Where We've Been (46 out of 50 States)...Where We Are!

Where We've Been (46 out of 50 States)...Where We Are!
We are extensively traveling around...working and having a blast...Life is Grand!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Happy Birthday Austin!

This has been a difficult day…times of sadness because this is the 3rd birthday of yours that we have missed…times that we are unsure that we could ever forgive your mother…then other times where all we can do is feel sorry for her. We hope that when you get older and find out the truth of all of this fiasco that you do not become angry at your mother, she is doing the best she can with what she knows at this time in her life and when she knows better, she will do better.

Is your favorite food still tomatoes? Do you still dislike meat? Are you still having conversations and feeling Boosha’s spirit around you? Do you still like watching NASCAR? Do you still love reading? Are you still doing so well in school and do you still like it as much as you always did? Are you still laughing all the time? Do you still love traveling as much as you did when we took you on vacations? Is there still that sparkle in your eyes when you use to tell me how much you loved me?

There are so many other questions we wish we could ask you today…we wish we could hear your voice…we wish we could hug you…and we wish we could laugh with you as we always use to do. We both miss you very much and wish you could be a part of our lives now but until the day we can be with you again…please remember that you are always in our thoughts and know that Nana and Papa loves you no matter what…we love you just the way you are and would never do anything to hurt you or your mother.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Circle Pines KOA in Williams, Arizona

Now that we left and had a few weeks to mull it all over, we will share with everyone our experience at Circle Pines KOA, located in Williams, Arizona. We learned after the deplorable conditions we endured on our very first Workamping experience that we would never settle for this ever again. And as life usually has a way of testing us to be sure that we learned the lesson it sent it our way once again. The difference was this time was the conditions were not deplorable but the management was not up to our standards.

The campground is a fantastic place to visit and we would highly recommend it to anyone that asks, but our workamping experience was a bit different than being a guest. To read our review for the campground, please go to our Zee Map.

This was one of those last moment, desperate decisions for us so we are truly guilty of not listening to the red flags that should have warned us. Upon our arrival, we almost immediately began to feel the confusion among management/owners and the Workampers. When asking questions, simple questions like, “Where should we park our rig?” Getting responses like “I don’t know” was not setting real well with us but we tried to overlook some of the disorganization. It soon became apparent that the communication between management and owners was not very good and then between management and Workampers was even worse.

We began to notice the constant talking behinds others backs, not just talk about the owners and other Workampers but about the guests as well. Then the prejudicial remarks about the “foreign” guests was more than I could handle and this went on every day. The management did not speak very highly of the owners and many times were just very disrespectful, we could not see what they continued to complain about since all of our encounters with the owners were very professional and highly entertaining.

We had a signed agreement which changed by the moment and they were not honoring many of the things that were on the agreement. Lack of communication and inexperience from management, we believe is to blame for most of the confusion. We were not informed that we HAD to work at least 32 hours or we would be charged for our site, even though we were being paid for all hours worked and they were making out our schedules which were changed continuously.

There were also many perks offered to us in writing, such as “deeply discounted” or “free” tickets to local attractions that once we inquired about these, we were told that we would not get them until much later into our time there. Oh, by the way, we even had an issue with our last paychecks, even after we gave all the needed information to the owner, when we last spoke to her she apologized and advised us that management had “forgot” to send them to us as requested and was glad we called or they would still be sitting there.

Even though the location was fabulous…just sixty miles from the Grand Canyon…with many other sightseeing events within a short distance and the campground itself was clean and many amenities that were very enticing but we decided a long time ago that we would much rather work for people that say what they mean and mean what they say.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Where Has Our Daughter Gone?

"no mo pics of my son
o by the way kim u will not get any mo pics of my boy... and post on yo web page ha ha ha ha.... get yo info anotha way..... "

These are the sort of messages I have been receiving from my daughter. This is NOT the way she was raised but she has been receiving some very bad advice from the characters she has been "hanging" with and it is not very becoming of her. I raised a lovely young lady who has always had a problem choosing the right people to have in her life and since she has chosen to keep us out of her life it has been difficult to watch my daughter disappear and become this person that is so hateful, angry and destructive not only to herself but also to our grandson, Austin.

We have been advised that Austin is being ridiculed verbally from Chrissy and some of her chosen family and friends. They belittle him for being who he is and who we always allowed him to be because they want him to be who they think he should be, this tough little guy instead of being a very gentle soul who is unique. He is not allowed to show his real feelings and when we are mentioned, some of them are quite adamant about us being bad grandparents who are no longer in his life because we chose to “Go Traveling”. He is subjected daily to this abuse that she feels is normal...it is not and should not continue but it will just as long as she allows and participates in.

It is hard for a mother to see her child do this, not only to herself but to a very innocent boy, our grandson, Austin. I am no longer proud of my daughter. Christyna Godlaski (Muldoon) is not my daughter, she has become someone that I no longer choose to have in my life. She has made her choice now and we can no longer stand by and watch her destroy not only herself but Austin as well. She has gone beyond any hope and I am no longer able to reach her. She is lost and confused but I cannot subject myself to her destruction any longer.

On June 28, 1999 we were in the delivery room when Austin was born. We have loved him, helped raise him for the first 6 years of his life, and we have done everything to try to have him in our lives now but the pain it causes us now is unbearable that we have decided we will not subject ourselves to any longer. She has taken precious years from us that we could never ever replace and even though we have dug deep inside ourselves, we do not believe we could ever truly forgive her for that and we know that she would always hold it over our heads that if we ever say or do anything that would "piss" her off she would take him away from us again. All this time we have been waiting for her to forgive us but in reality what I said and done during that argument a few years ago does not even come close to the destruction she has put upon this entire situation. We will not stand by and watch her continue to go deeper into this black hole she is making for herself and taking her son with her.

We have to let go…this is the hardest decision we have ever made, but for us to be able to live any sort of healthy lifestyle, this is exactly what we must do. It will not always be easy since they continue contacting us and Austin’s 9th birthday is fast approaching but we will do our best to live our lives without our child and grandchild. We will continue to pray that when Austin gets older and truly knows the truth of what happened that he will contact us and we can repair all the damage that has been done but until then we will go on with our lives without our children.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Lucky But Long Driving Day

We drove almost 500 miles today…we do not do this very often but it was a perfect day and everything went right.

We left early in the morning and ended up taking Interstate 90 for much longer than we anticipated because it was such a nice hilly drive. We continued on US-83 through Pierre, the capital of South Dakota and we noticed many both width and height restrictions on several of the roads throughout the area, none which affected us since we are under 10’ wide and just over 10’ high. The road was pretty rocky in several places, so rocky that we thought everything was going to rattle out of the cupboards. We picked up US-12 to take us east through South Dakota, then north on I-29 into North Dakota. A new State and as you can see we accomplished the photo of the State Line which was tricky but doable.

Just upon entering North Dakota, we found Dakota Magic…they had RV Parking, flat, level slabs with FHU for under $11 that we barely fit with our tow hooked up, which adds up to 44’ but we made it work. We ate at the buffet which was good but was highly priced, just under $40 for the two of us but the machines were so loose we ended up hitting jackpot after jackpot and we walked away with much more than we came in with, including all expenses of eating and lodging paid for by them. Our neighbors had a barking dog and they were not in their rig so we called security and within minutes they found the owners and they quieted the dogs. That to us is service.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Mount Rushmore & Crazy Horse

This was an amazing journey for us…this was one of those moments in our lives that encourages us to move forward with every challenge we encounter. We never thought that one day we would be visiting this place, but yet here we were in the midst of an infamous sight that many have and will only see in photos or on television but we were here. The awesomeness of this sight was breathtaking and then when we took the time to read about the development of these statues, both Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse…it was even more amazing.

The ride up to Mount Rushmore is almost as spectacular as standing at the base of this enormous creation. Over some almost roller coaster like bridges, up, down and around some narrowly curves and through some tunnels makes it a sight seeing spectacular. Once arriving at the Monument, there is plenty to do with the tours, stores, treats and souvenirs to keep you busy for quite awhile. They have a place to eat some lunch and our favorite an ice-cream store with some great flavors.

At the Crazy Horse Monument, be sure to take the 20-minute tour so you can see just where your $20 entry fee goes…no government money has ever been accepted for this ongoing project and they really want to keep it that way all the way to the completion of it. There is also a $4 bus ride that takes you up close and personal that is surely a ride not to miss.

We could go deeper into explanation of the many wonderful things that the Black Hills of South Dakota have to offer but instead we will leave you with the idea that someday in your travels you just have to journey into this area to see these spectacular landmarks for yourselves.

Back on the Road Again

Felt good to be back on the road again…we headed out first thing in the morning and continued seeing antelope everywhere. Drove Interstate 25 for a little longer than we had planned since we missed our turnoff and went 15 miles out of the way before we realized it…ooops, my bad! Finally came back to make our turnoff on US-20, the road was a bit bumpy in Wyoming but became really smooth in Nebraska.

We crossed two State Lines again today, but did not accomplish our needed photos. That seems to be an issue with traveling the roads less traveled, the State Lines are not as noted as they are on the Interstates but all it means is that we will need to travel to those States again someday.

Entering South Dakota on US-385...continuing onto SD-79...then onto US-16 right to Rapid City was the plan but while still on SD-79 we came across this wonderful campground located right at the road to Mount Rushmore and it was only noon. We had such a great traveling day that we decided to stay at Heartland Campground & RV Park for the night. We were hooked up and the Jeep was unhooked in a matter of minutes and we were on our way to visit Mount Rushmore and other sight seeing events in the area.

Please see our other articles on this website, Our Reviews and Our Photos of our day at Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse and the beautiful drive through the area.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Rainy Day - No Travel

The rains and the winds continued through the night…we had been so lucky so far and we didn’t want to test it so we decided to stay in Casper one more night. We were just about done with our laundry when the campground lost power…not due to any storm but the local electric company was doing a major fix on a pole nearby and it was down for a little over an hour. While we were looking out the window…again…we seen more antelope…coming right through the campground.

Gas prices have been right around the $4 mark…lowest we’ve paid was $3.85...highest paid was $4.29. The really good news is we have been getting great gas mileage…the lowest was 6.9mpg and the highest was 8.9mpg and most times it has been over 8mpg…even the high gas prices will not stop us from pursuing our dreams…we just may have to take on more work but we will never stop traveling.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Antelope Everywhere

Continued on I-80E into Rawlins, Wyoming where we then picked up WY-789 to WY-220 into Casper, Wyoming. We started seeing antelopes almost immediately and continued seeing more and more…everywhere we looked…far enough from the road but they were all over the fields. These roads were breathtaking…nice open roads where you could see for miles.

The Wal-Mart in Casper was a really nice one so we did our shopping then headed for the Casper KOA just a few miles away. We had perfect timing again from the weather…just as we pulled in and got hooked up, complete with cable, the wind and rain began so we had a very relaxing evening catching up on some of our TV programs.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Crossing Two New State Borders Today

We headed north on 93 to 93Alternate…both are wonderful roads…smooth…no big grades…only a gradual climb through the mountain. Made it to the Utah border, which is already one we have crossed together but we never got a good photo and once again we were unable to accomplish the task…looks like another trip into Utah is warranted.

We then headed on I-80E through the Bonneville Salt Flats…nothing to see since no cars were on it as Jerry explained he had seen the last time he ventured down this road. The only thing we seen this time was miles and miles of white salt…almost like a snow effect.

Went through Salt Lake City…now this was a bit on the knuckle driving side. There was construction…as much as there was when we last went through this city almost ten years ago…there was a time we almost got squeezed between two semi trucks…but I think my screaming at the top of my lungs, “FASTER…JERRY…FASTER” surely must have helped.

We made it into Evanston, Wyoming where we did get our pin and photo for crossing into Wyoming.

The plan was to stop there for the night…do a Wal-Mart run and a few other errands but this town was for some reason unsettling for us…just very uncomfortable and the dirtiest Wal-Mart and Post Office we had ever stopped at…so we continued on about 40 miles into Lyman, Wyoming…where we found a nice KOA to spend the night. Don’t forget to see our review of this and other campgrounds we have stayed at our Zee Map

Monday, June 02, 2008

Headed North From Laughlin

Decided to take a more northern route out of Laughlin so we headed up 93 towards Ely, Nevada, whichever way you take out of Laughlin, it seems it’s a big climb but it has to be done.

We drove through Caliente, Nevada and what a cute little town, another major climb in and again out of this town but the scenery was breathtaking. Seen some wild mustangs and either a moose or an elk, my first response was it was a moose but upon looking closer, we think it was an elk. A nice calm day of driving and what a great road…just as we like it…no traffic…scenic…smooth.

Stopped for the night at the KOA in Ely…don’t forget to check out our reviews of the parks we visit while on this journey.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Our Journey Begins

We left Williams, Arizona bright and early in the morning…we were excited about being on the road again. A quick stop for gas and down Interstate 40 we went heading west for just a short while…until we turned onto Old Highway 66 at exit 139.

We drove 66 all the way into Kingman, Arizona and what a fabulous road…fairly smooth…very scenic…light traffic…just an enjoyable, leisurely drive. There was a patch of area where it was “Prairie Dog Haven”, they were all over the place…popping out of their holes…sitting on the roadside munching…running across the highway…ooops…one didn’t make it…he stopped right in front of us to look and well…splat! Later we also tagged a big bird…they were all feasting on the fresh deer on the roadside and this one stayed a little longer then he should have and tried to dodge us at the last minute…just couldn’t get totally out of our way when we heard the thud and seen feathers flying…then from the rear view mirrors we seen him taking a quick dive to the ground…by this time we were long gone.

There were a few small towns we past that were just adorable…Truxton was one that reminded us of a little western town that was just the way we would imagine it to be.

We opted to stay the night in Laughlin, Nevada since we had some free stuff coming to us. We got a room and had a nice, long, hot, shower where I was able to dye my hair and do all the necessary shavings. Any full-timer out there can totally relate to this experience. It was nice to be in an air conditioned room since it was just over 100 that day with a slight breeze but of course it was a really hot breeze. We did the usual casino hopping…hit a few jackpots…ate a buffet and just had some fun for the night