About Me

My photo

Our names are John and Cathryn.  We live in Kalispell, Montana and recently came back from a year long RV trip together around this beautiful country.  We traveled over 31,000 miles and drove through over 35 states.  It was an adventure to remember and one that sealed a friendship between us that began twenty one months ago that we hope will last the rest of our lives.  As we adjust to living together in our home in this beautiful part of Montana, we are happy, content and enjoying life one day at a time to the fullest!  Life is good!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

OMG! A Really Bad Senior Moment!

Turn The Water Off!

I don't normally post on my blog this often but I have been asked by a few people to post more frequently.  Lately my life has been pretty boring just hanging around and nothing super interesting to tell anyone about or good pictures.   I must admit I did get some pretty nice pictures of some longhorn cattle...Texas cattle....recently   so maybe I can post those.

My reason for this post is to vent some frustration with myself.  I heard the owner's of this property come in early in the wee hours of the morning last night.  This morning I was out doing some organizing prior to getting ready to leave when Harry, the owner, came by.  I was surprised he would be up this early but I also know Harry is a workaholic (his wife Joyce told me this so it is firsthand). Anyway we get to talking and looking at my BFT.....Big Ford Truck.  I was in the process of draining the black tank and rinsing it out when we started talking.  I had dumped the real stuff and was filling the tank to dump again and get it good and clean so I could dump again and get any residue out.  

Well.....after Harry left I went back to my chores and I saw water coming out of the sides of my LTR...Little Travel Rig.   What the hell!!??  I forgot to turn off the water and the toilet was overflowing all over the floor of my trailer and draining out wherever it could find a low spot.  Well.....I shut off the water and adjusted the trailer so it would drain to one side and you cannot imagine how much water was still inside my trailer.  I grabbed a bunch of old towels...my brother told me one should always keep a bunch of these handy and he was right....and started soaking up the water.  

Now to top this stressful crisis off I had made plans to drive to a town about 40 miles from me and take lunch to my two sisters that live there.  I did my best to get this mess cleaned up but saw this was going to take awhile so I called and delayed my visit so I could get this done.   It was not as bad as you think since I had dumped the real stuff from the black tank and this was overflow but it still carried some residue and made me concerned.  I got the main water out...no carpet...so only on the flooring.  I then used Lysol to clean and then bleach to clean so I feel pretty good that the floor is probably cleaner than it was when I bought this rig.  However, I still want to get into all corners and disinfect and clean so it will be an ongoing job for awhile.  I bought some nice smelling Lemon Pine Sol to finish off the job.

What a day!!  I was glad to leave for awhile when things were in control.  I bought some Five Guys burgers (really good if you haven't had them) and took them to my sister's while we visited.  After that I had to stop at Costco (because it was there) and WalMart for some things before hitting the road tomorrow morning.   I had planned to wash the towels and a rug but ran out of time so they will stay in the back of the BFT until I get the opportunity down the road.

I am sitting here now having my second Scotch and feeling a little more relaxed after a hectic day.  Actually.....I am very anxious for tomorrow to come so I can go on down the road.   I want to see how this truck pulls my LTR plus I really enjoy what is waiting around the next bend.  I will be heading West towards Amarillo and make my decision on which direction to go from there....right now I am leaning towards going on to Flagstaff and north by my brother's place in Hurricane, Utah and on up from there to Glacier.  I can come in the south end of Jackson Hole, Wyoming and go from there and  it is beautiful country.

One thing I learned today....I am getting more and more forgetful so I need to be more  aware of what is going on.  I am going to start playing some of those brain games on the pc and doing more crossword puzzles.  I call them Senior Moments but it could be the beginning of something else....I will keep good notes just in case I forget what to tell the doctor should it come to that meeting.

See you down the road.  :)   

Terrible Texas Weather!


Tornado Watch!



Tuesday, May 21, 2013

I am sitting here in my little travel trailer, which I am going to call my LTR from now on, and watching the weather on TV (can’t believe I have a direct TV signal but to me that is a good thing!) and waiting for the you know what to hit the fan.  We are under a tornado watch.  Some of the severe weather that hit Oklahoma and devastated the town of Moore and killed numerous people, including many small school children (God Bless Them), is now passing right through my area.  It is like nighttime outside and it is only 4:15pm.  Pretty scary.

As I write, the rain is falling harder on my trailer roof and the trees outside are really blowing around.  No hail so far.  The weather forecast calls for 50-60 plus winds with the heavy rain.  Fortunately for me, the temperature has dropped drastically and quickly (from the low 90’s to the low 60’s!) which reduces the possibility of a tornado forming.  However, that does not eliminate the possibility of straight line wind shears so I am aware of the danger and prepared to vacate this trailer with Dexter in my arms and head for a low lying area about 30 yards away I have spotted to get below the wind line if the trailer starts lifting off the ground.  I put in my slide to prevent uplift from the wind and I pulled my big bad truck, now referred to as my BBT, right alongside my trailer in hopes that it will block some of the wind if it gets too high.  Anyway, here we go.  It is  blowing full force now so I am going to put my full focus on the weather and what is going on so I don’t miss an opportunity that may require my action….like running like hell!  I will finish this later.  Wish us luck.

Later.  Wow….that was a wild ride.   It is 4:50pm now and I can hear a lot of thunder and a little less rain so I think the storm passed without an issue to me.  It is 64 degrees outside now vs. 92 degrees before the storm.  Again….wow!  And now suddenly my emergency radio goes off with that loud and scary sound of an alert.  It is telling me I am in the direct path of the storm so to be aware.  It does say a tornado watch is still in effect until 7pm.  Guess we are not out of danger yet so got to go again.  I am going to have to buy me some earplugs in case I ever get into this situation again.  The noise of the rain on the roof is deafening.  

Later.  Well….we made it this far.  It is around 6pm and it is still raining but not so much as before however it keeps coming and going. Right now it is really raining hard just when I think it is slacking off.  I think we will be ok.  I can tell you one thing for sure.  I am not going North through Oklahoma or North Texas to get to Montana.  I am heading West on Friday morning as fast as my truck will take me.  I will make my decision to go North through Colorado when I get to Amarillo or Lubbock or to continue West and go North through Utah and visit with my brother and go up through Salt Lake City and Idaho and Wyoming and up to Glacier.  That is a really pretty route so we will see where I end up. Both ways are about the same, give or take a few hundred miles.  It will be hotter West but less chance of a storm.

Tomorrow is Wednesday and the folks that own this property will be coming home late tonight sometime.  Tomorrow I am going to Rockwall and take lunch to my sisters, Faye and Wanda, and give them a hug good-by before I leave on  Friday morning.  I need to do a little shopping before leaving too so hopefully it will be a good day and I can get things squared away before leaving.  Today, before the storm I knew was coming, I loaded up my BFT bed with stuff I didn’t even know I had but it sure fit good in the bed of that truck.  I am actually ready to go at this point.  I did my laundry this morning and changed the bed and cleaned the rig.  A little shopping tomorrow and I will be ready to join the highway rat race.



I will see you on down the road and let you know which direction I decide to go to Glacier National Park and my Summer job and adventure.  I am really looking forward to seeing some altitude, even though it does take a while to adjust to it.  Love those cool nights.  Still not so sure about those Grizzly bears!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Adios Texas – Montana or Bust!



Spring Tornadoes In Texas

I have been in Texas since last October and I have been sitting on my property sitting job in East Texas for five weeks now but I will be leaving next week.  I am not sure yet which direction I am going to take to get to Glacier, Montana.  Last night was a real tense night and makes me aware of how vulnerable I am to the weather living in a travel trailer.  At about midnight my emergency weather signal went off and warned of a tornado alert for a large area of Texas just south and east of my location. 

I got dressed and made my escape plan and turned on the television to see what was happening.  A large EF-4 tornado had hit the town of Granbury and killed six people and injured hundreds more.  Many are missing and the death toll will surly go up.  The good thing is the early warning signals sounded for over 20 minutes and saved many lives.  The news said there was over ten tornadoes in this area of Texas and lots of property damage all over.  It was really raining and the small hail falling on the roof of my travel trailer combined with the very loud thunder made for a very noisy and restless night.  It is still raining today also and the pond outside my parking spot is full and running out the overflow pipes now.  I’ll guess it rained at least four or more inches.

After watching all the news associated with this storm, I am glad I am not living in an area where tornadoes are common.  I would never survive being in such a storm while in this travel trailer. I have learned over the years that weather is my worst enemy out here on the road.  It requires being fully aware of what is going on at all times and having an escape plan.  Of course that is true no matter where you are and applies to fires and floods also.

I had planned to go straight north from here and visit my new RV friends, Larry and Nancy, in Kansas on my way to Montana.  I am now a little concerned that going north through Oklahoma and Kansas may not be a wise choice due to the really volatile weather patterns across the central plains area this time of the year.  I may head west and go north through Colorado.  I need to make that decision soon.

Family and Friend Times

I have been very busy while here helping and visiting with my brother and three sisters and Cousin Edna.  Cousin Edna is 85 years old and was admitted to the hospital last weekend and I worry about her.  I will go visit with her this weekend for sure.  I do not plan to come back down to Texas next Winter so I am glad I had the opportunity to spend some quality time with them.  Each one has some type of health issue and it concerns me that this may be my last visit and hug with someone I love and care about.  On Mother’s Day I drove to my 85 year old Aunt Sally’s home in Frankston (deep East Texas) and took all the food and my grill and some flowers and a red velvet cake and made her and my cousins lunch.  It was a great visit and it is always nice to see my Aunt Sally and get a loving big hug from her.

I  also had the chance to get together with old High School friends again while here and that was very special.  My new and special RV friends, Fred and Judy, from Austin came up to visit me and we had a wonderful time.  Judy thinks I make the best onion cheeseburgers in the world!  They were pretty good and I am really glad they liked them.  I was just honored they came to see me and Fred really liked my big bad truck.

My Big Bad Ford Truck

I have been getting things done before I leave here for Montana.  I greased the trailer wheel bearings and torqued the lugs and filled the tires with correct air pressure. 

I even bought myself another tow vehicle while here because I have not liked the way my Jeep pulled the travel trailer.  The Jeep had a short wheelbase and it was a little squirrely pulling the trailer and made me feel unsafe.  I loved the Jeep but this truck makes me feel safe and is fun to drive.  Anyway, I bought a one owner, in great shape, 2007 Ford Lariat F-350 long bed diesel.  I spent more than I intended but justified it by saying this will be the last vehicle I ever buy hopefully.  It already has a fifth wheel hitch and metal sliding bed cover which is good as I plan to upgrade to a fifth wheel in the future as I can afford it.  I know it will pull my little trailer with ease.  It may not sound like good gas mileage but it is averaging around 16 MPG without pulling my trailer and I don't expect that to change.  That’s 5 MPG more than the Jeep and it is much bigger and heavier.  I really love this truck! 

Having a big Ford truck like I do now almost makes me want to wear my cowboy hat and boots and hang a rifle or fishing pole in the back window.  Dexter likes our truck too.  I went to lunch today at a local place in Emory and left the electric sliding back window open a few inches.  When I looked out, Dexter was laying on the seat back with his little nose sticking out the crack!




Birds, Deers and Memories

I am going to miss the sound of the Cardinals singing every day when I leave this peaceful Texas place.  We don’t have them in Oregon and I don’t think they are in Montana but I will soon know. They wake me up singing at the crack of dawn every day and sing to me in the evenings and a whole lot in between when the crows aren’t yelling at each other.  Pati and I loved to sit on our back porch (our Veranda) and watch and listen to those beautiful birds and the deer when we lived near San Antonio.  Here’s a picture of her before she got too sick…..breakfast on our Veranda.  That's Dexter waiting for a bite.  I sure miss those days….they were very special. 

Pati and Dexter on the Veranda










Sometimes I think if I get Alzheimer’s I won't have memories of Pati but that’s a selfish attitude.  I realize how lucky I am and how special it is to be able to recall her beautiful smile and all those wonderful times we had together.  I just need to learn how to find joy and happiness in my memories instead of sadness for my loss. I think time will help me to do that. Today it has been eleven months since she passed away.  I can’t say time has flown because it has been the most sad and lonely time of my entire life.  I am not looking forward to this same time next month and the reminder that a year has passed, but I know it is coming. 

Interesting Blog

I have been following some RV travel blogs since being out here on the road and recently came across one that is very interesting.  You should check it out at http://rvsueandcrew.com.   This  lady travels alone with her two dogs full time in a little Casita travel trailer, 16 feet long, pulled by a Chevy van.  She documents every cent she spends and is living full time on less than 13K a year.  I am hoping to learn a few tricks from her so I can afford to stay out here without going broke!  Since my brother and his wife live in Hurricane, Utah and I want to see more of Utah, I will be spending more time down that way so maybe someday we will cross trails.

For now I need to get this posted and published.  I don’t anticipate too much more happening here to talk about unless the weather surprises me!   See you down the trail.