August 25, 2011

RV Open House at the Park

Tim invited his friends and colleagues at Rocky Mountain National Park to an open house to show off the RV.  Because so many people have been hearing about our trip, or have seen the RV at the park, we wanted them to see where we will be living for the next nine months.  Although Tim has another month of work, we wanted to get together with his colleagues now, since I will be leaving in less than two weeks. 

It was fun to have people walk through the RV and see how we have managed to pack all that we will need in such a small space.  Most everyone was amazed at the efficient use of space in a small Class B RV.

Friends, Colleagues and Food
Superintendent Vaughn Baker and Tim’s boss Larry Frederick, Chief of Interpretation, joined us, and I thanked them profusely for everything they have done to make this trip a reality.  Not every employer would allow an employee to leave for nine months.  We are so lucky that Tim works for such wonderful people, and I am so proud that he is a National Park Service employee.  What an amazing organization.

Superintendent Vaughn Baker, Tim, and Chief of Interpretation Larry Frederick
Since she was the inspiration for acquiring the RV, we had to bring Kitty along for the party, and she behaved perfectly, basking in all of the attention.  We take her good nature for granted, but many people marveled at how well she behaved on a leash and in her kitty enclosure.

Tim and Kitty

August 22, 2011

Final Shake-Down

This weekend we set out on our final test run before the start of the “big trip.”  Our destination was Casper, Wyoming.  This trip would serve several purposes.

Why Casper?  The folks from the RV Water Filter Store, whom I had met at The Rally, were going to be there and had offered to look at the Kat Karrier to see if a water filter system could be installed inside the RV.  We want to be able to drink the water from the tap and would prefer to avoid hooking up an exterior filter to the hose if at all possible.

Watching the World Go By
The second purpose was to see how the cat would do on a four-hour ride.  This was going to be a big test for her.  Kitty did very well. After spending the first hour in the security of my lap, she summoned her courage and moved to the back of the sofa, where she could watch all the cars go by.  After intermittent cries for the next hour or so, she apparently decided that riding in the RV wasn’t so bad after all and settled down for the duration of the trip.

We arrived in Casper just after dark and pulled into the type of campground that we hope to avoid – sites extremely close together and not a tree or even a blade of grass to be found.  The entire site was paved with gravel.  Oh well, the campground was clean and convenient for our appointment the next morning.

We met with Rick from the RV Water Filter Store the next morning and reluctantly came to the conclusion that an exterior filter was the only way to go.  Rick was so knowledgeable and helpful, and I would recommend him highly.

We finished our business before noon and decided to forego our second night at the campground in Casper, even though we had prepaid for two nights.  Our thought was to find a campground with more “natural” amenities a little farther south. 

But before we left Casper, we had to refuel our faces.  Johnny J’s Diner, a 50s throwback, called to us.  Chili, wet fries, egg salad and peach pie.  How deliciously disgusting?  Thank goodness for the fruit we would have for dinner.

We headed south and picked out Glendo State Park as a promising destination.  However, the lack of electrical hookups in 90°+ weather ruled that one out.  Air conditioning was a must, so we ended up at a private campground nearby.  This one was also paved with stones.  Is this the new trend in campgrounds?  This campground, however, featured very wide sites, a pretty view and grass nearby.  Kitty agreed that this would do just fine.

This Isn't So Bad
After it cooled down a bit, Kitty joined us outside and even went for a few walks.  Tim never imagined that he would be walking a cat, but he’s very good at it!
I Like Walks
We took the back roads on our way home to Estes Park on Sunday, and declared the shake-down a success.

Rainbow in the Distance