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Friday, September 23, 2011

West Omaha KOA, Gretna, NE

We made it to Omaha after getting the brakes on the camper fixed in Des Moines. As you may remember we lost the brakes on the camper going to Green Bay, WI. After several phone calls I found a camper dealer in Appleton who said they would look at the problem and see what they could do. We set the appointment time for 9 am on Monday the 12th. We arrived before nine and I spoke with the service manager and gave him our information. We went to sit in the waiting area, they had wi-fi which was a plus, twenty minutes later the service manager came and told us they wouldn’t be able to fix the brakes because they didn’t know anything about disc brakes.

We got back in the truck and called Camping World in Madison, WI. They told me they could work us in that afternoon, I told him we would be there by noon. I was a bit worried because we had been there before and their parking lot is very crowded and I was concerned about getting in there and not being able to get out. However, as always my concerns were unfounded. When we arrived I went into the service desk and explained what I needed and was told by them that morning. It turns out they were trying to work four other campers in that afternoon and wouldn’t be able to get to us. We then made the decision to continue on to Iowa City and see what we could do later in the week to get the brakes fixed. I knew the truck could stop us without trailer brakes and I knew we had no BIG hills in our path. However, I forgot about the hill on Hwy 151/61 going south out of Dubuque. We crested the hill at about 40 mph and then I saw the stopped vehicles at the bottom of the hill, it looked like a 10% downhill grade, all I know is the truck worked well and we were able to go down the hill slowly so as not to run into anything at the bottom.

We arrived at Colony Country RV Park about four and got set up. The site we had wasn’t too bad. I had a small hill to back up on but the camper sat on level ground. In fact it was probably one of the most level sites we have been on and it was a gravel site. We had good satellite coverage and the site was quite roomy, at a bigger site than we had in De Pere.

I made some phone calls to get the camper brakes fixed and on a suggestion from Jason at Bob & Joe’s RV I called Mid-State Truck & Auto Center in Des Moines. They could get us in on Monday the 19th, I told them we’d be there.

We spent the rest of the week visiting with Carl & Merilee, Amy, Clancy, Maverick, Lilly and Kayla. We had a great time. Of course I ate too much but it was great. On Sunday Bob & Judy and Cynthia stopped by Carl & Merilee’s and we go to visit with them.

Before we knew it we were getting the camper ready to move out again. We got on the road at our usual time 8:30 and after an uneventful trip arrived in Des Moines at 10:30. Mid-States were able to get us in right away, so after backing the camper into an empty bay the technician got under the camper and quickly diagnosed the problem, a broken fitting on the brake line. They had NAPA come over to get the broken line and take it back to their place to make a new line. The service manager told us it would be about two before the camper would be done so we unhooked the camper and left. We went to the mall and walked around and had lunch. When we got back to Mid-States I got the bad news, NAPA made the line with the wrong connection on one end, it didn’t work. They had to take it back and redo it, so we didn’t leave Des Moines until 4:30 which put us in Omaha at 7:15.  The good news is the camper has brakes again and we are set up in Gretna, NE.

Wednesday was Eli’s first birthday,298646_2269388568710_1068458350_2541682_1506293822_nhe is a cutie. Actually his birthday is today but his party is Saturday.

As we found in Wisconsin with Madyson and Mason, the little ones here, Emily, Isabel and Eli are not so little anymore. We are enjoying being with them.

Today we went out to eat with my uncle and aunt, Ernie & Shirley, to Stella’s, http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/248/1151124/restaurant/Omaha/Stellas-Hamburgers-Bellevue, the hamburger we had was one of the best I have ever had and it was huge. If you are ever in the Omaha area  you have to go there and have a burger.

Well, that is all for now. More to come later.

Remember, Dreams Do Come True.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Colony Country RV Park, North Liberty, IA

Monday, 9/5/11

Today Dick and I went to the Wisconsin Maritime Museum, http://www.wisconsinmaritime.org/index.php,

this was something I have wanted to do for quite a few years. We lived in Wisconsin for over thirteen years and never made it to either the Maritime or EAA Museums. No pictures sorry, click on the link to read about the museum.

This is taken from one of the museum’s brochures:

“Shortly before the start of World War II, the U.S. navy was faced with a dilemma. There was only one commercial shipyard then building submarines-the Electric Boat Co. of Groton, CT. After studying the capabilities of various U.S. shipbuilders, the Navy asked the Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co. of Manitowoc, WI to join forces with Electric Boat Co. to increase the nation’s capacity to produce submarines in the quantities that would be needed during the wartime.

In 1940, Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co. was awarded a contract to build ten GATO-class submarines. By war’s end, a total of 73 submarines of that class were built at four shipyards-Electric Boat Co., Portsmouth Navy Yard, Marck Island Navy Yard, and Manitowoc Shipbuilding. In addition to the ten GATO-class subs, and additional 18 BALAO-class submarines were built in Manitowoc for a total of 28 submarines in just over four years.”

There were eighty men on board this boat, I would have never made it, to many people and to little space. The guy who gave the tour did a great job, he was very knowledgeable about the boat and it’s history.

Something I found interesting is how they launched the subs after they built them. Most of the ship launching I have seen pictures of is the back end of the ship or boat goes into the water first, with the subs launched at Manitowoc they were launched side ways into the river. This was done because the river was to narrow to launch them the conventional way.

Dick said he had a surprise for me and just to follow his instructions. It took us a couple times around the block but we finally found, are you ready, the location where a piece of Sputnik IV landed. Yes, that’s right, a piece of Sputnik IV landed in the middle of the street in Manitowoc, WI. Here is a link: http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/12959. We didn’t see the piece but I had no idea this happened.

Tuesday, 9/6/11

Dick came down to the campground and we headed for the EAA museum, http://www.airventuremuseum.org/, to see what they had. It was great. There was an airplane on the grounds that Dick nor I knew the type. Here it is;

DSCN3133DSCN3242Anybody know the type?

We spent the entire afternoon going through the museum. They have quite a few interesting displays, here are a few;

DSCN3141DSCN3142Space Ship One, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SpaceShipOne, the first private manned space flight.

 DSCN3146Voyager, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rutan_Voyager.


DSCN3154DSCN3157 This is the workhorse of WWII. During the Vietnam war they mounted Gatling guns in them and they were called “Puff the Magic Dragon”.DSCN3158DSCN3166


DSCN3173Navy Corsair

DSCN3194This was a car plane.

DSCN3199Replica of the Spirit of St Louis.

DSCN3214It was easy getting in but getting out was a different story.DSCN3218DSCN3221DSCN3222DSCN3223This is the atomic bomb, “The Fat Man”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fat_Man

DSCN3232DSCN3235The smallest airplane, I would like to see the person who flew it.

DSCN3238 This an interesting airplane. I would love to see this fly.

Wednesday, 9/7/11

Cathy Gerdes asked us to go to the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help by Champion, WI. So today we did that. Here is a link, http://www.shrineofourladyofgoodhelp.com/. A couple of other links, http://www.catholic.org/hf/faith/story.php?id=39511, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shrine_of_Our_Lady_of_Good_Help.

This was an interesting visit because it is such a spiritual experience. Here are a couple of links to give you an idea of just how bad this fire was.


This link gives an eyewitness account of the fire.


Thursday, 9/8/11

I spent the day cleaning the camper using DriWash n Guard, http://www.dwginternational.com/WebSite/index.htm, it took me most of the day but the camper really looks nice and it will be much easier to clean in the future because all I have to do is wipe it off with a wet towel. This gets the bugs and dirt off of it, then I wipe the area with a dry towel and we have a clean camper. If you would like to order some of the product go to the website listed above and click on the order button and put in my number 288973 and it will take you to the order page. I guarantee you will be happy or I’ll buy the product back from you.

So much for my commercial.

Friday we didn’t do much, just stayed around the camper and relaxed.

Saturday was the wedding. Sarah Ann’s sister got married, she made a beautiful bride.

DSCN3265_thumb_thumbMason, all dressed up.

DSCN3274_thumb_thumbSarah Ann was Matron of Honor with her sister Tara.DSCN3275_thumb_thumbMadyson was truly a princess.


DSCN3278_thumb_thumbCatherine & Greg Jolly

DSCN3288_thumb_thumbA good picture of the Schneider family with their newest member Greg

DSCN3307_thumb_thumbCatherine and her mom.

DSCN3332_thumb_thumbI don’t know where this beautiful lady picked up this old guy.

The wedding was a beautiful event and we appreciate being invited.

A big THANK YOU to Dick and Teri for including us in their life the past 11 days.

We are at the Colony Country RV Park in North Liberty, IA for the next week, we will head for Omaha next Monday for a visit with Daniel and family.

So until later, Remember Dreams Do Come True.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Apple Creek Campground, De Pere, WI

Let me tell you about our first two days at this campground. We arrived around noon and when I checked in the lady said I was early. Ok, but she said no problem. Then she asked me to spell my last name, then she said oh you aren’t suppose to be here until tomorrow. Is that a problem, I asked? No, she said and began registering us. This campground is listed as not big rig friendly and not having sewer, but when I called for the reservation I was told they had full hook ups and big rigs can get into the sites. Well, I will tell you now not all sites are big rig friendly and even the one listed as big rig friendly may not be if the park is full and you come in after everyone else has arrived.

Some pictures of our site, A3, at Apple Creek Campground:

DSCN3071DSCN3073The pond isn’t very big but they do have catch and release for fishing.

DSCN3076Each site has a fire ring and picnic table.DSCN3077The sites are not very big but we got in with ease.DSCN3078DSCN3079DSCN3081DSCN3082Here I am cleaning the side of the camper above the slide. We did all three slides.

 DSCN3084DSCN3083DSCN3086DSCN3087Looking straight out of our camp site.

So we go set up, I cleaned off the bugs from the front of the camper. This job is not like it use to be, in fact I don’t mind it at all anymore since I started using DriWash n Guard on the front of the camper. The truck is also much easier to keep clean and nice looking. So Thursday came and went with no problems.

Friday morning we got up and took our showers etc. and came back to the camper just to hear the weather radio going off. There was severe weather heading with high winds and heavy rain heading our way. Sarah wanted to do some laundry and since we don’t have sewer hook up we decided to go to the campground laundry. We took the towels, all we were wanting to do, and headed for the laundry. I took my IPad and was sitting outside when the wind began to pick up and it began to rain, so I headed inside the rec room. Then the rain came and the wind began to blow. The chairs around the pool ended up in the pool and finally the inevitable happen, the power went off. Sarah didn’t get to finish the laundry here we finally put the clothes in a basket and went into town to a Laundromat to finish the wash. Actually it was a very nice Laundromat with good Wi-Fi so I was content to be there.

The power came back on for a short time in late afternoon but was turned off again later so the power company could cut some branches that were laying on the power lines. Once this was done they turned the power back on and it has been fine since.

Saturday we drove up to Dick & Teri’s and went for a ride with Dick. Teri and Catherine were finishing up some tasks for the wedding on the 10th. We went to Doc’s Harley Davidson and looked around. He has quite and establishment with more than just motorcycle sales. He has some buffalo, a camel, peacocks and small alligators, a restaurant and museum with old motorcycles, some of them he has restored himself and others are in original condition. He also had an area with cars from the 60s all of which have been restored and are in pristine condition. He has price tags on them ranging from $20,000 to $600,000.

From Doc’s we headed west to Shawano, WI and then north through the Nicolet National Forest, a very pretty drive even though it rained off and on. We did see a fair amount of camp grounds but the downside of them is they have no sewer and so it discourages longer stays, maybe that is what the powers to be want. We go to stop and see Paul and Tara’s trailer they bought, I don’t remember the name of the area, Tara is Sarah Ann’s sister.

We headed back to the house for pizza and wine. We got back to the camper around 8:30 and the end to a long but great day seeing the greenery and uniqueness of Wisconsin.

Sturgeon Bay, I had hoped to get to Door County but wasn’t sure we would. Well, Sunday Dick & Teri said we were going to Door County. Teri’s sister, Gloria, lives in Sturgeon Bay so we stopped and picked her up and headed north. We stopped in Egg Harbor for lunch at a restaurant in the Liberty Square Shops. Of course we had to look around in the shops and I found some wine and cheese that were absolutely great, can’t remember the names of the cheeses but the wine was a Sangria from Spain, very good wine.

We stopped in Ellison Bay for some smoked fish. Picture of Sarah and I with the bay behind us.


From there we headed for Gill’s Rock. This is the northernmost tip of the peninsula, I believe. We watched the ferry boats loading and unloading cars etc. This is the only way a person can get to Washington Island and the other islands which are inhabited during the summer and Washington Island is inhabited year round. The wind was blowing pretty good and it was interesting watching the ferries traverse the breakwater. I am not sure I would have wanted to be on the boat but they made it through so that is what counts. Here are a couple of pictures:

DSCN3096This is our group, Sarah took the picture, Teri, her sister Gloria, Dick and me.

The rest of the pictures are of the lake and the ferry boat. The wind was blowing hard and it was interesting watching the captain bring the ferry in to dock.


Our trip through Door County ended with, what I am told is a must, a visit to Wilson’s Ice Cream Parlor in Ephraim, WI. The ice cream serving is generous and very good.

We dropped Gloria off at her house and returned to Green Bay, decided what time Dick was meeting us the next day and Sarah and I went home. It was a great day and thanks to Dick and Teri we got to Door County.

Remember – Dreams Do Come True.