Adrienne hard at work

Today I had to pick Adrienne up from work.  Here she is at the job site posing for some glamour shots.  She loves when I take pictures of her like this.  Later in the evening we met up with my best friend Neil and his girlfriend Adena and drove up to the Tommyknocker Brewery in Idaho Springs, Colorado.  Delicious food and delicious beer ensued.  The most notable of which was this insanely good combination of waffles with maple glazed chicken in between.  It was divine.

Adrienne after a day of work.  I like the look.

Adrienne after a day of work. I like the look.

IMG_3036 copy

The insanely good maple glazed chicken waffle sandwich.

The insanely good maple glazed chicken waffle sandwich.

Neil's handmade veggie burger...what?

Neil’s handmade veggie burger…what?

 

 

 

Oh, the places we will go

Last night when Adrienne got home she was super energetic and looked online at some shows that were playing locally to see if something caught our eye.  She mentioned that Macklemore was playing somewhere near by.  After we looked into it, it showed that tickets where not available online anymore because the concert had already started.  It turns out it was a summer rap festival and there were a bunch of other artists performing there as well.  We got ourselves ready to go and headed the 35 miles across Denver to where the concert was.  We had to park about a mile from the show but we didn’t care, we found a nice parking space away from all the other concert-goers in an office complex visitors lot.  It became very clear, very quickly that we did not really fit in with this crowed.  When we were almost at the amphitheater stadium we made a deal with a guy selling tickets on the corner for 2 tickets for face value minus the $12 convenience fee.  Not too bad, we just hoped that Macklemore hadn’t performed yet.  About two sets into the show, Macklemore came out and performed, we were so excited that we didn’t miss it.  It was a blast and we both couldn’t stop laughing about where we had ended up that night.  Never would we have expected to find ourselves at a rap festival that night – not really ever.  We danced like out of place goofballs and soaked up all the people-watching two can in one night.  Touche for spontaneity and making the absolute best of everything life throws your way.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Adrienne said if she had endless amounts of money she would definitely buy me a pair of these sweet light-up bunny ears they were selling.  Then the girl in front of us bought a pair.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Repairs to-date

So here is a list of the repairs I’ve done to the RV to-date.  By the time I’m done here, this things going to function like new.  This is just how things go – par for the course.

1) Remove & reseal steering gearbox $25

2) Install new pitman arm $20

3) Have 4 wheel alignment checked and front wheel alignment performed (front right caster shim needed) $192

4) Installed GPS unit

5) Removed & replaced radio

6) Repaired radio wiring & speaker wiring along with proper mounting of speakers

7) Fabricated new main battery tray $12

8) Cleaned all house battery terminals and connections

9) Replaced LP gas regulator $24

10) Repaired rear booth seat back

11) Resealed all roof seams

12) Installed all LED 12v house lights $65

13) Repaired rear bed frame that was falling apart $17

14) Repaired wiring to control board for refrigerator

15) Replaced misc lights and repaired poor ground to brake light $10

16) Repaired leaking sink waste line $6

17) Installed new kitchen faucet with higher spout $35

18) Replaced broken shower faucet & new sprayer $30

19) Adapted leaking shower & toilet plumbing from the existing polybutylene tubing to readily available PEX $30

20) Installed new radiator due to the old one leaking $190

21) Installed new power steering pump due to the old one leaking $60

22) Installed rebuilt alternator due to the old one failing $125

23) Replaced coolant tees with ball style shutoff valves and new coolant lines for rear heat $75

24) Replaced the AC orifice tube and recharged the freon with dye $50

25) Installed fan shrouds that were missing $240

25) Removed the toilet to repair the broken flush valve – part must be ordered

 

Back to work

Adrienne is back to work and I guess now so am I.  Here she is at her current job site.  I spent the day working on overdue paperwork for renewing my captains license and insurance papers from the accident.  We had a mellow night last night at the house and then today I followed Adrienne to Home Depot to help her load some plywood and I went back to the RV and got a lot of work done.

IMG_2965

I started by removing the control board for the refrigerator and realized that it was replaced very recently.  This was a good indication that chances are the thing should work.  I took the cover off the outside of it and this allowed greater access to the terminals for making better connections.  I cleaned all the connections that looked poor and removed the fuse block which looked like it could have been part of the issue.  It was very corroded and one of the quick connect fittings was very loose, possibly make and breaking contact.  I cleaned everything up and hooked it up without the cover to ensure all connections were as good as they could be and – presto, the fridge seems to be working.  It got nice an frosty in the freezer running on propane, and it was starting to get cold in the fridge.

IMG_2974 copy

After the fridge was back together, I tackled the plumbing in the shower.  I used some PEX crimp fittings to adapt the polybutylene tubing in the RV to PEX tubing for greater serviceability in the future.  I got the shower all hooked up and mounted a new bracket for the shower sprayer at the proper height.  Once I was done with the shower, I dropped a crimp ring behind the toilet which instigated the removal of the toilet.  Now, with the toilet out, I was finally able to see what was broken on the flush valve and hopefully find a new one to replace it.  For the time being, I adapted the bent, kinked, and almost split polybutylene tubing for the toilet to PEX and I just capped it till the toilet is fixed.  Now the plumbing is all sealed up and everything is working leak free!

IMG_2980 copy

IMG_2978 copy

IMG_2973 copy

The first day in a new land

After we parked the RV and unpacked some of our stuff at the house, we headed to Adrienne’s friend Roz’s house to pick up her moped and her dog Patrick.  Here we are on the way back from getting the moped.  Patrick rode in the little jump seat in the back.  He’s a champ.

IMG_2943 copy

The view of the mountains from the house in Genesee is amazing.  Here is a picture of the view early in the morning from the neighborhood right at the head of the driveway.

IMG_2937 copy

The kitchen in the house is really amazing and as much as we really enjoyed fumbling around each other in our own new kitchen, we really enjoyed the space and getting to cook together at the house.

IMG_2946

Here is our meal of homemade macaroni and cheese with broccoli, a little leftover home fries, a plate full of bacon, and some wonderful sourdough bread.  We were a bit ambitious and, no, we did not finish all of it.  We saved a lot of bacon for later as well as much of the macaroni and cheese.

IMG_2952 copy

Coming down the final stretch

The last 100 miles till we get to Evergreen.  It’s a bitter sweet end.  Adrienne has to go back to work, I have to figure out what to do with myself and get myself in order for my job in Alaska.  We have a lot of things to coordinate but it’s the start of something new and we are both very excited at the same time.

IMG_2921 copy

Finally pulled into the driveway at the house where we are staying in Genessee, Colorado.

Finally pulled into the driveway at the house where we are staying in Genessee, Colorado.

Apparently when you buy your groceries in low altitude and then go up in elevation, this is what happens to your bag of chips.  Haha

Apparently when you buy your groceries in low altitude and then go up in elevation, this is what happens to your bag of chips. Haha

Home is wherever I'm with you.

Home is where you make it.

 

 

 

One more day to go

We got down to 300 miles to go and decided to head off the highway for a grocery store to find some fresh fruit for the morning.  We made it to this middle America grocery store, got our food, and decided to spend the night in the parking lot.  We had high ambitions to finally drink a beer together and look through an amazing book I have on custom houses.  We were passing out before we made it 20 pages into the book and half way though our beers.

Adrienne being a goofball, getting ready to drive just outside Chicago.

Adrienne being a goofball, getting ready to drive just outside Chicago.

IMG_2891 copy

The next day, Adrienne snapped this awesome picture from the RV as we were traveling down road.IMG_2902 copy

That night we witnessed this beautiful sunset over the middle of Nebraska.  Smooth sailing the rest of the way.

IMG_2890 copy

A new way to travel

Traveling in the RV was a totally new experience for both of us as we could really just stop when and wherever we really wanted to and not have to worry about anything.  We did just that and it made for a very leisurely drive.  Its was the most stress free road trip I’ve ever been on.

Stopped for a nap after we filled up the gas tank.

Stopped for a nap after we filled up the gas tank.

We decided to put the RV on the weight scale at the gas station and see where we weighed in.  The final numbers were as follows: Front steer axle – 3160 lbs  Rear drive axle – 7630 lbs    For a  Total weight of: 10,790 lbs.

We were only overweight by 290 lbs which is pretty good, all things considered.  We did finally dump our full gray water holding tank at a rest stop about half way through our trip.  I really noticed the difference in the way the RV drove and estimated that the full tank added about 750 more lbs to the over all weight, all of which was focused over the rear axle.  Not good!  But good to have it gone.

Adrienne getting our weight from the front counter.

Adrienne getting our weight from the front counter.

 

Chicago on a whim

Adrienne had mentioned being interested in visiting Chicago someday so, naturally, today as we were driving I approached a sign that said Chicago to the right, I-80 to the left.  I asked her quickly if she wanted to stop in Chicago for the day and she looked at me in that way you know someone looks at you when they want to say yes but are not sure if they should.  So, I stayed Right and we went to Chicago for the day.  What a good idea this was, we had a refreshingly wonderful time.

IMG_2835 copy

Here we are in front of the RV with our new friend John.  After we took a long walk along the lake and came back and took a nap, we woke up hungry and ready for some Chicago fare.  We asked 3 or 4 people where and what to have to really experience Chicago cuisine.  But, to no avail, everyone seemed clueless.  When we were getting ready to get back in the RV and head out on our own, a man across the parking lot exclaimed, “What year is that?”  I turned toward him and replied, “It’s an 87.”  We began a long conversation about the RV and what we were doing and he explained that he was interested in getting an RV and that he was retired.  He had a place there in Chicago that he frequented but he had grown up in South Carolina and spent most of his life in western Tennessee.  We spent the next 20 minutes talking with John and sharing stories about family, places we had been, the work we did and the work we do.  He shared with us many fun, unique, and valuable words of wisdom.  He made us memorize this one: Don’t get too soon old, and too late wise.

When we finally got back to the question at hand–where to get some Chicago food–John struggled to guide us to a place that he thought we could park the RV and be close enough to get good food and have the RV be safe while we were gone.  After much deliberation, John said if you want, just follow me and I lead you to a restaurant…it’s not really anything Chicago, but you’ll get a good sandwich and we can keep talking.  John took us to a little chain sandwich shop and treated us to lunch.  Turns out everyone in the shop knew John and he referred to us all as his children.  When he introduced Adrienne and I as his children to the cashier she replied, “But they arn’t colored?”  John looked at her very confused and continued his conversation.  John was a very interesting guy and took very good care of us.  We hope to meet up on future travels.  Thanks John!

IMG_2840 copy

Our first big meal

last weekend I had received some fiddle heads from my dear friend Hannah at my going away party.  I was so excited about the fiddle heads but I knew Adrienne would be thrilled about this regional childhood favorite, so I waited till we could eat them together.  We made a wonderful meal of eggs, fiddle heads, mushrooms, cheese and smoked salmon.  What a great way to start our tip West.

IMG_2812 copy

IMG_2811 copy