We stayed in Fresno until the graduations, birthdays and Clayton Family Reunion were over. We then left for Kansas City traveling Hwy 99 south to Bakersfield then east on Hwy 58 to Boron. We always like to stay at the Arabian. This time of year it is only $12. We checked in pulled out slides and left for Domingo's, one of our favorite Mexican restaurants. This time I had their Avocado Shrimp Salad and it was outstanding. When I drove our new 2012 Jeep Liberty, I noticed it was very, very hard to brake. I pushed as hard as I could and it barely stopped. I had Tom drive the few blocks back to Arabian and noticed the Jeep stopped though Tom was pushing very hard, almost as if the power brakes did not work. I texted our mechanic, Daniel, that worked on setting up the US Gear Brake Assist and he called right back. Apparently, when checking settings in the system, the check valve was replaced backwards. Tom pulled it out, reinserted it in the right direction and the brakes work perfectly.
We left the next morning early for Kingman, AZ. That was a longer drive that we usually take in one day, but we wanted to spend a couple of days in Tucumcari to visit friends. As it was an easy drive for Tom we kept on all the way to Winslow, AZ. We checked into the Elks, had a drink at the bar, fixed a quick dinner, and went to bed.
The next day we did some geocaching at a couple of the local attractions, the “Standing on the Corner of Winslow Arizona” statue and the beautiful La Posada Hotel.
After a half day of caching and touring Winslow we made the short 189 mile drive to Grants and stayed at a funny little RV park, Blue Spruce RV Park. It was a Passport America and we paid $14.45 plus tax for a full hookup pull through. The 80+ year old hostess was friendly and helpful. It wasn’t much to look at but we would stay here again just to talk to the quirky hostess.
On Tuesday we left Grants and drove to Tucumcari, NM. We checked in at the Elks and then checked out our first geocache we placed in Tucumcari, “Home Away From Home”. We placed it last year after we were stuck in this charming town for almost 3 weeks last fall after blowing the head gasket, damaging the head, the piston and injector. While there we placed another cache at the Tucumcari Farm Equipment Store, “Buzzard Watch” . We met Stella and Jim Watson and they have become Facebook friends. We stopped in a couple of times to visit and to check on our cache. While we were at the Tucumcari Farm Equipment store we were under a Tornado Watch, then a Tornado Warning. We were watching the storm closely when Stella’s phone started ringing and my phone sounded an alarm. Stella said this was the first time the city had issued an automatic phone alert for the “take cover” warning. As the store did not afford as much safety as the Elks Lodge, we drove the half mile away from the storm back to the Elks. These severe thunder storms can rain over 6 inches in one neighborhood and nothing in only a few blocks away. We got only sprinkles at the Elks.
We drove into Logan to check on our other cache, “Windy Break on Hwy 54”, and to visit our friends, Richard and Frances. They are doing a lot of remodeling of their garage into a music studio for Frances. Richard had just bought an older RV and we may just find them down the road one of these days. We went back to Tucumcari and Richard and Frances joined us for dinner at Pizza Hut Bistro. Good food and wonderful company.
We left Tucumcari for Liberal, KS, and stayed at the Fair Grounds. $15 for 50 amp, and one of cleanest, best planned RV parking for an inexpensive overnight stop.
We were on our way to Wichita, KS, when we came across this. We sure hope these guys got this under control before the truck was lost.
We were the guests of Leroy and Anne Willis even though they were on their way to the FMCA rally in Gillette, WY.
While in Wichita we met our former pastor, Larry Kinser, for dinner at Cracker Barrel. We do not have Cracker Barrels on the West Coast, so I was happy to have my favorite Catfish Sandwich again. We had a fun evening catching up with Larry, hearing about Militia's business, Lacey’s family and the possibility of the Kinsers’ joining the RV’ing community in a couple of years,
It was then on to Kansas City and the Blue Lake Campground. We have stayed here for several years and the setup is perfect. Jennifer and Jamie arrived later that evening after driving 2 1/2 days from Fresno. That is a grueling drive. Jenny had Technical Committee meeting the next day and we attended it with her. The days go very fast at the SkillsUSA Competition: Tuesday is contestant orientation, Wednesday is the elimination competition where Secondary and Post Secondary Gold medal winners from each state is judged by 5 teams of judges and a receptionists. 12 Secondary and 8 Post Secondary contestants are advanced to the Thursday Judging. The Gold, Silver, and Bronze winners are chosen on Thursday and the Awards Ceremony is held on Friday. We went to the Opening Ceremony on Wednesday night where the CEO of Caterpillar Inc. gave an inspiring speech and the Keynote speaker was Mike Rowe, creator and executive producer of Discovery Channel’s Emmy-nominated series “Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe”. We were entertained, educated and encouraged by Mike’s talk on our education system’s Profoundly Disconnected. Check out his website. Seeing all these red coated winners from throughout the US was exciting.
We had the same excitement at Friday’s awards night when all the winners are announced. Tom and I were privileged to hang the medals on the Job Interview Winners.
Today we slept in and then drove down to Westport, a trendy upscale part of Kansas City. We walked, shopped a little and had lunch at Pot Belly. It was good. I probably should mention we ate at Gate’s BBQ in KC, several receptions hosted by SkillsUSA for the Education Committees of which we are members.
It has been a very busy 2 weeks so we will move on tomorrow, first to Omaha, Sioux City, and parts West as we will be spending time on the Washington Coast before attending our Golden Spike Rally in Garibaldi, OR, in mid-August. We hope to slow down and smell the roses and get some caches.