Sunday, July 15, 2012

Tubing and Kayaking the Black River, Wisconsin


We have been spending too much time around the RV lately, we are both busy cultivating our respective hobbies and have taken little time to explore our new found Summer Resting Place at Lost Falls Campground in Wisconsin.

Finally the heat wave broke a bit, ( we have been having heat temps in the 100 degree range for over two weeks), and we took the day to check out the beautiful river in our backyard.

First I had to find a new appropriate bathing suit, which was a challenge in itself, (I prefer support and as much coverage as humanly possible), and tons of Sun Screen, (I am allergic to the sun), then we hit the water for a day of relaxing and clam shell picking.

The river was exceptionally low with the drought we are facing here, but it was still great fun with no risk of drowning or flipping in the current...

I chose an inner tube for my craft and Doyle had to have a kayak, this really worked out because I just tied my tube to his rig and he towed me down the river as we went, (this Gal IS smart!).

We found plenty of beautiful shells for Doyle to carve and many places to stop and take pictures of the local scenery. Most people aren't aware that Wisconsin rivers are full of the most beautiful large freshwater clams and at one time was the center of clam harvesting for the nations buttons.

We only collect "dead" shell, (clams that have died and been pre cleaned by river otters and raccoons).

We were especially pleased to find this wonderful crisp, clear spring with ice cold water to wade in!

We were mostly alone on the river other than one family of tubers who passed us by, the river is too low for most watercraft this year but all in all it was a great time and we plan on going out tomorrow with two kayaks and take the long ten mile run.

We still have a week or so left of our five week vacation, then it's back to work almost every weekend until November. Looking forward to getting back to work, but hate to leave our New Summer home that has been so good to us!


Friday, July 6, 2012

Sarcastic Luxury Caravan Motor Coach from A-Cero Review

Luxury Caravan from A-Cero


luxury caravan
Some time ago we’ve shown you luxury caravan Futuria and now you have a chance to compare it with another one created by architectural studio A-Cero managed by Joaquin Torres. This mobile home was created for long term living and has everything you might need for this even a garage. All furniture is created from Corian to minimize vibration while movement. Interior is created in minimalistic style and could be easily called elegant. So move on and take a look at this luxury RV.

 
luxury caravan
Maybe that Mercedes logo should be a big bigger, but overall, it's not bad looking on the outside... a little top heavy maybe...
luxury caravan
Now THAT'S A SLIDE!
luxury caravan
Look! It has a Baby Car, although it doesn't really look like it will fit in the small door...
luxury caravan
I'm sorry, this model gets my "Looks like a Blood Bank Mobile" Award for sterility, utilitarian layout and discomfort of living features!

The only departure from the Sterile Medical Clinic White is spotted cow hide interior? Are you joking? It cries out for a three legged stool and a straw bale to give the place a little TEXTURE!

And the Dining area, nothing says "Hospital Cafeteria" more than sitting down at a narrow ledge counter for your dining pleasure! Eliminating the Clinical backless chairs would be a smart move since you can't get around scraping those chairs in and out to access them or move through the coach, Oooooh, maybe they are nailed down for the complete "Doctors Office" experience!

The place mats remind me of those foam noodles you use in the pool sliced up and hot glue gunned together, I can just see the incredibly expensive Graphic Interior Designer laughing all the way to the bank on that little farce, ("I can't believe they actually bought into the "Noodle Mats")!


luxury caravan
It is so white on the interior you won't be able to tell where the walls are and you will be continually staggering into them, and don't plan on ever letting anyone, including yourself walk into this thing without taking a shower and donning a sterile suit because the first thing you touch on those glossy surfaces is going to leave a hideous mark!

It that a projection TV I see on the smoked glass wall? Hmmmmm. Something tells me this is not such a good idea with glare and all, but maybe the glare isn't too bad because the windows are all so very tiny, what is wrong with RV designers not wanting us to see outside? Maybe the view is not so good in the million dollar RV parks where they cram you all in together like a Walmart parking lot so you don't want to see outside...

And the couch, millions of dollars to spend and the only couch they could come up with is your standard cut foam angular seating, I'll bet there's cup holders carved out of the couch arms! Here's a suggestion from "Ugly Couch Building 101" College Design Class, say you build an ugly white couch which seems to be covered with Martha Stewart cheap wrinkled sheets and want to make it look chic, put a light under it! Light up your swollen ankles and highlight your varicose veins for all the world to see! I've got ten bucks says the couch converts into an equally tasteless and uncomfortable foam bed for unwanted company....
 luxury caravan

The bedroom should have a sign that says "Not Actually for Use by Human Beings, for Show Purposes Only!" It reminds me of the bedroom in the final scenes of 2001 Space Odyssey almost expect to see an old man under the covers and a fetus floating nearby.


The bathroom features mirror on every wall and no evidence of a toilet, after all, who would want to see themselves life sized taking a dump? You would not catch me naked in this room....ever. And a tub? Obviously all of these futuristic RV's have unlimited water storage and waste facilities...

Just another example of designers who have never actually camped making the million dollar design mistake of a lifetime. This one gets a big fat Zero and my "What were you thinking... Award"! The only possible way this unit could redeem itself was if you hated your neighbor and you parked this puppy out in front of his house, he would never enjoy the feel of the sun on his lawn again.
luxury caravan

Sunday, June 10, 2012

2013 Road Warrior 381 CK Review

Here is a short review of Heartland's Road Warrior RW 381 CK .
It's Springtime and a Gals thoughts turn to tradin' up.

Not that I am unhappy with our 2011 Road Warrior 361, in fact I'm delighted with it and would be hard pressed to exchange it for any other type of RV, up to and including the big luxury Class A Motor Coaches.

But, one does get curious to see what's up with the newer models so I slipped over to Heartland and did a lookabout.

I was a bit dismayed by the initial shock of black cabinets, but I found that you can still order the Cherry cabinet version as an option, so I guess I can live with it, in fact, the black cabinets actually look pretty nice once the initial shock wears off, (as a caveat we sometimes stay in the shade and RV's are a bit dark, adding black cabinets would do nothing to improve the situation).

The stainless appliances are very sharp looking next to the cabinets.

What I don't care for is the benchette dining lounge, why on earth do the Good Folks that plan RV's think we need seating for a dozen of our best friends at all times? We, of course, would pull out the entire unit and replace with our desk set up, as we did with our present unit, but this would leave me with some awkward holes in the floor, (I'm sure there are caps, but really, are these toe jammers or what?).

The slide is much larger, and has really big windows, but the space is sucked up by placing the refrigerator in the slide. Hmmmm...not sure how I feel about not having even a small counter next to the fridge for pulling multiple items out....

Again, the great minds have decided to go the "Bar & Lounge" look, even to the point of hanging the TV at the ceiling above the entry door. This would kill my neck, but that's just a personal problem for myself.

What could be really nifty about the 381 was the hint in the floorplan of there being a "Camp kitchen" in the kitchen slide out for outdoor cooking. If this is truly the case, (why they don't provide even a snapshot of it is a total mystery to me), this would be a HUGE selling point for me! If it had a TV mounted in it, even BETTER! I might never have to go inside again other than to sleep!

All in all, this unit is very nice, it looks as if you can access most of the interior if the slide in in too, a big plus for us Full Timers who want to pull in a parking lot and just grab a snack and a nap before we head out again without putting out the slides.

I won't go too deeply into the specs on this unit, suffice it to say it has the best in the industry and if you need more information, I would click on the link provided at the start of this article. I'm also not going to describe the bedroom and bath, they aren't that much changed form any other Heartland Fiver layout, nothing new here and you can go to the site if your curious.

I featured this unit as it most closely resembles our unit in size and layout, (other than the garage is only 12' where ours is 14'), unfortunately, our exact layout seems to have been discontinued, just why, I am not sure, but I wont be trading in Our Gal anytime soon on this model, although I concede it does has some very fine features that others would appreciate!


Friday, June 1, 2012

Another Lovely Day in Wisconsin...

Here we are near Black River Falls in Wisconsin at Lost Falls Campground for the better part of a month now. It has become our unofficial home for the Summer, if we could be said to have one in the Northland, we have worked out a seasonal rate with the wonderful owners and are having the time of our lives here.

We will soon be leaving to attend the Big Event of the Year for us, Prairie du Chien Rendezvous and Flea Market. If you are in the area, stop by and have a Fry Bread and coffee with us! We also have an All You Can Eat Breakfast for $6 from 7-9am everyday, and the price includes your beverage!

It sure would be nice to visit with some of our Full Time friends, there are quite a few nice campgrounds within easy reach of the Event. We get pretty busy during the day but if you drop by for coffee or such in the am we would love to chat, especially with my Fellow Crafty Full Time Ladies!

I have been spending my days making pre contact native dresses and jewelry for my husbands creations as well as taking long river walks and alternating between freezing and frying with this changeable Wisconsin weather!

It sure feels like Paradise here, last weekend, Memorial Day weekend), the Owners warned us it would be super busy and we may be bothered by the traffic, heck! the way this place is laid out we never even noticed! Sure there were a few people strolling by and kids hollering somewhere of in the distance, but for the most part, we have seen much worse!

Well, here's hoping your day is special and you are appreciating this lovely planet we inhabit, I think I'll turn off the net and go outside and chat with the neighbors!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Futuristic Luxury RV Motorhome Futuria Review

Get a load of this Motor home! While not technically a Motor home, (actually it's a Fifth Wheel towed by an HDT), it features its own garage and they even throw in a car to fill it!

I don't see us trading up to this model anytime soon, it does have its Charms!

FUTURIA – Yacht on Wheels



Futuria
If you like to travel and do not like to travel by sea this luxury motorhome Futuria is for you. The latest in the highest quality motorhomes is Futuria’s sports+spa caravan that was recently unveiled at the Caravan Salon 2010 in Dusseldorf, Germany. This mansion on wheels contains everything for luxury traveling: bathroom, bedroom, 11-foot roof terrace with Jacuzzi and even sports car garage. With many other additional features this luxurious caravan will cost you only $840,000.

 
Futuria
It holds the banked track well!
Futuria
Look! The Very Expensive Photographer just justified his purchase of a Fish Eye Lens!
Futuria
Looks like a Shuffle Board Court Up Top...not for those with Vertigo! (Are those People trapped up there and signalling for help? How long does it take to put up the Kiddie Fence?)
Futuria 

Just what every Senior RV Owner wants...More Stairs! At this price, I think a Tommy Lift Elevator is in order! It would certainly take up less space!
Futuria

And the hot tub, is there enough water storage and waste storage facilities on board? Of course not. This is more or less a large yard ornament! Would love to see the size and hear the sound of the generator it takes heat the water and to push those water jets!

Futuria
My Husband would like to know it the Young Lady also comes with the vehicle, I want to know where SHE will sleep...maybe in the front seat of the car?
Futuria
Futuria
Booorrriing....Looks like the inside of a U-Haul Van....and why the shiny Ceiling? So you can see how boring your interior is from all angles?
Futuria

I find it a bit over simplified on the inside and not enough windows, shucks, if you have the time to design and install a hot tub, why not put a slide out and some glass in the rig! A side note: See how happy the Young Man is sitting there sipping Tea with the Strange Scarf Lady? (maybe she is his Mom).

And a U shaped bench dinette...every one knows how convenient they are when the guy in the back corner has to use the BATHROOM, and speaking of that...Is there one?

The Galley...what there is of one, Is That a Red Solo Cup Dispenser on the Wall Cubby above the Knee Height Microwave? Maybe they do have something here!

(Note to self: Unit is soooo expensive could not afford a screen door).

The Dinette would be the first to go for me, I'd want a recliner or two, a larger, lowered television and a fireplace since that's what we already have in our "Ghetto Mobile" in comparison to this model.

Futuria


I find the interior Booorrriiiiing....yawn. For the Bucks, I expect more than a glorified garage, but that's just me....hopefully that hatch in the floor is the bathtub sized beer cooler!

Is that a Dentist Spit Sink? Certainly you can't do anything else with that tiny receptacle!



And where, may I ask, is the bedroom? Don't rich people sleep? Maybe the Space Age U shaped Dinette folds down into a Communal Sleep Pit.

Oh Well...Maybe if they just take a hundred pictures of the car in the garage no one will notice this home is unlivable....so they did...see below!
Futuria
Futuria
Futuria
Futuria
Futuria
Young lady checking out her sleeping quarters.....

Ahah! Here is where you sleep! Reclining front seats in the cab of The HDT! Foolish me!


Futuria

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Rolling On The River-Lazy Day




After a busy Event, I like to stroll around and take pictures of the undisturbed wilderness that often graces the area around us to remind myself to do more than just set up, work in the kitchen, tear down and move on.

I took a stroll down the banks of the Black River here in Wisconsin and was amazed at just how beautiful and quiet this area really is.

Most people think of Beer and Dairy Farms when considering this state, few think of the vast forests that cover most of the state.

If you do travel through Wisconsin, be sure to get off the interstate and travel her excellent secondary roads, you wont be disappointed!

We are tore down and have an Event in Cannon Falls, Mn at the end of the week, but we are finding it very difficult to tear ourselves away from this lovely place.


All the birds are in full mating splendor and fill the air with their songs of love and hope to the point of being obnoxious, if there is such a thing!

 I have been busy hand sewing a few new elk hide dresses and Doyle has been making copper beads in the short time we have before we roll out of here, we always manage to squeeze a few minutes in for our own personal enjoyment as we can!


It was really a shock to me to find out at this last Event how many people are living in the past and can't quite move on. I guess that's OK for them, but our life is always new and ever evolving so I just don't get it.

I was a bit surprised to sit down with a friend and find out the only things she wanted to talk about was things that happened more than six years ago! It seems like a lifetime ago that Doyle and I met and things have changed so much it's almost like she was talking about someone else!

I guess for some people things never change and they are always looking backwards to the "Glory Days" while I am always waking up looking forward to the new adventure each day brings.

I can't imagine being in a life where time never really moves forward and that the past holds more attraction than the present. Sure, I had kids and worked a regular corporate job and lived in a house I rebuilt myself but that was long ago, and though enjoyable, I have moved on to a new life full of new surprises and adventure.

It is a bit disconcerting to find someone who still wants to query me about the past and ask me how I felt about it. Who Cares? Since that time I have given up everything I held important then and have almost lost my own life and the life of my husband. We have traveled tens of thousands of miles and met countless people and had many experiences good and bad. How the heck would I know how I felt then when I'm a completely different person now?

It doesn't matter what happened then, other than I must have learned something from it or I wouldn't still be here today. That's all I need to hang my hat on and I feel sorry for someone who still thinks what happened six years ago is relevant.

Living on the road, you really can leave the past behind. Hopefully one takes ones life lessons seriously and doesn't revisit the mistakes of yesteryear, but in general, living on the road is about what's in front of you out the windshield and not what is in the rear view mirror.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Catching up on Our Annual Full Time RV Migration North..We Have Arrived and Been Busy!

Over Night Stay
 By now you might figure we either were abducted by Aliens or lost somewhere, we did make it to Wisconsin in one piece but we had an Event to set up for right away so we didn't get a chance to rest up and get a post off...

Our trip home was uneventful yet very enjoyable, other than Illinois and Indiana Interstates, which leave something to be desired as far a a smooth ride...nothing against either state, we have been to many lovely areas in both, but the Interstates are just plain rough and buckled, we even resorted to adding a couple days to journey by taking the back roads and enjoying ourselves a bit.
What on Your Dash?

This is my "What's on your Dash?" contest, if you are brave enough to do it, snap a pic of your dash and leave a link in the comments and I'll do a posting on the clutter before us....

I, of course have an ever changing palate of Sea Shells in the South and Pine Cones in the North...so predictable!

Shooting out the Truck Window

Another Farm, What a Surprise!

Eating Our Way Across the country...




Had a great time trying out the new camera, shot these pics out the window in 800 speed shutter time, it really did a good job of freezing the action!


Below is our usual barbeque fare cooked on our Holland Gas Grill, I've found a new way to cook burgers, I just throw a couple of large onions sliced up on the grill and throw the raw burgers on top, then when I flip over the burgers I flip the onions at the same time. It really flavors the burgers and keeps them juicy while making the onions perfect for eating!

Next I plan throwing a few onions and green peppers in too for good measure.

Hope you Spring is and wonderful and a Big Shout Out to Jill and Frank, who have just joined us Full Timers on the road in a new Motor coach, (well at least it's new to them, I hear it's pristine!) Hope every mile is a safe and Blessed one for them, always good to share the enthusiasm of new converts!

As for us, we are still very happy with our lifestyle, we even gave up our seasonal Campsite on the Mississippi and are just being Gypsies this year, we always get a really reasonable rate when Campground Owners find out we are Full Timers and Doyle always chips in with chores around the Campground anyway...so it always works out good for us!

I wanted to mention we are at Lost Falls Campground near Black river Falls Wisconsin. If we do decide to get a permanent lot, it will probably be here, the owners run a tight ship and it's so very quiet here you can't help but fall in love with it's tranquil setting with local shopping within 10 miles!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Day 1 Migrating North From Florida To Wisconsin

Wild Flowers in the ditch
 Well, we are on the road again, after a long rest in Northern Florida, Our goal today is to make it to Chattahoochee KOA.

We have been on the road a few hours enjoying the Spring Flowers that are everywhere but we are bucking a heck of a headwind today so our mileage is dismal and it's kinda creepy the way the rig sorta sways. 

I have to admit though, our old Fiver was darn scary in a wind, so this is much nicer, (if there is such a thing).


Oh My Gosh, Who's place is this? It's so clean!(Stuff on counter goes in Truck)
I spent the morning deep cleaning the rig, a habit I gained a long ago and have been glad for it ever since. I simply will not move the rig until the place is spotless. This way when we set up, all I have to do is sit back and enjoy.

I started doing this because I had an unnamed fear of dirt building up under the slide as it moved in and out, causing problems eventually, (I don't know what, maybe binding? or grinding to a halt because of some cat toy or bead I left rolling around), so I started vacuuming rigorously every time we moved before we put the slide in.

Everything Packed up and stowed for the Big Move!
It has worked wonderfully for me because I really do look forward to stopping for the night to a clean house, clean sheets, clean dishes...the list goes on and on, but it is one nice way to make your life on the road a little sweeter.


Then we move to Doyle's end of the trailer and see that he has acquired a new toy. Thankfully we had a lot of room this year on the way back, or this would have been left behind.

There's a great story behind our new Yacht, you see, we were on the beach and Doyle came running up to me towing this barnacle and seaweed covered Dingy behind him, with this Little Boy Look on his face that clearly said, "Look what followed me home, can I keep it?" I was dubious at best about the prospect, we were three miles up the shore and there wasn't much to recommend this craft, it was "Seaworthy" but where I come from, (Lake Superior), this wouldn't qualify as a life vest.
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 So, to make a long story short and save you the debate that followed in somewhat heated terms, we lugged the boat up the shore and over the dunes to our truck and then Doyle spent a day or two cleaning it up.

I did some research on this boat and it turns out it's quite the sailing craft, it can be neatly rigged to run sail and the site has pictures of people actually skipping across the waves in one of these. Yeah, right.

I noticed most of the "Sailors" were kids and that the small bay they were in had a breeze that just rippled the surface. I myself I think would rather take the peril of survival swimming for shore than put my faith in this craft in a pinch...

But, it amuses Doyle and he thinks it will be nice for trolling the small rivers around the area we are planning to stay in this year in Wisconsin, and I agree, it would be good for that, and if all else fails we can always fill it with dirt and plant flowers in it.
More Wildflower pictures to take your mind off the vision of our inevitable drowning...


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