Posted by: ramblinmanjimj | September 3, 2009

Transition Day #3

With the forecast for 99 degrees yesterday, I got an early start at 7:30 AM working on the transition from old to new motorhome. First job, clean out items from under bed storage.

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I raised the bed and gained about 18 cubic feet of extra storage.

In the process, I found another dead mouse. If you remember last spring I killed several mice during my three month storage at Mary’s home while she recuperated rom her shoulder surgery on March 3rd.

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Decon claims another mouse.

After cleaning out the under bed storage, I unloaded clothes and books from the cabinets above the bed. Then I unloaded all the outside storage bins.

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Unloading outside storage compartments.

By then it was 12:30 PM and the temperature was 93 degrees. Time to knock off, talke a shower and back to my operator manuals. Not very exciting stuff, but it’s what’s going on right now. I’m hoping to have the old motorhome totally cleaned out by next Tuesday. Forecast high temperature for today is 97 degrees.

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2009
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.panamaorbust.com

Posted by: ramblinmanjimj | September 2, 2009

Holy Smokes, Batman!

Yesterday I upgraded my computer memory by 1.5 GB and now I need a seat belt on my computer chair!

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Two new 1GB of memory for my computer.

I bought my computer in May of 2005 when I decided to write my first book about my 2004, 343 day, 16,000+ mile RV trip through Mexico and Central America. It was a basic computer with 256 MB of memory. I figured once the book was done I’d be through with the computer…right? Wrong! After all, I was ten years without a computer since I sold my computer when I closed my small real estate office and retired in 1995.

Then I decided to write a second book about the same trip. In about 2007 I added an additional 256 MB memory. Obviously I wasn’t done with having a computer in my life. A few months ago I noted to computer starting to slowly, slow up. During our summer In Washington, the slowness was growing increasing slow. I decided it was time to bite the bullet and upgrade memory once again. Yesterday the two new 1 GB memory arrived and now, once again, my computer is zipping right along.

In other news, I continued getting acquainted with the new motorhome and its operator manuals. In addition I began the process of removing personal items from my old motorhome. Despite the new motorhome being about 4 feet longer, it actually has less storage space. It was 93 degrees yesterday and forecast for today is 99 degrees which means I can only work outside until about 11 AM.

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2009
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.panamaorbust.com

Posted by: ramblinmanjimj | September 1, 2009

RV Transition Day #1

On this day, nothing got physically transferred. First impediment was the 93 degree heat.

The real reason though is that Mary is not a technical person and so this burden becomes mine. Being an ex-engineer, I tend to be a mostly organized person (not a perfectionist like I used to be!). So before I begin any project I need to study it.

First, about a one-hour physical inspection on the new motorhome. I need to know and understand how all this stuff works!

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Behind all this stuff is the radiator and the largest gas engine made.

Then it was time to attack the operators manuals. So I spent the better part of the day (in the air-conditioned house!) reading manuals. Isn’t that exciting? Like I’ve said so many times about the RVing life…”It’s a lousy job and someone has to do it!”

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The manual stack is 5″ high and about 500 pages.

Forecast for today is 93 degrees and 96 degrees tomorrow. At this rate it’s going to be a long transition since I have to retreat indoors at about 10:30 AM. Long range forecast for next week is supposed to be in the upper 80’s. Perhaps I can work until noon? For the last 15 years, I’ve stayed 99% of the time in 65 to 80 degree temperatures, I grown quite sensitive to extreme hot or cold temperatures. When it gets over 80, I really start feeling sluggish and sleepy. Oh well, enough of this. I’ve got to get back to my operators manual(s) reading!

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2009
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.panamaorbust.com

Posted by: ramblinmanjimj | August 31, 2009

The Begining Of The RV Transition

My old motorhome and I arrived yesterday at Mary’s home in Murphys, CA. It was a blistering 95 degrees…too hot to do anything but retreat to the air-condition house.

This morning I finally got started. First thing on the project list was to spend a couple of hours trimming low-hanging tree branches. Once that was done I maneuvered both motorhomes in to a better parking arrangement to facilitate an easier transfer. Slowly but surely… the process begins!

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The new and the old stand ready to begin the transition.

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2009
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.panamaorbust.com

Posted by: ramblinmanjimj | August 30, 2009

The Final Day Of A Ten Year And 75,000 Mile Journey

I expect to arrive today at Mary’s home in Murphys, CA. Yesterday Mary’s youngest daughter and her two grand-kids came to Lake Minden to spend the day with us. Unfortunately the oldest grand-child wasn’t feeling well so they (including Mary since she had left her car there three months ago) departed in mid-afternoon for her daughter’s home in Davis, CA. So I was alone for the rest of the day in 104 degree heat. However I spent the day in the air-conditioned motorhome where the temperature was a delightful 75 degrees.

I’ll get an early (7:00 AM) start today because of the excessive heat. I’ll cover the 125 miles in about 2.5 hours and should arrive at Mary’s home by 10:00 AM. Mary will stop to do some shopping and will arrive later today.

It will be a very interesting day because today most likely marks the last day of a 10 year, 75,000 mile journey I’ve shared with my motorhome. My records show that I purchased it on September 1, 1999…75,000 miles ago! I spent the first night sleeping in it on 9/9/99 on purpose so that it would be easy to remember. Mary and I are planning to spend our first night in our new motorhome on 9/9/09 just for sentimental reasons.

Soon I’ll begin transferring “stuff” from my old motorhome to our new motorhome. I’m hoping/expecting that the old motorhome will have a new owner by the end of September. It is with mixed emotions that I part company with my old motorhome. During my ten years of ownership, it (I call it my magic carpet) has taken my to many delightful places including a fantastic 343 day, 16,000+ mile trip through Mexico and Central America in 2004. See my website for lots of photos from this trip at http://www.panamaorbust.com . In addition we (the motorhome and I) visited a total of ten countries including three 7,000+ mile trips back to the east coast of the United States. These trips usually were 6+ months in duration.

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The official trip photo from my 2004 Central America trip.

The magic carpet and I have shared many delightful places, people and experiences in our ten year, 75,000 miles together. Interestingly, I remember very few specific memories of out travels together. When I think about our past together, all I really remember seems nothing more than a very pleasant blur. I hope that means that I’ve learned to grow old gracefully!

For years I’ve been telling folks that I hope to be the first 100 year old active RVer! I’m hoping Mary and I can achieve this goal together. Like a good friend of mine says…We’ll just have too see what happens!

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Our first photo together occured when Santa visited us at our motorhome in Yuma, AZ, 2008.

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2009
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.panamaorbust.com

Posted by: ramblinmanjimj | August 29, 2009

Broasting on the last full day of our abbreviated RVing Summer!

Broasting in my definition is half way between baking and roasting. With the forecast high of 100 degrees, as much as I dislike air-conditioning, I’ll be hiding out in our motorhome today rather than sitting outside! Mary calls me a “Weather Wimp” as I get uncomfortable in temperatures over 80 degrees. Guilty! After 15 years of mostly 65 to 80 degrees, I no longer care for extreme hot or cold temperatures. Mary’s youngest daughter and her two grand-kids are coming to spend the day with us. While they’ll be outside swimming in the lake, I’ll be inside and be a cool dude!

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Preview of a Broasting Day at Lake Minden!

If you are a regular follower of my Blog, you already know Mary and I are new life-partners since last November. You also know Mary had rotator-cuff surgery on her left shoulder on March 3rd of this year while she recuperated at her home in Murphys, CA. For almost three months I was acting as her butler assisting her during this recovery time. So that meant instead of starting my summer journey North in March, we did not depart until May 28th. Now she has friends coming to visit on September 15th for two weeks, (a commitment she made before she met me), so she wants to be home by September 1st in order to prepare for her friend’s visitation.

We are planning to depart early (because of the excessive heat) tomorrow morning and drive the remaining 100 miles to her home in Murphys, CA. Normally I depart Washington to start South for the winter about the beginning of October. So, this in effect, is our last full day of our abbreviated RVing Summer.

Our basic plan is to be at Mary’s home during September, October and November. We will do Thanksgiving with her family there and shortly after that I will take off in the new motrohome South to warmer climates…destination(s) uncertain at this time. Around December 12th Mary leaves with her 15 year old grandson for a three-week trip to Thailand. She arrives back in the United States on December 31st. After a few days to rest, she will fly out and join me wherever I happen to be in the motorhome at that time.

During the three months at here home she will be taking care of normal business as well as assisting me in the transfer of all the “stuff” from my old motorhome into the new motorhome. My primary chore will be to transfer all the technological items as well as getting everything properly stored and weight evenly distributed.

If you have not seen the new (to us) motorhome, it’s a 2006 Fleetwood Terra 27′ Class A Motorhome with a queen-size island bed. It has an 8.1 liter GM gas engine, the largest gas engine made. It has under 18,000 miles and is so clean one cannot tell it from new! I expect we will be very comfortable and hopefully enjoy many years and miles in it.

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The new motorhome.

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2009
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.panamaorbust.com

Posted by: ramblinmanjimj | August 28, 2009

Roasting In Nicolaus, CA!

Yesterday Mary and I drove 133 miles further south to Nicolaus, CA where we are parked at Thousand Trails Lake Minden RV Resort. Because of the current high temperatures, the park is not as crowded as when I normally stop here in October.

Fortunately there was one space available where we could snuggle the motorhome under some trees to get a little shade. The afternoon temperature reached 99 degrees and inside the motorhome it got to 91 degrees. Neither Mary or I particularly like air conditioning, but at 5:30 PM we caved in. closed all the windows and fired it up in order to lower the temperature so we could get some sleep. Forecast for today and tomorrow is 98 degrees. We will depart Sunday morning and drive the remaining 100 miles to Mary’s home in Murphys, CA where we will begin the transfer of stuff into the new motorhome.

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We found a little shade under these trees.
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Sunrise at Lake Minden. Looks like another scorcher!

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2009
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.panamaorbust.com

Posted by: ramblinmanjimj | August 27, 2009

Roasting In Redding, CA!

We left Yreka, CA yesterday morning at 7:00 AM and drove about 100 miles south to Redding, CA at 9:00 AM where we parked at the Moose Lodge. The afternoon temperature got to 98 degrees so Mary and I spent most of the afternoon at the pool. We swam in the pool for about 15 minutes which was a delightful 79 degrees, then read for about 30 minutes in the shade while sipping on a cold beer, then back in the pool,etc….

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The pool at the Moose Lodge.

Another 7:00 AM departure in store for us this morning.

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2009
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.panamaorbust.com

Posted by: ramblinmanjimj | August 26, 2009

An Unexpected Overnight Stop In Yreka, CA.

We’ve been a couple of days without an Internet signal.

We left Portland, OR last Sunday morning and drove about 250 miles South to Mary’s rental property at Rogue River, OR. We stayed there two nights. While there Mary met with her new property caretakers and reviewed with them what she expected from them. In addition, we enjoyed a nice evening meal with her friends Phil and Jennie Grimm at the River’s Edge Restaurant on the southern shore of the Rogue River. A real pretty setting.

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This photo was taken from the doorway of my motorhome at Mary’s rental property in Rogue River, OR.

We left Rogue River yesterday morning and crossed Syskiyou Pass, elevation 4,310 feet. Towards the end of the climb where the grade gets quite steep, I did the last couple of miles in first gear. Nothing unusual about that, I’ve done it many times. Only this time it was different…unless I put the transmission in neutral, the transmission stayed in first gear regardless of if I put it in second or drive. Not a good situation on top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere!

So what to do???

Fortunately I was able to coast down hill several miles to a rest area where there was a Visitor Information Center. I found out the city of Yreka was 11 miles ahead and we could get there via a river road which was part of the old historic U.S. Route 99 which was the main road prior to the building of today’s major road way, Interstate Highway 5. By going the River Road, we got to see a very pretty road and avoided a long, hard climb on the Interstate Highway. The gal at the Visitor Information Center recommend a local garage that she has used for years with great satisfaction.

So we limped into Yreka, using first gear when necessary to gain forward momentem, at an average speed of about 25 miles per hour and made it to Larry’s Auto Care Center. Prior to arriving there, I had made a phone call to my friend and mechanic Kenny who now lives in Reno, NV. I was not looking forward to having the transmission taking out, waiting for it to be repaired and then about a $2,000 bill, when I hope to sell it within the next month. Kenny told me to first have them check the modulator valve and governor, both of which could cause my transmission condition and both of which could be checked without removing the transmission.

After about a one hour wait we finally got to pull into a bay in the garage. Within 15 minutes, the governor was out and sure enough, the plastic gear on the end of the shaft was broken. They took it to a local transmission shop and had the gear replaced. The governor was then re-installed and it was time for the test drive. Oh joy! That fixed it! Three hours in the garage and $113.40 later, all was well. Sure beats a $2,000 transmission repair bill.

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The motorhome just barely squeezed into the bay at Larry’s Auto Care Center in Yreka, CA.

By then it was 3:30 pm and 87 degrees. Rather than continuing on we decided to spend the night in the Wal-Mart parking lot. I hadn’t done it in a long time and I told Mary she can not consider herself a true RVer without spending at least one night in a Wal-Mart parking lot!

We hit the road at 7:00 AM this morning and drove 100 miles south to Redding, CA where we are parked in a Moose Lodge parking lot with a great, fast Internet signal. The forecast high for today is 98 degrees and I just don’t care to drive in that kind of heat, so depart early and arrive early has become our rule of the day. Forecast by Saturday is for 103 degrees. I keep repeating to Mary…Ï must really love you to subject myself to this kind of heat!” If you are a regular follower of my Blog, you already know I get uncomfortable once the temperature gets over 80 degrees!

We plan to spend only one day here before moving on to Thousand Trails Lake Minden RV Resort in Nicolaus, CA for a three day stay after which time we’ll go the last 100 miles and arrive at Mary’s home in Murphys, CA on Sunday. Later…

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2009
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.panamaorbust.com

Posted by: ramblinmanjimj | August 23, 2009

Two Tales Of A City

Yesterday Mary and I spent the day wandering around Portland, OR. Here’s my story…

First off I was wildly happy as I finally found a recycle place for Mary to dispose of her recycle collection. See my previous Blog entry. Mary was happy because the world would continue to go around.

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Now to the Center City. There are a number of one-way, three lanes wide of which two lanes are reserved for buses. Mary and I were so busy watching for our desired cross street on which to turn, neither one of us noticed the bus-only sign and it wasn’t long before the bus drivers were honking and yelling at me as I was honking and yelling at them. Are we having fun yet????

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Then it was time to find a place to park. Highway robbery for the parking meter fees! Then the stupid parking meter rejected my perfectly good debit card! Are we having fun yet????

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We finally found the downtown Visitors Center. Here could be seen the old and new standing side-by-side.

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When I met Mary, I never promised her a rose garden, so she got to see and smell the famous rose garden of Portland, OR also known as The Rose City.

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When the day was done I had concluded the following:
* Too many people!
* Too many vehicles!
* Too much traffic congestion!
* Too much noise!
* Too many signs telling you things you couldn’t do!
* Too many lines to stay within!

Have I told you I really do not like big cities? That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Now for Mary’s story. For a whole bunch more photos and I highly suspect a totally different interpretation of Portland, Oregon, go to her Blog at
marysramblins.blogspot.com

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2009
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.panamaorbust.com

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