Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Back in Blaine, At Least for a Little While

Greetings from chilly Blaine. We were welcomed home with rain, sunshine and chilly weather. Ah to be back in Blaine.

We took the trailer & Explorer to friends (thanks Dan & Tina) to store for the next little while. Saw Jamie and picked up the Suburban so I have wheels for the next few days. Then picked up Ron's truck so he could go work tomorrow (yes we are on vacation but a call came in for a job for tomorrow so, since we are here Ron is going to work:)).

So what are our plans: Ron is going to work on Thursday, Alice is going to work on Friday and Sunday we are going to church at our home church and then will leave on another trip minus a tow vehicle. Now you may be asking where are you off to? I wish I could answer at this time. Ron has just said we are on a vacation so we are going to go ..........

Right now Ron is figuring what we spent on gas, the gas mileage and other expenses...once that is all figured out we will decide where we are headed. I will keep everyone posted on where we are headed and what our plans are.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Sad Change in Plans

It is with sad news that I write this afternoon. Due to the problems with the motor home (the biggy being the motor home cannot pull the trailer with the Explorer on it over the mountain passes) we have had to stop and regroup and make some changes to our plans.

We are currently in Alder, MT and will be leaving here in the morning heading back to Deer Lodge, MT for two nights. We hope to do some sightseeing in Deer Lodge. Tuesday morning we will begin our return trip to Blaine. We plan on going over Highway 90 to Spokane and then head West on Highway 2 to Stevens Pass/Everett and then finish the trek home where we will regroup and decide what to do about our vacation plans. We do know at this time we will not be going to Atlanta as planned.

We are disappointed that we are not able to do the trip as we had planned but we are praising the Lord that with all the motor home problems that we were not involved in any accidents and that we have still had a good time.

We currently don't have cell phone service and are using the WiFi here at the campground. We also want to thank everyone for your prayers as we have traveled thus far.

I will update more in Deer Lodge and as we travel home.

Alice and Ron

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Arriving in Missoula, MT

Greetings from Missoula, MT

How did you end up in Missoula, MT? you are asking??? The journey began on Saturday, Sept 19. We left Beachwood (Birch Bay) at 7:55 p.m. We stopped and got gas at the Grandview station and then for groceries at Winco in Marysville. We then drove, uneventfully to Indian John Rest Area (just east of Snoqualmie Falls). Spent the night there. Got up and drove pretty uneventfully to Lewiston. We noticed that climbing hills seemed to be a challenge. We arrived in Lewiston Sunday afternoon and spent the evening with Brandon and his family. We shared a delightful dinner of a Greek pasta salad along with grilled fish - yummy!

Monday Ron and I slept in and then went on a ride to Clarkston where we checked out Costco, bought some more groceries and then went on a ride around the surrounding area. It was a beautiful day. In the evening Brandon, Danalyn, Max and Christopher came for dinner at the motor home. I made a green salad, BBQ pork sandwiches and macaroni salad.

Tuesday morning we got up early and went over to the kids' house to do laundry before heading back on the road. The motor home was "gasping for air/fuel" so we decided to have it checked out ~ after replacing the fuel filter we were back on the road. We left Lewiston about 1:45 p.m. planning to drive to Missoula for the night. As we climbed the Lolo Mountain Pass the motor home really began acting up ~ like it couldn't get gas. After struggling for about an hour we decided to just pull off the road for the night. It was 6:30 and was going to get dark soon. We hadn't been pulled over for more than 15 minutes when two men showed up wanting to know if everything was okay. They had gotten a call that we had gone over the side ~ fortunately we had not, just quit going!

I made dinner of hamburgers and green salad and by then it was 8:00 p.m. and pitch black outside. With nothing else to do we went to bed. We had to sleep with our feet at the head of the bed due to the level (we were on an uphill slant) but we slept well. Woke up about 6:45 this morning and watched the sun come up over the mountain - it was beautiful.

After a breakfast of bagels and cream cheese, Ron got the Explorer off the trailer and we drove to Lolo Pass Summit. Ron called our insurance and they arranged everything for the tow truck to come and get us. After the tow truck arrived we were informed he could not pull the trailer behind the motor home so we left it locked at the gravel pull out. We followed the tow truck with the motor home the 47 miles into Missoula. After a lengthy discussion with the mechanic they ordered the fuel pump for the motor home. It arrived at 5:30, just in time for closing. So we are staying at the car dealers for the night. They graciously let us plug into electricity so the fridge is running on electric power and we have internet so I could get caught up on emails and post to the blog.

The plan for tomorrow is the techs will put in the new fuel pump first thing in the morning. We then drive the motor home back to pick up the trailer. You might be asking why didn't we tow the trailer behind the Explorer - wrong hitch! Once we pick up the trailer we will come back to the car dealer's to pick up the Explorer and put it on the trailer for us to continue our journey.

Some random thoughts - the scripture for today: "I am guiding you in the way of wisdom, and I am leading you on the right path." Prov. 4:11 God's reminder to me that He is the one in control and guiding our path. His path may not be the one or the way I think it should be. Ron also said " God is good, we have had no accidents, we have a safe place to park (two nights in a row) and we are both healthy."

So ends day 4 of our 11 week vacation. Stay tuned for more to come. Alice

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Helpfulness of Strangers

I learned a valuable lesson today about worrying. I have been worried about our upcoming trip and the possibility that something could go wrong and what would I do if something happened to Ron. Many of my friends have been telling me that there would always be someone around to help me. I would tell myself I believe them but then continue worrying.

Well today as I sat drinking my cup of coffee and listening to the wind blow I wondered if I could close the awning by myself or if it would be okay till Ron returned from Everson. As the wind picked up, I decided to go out and hook the awning to the motor home to at least try to keep it from blowing over in the wind especially since the one leg had already blown up towards the motor home. I hooked each leg into the side of the motor home, thinking that went well. As I was standing looking at the awning a couple drove by. The woman rolled down her window and asked if I needed some help with the awning. I politely answered “no” thinking “what the heck am I going to do?” After a quick conversation of “I think it will be okay” along with a note of hesitancy in my voice, the lady and her husband were out of their car. The lady said a couple of times, “it’s no problem us helping you. It’s better to put it up then chance it blowing up and over the motor home. It’s really windy and it’s not supposed to let up.”

We began the task of loosening the metal bars and rolling up the awning. It got stuck two or three times and finally another gentleman came over and talked with the first man. They set right to work, loosening up another bar and locking it into place along side the motor home while the woman and I held onto the ends. All of a sudden one man said, “let it roll” and wha la , it rolled up. The only problem one side was taller than the other. “That’s okay.” said one man as he pulled down on the side railing popping into place.
The woman, said “nice job guys” and to me added “there, now you don’t have to worry about the awning blowing over with the wind coming up as it is” as if she had been reading my mind.

I thanked them all a couple of times and as they each left on their way, I thanked the Lord for sending me help before I even asked for it and for the reminder that I am not alone. You see, God showed me in this little experience that He will always take care of me and that I need not worry about things going wrong on our trip.