I am married to Macguyver

From 1985 to 1992 there was a TV show called   Macguyver, which starred Richard Dean Anderson as a mullet-sporting secret agent with the skills to build complex devices from whatever everyday items he had to hand. All he needed was a pen and paper, a piece of chewed gum, four paper clips, a strip of duct tape and a Swiss Army knife to fix the world!

I have to be honest, I didn’t watch the show because of the “cool” stuff he did. I watched it because Macguyver was “FINE”

Well I may be a bit partial, but I am married to “FINE man” that has the looks (no mullet), knowledge of Macguyver and the passion to get the job done!

My  Macguyver has always had a thirst for knowledge, always tries to figure things out, and NEVER is afraid of a challenge! He asks the right questions and gets resources from experts. He formulates a plan and executes it with precision and a bit of trial and error. 

Moving into our Mobile Condo a year ago was dream and at times a nightmare……that is unless you are married to Macguyver!  

 In the 33 years that we have been married, My Macguyver amassed quite the plethora of gizmos and tools. When we decided to become professional Nomads he had to let loose of his tools. The man had many in triplicate! The Mobile Condo doesn’t come with a 2 car garage and it’s “basement ” has limited storage. He put A LOT of thought in what he would need and what would fit into his new space.  

 This is his bag of treasures that remains from his previous collection! WOW its AMAZING what the man can do with this small stash!

Soon after we moved into our new digs we found the need for a new tool to add to his kit  

 The lighted telescoping mirror is a MUST have for the small tight spaces he has had to explorer. Unfortunately, it wasn’t long enough so Macguyver added a paint roller extension ( why he kept this I will never know, but sure serves a useful purpose 😉) with his designer duct tape and WAH-LA…perfect for those tight spaces!

First of many hurdles before we took off on our great adventure was how we were going to take our Harley with us? After lots of research and deep thoughts Macguyver bought and installed a ramp that was custom made to fit into our Avalanche. 

 No,the little red tool bag didn’t have all he needed, but our dear friend’s shop sure did. Installation was an arduous process, but drive and determination are many of the wonderful qualities My Macguvyer has!

His skills have been used in so many applications in the past years I could fill a book. He never ceases to amaze me! They have certainly been put to the test lately!

While touring Glacier Park riding our Harley we stopped to take in one of the magnificent sights. We hopped off the bike, put the kick stand down and the spring that holds the kickstand in the up position “popped” off! Well that was not in the plan. Without the spring the kickstand would dangle and cause damage or an accident. No little red bag with us…Macguyver takes s bungee cord and secures the kickstand in place! You ALWAYS need to have a bungee with you right? Well if your Macguyver you do! The tour continued and he was able to replace the spring once we got back to the Mobile Condo and his beloved vise grips!

It has been SO hot here in Spokane,WA. record breaking temperatures outside and inside of the Mobile Condo. Circuit breakers were popping like castanets! All of us in the park were suffering as the load on the electricity through the park was HUGE. 

We did our best using the least amount of electricity yet trying to get cool. The air conditioners were running 90 to nothing constantly. Macguyver takes a fan and directs it towards our fuse box to help keep it cooler and Wah-la no more popped fuses. Sheesh where does he come up with this stuff? GENIUS!

Awnings are a lifesaver when trying to keep the inside cooler too! Awnings when working properly that is! Awnings can be the bane of our existence when they malfunction or BREAK. Yep…. Found that out last night! When we tried to retract our 21′ awning with the “mere push of a button” the thing would not retract! GREAT now what? Never fear Macguyer is here….well sort of.

By the light of his trusty flashlight all the while being swarmed by hungry mosquitoes, he determined the motor still worked, but it would not retract the darn thing! Nothing could be done except leave it out for the night as his trusty side kick (me) was not tall enough or strong enough to manually push the behemoth thing in. So we “retire” for the night  PRAYING that a wind doesn’t pick up and cause even MORE damage to the Mobile Condo.

Macguyver has a sleepless night as his brain is engaged on our problem. He gets up at first light and begins calling the manufacturer of the awning. He gains some wisdom from a very helpful tech support gal who recommends changing the caps on either end as this has been an on going problem . They have made design changes to alleviate this problem on newer models.

My Macguyver has the knowledge, the little red bag has the tools  all we need are ladders etc… BUT WAIT….we have a truck bed, a step ladder, an extension ladder and a tie down strap 

 Enlisting the help of one of the park’s employees and another ladder for the opposite end 30 minutes later Macguyver gets the awning to retract! Yippie!

Now the search is on for a new improved motor on eBay. Stay tuned! 

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The Road To The Sun

WOW WOW WOW! Glacier Park is EVERYTHING and more than you can ever imagine! The pictures we took do not even touch the beauty and majesty of this piece of heaven on earth. 

 

Riding on the Harley was fantastic. Beauty all around while winding roads take you so close to the edge  of the mountain. As a passenger I was much more comfortable riding than I am while winding around bends in the Mobile Condo. 

 

I have never seen so many waterfalls with crystal clear water the color of Blue Topaz  

We were fortunate to be able to ride all the way across. There were patches of snow here and there. We were told that the pass wasn’t open until after the 4th of July last year. The area did not have as much snow this past winter and there is a heat wave that helped melt it off. It will be in the high 90’s today. So much for us staying in 70-80 degree weather. Again, Mother Nature has another plan than we do! 

  Macdonald Lake is so blue! 

 St. Mary’s lake is the most stunning color of green and blue!

The park boasts 131 named lakes, 631 unnamed lakes for a total of 762 lakes! That doesn’t even count the streams. The park has a total of 2,865 miles of streams through it! 

   

We are so thankful that we got to experience this 

   

Until next time Glacier! 

   

Channeling our inner Lewis & Clark

We got to stay an extra day in Great Galls as our new T.V. (See previous post for the whole story on that conundrum) found us . Thanks to JVC’s excellent customer service and FedEx we were able to replace the defective one. You would think it would have been an easy process, but something’s take practice. Alls well that ends well. We have a new TV and a happy chauffeur! 

We took our extra day to scout out more of the Great Falls area via our bicycles. We rode to yet another one of the waterfalls that Lewis scouted out called Rainbow Falls. So pretty! A but winded from the ride over hill and dale, yet it was nice to get some much needed exercise since my Hero has been down with his back!

Our journey took us to Giant Springs Park where we saw the smallest river (201 feet) according to Guiness World records named the Roe River. This River dumps into the Missouri River. The water is crystal clear and remains 54 degree all year around.   

   

   There we also learned that the Missouri is the longest river in the USA beating out the Mississippi by 200 miles! The Roe got its name because it is breeding grounds for Rainbow Trout. There some beauties in there. Sadly, my chauffeur without his fishing pole!   

 We called Malmstrom AFB home for the past week. As we headed further northwest towards Glacier Park on the Lewis & Clark trail we looked forward to waking to the sound of song birds not Revielle, going to sleep by the sounds of crickets not Taps and seeing soaring Eagles in place of helicopters going on missions.

We had yet another Lewis and Clark moment while on our journey. We have had a few “surprises” along our way. Not anything like they did by having to portage for 18 miles on foot BUT… As I previously stated the department of transportation in Montana takes road repair to a higher level then we have EVER seen! They remove the ENTIRE pavement down to bare dirt! This “repair” stretched for 5 miles! Kind of tight for a “wide” load 😁!!!Our shocks and tires got a work out! 

    We traveled 224 miles in total to Glacier which took us 6 plus hours!!! An average speed 37.3 mph due to road work and winding roads through forest etc… WE MADE IT!

Glacier Campground is home for the next few days just outside of the West Entrance of Glacier Park.  Beautifully wooded campground. Fitting our 60′ circus train was a but tight, but we fit!  

 We have a fire pit here which we have not had available to us since last summer when we stayed in Illinois. We both love fire and find it so relaxing…..just what we needed! 

  The welcoming committee of mosquitoes and black flies were in full force! Unfortunately,  we did not have any bug spray! I know…full time campers and no spray? CrAzY!!! I remembered seeing one of those helpful “Life Hacks” on Facebook that said Creamy Baby Oil and or dryer sheets can be used as repellent. Lucky for us we have those items in the Mobile Condo. So we douse ourselves in oil and put a few dryer sheets around POOF no more bothersome bugs AND we smell great😉!

Our view out of the windshield is breath taking. We are snuggled in here and it feels like we are in a tree house! We sleep with the windows open and enjoy the nature sounds. Rest was welcomed after the travels. Looking so forward to riding our Harley up The Road to the Sun in the park and seeing more of the beautiful scenery! 

     

Greetings from Great Falls Montana

   

Great Falls, Montana has been home for the past seven days. The weather has been spectacular! We have been doing a bunch of resting as my handsome chauffeur tweaked his back when we left Kansas and finally had to say “UNCLE” and seek chiropractic care. So rest, walk, heat , ice, adjustments, stretch and REPEAT has been our schedule. I am happy to report he is on the mend!

We left Billings, MT via the scenic route through the Lewis and Clark forest. This was breath taking both figuratively and literally! We covered some beautiful terrain climbing up to an elevation of 9,000 feet. The climb was fine for this passenger, but the descent was not as much fun! No run away ramps as we have seen in Colorado only rock sides and guard rails!

Those who know me are aware how much I LOVE  riding roller coasters. Heck, I even love sky diving, but cruising down the mountain with 45,000 pound vehicle towing another 10,000 pounds gets this old heart a pumping!  We now have indentations on the metal hand rail next to my seat and new dents in the floor where I kept pushing “my” brake!

My chauffeur is an amazing driver and is as calm as can be THANK GOODNESS!

Cruising through the forests all of a sudden we would come upon a prairie and farm land. The areas were covered with Prairie Dogs which unfortunately for many became road kill and bird food when they tried to cross in front of us. I swear I saw one that stopped in the middle of the road looking right at us in a praying position as we crossed right over him saving his little life 😁. Thankfully that was the only wild life that we came across… No Elk, Deer or Bears!

I breathed a sigh of relief once we got off the mountain and out of the forest. My thoughts often go to what the Pioneers must have thought as they crossed this vast country that was yet undiscovered. Crossing Prairies, up and down mountains on horse back or covered wagon meeting up with wild life and American Indians! 

They do highway repair a bit different here in Montana. As we made our way on flat land of prairie little did we know but they were doing work in which they took out ALL the pavement on the U.S. highway!
 

Got some first hand experience on how it must of felt if we were in a Wagon Train! Bumpity bump, dust flying and shocks being tested for 15 miles did not make my driver the least bit happy, but we made it and didn’t lose anything!

There is a ton of history here in Great Falls. Lewis and Clark were tasked by President Jefferson to scout out this territory June 20,1803 via the Missouri River. They traveled this unknown land going AGAINST the current!  

 Makes me feel like a big old whiner 212 years later worrying about driving on a paved Interstate or US highway using an atlas and GPS. To think about being eaten alive by bugs, bears attacks or using Sextants and stars for navigation. Drawing maps on the “fly”.

I can only imagine how Lewis & Clark felt. While they were wintering in 1804 with the Mandan tribe the Chief told them that they will encounter water falls on the Missouri River. So not only were they rowing against the river flow, but they were going to encounter a water fall?! On they pressed they found a fork in the river and by the grace of God they picked the right one as the GreatFalls was their clue that they were going the right way.  

 Not only had they found the GREAT FALLS but 4 additional falls were scouted out!  

 For the next 3 weeks they portaged all their canoes and provisions etc. for 18 miles. Lugging and WALKING! Yikes. AGAIN, thank you Lord it was not ME! Also thanks to these courageous people and many who followed we now can navigate the west! 

History states that Lewis & Clark took along Sacagawea with them to interpret and that having a woman along with them was also a sign of peace to other tribes. She had a newborn strapped to her as well. Again, I am so thankful that the good Lord saw fit for me to be born in this century. Can you imagine traveling by canoe against current with a bunch of men as your travel partners and a newborn strapped to your back? No “Calgon take me away” or time for yourself? NOT ME!

Poor thing became ill while on the journey. They did TWO blood letting procedures to help cure her!!! Oh my gosh, it wasn’t bad enough that she was sick … They bled her TOO?! Good thing my handsome chauffeur only needed a Chiropractor and no blood letting!

Fast forward to the end of 1805 the group aka Corp of Discovery get to the west coast and see the Pacific Ocean! Then the group divides up and heads back east to give their final report to President Jefferson. At least the current was in their favor and it is said they traveled at roughly 70 miles each day! WHOA!They reach St. Louis in 1806. Lewis & Clark  were treated like National Heroes.

When we were in Tennessee this Spring we took many a Harley ride on the Natchez Trace. 

 We saw Merriwether Lewis’ burial spot. Unfortunately, he took his own life there in 1809.

Hard to believe how much of this country they traveled by foot, horse, boat and canoe. Also ironically we are following some of those same journeys, thankfully sans canoe and horse back!

 

  

 Walking across the Mighty Missouri on a swinging bridge was an adventure! No portage or carrying things up the rocky sides for us thank you very much😉! 

Billings and the BLACKHAWKS

Montana …BIG SKY COUNTRY is right! You can see FOREVER. My handsome chauffeur does enjoy taking the “shortest & scenic ” route possible which allows us the privilege of seeing lots of beautiful country side. 

As we made our way from Rapid City towards Great Falls we saw lots of country side , ONLY 2 gas stations and 1 rest stop in 327 miles! Now that’s some back country roads. Thankfully we hold 100 gallons of gas and have our own potty on board! 

This passenger was not truly enjoying the ride. I feel much more at ease when I see civilization and GAS STATIONS😀

When I began to search for a place to park the Mobile Condo on my trusty phone app I discovered that in the Billings area there are not many choices and the ones that had room were a bit steep in price. They have the corner marketed and can charge whatever. The search was on as my handsome chauffeur needed to get stopped to watch his beloved Chicago Blackhawks play game 6 of the Stanley Cup. 

Walmart is one of the businesses that allow overnight campers for free. So Billings, MT Walmart would be home for the night.  

Now our traveling circus is approx 60 feet in length and doesn’t take corners like a Porsche so maneuvering a busy Walmart parking lot at 5 p.m. is STRESSFUL😁. Not only finding a long enough space, but my handsome chauffeur needs to plan our exit strategy for on the morning as well. 

After going down the wrong way and causing an unsuspecting driver to back up to let us through this was our view for the evening  

 

Whew! Not as scenic as we have seen, but it had all the requirements. Exits for the morning etc. So up goes the TV antenna, generator going to give us electricity (burning 1/2 gal if diesel per hour HECK it’s the PLAYOFFS who cares), and a cocktail in his hand my date is a Happy Camper!

Our family has been hockey fans for ever. Our son played roller and ice hockey while growing up which isn’t easy to do living in Kansas, but when there’s a will there’s a way. The guys in the family LOVE the Black Hawks. Our precious grandson is named Crawford after the goalie of the Hawks! Now that is a serious fan! 

Poor lil guy didn’t Ike all the hooping and hollering his Daddy was doing during the game, but I am sure he will share his enthusiasm when he gets older …at least I hope … It’s in his blood!

Game on! 

  Thanks to all the texts from family and friends. It was like we were watching it with them! Then …,. 

 

Happy campers indeed!

We were not the only travelers that took advantage of Walmart’s hospitality. Remember what I said earlier about planning our exit! Well we open our curtains and see this  

 

Rutro! The little Casita  camper even had a Bullseye on its back for us to aim at 😆. Never fear my handsome chauffeur found a way around the situation so on the road we go…, Next stop Great Falls, MT!

So long South Dakota

  

Up BEFORE Reveille this morning heading north to our new home for the next week …Malmstrom AFB. 

South Dakota, especially the Rapid City area,is full of fun and adventures. It is a place we will return. We were so fortunate to see all we did. Thankfully we had 2 weeks as Mother Nature wasn’t so cooperative. Lots of rain here, but I guess it’s been that way everywhere!

On the news last night we heard that they closed the Bad Lands park & loop through the park. So much rain caused the collapse of the road and 5 members of family got injured when one of the Buttes they were climbing on crumbled due to rain softening the Butte! That’s a LOT of rain!

In our last few days we were able to take advantage of sunshine and took a ride through Spearfish canyon. GORGEOUS!!! 

     

We also toured a former gold mine. So cool! My grandfathers were miners Michigan. This tour gave me a deeper appreciation of what they did and the sacrifices they went through to provide for their families. It was hard, dirty and dangerous work.  

 The mine we toured was in Lead (pronounced Leed) S.D. There was a large population of Finnish, Italian, English and Norweign immigrants that settle there. Very reminiscent of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where my family lives. Hard working folks!  

 

The mine closed in 2000 to actual gold mining. There are scientists that continue to work down in the mine researching neutrinos and the black hole. Whoa! Over my head. Reminds us of something the guys on Big Bang Theory T.V. Show would be doing!

We were shown the equipment that was used by the miners. One of the things that stuck out to me was this gem… 

 

Their “Porta Potty” ! Notice that it had wheels on it. Miners use to pull practical jokes on each other that included pushing the wagon down the tracks while another unsuspecting Miner was using it😁. Women started working in the mine on 1970. The didn’t find the humor of being pushed down the rail while they were taking a personal moment. They put chains on the wheels to help prevent them being a “butt” of a practical joke. Well it has been told that this didn’t stop the joksters hence the birth of the saying “Don’t yank my chain” 😆.

One of my favorite meals that my Mom makes is Pasties. They are so yummy! They are  delicious crusts filled with ground meat, potato, onion, carrots and rutabaga. Miners enjoyed them as it was a meal that stayed warm in their lunch “pail”. We were so excited to hear that we could buy one at a local gas station for our lunch.  

 My Mom’s are still the BEST EVER . 

Next stop Big Sky Country! Stay tuned.

Pictures don’t do it justice

Over the years I occasionally have seen bumper stickers for “WALL DRUG America’s favorite roadside attraction” or “Where the Heck is WALL DRUG”on the bumpers of vehicles. Traveling through Nebraska and South Dakota the landscape is dotted with WALL DRUG billboards offering free ice water and coffee for 5 cents. Well, curiosity got to us so off to Wall, South Dakota we go as it was also on the way to the Bad Lands.

 

The place is quite an attraction! Yep, you can get free ice water along with Black Hills gold, leather goods, a cow pie frisbee, see a dinosaur, pet a Buffalo, go to chapel, and get a home style meal.A one stop kinda place! 

     

We waited out a rain storm, people watching before we hopped back on the Harley to head east to the Bad Lands all the while watching the looming sky filling with black clouds on both the north and south of us. We had sunshine above us …all was good!

  
The pictures taken don’t even touch a bit of the beauty that we could see as far as our eyes could see. AMAZING views all around us.

The Bad Lands is full of colorful rock formation of all different color shapes and sizes that are formed over time from wind and erosion.  

       

With our eye on the sky and our weather app on my phone we were able to dodge the rain. There was lightening in the sky to the north that had this passenger a wee bitnervous. As I said you can see forever out here and am not the best when it comes to knowing HOW many miles away the weather was and thankfully it didn’t find us.

We saw Prairie Dogs and  Mountain Goats

Thankfully no RATTLESNAKES  

 

On our way back west to the Mobile Condo we stopped by the Minuteman Missile Museum. 

 

My hero served our country working in many different jobs supporting the Minuteman Missile mission until the missiles were deactivated in 1994. He retired from the USAF in 1995. It was so cool to see him share his knowledge of the mission with the volunteer that was on staff. He actually was able to inform the volunteer some interesting facts that will help him explain the mission to other visitors in the future. 

   

It was such an honor to be able to see a museum dedicated to a huge part of his life and the part he played in history to keep our country safe. Thank you for you service honey!