Tuesday, August 30, 2011


We want to have our rig weighed while we’re here so we spent a couple of hours waiting around for the guy to sign up for the weigh in. Hope they weigh better than they run their booth. No sign as to where they were, nobody knew where they were, no idea when they would be back. There were about six others waiting around with us. Totally disorganized and inefficient. Drives me nuts. Finally somebody took our cards and said they would call us back to schedule our times. We’re scheduled for a week from Tuesday at 10':00 a.m.


Don, Faye, Jan, Bill – top row. Gary, Judy, me and Jim – bottom row.

At 3:00 was the opening ceremony with a short tribute to Joe Peterson. For those of you who aren’t Escapees, Joe and Kay Peterson started the organization and Joe passed away last year. Kay also didn’t attend this year’s Escapade for the first time. Age has a way of doing that to us.

IMG_2800 During the opening ceremony we have the Pledge of Allegiance and sing the Star Spangled Banner as well as O Canada. Then we have the Parade of Chapters. Chapters are small groups of Escapee members usually organized in a geographical area (but not always). We belong to Chapter 45 out of Apache Junction/Mesa, AZ.

After opening ceremonies is an ice cream social. Everybody gets an ice cream bar or a fudge bar. Good fun while you’re standing around visiting with everybody.

IMG_2809 Sunday evening are door prizes and the entertainment. Jan (of Jan and Jim) won some collapsible containers which a really neat door prize. The rest of us in our group didn’t win anything. Oh well, there’s always tomorrow night.

IMG_2813 Jimmy Travis was the entertainment for the evening. He was here back in 2008 and we thought he was fabulous. Nothing has changed. He was still fabulous. A funny, funny man who is also a very talented and clever singer. We laughed for over an hour. I especially like him because all of his humor is clean and not political. Very family oriented. If you ever get a chance to see him, you will not be disappointed. Go to www.jimmytravis.com to see a video clip of his performance.


IMG_2811 Tina and Woody joined us.

Monday, August 29, 2011


Here are a couple of pictures of how we are parked.


Nice and close.


This is down our row. Don’t have a very good picture to show you of all the rigs. We’ll get some stats later on and I’ll pass those on to you about attendance. We were here in 2008 and there aren’t near as many rigs this year.

IMG_2787 Saturday morning Jim and I just kind of lazed around. Jim made us a wonderful omelet breakfast sandwich. Nothing, but nothing, is better than his breakfasts.

Tina and Woody came over and we took off for lunch at Applebee’s. For those of you who haven’t been reading my blog for long, Tina is the reason for Jim and I living in our RV. She came into my office for a simple request and an hour and a half later I finally let her go. She made the mistake of telling me she lived in her RV and that was all it took. By the time she left, I was hooked on the idea. Went home that evening and told Jim this is what we are going to do when we retire. His only question was, when do we get to retire?


Saturday after lunch we went to the vendor’s area at Escapade. Wanted to check it all out before we decided to spend any money. So far the only thing we’ve bought is an LED light for the reading lights above the bed and we found this:

IMG_2796 spatula

Isn’t that great?

I also took a few pictures of the building we’re using for all of the activities.




A couple of pictures of the vendor area.









This room is where all ceremonies and entertainment will take place. Tomorrow, Sunday, will be the opening ceremony in the afternoon and then the evening entertainment and door prizes.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


We planned to leave Mountain View RV Park in Sundance, WY at 7:30 Friday morning. We wanted to give the Walmart/FlyingJ parkers a chance to get checked in and parked before we arrived.

We actually left the RV park at 7:38. I think that’s pretty darn good to have six rigs ready to go at the given time. Especially when one of those rigs is ours.

I didn’t get any pictures of our convoy but John and Karen did an excellent job of leading the way. We got to the Cam-Plex about 9:00 and were parked and set up as a group by 9:45.

The parking crew does a great job but I do have two complaints that I’m going to put on my feedback form. 1. Early arrivals are parked at the back of the park. When we’re paying for the extra days, I think we should be parked up at closest spots to the event center. 2. Because we came in as a group they didn’t park us like everyone else. Everyone else is parked in every other site, but we are all crammed into each site which puts us really close. We like each other but it sure would be nice to have the additional room when we want to sit outside. These are not major issues, but I would like an explanation as to why it was done that way.

IMG_2769 Several people in our group had signed up for either Boot Camp or Computer Re-Boot Camp. Both of these started at noon on Friday. Jim and I are just here for the socializing. We got to dog sit for Judy and Gary’s Lucy. Scooter’s nose was bent out of shape for a little while but everybody settled down and we had a good day.

We had a happy hour for those who were around. People were really like the computer class. Boot Camp went until 6:45 and seems to be well received by newbies.

Jim and Jan


John and Bill


Karen, Jan and John


I’ve been taking pictures of clouds, trying to use some of the info that Al has given us. But I really don’t have that “eye” that he does.



Saturday night, Jim, John and Bill went to the local race track for the stock car races. It’s not far from the Cam-Plex and those of us who stayed home could hear the cars going around and around. While Jim was at the race, I watched the NASCAR race on TV so I could be sure and tell him about it when he got home.

Having a great time. Sunday, Escapade actually begins. More good times to follow.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


We finally got out of town on Wednesday about 2:00 p.m. Lots of small things that needed to be taken care of before we could leave town.

Remember when we returned to Montana last June and how green everything was? Well this is what it looks like now:IMG_2759

And this is why Montana is now burning up. The only good thing about it, is that the fires are lightning fires not man made.

We went 160 miles to Lake De Smet, WY. We stayed here on our way back to Montana from Arizona and just love this park. However, some people had taken over our lake front site. Darn them. But we were just spending the night and this is what our site looked like. IMG_2761

IMG_2760 I talked to the Ranger the next morning and he told me that last year they had $1500 in use fees (camping is $10 – no hookups) and so far this year they have over $15,000. They’ve been making some major upgrades to the camping sites and plan to put in some electric for next year. Probably a really busy place on week-ends but during the week just perfect.

I need to confess something. I don’t do well after sitting in one place for very long. I forget important things. Like when we were supposed to leave town. I do all of the navigating and Jim just goes when and where I tell him to go. Somehow, I got my days all messed up.

As we’re toolin’ down the road, I get a call from the RV park in Sundance, WY where we’re going to spend Thursday and Friday night before we go to Gillette to Escapade. No problem – we’re only about 150 miles from them the next morning when we head out. But!! We were supposed to be there Wednesday and Thursday nights. It is almost 6:30 and there is no way we’re going another 150 miles. So I apologize profusely and the park owner is really gracious about it. I also got a call from Jan wanting to know where we were and I had to admit to her I messed up on the days. This getting old is for the birds.

Thursday morning we head to Sundance. It was a nice easy drive. I really like Wyoming because they have many parking areas that are just perfect for letting the girls (all three of us) make a bathroom stop and get a drink of water.

We get set up at the Mountain View Campground and the place is packed. Everybody is on their way to Escapade in Gillette. This is where we are meeting up with the rest of the group that we are going to park with in Gillette. We all need to arrive together and will caravan to the Camp-plex. We have six rigs traveling together.

IMG_2768 Jan and Bill

IMG_2765 This is Karen (who travels with John) and Don (who travels with Faye).

Bobbie and Vern – didn’t get a picture of them at all.

IMG_2764 This is Jan and Faye

IMG_2766 Me on the phone, John and Karen, and Don.

I didn’t get pictures of couples because at our happy hour everybody took turns sitting wherever and visiting. So these are what I took.

We heard that a storm was going through Gillette. Our sky got dark and the wind picked up but it blew right on past us. IMG_2763

Tomorrow on to Gillette and I’m back on the right time schedule.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Lousy internet connection so hopefully tomorrow I can catch up on blogs. We're doing great. Lovin' the fifth wheel. Met up with great friends. On to Escapade tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Thank goodness we aren't going very far today. It's only about a three hour drive and since we aren't going to get out of town this morning, that is a good thing. As if we didn't have enough to do, a wasp got in the fifth wheel this morning. So Jim has been wasp hunting. Finally got him and sent him on his way to wasp heaven.

Judy asked how short we have the girl's nails trimmed. That all depends on who's doing it and how brave they are. Dachshunds are horrible about having their nails trimmed. And I do mean HORRIBLE. There are many groomers who will not trim a dachshunds nails. And many Vets aren't real excited to do it either. The girls have black nails so you have no idea where the quick is. They also have a long quick and are very vocal if you get anywhere near it. This vet trims them longer than we prefer but since it's included in the price of the check up, it's fine. At least now they aren't pointed and digging into things with them.

Need to get busy and finish putting stuff away. Not sure how well things are stored so I figure this trip will be our shake down (literally) and help me figure out what isn't secured the way it should be. Keep your fingers crossed that I don't end up with too many things smashed.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011



A Montana Sunrise


Took the girls to the vet and $380 later they are all up to date on all their shots, tails trimmed, have their Frontline and Heartgard, and ears cleaned. The good news is that Scooter has lost 3 lbs. She was really overweight and we’ve been working with her for the last six months to get her down. She needs to lose another pound but we’re really happy with her progress. (Just wish my progress was anywhere near as good as hers but it’s definitely not.)

It’s amazing how much better she feels with the weight gone. She plays a lot more with Skitz and the rabbits in our yard have really learned to beware the Scooter!!

Jim got the tire monitor hooked up today and it works. Wow. He had his meeting with his heart doctor and passed with flying colors. Also got to see his eye doctor and he doesn’t need new glasses. Great news on both accounts. I had my mammogram and got good results. We still have a couple more appointments in September and then we’re good to go. Yeah.

We leave tomorrow headed to Wyoming for Escapade. I’m excited but I’m also so tired it’s hard to be excited. We’ll only go about 160 miles back to Lake DeSmet for the night. Then we head over to Sundance, WY to meet up with several people that we’re going to park with at Escapade in Gillette. Hopefully, this will give us a chance to relax a couple of days. 

Monday, August 22, 2011


IMG_2700 Carol and Doug arrived in Billings a week ago. We first met them last year out in Washington. They followed a few days behind us up the coast and eventually we stayed put long enough for them to catch up. Really enjoyed meeting them and were so looking forward to getting to actually spend some time visiting. (Love the cowgirl hat)

Since Jim and I were busy with the move into the fifth wheel, Carol and Doug did a lot of exploring on their own. But we did get together for a couple of dinners.

IMG_2699 And the rodeo!!! The fair was in town and Carol and Doug fell in love with rodeos when they spent some time in Cody, WY. Thursday night we met them at the fairgrounds.

IMG_2707 What a great time. However, this is probably the first rodeo I’ve been to where the animals won hands down. Since I grew up in Montana, rodeos have always been a part of my life. And normally the cowboys do a pretty good job of riding and roping and wrestling. But Thursday night, the cowboys had a really tough time. Those who made it to the whistle really didn’t have very good scores and in the bull riding, only one guy actually made it for the full 8 second.

IMG_2711 The barrel racers at least stayed on their horse and most of them made it without knocking over barrels. The trick riders did a great job also. But the poor cowboys. Good thing most of them look good in them there jeans.

IMG_2714 My pictures really turned out lousy because it’s really hard to take a picture of bucking, jumping, running, and spinning animals and cowboys. I’m only sharing a couple with you so your eyes won’t cross too bad.


Sunday, August 21, 2011


Jim has been busy (extremely busy) installing our macerator, IMG_2732


his new battery box, IMG_2731


figuring out where to put his tools, and getting everything done that is on my honey do list.

Speaking of tools – we had a big OOPS. When the fifth wheel was in the storage lot, it was really hot. Jim hooked up the generator so we could have some air while we were working inside. His big toolbox was sitting too close to the generator and it melted. (I should have taken a picture but I didn’t.) We bought him a new toolbox (metal this time) and he was able to salvage most of his tools. Some of the items (I have no idea what they are) had the plastic melted all over them but not too many. He got most of the tools moved into the new box.

The next day Jim noticed that the melted tool chest was missing. That’s right – somebody had stolen it. They also took our new gas can with the gas in it (this was the most valuable thing they took). The biggest thing that was taken in the tool box was his test light, and some bolts and screws. What is ironic or wonderful is that also sitting outside was a smaller tool box with lots of good stuff in it that they didn’t take.

And what have the girls been doing while Dad’s outside working so hard?

skitz3 Skittlez has been building her nest and doing her usual begging. In the motorhome she had the nest under the dash at my feet. In the fifth wheel she picked the corner behind Jim’s chair. She started pulling blankets in there but was having trouble getting them into that small space so I had to help her out.

Sharing lunch with Dad skitz1


Relaxing with Mom IMG_2672

IMG_2730 Scooter works hard at enjoying the nest that Skittlez built, gets her daily dose of sunshine, and makes sure she’s nearby when Skitz is begging.




As for me, I’ve been enjoying blogs and hunting for fish stuff.IMG_2756

Friday, August 19, 2011


I am a worrier. Just comes very naturally to me. I worry about our kids, I worry about the weather, I worry about the state of the world, I worry about my friends, I worry about everybody’s furkids (especially ours), I worry about fires and tornadoes and earthquakes, and accidents. You name it, I probably worry about it. But I’ve learned to control my thoughts quite well and not let them rule my life.

I also do whatever I can to ease those fears. I watch the weather carefully to try and avoid any threats of bad stuff. I check on the kids often to make sure they are okay and everything is going great. We put new tires on the fiver we just bought. I made Jim check the dryer in the kid’s house to be sure lint wasn’t building up which creates a fire hazard. Etc., etc., etc.

We were out at Pierce RV the other day because Jim needed some kind of hose connection for our blue boy tote. While we were there I’m wandering around looking at all the treasures this place holds. Came down the aisle that holds LP gas leak detectors and CO monitors. Yes, we came home with both.


Someplace I read that your LP detector should be changed about every five years. Our fifth wheel is almost 8 years old and I’m sure the LP detector has never been replaced. Another job for Jim.

As for the CO monitor. This is strictly for my peace of mind. Our fifth wheel does not have a built in generator. The generator sits in the back of the pickup. So the probability of CO problems are really small. However, our CO monitor went off when we were using the generator in the motorhome and I just don’t forget those kinds of things. Thanks to my understanding hubby, he will put up the CO monitor just for my peace of mind. Anything to help me not to worry so much.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


As all of you know, I am married to an avid fisherman. He would fish 12 hours a day, 7 days a week if I didn’t keep finding other things for him to do.

This summer has really been a complete bust as far as fishing goes. And he has been so wonderful about it that I decided our fifth wheel is going to become a fishing cabin, something Jim has always wanted.

Here are a few of the items that we’ve found so far.

A magnet we liked. fish

Fan pullsIMG_2694

Soap Dispenser – we have two of thesefish5

Michaela, our future DIL, found all of these for us fish4 

Fishing Rod Grill Lighter (gift from Jan and Bill)IMG_2691

Hot pan handle holder


Large mouth bass salt and pepper shakers fish3

Bookends that my parents gave Jim as a gift several years ago fish2

Much more to come. 


IMG_2692 Currently, Jim is building new shelves in the kitchen. Two of them we purchased at Lowe’s with pull out baskets. In the other two cabinets, these baskets won’t work, so he is taking advantage of having saws and a table to build the shelves. So nice to be married to a man who can do so much.