great.
We had a tee time for 0915 Monday morning. I forgot my computer clock was an hour behind and a leisurely morning turned into a panic about 10 minutes before nine when Adam came over and asked if we were playing golf today-- Yikes! We got over to the course and were able to tee off only a little bit late...

Pam and Marg joined us- Pam played and Marg kept score. We played the North Course which was a short par 72, only 5646 yards (68.8 rating/128 slope). It was a lot more challenging: more water, more trees, more deep heather, more narrow fairways and a lot of short doglegs.
But it was mostly sunny, breezy at times and a wonderful day for golf. Adam and Meghan even bought a bucket of balls and hit the driving range for a while. We saw them at the turn before we headed out on the back nine.

We finished after 1:00 and had lunch at the A&W Root Beer stand in Lexington. It was one of the best I have been to in years.A cold mug of root beer on a warm day in the Upper MidWest...nice! We then retreated back to our RV in the front yard of Adam's house before the Bakers headed back over the border to Canada. It was nice of them to make the trip and we had a great time.

It was the first time for Pam to play golf since Feb and she had a respectable 54-47=101. I shot 82 and an 84. We hope to play some more in the next few weeks.

Thanks for checking in on this edition of the Roadrunner Chronicles! Can you believe July is about done? Be safe! Or as my daughter Kelly loves me to say, "Bamo!"

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Roadrunner in the Shop

It was nothing serious but since we were going to be here in Croswell, MI for a little while, we decided to find out how to get some things fixed on the Roadrunner.

We called Tiffin directly, then called the folks at the Good Sam's. We signed up for the Extended Service Plan which has a $250 deductible. As it turned out, most items were not covered and our bill was about that amount, so we did not file a claim.

Our list of items that needed to be fixed or checked out included:
  1. Air conditioners. Both of our a/c unites seemed to be on the fritz. We worked them hard in Fort Worth and Oklahoma City in 100 degree weather before we got to Pontiac, IL. The front one wasb't working at all and the rear would cycle on a few minutes and shut off. When we set it to 72 degrees, it would not stay on long enough get below 80.
  2. Toilet flusher. Our third day in the Roadrunner the toilet flusher quit working. Our ace Chief Technical Officer (CTO) (aka Pam) found the manual flush button inside the toilet tank as a work around.
  3. HWH jacks. We have been leary of the jacks since they got hung up after our stay in Tennessee. We say a prayer every time we put them down and again when we hit the raise button. Also, we were not sure they were leveling correctly.
  4. Windshield dings. The windshield had a couple of chips I wanted to take a look at. One had been repaired but I wasn't sure about the other one and didn'w want it to start creeping.
  5. Wiper blades. The blades looked like they hadn't been replaced in a while, so we had them replaced.
  6. Tires. I wanted a sanity check on the tires to make sure they looked OK. I had nothing in particular but since I am still a rookie at this, I wanted another opinion on how they look.
I called Tiffin and they indicated none of those items were probably under warranty, but they gave me a couple of numbers of where I could take it in for service. I was fine with that and selected American RV Service Center in Burton, MI. It is about 75 minutes from Adam's place here in Croswell, MI.

We towed the Honda to the service center, then found a Panera Breadwhere we could hang out for a few hours. It was a good morning of reading and catching up on some emails. The guys at American RV ran some diagnostics on our items with some good news/bad news.
  1. The air conditioners checked out fine. They were pumping out cold air with no problem. they replace a fuse and that was all. Good news.
  2. The toilet flusher needed a new part. They called Dometic and it was covered under warranty. Bad news was that they had to make the part (?what? this was a surprise) and it would have to be shipped and would not be there for two days. (Bad news but not unexpected)
  3. HWH jacks checked out fine. Even though the automatic leveling says it is completely level, we may need to manually tweak with the leveling buttons. Good news.
  4. The windshield dings (cracks) we re repaired which took a couple of hours. Good news.
  5. Wiper blades were pretty expensive and they had to order some to replace them. Mostly good news but again, not unexpected.
  6. Tires were fine and nothing to fix there. Good news.
We came back two days (Thursday) later, picked up the Roadrunner and paid the bill ($258.47). We thought they were fair and reasonable and folks you could trust. Most of the bill was for diagnostics and labor. We paid for the windshield repair and wiper blades.

We asked about near by dumpstations and they recommended Bud's Trailer Center about 3 miles away.

While at Bud's we:
  • Dumped the tanks
  • Bought Woodall's North American Campground Directory
  • Bought a clear elbow for sewer hose and
  • Got the LP gas tank filled
Total spent at Bud's: $80.63

Total Roadrunner service bills: $339.10
We put $200/month in our budget for RV maintenance. This is the first service/maintenance bill we have had so we are on track.

Hope you all are having a wonderful Sunday and we look forward to hearing from you. Drop us a comment when you can--those are always a boost and a fun way to find out who is reading the Roadrunner Chronicles. Thanks for checking in.

Friday, July 24, 2009

What's Up?

Pam and I were stationed in Hawaii in the mid 1980's. It was a very good assignment and we met some wonderful people. While there we attended the International Baptist Church. Among those we met in our Sunday School Class were Jon & Barbara Brown and Rod & Lisa Hamilton.

After Hawaii, Jon & Barbara returned to Buffalo NY and have remained there. Rod & Lisa moved to the Detroit area and live in Clinton Township. Pam and I finished up our career in the USAF and ended up in Fairfax, VA.

A few weeks ago Pam & I did some planning for our time here. When we knew the dates we would be in the Michigan area visiting Adam and Meghan and we contacted Jon & Barbara and then Rod & Lisa. Interestingly, Jon had business in Detroit and we were all able to meet at Rod/Lisa's house for dinner on Monday evening.

What a treat!

It was the first time in at least 23 years we had all been together. Back in Hawaii we were part of a unique group. We had a number of young marrieds in our SS class and every month 2 couples would volunteer to lead the social event. The rules were you had to sign up first, then you would get directions where to show up and what to wear.

Hence the title: What's Up?

One time we had a 7 course meal (spaghetti, etc) and you picked two things at a time to eat, so you may end up with dessert and French bread. When you picked two more you may get spaghetti and salad...
Another time we did a scavenger hunt and went half way around Oahu looking for clues in teams of 4 (kind of like geo caching now).
Another time we met at someone's home and brought a 35mm slide that we wanted to share. It ended up being a great icebreaker and helped us get to know each other.

Those days were a special time for all of us and filled with wonderful memories of small kids (all of ours were (new born to 4 years old), busy moms and idealistic hard charging dads. Jon was with the Army Corps of Engineers. Rod flew helicopters and I flew a desk (staff job).

Move the clock forward 20+ years and we were at the Hamiltons. We were able to get together for a fantastic dinner and wonderful fellowship. To top it off, Jon had the phone number of our Pastor and his wife at the time: Dick and Julie Lindemann. We called them and put them on speaker phone for a quick chat. They are currently in Post Falls, ID. Kind of hard to fill in the gaps in 10 minutes but we did our best.

After the call, we had dessert and talked some more. We could have gone on for hours. But Pam and I had to get up early to take the Roadrunner in to the Service Center for some work and we had a 90 minute drive back to Adam's.It was a terrific night with some great friends and part of the reason we love being full-timers. We are able to see a lot of folks we haven't seen in years and we love it.

More later from the Roadrunner Chronicles. Thanks again for checking in. Until next time, be safe.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Radiation Ends!

It was a Banner Day on Monday.

Meghan went to her last radiation treatment. I don't know how millions of others that have had to deal with it but, she is impressive. She is quite a woman of courage and strength! She was diagnosed while in Korea teaching ESL. She returned home to Canada and had a mastectomy in Dec, endured chemo from Jan through May, then finished up radiation.
And Monday was her last day!

Yeah Meghan!

She will go see the doctor at the end of the month about the protocol for the next year. Meanwhile, she is pursuing a post graduate credential in nursing and boning up for her final exam in Physiology on Saturday.

We left Croswell MI and drove to the hospital in London, Ontario. I love the drive. Ontario in parts reminds me of Europe. We got there a little early and went to the local WalMart and Costco. Both are pretty much the same although some of their product line varies.
After killing some time we headed over to the hospital for her appointment. The hospital was very nice and quite busy.
They had complimentary coffee and internet available for family and friends in the waiting area. Very nice. The visit was a routine treatment and a bit sad. Meghan had made a number of friends on staff and among patients during the last 9 months and it was time to say good bye.
Afterward, we celebrated with lunch at the local Korea/Sushi restaurant. It was very good.

I want to say Thanks and Thank You So Much to all who have had an interest and followed up with her treatment and asked me how she is doing and have prayed for Meghan and her family for the past year. We still have a ways to go and are waiting for a verdict/prognosis/clean bill of health. But your support has been important and we all appreciate it.

After lunch, we took Meghan back to her home in Petrolia, Canada then hustled back across the border to Croswell. We had a dinner engagement back at Hamilton's later that evening.

It has been another busy week for us with more to follow!

Bakers and Hamiltons in MI

We rolled into Croswell a few days ago and set up the Roadrunner outside of Adam's house. Actually the house has 4 apartments and he has the upstairs half shown in the picture below. The highlight on Saturday was meeting Marg and Bill who are Meghan's parents. Nice people. We went to nearby Lexington for dinner. It is right on the water of Lake Huron where we went for a walk on the causeway/park nearby. Afterwards we had some more conversation in the Roadrunner before we said goodnight and they headed back to Petrolia, Canada. It is about a 445 minute drive from Adam's place.

Sunday, we were able to see Rod & Lisa Hamilton. We have been friends since our days together in Hawaii back in the mid 1980's. Rod and Lisa live in Clinton Township, MI which is outside of Detroit. We met Rod at Bethany Baptist Church, then joined Lisa and daughter Andrea for lunch at Red Robin.
It was great to see them again after all these years. Hopefully we will get to see them again in the next few days.

More later on friends in the area. Take care for now.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Saving Money on Campgrounds: Two Months on the Road

We have spent less money on campgrounds in the last 59 days than we had planned.
We budgeted $25/night (x 59 days = $1475). At this point we have spent $438 and saved $1037.
  • $80 (Fort Monroe, VA) - 4 days
  • $100 (Lake Fairfax, VA) - 10 days
  • $200 (Benbrook Lake, TX)- 10 days
  • $58 (Oklahoma City, OK) - 2 days
We have dry camped (no hookups) a lot more than we thought we would. We spent:
  • 1 night out side our former home moving into the Roadrunner (Fairfax, VA)
  • 9 nights our Pam's sister/brother-in-law's place in Maynardville, TN
  • 2 nights in a WallMart parking lot (Forrest City, AR & Livingston, IL)
  • 19 nights at a 4H campground with fees were paid by the agency where we did NOMADS volunteering (Pontiac, IL)
  • 2 nights in the driveway at our son's place here in Croswell, MI.
We knew we would do some dry camping and it is easier than we anticipated. Especially if you can use facilities where you are staying. We learned that dumping the tanks are a fact of life. It is what it is--taking care of business. Kind of like picking up after you take the pet for a walk only not exactly. It is obviously more convenient to have full hook ups, but if we don't have electricity and water or sewer, we are fine for a few days.

At our last campground our neighbor let us borrow his Blue Boy tote tank. We bought a ball hitch and used the Blue Boy and emptied the tanks twice. It was far more convenient than packing up, raising the jacks and driving the RV over to the dump station a few hundred yards away.

On the other hand, the Blue Boy costs $200 and we had to find a place to store it in the basement. Since we keep 'thinning out' our basement with empty bins and putting our chairs in our Honda when we travel, we have plenty of room. So we got one. At this rate, the Blue Boy will pay for itself in a few weeks.

On a different subject -- looks like we will be here for a few days in Eastern Michigan near Port Huron. We are looking forward to seeing some old friends and family. Last night we had a very nice time seeing Meghan and meeting her family. Nice folks.

More on that in another edition of the Roadrunner Chronicles. Thanks for checking in. Hope your summer is going well.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Wrapping It Up

Today was the final work day of NOMADS Project #9 - Pontiac, IL. We began the day with devotions as we have done every day, followed by song and prayer. Today was a special day with Communion as well.

Then we hit the remaining projects in the Evenglow Inn. We had to do touch up work on some door frames. We also had to paint a resident's room and finish up a few baseboards. In the afternoon we painted cabinets, cleaned up the paint and brushes (Pam with George our leader here) and called it a day.
Our normal schedule calls for us to eat lunch in the cafeteria. (We actually go through the line and get an excellent array of menu items including ice cream for dessert.) Today we were told to report a little early and the CEO and senior staff (shown below) had some nice words for us in the dining room along with a gift and card. It was very nice.
One thing about volunteering for NOMADS -- the staff and residents have gone out of their way to say thank you and let us know we are appreciated. It is very nice. When we were working for a living it was not always that way. Why is that?

We have learned a bunch in a short time here. It has been a great experience and it was all we had hoped for and more. The fellowship, friendships, sense of purpose and calling we experienced here, have made it a very memorable time. We feel like we have a lot to learn and are well-suited for this type of work and look forward to the next one.

It is hard to say goodbye and to soften the effects, we met at the local Dairy Queen for one last gathering. Already we are planning to see George and Rubye next year at Evenglow. We also hope to join Joe and Fran at Galveston, TX next spring. Some had to leave last week and we really missed them. But we hope to see Judy in Tuscon in the winter and I'm sure we'll run into John and Kitty down the road too.

So that all for now and this edition of the Roadrunner Chronicles. Tomorrow bright and early its off to Port Huron MI to see Adam and Meghan. Thanks for checking in.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Last Days at Evenglow & Upcoming Schedule

Like most, the NOMAD team found Monday morning arriving too soon! We enjoy the work and are looking forward to some time off. Evenglow Lodge is associated with Evenglow Inn/Evenglow Village. We headed out there on Monday morning for some more painting.
After we finish our NOMADS project Thursday we will be heading north to see Adam in Port Huron, MI. He may travel with us for a few days to check out the coach. We will also get a chance to see Meghan and her parents in nearby Petrolia, Canada. Then we anticipate the following schedule:

  • Detroit area, to see Rod & Lisa Hamilton and Jon & Barbara Brown
  • Hartlan MI, to see Aunt Carol
  • Makinaw Island, MI
  • Talon Lake, Canada to see Jeff & Tiffany
  • Saute Sainte Marie, MI
  • Sioux Falls, SD to see Steve & Theressa
  • Omaha, NE to see Mark & Alisanne
  • Greenburg, KS to work on a Volunteers in Mission project with Kirk & Susan
  • Albquerque to see Reid & Amy
  • Santa Fe to work on a Habitat for Humanity project
  • Kerrville TX for the RV-Dreams Rally
  • Austin to see Terry & Joanne
  • Livingston TX for the Escapees Boot Camp
  • San Antonio, TX
  • Red Bay, AL for warranty work on the Roadrunner
  • Tuscon, AZ to see Marty & Elena

We will be packing up on Thursday evening for an early Friday morning departure and more Chronicles from the Roadrunner. Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Rt 66 Museum & Walldogs

Pontiac IL is becoming one of my favorite towns. It has such great community support and a lot of interesting things going on. Saturday we decided to go see the Rt 66 Museum and walk around town.The Rt 66 Museum and adjacent Livingston County World War II Museum are housed in the old Fire Department Building. Both have a lot of good artifacts and nostalgia. The Rt 66 designation was assigned in 1926 for the highway running from Chicago to Los Angeles and it went through Pontiac.Next door was the equally impressive Livingston County World War II Museum. Most items are either given or on loan from residents from nearby towns and counties in Central Illinois.
We have seen a lot of museums over the years but these two stand out because of the personal touch and the large amount of artifacts. Note the people in the right hand corner of the collage: Marilyn Pritchard and Bob Eckel. They are heavily involved in the museums and the major reason they have been such a success for Pontiac.

Another town attraction has been murals commemorating Rt 66 and the history of Pontiac. Recently, the Walldogs (a group of more than 100 sign painters) painted the outdoor works of art and murals.

The wall art has taken on the name of the artists: "Walldogs". I got a lot of them but not all are pictured here:It really adds to the charm and personality of the town. They did a good job with it.

We had fun learning more about the town and walking around seeing the sights. It also provided this dates entry for the Roadrunner Chronicles. Hope you enjoyed it too and will check in for the next edition.

Friday, July 10, 2009

NOMADS Week Two.

Gotta love a four day work week. Yesterday we finished up our second week volunteering at Evenglow Lodge with the NOMADS. The last couple of days we have been painting a hallway, a couple of vacant residents' rooms and repainting some public bathrooms.The NOMADS team is a great group. Not only are they hard workers, we all get along great and do things together. Each week we have had game night at George and Rubeye's.Here we are Wednesday evening enjoying root beer floats after playing pinnacle and Scattergories. This is new to Pam and I since we haven't played many table games over the years. If was fun.

Each week we have picked a night to go out to dinner. Last night we went 10 miles up the road to Odell, IL and had dinner at tavern near old Rt 66: Rentz' Tap and Dining. Food & atmosphere was great.
After dinner we went to the local playhouse and saw the youth version of Guys & Dolls. It was a great effort. Lots of lines for those kids to memorize. They did a good job and packed the place out. The local paper- The Daily Leader had some nice things to say.
Our NOMADS team is changing. John and Kitty left after work on Wednesday night. They are headed home to Elgin, IL before flying out to California for a while. They are planning to be at the September NOMADS reunion in Indiana.
This morning Judy is leaving for Cincinnati. She divides here time between there and Tucson, AZ.
They are neat people.
It was sure great meeting you all and safe travels hope to see you again soon.

That about does it for this edition of the Roadrunner Chronicles. I hope you'll check in again for the next edition.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

More Independence Day Weekend

It rained all day Saturday but we found plenty to do. In the morning we went to Walmart for a few things and I got a new dog leash for Ed. He likes it better and so do I. It is the retractable kind.

Next we went down to the local laundromat. Pam did the wash while I stayed outside with Ed. Then we picked up a Red Box movie and some corn at the grocery store next door. Basically it was a very lazy afternoon in the Roadrunner while it rained.

Later I got going and gave myself a haircut.
In the evening, we joined up with John & Kitty and Judy and went to the Pontiac Baptist Church for a free concert. Karen Peck, her sister Susan and Devin McGlamery make up 'Karen Peck & New River' (KPNR).
I got to meet Karen's husband (Rickey) and we had a couple of celebrity photo shots with the rest of the group. KPNR travels 200 days a year in the MCI bus show below.
Sunday, all the NOMADS went to the 8:15 Pontiac United Methodist Church service. Afterwards we moved on to brunch at the Pontiac Family Kitchen Restaurant.
In the afternoon, back at the Livingston County 4H Campground we had honey bucket duties. Joe showed me the finer points of draining the black and gray tanks into a 'blue boy' tote tank. After he emptied his RV tanks, he helped me empty the Roadrunner tanks.
Next it was another lazy afternoon watching LPGA golf. Since Saturday's fireworks were rained out, the NOMADS team and some other campers gathered Sunday night at the edge campground and watched the Pontiac Elks Club shoot off fireworks.
It was a nice way to end another Roadrunner weekend before we headed back to our NOMAD project on Monday morning. Thanks for checking in.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Roadrunner Financials - June 2009

It took me a while to get things set up and 'fill in the blanks' for our spending the last couple of months. I never used to track spending on a daily basis. But I think it can be a powerful tool.

So here it is: June's numbers for our first full month as Full-timers.

I was pretty happy with it all coming in $74.28 under budget.
We drove quite a lot and were still under budget on the diesel fuel. from Fairfax VA we made stops in Maynardville TN, Fort Worth (Benbrook Lake) TX, Oklahoma City and Pontiac IL.

The biggest areas we need to work on is in the food budget: e.g. eating out. That will gobble up the budget in a hurry.
Laundry worked out well because we were able to use Joan's and Sue's washers and dryers.

VISA charges were primarily for cash advances and ATM fees. As full-timers we now charge everything we can on our American Express and / or VISA card so we can track things better. Before F/T status we would charge household items and gas primarily.

Misc charges were way over budget. I had to buy another camera because my Canon locked up. This time I went with a low end Fuji with 10.0 megapixels from Best Buy. I added an extended warranty in case this one has a problem down the line.

It took me a while to get the spreadsheet set up but I think it has potential. We are interested in living below budget and putting some $$ away for a trip down the road (Hawaii?). I will be tweaking this some more I am sure. I also will be adding a few more notes to my entries so I can remember better what these dollars went toward.

That's it for today's edition of the Roadrunner Chronicles. Happy Civic Holiday Canada!