Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Eileen's Travels

Here's a little sample of Eileen and her adventures. 

Eileen is carved out of a pine tree with a chainsaw. Various sizes of these wooden bears are often seen for sale along the side of the road near Ruidoso, NM, carved by local artisans, typically Native Americans. We picked one up a number of years ago for the house, and decided we needed one, smaller in scale, for our "house on wheels". We had our Heartland NorthTrail 21FBS at the time. The first pic of her by the Christmas Tree was when we bought her, back in 2008.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Exploring and Winning? Well, maybe not winning cash.

Saturday, May 19, 2012 (continued)

Today we decided to run an errand or two, and then go to the Peanut Shoppe to get some treats in Calera. We went to WalMart to look at the RV accessories and a rug or two for the Mammoth, then over to Lowes to look for some smoother edge molding for the bed platform. We found some things, ate at Chili's then headed to the Peanut  Shoppe. We like this place, as they have lots of confections: Peanuts, Cashews, Pecans, Almonds, etc. all made into pralines, brittle, or covered with chocolate. They also have canned fruits and veggies, jerky, and dried fruits, as well. It is hard to get out of there without drooling. Too many choices. Here are two things we picked up, but I bet they are nearly gone by the time we get home!


Tony says I fit right in here!

Good view of the casino hotel

Good view of the casino sign

After our running around, we came home and enjoyed a nap and some down time. We decided to head over to the casino for their buffet for dinner, and see if we could win some trip money. We didn't hit it big, so we headed home, and enjoyed just relaxing for the evening.

Lobby of the Casino, water and light show

Waiting for the shuttle, back to the RV Park

At the entrance to the Casino

Sunday, May 20, 2012

After another night on the Sleep Number Bed, I can say WOW, that's a great bed. I highly recommend it! I still tossed and turned some, but seemed as though I slept longer in one place than I usually do in the Mammoth. And no aches and pains from sleeping 'wrong'! This morning was a lazy start, we both surfed the web, and talked about various things, including our upcoming trip to Wyoming. We decided to stay a little longer for the Wyoming Chapter Rally, being held in Cody, WY, so then I was on the phone making reservation changes.

At one point the radar looked like rain was approaching us, so I asked Tony to move the trim pieces out of the back of the truck that we had bought yesterday. While I was getting ready, he went out to do that. But after 30 min he hadn't returned, so I went out to look for him. I found him, chatting with the neighbors, so I sat down and we visited for about 15 minutes. Tony never meets a stranger, it seems! A little later, he was out experimenting with his camera, when he met the couple a few sites down that had a Heartland Big Country. They wanted to see our Sleep Number Bed, and Tony said they had a neat office setup in their rig he wanted me to see, so we went down and visited with them. They are Southeast Publications Reps. They sell and create the ads for the campground maps that people get when they check-in to an RV park. Nice folks! We then showed them our bed. We must have visited for at least an hour, learning about the business and chatting about RV adventures.

After lunch, Tony decided to go back to the casino to try his luck again. I opted to stay at the rig, take a nap and do some work. His folks were driving up to play for the afternoon, so he was going to meet up with them. About 5:30, Tony came back. He didn't bring home any loot, but had a good time. While he was gone I did some of the prep to head home, so it wasn't such a big chore. We ate dinner, then got ready to leave. 

Here's the ever-popular Eileen, posing with the Casino hotel in the distance (between the bushes).

We pulled out about 7:00, and headed home. on the way, the solar eclipse was visible as the sun was setting into some thin clouds. I tried to get a pic, but there was limited sight lines at 60 mph through the rolling countryside! 

Solar eclipse at 60mph

We pulled in about 9, got the rig unloaded and crashed. Kitty was very glad to see us, as usual!

All in all, a great little getaway.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Mammoth goes to get away

Friday, May 18, 2012

We decided we needed a trip to test out the new Sleep Number Bed that we bought, in anticipation of our longer trip this summer. We opted for a place we've been before, but is an easy drive from home and is a nice park: Choctaw RV Park at the Choctaw Casino, in Durant, OKlahoma. 

A little history... We decided that before we install this new Sleep Number Bed mattress, we should complete a mod we saw on the Heartland Forum: add vinyl tiles to the mattress platform, and this will make the surface slicker and easier to move the mattress when we are changing sheets, as well as protect the mattress from the rough surface of the wafer-board. We also decided to upgrade our vent fan, and replace the door window frame and glass with a new one.

Well, the first new vent fan was a fiasco, as seen in the previous blog. We returned it, and decided to try the same brand, but the variable speed version. I found a good deal on eBay, and bought it. It took 9 days to get here from Indiana, and we installed it, much more quickly this time, and with less fuss. Unfortunately, it was just as whiny as the last one, and reverse low did not work at all! So, back to the seller this one goes, too. I guess we'll have to spend a little more to get a good quality replacement.

We were able to successfully install the window in the door in about 5 minutes. However, it took an hour and a trip to Home Depot to get the old one out! We had taken it out last fall, thinking we could paint the frame and reinstall it. We had some mishaps during that process, and the results were never that good looking. Now we have a nice black framed window, which complements the other window frames very well.

New window frame and glass

The Sleep Number Bed arrived in two boxes, and had to be assembled. It has two air chambers, hoses, a pump, foam for the outside edges and center support, and the fabric "box". I was able to assemble the mattress components on the floor in the house, and test it out. It was much easier to do this at home, rather than the confines of the bedroom in the Mammoth. Once it was ready to go in, we decided to add the vinyl tiles to the bed platform. We found some tiles that would complement the cherry wood, and were not that expensive. They were quite easy to lay down, and didn't take long at all. Somehow I miscalculated and we were short 5 tiles, but [another] run to Home Depot solved that.

Boxes of Bed

Bed assembly

Adding the vinyl tiles

We decided to put the pump for the bed in the compartment under the platform. It is plenty big enough, and out of the way. We decided to route the air hoses through the thin wallboard of the compartment and then up through the bed platform, so it could take a more direct route to the head of the mattress. We also cut a hole into the outside wall to route the pump's power cord close to the outlet.

Pump under bed

New holes for cord and hose routing

Hole in bed platform, where hoses come out.

Cords exit base of bed

All that, to say, mods to our Mammoth always seem to come up, but we enjoy working on it in between trips!

Now back to the trip! We have had Mammoth at home for a few weeks while we did the mods, so we pulled her out to the street (Thursday evening) and had her ready to go when Tony got off work on Friday. Since I'm self employed now, I was able to get most everything ready to go, so we could head out the door as soon as he got home. We got on the road about 3:45. The only excitement on the trip was when an impatient pickup decided to pass us, just as we were slowing for a car that was turning left in front of us. It looked like the truck just missed plowing into the turning car, and startled us pretty good. But he never even hit the brakes, I guess he was able to swerve enough to miss the car. It would not have been a pretty sight.

We arrived and got set up, had dinner, then went for a walk around the park. It was very pleasant, with the temps cooling off just a bit and a good breeze. We met our neighbors in a motor home, they are from McKinney. There is a rally going on here too, and the other side of the park is filled with motor homes, a camping club from Oklahoma.

In our site

View of the sunset

After our walk we watched the Rangers beat the Astros on TV, and turned in for the night. We each adjusted our sides of the Sleep Number Bed, and settled in. It's nice to be able to adjust the bed to "just right" for me!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

This morning we got up and discussed our 1st night sleep on the new bed. It was great! Tony said he slept well. I tossed and turned, but I always do our first night in the Mammoth. But I still feel better rested with no aches and pains, which is a first! Tony cooked sweet rolls, and we enjoyed lounging and the peace and quiet, till about 9AM. Then the noise started... landscaping crews were trimming the bushes! Yes, they need to be trimmed, but at 9AM on Saturday?

We'll see what the rest of the day has in store for us.