The weather in Puerto Vallarta Mexico, about 200 km. south of us:

Click for Tepic, Mexico Forecast

Please go to part 2 of our winter trip Click HERE to be taken to the new web page

Saturday January 31, 2009

Last Day at Playa Amor

Today we are doing a slow packing job, getting ready to head back north to Teacapan tomorrow. It's been a great 3 weeks or so here, we had a great time with the friends we have seen here for the last 3 seasons.

Yesterday I took some additional shots of the wall work that Carl and his crew are working on. The foundation and first and second "lines of defense" against the surf are done, now the brick work begins. If you compare these pictures to those taken earlier this month yo get a sense of what can be accomplished with a crew of 3 or 4 workers, all doing manual labour with virtually no machinery to assist. Amazing!!

Yesterday we enjoyed dinner with Jim and Suzie, they have acquired a vintage VW Beetle, it brought back fond memories of the one I had in university. although it's a late 90's version, it looks remarably similar to my 1964 Beetle. Simple and absolutely bullet proof, too bad cars aren't built like that anymore!

Wednesday January 28, 2009

Crocodiles times 2!

We had the opportunity to see some crocs twice over the past few days.

 Last week, someone found a small guy on the beach area close to the campground. Alberto who manages the park looked after this guy, secured it's mouth closed and eventually delivered it to the croc farm down the road:

While we didn't take a birdwatching tour/tour of the croc farm as a result, earlier this week we enjoyed a morning of birdwatching, looking at some crocs in the wild and in captivity and we enjoyed a lunch in the bargain. Some pictures:

As usual, we forgot to buy a bird book for use down here, but our guide pointed out the names and descriptions of all the birds we viewed:

Lots of turtles were out sunning themselves:

These structures in the water are left over from some sort of a film shoot:

One of the non-farm crocs in the area:

This guy was behind some fencing fortunately:

We enjoyed a somewhat early lunch, and since it was after lunch time (at least in Toronto!) we also had some liquid refreshment!

Saturday January 24, 2009

Raves for a local restaurant and some surf pictures!

Last evening Walt and Marlene introduced us to a local restaurant that was outstanding! Walt met the family of restaurateurs farther south in Mexico, their son opened up his own one here on Matachen beach immediately north of hotel El Chaco. Like most things in Mexico, the great places are not obvious to us north of the border folks, I've passed the place a number of times and thought that it was simply a taco stand. Three of us ordered the signature shrimp dish (stuffed LARGE shrimp with salad, rice and a few french fries) while Marlene tried the chicken tacos.

The portion size was excellent and the flavour was fantastic. The pricing was on the upper end of the Mexican price scale for local restaurants, and well worth the money. They also served mango margaritas to die for. It's a place that we will hit again before we start heading north in February. I promise to get the name of the restaurant and take some pictures next time we are there.Thanks Walt and Marlene for the great choice!!

This morning the surf has been high by local standards, I took the opportunity to get a couple of shots:

A pelican riding the air current just over a breaking wave:

Friday January 23, 2009

Haven't posted in a whole week!!

We are definitely relaxed, we have been lazing around the campsite reading and just watching the tides! Well actually, some work got done, yesterday a third of the camper got washed (for the first time since last fall in the driveway), the remaining two thirds will get done over the next couple of days (no need to rush, we are on Mexican time!).

Also, the fridge temperature has been on the high side (55F) for the last couple of days (actually since we shopped in Tepic last week). I thought that it was the warm weather combined with the additional cooling requirements due to the new food stored. It turned out to be a blown fuse that protects the external cooling fans in the compartment behind the fridge. This morning the fridge temp is 39F (and it was 34F when we got up) so the problem looks to be solved.Our neighbour Pat generously donated a 5 amp fuse (the original fuse size was 1 amp and I only had 30 amp fuses in the tool box), another item to be purchased and stored for future use! It's been the winter of the fuse, Jim and Suzie down the street had a similar problem but a different fuse was blown in the fridge.

Suzette took a couple of pictures around the campsite:

The folks in the tent are Austrian, they are backpacking it through Mexico following some time in the US, a family with two young boys. The boys are having the trip of a lifetime, enjoying every minute of the time here. The tent is definitely not waterproof, a number of RV people here and the campground manager have offered shelter in the case of rain (which hasn't happened yet!).

A shot of the beach with the tide going out:

This morning we walked up to the reservoir again and captured these pictures. There are some beautiful flowers just growing wild on the fences:

There is a banana plantation on the way, these ones are not quite ripe enough yet:

I'm amazed by the irrigation work here, simple yet it works, this is a dam heading into a field:

A series of dams with the water coming from the roadside, it gets diverted as-needed to whichever area of the hfields need it:

These appear to be banana plants that were started earlier this year:

This is a cobblestone road section, here probably because the dirt road would be washed out during the rainy season otherwise, note that the laying of the stones is very deliberate.

I've been trying to capture up-close shots of frigate birds washing and drying themselves, this guy is shaking his feathers in the air to dry them off. He comes out of the dive well below the ground level!

Another close up shot, this guy is flying normally:

On the tree in the distance a pelican and some ducks are resting

Some more great wild flowers:

Friday January 16, 2009

Shopping in Tepic

Today we drove up to Tepic to do a major shopping. We have been buying local staples here in the area and also have been eating from the local restaurants and outdoor vendors (wood fired fish, BBQ chicken, garlic shrimp etc.) but our provisions were running low. Tepic is the state capital here and has over 300,000 inhabitants, we took the opportunity to shop at the local Sorianna store (which is a bit upscale compared to Ley) and stock up. Tepic is about 50 km. inland from where we are and is also at an altitude of over 5,000 ft., we always forget our gum as our ears need to equalize as we go up the hill (and we are a little congested with the high humidity level on the ocean). This time we picked up gum at Sorianna so going back down hill to the beach was easer.

Shopping in Mexico is an experience as the products on the shelf are all written in Spanish, so sometimes it's helpful to look at the pictures! We got everything on our list and topped up at the ATM as well.

Some pictures:

This is a picture of the landscape going up the hill, the road is cut into the side of the hill, it makes an interesting drive.

One of the towns we go through on the way to Tepic:

On the way back, just outside Tepic there are lots of fruits and vegetables grown, we always stop to pick up some fresh fruit. We bought a hand orange juicer in Tepic and a large bag of oranges and tangerines were bought at the fruit stand to make some fresh juices back at the RV. The going price is 10 pesos (about 85 cents) per kilo. Our purchase came to 30 pesos. For display, the produce is placed in plastic "sand" pails:

This young lady has served us for the past 3 seasons.

There are stands on both sides of the road, note the variety and colour of the fruit!!

Tuesday January 13, 2009

Finally getting around to posting!

As the days go on, relaxation has set in and I get too lazy to post!. Actually, my mind has been kept active by helping set up and teaching a fellow camper about word processing. This morning, I also configured a Mac to connect to the internet and I am researching the issue of connecting Hotmail to the Mac E-mail client for him, does anyone out there know if this is possible? My first time using a Mac!

We've taken a few pictures of the goings-on around the area lately, the following are a few of the images we captured.

Playa Amor is a favourite spot for wedding photos to be taken. These are two shots taken of a beautiful couple (taken this past Saturday): 

The daily happy hour includes a collection of our pets, the present "nose" count is currently about 5:

Another view of the intense discussions going on! Calli, Gene and Sharon's dog, is listening intently!

Suzette captured this image coming into Aticama, the village just north of us. The road sign warns of Topes (speed bumps) ahead. It the Topes that are unmarked that have to be looked out for!

Just to earn our happy hour refreshments tonight, we took a hike up to the water reservoir with our neighbours, we promised to take a couple of shots of Jackfruit for Chuck:

The road up to the reservoir is nice to walk on, the hills in the distance ar also nice to look at.The morning fog had not completely burned away:

A couple of pictures of the reservoir, which provides irrigation water to the banana and coconut plantations nearby:

Saturday January 10, 2009

Al had a great lunch with George yesterday at Casa Manana, as George indicates on his blog, the shrimp were great! George lives a great and inexpensive lifestyle, the beach he spends his day on is wide and smooth, and his nights are spent close to town in an area that is safe and quiet. I envy his knowledge of Spanish, it seems to come naturally to him.

Today has been spent doing some maintenance jobs on the RV, relaxing and walking Rachel, our neighbour's Golden, while they are away from the campground. Kasey and Rachel play together very well, Rachel is able to chase and retrieve the ball faster on the beach than Kasey, but he doesn't mind it, At the end, the ball disappeared into the surf somewhere. We need to find a "dollar store" in the area to replenish our supply:

A local lady dropped by this afternoon selling some chilies, we've had these before and they are delicious. She will be back on Tuesday with tamales, we are definitely eating well around here!

Tonight is pizza night at Casa Manana, we are off for some shrimp pizza!

Friday September 9, 2009

Relaxing and reconnecting!

The last day or so have been spent relaxing around the camp site, watching the tides and re-connecting with the friends here.

The dish has been set up and we helped a number of folks connect their laptops to the internet, I even did some learning on Windows Vista during the process! One gentleman has a wireless connection using some Telus software, it was a bit difficult to configure the settings.

We did some walking on the beach and looking around:

Carl, the campground owner is finishing off the final section of the wall separating the beach from the camp ground. The rains and hurricanes here in the summer are tough, there was no hurricane activity here this past summer but some of the fill that was behind the wall sections finished last year were washed away by the heavy rainfall.

We took a walk down the beach yesterday at low tide:

When you are relaxed, one of the things that you do is look at your surroundings more closely and with more interest. I took a number of pictures of this pretty creature resting on a rock on the beach:

We are in the same site as last year, it's a bit tight but our neighbours Pat and Sonya are great, so there are no problems, and besides, we have a great view of the ocean.

I'm off to lunch today with George of Tioga and George fame. See his web site by pressing this Link:

He is on the beach just north of us.

Wednesday January 7, 2009

In Playa Amor RV park, Aticama Mexico

We arrived here today around 2:00pm, we have set up and are parked for 3 weeks. We even attended happy hour after the other folks returned from a birdwatching tour up the estuary!

While it's a lot warmer during the day here compared to Teacapan, it's still a little cool after dark.

Pictures later!

Tuesday January 6, 2009

Last full day at Villas Onac

I think that you can tell when we are completely relaxed, we tend not to post often!

Today we joined Lloyd and Marylin on a trip into Teacapan, the ladies visited the local hairdresser for hair cuts (at 40 peso each, it was a great deal!), Al will get a hair cut upon the return from San Blas, and after that we went to the Japanese restaurant for a leisurely lunch ( also excellent).

We did some packing before sunset and we are almost prepared to head south to Playa Amor tomorrow morning.

A couple of pictures were taken over the past few days:

Kasey continues to enjoy his excursions on the beach, he has torn up two balls and he lost a third in the bushes just inland:

Suzette took this picture early today, you can just see the cattle in the distance accompanied by a farmer on horseback. He moves the cattle from field to field just north of the RV park, an easy way is to move them down the beach:

A local burro in Teacapan, he is tethered and munching on some grass:

Saturday January 3, 2009

Walking the beach and relaxing!

We have settled in and the completed the final set up of the RV (sewer, awnings etc.) The other folks in the park are people we have met over the past couple of winters, very friendly and many invites for happy hour!

We got some good information about restaurants from Lloyd who also told us about places to get a good steak, this should be helpful for Sam in February. The other piece of good news is that Pelicanos Restaurant appears to be "Montezuma free" (they had a problem last winter), we look forward to checking it out.

Some beach pictures:

These birds (pelicans?) are superb ground effect fliers, they glide just above the wave tops, I guess the tide dislodges seafood that the birds are looking for:

Some other fliers:

This photo was taken about the time of high tide, although the tide tables indicate that the tide level is relatively low, later in the week the tide level increases:

Friday January 2, 2009

At Villas Onac in Teacapan

We got into this RV park around 2:00 pm today after a late start (lots of good byes to the friends we met in Celestino!).

It's very quiet here compared with last year, we had no trouble getting a site on the ocean. We set up and are relaxing today, pictures will be posted tomorrow., We plan to be here for 5 nights.

Thursday January 1, 2009

New Years Day dinner

We enjoyed a great mid day dinner with the other campers in the park plus a few from Celestino RV park, Jacques and his wife grilled a great fish meal and all the other campers contributed items to make a complete feast.

Dennis, a fellow camper, celebrated his birthday today (he's 39 or so), some cake and Pinata bashing was in order:

Everyone was enjoying the food and the company:

Ramon, the manager, behind the counter:

Dennis preparing to blow out the candles (he was assisted by the breeze off the ocean!):

After the candles were blown out, Dennis cut the cake for everyone:

Jacques setting up Dennis for the Pinata bashing:

Dennis did very well, it must have been his experience pulling wire and solving other problems in mysterious places that helped!

Wednesday December 31, 2008

At Punta San Miguel RV park near Celestino Gasca Mexico.

We made it into this park around 2:00 pm yesterday and we are one of 4 rigs here (3 Canadians and 1 American). It was nice to see Ramon, the manager, again!

We settled in and went shopping this morning in La Cruz, we always seem to hit the store there on the busiest days (last year it was Christmas Eve!).

We are back at the campsite, catching up on laundry and relaxing. The group here is having a New Years dinner tomorrow afternoon, a couple of large fish are on the menu, we are bringing some chicken and salads.

We plan to head towards Teacapan after that.

Some pictures:

Horseback riding and a great sunset!

During the afternoon, some horses were brought into the campground, later in the week some riding will be offered. We won't be around, but they were offering trial rides and Suzette took a short ride!

We went to the shore and observed the last sunset of 2008!

Monday December 29, 2008

At Mr Moro RV park, Las Glorias Mexico

We got into this park yesterday afternoon. An interesting diversion on the way here, we missed a turn and went down the wrong road for a few km, we stopped a a "T" intersection and looked at maps and signs. Two locals came up in a car and drew a map to Las Glorias on the dirt, then drove ahead of us for 10+ km, directing us back to the correct road. They then stopped to be sure that we were on the right track, we tipped them generously! The locals are helpful and friendly here!

We plan to stay a couple of days then head towards Mazatlan.

Suzette took some pictures of the campsite and sunset last night:

Food Service Delivery Van!

Here in Mexico seafood is delivered daily to restaurants by people on motorcycles. Note the temperature controlled compartment mounted on the rear of the bike!

This delivery probably included fresh shrimp which Suzette and I enjoyed at the restaurant a few hours later. It was delicious!!

Saturday December 27, 2008

Still at the other El Mirador!

Today we went into Huatabampo to do some shopping and add some time on our Mexican cell phone. For Al, shopping here is interesting because here very little English is spoken and my Spanish is poor at best. After some discussion, most of which I didn't understand, it was found that the SIM card on the Mexican phone had packed it in, but
I got a new cell phone with 300 peso of minutes for 420 pesos, a good deal. The disposable world is not a good idea, but the good news is that I needed a charger for our Canadian phone (both are Nokia units) and I couldn't fine one at Best Buy in the US so now I can use the charger for both phones.

We did some walking on the beach and looked at some of the damage done by the hurricanes in the fall, this area takes a beating:

A couple of pictures of a nice place on the beach:

Restaurant Raising!

The old restaurant on-site is now about a half floor below "ground" level as a result of the work that Enrique has done to stabilize the campground, including building of a break wall to keep the tides at bay during hurricanes.

Plans appear to be to rejuvenate this old structure by lifting it to the new ground level and making other improvements.

A team of people have been brought in to dig down to the foundations, placing a bottle jack under each footing and jacking the building up. As can be seen in the pictures, two transits were placed at the corners and the lift is measured by siting on scales placed on each column. The structure was lifted 5 cm today after a slow start resulting from the first jack sinking into the soft foundation sand underlay.

This is a low tech solution to a problem, much cheaper than having to demolish and rebuild the structure.

Siting the movement (with lots of "sidewalk superintendents" around)!

A scale on each column that the person on the transit can see to judge the progress:

The trenches dug around the foundation:

The dig to the bottom of the footings, steel plates and a bottle jack is placed under each footing to lift the structure:

A better look at the foundation:

Boxing Day

El Mirador RV park near Huatabampito Mexico

We arrived here around 2:00 pm today and settled in. We had a great seafood meal at the restaurant and we plan to stay a couple of days to shop and relax.

The drive from San Carlos was longish with max speeds of 80 km/h. on the toll road and the road into Huatabampo was potholed. The road from Huatabampo to the campground was a bit rough as a result of being washed out by the hurricane this past fall.

As this is being written, I can hear the waves hitting the shore, we will have no problems sleeping tonight!

Christmas Day!

Merry Christmas to All!!

We haven't been posting as we have been relaxing and getting in some beach and sun time here. The weather has been cooperative with warmer temperatures and lots of sun. We are starting to work on the tans, the sun isn't strong enough to give us a sunburn, just a light toasting. One thing that we have found to be a bit disappointing is the more limited beach access as compared to previous years. Some of the best beach spots (dunes and soft sand) are now being developed as resorts. In Mexico the beaches are public spaces but it's hard to get to get to the best spots due to the private property between the roads and the beaches. Having said that, Kasey still got lots of swimming in!

This is the beach just outside San Carlos on the way to Guaymas with a couple of ATV's in the distance:

Suzette and Kasey in competition for the ball:

The view towards San Carlos from the beach:

This is another beach beside our RV resort:

A view from a hill showing the Pacific Ocean (maybe it's still the Sea of Cortez?) and the development:

A view from the hill showing the beach in the picture just above. This land is all private awaiting development, the owners allow people to use the land (but no camping is allowed):

On Boxing we head further south to the other El Mirador RV park near Huatabampito.

Monday December 22, 2008


Today was a great day, there was virtually no breeze and the temperature was warm enough so that we could stay outside all day and get some colour back.

We shopped in Guaymas and in San Carlos and Suzette did some walking on the beach with Kasey, who had his first dip in the Pacific Ocean this winter!

A view of the campsite with some hills in the background:

A view of the marina adjacent to our campground:

A heron looking for a meal:

Kasey tasting some salt water:

A view of the beach with a new hotel being constructed nearby:

More boats at the marina:

Sunday December 21, 2008

El Mirador RV Resort, San Carlos Mexico

We got in here around 2:00 pm, and have set up the RV for a few days, we will probably stay through Christmas day and leave on Boxing day.

We set up the BBQ and grilled a couple of steaks, it was a bit breezy doing this but the steaks tasted great!

It's getting warmer, shirt-sleeve weather during the day. We look forward to the stay here. There are only 17 campers here out of a possible 60+ sites, not very many RVs are on the road either.

Pictures later!

Saturday December 20, 2008

Into Mexico!

We left Tucson on Saturday morning and spent about 2 hours in the line at Km. 21 outside Nogales waiting to get our tourist visas and vehicle hologram. It's a busy time as all the native Mexican sons and daughters are returning to the country for Christmas.

We got into Edgar and Anna's place in the early afternoon and we settled in for the evening. We head for El Mirador in San Carlos on Saturday, we will spend a few days there.

On Friday in Tucson we did some final shopping. In the evening Beaudry had an open house to display a number of RV's, they were all open and available for viewing. We fell in love with a Country Coach diesel pusher that has a built-in balcony and large patio style doors. However, it's a bit of a dream at about a half million dollars!!

Thursday December 18, 2008

Shopping and Walking

It rained overnight, the first time this has happened on our travels here in the southern desert. It probably was the same system that dumped snow on Vegas.The weather tonight calls for frost and near freezing temperatures, but it has been relatively warm (almost shirt sleeve weather) during the day.

We did some more shopping today in preparation for Mexico, picking up some items that we can't get when we are down there.

We also walked around the resort to have a look at the other sites. As can be seen in the following pictures, the park is only about 10% full, compared to 60-70% last year at this time. Some rows are completely empty:

Wednesday December 17, 2008

Beaudry RV Resort, Tucson Arizona

We got into this park around noon today after a short run from Safford. We set up and did some initial shopping. Kasey really enjoys this place as it has a dog run, he utilized the facilities three times today and he wore himself out!

The economic downturn is very visible here, the resort is only about one third full whereas in previous years at this time it was very busy. The other indicator is the "exchange" row where folks park their old rig and new rig side-by-side to transfer stuff over. It's almost completely empty, meaning that RV sales are not happening. It will be interesting to see if this reduction in activity is also present in Mexico.

We are here for a couple of days, then it's on to Mexico.

Tuesday December 16, 2008

Roper Lake State Park near Safford Arizona

We got into this state park around 1:30 this afternoon. Jill, our Garmin GPS, suddenly started working again, she directed us to the park!

We were able to pull out the BBQ and have some burgers for the first time on this trip, it was nice to have a barbecue for a change. It's still cool here, the following pictures show some snow on the nearby peaks and it looks like there is some snow falling:

Tomorrow it's off to Tucson for some provisioning!

Monday December 15, 2008

Hiking and a great lunch!

Today we did some final errands in Deming (an oil change and propane refill) and we met and had a great Chinese food lunch with our friend Chuck who we met in Mexico a couple of years ago.

The wind here has died down for the first time since we arrived, and we took the opportunity to get some exercise with Kasey as he hasn't been walking a lot in the past few days.

Some pictures:

Tomorrow it's off to Safford Arizona, followed by Tucson.

Sunday December 14, 2008

Waiting out the wind!

It's still very windy outside, a little brisk for doing some trails. Even Kasey wants to spend a limited time outside. We have done some shopping and other stuff in Deming today. If the wind dies down later we will spend some time outside.

Yesterday, we recorded probably our lowest fuel economy number for the truck that we've seen, as a result of the wind and climbing up some hills. The mileage was 11.6 imperial miles/gallon or 25.4 liters/100km., we normally get around 14 MPG. It's good that the cost of diesel fuel is lower down here, around 80 Canadian cents/liter.

Jill has lost her voice!!

Jill, our trusty Garmin Nuvi 350 GPS unit has lost the capability of turn-by-turn navigation prompts. We noticed this yesterday in El Paso, it caused us to miss a turn getting out of the city. I've reset the unit and changed voices to a British gentleman but the unit remains silent. Since the voice software is still intact in the unit, I suspect a hardware problem (and besides, it's a great opportunity to upgrade to a new unit ). The electronics stores in Tucson will be checked out. The unit still navigates, the screen has to be checked for turns etc. so we can get to Tucson OK.

I will miss talking back to the only female than I can in the truck when she sends us off in the wrong direction!

Saturday December 13, 2008

Rockhound State Park near Deming New Mexico

We got into this state park after a long tough run from Carlsbad. Each year we do this run it's a draining exercise, due to the distance and terrain. This year was particularly tough due to the 30-50 MPH crosswinds that pushed us side to side and burned up extra diesel fuel.

The wind advisory continues here in Deming, overnight we got rocked to sleep in the RV!

We plan to relax for another couple of nights before heading west.

Friday December 12, 2008

Brantley Lake State Park near Carlsbad New Mexico

We arrived here around 1:00pm Mountain time! Another time change, we are still not adjusted to central time yet, so it will be tough for the next day or so to adjust to being 2 hours behind Toronto time. We took the opportunity to sit out for an hour or so this afternoon before the cool breezes sent us inside the camper. We are staying here overnight, then we will hit a national park between here and El Paso to break up the long run to Deming New Mexico.

A couple of pictures:

Suzette enjoying the afternoon sun

Our campsite:

A view of the terrain:

Thursday December 11, 2008

Lake Colorado City State Park

We got into this park after 1:00 pm today. The weather during the day is getting warmer, it was about 18C and we brought out the patio chairs for the first time.

We are only one of three campers in the park, it's a nice park except for the burrs (stickers, bullheads) that stick to Kasey's feet (and our shoes).Putting out the carpet helped both us and Kasey.

Tomorrow it's off to Carlsbad New Mexico (we are skipping Monahans Sand hills in Texas), we get to spend some time off the interstate for a change.

Wednesday December 10, 2008

Lake Mineral Wells State Park

We got into this state park just west of Fort Worth today at 1:30 pm after surviving the trek through Dallas. It was -1C on the way through and there was some light snow on roofs and cars, they really know how to welcome us Canadians down here!!

In the campsite, it's a little warmer, +6 or so but there is a biting wind. It's not a day for being outside the camper. Here's hoping that it gets warmer soon.

We were given a campsite on the lake, it's too bad we can't take advantage of sitting out or having a fire.

Tuesday December 9, 2008

Lake Bob Sandlin State Park, near Mount Pleasant Texas

 We got into Texas after leaving DeGray Lake State Park in western Arkansas this morning. we were in the trees yesterday (no internet access) and were one of only 2 campers in the entire state park! The weather is variable, it was quite warm earlier today, it got up to 20C. It cooled down quickly however and it's only 11C now. We went from winter jackets to sweaters, we are going back to winter jackets again tomorrow morning.

We plan to stop at a  couple of more state parks in Texas before we hit New Mexico (Texas is a BIG state!).

Sunday December 7, 2008

Shopping and hiking!

Today we went into Wynne to shop and gas up the truck. The area seems a little depressed compared to our last visit, the grocery store that we shopped at last time is now closed and other businesses in the area don't look healthy. We found anther Hays Food Town close by as we prefer not to shop at Wal Mart super stores and we got the supplies we needed.

We returned to the park and took a couple of hikes on different trails, it's amazing how much work that was put into this park.

Saturday December 6, 2008

Village Creek State Park, Wynne Arkansas

We got into this park after 2:00 pm, a little delayed by some road construction (7 mile delay) on I-40.

It's a bit warmer, about +9C and there are a number of campers here. Part of the reason may be the half price deal in December, January and February, we got a 50 amp full service pull through site for $29.00 for 2 nights including tax. We are using the extra power running an electric heater as well as powering the water heater by electricity
. We plan to stay here for two days to relax and take a break from the interstate driving. Pictures:

Suzette and Kasey enjoying a hike:

It's amazing the work that has been put into this park to create an artificial lake.The following pictures show the dam:

This area is very similar to Pinery Provincial Park in Ontario, an oak Savannah forest:

Friday December 5, 2008

Natchez Trace State Park Tennessee

We got here around 1:00 pm central time after a short run from Bowling Green. We are one of only four campers here, I guess it's a bit cool for the locals! It's going to be cold again tonight so this time I will disconnect and completely drain the water hose so we can shower inside the trailer tomorrow. The water tap is a hydrant type and heat tracing is also installed so the supply should not be a problem.

Suzette took this picture showing our campsite and a lake in the distance:

Thursday December 4, 2008

Bowling Green Kentucky KOA

We got into the KOA around noon (we are now on central time) after a short run from Columbus. The RV anti-freeze was removed from the pipes and we connected up to the water system. It got cold over night (this is being written on Friday morning), down to -5C, the same temperature as back home and as a result both our water hose and the campsite tap froze up. Even bringing out our second hose didn't help, so it's off to the office showers this morning.

By the way, we hit some very rough sections of I-65 south of Louisville, the concrete roadway is partially collapsed in some sections. Something to remember for coming back up north in the spring.

Today it's off to Natchez Trace where I know they have bullet proof heat tracing on the water system, so we will have all the comforts in the RV.

Wednesday December 3, 2008

Columbus Indiana

We did just over 500 km. today and we got into a Days Inn hotel here just after 3:00 pm.

This hotel is not "memorable", very run down (security locks on outside doors not working, toilet is running all the time, dents and dings etc.) Let's hope that there are no bedbugs present!!

We plan to stop at the Bowling Green Kentucky KOA tomorrow night. It will be cool, but it should be warm enough to prevent the slides from freezing (and Kasey is tired of hotels, as are we!!)

The snow is still melting from the roof, all the snow is now gone from the pick up box.

Tuesday December 2, 2008

Monroe Michigan

We hit the road mid-morning and arrived in Monroe around 4:30 pm after a difficult drive through Detroit. I-75 is being renovated and the detour signage is slightly worse than what we find in Mexico, we passed Ford stadium and Woodward avenue 3 times before we got out of Dodge!

 We stayed at a nice hotel just across the street from the campground we normally stay at as the temps are cold and there is still about 6 inches of ice/snow on the roof.
We are doing a "speed run" to get out of potential snow and cold weather and we will stay in hotels to we get some above freezing daytime conditions.

Monday December 1, 2008

Almost Ready!

We are almost ready to hit the road. The slides have been de-iced and retracted and only a small amount of packing has to be done today. That's the good news, the bad news is that there has been about 6 inches of snow overnight, so the last bit of packing and the move out of the driveway (now scheduled for tomorrow) will be interesting!

Contrast these pictures with the ones below to see the difference in snow levels: