Saturday, July 26, 2014

About That Colorado (July 20 - 26)

Dear Family and Friends,

Hello from Colorado Springs, Colorado! We are staying at the United States Air Force Academy for eight nights. This is our third visit to USAFA since we have been full timing and we are always thrilled to return here. Avid blog readers know Roger graduated from the academy in 1970.

We left Wichita, Kansas on Monday morning after spending Sunday evening with dear friends, Johnny and Peggy. Johnny, a high school friend of Roger's, was in our wedding forty three years ago. As I have said in past blogs, RVing allows us to see family and friends more often.

 A beautiful Kansas sunrise on Monday morning, for our trip to Colorado. The trip took two days and we stayed at a small RV stop along the way.

 Welcome to Colorful Colorado

 Pikes Peak means we are nearing Colorado Springs

 Jump practice at USAFA

 Checking in with the gate guard

Our home for the eight night stay

We love to bike, hike with Bear and enjoy the mountains in Colorado. We also have the chance to see friends. Beth and Roger, in the pic below, went to middle and high school together. She lives with her husband Dave in Colorado Springs.

Dave, Beth, Roger and Suzanne enjoying a lunch together.

Roger is a facilitator at a seminar on "Living Honestly In The Profession Of Arms," while we are here. This is a four day course taught to freshmen students called Doolies . The Doolies spend three  weeks at Jack's Valley, an outdoor part of the academy,  where they go through basic field training.  Academy grads act as facilitators during a portion of the training at Jack's Valley.

Roger with his group of Doolies on Saturday

Thank you for checking in with us as we tour Colorado. The next blog will come from Gunnison after we spend part of the week in Buena Vista. The rest of our travels will take us to Montrose, Telluride, Ouray, Molas Lake and Silverton. 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

About Those 1200 Miles (July 13 - 19)

Dear Family and Friends,

Hello from Wichita, Kansas.  This has been a week filled with travel. In fact we covered 1200 miles as we worked our way from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, to Kansas. This week was filled with seeing parts of the heartland of America, spending time learning about Abraham Lincoln in Springfield, and visiting with family and friends in Lake Stockton, Missouri and Wichita, Kansas.

On Sunday we left Marquette, Michigan, driving back to Green Bay, Wisconsin, then down to Madison where we spent the night at a KOA. We left early Monday morning and drove to Springfield, Illinois.
 Lots of corn fields along the way.

 Soybean fields

 The view out of our front window at the Double J RV resort in Springfield.

 Corn fields surround the RV Park.

 The capitol building of Illinois at Springfield.

Springfield loves their favorite son, Abraham Lincoln. This was our chance to pay homage to the man who held our nation together during the Civil War. Our first stop was his tomb. It is beautifully done and we learned that it is the second most visited tomb in the United States. The first is George Washington's at Mt. Vernon.

 Lincoln stands in front of the obelisk with the Emancipation Proclamation in his outstretched hand.

 Gutzon Borglum sculpted this head of Abraham Lincoln. Borglum is remembered as the visionary behind Mt. Rushmore. It is considered good luck to touch the nose of Lincoln.

 Four bronzes around the base of the obelisk represent the four segments of the military that served under Lincoln during the war.

President Lincoln's burial site.
Mary Lincoln and three of their four sons are buried here.
The fourth son is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

On Tuesday morning we visited the Lincoln Museum, the law offices when he practiced in Springfield and his home (the only one he ever owned).

 Mary and Abraham Lincoln with three of their four sons, as Lincoln assumed his duties as the 16th President of the United States. One son died in Springfield before Lincoln became president. The models seemed so realistic.

 John Wilkes Boothe

 Generals McClellan and Grant in front of the White House

 The Museum sits across from the Library.

 The Old State Capitol
Lincoln served as an Illinois representative here.

 Mary and Abraham Lincoln's home in Springfield.
They lived in this house for seventeen years.

The Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices

On Wednesday morning we left for Lake Stockton, Missouri, where we stayed for two nights with Roger's cousin, Kathryn and Mary. It is always so much fun, because they have great friends (hello Marcia and Jan) and live on a property with lots of acreage for Bear.

 Getting ready to cross the Mississippi River 

 The Mighty Mississippi

 Along the way, the mileage on the odometer of the Unity rolled to 10,000 miles.

 Jefferson City is the capital of Missouri

We arrived at Lake Stockton to find Kathryn's brother, Kelly. What fun the three cousins had catching up with each other.
 Roger, Kathryn an Kelly
The three spent lots of time together as children.

 Kathryn and Mary have adopted Jasper.
Bear had lots of fun!
Their hospitality was wonderful!

Saturday was our trip from Lake Stockton to Wichita, Kansas. Along the way we stopped in Parsons to see Roger's beloved Uncle Jud.
 The Kansas welcome sign

Roger and Uncle Jud

We have been east of the Mississippi River for six months, traveling over 10,000 miles in the Unity. We now head west to Colorado. Thank you avid blog readers for checking in with us. We really do appreciate your interest in this pictorial blog of our journey.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

About That Upper Peninsula (July 6 - 12)

Dear Family and Friends,

Hello from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, specifically Marquette. We spent this week finishing our time at Great Lakes Naval Station (north of Chicago) and ending up in Marquette. The following pics show our week:

 Driving through Milwaukee, Wisconsin

 Spending the night at Oneida Casino in Green Bay, Wisconsin. We had to visit Lambeau Field in Green Bay.

Thursday morning we drove across the river into the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Our parking place for the rest of the week was at the city park in Marquette.

 Crossing into the UP

 Our first view of Lake Superior

 Marquette Tourist Park and our spot for three nights.

We had lots of fun in the UP including a trip to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and a hike on Sugarloaf Mountain near Marquette.

 Miner's Castle Overlook
Lake Superior in the background.

 The color of the water is beautiful.

 Lake Superior is the largest of the Great Lakes. The water in Lake Superior is enough to cover the lower 48 states to a depth of five feet.

Thank you for checking in with us. We now turn south, back through Wisconsin, with a short stay in Madison and then on to Springfield, Illinois for a visit to Lincoln's tomb.

Friday, July 4, 2014

About That Great Lakes Naval Training Center (June 29 - July 4)

Dear Family and Friends,

Hello from the Great Lakes Naval Training Center located on the western side of Lake Michigan, north of Chicago. We arrived on Wednesday afternoon, after a drive around the tip of Lake Michigan and skirting the traffic of Chicago.

The trip took us along Interstate 94, going across a small portion of Indiana,  then taking the Illinois 31 to Marengo. We spent Tuesday night at Lehmans Lakeside RV Resort. Wednesday was an early morning for us because we had a scheduled routine maintenance appointment for the Sprinter at Hoffman Estates, a bedroom community for Chicago. We were back on the road by mid-morning and then made our way to the Naval Training Center.

 We use two GPS devices when we travel, plus construct a route card. With crowded areas like Chicago, the devices do not always agree.

 Lots of trucks, rain and construction on this trip.

 Passing through Indiana while circling Lake Michigan

Chicago traffic plus construction

The Great Lakes Naval Training Center is the home of the Navy's only boot camp and is the largest training center in the Navy. The original 39 buildings were built between 1905 and 1911. The RV camp occupies a prime location along the shores of Lake Michigan.  

 The harbor leading out to Lake Michigan

The view of Lake Michigan through the windshield of the Unity. 

Our Fourth of July was spent enjoying the celebration at the Naval Station. They sponsor a two day event on the parade ground, featuring carnival rides, food and bands. This is capped by a fireworks display each night.
 The morning of the fourth and the weather is looking great!

 Roger is standing in front of the clock tower that is one of the oldest buildings at the Naval Station.

 On the parade field, Roger is having fun with Uncle Sam on stilts.

 Eight bands played over the course of two days. Remember Joan Jett and the Blackhearts?

This celebration has so many things for kids to do. I am standing in front of the bubble machine. Look closely for those bubbles.

Happy Fourth of July to all of you. Thank you for checking in with us.