Monday, August 31, 2009


Some people have mentioned having trouble with the comments...

If you want to leave a comment, it is best to do so as 'anonymous' and just sign your name...unless you have an account and then just do it how you want to do it!

Fuelin' Around: Lewis

Denise found a mouse in the glovebox this am and freaked out. We named him Lewis. He is somewhere in the dash. More to come.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Fuelin' Around: Seattle

Got an oil change this morning (gotta keep the truck happy) and then headed into Seattle.

We went to Pike Place market, ate some dungeness crab, caught a Mariners game, took the ferry to Bainbridge and back and are getting ready to catch up with one of Michael's med school friends south of the city.

I don't know if it is the pacific time zone or just 12 days on the road...but I am exhausted today (despite two cups of coffee). Am hoping for more energy tomorrow.


Fuelin' Around: Sea to shining sea

Seattle=awesome. Although the coffee scene is eerily similar to atlanta. Or birmingham. Nothing but starbucks. Had a dungeness crab. Much bigger than blue crab, though not quite as tasty. Easier to eat though. Pikes place mkt just as touristy as you'd think, but cool anyway. Incredible fish/produce. Foggy when we got here, now clearing up. To a M's game now, maybe a harbor cruise after, then drinks with a buddy from med school. Found free pkg for the Skamper--had to parallel park/back up a ridiculously steep hill. I rule.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Fuelin' Around: Bumper Stickers

We are collecting bumper stickers as we go. Here is an update on what the back of the skamper looks like.

Fuelin' Around: Breakfast and Kayaking in northern Idaho

Had a great breakfast this morning cooked by Marilyn and Michael. What fantastic hosts! Thank you so much you two!

Then we went kayaking and I LOVED it; now I want to buy some for our river house.

Happy weekend everyone!


Friday, August 28, 2009

Fuelin' Around: ID

Arrived in lake Pend Oreille I'd earlier in the day after leaving Glacier. Western MT was gorgeous, with huge mountains and these deep, clear, huge lakes--barely developed. The water is an unbelievable shade of blue. We had a great dinner with family friends overlooking the lake in Sand Point--what a cool town. The area is really incredible, like you'd think of how they'd picture a lake resort in the movies. Like "What About Bob" or something. Denise is trying hard to keep me from buying a house here. I'd like to compromise and buy a lot here--then the Skamper could have a home when we're done. Everbody wins. Stay tuned.

Fuelin' Around: Max

The Ranger just passed 190k miles. So far, so good. Oil change coming up. Miles driven--
Michael: 3445
Denise: 0
Reggie: 0

Fuelin' Around: MT

Just leaving Glacier Park. TONS of teeny roadside espresso places. Delicious.

Fuelin' Around: Livingston, MT to Glacier National Park

Drove to Bozeman yesterday morning to meet for breakfast with an old friend at Cat Eye Café. It was nice to catch up...and I had some very tasty banana bread french toast.

We were going to head to Missoula for the Big Sky brewery, but decided it was a bit too far out of the way.

So instead we took some back roads up to Glacier and passed a 'vegetables for sale' sign inm the middle of nowhere, and I mean NOWHERE. After reading 'Animal,
Vegetable, Miracle', Michael insisted we stop in. Whoa. Little did we know we'd stumbled into a Hutterite colony (an Amish sect) called the Milford Colony. Very strange place, but we did get a lot of veggies and fruits for a grand total of $8.

We got into Glacier last night around 6:30, saw an actual glacier (that they expect to disappear by 2030) and some incredible vistas. As a sidenote, I had no idea that I had any level of fear of heights until riding along the Going-to-the-Sun road in the eastern side of the park. We drove midway through the park and camped for the night.

This morning we made a skamper breakfast and then took our coffee and went on the Trail of the Cedars...which was a red cedar forest straight out of a fairy tale or movie.

Hopped back in the car, stopped at a roadside stand to buy some huckleberries to snack on (which taste like a combination of cranberries and blueberries), and now we are on the way to Hope, Idaho to stay with some friends for the night.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Fuelin' Around: Yellowstone National Park

Well, we're still driving! We found an auto store that does free electrical testing and the check engine light wasn't anything serious. So Michael cleaned the sensor and we were off again.

Last night was the first time we stayed at a campground (Buffalo Bill State Park) with 'vaulted toilets.' which are basically toilet seats positioned over a deep, uh, cess pool. I was not a fan, so I am hoping not to encounter those again! The park itself was pretty though...right on a reservoir.

Today we ventured into Yellowstone. We saw Old Faithful erupt, walked around to see the lesser known geysers and things, then because we wlked right past it on the way back to the skamper, saw O.F. Erupt for a second time.

We also saw waterfalls, gurgling mud ponds, elk, a marmot, and a crap ton of bison (some of them from a VERY close range).

I heard from a couple sources that Glacier National Park is even prettier...that is up next...after potential brief detours through Bozeman (to maybe catch up with a friend from elementary school) and Missoula, MT (for Moose Drool beer).


Fuelin' Around: Jellystone

Nice drive thru yellowstone this am. Big herd of bison just off the road. Just saw old faithful, which was kinda cool but not worth writing home about. Although apparently worth blogging about. The rest of the geothermal stuff is awesome though. Check engine light was no big deal--a code scanner and some MAF sensor cleaner, and we're back truckin'. 2 climbs to 9600 feet and back without incident. Giddyup!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Fuelin' Around: Custer, SD to Cody, WY

Last night we saw Mount Rushmore in the dark, which is fine because they light it up. It was a nice area, but probably wasn't really worth the time because we could see a similar view as we wound our way up to our campsite through Custer State Park. It was a pretty nervewracking drive (for Michael) and ride (for me). We keep getting into camp late at night, in the dark; which is a bit difficult when you don't know where you are going. Our goal going forward is to get up and get moving earlier and to get into camp earlier, too.

We enterted into Wyoming today...not very pretty at the outset. Very brown and empty. Ate elk for lunch in Buffalo, WY. Right after lunch the check engine light came on. We are hoping it is just an emissions thing or simply due to altitude...but I have resigned myself to the fact that we are going to break down at some is just a matter of when.

Wyoming got much prettier about halfway through (near Ten Sleep Canyon) much so that we stopped for two roadside pictures almost back-to-back. (we won't be able to share any pix until we get access to a computer, or maybe even until we get back).

We are headed to Cody, WY to camp for the night just outside Yellowstone.


Fuelin' Around: WY

WY=not pretty so far. Never thought I'd say it, but I'd rather live in SD.

Fuelin' Around: WY

Just entered WY. Passed a mint El Camino with a camper shell. Immediately thought of Brando.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Fuelin' Around: Mitchell, SD to Custer, SD

Spent the night at yet another Walmart...this one in Mitchell, SD. Is it scary that this is already starting to feel normal?

This morning we headed out to see the Corn Palace ( and procured a shiny, sparkly bumper sticker for the back of the skamper. Apparently the Corn Palace doubles as a gymnasium / concert hall, but above all it is a tourist-attraction-building that is decorated in a different way each year (since 1892) with murals made of corn. I only wonder how they keep pests away...

Stopped in at a rest stop on the Missouri River where Lewis and Clark camped.

Then headed for a drive through the Badlands National Park, which was really cool. On the way out we stopped at Wall Drug (which is basically South dakota's 'South of the Border'). We bought nothing but a buffalo burger and a couple of beers.

Now we are back in the car and headed for Mt. Rushmore and Custer National Park to camp for the night.

Hope everyone had a good Monday!


Fuelin' Around: SD

Miles driven thus far--
Michael: 2000
Denise: 0

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Fuelin' Around: MOOO!!!

We press on...

Fuelin' Around: NEBRASKA

DON"T KNOW WHY MY KEYBOARD IS REFUSING TO TURN OFF CAPS LOCK> SORRY> MET UP WITH SOME FRIENDS IN OMAHA< NOW BACK ON THE ROAD> STRANGE THE RANDOM CONNECTIONS YOU MAKE ALONG THE WAY> WE"RE NOW AT THE COFFEE POT CAFE IN FREMONT NE> OUR WAITRESS IS MISSING AT LEAST HALF HER TEETH> FOR SOME REASON THIS COMFORTS ME> WE"RE HEADING DUE NORTH TO SD: NEXT DESTINATION IS THE CORN PALACE IN MITCHELL SD. Huh. Now it's working, but I'm not going to retype everything. Nebraska really does have a lot of corn. I'm going to really have to remember to gas up well before I need it. Stations are getting far apart. Also have seen that the mid-grad gas is 10 cents cheaper than regular. At first I thought it was a mistake, but I've been seeing it consistently. I'm not sure what to make of it, but I'm pretty sure it's a conspiracy, and/or an Obama subsidy of some sort.

Fuelin' Around: Kansas City, MO

After awakening to another delightful morning in the Walmart parking lot, we cooked breakfast and went into a historic district in KC and visited the negro baseball museum. Pretty cool. We then waited 30 minutes in line for apparently the best BBQ in KC (the world?). Ribs, beef sandwich, and burnt end sandwich. Not sure which end of what they were burning, but it was delicious. When we returned to the Skamper, I noticed that the battery wasn?t charging as it should have been. Hmm. Upon futher investigation, something had shorted out the Skamper electrical system, completely melting the charging wire and damn near starting a fire. The fuse never blew though. Chinise piece of crap wiring kit that I ordered from Amazon had an undersize wire and oversize fuse. I thought about it when i installed it, but thought that surely the kit makers knew what they were doing. Anyway, after a trip to a sketchy stereo shop for a new fuse/holder, then to lowe?s for some proper sized wire, we were on the road a quick hour later. Google misled us again about the location of a campground, but we found it without too much delay. We?re now an hour out of Omaha. We met some folks in Honduras a couple of years back who own a few restaurants in Omaha, so we?re going to try to catch up with them. Otherwise, it?s off to Mitchell, SD to the corn palace. We press on.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Fuelin' Around: Kansas City, MO

We made it to Kansas City last night in time for the Royals/Twins game...or what we THOUGHT was in time for the game, but showed the start time in Eastern viewing time, not central we didn't get there until the 7th inning. After asking several gatekeepers to please let us in to see the last couple innings, one of them finally let us in for free. We made it just in time to get a couple beers, a bag of peanuts and settle in for the tied game. Luckily the game went into extra innings, and although they lost, it was fun. It was a really nice stadium; they had a gigantic digital high def scoreboard.

Oh, and they also had a big fireworks display after the game, so we got to see that, too.

After the game we went to a little hole in the wall bar (Harvey's) and chatted with some local folks. The bartender gave us a 'welcome to Kansas City' shot...which ended up feeling like a big mistake come this morning.

Then we went off to the skamper (parked at the local supercenter Walmart) to go to sleep. As an aside, it is odd and uncomfortable when people ask 'where are you staying?' and you have to respond with 'at the walmart'. I bet they all think we are broke.

This morning, we had a 'trailer cooked' breakfast of scrambled eggs and hash browns and are now off to see some museums dowtown and eat some famous Kansas City BBQ.

If you stop by the blog to check in on us, leave us a comment to say hello.


Friday, August 21, 2009

Fuelin' Around: Missouri

Missouri looks a lot like VA. Lovely. Who knew? To KC for a royals game tonight--MA

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Fuelin' Around: Leaving KY

After driving most of the day yesterday, we decided to just set up camp at
the superwalmart in prestonsburg, KY. Unfortunately, google misled us, and
said walmart did not seem to exist. After cursing, we set up the skamper in
the parking lot of a super walmart in paintersville @ about midnight. This
morning we had our first mishap, as one of the skamper's anchors tried to
assert its independence from the truck. A solution was found, though who
knows for how long. Our schedule was disrupted when we found out that the
reds game started @ 12pm instead of 7. So instead we drove promptly to a
bourbon distillary. Now we may be off to st louis tonight to catch up with
friends, and maybe kc tomorrow for ribs and a royals game. We press on...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Fuelin' Around: West Virginia

Just entered into West Virginia on highway 460. We are only going to be in this state for about 20 miles...but it sure is a pretty (and hilly!) 20 miles.

Fuelin' Around: Our Traveling Mascot

Here is Reggie T. All dressed and ready to roll.

Sent from my HP iPAQ

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Fuelin' Around: The Vehicle

Well, here it is. THIS is what I'm going to be spending the next four weeks of my life living in.

Don't forget that it pops up, though! Here are some more pix to get an inside look at our traveling digs...

We leave on Wednesday!