Friday, July 27, 2012

7/27 Camping World

If you have a motorhome or any kind of RV, it is very likely that you have visited at least one Camping World.  (I have been to several and spent way more money than I wanted to.) You can get needed service done or buy exciting things like water hose caps or sewer hoses or replacement bulbs or just about anything you would need to go camping in an RV.

Rob and I spent most of today at one of these today getting an oil change and tire pressure checked on my new home.  It took over two hours before they even started work on my vehicle.  I was glad to know my tires were all fine and pressure was good.  Bought all of the above items, plus a large mat to put my rocking chairs on and chemicals for my black water tank.  Bypassed the folding bucket and the sink drainer as unnecessary, but I did take back my tire pressure gage I had bought a few weeks ago.

Tomorrow is cleaning day--vacuuming, scrubbing floors, dusting, etc.  Glad it is so small!  Then Monday we go off on another camping trip north of here along the coast.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

7/24 Near Santa Cruz, CA

Haven't posted in a few days because I drove all the way from Nevada and made it to Napa on Friday, July 20.  I was very happy to see kids, and they were excited to see my new RV.  It took M only about four minutes to move in--she ran in and took a quick look, then headed back to her room and returned with a blanket and a basket of stuffed toys.  B was fast behind with his treasured posessions. 

Rob and I and the kids have slept every night in it since: two nights in the driveway and the last two nights in a campground near Santa Cruz.  We are right in the middle of the redwoods.  Can you believe the size of the trees at our site?

Took a train ride today and then spent an hour or so at a nearby beach, and had dinner out:

Now we are back at our campsite and ready for bed.  Tomorrow is the Santa Cruz boardwalk area!  Nice to be in sunny California!

Friday, July 20, 2012

7/20 Life in the Slow Lane

Literally.  I have been driving through northern Utah and Nevada for the last couple of days on I 80.  Lots of very long up and down grades that you probably would barely notice in a car, but that are a struggle for my vehicle, or at least for me.  At over 14,000 pounds and 32 feet long, it has to downshift to maintain speed on an uphill grade.  My normal driving speed on a flat interstate, assuming little side wind and good pavement, is 65 MPH.  I have had to slow to as little as 40 MPH along with the big trucks in a couple of places, so obviously I am driving on the far right lane, being passed by cars doing 75 MPH!  I saw one double tandem FedEx truck today struggling at about 20 MPH.  I passed him doing 40! 

It isn't just the steepness of the grade, but the length that counts.  Some are easily 2-3 miles long.  You see the top of the hill, and think you have almost made it, but then when you get to the top you see another very long hill.  Ditto for downhill.  I don't want to lose control of this big vehicle and have the brakes fail, so I am careful to not let the speed get out of control.  Many downhill grades also have curves on them where the speed limit drops, so I have to watch for those. 

Another problem has been road contruction.  I feel I have spent two days threading my vehicle through narrow lanes of big orange cones.  Haven't hit any yet, but on some roads it is a bit scary with only gravel on the opposite side of the pavement.  Makes driving challenging and very tiring, and limits the number of miles I can drive each day.  Instead of managing 400 as I can in a car, I am barely able to drive 250 per day without being really tired.  No stopping for naps at rest areas because they are few and far between and very hot.   

Tomorrow I will be finishing up with Nevada and getting into California.  Yea.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

7/18 Back in Wyoming

I am just over the Wyoming border tonight, having driven through Flaming Gorge National Recreation area on the way to I 80 so I can head west to California.  The last two days have been tiring even though I drove only 150 miles each day, but those miles were nearly all up and down long grades on narrow roads.  That means I am gripping the steering wheel and either pushing hard on the accelerator or the brake--no relaxing behind the wheel on this 14,000 lb vehicle!!  I will be glad to get back to the Interstate all the way to Rob's house!

Yesterday, I took the 25 mile canyon drive from the east visitor center of Dinosaur National Monument.  There was hardly anyone else on the road and the overlooks were fantastic.  The best part was the lack of people or sounds from vehicles, so all you could hear was the wind.  The views went on for miles without any roads or signs of habitation.  Nice to just sit on a bench and listen to the wind.

Here is the only road I saw, and it was limited to four-wheel drive:

Today I drove from Vernal, Utah, past Flaming Gorge.  I took a tour of the dam and then stopped at several overlooks.  Check out the tiny dots.  They are boaters, one of whom is pulling a waterskier:

My only other adventure today was following a guy driving a very wide farm implement that hung over the center line by at least two feet.   He kept waving at me to pass, but there was less than a foot of gravel on the far edge before a dropoff of a foot or so and I was NOT going to take any chances of hitting the dirt and losing control of my vehicle or gashing the side of it on his equipment, so I just followed at 10 MPH for several miles!!  A few cars did pass, but they were narrower than my beast and even then, all ended up running their tires off the road.  I figured I would just follow him to wherever he was going, if that is what it took.  Eventually the road got a bit wider and I was able to pass. 

Dinner tonight was a BLT and a lime tart!  I have a comfortable bed, adequate shower, refrigerator full of food and drinks, more than one good book, so I am all set for the night.  Tomorrow I stop at Fort Bridger and then on to I 80 west.

Monday, July 16, 2012

7/16 Dinosaur National Monument

Yesterday, it was windy and rainy driving from Rawlins to Vernal, Utah.  A bit scary when you went over a crest of a hill and the wind hit you from the side, so it was 240 miles of holding tight to the steering wheel and reacting to conditions.  This area is usually very hot and dry, so the good thing about the rain was that it dropped the temps into the 70s and low 80s--much nicer for seeing things.

I was mostly driving secondary roads because I was getting tired of the huge trucks and heavy traffic on I 80.  At the advice of one of the park rangers from the day before, I took this incredibly wide and smooth route--almost no cars and trucks, and good, wide asphalt shoulders, so it was a nice ride, even with the wind.  Nice pullover areas, also.

Wyoming looks a lot like this when iit isn't raining:

Today, I visited the quarry at Dinosaur National Monument, and tomorrow I plan to see a natural history museum here.  Then, I will probably head for Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area on Wednesday that is north of here.  I have no idea where I am going to stay, but there are several walk-in areas and a few KOAs I can go to, depending on how long I want to sightsee and drive. 

Can't believe it.  I just had to unhook, close my slides, and move my motorhome over two feet because the idiot next to me put his awning up in these very narrow campsites, and it was flapping against my front slide.  It wasn't touching, exactly, but the part that hangs down was blowing in the wind and tapping against my vehicle.  They pulled in, set up the awning, and then left for the showers or pool or something.  I doubt if he even noticed that I had moved.  Most campers are pretty considerate, and this is the first person I have had invade my space.  His awning, by the way, hung at least four feet over my campsite space!!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

7/14 Rawlins, WY – An Up and Down Day

Whew!  Am I glad I am not in a popup or even a regular trailer!  It is raining heavily and blowing hard here as I am parked in a KOA in Rawlins.  My heavy motorhome is rocking and shaking like crazy, and I see at least one family with two small kids in a popup trailer near me. 

I chickened out on driving the high and curvy road through Rocky Mountain National Park and ended up backtracking east to catch I 25 and then I 80 west through Wyoming.  Even then, the first 40 miles through Wyoming consisted of very long, slight grades so that my vehicle had to struggle and shift into a lower gear.  When it does that, it revs up and sounds really loud—a bit scary as the RPMs go up.  I was mostly only going about 55-60 anyway.  Just when you thought you would reach the crest, there would be another long grade behind the one you were on. 
Then we hit the high point and had 10 miles of long grades downhill.  At least these were not too steep, so I did not need to brake heavily or downshift.  When we reached more level ground, the rains and wind came.  When you see a semi ahead of you swerve, you know you have to hold onto the steering wheel tightly.  I was glad to reach the campground and luckily had about an hour to get hooked up before these latest rains hit.  I had the AC going, but I suspect temps will drop, and I will need the heater again tonight, as I have almost every night for the past several days—hot days and cold nights.

One big “up” today is that I got my steps fixed!!  Yea!  I had them removed yesterday by a mobile RV serviceman, and they were too large to fit into my storage areas underneath my vehicle.  Rather than haul them back to a Fleetwood dealer in my living area with jagged pieces of metal sticking up, he suggested I take them to someplace that could try to cut the rivets apart so it would be in two or three pieces and fit better in my “basement.”   I left them yesterday at a small, one-person auto repair shop, complete with the mandatory repair shop dog, although this one was some sort of poodle. 
When I returned this morning, I was extremely happy to find out that this guy had been beating on them with a large hammer and not only managed to bend them mostly back the way they should be, but actually got them operating!!!  He reinstalled them while I chatted with his buddy who watched the shop while he ran out for parts at various times.  They don’t look good, but at least they work, and I won’t have to worry about sleepwalking and taking a big leap out of my door.  (Receipts for this and the RV guy will go to Fleetwood, who will be getting me a new set when I can schedule it in California.)  I can’t believe he managed to get these heavy and thick metal bars bent back into a working set of steps.   He even managed not to damage the electrical motor and lights on the steps.  Amazing.  Nothing like an old, small-town mechanic!!!  Charged me $100 and took a check!
I now will keep the door locked and strapped shut not only when I travel, but when I sleep at night. 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Rocky Mountain National Park Photos

The way into Estes Park is through Big Thompson Canyon.  Do you remember the floods a few years back that killed so many people?

Here is my campsite in Moraine Park.  Very spacious.

And another photo.  I could see snow-capped mountains from my site:

Here are several taken from a tour I took:

The road goes up to 11,500 feet above sea level, so it is cold and tundra up there:

Proof that I was really there!

Friday, July 13, 2012

7/11-13 Rocky Mountain National Park

(Wednesday)  Got here yesterday afternoon after a very stressful drive along U.S. 34, through a canyon that followed the Big Thompson River.  It was very winding and steep, so I gathered a line of cars behind me several times.  I tried to pull over when I could, but sometimes I just couldn’t and focused on the road instead of what was behind me.  This beast does accelerate uphill, but it does it slowly and by downshifting, so it is also very noisy.  One very good thing is that the temperature gage stays right where it is supposed to be.
Got to my no-hookups campsite and got set up very quickly because there was nothing to hookup, not even any electricity.  My two big coach batteries do an excellent job, but no TV, DVDs, microwave, or AC.  It is cool here since they had the rain last week, and it was positively chilly last night—got down to 50-something outside and 60 or so inside.  I have lots of down comforters, but only needed to supplement my coverlet with my down throw to be comfortable.  Tonight I will close the windows earlier, but the cool air does feel nice for sleeping.  
Campsites here in the park are wooded and fairly far apart, which is very nice.  You can see your neighbors but not what they are eating or hear what they are saying.  I took a long walk to the shuttle this morning and went to the visitor center and then into Estes Park to check on a tour of Trail Ridge Road for tomorrow.  I could drive it, but since it goes over 11,000 feet,  I would not be able to enjoy it, so a tour is a better option than this lumbering beast. 

Dinner tonight is steak with mushrooms and a tomato salad.  Got way too much food in the refrigerator, so I have to focus on eating it up!
(Thursday)  Enjoyed my tour of the Trail Ridge Road through a non-profit nature group.  It was supposed to start at 9:00 am and go until 3:00 pm, but ended up not getting done until after 4:00 pm.  Very good tour leader who was Audubon member and very knowledgeable.  Only problem was that she talked a bit slowly, hence things taking longer than expected.  Really beautiful scenery, especially in the Arctic Tundra region at the top.  Saw elk and a lot of smaller animals.  The rain they have had almost every day for over a week has made the flowers bloom and the grass turn green—very lush.

Had a disaster as I drove back from the visitor center to my campground.  I have been having problems with my coach door not locking, but it has mostly been latching. (I have not been able to get a dealer to fix it as all have said they are booked for at least two weeks and I have not wanted to sit somewhere for that long waiting.  I complained last week to the factory, with little success, about the dealers’ lack of willingness to help with this.)
Anyway, as I hit a bump, I heard an enormous crash followed by a second even louder crash.  The side door had swung open, deploying the steps, which stuck out far enough and low enough to hit one of the small logs the park service has placed just over the white line to prevent people from stopping and viewing wildlife in certain areas.  I pulled over as soon as I could and discovered that the steps were badly bent and would not retract.  I had no choice but to slowly and carefully drive back to my campsite.  Not a good night's sleep! 

(Friday)  This morning I was still extremely upset by this and other warranty issues I have had difficulty getting repaired, so I called the factory.  The lady on the phone was the most helpful anyone had been.  She said to call a mobile RV repairman and get the steps fixed or removed so my vehicle was drivable and she would help me get an appointment at a dealer in California or someplace closer on Monday.   I also was to send her a list of all the warranty issues and photos, which I did this evening.  They will reimburse me for the emergency service and any emergency repairs.  I was lucky there was no damage to anything else. 
The park people have been extremely helpful in finding me a service person who came right out and removed the stairs.  They have also been by several times to check on me and make sure everything was OK, and even offered me a spot to stay if I had to extend my visit, even though the park is full.  My door is now tied and bungeed shut, so I will have to enter and exit through the cab, which is awkward, but at least doable. 

I will post photos of the park and the high road tomorrow.  Instead of taking a more mountainous route to Dinosaur National Monument, I have decided to take freeways and a more level, if there is such a thing, route through the mountains.  Don’t want any more events. 


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

7/9 Sterling, Colorado

I’ve been sleeping very well, getting up at about 8:00 am without an alarm clock, and heading out on the road by about 9:30 am.  This morning, I headed west on I 80 for Colorado.  Stopped at noon in Olalallah, Nebraska, when I saw a sign about a visitor center at a lake, and here it was. 

Nice place for lunch in my RV—cold shrimp cocktail and a candy bar.  Weather is a lot cooler now, especially since a lot of places had rain in the last couple of days.  Temps at noon here were about 80 but with a very nice breeze. 

Then onward to Sterling, Colorado, where I had reservations at Sterling North Reservoir Recreation Area.  In its infinite wisdom, my GPS kept telling me to get off the interstate about 40 miles earlier than the directions I had recommended.  However, the scenery on I 80 was getting dull, so I finally said, “What the heck?” and got off, following its direction at an intersection with absolutely no signs of life.
First, it took me down a country road and over the Platte River.  No problems taking this photo at all, due to lack of traffic:

Next, we went past a herd of these guys, or rather girls.  They seemed interested in being photographed:

Then over a barely marked railroad track.  No need for crossing arms or warning lights here.  Just stopped right on the tracks and took this photo:

Next, I turned onto this road:

And this very similar one:

And finally, after a lot of cornfields and a couple of barely noticeable tiny towns, plus a sign that warned that construction was about to begin and to watch for delays, voila, I was here:

No one on duty, so I checked in and put my money for my day-pass in an envelope:

 And here I am parked:

It’s actually very pretty around here.  Nice lake/reservoir and easy pull-through parking spots.  Just enough campers for security, but not too many to make you feel crowded.   

I went for a brief walk but forgot to take my binoculars with me so I could identify the birds down by the lake.  Temps have really cooled down here--highs in low 80s and lows st night around 50.  Tomorrow I see mountains!!!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

7/8 Grand Island, Nebraska

Second day here.  Visited an indoor-outdoor museum, but my old camera died while I was trying to take photos.  It has been telling me it needs new batteries, but when I put them in, it still says batteries are low.  (I guess I have dropped it too many times.)  Today, it just refused to open and close and kept shutting itself off as soon as I opened it, so off to Best Buy!!  Found a very nice Sony Cybershot DSC-H90 with panorama, image stabilization, and good optical zoom.  Hope I made a good choice!  Battery is charging now so I will try it out later.

Dinner was a rotisserie chicken from a local grocery store, stovetop stuffing, cranberry sauce, and frozen mini-cream puffs.  I now have several cooked meals I can heat up any time easily.

OK, I am going to try to upload a photo.  Here goes. This is a photo of my very comfortable living room.  Note the stepstool that doubles as an end table:

And here is a photo of my handsome nephew and his family in front of their home in Minneapolis.  Sister Makayla is 13 and just got an adorable, tiny new kitten last week.  Kyle will be a college student next Fall. I had not seen their house in a long time, and they have really made some improvements since they bought it 12 years ago:

I'll try to take some more photos with my new camera next week.  Hope I can get the few I took today off the old camera.  Luckily I downloaded a bunch last night.  Must have known.

Tomorrow morning I get my tire pressure checked and then head for Sterling, Colorado!  Yea!  Tuesday will be Rocky Mountain National Park, where I will be camping without power or any hookups for four days.  Good thing that it will be very chilly at night, so no need to have AC.  My batteries do fine powering lights and most systems, but no AC, TV, or microwave.  There are shuttles throughout the park and to nearby Estes Park, so I should be fine without external power.  I can run my generator briefly, if needed to recharge batteries. 

Westward Ho!!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

7/7 Grand Island, NE

It's beginning to feel a little more like I have gotten somewhere because the landscape is looking just a bit different--things are farther apart and fewer trees among the rolling hills.  I am here in a dusty campground for two days.  Tomorrow I visit the Stuhr Museum and will try to post a photo or two tomorrow morning. 

It is taking me a full day to drive about 280 miles, partly because I am driving only 60 MPH and partly because I keep stopping a lot.  Yesterday, I did grocery shopping and today I found a Home Depot to get some velcro strapping and some hose washers to replace the one I lost so my water connection does not spurt water.  I also stopped at JoAnn Fabrics to get some foam to try to construct a booster seat for myself since the one I have is really, really uncomfortable and cuts into the backs of my legs.  It is just too small and not the right shape, so I will try foam in a pillow case for now.  I also looked at cameras at a Best Buy but did not buy anything.  I would really like one that takes panorama photos.  Rocky Mountain National Park here I come in three days!!

Monday, I will stop at a nearby RV dealer to get someone to check my tire pressure and tell me where I can get a propane fillup.  I can't just transfer tanks because it is built in, so I need someone who can refill my tank directly.  I also want to stop at an urgent care clinic to get someone to look at some really nasty bites I have that are red and large, but I don't think are infected yet.  They are almost two weeks old, however, so I would have thought they would be gone by now.  Need to take more antihistimine tonight.  Not really an emergency, but I don't want to let them go. 

And for the couple of people who asked, no, I do NOT miss work!  Not bored, either.  I am really sleeping better than I have for years also, which is really nice!  No getting up five times every night! 

Friday, July 6, 2012

7/6 Des Moines, IA

It has been 100 degrees most of the drive today, and I am very glad the sun has finally set and my AC is finally getting this place cool.  It took me longer than usual to hook my water supply up because the rubber washer was missing on the hose, and I had to steal one from another hose.  In the meantime, I was dripping and miserable.  By a little after 6, however, I was inside and having a shower to cool down and was glad to put on clean clothes--no going out for a walk tonight!!!!

Janice and Jonesie and the kids took me out for dinner last night, which was really nice.  I am really glad I stopped by to visit them and their new kitty.  Hopefully, I will be back that way again next year.  I am getting a little tired of my own cooking every day, so treated myself to a sausage McMuffin with egg for breakfast this morning.  Tasted good. 

It was so nice to see the kids.  Kyle is getting to be quite a nice young man and Makayla is now a teenager.  It won't be long before Janice and Jonesie have an empty house!  Kyle will be off to college this fall, so they won't see too much of him, I think. 

Good drive to Des Moines today.  I found a good grocery store and stocked up on some things I needed, especially bottled water, pop, and some fresh fruit.  I don't trust drinking the water from my storage tank in this hot weather since it comes out warm anyway.  It is OK for washing and flushing on the road, and I have a water hookup in this park tonight anyway. 

Driving is getting fairly routine.  I think my biggest fear is wiping out gas pumps as I pull out of gas stations.  (Something called "tail wag" can do that on a long rig.)  So far, I am using my mirrors and not getting into any trouble. 

Also, I am sorry I did not take more time in naming this blog.  I thought today that "Travels Without Charley" might be more appropriate, since I don't want any "Charley's" of any species accompanying me on my travels!!!  Might still change the name.

Grand Island, Nebraska, and the Stuhr Museum of Pioneer Life is my destination tomorrow.  It is supposed to be cooler there on Sunday, and I will be there for two days.  I am going to get a very early start tomorrow so I don't have to dump and unhook in the heat! 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

7/5 Minneapolis, MN

I am in a county park west of Minneapolis with nice, large, grassy spots and an electric hookup for my AC, which is keeping me nicely cool.  It is very quiet here, with enough neighbors for good security and the police do patrol at night.

Visited with my nephew and his family yesterday--very hot here, even if this is Minnesota!  We ate outdoors at a neighbors and then walked to a nearby park for a really nice fireworks display.  I believe I heard rain in the night, and it is cooler today, but not by much.  I need to run a couple of errands today, an important one will be to buy a tire pressure monitoring system so I don't have to worry about my tires getting flat or being overinflated.  It is really hard to check tire pressure when you have dual rear tires because you need a gauge long enough to reach through the rim of one tire to get to the inside tire, so I need to buy one of those also. 

I really feel secure in these campgrounds.  There are mostly families or older couples camping and a lot of big rigs of one sort or another.  I also leave my porch light and my steps retracted all night, but of course I forgot to turn the porch light on last night, so Jonesie had to use her car headlights when I got home late.  In spite of advice to have male dummy in the front seat and put a pair of men's shoes outside, it is pretty obvious that I am traveling alone, so I am skipping the silly subtrafuges!   And, no, I am not getting a big dog for "protection."  

My Verizon jetpack is working well, so it is nice to have internet access wherever I am.  We shall see if it works as well in remote places, however.  I am keeping up with my online class every evening, just as I would if I were at home.  TV, however, is very minimal, since I can only get local "air" tv and this mostly consists of old sitcoms and other such horrible daytime stuff.  Watched Price is Right yesterday morning--ugh.

Tomorrow morning I head for Des Moines, IA, and the day after that I arrive at Grand Island, Nebraska for two days.  There is supposed to be a very nice museum there, and hopefully, this heat will have abated a bit by then.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

7/3 Getting into a Routine

I've learned that you really need to get into a routine if you want to make sure you don't have things crashing down or rattling horribly as you drive.  So, for example, as soon as I step out of the shower, I fasten the door open with the latch so it won't slam as I make a turn.  Ditto for putting down the TV antenna as soon as I am done watching TV, which is really very seldom these days since I have no satellite and most places have hardly any air channels.

So, as soon as I get out of bed in the morning, I make the bed and make sure all the drawers are shut and nothing is blocking the slide so it will shut properly.  Dirty laundry goes in a bag beside the bed, Kindle goes into a drawer, nightstand things get moved up to kitchen so they don't fly. 

Working my way forward, everything on bathroom counter has to go into a drawer.  Toilet lid needs to be kept closed so nothing falls into it.  Double-check shower door.  Items on dinette get put away, as do any items left on kitchen counter at night.  Slam drawers to make sure they stay shut.  Ditto for cabinets above sofa and recliner.  Anything that has to stay out goes into the sink or on the floor, because that's where it will end up in a sharp turn anyway.  Even with all of this, I can hear things rattle and fall as I drive.  It is slightly distracting to try to figure out what has happened, but obviously you can't stop to look. 

Today I drove only about 160 miles, some of it in the wrong direction (as I did in Scotland) because I had programmed the headquarters of this park into the GPS instead of the actual park.  I ended driving around subdivisions and an industrial park 14 miles away from here!!  Finally stopped, did some internet searching and found my way here.  Filled my tank with wonderfully cold water at this public park.  Felt like taking a shower in it right then and there!  I have a quiet, fairly large spot that is level and grassy.  Nice distance from neighbors also.  No water or sewer hookup, but I do have power for my AC, which is all that really counts in this weather. 

Tomorrow, I get to see my nephew and his family!!    

Monday, July 2, 2012

7/2 Driving Big - Living Small.

It takes some practice to get used to driving your home wherever you go.  A 14,000 lb vehicle does not turn quickly, it takes up a lot of space, and it takes some planning to make sure you do not get stuck in a situation you cannot get out of, like a parking lot where you cannot turn around in and get back out of.  When you want to go somewhere, you have to look at potential exits and problems before you go there--like the 10' 6" underpass in Mackinaw City I almost went under with my 11' 6" tall vehicle.  ( Have you ever backed up through an intersection while traffic waited for you??  Better than wiping out the AC unit, however.)  I was told they get about one vehicle stuck under there each week, so I was glad it was not me that week.

I have been puzzled lately about whether I was driving a car or a truck.  Do I obey speed limited for trucks or cars?  I certainly don't go through those truck weigh stations, but I do have to park in the truck area at rest stops.  Yesterday, however, I got charged a toll as a car, not a truck.  Need to check speed limit laws sometime, but I think I will obey truck rules for now.

I am also living small.  This motorhome is comfortable and roomy enough for one person, but the shower is small and hard to get into and out of, the kitchen and bathroom sinks about about half size, and the stove has three burners but a very small oven.  Can't even roast a whole chicken in it!  Storage for groceries and kitchen stuff is very limited.  I have a total of maybe one upper and one small lower normal house-sized cupboards.  Drawers are deep but only about 8" wide and there are only four of them.  Refrigerator is a whopping 6 cubic feet, and takes a long time to get things cold or freeze things, although it does function well enough for me as long as I do not open or close the door very often. 

Best things about this small home on a very hot day like today, however, is that it has a 15,000 BTU air conditioner that keeps it very chilly--nice!  Also, have a very comfortable bed now that I have added a 3" memory foam topper.  Another comfy thing is my old recliner which is in the place where the original, very uncomfortable dinette used to be. 

I am in northern Wisconsin today, on my way to Minneapolis.  Visited the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo today, where they raise cranes, especially whooping cranes and teach them to migrate.  Neat place!  More tomorrow as I learn to operate this blog.