Saturday, June 18, 2016

Final leg

It is June 18 and we are spending our final night on the road.  
We left Ontario last Sunday and had another easy crossing at the border.  Of course, we had to pay another $9 to cross the bridge but there was no one in line at the check point ( when we came into Canada earlier in the week the line coming back into the states was a mile long).  We dry camped at Port Huron elks so we could meet our good friends from Park City, Jon  and Ellen.  They are on their way to Maine.  Right after we got to the elks a Lazy Days pulled in.  I thought that the rig was familiar and it turns out that it was Russ and Jane Darrow who parked next to us at Boomerville.  Small world.

Crossing the border bridge.

Port Huron Elks has a beautiful 18 hole golf course.

Our friends Jon and Ellen and dog, Yetti.

Jan and Russ Darrow

Mutt and Jeff - Jon and Ellen's rv next to ours.

After a great night of visiting with Jon and Ellen we headed north thru Michigan to St. Ignace in the UP to stay at a casino.  We paid another $18 to cross over the 5 mile long Mackinaw bridge.

We drove highway 2 across the lower part of the UP and then into the middle of Wisconsin.  This night we found a casino that had rv parking, electricity, all for free.

Next day we drove across Minnesota and into South Dakota to a small town called Montrose, where we stayed at their city park for $15.  The weather all over the country is hot so we needed to plug in.

We drove to Rapid City and had drinks and dinner with Betty and Duane and Joe Moody.  It was very hot, close to 100 degrees, in Rapid City and we stayed at the fairgrounds for $30.  The only problem with the fairgrounds is they run their sprinklers all night and in the morning the RV park was flooded.

Yesterday, June 17, we drove south and wanted to spend the night at a free campground in Brush, CO.  When we got there it was full so we continued on hwy 71 south.  The only problem was there were no places to spend the night on this route.  We took this road because Dean did not want to drive through Denver but it was a rough, sparsely populated, and boring road.  We drove over 575 miles to Raton Pass just inside the New Mexico border.  Dean had some difficult breathing (we were at 7800 ft) so he went into Walmart in Trinidad, CO, for awhile and he said there were lots of RVs parked there and the temperature was cool.  Oh well, next time.  

Today we drove across New Mexico to the Dancing Eagle casino where we are staying tonight for $10.  It was very hot when we pulled in.  Tomorrow we have 373 miles and we will be back home after 189 days, 15 states, and 3 countries.  We averaged $5.81 per night, stayed 105 nights free, and averaged $13.10 for the nights we paid.

Raton Pass RV park

Chica is a well traveled dog!  She has been a great traveling companion but I think she is ready to be home also.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

On June 7, we crossed the border at Port Huron, MI.  We had to pay $9 to take the bridge over to Ontatio.  It was an easy border crossing with only a few cars in front of us and the Candian border patrol asking few questions.  

After posting on Facebook that we were going into Ontario, we received a text from Bernita and Ron Poutney that they were staying at Paris, ON (on our route).  Ron's son was in the hospital so they came up from Florida to be with him.  They were staying at Ron's nieces and she had plenty of room for us to park.  It was a lovely setting and we enjoyed our 2 nights visiting with Ron and Bernita.

On June 9, we were off to Niagara Falls.  We made reservations at King Waldorf Marineland RV park.  When we got there on Thursday night there was only 1-2 spots taken.  It is expensive at $50 per night but it was a pretty park.

 I went to the visitors center and bought 2 combo tickets - boat ride, beneath the falls experience, sound of fury, Rapids walkway and transportation on the Wego for 2 days for about $40.  The next day we took off early to catch the Wego at Marineland.  Then we found out that the shuttle doesn't stop at Marineland on weekdays.  So we waited for the city bus.  That was taking forever so we decided to drive in and pay the $18 for a parking place.  But it was in a great location.  We dressed too warmly so we could drop stuff off at the car along the day.
We first went to the Falls main center where we signed up for the stuff included on our package.  First thing was behind the falls. We rode an elevator down and walked in a tunnel to two viewing areas enclosed and one viewing area outside. We were given rain parkas for the trip.  Inside all we saw was a lot of water.  Outside we were very close to the falls.

Next we went to the kids movie 'Sound of Fury' and then went into the special effects room, with another rain parka and got slashed with water.  It as kind of hokey.  We went outside and took some good pictures of Horseshoe falls.

We decided to do Skylon tower and, after finding out you could ride for free if you bought lunch, splurged with a nice lunch, including wine, at the revolving restaurant.  This is where I got my best pictures of the falls.

Above picture is of the Ferris wheel and casino in Niagara Falls, ON.  Below - Skylon tower.

After lunch, we rode the Wego to the rapids Boardwalk.  These are class 6 Rapids that run below the falls.

Last for the package deal was the boat ride to the falls.  We rode on the Hornblower.  Maiden in the Mist boat is on the US side.  Again we were given rain ponchos.  And we got wet.  I didn't take many pictures because I did not want my phone to get wet.

American and Bridal Falls.

We went back to the RV and had a little food and rested then returned to the falls at night.  The falls were lighted and beautiful.  There was also fireworks (Friday, Wednesday, Sunday).  We parked north of the IMAX ($4 for all day) and watched the IMAX movie on Niagara Falls and went into the display on Daredevils.  Then we went down to the walkway to see th falls and fireworks.  It was a long day but worth it. 

The next day I drove to Niagara on the Lake, a cute smaller tourist town with lots of wineries.  Then driving back I passed  botanical gardens, walkway to the big whirlpool, and lots of bicyclists.  It was Sunday, a beautiful warm day and lots of people were out enjoying it.
Dean and I decided that we were ready to go back to Prescott.  We've been gone over 6 months which we figure is about 2-3 months too long.  So the next post will be the last on this trip.

Nappanee, Indiana

Our motorhome was made in Nappanee, Indiana, at the Newmar plant in 2004.  Dean made appointments to get a leaky window worked on at this plant.  They have a RV parking area with full hookups and an overflow area with just electric, all for free.  We stayed in the full hookup area for 9 days.  There were some beautiful rigs that were parked in the RV lot, waiting for service.  We felt like the grandparents of all these newer rigs.  

The Newmar plant  is located next to Amish Acres, an old farm converted to museum, theater, shops, all about the Amish.  I went over on the first day and signed us up for the thresher lunch and the matinee play 'Plain and Fancy". The food was very good and the play very entertaining.

On Sunday we drove to the RV Hall of fame in Elkhart.  It was interesting.  There were historic old recreational vehicles which we enjoyed poking around in.

After the RV Hall of Fame we stopped at Linton's Gardens which is a large nursery plus walking areas and shops.

We never tired of seeing the Amish in there horse drawn carriages.  Also, many were on bicycles.

In the area was a Quilt Gardens driving tour.  The quilt gardens were beautifully landscaped gardens with colorful flowers.  This one was in Nappannee.

On Memorial Day we went to the parade in Nappannee.  The parade consisted of veterans, fire engines, one band, motorcycles, and lots of locals.

On Tuesday,  we had to get up early for our 6 am appointment.  We loaded up Chica and took off for Shipshewana and the biggest flea market in the state.  It reminded us of a nicer, cleaner Quartzsite.  We had lunch at Goshen, which was our least favorite town since there was a lot of traffic and road construction.  When we got back we were told that the rig needed one more day so the next morning we were up very early again for a 6 am pickup.  We walked around the town, went for breakfast, shopped and then came back to the plant and waited for the rig to be finished, which it was that afternoon. 

On Thursday we took a tour of the plant and then I went back to Amish Acres for the farm tour.  I learned a lot about the Amish during this tour.  We rode around on a wagon and then did a tour of the house and outside cooking areas.

This old Tom turkey wanted to join the tour.

On Friday, we took the rig of to have a new cabinet installed in the dining area.  I Love my new cabinet.

Since I broke the handle to our washer/dryer,  we drove to Elkhart to pick up a replacement.  We were so fortunate that Splendide had a distribution center close.

We returned to the Newmar free rv park and stayed until Sunday when we drove to Shipshewana to have new coils installed on the refrigerator.

Then we said goodbye to Indiana, drove into Michigan, stayed one night at fairgrounds in Charlotte, MI.  and drove into Ontario, Canada on our way to Niagara Falls.  Loved the Amish area of northern Indiana with the beautiful farms and horses.