Back Underway

The plan to deal with the broken slide-out appears to be working so far. We got up on Thursday morning and inspected the malfunctioning RV slide cables. Sure enough, the top forward “in” cable was frayed. So I disassembled the pulley that was bound up, freeing the cable causing the problem, and then we were able to get the slide in, and get back on the road.

The ride from Springfield, MO through Oklahoma was beautiful in the morning, turning to lots of rain in the afternoon. God was looking out for us though, and the ran stopped each time we needed to stop. There was quite a bit of construction and traffic going through Tulsa and OK City, which made for a pretty long day.

RV Mechanical Trouble

Well, we got about half way home and ran into a problem with the RV. We pulled into the Springfield Mo. KOA and started setting everything up. We started pulling the bedroom slide out and heard a terrible grinding sound. We’ve had trouble with this slide before, so knew to stop immediately, even though the slide was only half way out. Well, it appears that one of the 4 cables that pull the slide in/out broke.

Slide 1/2 Out

Broken Slide Cable

So our plan for tomorrow is to try to get the slide back in for traveling, and sleep in the recliners or the bunk bed in the office tomorrow, our last night. We can’t get into the bedroom or main bathroom with the slide in. I’ll worry about fixing the slide after we get home.

So in spite of the mechanical problems we’re still having fun. We stopped by on the way to the Uranus Fudge Factory. Sounds pretty gross, right?

Heading Back to Austin

Sunday afternoon we packed up the RV and got things ready to head down the road again. This included putting away anything that was left out, closing up the ramp and stowing the outdoor furniture, and securing things like my monitor and piano. We also showered and ran the dish washer in the afternoon so that I could pack up the water and sewer hoses the night before instead of having to do that in the morning.

Office tied down for the road

In the morning, we hooked up the truck, unplugged the electrical cable, and were on our way by 7:00 am.

An Interesting Thing Happened at the Border

Crossing the bridge and getting through border station took us about over an hour. For several block before the bridge, there was some construction, and the 3 lanes closed down to two. So that took longer than usual.

Then when we got to the long lines at the check station, a guy in a neon yellow and orange vest directed us to go down a lane that had a big “closed” sign over it. We asked him “are you sure” and he assured us “Yes, that is the lane for RVs”. We’ll we pulled up to the station with an orange cone and a solid barrier blocking it, and waiting awhile longer until the an officer approached us and asked us what we were doing there. There was clearly a “Can’t you Texans read?” look on his face. So I explained to him that we’d been directed to that lane. He then explained that the lane was marked closed because it was broken, and that we’d need to backup a hundred yards or so then drive across all the other lines of cars in order to get into the route that the trucks went.

So picture looking into your side mirrors and seeing hundreds of cars waiting in a half dozen lines, with a guy in an orange vest walking you and your 44′ trailer backwards for the length of a football field back through all that. Ah, that’s the stuff that memories are made of.

Back in the USA

We had lots of rain driving through Michigan. At some points it rained so hard that traffic slowed on the freeways to under 40 mph (yes, we’re back on miles instead of kilometers now).

TODO: I’ll post some pictures later.

The campground we stayed at was nice. We needed help backing into a space. Keith helped us with that. Then we tried to hook up our electric cable, and it wouldn’t reach. So Keith came back and helped us move the trailer back as far as it would go, and voila! the cable reached.

TODO: I’ll post a couple campground pictures also.

Last Day in Windsor ’22

On our last day in Windsor we went to church with the Canadian family. It was a nice service. We took the opportunity to get a couple more pictures afterwards.

Left to right: Roni, Haley, Jukie, Steve, Shelley, Vickie, Mimi, Ron, Ron, Sandy, Jerry
Sisters: Jukie, Shelley, Vickie

After church we went to a nice restaurant right on the Detroit river. Afterwards we said our tearful good-byes, or actually our “see you next year”s.

Second Two Weeks in Windsor

This has been a terrific month here in Windsor, Ontario. We’ve been able to spend a lot of time with our Canadian family and enjoy the cooler weather and spending time outdoors.

We’re even contemplating becoming summer Canadians. Site fees here in Canada appear are less than half what they are in Austin, TX. So we’re thinking of trying to get a seasonal site here at Wildwood Golf and RV Resort as well as keeping our great site at Oak Forest in Austin, TX. Canadian Visa regulations allow Americans to stay up to six months without a visa. We still need to get permission from my work, and we need to work out all of Shelley’s health issues, but we’re hopeful.

Three Sisters and a Cousin
Birthday Party at the Hetzel’s

We had a combined birthday and going away party at the Hetzel’s home. We managed to visit with all of the Fausts and Hetzels, including all their children, plus Steve’s parents and our dear Mimi.

AJ and Shelley
The Last Cookies!
What is he saying?
The younger crowd hanging out downstairs

First Two Weeks in Windsor

So we’ve been in Windsor for almost two weeks now. On a couple days the weather was quite warm, reaching into the low nineties, and a few days have been overcast with light rain, but most days have been very nice.

Shelley by the RV in Windsor, Ontario
Looking across the deck towards the farm
A Rainy Day at the RV Park

The rain was actually refreshing, since we have haven’t seen much in Austin lately.

We’ve managed to spend a lot of time with family living here. Vickie and Ron live about 30 minutes from the RV park, and have had us over to their house several times so far.

Jerry and Ron chatting on the back patio
Sandy, Shelley, and Vickie chatting by the pool
Hetzel’s Pool
The Hetzel’s at Night

And we had them over to the RV for lunch one day.

Ron and Vickie join us for lunch at the RV

We’re thinking that spending in time in Windsor is going to become a regular thing for us. So we checked out Rochester Place, another RV park in Windsor that is located much closer to Vickie and Ron’s. They have a lot of trees and are located on a canal leading to Lake St. Clair. There is also a very nice golf course right next door.

We were actually pretty disappointed. They don’t have very many sites that we’d be able to get our big RV into, and we really didn’t like those sites very much. The really nice sites that are located along the golf course already have tiny homes on them, so aren’t available for use with our RV.

We got a chance to visit with Jukie on the second day that we were in Windsor. She helped us get a Telus phone SIM to get our internet working. We then all went over to the Hetzel’s house for a nice meal and visit. Unfortunately, Jukie had vacation plans starting the following day, so haven’t seen her since then. She’s back in town now, so we’re looking forward to spending more time with her and Steve after they get settled back in.

Tuesday Day 8 Summer Trip 2022

Internet Problems

Shortly after arriving in Canada we discovered that we didn’t have a good internet connection.

  • Our Verizon phones which normally have a humongous amount of data were being cut back to 0.5 GB data per day.
  • The Wifi provided by the RV park only worked near the pool or at the Laundry building.
  • My T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon hotspots didn’t work at all.
  • To add insult to injury, we received notice from StarLink that our equipment had arrived just a day or two after leaving Austin. We though maybe we’d have the equipment shipped to us up here, but StarLink requires that the equipment be setup in Austin first before allowing any roaming.

So we spent some of our first day family visiting time finding a Canadian cellular company that could sell us a SIM card with enough data to let me work during the week. We ended up getting a 45 GB SIM from Telus for $75. That’s been working ok for us, but I have to be very careful to do any big downloads while sitting at the pool or laundry, and I’ll need to purchase another one.

That may seem like a lot of data, but consider this:

  • Xcode has a new beta 4 update, and that is 7 GB
  • iOS 16 beta 4 is available, and is probably several gigabytes also.

Internet problems aside, we had a wonderful visit with Shelleys sisters Jukie and Vickie and her husband Ron. It was cool enough to sit out on their back patio.

Again, we managed to take no pictures. I’ve added that to my list of to-dos.

Monday Day 7 Summer Trip 2022

Crossing Into Canada

Monday morning we got up and took our time enjoying the company, having a nice breakfast, and preparing the rig to cross over into Canada.

I’d made a mistake on the previous day and pushed my office chair up under the desk to hold it in place. However, the roads were so bumpy that (I guess) the chair bouncing and pressing up under the desk ripped the screws out, and the desk crashed onto the floor. So I fixed that before getting underway.

It took us a while to get across the Canadian border. There were a lot of cars queued up. But we got through without any problems.

We settled into the Wildwood RV and Golf Resort where we’ll be staying for the next four weeks. It is very nice here.

Walking Along the Gold Cart Trail

We had talked with our family here, and agreed to take a day off to rest and get all setup before getting together.

More and pictures to come…

Sunday Day 6 Summer Trip 2022

On Sunday we drove to Grosse Ile, an island right outside Detroit. We have friends that moved there from the RV park, and they offered to let us stay the night with them. They had made arrangements for us to park the rig across the street in a lawyer’s office parking lot.

Somehow I managed to not take any pictures of our visit with Gary and Christa. I’ll see if Shelley has some and post them later.

But we had a very nice visit, and Christa did a lot of cooking for us. It was wonderful.

Saturday Day 5 Summer Trip 2022

We spent the day in Indianapolis visiting our friends Wynn and Chris. Wynn was one of our pastor’s at Bethany UMC and recently moved. So we scheduled an extra day in Indianapolis so we could spend time visiting.

Wynn had planned out the day for us, and picked us up and was our tour guide.

She had tickets for us for the Monet exhibit at the art museum.

First we had lunch at one of her favorite restaurants here, where we were introduced to the joy of an Indiana pork tenderloin sandwich. Yummy!

Wynn had tickets for us for the Monet exhibit at the Newfields art museum.

Standing on Monet’s Bridge
Hawk Having Lunch in the Museum Garden
In the Museum Gardens

Afterwards we had dinner and then went back to Wynn and Chris’s lovely home and enjoyed spending some time up on their roof deck.