Now in Crawfordsville, Indiana

Now in Crawfordsville, Indiana

We are now in Del Rio Texas

We are now in Del Rio Texas

RV Frame Repair, RV Weighing, Computer Repair, RV-Dreams Friends

September 23 - 27, 2014   

This past week has been very different for us living in a motel room for 4 nights.  One of the good things for me anyway was that the motel has a small exercise room with a tread mill and a weight machine.  At least I wouldn’t get complete cabin fever.  There was also a golf course very close by, just 6 miles, that we could play and get some outdoor air.

The golf course was very close to a RR track.
Mostly this past week we shopped, ate, and played golf.  I also did an hour of weights or the tread mill each day.  We ended up playing 18 holes one day and just 9 another day.  It was really great as the weather has been perfect the whole week.  

On Tuesday the 23rd I got our truck in for it's 5k oil change.  I also had a rotational squeak we have had for a few months since we left Texas that I wanted Ford to have a look at.  It turned our that I had a belt and a belt tensioner I needed to have replaced for a whopping $550.  Good thing we have an extended warranty that picked up the belt tensioner.  That saved us about $300 on the repair.

Our motel is just a short walk to many restaurants that we took advantage of.  Still, for us, eating out like this is very rare.  We average eating out at 2 times per month and we ate out 4 times this week alone!  We also did a fair amount of shopping to update our clothes a bit.  Since the summer season is over up here Walmart has the warm weather clothes on clearance so we took advantage of that.  All in all it was a very expensive week for us.

One of the many restaurants near our motel.
On Wednesday we met up with RV-Dreams friends and fellow bloggers, Allan and Donna Ferguson, the "Fergs".  We first met them 2 years ago at an RV-Dreams rally in Oregon. 

We had a nice lunch with them at their site at an RV repair facility in Elkhart.  They had attended the RV-Dreams rally last week and were still there getting some work done.  We had been planning to catch up with them for some time, but we keep missing each other as we cross the country.  It was good time and we hope to see each other again down the road as we all say a lot.

Allan, Patty, and Donna.

Patty with the "famous" Ferg gnome!

Patty’s computer has been acting up for some time now.  I did what I could do with it and was left with a virus that I couldn’t get rid of.  This virus, according to my research on the internet cannot be removed with any of the virus softwares out there.  I found very complex routines to eradicate it but I am not that computer sophisticated to attempt any of them.  So, I need help!  

On our way to play golf one morning we passed a sign for a computer repair place that said “we remove viruses”.  That seemed to be just what we needed.  On our way back from golf we stopped in to the repair place and they said they could take care of the virus overnight for $95.  

We got the computer back the next day, Thursday, and found that Google Chrome would not work but the virus was in fact gone, good thing.  Weird that Chrome didn’t work though.  I tried MS IE and it worked fine.  I then loaded a new version of Chrome on to the computer and it didn’t work either.  I couldn’t even get to the settings screen, very strange.  OK, I need help again!

We took the computer back to the repair place on Friday and were told they would again have it done for us overnight.  
This was fine but we leave the area on Saturday morning. We didn’t check when they opened on Saturday either.  

Our RV repair and maintenance work was completed Friday afternoon late so we stayed in their lot overnight. 

Our RV set up for the night in the lot at the repair facility.

It was fine as they had us hooked up to 50A and there was water close enough for me to put some water in the fresh water tank. Also, there was a dump station on the way out.  Perfect!

This isn't our RV parts but they are the exact same.
This is some of the stuff that was removed from our RV.

This is also not our unit but it is the same as ours.
This is the first stage of the repair, removing the front fiberglass cap.
We made arrangements with Howard and Linda of RV-Dreams to weigh our rig (Truck and RV) at 10am on Saturday morning.  We forgot about Patty’s computer at the repair facility until Saturday morning.  It all worked out as the computer place didn’t even open until 12:30pm.  So we got the rig weighed and just left it in the parking lot where we had it weighed until we got back with the computer.

We had the rig weighed for peace of mind.  There are a lot of weights we need to be aware of and not exceed.  These weights are as follows:

GCVWR: Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating.  This is the weight of the entire rig (Truck and RV).  This weight is specified by the truck manufacturer, Ford in our case.  The GCVW for our truck is 29,000 lbs.  We are at 26,100 lbs.  So we are good there.

GVWR of the Trailer:  This is specified by the trailer manufacturer and in our case is Prime Time Manufacturing. The RV GVWR is 15,441 lbs.  Our actual weight is 16,000 lbs.  This means we are overweight by 559 lbs. on the RV. However, we now have heavier wheels and tires.  The extra tire and wheel weight doesn’t count against us on the RV as this weight is carried by the wheels and tires themselves.  It does, however count toward the other weights.  We also had about 200-250 lbs. of waste water in our tanks at the time we were weighed.  It still counts against us, but the repair we just had done added about 300 lbs. to the RV. In the end we are just a tiny bit overweight on the RV.

Tire Weight Capacity: We can carry up to 4,800 lbs. on our tires each.  Our heaviest loaded tire was 3,500 lbs.  We are good there.

RV Axle Weight Rating: Our axles are rated at 7,000 each. We are good with the total weight on the axles at 12,450 lbs. However, we are on the edge with the driver side end of the leading axle.  Not too bad but we need to watch for any unusual wear on the suspension.

GRAWR:  Gross Rear Axle Weight Rating of the rear axle on the truck.  Ford specifies this weight at 5,500 lbs. on our truck.  We are at 3,550 lbs. so are good here.

GVWR of the truck:  Our truck is rated for a weight of 14,500 lbs by Ford.  We weighed in at 13,650 lbs.  We are again good here.

The last thing is make sure of is that we are not unloading the front axle of the truck when we put the weight of the RV into the bed.  Again, here we are good.  The front end only changed by 50 lbs. on one side.

Overall we are fine with the weights.  We do need to be careful not to add any more weight to the RV.  I am going to reorganize the basement area and try to shift some weight to the right side so the one axle is not as loaded.  I am also going to attempt to move some weight from the RV into the truck bed where we have more capacity.  There isn’t a lot I can do, but knowing where you stand with weight helps a lot to plan how and what to carry.

While waiting on the computer place to open, we went to the Elkhart Fairgrounds which was hosting the Mennonite Relief fund raiser.  This event sells stuff made at some of the 3rd world areas that they do missionary work at with the proceeds going back the people.  There are also many other things being sold as well as food that goes to the relief fund.
We picked up some soap made in India.  We are sort of hooked on the handmade soap so we get some whenever we see it.

These were parked outside the Elkhart Fairgrounds.

Inside one of the fairgrounds buildings with the wares for sale.

Fun for the kids at the fairgrounds.

While at the fairgrounds we went over to Howard and Linda’s 5th wheel to check out all of the new stuff they had done to it. They are parked at the fairgrounds weighing RVs and doing seminars at the various RV rallies in the next few weeks. They had a new roof, new outside paint, and new floors put in.  This is their answer to getting a new unit; just make your old one new again.  They also had their truck bed replaced with a hauler bed.  Now their 9 year old rig looks new again!

Howard and Linda's rig, Jeep and truck.  

We picked up the computer at 1pm and headed back to the RV about 30 minutes away in Goshen. We got hooked up and were on our way a little before 2 in the afternoon for the 3 hour trip 150 miles to Crawfordsville IN.  Anyway, that was the plan.  About an hour into the trip we encountered a closed main road, state road 31 south.  The signs were very poor here.  In fact there were no signs at the intersection where we got on 31.  As we made the turn on to 31 there now was a sign saying that the road was closed 1 mile ahead and that the detour was back the way we just came! 

Very cool mural on a building in Elkhart IN.

An Elkhart elk statue in downtown Elkhart.

One of the many buggies along the way out of the Goshen/Elkhart area on Saturday.

We turned around and headed further west on State road 8 and got on 35 and finally on 421 to 231 south to Crawfordsville. This detour added about an hour to our trip getting us to our campsite at the KOA a little after 6pm.  By the time we got settled in it was almost 7pm.  We picked up a couple of pizzas and headed over to the grandkids' house for dinner.

For the next week we will be here in Crawfordsville just hanging out.  I am planning to reorganize the truck and basement for weight and for ease of use.  This is really just an ongoing thing, reorganizing.  We bought a new weather station with a wind measurement device which I plan to install too. 

After our week in Crawfordsville we are planning to head to Nashville TN next.

Stay tuned!

Bellefonte to Cleveland: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

September 20 - 22, 2014  

Today we are heading to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (RRHF) on Lake Erie in Cleveland OH.  We have never really had a desire to see this place but we are in Cleveland and damn it we should see it while we are here!  We also reserved a dinner and Comedy Show on the main downtown Cleveland happening area on East 4th Street.  This will be our short visit to Cleveland Ohio.

We headed off to the RRHF around noon figuring that we would need an hour to get there and parked and then 3 hours tops to see the RRFH.  Good thing we figured an hour to get there and parked.  We are after season but it is still a Saturday and we are technically still in summer.   We couldn’t find a place to park!  The RRFH is right on Lake Erie so the parking is basically on both side of the place.  Next door to the RRHF is the Browns Football Stadium which didn’t seem to help for parking.  Finally one of the commercial parking lots about a block away had an opening while we were in position to get in.  We had been watching this place for a while as we drove around in a routine looking for a place.  As a car would leave the place, the attendant would move the traffic cone to let someone in.  It was finally our turn!  So now we are up to $10 for the privilege to park near the RRHF.

We didn’t know before why the RRHF was here in Cleveland but now we do.  We learned that the term “Rock and Roll” was first coined here in the early 50s by a local disc jockey to describe black rhythm and blues music to a mixed white and black audience.  We had thought the RRHF was here because they couldn’t find anywhere else for it.  Well we were just wrong!

The RRHF is a very modern building right on the lake and next to the Cleveland Browns Stadium. It really is a nice place and for the cost of admission it should be.  It was $24 a piece to get in to what is basically a showcase of Rock and Roll memorabilia; sort of like a Hard Rock CafĂ© on steroids. We spent 2.5 hours in the RRHF and we are not really in to it that much.  There really is a lot to see here even if only some of it matters to you.  

Janis Joplin's car.

ZZ Top guitars.

Inside one of the Rolling Stones on-stage music cases.

Don't know why for this, but here it is at the top of the Hall of Fame.

Cleveland from the inside of the hall of fame.

The bottom line for us on the RRHF is that it is only worth it if you are a hard core music fan or, like us, are in the area anyway and have the time.  It was a fun time but I wouldn’t go out of my way to see it.

We had reservations at the Pickwick & Frolic Restaurant and Comedy Club on 4th Street at 5:30.  It’s 4 when we leave the RRHF and head the couple of miles to the restaurant.  Again, we have a very hard time finding the restaurant and then finding a place to park.  It looks like Cleveland has done what many other cities have done across the country have done and converted an area in downtown to foot traffic with a club atmosphere.  Cleveland has done this with East 4th Street.  The problem for us was that our Garmin and Google maps have not caught up to this.  We finally found a place to park about 3 blocks from 4th Street at 5:15 leaving us just a few minutes to get to the restaurant.

Even though it was a Saturday night, 5:30 is still very early for a dinner reservation so arriving a little late was fine.  We got a nice table outside so we could watch the Cleveland happenings up close and personal.  Seems that this area, as well as the RRHF, are places for weddings.  We saw 5 wedding receptions and pictures taking place; 2 at the RRHF and 3 on 4th Street.  
Our dinner seating area right on the main drag.

4th Street at night.

We had one of the specials, prime rib cooked on an open pit fire.  We were a little dubious about the open pit fire but were pleasantly surprised.  The prime rib was just about the best we have ever had.  Man, was that a great piece of meat and you could taste the wood fire it was cooked on! It was a 16oz piece of rib and cost accordingly at $30 each.  Probably the most I have ever spent on prime rib but it was the best I have had so I give it a big thumbs up!

Now, for the comedy show at 7pm in the basement.  They had the usual 3 acts, the presenter, a main act, and then the headliner.  The best part of this show was the presenter; the other 2 were not good at all.  We were surprised that the headliner could even be called a headliner.  

All in all we had a good time but not a great time in Cleveland.  We got a good feel for Cleveland Ohio and know a little about the city now so that was good thing.  Again, Cleveland is a place to visit if it is on your way and a convenient place to stop.  It’s a good thing we found the Fairgrounds for a camping spot as it really would not have been worth it to be 30 miles away.  By the way, it was a little better in that we were not charged for our site in Cleveland. The office was closed when we arrived on Friday so we were shown our site by the superintendent who said he would be back to get our money, but he never came back!

Sunday the 21st we are taking off for the final leg of our journey to Elkhart to have our RV frame repaired.  It is a 230 mile boring ride on route 80 from Cleveland to Elkhart Indiana. The weather wasn’t nice to boot.  The farther we went the rainier it got and the colder it got.  By the time we reached the Elkhart Campground it was 55 degrees with 25 mph wind and spitting rain.  We are still in shorts and tee shirts as it was near 80 when we left Cleveland and we really do not like long pants anyway!

This is a quick bump and run for us as we are going to deliver the RV to the Prime Time Manufacturing repair facility, Recreational Specialties, 6 miles away in the morning.  We got a 30A water and electric site in the open grass area so we could get satellite TV.  This is our 3rd time being in this campground now this year so we pretty much know where to go and what to expect.

Monday the 22nd we are up at 7am to get ready for the trip to the repair facility.  Since the repair requires the removal of the bedroom floor and the slide we need to remove all of our stuff from this area.  The bedroom dresser will be removed so we took the six drawers out with our clothes and put them in the center of the living room.  The slides on both sides are very close to these drawers when retracted.  Then we removed all of our clothes from the area in the under bed storage.  We also had to pack for the next 4-6 days to stay in a hotel while this work is being done.  Including the bedroom clothes removal and packing and our usual leaving routine it took us 2 hours to get on the road to the repair facility.  

We left the 5th wheel at Recreational Specialties around 11am. The place was packed with RVs which didn’t make us feel real good about getting ours done by Friday.  We were told originally that this work should be done by Friday but when we said something about picking it up on Friday we got a less than welcome response.  We shall see!

This is where we left her at the repair facility.  Note the RV nose on the ground in back of our unit.  That is a Sanibel front nose that has been taken off just like they are going to do to ours in the next few days.
We are now in the Baymont Inn and Suites in Elkhart for the next who knows how long.  We have a microwave and a small refrigerator, the minimum we need.  Still not near as good as being in our RV.  We are not looking forward to being in a motel for multiple nights.  No real good seating, can’t cook, bad bed, and none of our stuff.  We are planning to have the truck serviced while here and play some golf. 
Also, the RV-Dreams Rally just finished and there are a few people left that we can visit with.  We really hope this repair gets done quick!

Stay tuned!

Bellefonte (Beautiful Fountain) Pennsylvania

September 18 -19, 2014   

Our first stop after leaving NJ was at the Gram and Pap's campground in Bellefonte PA just off of route 80.  We liked this campground for a couple of reasons; it is close to 80 and it has a great view of the mountains in central PA.  We also got a nice fairly level pull through site and with discounts (PA and SKP) was only $25 a night for 50A FHU.  We are only here for 2 nights.

Campground Office.  Big on Penn State Football!

Our site.
Fall is beginning here in central PA.

Mountain view from our camp site.

On Thursday the 18th we headed into the town of Bellefonte to take a look around.  I have passed this town on route 80 for over 30 years without ever actually seeing it.  I’m not sure I really needed to see it before but now but we have the time to do so.

Bellefonte is about 5 miles from our campsite on the south side of route 80.  The town is small and seems to be isolated in the mountains that surround it.  Originally there was a water fountain near the mill in town which gave the town its name, Bellefonte or Beautiful Fountain in Spanish.  We have no Idea why Spanish as the original property owners were German.

We were first looking for the American Philatelic (Stamp and postal history and collecting) Center that is located here in Bellefonte.  I didn’t even know there was such a place!  

We have what they call a cover letter from the first Highway Post Office (HPO) Route from Indianapolis IN to Peoria IL.  This HPO lasted something like 20 years.  The HPO was the post office's answer to the diminishing passenger railroad service in the US that they used for mail delivery.  Before automation, the post office sorted mail while it was moving which was originally on the passenger trains that covered most of the US.  So the post office started to sort mail in trucks that were set up to have postal employees sort mail from town to town while the truck was moving.
Anyway, we have one of the original cover letters that was sent on the inaugural run from Indianapolis IN to Peoria IL in 1952 and we wanted to see if it was worth anything.  Well, no, it isn’t worth anything really.  The center suggested we donate it to them and they would use it for training maybe. We have decided to keep it and maybe give it to a grandchild.  I got the letter from stuff my grandmother had in her house when she died 20 years ago.  It’s one of those things that we didn’t get rid of when we downsized to FT RV.

After visiting the Philatelic Center, we had lunch in and old mill downtown.  This is where we learned a little history of the town and the mill.  The mill predates the town and the original owners property makes much of the town today.  The mill and the Spring Creek that powered the mill were connected to the canals that led to Philadelphia in the East.  So this mill was the center of the community that grew up around it. 

The mill is also a micro brewery.

After lunch we filled up the fuel tank and headed back to the RV.  We made a nice grilled chicken dinner and relaxed with some wine.  Another great day!

Next morning, the 19th, we set up leave and head to Cleveland Ohio.  We, however, had one of those complacent mornings that we all hate to have.  If this had been something we did while working on the railroad I would have needed to write a new safety rule about it.  We left the landing gear down and headed out for our trip to Cleveland OH.  

Our leaving routine has a division of responsibilities of sorts where I back the truck up and hitch it and I handle the locking of the hitch and safety wire inside the bed of the truck.  Patty handles the leveler and landing gear controls.  The last thing we do is check the hitch and trailer brakes with me in the truck and Patty near the controls at the side of the RV.  After I try to move against the RV brake and the hitch stays together, Patty retracts the landing gear.   The landing gear are about 2-3 inches off the ground at this time so that if the hitch failed the RV would land on these instead of the truck frame.  Well, this time she forgot to retract the landing gear. 

On our way out of our site there is a descending hill with a steep descending crest on a left curve.  I was worried that our landing gear may rub the top of the crest as we left.  I can’t see the landing gear until the truck is on the hill going down. We had come up this hill 2 days ago without any issue so I really didn’t think there would be one now.  As soon as the truck was fully into the decent I heard the landing gear hit the gravel.  I put on the brakes and looked into the mirror and saw that they were still down, shit!  I thought that we must have bent the hydraulic tubes.  I am now blocking the entire road in and out of the campground too!  We tried to retract the gear and couldn’t because the system said that we were at too great of an angle, what!  The only thing to do was to move the truck either backward or forward.  I chose backward the way we came.  It worked, the levelers only slid a little on the way back up the hill.  Once we were more level the system allowed us to fully retract them. Whew!  The whole thing only took about 15 minutes but it was a very long 15 minutes.  

OK, after 2 years of FT RVing we have a new lesson learned. Before I pull away I need to check both the clearance up and down of the RV.

After that, It was a fairly nice 240 mile 4 hour ride over to Cleveland OH.  We decided to stay in the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds for the next 2 nights.  The fairgrounds are only 12 miles from downtown Cleveland and the closest regular campground was about 30 miles outside of the city.  This would be our second time staying in a fairground.  The last time was in Santa Rosa CA almost 2 years ago.

This is a great little secret to know that most fairgrounds have an area for vendor RVs during fairs and events.  When there are no events they usually let you stay for a fair cost.  Here they are charging us $30 a night with 50A FHU.  It is actually high for no amenities but we are close to where we want to be and we have a large site.

Tomorrow we plan to visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and see a comedy show in downtown Cleveland.  Then on Sunday the 21st we head to Elkhart IN for RV frame repair starting on the 22nd. 

Stay Tuned!

Final NJ for the Season, Heading West

September 15 - 17, 2014   

Wow, this summer has gone very fast!  We did a lot of stuff though.  This is the end of our 3 one month stays during the summer.  We started in Indiana in June and then Buffalo in July/August and then finishing in New Jersey during August/September. We are now headed west to Elkhart Indiana to finally have the RV frame repaired.  We will arrive in Elkhart this Sunday and the work begins on Monday the 22nd.

This past Monday and Tuesday we spent getting the rig ready for travel again.  On Monday the 15th climbed on top of the RV to clean out the 2 A/C condensers.   I used an air gun hooked up to my air compressor to do this.  I really am not sure I accomplished much doing this except maybe now I know how dirty they get in 2 years and that isn’t much.  I would say that there was only about 5% of the surface covered with debris.  It is also hard to get the stuff off with an air gun.  I found that if I rubbed my fingers over the debris lightly and then blew air in from the other side it would come off.  However, just using the air from the outside in did very little.  I think next time I do this I will use a soft brush with a long handle to reach through the fan blade to get this debris off better.

The AC unit with the cover removed.  The condenser is the silver area on the far end.  The fan blows air through the unit so the dirt is inside the round hole.

This is the outside or clean area of the condenser.  I
 blew air through here to push the dirt out the other side.

On Tuesday the 16th I changed the oil and filter in the generator.  I only have 30 hours on the generator in 2 years but the maintenance schedule from Onan recommends at least once a year oil and filter change.  It really is the only thing I need to do for this generator until we get around 450 hours on it and at our rate this will be never!

The generator is in the middle.  Note the prop job I did with the jug to catch the oil,

Changing the oil is not hard but is messy; especially the way I did it.  The oil drain is connected to a very short rubber hose that drains under the generator.  This hose should be about 6 inches longer so it clears the RV frame.  Next year I may look into replacing it with a longer hose.  Anyway, since I used the shorter hose I propped the jug I was using up and added a funnel to the top.  After a little oil filled the bottom of the jug, you guessed it; it fell over splashing oil everywhere.   

This is what happens with a bad prop job!

To take the filter out I needed to lay right where all of this dumped oil is now.  I cleaned it up as best I could and then put cardboard down so I could lay on it.  

I also washed and waxed the truck on Tuesday.  This is only the second time I have waxed the truck since we bought it 2 years ago.  I use a wash and wax soap and it seems to work without the effort of the extra step of waxing.  I have noticed that the actual wax job seems to be better than just the wash/wax at least in the first few days.  I may continue to do this every 6 months for the extra protection.

To end my time in Keyport NJ I finished off with a 10 mile bike ride on the Hudson Trail.  Now I’m pretty well exhausted!

Then on Tuesday evening we went out to dinner with Rob and Cindy at a local place on the water.  It was a nice night with Patty and I having the $14 1lb lobster special.  The lobster was actually good too!

Out to eat at Blue Claw with Cindy and Rob.

Many, many thanks to Rob and Cindy for the use of their driveway as an RV Park for us!

Wednesday the 17th was leaving day.  We hoped to leave between 10 and 11 am but we didn’t actually leave until 11:30.  We didn’t start with our leaving routine until about 9:30 though.  The truck and the basement were already arranged and packed up from yesterday.  We needed now to dump the tanks, take down the decorative lights, fold up the ground mat, and put away the hose and electric cable.  I also needed to go fill up the truck with fuel.

We went 247 miles on Wednesday to the Bellefonte area in central Pennsylvania. 

The campground office.  Yeah, they are into Penn State Football here!

Our site her in Bellefonte PA.  Nice Place and nice view of the mountains.

We are staying 2 nights here and then moving on to Cleveland Ohio.  This area is basically known for being near Penn State.  We plan to do just a little exploring on our one day here.

Stay Tuned!

Winding down in NJ

September 1 – 14, 2014   

We are putting our list together for things to do before we leave NJ.  This is our last long stay before we hit south Texas and the RGV in a month.  For me that means doing some of the RV maintenance items that I do on an annual basis like changing the oil and filter on the generator, cleaning out the roof AC units, and cleaning out the hot water heater.  There are also some things I do on a regular basis that I have put off until we are stopped for longer periods like now.  This includes maintenance items like checking the house battery for water and electrical connections.  We also want to steam clean the carpets with our friends cleaning unit she has here (was ours when we had the S&B).
It seems that the bathroom grey tank drains slower than the galley grey tank.
The bathroom tank drain handle is the left most handle. Next is the toilet black tank drain handle.  Then all the way to the right is the galley grey tank drain handle.

I have not looked inside the belly of the RV so I decided to have a look and see if there was an issue with the bathroom grey tank drain.  This is a picture of the bathroom grey tank's level indicator wiring, 1st is 1/3 full, next up is 1/2 full and at the top is full.

This is the remote slide valve for the bathroom grey tank.  I didn't see anything wrong and not really anything to adjust.  I did note that this tank is the lowest of the 3 tanks so that is probably why is drains slower.  I sprayed silicone all over it and called it a day.

I decided to check the battery water level.
To access the battery I first need to remove the protective gas cover. 

This is what it looks like with the cover removed.The water level and electrical connection were fine.  

We also ended this week with Patty going to the hospital. She was in for 2 nights and is out now.  The consensus is that she became dehydrated causing her blood pressure to drop too low which in turn caused her to pass out. I’ll give more on that later in the post.

I started off the month (September 01) with a golf outing with a friend from work that retired before me, Tom.  Tom’s wife has been battling the consequences of pancreatic cancer so finding a time to play was difficult, but we did it!  It was a hot day but we managed to struggle through it.  Well, I struggled and Tom played better than I did but it was all still good. Thanks Tom for a great day and good luck to Sharon!

My friend Tom is on the left.  The other 2 on the right are Tom's
friends and I can't remember their names.

On the 4th we headed off to Buffalo to attend Patty’s nephew’s wedding party.  Her nephew, Adam, and his wife Jordan were married in June but are just now having the reception.  We were going to rent a car for this trip to save the 1,000 miles from going on the truck.  I figured the cost of fuel for the truck would pay for the cost of the rental car including its fuel cost.  We wouldn’t save anything but we would avoid the extra miles on the truck.  Our friends Cindy and Rob who are letting us stay in their driveway offered us their car for the trip! That was a great offer and we gratefully accepted it.   

We have made this drive many times from NJ.  It is a 400 mile drive that took us 6 hours.  That is double the amount of driving I like to do in a day.  The weather was great for the drive and we talked about future travel plans so the ride went relatively fast.  However, as usual, the last 50 miles always seems to take forever!

This is in the NY welcome center on I-81.

We stayed at Patty mother’s house, something we haven’t done in many years.  She is alone how since Patty's dad is now in a skilled nursing facility, so she likes the company.  We tried to make our visit there as non stressful as possible for her.  I cooked one night and we went out to eat the other nights.  

Interesting funeral home chain name in the Buffalo suburbs 

The wedding reception was held outside at a town park where they had the use of the pavilion.  The event was on the 5th, a Friday. Again, it was very hot for this event and there wasn't any AC except in our car.  Yeah, we went to the car a few times just to cool off!   We had a great time and we played a lot of corn hole. Just as the event was ending at 10pm a storm blew through from over Lake Erie.  That cooled everyone off and officially ended the party.  The lightning was even better than fireworks!

BBQ being made for the wedding event.

Creative use of pallets.

Sign in area.

Corn hole board.  We played this a lot.

Relatively new game called Jam Can that is played with a frisbee.

The bar needed to be taken out of the pavilion.  It was also a creative pallet design.
 Joe got it into the truck just as it starts to pour rain!

We stayed another day so we could visit with Patty’s dad, Tom.  To our relief, Tom seems to be settling in at the facility. It had now been a few weeks since we had seen him.  He seemed to be doing better than he was the last time we were there.  He still doesn’t want to walk and prefers to be pushed around in a wheel chair.  My guess is that since he is blind he doesn't know where to go to sit down if he walks around. The dementia also contributes to this as well.  He was able to hold brief conversations with us which was a good thing.  It will be a little more than a couple of months before we are back here to visit with him again.

On Sunday the 7th we drove the 400 miles back to NJ.  It was another uneventful trip on a nice September day.
Now the not so nice part of the week starts.  

Patty woke up on Monday feeling not so good.  She had diarrhea and was not holding down food.  So for the next 2 days she slept and used the bathroom.  She also didn't eat or drink much of anything.  I should have known what was coming next!  

We had Cindy's car detailed before we gave it back to her.

By Wednesday she was feeling better so we invited Cindy and Rob over for dinner.  It was great, Salmon for Cindy and I and Cod for Rob and Patty.  

On Thursday we went to Patty’s Physical Therapy session via bicycle.  It is a close 3 mile trip one way.  While Patty was in PT I went further to the Naval Base, Earl, another 6 miles farther away.   By the time we got back I rode 18 miles and Patty rode a little over 6 miles.  Patty seems now to be back to normal, or so I thought!

After PT, we went to an urgent care facility to have an upper respiratory issue Patty developed during the past few days.   They decided she has an allergy and prescribed a steroid for it.  Neither of us was convinced, but what do we know! 

From the Urgent Care facility we headed over to our friend's (Diana) condo on the ocean in Long Branch.  She had invited us over for lunch and cocktails.  We had a great time and stayed to watch the sunset from her 3rd floor balcony. 

We left for our RV around 8:30 pm and stopped on the way to pick up the steroid prescription.  When we got out of the truck Patty was very dizzy but recovered quickly, Hmmmmm. We were in Walgreen's for about half an hour and then we were on our way for the last 20 minutes back to the RV.  We arrived back a little after 10 pm.

Diana and Patty.

Looking East over the Atlantic Ocean at sunset.
Note that the flag is at half mast due to it being September 11.

I was hungry so I made myself a meatball sandwich in the oven from leftovers we had in the fridge.  Patty had some canned nuts for a snack.  I was going to play golf in the morning and needed to be up and out of bed by 6 am so I was ready for bed at 11 pm.  As I was heading for the bathroom before going to bed, I turned around and found Patty falling out of her dining room chair.  She was sweating a lot too.  Now I needed to figure out what was wrong.  It could be low blood sugar which I could correct in a short time or it could be low blood pressure which I couldn't fix on my own.  We got a sugar reading of 200 so I knew that wasn't it. I tried to get her blood pressure but I just couldn't get the cuff on as she was just too limp.  OK, now I need to get her to the hospital.  

The hospital is only 8 minutes from where we are so I believed the best way was to drive her there only if I can get her into the truck.  If not, a 911 call was going to be needed. I got her into the truck with not too much trouble and we were on our way arriving at the hospital a little after 11 pm.  She had a blood pressure of 60 over a not readable.  That got her admitted! As I thought, they found her to be severely dehydrated so they ended up giving her 5 liters of saline.  As the night wore on she slept, I sat in a chair and tried to read a book as her blood pressure gradually come back up to 115/50 by 5:30 am. 

I decided at that point, 5:30 am, to go home and get some sleep.  I slept until 9 am and went back to the hospital to find that she had just been moved to a regular room.  Patty was awake and mostly back to her feisty self with a desire to get out of the hospital.  The doctors had other ideas though.  
Patty was finally released the next day, Saturday evening the 13th.  They gave a diagnosis of a lung infection which she still has and that she was dehydrated from unknown causes causing the low blood pressure.  They tested her for ketones in her blood when she came which would have indicated a DKA.  DKA would have caused the dehydration.  So, the mystery still is, why did Patty dehydrated so severely to cause such a low blood pressure.  This happened in Texas this past winter but she had DKA that caused it.  My feeling is that she has something else going on to make her susceptible to sudden low blood pressure. Patty has had DKA many times in her past with dehydration that didn't cause this low blood pressure issue.  I’m feeling a little helpless with this as I can’t detect dehydration until the low blood pressure kicks in and it is too late.  She needs to stay hydrated but how does one know that in fact she is hydrated properly?

Enough of the health stuff. 

Chas and his girlfriend Lisa came over Saturday evening just to visit.  Patty didn't much feel like going out for dinner so we ordered Japanese delivery from a good local place for dinner.  It’s nice here in Keyport that here is so many good places that deliver food.   We had a great time and were up until all most midnight!

Sunday the 14th we went over to visit Chas’s store in Brick NJ.  That was our first time seeing the place that Chas manages.  

The Batteries + Bulbs that Chas manages in Brick NJ.

Chas in the foreground with a new sales assistant Ian in the background.

Then that evening, I played golf with Rob and his brother Craig.  We teed off at 4 pm and just made the 18th hole by dark.  It was a very weird day on the course for me.  I shot a 62 on the front 9 and a 46 on the back 9.  I went from terrible to being on fire!  Anyway, it was a great ending to the weekend and to our time here in NJ.  

Nice picture of the golf course at sunset.

Creative use of the flashlight app on Rob's smartphone.

Next up for the last 2 days here is to do some routine maintenance on the rig.  The weather seems to be cooperating so it should go smoothly.

Our next post should be from somewhere in Ohio.

Stay Tuned!