Sunday, August 27, 2017

How To Spend a Great Day in Santa Fe

We are staying in Albuquerque out at the Kirtland AFB FamCamp.  It is a great stop for us.  Very convenient getting into from the Eubank Gate and we like the big gravel sites.  We always try to go up to Santa Fe at least one time during our time here and yesterday was the day.

We started off the day with breakfast at Frontier Restaurant on Central.
Its right across from UNM and one of the premier places to eat and people watch in the city.  Not to mention we like the food.
You can't go wrong with a breakfast burrito with green chile or Huevos Lite with red chile sauce, coffee and one of those dietary sweet rolls (heated).

The drive to Santa Fe on I-25 took about 55 minutes.  The speed limit is 75 but we got passed frequently.  Before you know it you are on top of La Bajada Hill and looking down into Santa Fe against the backdrop of the Sangre de Christo mountains.

We took the exit for Cerrillos (suh-REE-yos) Road.  It is always amazing to me to see how this end of town has grown and changed so dramatically.

We were a little early to meet up with Steve and Karen, so we got picked up some tourist maps and info at the Santa Fe Outlet Stores.  We weren't sure if the stores were open (they weren't at 9:30) but they did have a self service tourism kiosk where we were able to pick up a couple of city maps and tourist info.

This was the inaugural effort of Roadrunner Tour: Santa Fe, so we wanted to do it right and have some handouts.  Santa Fe is known as "The City Different" for its blending of some many cultures,  and for its art, architecture and chiles.  It was founded in 1610 by Spanish colonists and the oldest church in the United States (San Miguel) still stands.  It continues to be a record setting city with attractive vistas and a popular tourist destination.

Besides that, it's my hometown and I love to come back for a visit when we can.  And yesterday it was fun to share it with good friends.

I always love a good map and find them useful to get oriented.  Here are some I found:
We still had some time and went to one of the many Car Washes on Cerrillos Rd.  First one cost $19.  Oops wrong one.  Next one was $9. Better (similar to the $3 car wash we go to in Virginia Beach, but hey-- you are in Santa Fe!)

After the tour limo (our Honda CRV) was cleaned and vacuumed, we went to the Santa Fe Skies RV park and met Steve and Karen.  I think the last time we saw them was over a year ago in Red Bay.  Good to see them again.

Off we went for the first stop which just off Cerrillos Road and a drive by of my old house where I grew up.  I keep hoping that the broken down appearance and cars (in the front yard) would be replaced by some owners with a sense of pride and orderliness.  Nope -- still in a needy condition and no where near the grass lawn and shade trees and flowers that we worked hard to bring about in the 1960's and 1970's.

Next, we continued on toward downtown past the old Kinney Shoe Store, St. Michael's College, El Rey Motel,

Ashbaugh Park, and the Indian School (owned by the 19 Pueblos of New Mexico and serving 700 Native American Indians in grades 7-12).

After the passing the School for the deaf and crossing St. Frances Drive, we continued on and turned left to go by the The Railyard District.

The Railroad Yard was established about 15 years ago and now is the terminus for the  Railrunner and host to a number of trendy cafes, art stores and the local Farmer's Market and Art Market.  The Farmer's Market is open daily and the Artist Market is open during the summer on Saturdays.  We recommended Tomasita's Restaurant.  We have eaten there and like it.

Moving through the area, we drove past the Old Capitol building (with the Territorial style buildings) on Don Gaspar, then turned on DeVargas and past the Oldest House and Oldest Church.  We continued on our windshield tour over to Canyon Road and up the art mecca area of the city.  100's of galleries along this famous road.  We continued on the back streets going around the city on Paseo de Peralta and found a city parking garage on Marcy Ave.

From the garage we went over to Sena Plaza and ate at The Shed.
That was a treat!  It never disappoints.  We all had chile with our meals.  Growing up there, I remember green chile being the hotter of the two.  Over the years though that seems to have changed.  Most places in where we eat, they said the red chile is the hottest.  Our waiter took a different approach and said, neither.  They are the same.

More correctly I think is the response, "It depends".  Sometimes the green is the hottest, sometimes its red.  Lately it seems to me that the red is the hottest.  Steve had the red, Karen had the green and Pam and I had red.  Karen and Steve grew up back east and thought the chile is spicey.  I thought it was flavorful.  No matter though -- it added to the burrito, combination plate and Carne Arvado plate that Pam and I shared.  It was simply excellent!
After lunch we stolled along the Plaza, looked at the jewelry from the Indian vendors under the portal of the Palace of the Governors.
Then we continued down Palace Ave past the Georgia O'Keefe Museum.  We walked up Burro Alley, saw the Lensic Theater and the rest of the shops along W. San Francisco Ave.  We went a few blocks to where I remember Woolworth's was and the famous frito pie.  Now the Five and Dime sells it.

Going on past the opposite side of the Palace of the Governor's I noticed how nice the Plaza is these days.  There a plenty of park benches and the green grass and those wonderful shade trees.  It is all a lot nicer than I remember years ago.  There was something was going on at the Bandstand but we kept walking and strolled through the lobby of the La Fonda Hotel.

La Fonda is such a landmark and interesting place.  We walked around for a few minutes then went back out onto San Francisco to the St. Francis Cathedral.  It was built by Bishop Lamy and completed in 1886. What a beautiful cathedral.
We looked around and took a few pictures and then went a couple of streets over to the Loretto Chapel and Miraculous Staircase.
The Staircase was a $3 entry fee but completely worth it. As the story goes when the chapel was being built, the nuns needed a way to get to the choir loft high above. They were at a standstill and there was not enough space in the small church to build a standard staircase.  So they prayed.  Later a mysterious man who was an expert carpenter showed up and figured it out.  Without nails or supports, he completed the task with a circular spiral staircase.  Without fanfare or formal notice he left and told no one.  He was never paid for his work.

On previous visits to the chapel, I don't remember a recording with speakers providing the history and story.  It was a nice way to accommodate the visitors while they wandered around the ornate chapel.  Some stood and looked at the staircase, others sat and listened to the story or gazed upon the beautiful  stained glass windows on one end and the white altar on the other.

That was the last stop on the Roadrunner Tour: Santa Fe and we walked to the Plaza toward our parked car.  As we were moving along we saw a few people gathered and went over to see country and western star Randy Travis enjoying his celebrity with some friends.  The person with him asked if anyone wanted a picture so I accommodated.
A fan was telling him how she won a talent contest in school by singing one of his hits:  "Forever and ever Amen!".  It was released in 1987 and became his third number one single.

We took a drive around the Scottish Rite Temple and around what was Santa Fe Mid-High School.  Back in the day 9th and 10th grades were in the old high school and the new Santa Fe High was built on the edge of town on Yucca St. 

We drove past the old high school, the Government building and Post Office and then out past Rosario Cemetery and De Vargas Mall and took St Francis Drive down to Cerrillos Road and out to the Santa Fe bypass (Highway 599) to Santa Fe Skies RV park.

The few hours went quickly and it was a fun filled day with our good friends Steve and Karen.  Hopefully, you can see our approach to spending a few hours in a place where a week is really not enough to take it all in.  Still, there are some memorable and interesting things to do in only a few hours.

We never tire of seeing Santa Fe and spending some time there.  It was a beautiful day in a beautiful city with beautiful friends.

Thanks for joining us to day on the Roadrunner Chronicles.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Roadrunner Reflections: Months of Friends - June to August 2017

Sometimes we just shake our heads at how much we enjoy this time of our lives.  We are most fortunate and we know it.  We don't take it for granted.  This is a bonus and we know it.  Among the biggest blessing of this lifestyle is the many people we encounter week after week.

We heard it said a couple of weeks ago when Scott remarked, "We see way more friends and family now than when we lived in our house in Florida".

The same is true for us.

We left Virginia Beach in June and drove a day and a half before we got to Maynardvile TN.  While there we visited with Joan and Mike and their kids.  Michelle and Jeremy are both working and they have a high schooler (Noah) and one in graduate school (Kayla).  We also got to see neighbors Helen and Bill and Mark and Lisa.  It was a good visit.

Next made our way to Kentucky.  While there, we connected with our daughter Kelly's friend who used to live in Virginia Beach.  It was good to see Becca and her daughter Parker.  We got to see airplanes from a viewing area at the end of the runway in Cincinnati.  We had a picnic lunch then drove in tandem over to the Creation Museum in Kentucky.  We had never met Parker and hadn't seen Becca in years.

After our time there, we drove on to Alum Creek State Park outside of Columbus Ohio.  We planned it so that our time there would coincide with Jeff his son Caleb's summer league baseball tournament.  They travelled with the team from home in Fairfax VA, where we lived before we launched into this lifestyle.  That was fun to see them!

After Ohio we continued north to Lansing Michigan for our Habitat for Care-A-Vanner build.  We were twice blessed there with family and friends.  Great-niece Kayla (from Tennessee) was moving into her apartment to start her graduate studies at Michigan State.  She and her family (Michelle, Jeremy, Noah) were there to help her move in.  Great timing - during the same week as our Habitat build.

Also while in Lansing, RV friends Marge and George camped with us at the Ingham County Fairgrounds.  They were in Michigan and made it a point to come over to where we were so we could see them for a couple of days.  We met them in Key West in our second year of full-timing and have crossed paths many times since.  It great to see them.

After Lansing, we drove east to Port Huron, MI.  From there we drove over to see Bill and Marg (Meghan's parents).  We saw them last winter in Lakeland FL.  It was great to go over to Petrolia again.  Bill and I played a round of golf with Pam and Marg in carts and then had a nice lunch at the clubhouse.
While in  Port Huron, we drove our car south toward Detroit and met friends Lisa and Rod for dinner on the picturesque St. Clair River.  Always good to see those two!

We had another Habitat build scheduled and drove over to Sioux Falls SD for it.  We always like going to Sioux Falls because longtime friends Steve and Therressa live there.  We got to see them a few times during our two weeks in town for the build.
We also got to see Bonar and Christa. We had dinner together one night and ice cream down at the Sioux Falls Park another day.  Hopefully we'll see them again where they winter in Fort Myers FL.
We met fellow Care-A-Vanners Dave and Jo Ann for the first time.  Interesting enough, I had corresponded with Brenda since she is the national Care-A-Vanner registration POC.  And we met her and Kit for the first time.
Years ago I got an email from Carole who follows the Roadrunner Chronicles.  She asked a question about full-timing and saw my post on 'Come help us on the Sioux Falls Care-A-Vanner build' and signed up with husband Scott.  That was pretty cool to meet these folks.

From Sioux Falls, we ended up in Seneca, Kansas for the eclipse viewing.  Friends from years ago in Fairfax VA, Mark and Alisanne, saw our travels on FaceBook and he asked us to join them for the eclipse at their beautiful cabin in Blue Springs, Nebraska.  It was great to meet up with them for lunch followed by time at their cabin.  We also got to see their daughters Carissa and Stephanie (and their kids) at the lake.  What a great time!
Before we got to Seneca, Bruce saw the blog and sent me an email indicating he and wife Jacque were RVers and lived in Seneca.  We were able to meet them for the first time and have dinner together to share stories.  It was fun.

Now here we are in Albuquerque with Reid and Amy.  Cousin Linda and husband Jim are not far away in Corrales and we hope to see them while here.
Tomorrow we are going to Santa Fe for a day trip and will see RV friends Steve and Karen and do the tourist thing in town and probably grab some lunch.

I hesitated about going through all this kind of thing but I wrote this for a couple of reasons:
- I want to look back and be able to remember the good folks we saw and met during our travels this summer, and
- I also wanted to give folks an idea of one of the main reasons we like this lifestyle so much.  We keep running into people and meeting new friends.  Not to mention all the other stuff that goes on during this adventure...

Thanks for joining us today on the Roadrunner Chronicles!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Roadrunner Reflections - Great Plains to the High Mountain Desert

In the last few weeks of travel we've been able to see the Midwest, central plains and now were here in God's country — the High Desert or northern New Mexico not far from where I grew up.  Every couple hundred miles, the landscape changes significantly and I wish I could take a snapshot in my head and replay it later.  Such are the memories that we make and try to remember.
Our Route the Last Couple of Weeks:  SD to NM

(A.) Sioux Falls, SD
(B.) Farm Island SRA, SD
(C.) Randall Creek SRA, SD
(D.) Seneca, KS
(E.) Dodge City, KS
(F.) Tucumcari, NM
(G.) Albuquerque, NM

Pam and I left our campsite in Dodge City, KS (E.) about 8:00 a.m.  We were up early and took showers, emptied the tanks, hooked up the CRV, said a prayer and got ready to pull out. About then daughter Kelly called and we spent a few minutes talking to her and grandson Brooks.

Nice way to start the day.  We had already picked our route to Tucumcari, NM where we had called the day before to make overnight reservations.  We made our way out of town past the feed lots and onto the Highway 54 toward Liberal KS. I had forgotten that Liberal was the hometown of Julie Garland in the movie 'Wizard of Oz'.

The secondary roads have been a fun way to travel over the past few weeks.  They have been quite good for the most part, plus we like getting out there and seeing more of the backcountry of America.  One thing that astounded us was the sheer number and magnitude of grain elevators across the prairie.  Apply nicknamed, "Prairie Cathedrals" these majestic structures seemed to be dotting the countryside every 10 miles.

Another mystery at times were the crops.  We recognized the corn growing in various degrees of health from South Dakota to Texas.  It seemed South Dakota they were in need of more rain while the corn was more robust and healthy in Kansas which had a lot more rain.

Then there are beets.  In fact, there was lots of beets and corn.  Some of the farmland was wheat, and there was lots of hay.  And a new one we didn't recognize -- turned out it was sorghum.  Pam guessed that one and looked it up on her iPhone.  Sure enough that was it sorghum with the distinct tassels on top.

A little over a week ago, we finished our Habitat for Humanity build in Sioux Falls we traveled to Pierre, SD.  That drive was uneventful and we got a chance to see the Missouri River and some more of the Lewis and Clark Trail.  We are big fans of that and love learning about those explorers.  We found out about the small town of Pierre (pronounced ~ PEER).  For a population of about 13,000 and no major highway near by, it has a pretty good operation going.

While in Pierre, we experienced a little of the remoteness and hilly plains of South Dakota.  Driving from there to our next stop at Fort Randall State Recreation Area, we came across a lot of small towns and wide open spaces.  That stop was a bit too remote from us.  We were isolated with no cell phone or internet access.  We stayed below the dam in an area with lots of trees.  Next time we will camp upstream on the lake portion.

While there for a couple of days, we took in a guided tour of the dam itself which was a first.  We also drove over to Yankton SD thinking we'd see some more history.  It was a fine way to spend the rainy day, but it again was pretty remote until we got into town.  We drove out to the dam and lake and took in some more of the Missouri River.  We found another nice campground on the Missouri River.

Whether it is a day trip or getting from one destination to another, we love seeing different parts of the country and different parts of each state.  Each area has a special uniqueness all its own.

And so it has been the last few weeks since we left Sioux Falls.  We love the miles and miles of rolling hills through the farm land of South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas.  Each area is a little different.

Leaving Randall Creek State Recreation Area (SRA), we found highway 281 that runs north/south through the eastern and central part of Nebraska.  We followed it for hours through the cornfields and back country.  It was beautiful and again, the roads were good.

Then we came to Grand Prairie NE, where we took a rock which broke the forward double paned window on the driver's side.  Yikes!  Fortunately, we were able to tape it and continue to our night's destination in Seneca Kansas.

Notwithstanding a broken window, I love driving the Roadrunner.  The ride is very smooth and comfortable and purrs along a steady 62 mph.  It could go much faster, but that seems to be a good cruising speed.  At that, we get 7.4 mph which is pretty good and normal for our 400 hp Cummins engine.  Most days, I drive a couple of hours and Pam takes over for an hour or two and then I'm good for the rest of the way.

A normal day for us is about 250-300 miles.  We use a planning factor of averaging about 50 miles per hour which includes time for Rest Stops to walk around and also for fuel stops.  Our tank holds 150 gallons but I usually start looking for a place to fill up at about the halfway point.  Which means we can go over 500 miles between fill ups with no problem?  Traveling the back roads of the Plains might seem to be an issue, but there were plenty of truck diesel stations all along the way.

Once we passed through Nebraska and just across the border into Kansas, we went through the small town of Marysville.  We saw that there was a historical marker for the Pony Express and in fact we were on the Pony Express Highway.  Cool!  We had a friends travel the whole Pony Express route on his motorcycle a few years ago and here we were on a stretch of it.

Back to the beginning of our day yesterday, we had called ahead the day before and made reservations at a decent overnight stop in Tucumcari NM.  That was about 250 miles and 5 hours.  We like to get into the campground no later than mid-afternoon when we are traveling if possible.  We were making such good time that we were near Tucumcari about 1:00 PM and we gained an hour.

With less that three hours to go, we decided to press ahead and get to Albuquerque.  It made for about a 450 mile and 8 hour drive but we were both feeling pretty good and it was worth it.  We gained another day in there to relax and  see my brother Reid and wife Amy.

As we left Tucumcari and headed west on I-40 I was struck by how big the sky was.  Wow -- the vistas went for miles and miles.  Reminded me of Montana and Wyoming.  It was beautiful!  Breathtaking.  The other thing we noticed about the landscape is that is no longer farming country.  Ranching and cattle is the name of the game out here.  That started to change as we went through Oklahoma and into Texas.  

From Oklahoma and into Texas and as we made our way into New Mexico,  the dirt was more visible and had a reddish color instead of the dark brown.  The cornfields and soybeans of the Great Plains were now a picture of mesquite, cedar, scrub brush, tumbleweeds and green grasses of the desert and High Desert.  The grass is quite different from the prairie grasses of South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas.  And I don't ever remember the country side and pastures being as green.  You could tell it has been raining quite a bit in the last couple of months.

The last hour from Santa Rosa, past Clines Cornes, Moriarity, Tijeras Canyon and into Albuquerque seemed to come quickly.  We pulled into the Kirtland AFB Security Gate off Eubank Boulevard and were told from now on, entrance for our RV was available only through the Truman Gate.

They let us through this last time but next time we'll have to travel around town and enter over by the Airport at the Truman Gate.  There apparently was some change in the security posture that happened earlier in the day.  Maybe next time, we'll call ahead and see if the Eubank Gate is open.  Going around to the Truman Gate is going to be a longer trip and not nearly as convenient.  The FamCamp is within a stone's throw of the Eubank Gate.

So here we are for a few days in Albuquerque.
We'll take a day trip up to Santa Fe again and spend some time with Reid and Amy.  And eat way to much Mexican food (promise!).
Thanks for joining us on the Roadrunner Chronicles!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Rocks and Friends

We are in Seneca, Kansas where we planned on watching the eclipse.  (C on map below)
A few days ago, friends invited us to view the eclipse with them from their cabin just north and west of us.

Our drive from our nice campground near Henderson Nebraska (A) was eventful.  We took a rock in the window as we went around Grand Island Nebraska.  A four lane highway was undergoing repairs and narrowed down to a two lane highway.  An oncoming big truck went by us when we heard a very loud Bang!  I looked for a mark on the windshield and my side window but couldn't see any damage.

About 5 minutes after that, there was a very loud Pop! And my driver's side window had cracked into a thousand pieces.  Nothing had fallen out and thankfully we were able to pull into a Walmart with lots of room so we could assess things.

We decided to tape it.  It was the outside of a double paned window, so there is no problem driving it.
I used clear duct tape and went up and down and back and forth to cover the entire window.  I also used Gorilla tape to tape the duct tape to the outside window frame.  We continued our drive from the Walmart to the Prairie Oasis RV Campground near Henderson, NE.  It was about a 40 mile drive and the broken window held up fine.

Once at the campground, we made some calls and assessed our options.  We determined the best one is to stop in at Red Bay in a few weeks on our way to the Knoxville, TN area.  We called and made a reservation at Deaton's Custom Auto Body and Paint for the day after Labor Day.

I'm guessing that it will be about an $800 job unless we can get that single double paned window replaced.  We'll see about it when we get to Albuquerque the end of the week.  We will be there for about a week.

After taking a rock unexpectedly, things got much better.  We continued to our campground - Prairie Oasis Campground and Cabins in Henderson.  It got good reviews on  We were not disappointed.  It was great.

Patty in the office was great and so was Todd.  We followed him to our campsite which is always nice.  We wanted a site where our satellite dish DirecTV would work and got one.  It was a very pleasant, flat, level and well maintained campground.  Later, Todd came around and made sure we had enough firewood for a little campfire later.  This was free -- it is usually $5 for firewood so this just added to our great impression of the place.  We highly recommend it.

Next stop was here is Seneca, KS.  We snagged a site at the Stallbaumer RV Campground and Cabins.  It looked like a good site and ended up being OK.  We ended up having to park in the drive-through site backwards in order to get a satellite DirecTV connection.  With the Solheim Cup going on, we wanted to see that.
Our satellite dish is on top in the front of the Roadrunner and the tree is just close enough to be in the way.  My electric cord is about a foot short when the coach was pointed in the correct position.  We just could not make it work.  If the pedestal was in the normal position of the campsite, we would have had no problem.  Instead, we turned the Roadrunner around.  Now the hookups were in the wrong position, and we ran them under the belly of the motor home.  It's nice to have options.

We connected with our friends Mark and Alisanne and got together for lunch in Marysville.  That was a fun time and we spent a couple of leisurely hours catching up.  We had camped with their family and ours when we both lived in Fairfax VA in the 1990's.  The joys of this lifestyle and meeting up with friends continues...

And so does some random possibilities.  Bruce emailed me a few days ago and said, "I saw on your blog that you are going to be in our town...maybe we can get together..."  I followed up and we did get to meet them at a local restaurant.  What a nice couple.

She is local bank president and he is a retired and now part time High School teacher.  They have had a number of RVs over the years and will be traveling in their recently purchased 2011 Itasca 42' motor home.   They are NOMADS and look forward to incorporating volunteering into their travels in a couple of years when the have more time for travel.  For now, they take trips, get in touch with random RVing bloggers and let us get to meet them.  Their blog is here.

It was a full, adventurous day and one filled with getting together with new friends and old friends.  Can't beat that!

Thanks for joining us on the Roadrunner Chronicles!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Meet the Care-A-Vanners In Sioux Falls

A few months ago, we went online to Habitat-for-Humanity's Care-A-Vanner build list.  It showed a listing for Sioux Falls and we had a few weeks in our schedule open, so we signed up.  We love Sioux Falls!
The build called for five couples and we ended up with four couples.  Turns out that was a good number and we all had some great memories from our time together.  I thought you might be interested in knowing who the other three couples that made up our team so I put together some information about them:

Carole and Scott are from Casselberry FL.
They have been full-timing since 2015. Scott was a police officer and later a college professor in his career days and Carole was a realtor before they hit the road.
They thought about full-timing in 2010 and actually bought their 1993 Dodge Xplorer in 2015 after a long and winding road of research and discovery.  Scott and Carole had been looking at all shapes and sizes - from the big class A motor homes to travel trailers.  When this popped up they drove a few hours away to look at it and after about an hour, made the decision.
The RV was repainted and christened 'Ripley' after a town in Ohio they were passing through while on a road trip.  There was something about that name that 'stuck'.  Ridley is unique and fits the couple well!  They put up their canopy that serves as their kitchen/living room.  Scoot and Carole have been on the road a couple of years and love to volunteer and workamp.  They have had some interesting jobs including house sitting in Alaska and Seattle.

They found some information about Care-A-Vanners on an Airstream forum.  They saw our post a few weeks ago about the need for volunteers at this build and contacted us to let us know they were going to sign up.  We're glad they did and thoroughly enjoyed our time with them.  They liked being on the build and said they'd been participating in future builds.

Brenda and Kit are from Gardener Maine.
He was a career social worker and she had a clinical psychologist practice.  They are long time Habitat for Humanity volunteers and have been on many oversees efforts building homes with HFH and the Fuller Center out of Atlanta GA.
They have been volunteering for years and in the past couple have sold their home in Gardner.  They also have a 'casita' in Benson Arizona at the SKP Saguaro CO-OP where they spend the winter months.  While they are on the road, it gets rented out.  The facility is part of the Escapees properties throughout the U.S.

The name of their Tiffin Allegro Bay is "BHOWER", which stands for Bigger House on Wheels Includes Everything.  Their previous RV as a 5th wheel which they named HOWER.

They are going to be volunteering next week in Brookings SD with another Care-A-Vanner group, then in November will be leading a group from the Fuller Center on a house building project to Sri Lanka.  They have been on similar efforts to Nicaragua, Guatemala, Ecuador, and Boliva.

The third couple in the group is David and Jo Ann Lininger.
They left their home in Missouri and have been on the road full-timing almost three years.  They have  three kids in the surrounding states and I believe they said they have 11 grand children.
They have been active in their church building ministry called, "Laborers for Christ" and have split their volunteer time over the years between that group and the Care-A-Vanners.

Among their many skills, I think it was Jo Ann who seemed to 'connect' first with the home owners at each house we worked.  There were two houses and two families and she befriended both very quickly.  It was fun to work along side of them.

From Sioux Falls, they were traveling to the headwaters of the Mississippi River.
Here is a group photo of the team along with the home owners, staff members Heidi (on the right saw horse) and Paul (far right).

We have many fond memories of our time in Sioux Falls!

Thanks for joining us on the Roadrunner Chronicles!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Farm Island State Recreation Area - SD

We were in Pierre (pronounced "PEER") South Dakota to see the State Capitol and found a great campground.  We loved this place.  Outside of town is the Farm Island State Recreation area.  We pulled in and went to our original site, but trees blocked access for our satellite TV and we were able to pick from a list of open sites.  
We found this one that was terrific.  It must be an open camphost site, because unlike the others, it had water and sewer.  The great thing about the place was not only the great view, the level site and the hookups, but also the personnel in the Office.

Brannon was completely willing to work with us and help us find a spot that worked for us and it was great.  Often times people are not able (or willing?) to move some things around to get the best site.  But this was different and we loved it.

We got settled in and enjoyed the nice surroundings.  The next evening, we were treated to a Classic Car parade.  35 or 40 cars came parading through the campground for our enjoyment and it was great!
That was a real bonus!  A nice summer evening and watching all these cars cruising by!

The next day I explored the area on my bike.  I was up for a good ride and left the campsite and rode over to Farm Island.  The flood of 2011 put everything in the area underwater, but they had the trails restored.  
The trail went along side of the Missouri River.

Farm Island was a Civilian Conservation Corps site back in the 1930's and it had some markers along the trail which showed some old pictures from then.
After a few miles around a loop, I returned to the trail near the campsite off Farm Island and toward Griffin Park near downtown Pierre on the Lewis and Clark Trail.
It turned out to be about a 10 mile bike ride which was just about right.  It was a nice weekend, a nice campground and we enjoyed our time there.

Thanks for joining us on this edition of the Roadrunner Chronicles!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Quick Week Gone in Sioux Falls

We finished up our first week at the Greater Sioux Falls Habitat for Humanity Care-A-Vanner build last week and are already half way intoour second week!  It has flown by.  The affiliate has three houses currently under construction and we have worked at two.

We finished up our time (there is lots more work to be done) at our first house with some work in the basement,
finishing off the house painting and
some work on the front porch deck.
On Monday morning, we moved over to our second house and put a coat of paint on it. First we had to assemble the scaffolding on the side of the house.
 We did a lot of painting from ladders also.
 After the second coat of paint went on the house today, we started on the soffit under the eves.
 It helps when you have a major league soffit cutting tool.
We paused for a group picture mid-afternoon and then finished up the soffit on the back side of the house.

We are enjoying the work and getting to know our fellow Care-A-Vanners.

Thanks for joining us today on the Roadrunner Chronicles.