Wednesday, April 21, 2004

The 2004 Adventure, April 21, 2004, Retrospect

April 22, 2004

Run over to Elkhart and have the axle checked for alignment, camber and whatever they check on axles. Ours is out, and has caused a large amount of uneven wear on the tires. We have about 6,000 miles on the unit and will be buying new tires. This is not covered under warranty, the axle is only covered for 90 days. This is not going to be a cheap repair, we are not thrilled, but it has to be done, it is a safety issue. No question, it has to be fixed and the tires must be replaced.

Leave Elkhart and head over the Michigan state line to US 12, homebound at long last. We have been away from Tipton for 13 weeks, drove almost 4,000 miles with the trailer, driven through 10 states, visited in 8 of them for more than one night. Visited Mexico on 4 separate days, enjoyed it and had great food there. Ate in a LOT of great restaurants, from Mexican to Barbeque. Carol hit 4 major research facilities, over 10 cemeteries, several more public libraries, and met so many nice researchers and staff people in all of these facilities. We went on tours in New Orleans, San Padre Island Texas, Mexico, San Antonio Texas, and Independence Missouri. We went on educational tours to a aloe vera and citrus farm near Donna Texas.

We started our trip out with a visit with Al’s cousin, ended the trip with a visit with another of his cousins. Visited Carol’s cousins in between. Visited friends along the way, and met so many nice people. Stayed in one horrid campground for one night and a lot more really nice campgrounds every other night we were out. We saw oil wells, prairie dogs, buffalo, and some very interesting birds and wildlife.

We had our first encounter with “Instant Phones” at campgrounds. Have to admit, we kinda like that set up! Used the internet via the cell phone, instant phone (regular phone lines is what that is), and high speed cable modem. We used the internet in public libraries, in our trailer and in campground offices.

We followed spring from Texas back to Michigan. When we got back to Tipton the forsythia was in full brilliant bright yellow bloom. My star magnolias, both the pink and the white were in full bloom and were so pretty when we got home. My tulips and daffodils were also in full bloom when we arrived in Tipton. The Canadian geese are in the swamp behind the house, honking their springtime mating calls. The peepers are starting their nightly lullaby. Did not realize how much we missed the home “noises” till we got back and heard them.

We would like to go back to a lot of the places we visited, that is always a strong indicator of how much fun you had! We are both moaning that we would like to go back to New Orleans and Kansas City for some of the wonderful food we ate there, ditto for Progreso Mexico.

We discovered we could sit for over 6 weeks in one park. Totally amazed us that we could do that. We enjoyed the park in Donna Texas so much that we used only ONE tank of gas in the truck in 4 weeks. Several of the tours we went on we did not have to drive, and we were perfectly happy to hang out in the park and take part in the variety of activities that were available. Al played pool, Carol went to genealogy club, we went to the pool, we lazed around and just rested.

We were saddened to hear that a few weeks after we left Donna Texas that there was a terrible explosion over in Progreso Mexico. Several people died, the explosion destroyed a restaurant and surrounding businesses on the main street of town. It happened early in the morning, if it had happened just a few hours later the streets and restaurant would have been filled with tourists, the death toll would have been much higher. Our prayers go out to the families of those who died.

Living in the Montana is a joy, lots of living area, lots of storage area, which we kinda filled up (gifts, and dog food put a dent in all that storage). Love that desk, love the kitchen set up. The floor plan is perfect for our lifestyle and travel style. For those of you who have never seen the floor plan, here it is:

Floorplan courtesy Keystone.

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