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volume 6                      May 1995                      number 3
INSIDE
California 
(LA to the coast then east)
•  Potpourri 
•  Campground Update
•  Good Places to Eat
•  Letters, Letters, Letter
•  This' N That
•  A Memorial to a Friend
•  Signs and Things
•  Ron's Bean Casserole
We will try to do the next issue early in June after traveling from Reno to Seattle. It will highlight the Oregon Coast.

L-R Neptune pool at the Hearst Castle, Barb & Ron at Sequoia National Park, Monterey Bay, California.
We've gone from summer to spring to winter even though the calendar is moving the other way. But it has been fun. Our last newsletter went out just before the Coast to Coast Rally in Phoenix, March 15-17. The rally was really great. Coast to Coast did a fantastic job and everything ran smoothly. Even the weather cooperated. Some even complained that it was too hot. It was fun to meet so many old friends and lots of new ones. Our seminars were packed.

Hating to cover the same roads twice, we took route 60/89 to Wickenburg and stayed one night at the SKP park there before continuing on into Bullhead City/Laughlin on route 93 for two days of R&R. We counted over 25 crosses along a short stretch of that highway. Sad! Then it was on to Saugus, California, and another wonderful week with son Mark and his family. We rode the Metro Link (efficient transportation) into LA then took the new subway for a short ride. It was fun! Mark works close to where the O. J. trial is being held so  thought we might like to see the media circus. It was amazing. 

Spring was everywhere in southern California. Yards were ablaze with flowers of all colors and shapes but most beautiful were all the huge roses in every color of the rainbow and then some. And the trees were full of blossoms in a myriad of colors. Don't you just love spring? It is so fresh and new. 

We took 126 west to Ventura then headed north on 101 (new territory) for a week in Santa Margarita which is just northeast of San Luis Obispo. It was a beautiful drive; there were lots of flowers everywhere. It was good to be away from the big cities for the first time in months and we enjoyed the tranquility of this rustic area. The town isn't much, but there is a great market there. You'll love the Santa Margarita Mercantile. Although small it is well stocked with everything from fresh meats to snacks. I love nice, old, wooden floored stores. The KOA campground there was less than one mile from a beautiful county park which we enjoyed using as our walking ground each morning. And each day we took off to explore such towns as Moro Bay, San Luis Obispo, Cambria and San Simeon. We also drove north on Hwy 1 about half way to Monterey one day. Another beautiful drive was route 46 west of 101. 

History is exciting to us and we thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the Hearst Castle at San Simeon.This California state park does an excellent job of preserving the 165 room estate, the 127 acres of gardens, terraces and pools while presenting an accurate portrait of it's former owner---William Randolph Hearst. There is a very complete visitor center with lots of information about Mr. Hearst and his familyand the tour guides are exceptional. 

Four different tours are offered during the day, and there are special evening tours in the spring and fall. Each daytime tour covers a special area and aspect of the estate and lasts just under two hours. This includes a five mile bus ride (up the driveway) to the home from the visitor center. 

We took Tour 1 because it is the one suggested for first time visitors. Our tour guide, Bob, was so terrific that the time flew by. Wanting more, we signed up for the Friday evening tour which covered some different rooms and included docents dressed in period dress acting as guests of Mr. Hearst. That was fun, too.

The Castle which overlooks the Pacific Ocean is typical of the time---gaudy. Building was started in 1919 and was never truly completed; it was always being changed in some way until Mr.Hearst died at the age of 88 in 1951. For example the pool (pictured on top) was completely changed three times. 

We are always anxious to learn more after these kinds of tours, so I purchased the paperback edition of Citizen Hearst at the gift shop for $15.95. When we left the park and drove the short distance to San Simeon, we found Sebastian's, a charming general store. While browsing there, I noticed the same book for only $7.95. Outraged, we drove right back to the state park and I returned the book for a refund. I told the clerk of my find and she immediately knew what I was talking about. When I asked why she said something about the state of California getting 50% so they have to charge more. Gouging is not funny. I am glad that I can use my power of the press (as Mr.Hearst did) to suggest that any souvenirs you want should be purchased at Sebastian's instead of the visitor center.

From Santa Margarita we drove route 101 (not Hwy 1) to Salinas. From there we visited Monterey by bicycle and drove Hwy 1 south about half the distance to San Simeon in the car. What a beautiful drive that was. Monterey, billed as the most historic city in California, is beautiful and so is Carmel by the Sea. A highlight of our visit to this area was the Monterey Bay Aquarium. We had been in several top rated aquariums, but thought this was the best. Most fascinating was the sea otter area--- especially the orphans. Surrogate parents (humans) teach these little creatures just as a sea otter parent would and they do it 24 hours a day. Don't miss it. 


The central Pacific coast of California
We had not intended to go to Fresno, but needed to have a water leak (under the bathroom floor) fixed and Don Gamble RV was the nearest Fleetwood dealer. Not knowing how long the repair would take, we set aside the last half of the week before Easter and decided to include visits to Sequoia and Yosemite national parks while in the area. 

We got into Fresno late in the morning, but service manager Bob Mackechnie had us in and done in just a few hours. The motorhome was sparkling clean inside and out; we were impressed. Having planned to be in the area anyway, we headed for the Coast to Coast park just south of Fresno in Kingsburg. They were nearly under water though (levee broke) so we went to another park in town. 


June Olsen Hess in her store--Svensk Butik
Kingsburg is a very attractive Swedish town with a past. While walking the streets we wandered into Svensk Butik (Swedish Gifts) and had an enlightening chat with owner June Olson Hess. At one time this town was the roughest and toughest between San Francisco and LA. The first Swede (Frank Rosendahl) came in 1888 and by the turn of the century the town was 100% Swedish, had been “cleaned up” and had more churches than bars. 

While camping in Kingsburg, we took a ride to Sequoia. Should have known that taking a ride to the mountains on a rainy day wouldn't work. We had no choice---it had been rainy and cold for a long time and more was predicted. The clouds hung so low, there was little to be seen and we were freezing even though we had winter coats on. The road to King's Canyon is closed all winter so that will have to wait for some other time.

Upon leaving Kingsburg, we traveled route 41 to Oakhurst and beyond to Wawona. It was something Ron and I had decided on the spur of the moment. Our thinking was that it would be fun to camp in Wawona for old time's sake. The campground was nearly deserted. We had no trouble fitting in and parked in a favorite spot right on the river. It was the same spot Jim & Pam had when they were there (story on page 176 in the second edition of the book). 

It was still winter there---wet, cold and yukky. We drove around and looked at the deserted PYHC and that spot in the woods that had been our home for several months. Everything looked the same. Most of the rangers were gone though; they move every few years. We drove to the valley and couldn't even see El Capitian or Half Dome. We had even planned to build a nostalic campfire, but it didn't seem like a good idea in the rain. Ron and I did have a nice dinner at the Wawona Hotel and thoroughly enjoyed the live piano music in the lobby which was the same as we had remembered.

Ron was smug in the fact that we could keep warm and cozy unlike the time we were camphosting there. But our generator quit and the leak in the floor came back. That place is a jinx to us. After three cold, wet days we headed back to see our friend Bob, at Gamble's RV in Fresno. Again he got us right in, found another problem, fixed it and sent us on our way.

This time we headed north on route 99 to Sacramento (that is one horrible road). We so thoroughly enjoyed our planned two days there that we added one more. There is a lot of history in Sacramento and they have done a great job of preserving and presenting it. Katy, the campground manager suggested we start with Old Sacramento and the State Railroad Museum.

Old Sacramento is right on the Sacramento River---a river wide enough to float a paddle wheeler and you'll find The Delta King at the dock only now it is just a floating hotel/restaurant. There are over 100 restored or reconstructed buildings which recreate the 1850's. There are cobble stone streets, carriage rides and lots of great shopping and eating places. 

There are several museums in Old Sacramento but none can compare with the nationally acclaimed 100,000 square foot California State Railroad Museum. It is the largest interpretive railroad museum in North America. And the $5 entrance fee is a bargain. We spent the best part of a day learning about California's part in our country's railroad history. This is not just a museum of collections either. Your visit will start with a first rate, wide screen, dolby sound, 20 minute movie (in one of two huge theaters). When the movie is over the screen comes up and there on the other side of the huge glass wall is the restored Gov. Stanford (the first locomotive of the Central Pacific Railroad). Disney couldn't have set the stage better. Dioramas, exhibits, docents dressed in costume, and real railroad cars from the past tell the story. My favorite cars were the dining car and pullman car. In each the appropriate docents answered questions and brought the era to life. Oh and if you are looking for any information on any railroad, the gift shop has it. My grandfathers and several uncles worked on the Erie Railroad and I was amazed that there were several thick books on that line alone.


Porter, conductor and Barb in the pullman car
We toured both the State Capitol and the old govenor's mansion. Both tours were suburb. Also getting our attention was Sutter's Fort, and we learned a lot about John Sutter, the first permanent settler in Sacramento. He is the man who built the mill where gold was discovered in 1848. That story was not what we expected; he was unhappy about the gold discovery because it ruined his plans. He lost control of his community.

The old govenor's mansion
We were sorry that we had to leave lots more for the next visit, but were glad that because of our water leak, we had changed our plans to include Sacramento. I could live there.

It had been our goal this trip to explore the gold country of California and it turned out that Sacramento was a good place to start. From there we went to Coloma, the site where James Marshall discovered gold while working at Sutter's Mill. This discovery caused the gold rush of 1849. The whole town is a state park complete with visitor center.

Go in any direction from Coloma and you will discover ghost or nearly ghost towns, mines and other remnants of the “wild and woolly gold rush days.” We headed to Colefax and from there visited the Empire Mine in Grass Valley. We had another great tour guide---one of the best. Although we had toured other similar mines, the grounds here were special.

Nearby Nevada City is full of neat build ings and houses all reminiscent of the gold rush with plenty of shops and restaurants. Friends Chuck & Rodica Woodbury, editor and publisher of the newspaper Out West live and work there and we enjoyed our visit. I will tell you more about them in the next issue. 


Broad Street, Nevada City, California
So here we are in Reno. It is winter again. As we crossed Donner Pass, the snow was blowing and I don't think it has stopped up there. But here in the campground (Boomtown), it just looks and feels like winter. It has rained enough that I am soaked through. The skies are that awful winter grey and we wonder why we hurried to get north. As soon as this is printed, we're taking off to Oregon and just know that we will find warmth and sunshine there. 

CAMPGROUND  UPDATE
(Please remember that this report was written many years ago and the campgrounds 
may or may not be in business or as they were.)

We were really moving this month, so our report will omit several stays in some so-so campgrounds usually in an urban area. 

Ridgeview RV Resort, Bullhead City, NV. Beautiful luxury resort with full hook-ups across the river from Laughlin, NV. Good sites, heated pool, hot tub, and laundry make you appreciate your CCC membership.

Santa Margarita Lake KOA, Santa Margarita, CA. Convenient to San Luis Obispo, Morrow Bay and San Simeon, this rustic KOA recently suffered a lot of rain damage, but still has good RV sites available in a beautiful setting (rustic). It's quite a drive to Highway 1 and with hindsight we would have opted for a state park (several) along Hwy 1. South of San Simeon, the route would not be a problem for large RV's.

Cabana Holiday, Salinas, CA. This campground is as close as we could get to Monterey without blowing our campground budget, and it was still in the $23 range. Very narrow sites are separated by hedges with a nice patio area. It was difficult to maneuver in this hilly, small campground. It's still the best bet for visiting Monterey---about 20 miles away.

Stillman RV Park, Sacramento, CA. We recommend this park when visiting Sacramento. It has convenient pull-throughs, level paved sites and good hook-ups. Right off of Hwy 99, it's a short run to the historic downtown. It's a well managed park with good security. 

Ponderosa Park, Coloma, CA. Extremely rustic park with some sites on the beautiful American River (white water). Most sites are dirt, not too level and roads in the park are tricky. It's a short walk to the state park site where gold was discovered. 

Holiday Adventure at Sierra Springs, Colfax, CA. Partial hook ups only, but this is a well manicured, luxury park in a beautiful setting just off Hwy 80 with a heated outdoor pool & hot
tub. Close to many historic towns. 


Potpourri
As we report on Las Vegas, Laughlin and Reno, Nevada, some of you may think that we are serious gamblers. Actually, only Barb is---just kidding.

You need to be a successful gambler in order to afford some of the campgrounds in California tourist spots. All are in the $20 range. Hope to save money by using our CCC membership in Oregon and
Washington.

Well we did it again. We headed north too soon and heavy clothing is now a standard item with us. When in Michigan last December, sister Gail gave me a heavy jacket that they had no use for---Barb and I have both worn it..a lot.

We have experienced some very warm and loving Lutheran churches lately. To name a few --- Bethlehem (Saugus), Redeemer (Atascadero), and Concordia (Kingsburg). We attended three services at Concordia during holy week; they were so meaningful and the people so friendly that
we were nearly ready to settle down in Kingsburg (south of Fresno). It's a lovely Swedish town.

It's an adventure going over the Donner Pass on Hwy 80 to Reno. It's a long grade up, but we were lucky that we didn't need chains---even though it was snowing (two days later chains were required). If you have read your history, you know that the pioneers met with disaster at Donner Pass.

Speaking of history---I can still re-member my dad talking about William Randolph Hearst. He wasn't complimentary. After visiting the Hearst Castle and reading several books about him, I have to conclude that, as usual, dad was right. 



(Remember that this report was written many years ago and the restaurants 
may or may not be in business or as they were.)

All are in central & northern California

Mo's Smokehouse BBQ, 970 Higuera,San Luis Obispo. Wonderful tasting barbecue and all the fixins in a no-nonsense setting. It's interesting to read  how they learned from 80 barbecue places in the barbecue belt while on a fact finding 3,500 mile trip.

Lombardi's Pasta & Pizza, Bridge street, Cambria. Hot, tasty pasta with good service and large portions is what you get here. Large, varied menu too. 

Linn's Restaurant, Bakery and Gift Shop, main street, Cambria. We had salad, soup and pot pie. All were delicious especially the southwest soup and raspberry vinaigrette dressing for the salad. The fresh flowers on the table were nice, but once we were served, we never saw the server again. 

Deetjen's Big Sur Inn, Hwy 1, Big Sur. This very old, romantic, quaint flower draped inn is perfect for that once in a blue moon special experience. Ron's salmon was excellent, but Barb's pasta was hot in spots (microwaved?) and a little dry. Although a bit pricy it was a wonderful experience.

The Wawona Hotel, Yosemite National Park, Wawona. Lovely atmosphere, good service and okay food. The best part of our meal was the apple crisp that we shared. It was huge. The salad was boring (just lettuce), and Barb's pasta and Ron's fish were just average. 

Posh Nosh, Broad Street, Nevada City. Interesting salads and sandwiches. Barb had cream of zucchini soup with leeks topped with feta cheese---very interesting! 


LETTERS * LETTERS * LETTERS

Looking forward to new lifestyle

We did it! My wife and I are doing it. We have talked about full-timing for a few years now. So we put our house on the market. It sold in 3 weeks. We ordered a new 33' Hitchhiker---champagne edition with a bedroom slide. We will be on the road May 10th. We are really looking forward to our new lifestyle. Your book was very helpful in our decision to go full-time. It answered a lot of questions we had. Thanks.

Dean & Kathy Schweers
La Mirada, California

Love new home

We are enjoying your newsletter so much. Please renew for another 15 months....  So glad your health has improved. May God continue to bless you in that area.

We retired in January '95 and hit the road. We'll be heading home in May and plan to sell the house and full-time. We love our new “home”--- Travel Supreme 36' 5th wheel---and plan to see the great U.S.A.. Hope to see you on the road sometime.

Ed & Gloria Watson
Woodridge, Illinois

Another 5th wheel for full-timing

Well, we just took the first step in the big plunge into full-timing. We just bought a 35 foot Teton Prestige fifth wheel. 

When we went to the RV show in January, Bea stepped into this model and within 15 seconds announced, “This is it. Don't make any changes. This is home.” We went to the dealer in March and ended up purchasing the unit that was in the show.

The dealer is Highland Orchards in North Stonington, Connecticut. They are very special people to do business with. They also have a large campground at the same location.

So now we have begun the clean out tasks. The scheduling for everything to fall in place, sell house, retire, etc., seems to be the most mind boggling at this time. A lot of “what if” contingency plans are at least thought of in case they are needed. You are right in saying that a lot of lists are required to remember everything. That works as long as you don't lose the lists.

The imagined wall seems to be coming at us at an accelerated rate. But the excitement of finally getting on with the full-timing process sure makes it worth while....

Bea & Bill Scheurweghs
Bridgewater, Massachusetts

Anxious to get going

I want to continue my subscription to Movin' On. Enclosed is my check for six more issues. I'm hoping we will be on the road by the time it expires the next time. All that's holding us up is the sale of our house. We think it will probably sell this spring. When it does, we will purchase our new motorhome and be on our way. Can't wait for that day to come. We are so anxious to get going. Your newsletter and book is what started all this. Again, we want to thank you for that.

Gerald & Brenda Irish
Elbert, Colorado

Dear Gerald & Brenda
We hope that when your subscription does expire and you are on the road that you will
decide to renew again and take us along too.

Not sure about selling the house

Hope you are both still enjoying your travels. Addie & I met you last year when you were in Colorado Springs at the Pikes Peak RV Center. You were very kind to show us through one of the Bounders they had there that was like yours. We have traveled a lot this last year since we are both retired now, but continue to do so in our little car & motels. We have joined Good Sam & subscribe to Motorhome Magazine but for some reason haven't made that final step of purchasing a motorhome. We want a Bounder, too. Not quite convinced that we can have a Bounder and keep our home too. We both seem to get cold feet when it comes down to giving up our home. So meanwhile we would like to subscribe to your newsletter and see if anything in there can help us with our decision making. 

Next time you folks are in the Colorado Springs area, please feel free to get in touch.

June & Addie Paul
Colorado Springs, Colorado

Pacific coast tips

...Only 3 yrs, 3 months 2 days (but who's counting) before we hit the road full-time. Meantime we do campground hosting at 2 state campgrounds close to Lincoln so we can drive in to work....

Looking forward to your journey up the Pacific coast. If you get to Anacortes, Washington, there is a terrific eating place downtown---all natural and wonderful desserts, too. Can't remember the name. We found it while we were waiting for the ferry. I'm confident you two can ferret it out. If you get to Long Beach, Washington, in time for their kite festival, I hope you enjoy it. We've been there twice---kite flying is a whole new hobby for adults....

Marlene & Larry Sazama
Lincoln, Nebraska

Liked Death Valley too

Glad to hear that you enjoyed Death Valley. We went in from the southeast (I think) and when we were approaching the salt fan I can understand the pros-?pectors elation at finding water. It looked to me to be a big beautiful lake from a distance but of course was only dry salt flats. It is hard to describe the different areas of Death Valley to someone. I enjoyed it and would go again....

I thought I'd get your cake “Spicy Oatmeal Praline Cake” baked by now, but haven't. It sounds delicious and I will bake it. Thanks for sharing it....

Leta & Clair Callahan
Midwest City, Oklahoma

Going to Alaska

I just finished reading your March newsletter which arrived today. We both enjoy it so much and don't put it down until it's read from cover to cover.

Have you been to the SKP park at Benson? [Arizona] We planned to stay a couple of days, but will be here a week as the weather is delightful and the view to the east is worth a million dollars. Ours is unobstructed as we were assigned a site on the first row at the bottom of the hill and mountains are gorgeous.

...We have reservations on the ferry out of  Hyder (just north of Prince Rupert) on May 23. After stops at Ketchican, Petersburg, Sitka, Juneau and Haines, we'll arrive in Skagway on June 15. From there we'll probably go to Dawson City to celebrate the summer solstice and drive over the “top of the world” highway. We will pick up our 10 year old grandson around the first of July when he flies into Anchorage from Dallas. We plan to go keep him for a month if we all stay content with each other that long. He's very bright, easy to entertain, and it was his idea to join us, so we are hoping for the best.

I am planning to write you regularly after we board the ferry and describe our trip. You are welcome to use any, all or none of it, as you see fit. I just enjoy writing letters....

Bette & Clyde Salter
Full-timers from Texas

Bette & Clyde,
We're excited that you're finally going to get to Alaska. I can't wait to get your letters and will print as much as I can. I know you will write interesting stuff and our readers will love it. Thanks! 

Ready for another vacation 

...we really enjoyed the newsletter. It was a nice recap of our trip....Speaking of trips---we have a place in Texas---starting Jan 13 through Jan 20, 1996....So look out---here we come again! ... I made the “Spicy Oatmeal Praline Cake” the same day we received the newsletter. It was yummy!....

Norma & Jim Neve
Northport, Michigan

Had fun at a camper show

Just a note to let you know how much we enjoy your newsletter. Right now we are into countdown times. Our realtor was here and brought an inspector with her so we would know exactly what we need to do.... Felt like every time we left the house, it was “just go buy Builder's Square.”. Hopefully by the end of April we will have the house on the market. Haven't put my official notice in yet, but hopefully by the end of January (God willing) we will have our home on wheels and be on our way. Lived in this house 20 years. Just am constantly amazed at the things I have collected. Of course, now all these grandchildren send or bring us “treasures.”

Last weekend we went to the camper show in Houston. They said there were 500 to look at. We went into all but the popups. By the end of the day, I felt as though I had been on a Stairmaster for all those hours. Learned a lot and had a good time. Enjoyed looking at things we could only afford if we won the lottery. My husband fell in love with the Foretravel....In reality, we have decided 5th wheel.... After looking and comparing price and craftsmanship we liked the Alfa Gold as number one choice then second on the list was the Alpine. Well, we shall see. It sure was hard not to just jump in there and buy. We are practicing restraint....

Jim & Vera Kieborz
LaPorte, Texas

The joys of full-timing

... We're off on a tour “Down Under” (Fiji, New Zealand & Australia) Saturday. We're leaving the Santara [motorhome] in storage....The joy of full-timing---just up and away.

When we return, we will workamp at Kellogg Ranch RV park in Weed, California. I want to complete my family research in Yreka where my great grandfather settled in 1849---another joy
of full-timing....

Enjoyed your “Death Valley, Las Vegas & Sedona” article. We've offered to host our 1992 Copper Canyon Piggy Back Caravan group reunion next year... so will file away all your good info.

We spent an unplanned 5 days at CCC Hacienda overflow the end of Jan. The only CCC I've ever written corporate to complain about---no 1st come 1st served from overflow to a hookup site. He who yelled the loudest got a site and that's not right. Should have followed your example at Boomtown or even Circus Circus who by the way have just bought the Hacienda so things may change....

We add our Ya's to the SKP AT & T card. And also to Isleys RV center. We've found them to be better stocked and priced than Camping World---though around Phoenix they each will match the other's price.... 

Dena & Gordon Duncan
Full-timers from CA & S. Africa 

Having fun playing Grandma

.... We are looking forward to visiting all the other parts of Texas you have written about---(after I have gotten a temporary fill of being Grandma), especially the Hill Country and San Antonio area.... took your advice and stayed at Mission RV Park in El Paso and found it as nice as you described plus we visited the museum which is right next door....

Jerry's oxygen machine has done exceptionally well, we think. We have also found Liberty Medical very nice to deal with. We will never try such a long trip again at one stretch as we were both very tired when we got here. I am ashamed to say I haven't yet learned to drive this [American Eagle motorhome] and I know I must....

Terry & Jerry Rensink
Full-timers from Washington state



This 'N That

First of all I need to correct the mistakes from the last issue. The white lions I talked about at the Mirage in Las Vegas are white TIGERS. I knew that too, don't understand why my computer tricks me like that. Also I said that my son lives in Ventura. It's Valencia---well really Saugus which is near Valencia. But the Valencia oranges grow down the road in Ventura and that gets me all mixed up. 

Speaking of mistakes the Valencia Camping World expected us on February 25 even though the posters said March 25. Since we didn't show up in February, they took the posters down. When I called prior to the March date, they refused to believe that they had made a mistake and told us not to come. But the newspaper in Saugus had done a story on us and mentioned the correct date and of course we had told all of you to come and see us. So we went anyway and we are so glad we did. Readers Cecilia and Judy drove all the way from Visiala early that morning just to talk with
us and there were several other couples who came because of the newspaper article.

Cec- and Judy are very organized and ready to roll. When we met them they said they had 17 months and three days to go before they hit the road. They know what they want and have every detail planned. 

Several times as we were driving beautiful roads like the famous Hwy 1 along the Pacific Coast, cars would pass us on a double yellow line. We were going the speed limit in our car (not the motorhome). What's the hurry? We see many ignoring the double yellow line. And it seems that it doesn't matter how fast that car in front of them is going; they have to pass. Maybe that is why we saw all those crosses on route 93 from Wickenburg to Kingman. Too bad some people are in such a hurry. They miss the journey.

Guess what? I came close to pulling off the road. Just before the Coast to Coast rally, we got to see my cousin Evy Lou (hadn't seen her in probably 40 years). She and her husband Phil, had retired, moved to Mesa, and had just found the house they wanted. We got to see it during an open house. I have been in lots of houses and never felt the desire to own one until I saw Evy's new house. Now if I could pull that house down the road, I'd be okay. Mesa is real nice but so are too many other places. I just can't settle on one place yet.

One of the things we decided to leave behind when we started full-timing was a bathroom scale. We gained about 25 pounds in our first five years on the road too. Last summer after our surgeries etc., we purchased a scale and I am so glad. Now we catch the weight before it is too hard to tackle. We pigged out in Vegas, Sedona and at the CCC Rally and before we knew it, we were up a few pounds. Now we are working to get them back off before they are 10 pounds. Wouldn't have paid much attention without the actual numbers though.

We didn't share the problems we had getting Ron his monthly hormone shot. Because it is so expensive (about $500) some doctors who don't know us aren't  willing to trust that the insurance will pay (ours does). We fixed the problem though. I now give him the shot. We get the packet, syringe, alcohol sponge and all from our mail order pharmacy. It is probably a lot cheaper for the insurance company this way too. I do get a little something out of it. I start reminding Ron a few days before he is to get his shot that I can very easily put a few burrs on the needle if he isn't extra good to me.

Have any of you purchased one of those new wrinkled dresses or skirts? They sure are great for full-timers. They aren't even meant to be hung up; you're supposed to roll them up then twist them like when you wring something out. 

There's nothing we like better than hot oatmeal with raisins on a cold, wintery morning. Since we've had a lot of those days, I was running out of raisins and put them on my grocery list. We were in Salinas, and we both searched the store for raisins. We even asked clerks---no raisins. The next day we moved to Kingsburg. The campground was less than one quarter of a mile from the Sunkist Raisin packaging plant. We got our raisins at the growers store. 

We are nearly out of books again so are printing again---5,000 this time so we don't have to print so often. We were finally picked up by a large wholesaler (Baker & Taylor) which many bookstores use for special ordering and are now on the microfiche. Many times when a newspaper runs a story, they neglect to mention how the book can be ordered. This should help those folks out. 

In the last month or so the following papers have interviewed us: the Las Vegas Review Journal, The Signal from Santa Clarita, The Monterey Herald, the Fresno Bee and the Reno Gazette Journal. Several of the stories have run already. Others will run soon.

I never know what to do for the back page. Do you prefer a recipe, a quiz, or word search? Or is there something else you'd like to see. Of all the letters we get, few have mentioned that they like any of those three. Please let me know.

I didn't get any responses from last month's Coffee Break. We keep getting new concerns but few suggestions for handling the old ones. I can't believe that the answer or comment we give is the only one. I know you are all busy. I would really appreciate your input though.

We would still like to send a complimentary newsletter to anyone you suggest. Simply send us their name and address and consider it done. 


by Ron
This should probably be in “family news” because Don Ryding was like family to us. To me he was like the brother I never had. Don died of lung cancer, March 17, just one year after learning he had cancer. 

We first met Don and Liz in Hot Springs, Arkansas, in the fall of 1990 and comparing notes after church that Sunday, I discovered that his brother, Eugene, had been my pastor when I was young. Our paths crossed again early the next spring. We were staying at the Coast to Coast park in Johnson City, Texas, and walked into the little Lutheran church by LBJ's ranch; Don & Liz were already seated, and we surprised them by joining them. It turned out that they were in the same campground. After a week together all four of us decided to volunteer at the LBJ Historic Park the
next spring. We spent both the spring of 92 and 93 as neighbors and became very close; we played dominos in the evening, had long talks, enjoyed bible study, and yes even had a beer together after work occasionally. 

After our last spring at the ranch, Don & Liz went back to Montana to clear out the apartment so they could be true full-timers. 

Right away Don answered a call to help out a church in his son's circuit which was in dire need of a pastor. We spent a week with them that fall in the little hamlet of Tampa, Kansas, and planned an outing for the next summer; we were going to attend the Calgary Stampede, in Canada. We even planned a nine mile hike back to the Skokie Lodge in the Canadian Rockies for after Calgary and made the necessary reservations. It was never to be, as Don became ill the next spring. 

I could sit by the hour listening to Don and Liz share their early ministry experiences in remote areas of Canada and we ?both benefited from his doctrinal help when we might struggle with a bible passage. Don we loved you and are glad that we had the chance to tell you that. Liz you are constantly in our thoughts and prayers. Even though we know that Don is in good hands we miss him very much.



Bumper sticker seen in Monterey
Quit Beefing---Eat Seafood

Bumper sticker seen in Phoenix
I'd enjoy the day more if it started later

A sign in a Sedona coffee house
Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans

A sign found at the Bailey Geological Camp in Death Valley circa 1900
20 miles from wood
20 miles from water
40 feet from Hell

 Heard on the LA News about a day care center for dogs.
 I say, “Only in LA!” 



Ron's Bean Caserole recipe first debuted in this issue. It is one of our favorite dishes. I have linked it to the recipe section where all of our newsletter recipes are posted.
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