Friday, September 20, 2013

Home at Last


We arrived home around 12:15PM today. Total miles put on the coach was 3035.

Temperature today in Tucson was 101 degrees F. A far cry from the seventies to low eighties during the day and the low forties that we had all summer in Paradise. I guess one might say that we left Paradise for Hell as far as the daily temperatures.

Strider seems to be adapting to traveling in the motor home. At least no more throwing up the past several days of traveling.

Now to unloading the coach, cleaning it and putting the house and yard back in order after being gone all summer.

The next trip is coming up soon, Big Sandy starting October 23rd, This event will be a Reed male family event.


Thursday, September 19, 2013

213 Miles to Home


The coach maintenance was completed late Tuesday afternoon. We departed Camp Charlies Wednesday morning. Wednesday night was spent at an RV Park about mid-way between junction US89 and Utah 20 and Kanab Utah. This positioned us for a 293 mile drive today leaving 213 miles to travel to home tomorrow.

In the early morning hours of Feb. 20, 2013, a landslide ripped through a section of US 89 along a mountain slope about 25 miles south of Page, buckling more than 150 feet of the roadway and tearing the pavement up in six-foot-high sections.


The buckling of US 89 near Page, Arizona caught us by surprise on our journey north in early June. We had to detour over 45 miles on US89A. This added around two hours to our intended driving time on that day. 89A was very crudely, narrow with several mountains to climb and descend. We were not looking forward to doing that detour on the way back home.

Luckily for us Arizona quickly paved Navajo 20 from Page to the town of Gap where 89T (the T is for temporary) rejoins US 89. 89T parallels US89 so it adds only a few more miles to the original route. Actually 89T is much nicer than the section of 89 that it replaces as it much more level and straighter. The current speed limit is 40 to 45 near Page AZ and increases to 55 mph for most of the way.

89T Going North Starts at The Gap AZ and Ends at Page AZ

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Day 3 on the way home–Camp Charlies


Today was a short travel day, 144 miles from Fort Hall, Idaho to Camp Charlie’s in Sunset Utah.

Strider made it the whole way without throwing up. He is starting to enjoy sitting in Raija’s lap and looking out at the scenery. He naps most of the time until we hit a bump or a strange noise occurs.

Charlie’s is busy as usual. There are eight coaches here including us. Six are Alfas and there are two SOBs, Some Other Brand.

With a little bit of luck, we will be finished with our service tomorrow and we will depart Sunset Tuesday morning. I did plan for two days of service and a Wednesday morning departure just in case they are running behind schedule.

Arriving Camp Charlie's

803 miles left to go

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Second Day of Travel Towards Home from Paradise


Well so far so good as it looks like the travel blog is working again after being locked out by some hacker.

We left Paradise yesterday morning around 9:00 AM. Our first stop was at a rest stop in Montana just after crossing the Idaho / Montana border. About two miles from the rest stop, Strider threw up. Well he almost made it to the rest stop. On the way from home to paradise, Strider threw up every morning. But maybe there is hope, today we traveled 276 miles from Deer Lodge Montana to Fort Hall Idaho without any upchucking from Strider.

Our first day’s mileage was 280. It seems a little odd to leave Idaho and enter into Montana, travel a day and a half in Montana and end up spending the night again in Idaho.

Raija and Strider in Coach – Fort Hall, Idaho

We will spend the tonight in the RV Parking Area at the Fort Hall Blackfoot Indian Casino. Full hookups, including 50 amps is $21.63. Tomorrow we travel 144 miles to Champ Charlie’s in Sunset, Utah for the coach’s annual service. As some of you will recall, Camp Charlie's is across from Hill Air Force  Base where our son, Jimmy, was based some years ago. Jimmy was promoted to Colonel at Hill Air Force Base.

Departing Paradise


Someone hacked into my Google account and locked out the travel blog. Hopefully all is restored now.

Friday’s, September 14th, post.

Sadly it is time to depart Paradise, especially since there are only two bottles of beer left.

We had been busy packing up for the last four days. Amazing enough, we found a place for everything.

This morning we finished the last chores for departure and said goodbye to the owners, a few of the residents that were having breakfast in the lodge and fellow RVers.

Departing Paradise

Our departure would not be complete without a tour of Worley, Idaho. Worley is the closest town to Paradise. Now you see why we do most of our shopping in Coeur d’Alene at Fred Myers, Costco or Wal-Mart.


Worley Idaho



Saturday, August 17, 2013

Coeur d’Alene Trail Video


It took all week to get the video uploaded. The size of the file and the upload speed of the internet here required more than 48 hours to upload the video of the trail. During the week the power company was changing out the lines along the main road. At least once a day they would cut the power which in turned stopped the upload process and required another attempt to try a new upload. There was no power interruption on Friday, so Thursday’s upload restart finally completed late last night.

The first video, Chatcolet to Harrison via Coeur d'Alene Trail is rather long as it is just over seven miles from Chatcolet to Harrison.

Chatcolet to Harrison via Coeur d'Alene Trail

The history of the trail was covered in an earlier blog.

As mentioned before Harrison is home to the Creamery so a short video of the Creamery is a must.

The Creamery–Harrison Idaho

 The batteries on the helmet video camera gave out on the return trip so scenes on the way back will have to wait for another attempt for huckleberry ice cream.

The local farmer markets are starting to carry fresh huckleberries. We purchased a quart for $10 the other week and Raija baked a huckleberry pie which provided me with my huckleberry fix until the next trip to Harrison.   

Saturday, August 10, 2013

All is well in Paradise


It has been a while since I have posted on our travel blog so here is just a short note to let all know that all is well in paradise. We have been busy just relaxing and enjoying the happenings here, exercising in the indoor 92 degree pool and cooling down in the outdoor 84 degree pool.

Strider enjoys his walks with Raija several times a day.


Strider looking for Raija’s return from the pool.

This summer has been filled with many concerts here at the resort. This weekend we had two, one on Friday and another one this evening.

Friday’s Concert featured Jesse Terry

Jesse Terry is a nationally touring, award-winning singer-songwriter and road warrior. 
His music has been compared to the likes of Jackson Browne,
Paul Simon and James Taylor. 
Jesse has toured relentlessly in support of his two albums,
sharing the stage with such great singer/songwriters
as Mat Kearney, David Wilcox and Lori McKenna. 
Jesse is a regular at some of the finest listening venues in the country,
including the famous Bluebird Café in Nashville.


Tonight we are being entertained by Scott Kirby


Pianist/composer Scott Kirby specializes in
distinctly American musical styles which include
Classic Ragtime, New Ragtime, Creole Music and Terra Verde.
As a performer, he is also an educator,
providing historical context and musical insight into the program as it unfolds.
Each concert may include examples from North America,
South America and the Caribbean,
illuminating how a rich musical heritage
evolved from a mélange of ethnic music and "art music",
from the aural and the composed traditions.
Concerts may contain short pieces from Latin America
and the French Caribbean such as the Haitian meringue,
the beguine from Martinique, the Puerto Rican danza,
the cumbia or the Cuban habanera.
In addition, Kirby champions writers of New Ragtime and Terra Verde,
contemporary counterparts to the more traditional styles.
As a composer, Kirby combines the influence
of nineteenth century romanticism
with these New World idioms into his own
individual, syncopated language.

This past Wednesday we rode the bikes on the Coeur d’Alene trail to Harrison and enjoyed the Creamery’s ice cream. I am working on the video footage from a helmet mounted HD camera and hope to be able to post it in the next day or two.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Festival Summary


Probably the best way to catch up on the happenings during past week is to incorporate the Musings newsletter put out by the resort authored by Margie Cantlon, one of the owners and wife of Chas.

Thursday, July 11, 2013­
This is the day that is dedicated to celebrating Chas’ life. 
We’ll begin that in earnest at the 4:30 patio party,
but just remember, having fun all day is a requirement!

7 AM Beginner Yoga


7:30 AM Aquacise in the warm indoor pool.

8-9:30 AM our hot breakfast ($6.50 tax included)
Eggs to order with bacon, morning glory muffins, toast, juice & coffee.
Continental breakfast ($4.50 tax included) FREE with a room

9:30 AM Nature Walk
Find out about the flora on our hiking trails with Margaret. 
She’s getting up early to take the walk before it gets too hot!

10 AM Frisbee Golf


11:30 Volleyball

11:30 AM John Mosley will discuss sunspots


Because this year is the peak of the 11-year solar cycle
there are sunspots visible every day.
(Some of them cause displays of the Northern Lights
and if we're lucky we'll see them too one clear night.)
Our resident astronomer, John Mosley will show sunspots
and do a little interpretation on the sun.
It'll be visible from the pool area -- and showing the sun for an hour;
people can wander over on their own for a peek.
If the day is overcast, we’ll reschedule for another day during the Festival.

11:30-1:30 PM Lunch
Snack Bar on the Patio
A vast array of choices for lunch!


Geoff has volunteered to help us out with
Tunes by the pool Thursday afternoon!

2 PM Shuffleboard

2 PM Jay and Lee will lead a quick dance lesson
to prepare for the DJ dance.
Meet in the lodge on the dance floor.

4:30 PM Pot Luck Patio Party
Bring what you like to drink and
A snack to share.


We will be providing beer and wine for this party.
We will also have a microphone set up
And anybody who would like to share
A story about Chas is welcome to do so.

After the patio party, Sun Meadow will provide
FREE dinner on the patio.

And after dinner, at 9 PM, the celebration will wind up with a DJ dance.
John, of recent tunes by the pool fame, has volunteered
To DJ this dance to leave Margie free to visit.


--Friday, July 12, 2013­
Morning coffee is on at 7 AM

7 AM Beginner Yoga


7:30 AM Aquacise in the warm indoor pool.


8-9:30 AM our hot breakfast ($6.50 tax
Bacon and egg breakfast casserole, muffins, toast, juice & coffee.
Continental breakfast ($4.50 tax included) FREE with a room

10:00 AM Pickleball

Suddenly, Pickleball is everywhere!

11:30 AM Volleyball


11:30-1:30 PM Lunch
Snack Bar on the Patio
A vast array of choices for lunch!

1:30 PM Workshop
Do you have an iPhone?
Is it as much a mystery to you as it is to me?

Look at all those apps! How do they work?
Brian Sommerfeldt, a certified young person,
Has gallantly offered to share his expertise
On the iPhone with us geezers!

John and Laurie will be joining Geoff for
Tunes by the pool Friday afternoon!

2:00 PM Bocce


4:00 PM Ping Pong on the Patio

4:30 PM a second patio party!
Bring whatever you like to drink
And something to share
And bring your friendship and conversation!

6:30 PM Soup, Salad & Homemade Bread ($7 tax included)
Taco soup, homemade bread, salad & cookies

8 PM Concert on the Stage
Tickets $12
James Lee Stanley returns to Sun Meadow

James Lee Stanley is SO much more than the “All Wood and Stones”
album he did with
John Batdorf, and which they performed
on the Sun Meadow Stage last October.
"An unexpected power from the limited instruments
(Stanley plays acoustic guitar and piano)
creates rock 'n' roll that would justify rolling out the dance floor.
The more sad and sensitive expressions of the love songs
are counterbalanced by Stanley's absurdly amusing introductions..."  
The Denver Post

--Saturday, July 13, 2013­
Morning coffee is on at 7 AM
7 AM Beginner Yoga

7:30 AM Aquacise in the warm indoor pool.

8-9:30 AM our hot breakfast ($6.50 tax included)
Morning glory muffins, eggs to order, bacon, toast, juice & coffee.
Continental breakfast ($4.50 tax included) FREE with a room

9:00 AM Frisbee Golf

10:00 AM Pickleball

11:00 AM Learn to Make a Bracelet
Meet at Val’s tent on the patio to make your own bracelet.
Cost is $5 to cover materials.

11:30 AM Volleyball

11:30-1:30 PM Lunch
Snack Bar on the Patio
A vast array of choices for lunch!

John and Laurie will be back with Goeff this weekend!
Tunes by the pool Saturday afternoon

2:00 PM Bocce

4 PM Ping Pong on the Patio

4:30 PM Another Potluck Patio Party
Bring some finger food to share
and whatever you like to drink.


6:30 PM Dinner $11 (tax included)
Marinated pork tenderloin, rice, steamed broccoli,
salad, sourdough, dessert

8 PM Concert Featuring Otter Creek
Tickets $12


Otter Creek combines folk music with old time,
sprinkles it with a seasoning of Celtic and western roots,
and produces a wonderful sound that is both unique and refreshing.
Peter sings right from the heart while, at the same time,
brings a magical musical talent to whatever instrument he picks up.
Not only does Mary have a captivating voice,
she coaxes tones from her fiddle that can only be matched
by a first chair violinist in a national acclaimed symphony.
Together they make a duo that is both a technical marvel and tastefully perfect.
These are two of the nicest people I have ever met
and two of the finest musicians America has to offer.
--Gene Bach,Siskiyou Bluegrass Show,KSYC 103.9FM, Yreka, California

-- Sunday, July 14, 2013 –
7 AM Beginner Yoga


7:30 AM Circuit Training with Terri on the Mezzanine
Morning coffee is on at 7 AM

8:30-9:30 AM our hot breakfast ($6.50 tax included)
Waffles, scrambled eggs, sausage, toast, juice & coffee
Continental breakfast ($4.50 tax included) FREE with a room

11:30 AM
Community Garden meeting


Brian and Tracy want to work with any folks interested in
planting and caring for a community garden out by the tennis-court-to-be.
Meet in the dining room at 11:30 and the will take it from there.

11:30-1:30 PM Lunch
Snack Bar on the Patio
A vast array of choices for lunch!


3 PM FREE Concert on the Pool Deck
Strangled Darlings
This will be a fun one!

Led by multi-instrumentalists George Veech and Jessica Anderly,
Strangled Darlings are a quickly becoming
one of the brightest lights in the galaxy of musicians
that populate their hometown of Portland, Oregon.
The group's tunes are a spirituous and devilish attempt
to bring the folk/country/jazz world back to its roots
as a bawdy, political, and tuneful mix of low and high art.

6:30 PM Our $6/Free Famous Potluck
Bring something and it’s free
or bring $6 and it’s guilt free

Keeping the pools and hot tub clean plus running the outdoor lunch and all of the other activities kept us quite busy throughout the festival.

Yesterday I spent the day fine tuning on the Wi-Fi system throughout the RV and tenting areas.

Today will be catching up on chores in the coach and at our site. Thunderstorms are forecasted for tonight.

Weather permitting, a bike ride to Harrison for Huckleberry ice cream is on the agenda for tomorrow.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Festival Is Off and Running


Chas, one of the owners and who recently passed away, coined the term “Skin to the Wind. The festival has been an annual and popular event. Chas requested that a party be held instead of a funeral when he died. So this year’s Festival is honoring his request and his life.

Wednesday’s start was a little slow but RVs streamed in the late afternoon as well guests for the hotel rooms. This year’s festival’s attendance surpassed the previous years as many are making a special effort to celebrate Chas’s life.

The Festival kicked-off on Wednesday with a concert featuring TR Ritchie who was a close friend of Chas.

TR Ritchie goes from a busking at Pike Street Market to kicking it at Kerrville, Napa and Walnut Valley, this unreconstructed folkie sounds like the folk music we'd have been listening to all along. Ritchie writes plays and sings with heart and conviction and an innocence that you wouldn't expect from someone that's been around a few rough and competitive blocks. A dreamer with at least seven toes on the ground, Ritchie is a very solid link on a very solid folkie chain that somehow manages to command your attention without demanding it.

TR Ritchie
TR Ritchie

Both Raija and I have been kept busy helping out. The large crowd has meant extra effort to keep the pools and hot tub clean. Both of us start preparing for the patio lunch bar at 10:30. The lunch bar opens at 11:30 and closes at 1:30. Cleanup takes another 45 minutes or so. Strider keeps us company at the lunch bar. Two-K, (born in 2000) and Strider luck out in sharing hot dogs, turkey burgers and hamburgers that gets a little too well done on the grill.

Concerts and dancing occupy the evenings so we have been kept busy these past four days. Today is the last day of the festival so hopefully this week I will be able to catch up on the blog.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Bummer–No Huckleberry Ice Cream


This morning we made the 18 mile trip from Heyburn boat launch state park to Harrison. The main objective at Harrison of course was the Huckleberry ice cream at the Creamery.

Preparing to depart the boat ramp parking area by the Coeur d’Alene Trail

Boat houses at the Heyburn Park

Along the way we encountered a pond with red flowers in bloom on the lily pads that are floating on the pond. Sorry for the burry image, I still have problems taking pictures with the IPod.

Lilly Pond


We arrived at Harrison only to discover that the Creamery was closed. They had run completely out of ice cream over the holiday weekend. Lesson learned, do not peddle your ass all the way to Harrison on a Monday, much less a Monday after a long weekend as most likely the Creamery will be closed.

Since it was now noon, we decided to have some lunch in place of ice cream. We chose the marina. It was not too bad of a substitute, Raija had a cheese quesadilla and I had a hot dog with onion rings.


Lunch at the marina

Harrison Marina

Saturday, July 6, 2013

All is Quiet and Peaceful in Paradise


All is quiet and peaceful in paradise. It never did reach 100 degrees as forecasted. The highest temperature reached during the hot spell was 91 F. The last two days we didn’t even have to run the air conditioner in the coach. We are now back to near normal temperatures of low fifties at night and low eighties during the day.

I how have Wi-Fi working throughout the RV and tent areas. It still requires a little fine tuning which I will get back to on Tuesday. Monday will be a bike ride on the Coeur d’Alene trail to Harrison for Huckleberry ice cream cones.

Yesterday we indulged in the seafood buffet at the Coeur d’Alene Casino. The casino is just a few miles from the RV Park. We both over ate on Alaskan Snow Crab legs, oysters, shrimp and deserts.

The resort had its traditional 4th of July fireworks display. Strider actually seemed to enjoy it. He sat in Raija’s lap and looked at sky bursts.

Strider enjoys his walks with Raija except for the trails in the forest. After one trail walk, he now refuses to go on the trail again. Maybe some scent on the trail spook him.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Just Another Day in Paradise


Today was only 91 degrees, not too bad, especially with the outdoor pool at 84 degrees. Tomorrow is still forecasted to be a little warmer, than the daily highs should trend back towards normal, low eighties. The nights are in the low sixties.

I was a little worried that that yesterday’s  BBQ boneless, pork ribs had turned out to be a little on the too spicy side for the north people here. However there was not a one left so they must have been okay even through the chilies that I used were a little on the warm side.

Today was mostly spent on installing the new outdoor Wi-Fi repeater. Hopefully we will be able to finish that task tomorrow. By the time we got it up on the roof of the lodge, it was too hot to go into the attic to run the CAT 5 cable and power.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Celebrating with our Friends from the North, well almost


Yesterday did not get as warm as predicted. Around 5:00 AM we woke to the sound of thunder. We scrambled to cover the things outside. It was chilly enough that it woke us up to the point where we stayed up and started the day.

There was enough cloud cover that the daytime temperature stayed below the mid-80s.

This weekend was

Celebrate With Our Friends to the North


The idea was that Canadians would spend the weekend here at resorts on the U.S. side of the border and later in the summer the Americans would spend a weekend at Canadian resorts. The problem is that Calgary to the north of us was flooded as well as many of the Canadian highways. The result was that only one Canadian was able to make it to our resort.

All was not lost through as the resort was fairly full of locals coming from Coeur d’Alene and Spokane as well as the summer RVers, such as ourselves, that are here for the summer. I should point out that it is still early in the season here and many of the RV people are just starting to arrive.

Saturday we enjoyed our first concert of the summer.

Montana Skies



Montana Skies is classical guitar & cello

It turns out that they met at University of Georgia in Athens where I worked. Of course it was after my time. They went on to study music in Bozeman, Montana.

"...rambling across a map of influences from American folk and Arabic music to jazz, flamenco and pop. And Montana Skies' unrelenting tour schedule is geared toward taking this harmonious hybrid to the masses." - Atlanta Journal Constitution

"A wide reaching..and rocking duo...with wondrous eclecticism and dynamic sound "
- HONEST TUNE MAGAZINE-The Southern Journal of Jam

"Their first piece elicited a standing ovation, one of many throughout the evening. Their virtuosity left the audience exhilarated and wanting more." - Pat Crawford, host, WUWF RADIO LIVE

"The buzz these talented musicians created will give our series an enormous boost. ...reminds us of the power and magic of a live performance."
- Morrison Center for the Performing Arts, Boise, ID

"Your show last evening here in Macon was outstanding...What incredible musicians and the creativity of your performance was stellar. And the chemistry between you was palpable..." - Richard & Roz, GA

"...amazing technique and mastery of the guitar and cello in a seemingly effortless fashion..." - Director, Glema Mahr Center for the Arts

"The duo moved smoothly from classic to ...popular melodies, giving everything their signature touch and confidence. Bravo to the concert association for finding this wonderful team." - Valley City Times, Valley City, ND

Indeed their first piece gave rise to a standing ovation. It was one of the best concerts that we have attended here.

Today, Sunday, was a busy day. First problem was that the Wi-Fi was up and down all day yesterday and then failed altogether last night. So the first priority this morning was to get it back up and running. That took about an hour. Next was the daily pool maintenance. By the time those chores were completed, it was time to setup the outdoor lunch BBQ and get ready to cook hamburgers, hot dogs, chili, turkey burgers and veggie-burgers. It was our practice run at running the outdoor lunch for the big festival “Skin to the Wind”, coming up in a couple of weeks.

Tonight is the Sunday Pot Luck dinner, so by the time lunch was over, it was time to start smoking the boneless pork ribs that will be our contribution for tonight’s dinner. The full recipe, overnight marinated ribs with my version of homemade Kansas City rub, smoke ribs for two hours, then put ribs in crockpot with BBQ sauce and Hatch New Mexico green chilies.