Friday, May 26, 2017

'17/#16 Feels Like Home

It has been a week since we arrived here in Keystone and we are starting to settle in. We are getting to know our coworkers and the bosses and it is starting to feel like we belong. We are getting the hang of the job and the bosses seem happy with how we are taking to the routine. They also like that we are willing to be flexible about hours, days off, responsibilities. It's just the way we are and it always seems to pay us back later. A sure sign that Karma does exist.

We are also starting to check out the city of Keystone. Keystone exists only because of it's proximity to Mt Rushmore. The population here in the last census was 335. That means more than 20 times the city's population goes to see the presidents, just 2 miles away, on average every day. Talk about a town built on tourism. We walked the tourist part of town, just 2 blocks long, and only a block or so away from where we are working and staying. The shops have the usual made in China trinkets found in every other tourist town in America, just themed towards Mt Rushmore. Key chains, magnets, hats, t-shirts, etc, etc etc. Then there are the restaurants with burgers and pizza, plus a few with real sit down dining experiences. We haven't tried any yet but we will. It will come in handy when the guest at our hotels start asking for recommendations.

Our next day off I think we will drive around outside of Keystone to see what there is to see and also to share with those traveling through the area. Right now we are doing our laundry so I have to go back to the laundromat near our home in Keystone SD because.....

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

'17/#15 Our New Home For The Summer

Well, we finally made it to Keystone South Dakota and are pretty much settled in. Checked out the local shopping, most of which is in Rapid City about 20 miles away. Laundry, restaurants, propane, and hardware stores are all in the same 15 to 20 mile distance from us. The people we will be working with all seem very nice and it looks like we are going to have an awesome summer.

The weather is still a bit chilly with overnight temps dropping into the low 30's and daytime temps not quite reaching 60 degrees. It has also been raining off and on making it feel even colder. It will warm up soon, but nothing like our friends in Florida are feeling. Once it starts to warm up the tourists will start arriving and we will become busy here in Keystone.

Keystone is the closest town to Mt Rushmore so the tourist will come. We are so close that we can see Mt Rushmore from our back door. If you look close at the far left side of the mountain you can see George, Tom, and part of Teddy. Since we are neighbors we are now on a first name basis(LOL). More pics later.

It is time to get ready for work so I will sign off for now from our home here in Keystone SD because.....

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Friday, May 19, 2017

'17/#14 Feeling Competent

We have been traveling around the country for ten years now and feel confident handling our rig where ever we go. On the road we try to give the professional drivers the road. After all they are just trying to make a living. Our rig is the size of a small tractor-trailer so we often use truck stops to fuel our truck. When we do we try to get out of the way as soon as possible so as not to get in the way of the truckers.

After all that, I have to relate an incident that has happened a few times. While waiting out a storm at a truck stop I parked way back in the truck parking area. It took me two or three tries to get it exactly where I wanted it. Once settled in we watched a couple of truckers parking near us. After watching these professionals take five or six tries to park their rigs I started to feel real good about my driving abilities. Like I said this has happened a few times at different truck stops and every time it boosts my confidence just a little bit more.

Well we are settling down for the night in our home in Hermosa SD because......

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Thursday, May 18, 2017

'17/#13 It's Good To Have Friends

I do not have as big an internet presence as many others but I am there to keep in touch while we are on the road. I do have this blog and am considered a "lurker" on facebook but that is not where I am going. What I want to talk about is the others out there keeping an eye on us as we travel. There was some severe weather we were passing through the past few days and we monitor several weather apps to keep our travels safe. During those weather events we were getting numerous phone calls, texts, emails, and other electronic messages from friends all around the country. It feels good to have friends who care.

Anyway, we survived all the weather and stopped for an overnight stay in a casino parking lot in Iowa. It got quite a bit colder during the night and it was still drizzling when we woke up. After a quick breakfast and a second cup of coffee we hit the road. By trying to out run some of the weather the day before we were able to make good time and had made it farther down the road than we planned. This will make the rest of our trip two short days. It's always nice to get to our destination early in the day to give us time to get settled in.

Well we are settling down for the night in our home here in Plankinton South Dakota because.....

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Monday, May 15, 2017

'17/#12 Jello, Jello, Everywhere

The only thing you can be sure of is that things will change. Like I've said before, our plans are written in jello. Our plans to work in Michigan didn't work out. The work ethic that has served us well for many years apparently created a conflict of personalities with another work camper couple. Since we were the "newbies" and not planning to return like the other couple we were asked to leave. To avoid any drama on a minimum wage job we took our pay for the time we worked and hit the road.

Many people have asked how we deal with the uncertainties of living on the road. Well we left Silver Lake and found a fair ground with camping facilities for the night. Fair grounds are famous for reasonable rates and this one was no different. While we relocated Mary put out feelers for another work camping job. Just 24 hours after being asked to leave we got offered jobs for $13 an hour near Mt Rushmore. It looks like the jello is starting to set again.

We went shopping and bought a few things. Tonight we are cooking our butts off to have some meals precooked for the road. If all goes as planned we might just hit the road tomorrow morning and be in South Dakota by the weekend.

I'll blog again soon but for now this is so long from our awesome smelling kitchen in our home in Mt Pleasant Michigan because.....

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Monday, May 8, 2017

'17/#11 We're Heeeere!

After our tire incident in Florida the rest of our trip was uneventful. A little bit of rain was the only detriment on our journey but it did not slow us down. We were able to stop and see a friend of ours in Indiana and made excellent time. This allowed us to get to Mears a day early.

The site we are on has perfect sight lines for our satellite and once leveled we got our home set up for the season. Our site is a little out of level so we will have to make a set of stairs to make up for the height of the bottom step. When we got here the temperature was 53 degrees but the wind made it feel like 41 degrees. I guess we aren't in Florida any more! The weather apps are putting out frost warnings for the next few days. This morning we woke up to 32 degree temps. Well woke up, Mary stayed under the covers until it had risen to at least 40 degrees.

The park owner came over to meet us and give us some info before we start working later this week. He seems as nice in person as he was on the phone. We are looking forward to a good summer. Today we will build our steps and go meet some more of the workcampers.

Right now it is time to get to work around our home here in Mears Michigan because...

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

'17/#10 Counting My Lucky Stars

We are in St Augustine now and are going to do some tourist stuff. If you know us or have been following here on the blog, you kow that St Augustine is special to us as it was the site of our honeymoon. Or as I like to call it, the scene of the crime. If all goes as planned (and we know how that goes) we will not be back in the area for quite some time.

Speaking of plans and plans gone awry, after last year's multiple tire failure episodes we checked the rest of our tires on the trailer and found one that was getting close to it's expiration date. Yes tires have a date on them as well as a life expectancy. Look up DOT tire codes on Google to read more. The plan was to get to Michigan and replace that tire sometime over the summer. Oh well, our plans are written in jello so....the tire let go on the way accross I-4. We got off the road and Mary and I had it changed and were back on the road in about 20 minutes. Best wife ever!

We got to St Augustine and again working as a team we got the rig all set up, situated, utilities attached, and inside set up for the few days we will be spending here. Mary found a tire locally and we went and got it, brought it back, and with my wonderful wife got it on the trailer and the spare stowed. A shower and a short rest and we treated ouselves to dinner at Harry's, one of our favorite restaurants here in St Augustine.

The more we travel and the more people we meet the more I count my lucky stars that I have a wife like Mary. I see way too many couples traveling where the wife either sits in the vehicle or at the picnic table while the husband does all the work. Watching it bothers Mary even more than it bothers me. What would happen if something happened to the husband? Wives need to know everything about their RV. They need to know how to drive it, hook it up, connect all the utilities. Being out on the road can leave one in a very vulnerable position and you need to be prepared. There are many wives out there that do know what to do and do their share as well as husbands that share the cooking, cleaning, and laundry duties. That is the way it should be! Marriage is a team effort and more so is marriage on the road. I have the best partner to travel throgh this life and on the road and I don't ever want to take her for granted.

Well into down town for more touristy stuff so I will sign off from our home here in St Augustine because....

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary