Saturday, August 9, 2014

2014-21 Iowa City, Iowa

Peoria Illinois
Coralville Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa

Mill Point Park sunset

Campground:  Mill Point Park.  PA rate $13.00 full hookup.  Nice older park next to the river.  Good Verizon signal and fair TV signal.  Good pull-thru shady sites for the short time campers and nice views of the river.  Very quiet location.

Campground:  Sugar Bottom at Coralville Lake COE park.  $10 (senior rate) Electric 30 amp.  Most are not lakeview sites.  Mainly grassy, gravel pads and nice tree coverage.

What a nice surprise having Dan Wheeler and his lovely wife drop on by for a visit.  Dan and his wife used to come out to Desert Trails RV park in Tucson.  We were able to catch up on life and just enjoy some good company.

Wheelers (have lost their camper wheels but are still rollin)

Peoria Illinois how about a boat ride
Downtown Peoria Illinois

I’ve had a conversation with a few of the campers here at Mill Point Park.  I think the most interesting one was with a guy who has a new (3 month old) motor home that I think he said was in the $450,000 range.  It has no propane, but does have a diesel generator, 8 batteries and a fuel cell generator.  The motor home is all electric right down to the toilet.  You ask how can the toilet be electric.  Well, it’s a special toilet that masticates the poo and pumps it out through a relatively small tube to the waste tank.  The toilet has a couple electronic buttons that control the pump and the poo goes away.  If it senses the waste tank is full or malfunctions, it won’t let you discharge (flush) the poo away.  All very scientific you know.  The refrigerator is a normal house fridge which means they have to have the 8 batteries and fuel cell generator to run it on electric while on the road since it doesn’t switch over to propane while on the road.  Because of all the extra power generating capabilities he said his big motor home (45 ft long) doesn’t have much basement storage.  Because of all the electronics in the coach, it comes with it’s own tablet display for controlling all those electronic systems though he didn’t get the electric window shades with this unit because his previous one had three of the motors go out on the shades and they couldn’t close them.  Well that’s one way to cut back on all those extra electronic gadgets isn‘t it.

Distance Traveled:  150 miles

only had a few days visit with Ruth-Ann and her new pop-up camper

I’ve arrived at Sugar Bottom campground to visit with my friends Kathy, Randy and Ruth-Ann.  The campground is not far from Iowa City where we would go into town and have lunch one day.  It’s a most active town with lots of college students and a couple of large hospitals including a University teaching hospital.  Lots of shops and restaurants and not a single boarded up store to be seen.  Nice to see such a vibrant town and surrounding area.  Lots of construction of both buildings and roads going on.

 Kathy and Randy are friends from Desert Trails as well as Ruth-Ann who had to leave camp after the first day I got here due to family health issues.  Cancer is such a tragedy in so many families today.

When I arrived at Sugar Bottom, one of the Army Corp campgrounds on the lake, I was introduced to the campground via a winding road I claim must have been designed by a drunken sailor as it has so many twists and turns.  Or another way of looking at it, it’s like the plot in a good mystery, there are so many turns and twists you can’t figure out who done it.  Well I finally did make it to my campsite and looking forward to my visit with such good friends.  Catching up on all the gossip and what’s happening with the old farm which Kathy’s daughter Christine (and her husband off working in the park somewhere)  have decided to sell and go on the road with their 7 adopted children.  Another one of their daughters has moved from Tennessee to Colorado this summer so there are many changes for Kathy and Randy’s family.

Christine with her two twins and "grandpa Randy"
is this an indication of my entertainment skills going downhill? asleep... 

Kathy enjoying my recliner, could there
be one in her future???

But with all that’s going on here, Kath, Randy and I have had a chance to have wee bit of a happy hour and even played a game of Mexican train (domino’s) and I won.  Ahhh sweet victory.

With all the changes going on in their family, I began to reflect on my own relatives.  I have a niece who I had planned on visiting if it was convenient for them and so I sent off an e-mail.  They are a great family and I always look forward to visiting with them and their two wonderful daughters.  No response.

Sent off a second e-mail. No response.  Sent off a third e-mail, still no response.  Finally leaving a message on Facebook asking what’s up?  Of course I knew by following FB that their family had been extremely busy this summer, what with trips to their lake house along with multiple friends and family in tow.  Special  trips with church groups and more, so my expectations were slim that we would be able to meet up.  Finally I received a FB message saying “yes I received your messages and we have been busy this summer”.

Now the reason I bring this up is, one,  I realize that as a full-timer, I do have a ton more time to visit and relax as I travel around the country.  My pace is slower and I feel I have more time to enjoy even the simplest of things.  And two, does it seem that working folks and families are attempting to do way more than we ever did while growing up?  All these activities designed to fill every waking minute of ones life with adventures, fun, recreation and meaningful trips and learning experiences exhausts me just thinking about it.  Ultimately, the final thought being, if a person is so busy they can not respond to a relatives e-mail (The wonderful Uncle Doug) with a simple one liner message, acknowledging the other person, doesn’t that somehow diminish all those summer activities by saying, we are so busy enjoying life, we are unable to respond to a simple e-mail message.  In a way, it seems the more ways we have to send messages and communicate, the less we communicate.  In this ever changing world, I realize I must accept some new dynamics especially when it comes to communication and common etiquette.  But I must tell you, I’m not thrilled with some of it.  I will now step down from my soap box and resume this blog.

some of the prettiest farm country anywhere

RV TIP:  This is a major TIP for everyone.  I recently set up e-mail alerts for any activity on my Credit cards and Debit cards through my Credit Union and Bank.  It was really easy to set up online, but you can also call your bank and they will set it up for you as well.  Now I can keep track of any credit card or debit card usage via e-mail alerts and contact my bank quickly if any cards are compromised.  Message alerts can go to either your e-mail or a phone text message.

While my friends are off doing chores, I had a few chores of my own to take care of.  My last Dr. only provided me with a 6 month supply of medications and I needed to have them renewed for another 6 months.  Using my new Medicare card and BC/BS I went to an Urgent Care center and was able to get all my prescriptions renewed and I’m no longer required to pay for office visits.  Saving me $25 for each visit to a Dr., I like that.  Now I’m all set until I land in Tucson for the winter.

I’ll pick up my mail (sent general delivery) tomorrow and the prescriptions from Walgreens.  Life is good on the road.

A fun day touring the Iowa farm and Mennonite country.  What's that?  a big chair and table with cows under it.

now that's large art

old barns

A private garden we had to stop at and take pictures of

a big spider sculpture, Solon Iowa

My sister Ann  would love this garden

The overcast skies have cleared and the sun is shining once again.  Another day or two in the area and then it’s off to Kansas.  Yes Dorothy I will be in Kansas.

visiting Mennonite country and a country store
where most items like these spices are sold in bulk

a Mennonite buggy
and a Mennonite Dairy farm for some great cheese

More photos on Picasa.

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