25 August – 28 September, 2015; Family, Fishing, Hunting, Biking, Friends

Here we go again…more than a month since our last post!  Wow, time sure does fly when you are having fun!  We are still in Wisconsin, and will not head South until the 11th of October or so.  We spent the 25th through the 30th of August near Ashley’s family in a great park we love called Cliffside in Caledonia, WI.  We then moved up to Terri’s mom’s house near Wausau where we boondocked in her driveway from the 31st of August through the 16th, when we moved to a neat little park on Lake Michigan in Two Rivers, Wisconsin to do some Salmon fishing.  Terri headed down to Kenosha and Ashley’s house on the 17th to help prep for a visit from our friends from the Netherlands who would be staying for a week.  I packed up and headed back to Cliffside on the 19th, where we will be parked until Thursday.

This will once again be basically a photo montage of the what and where, as I don’t think I have the capacity in my fingers to type out everything we have done over the past month plus, so here we go!

Why not start with a great shot of the camp fire! We were lucky enough to have Emma and Eli for a night each before they headed back to school, so we made the most of it.

Why not start with a great shot of the camp fire! We were lucky enough to have Emma and Eli for a night each before they headed back to school, so we made the most of it.

The kids were both so very busy getting ready for school…Emma and Terri went shopping for the most part on her day with us, and Eli and I headed out to Joe-Don farms for his day with us.

This place has it all on about 20 acres. $5 each to get in, and a little bit more for a bucket of food to feed the critters.

This place has it all on about 20 acres. $5 each to get in, and a little bit more for a bucket of food to feed the critters.

No matter how hard he tried, Eli couldn't seem to get the little one fed. Aggressive Goats!

No matter how hard he tried, Eli couldn’t seem to get the little one fed. Aggressive Goats!

On the 29th we headed to storied Lambeau Field to watch a pre-season game between the Packers and the Eagles.  With all of the pre-season injuries, we didn’t get to see a lot of the starters play, but the Lambeau experience is something one never tires of.

A very quick tail gate session.

A very quick tail gate session.

It would be great to live along the main drag heading into the stadium!

It would be great to live along the main drag heading into the stadium!

The throngs moving toward the Frozen Tundra.

The throngs moving toward the Frozen Tundra.

We love it here!

We love it here!

Garreck, Toby, Ashley, Eli and Emma. First live game for the kids!

Garreck, Toby, Ashley, Eli and Emma. First live game for the kids!

OK...doesn't get much better than this!!

OK…doesn’t get much better than this!!

Ashley and Toby at his first game.

Ashley and Toby at his first game.

Terri sporting Rodgers...we only saw him in a sweat suit as he didn't dress for the game.

Terri sporting Rodgers…we only saw him in a sweat suit as he didn’t dress for the game.

Pre-game panorama.

Pre-game panorama.

Toby spent the night with us, and we had a quiet Sunday, making preparations to move to Terri’s mom’s house on Monday, the 31st.

Having some fun in the sand with the Tobster.

Having some fun in the sand with the Tobster.

Just like that it was pack up and move up time.  We had a great 3.5 hour trip up to Terri’s mom’s house and got set up in her driveway.

Not bad digs. No electric, so we ran off of batteries and fired the generator up from time to time to keep them charged.

Not bad digs. No electric, so we ran off of batteries and fired the generator up from time to time to keep them charged.

Tech Tip:  We did have some issues with the fridge this trip.  It seems that when the batteries get below 80% charge, there doesn’t seem to be enough amperage to fire the igniter when we are running the fridge on gas, so I was running the generator much more than I wanted to.  We eventually pulled everything out of the fridge and freezer and put it in Shirley’s house, as the fridge needed a defrost anyway.  I made an appointment at the local Cummins shop for 5 Oct to have my annual maintenance done, so I will get the house batteries checked out at that time.  We also had the problem when we were up here last month, but it had seemed to correct itself after I cleaned the burner and the pipe.  We never have any issue on electric, or when we run on gas when we are transitioning from place to place.  I’m torn between wanting it to be the batteries or the fridge itself.  Both are a major expense.  I currently have 3 8D battery banks.  2 for the house and 1 for the Coach.  After some research, I’ve found that most people use deep cells for the house and not the 8D’s.  The 8D’s provide good cold cranking power, which you need for starting the Coach, but you don’t ned that for the house batteries.  We will continue to research and also see what we find out on the 5th.

The 2 banks of House batteries. Note the "sweating." Happens when they are used a lot. I check levels and add every month.

The 2 banks of House batteries. Note the “sweating.” Happens when they are used a lot. I check levels and add every month.

As far as maintenance goes, Cummins recommends 20,000 miles or every 12 months.  We have about 10,000 miles on since our annual maintenance last October in Elkhart, IN, so it is time.  They will change the oil and oil and fuels filters, inspect belts, check the radiator fluid, chassis lube and inspection and a number of other things.  I am also going to have them check out the engine fan controller.  Our fan seems to run even when the engine is cool.  This is not necessarily a bad thing, but is not quite right.  This also causes quite a mess when you are driving over dirt or gravel…it creates quite a dust storm which gets all over everything.  So I’m hoping it is just a slight adjustment.

For those of you that were wondering, I have grown my hair out quite a bit...just kidding. Terri found this wig at a garage sale, and we have been having some fun with it.

For those of you that were wondering, I have grown my hair out quite a bit…just kidding. Terri found this wig at a garage sale, and we have been having some fun with it.

Tuesday morning Terri and I were up early to haul some branches over the hill that Rob had trimmed off of Shirley's trees when we were here last month.

Tuesday morning Terri and I were up early to haul some branches over the hill that Rob had trimmed off of Shirley’s trees when we were here last month.

After that chore was done, we all headed to the local farmers market and grabbed some fixins for refrigerator pickles.

Great looking produce from the local farms.

Great looking produce from the local farms.

I had plenty of supervision to cut them just so.

I had plenty of supervision to cut them just so.

About 12 hours in the fridge, and they should be awesome...which they were.

About 12 hours in the fridge, and they should be awesome…which they were.

Got the reflection off of the hub cover of the red shed next to the Coach.

Got the reflection off of the hub cover of the red shed next to the Coach.

All of the sudden, it was Labor Day weekend, and Pat and Rob invited us out to their cabin on the Embarrass River.  Ashley and family made the trip up and stayed in their camper.  The Coach is too big to fit on the property, so it was the first time since we started this full-time gig that neither Terri or I were in the Coach for the night!

It is an awesome place!

It is an awesome place!

Emma taking advantage of the swing.

Emma taking advantage of the swing.

Toby in contemplation mode.

Toby in contemplation mode.

Needless to say, we had an awesome weekend, which went way too fast.  Plenty of food, cards, and shining deer at night.

Monday evening, we met Ben and Jamie where they were purchasing a really nice used 5th wheel. Their wedding is the 3rd of October, and this will be their honeymoon resort as they travel out west.

Monday evening, we met Ben and Jamie where they were purchasing a really nice used 5th wheel. Their wedding is the 3rd of October, and this will be their honeymoon resort as they travel out west.

On Tuesday morning we were greeted by a family of Turkeys outside of Shirley's front window.

On Tuesday morning we were greeted by a family of Turkeys outside of Shirley’s front window.

Tuesday night was also Toby's first day of hockey back in Kenosha. Garreck sent us this shot. He is doing really well, progressing each week.

Tuesday night was also Toby’s first day of hockey back in Kenosha. Garreck sent us this shot. He is doing really well, progressing each week.

On Wed and Thurs I went with Rob (my brother-in-law) and a good friend of ours named Bob to see if we could land any Salmon in the harbors of Lake Michigan.  We spent time at Two Rivers and Keewaunee.  Rob and I got skunked, but Bob landed a nice Rainbow.  the water was perfect for fishing from the Kayaks we were using.  Much thanks to Bob for letting me use his spare kayak!

Nice looking fish which will be even better once it is smoked!

Nice looking fish which will be even better once it is smoked!

Before we knew it, it was Saturday morning, and the opening day of Bow Season here in Wisconsin.  Our niece, Laura was hunting at Shirley’s place, and her brother Ryan was hunting on our land.  Shortly after sun-up, we got a call that Ryan had a buck down, so off we went.

Ryan nailed this nice little 8 point.

Ryan nailed this nice little 8 point.

We are really looking forward to getting our RV pad set up at this property.  With the help of Rob, and our nephew Seth, we have the driveway and the pad area marked out.  Seth will start the excavation process once it gets a bit cooler here.  We are keeping the pad near the front of the property so we don’t ruin any of the nice hunting down below.

After the deer was out and Ryan and his dad were cutting it up Rob and I headed over to his place to fire up the smoker...now we have fish and fresh loin to smoke!

After the deer was out and Ryan and his dad were cutting it up, Rob and I headed over to his place to fire up the smoker…now we have fish and fresh loin to smoke!

The loin was like "butter!"

The loin was like “butter!”

The fish was awesome as well. Rob really has the brine down to a tee.

The fish was awesome as well. Rob really has the brine down to a tee.

Saturday night was Laura’s birthday party, followed by a lazy Sunday.  Later in the day, the people who rent Shirley’s land showed up to cut the 4th crop of alfalfa this year.

This guy mowed this field down in record time. I've been away from the farming aspect for so long, I hadn't seem a mower like this before. He had three mowers on this contraption, which made real short work of the field. They chopped it all on Tuesday.

This guy mowed this field down in record time. I’ve been away from the farming aspect for so long, I hadn’t seen a mower like this before. He had three mowers on this contraption, which made real short work of the field. They chopped it all on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, Terri and I took a nice long bike ride along the Mountain Bay Trail.  We have been here so many times since they transformed this RR bed to a trail, but had never ridden it, so off we went.

The trail was awesome, and went right along the ponds where they used to make the locally famous Ringle Brick back in the day.

The trail was awesome, and went right along the ponds where they used to make the locally famous Ringle Brick back in the day.

On Wednesday, Terri and I headed out in the Coach to a small camp ground and marina in Two Rivers, WI.  I would be staying until Saturday to fish with a bunch of other guys that were coming out, and Terri headed to Kenosha on Thursday to help get things ready for our friends that would be visiting from the Netherlands.

Nice enough camp site, and right on the lake.

Nice enough camp site, and right on the lake.

The water was really rough. 5-6 foot swells just in the harbor entrance.

The water was really rough. 5-6 foot swells just in the harbor entrance.

Crashing waves at the breakwater...needless to say, no fish on Wednesday.

Crashing waves at the breakwater…needless to say, no fish on Wednesday.

We did have a nice sunset on Wednesday however.

We did have a nice sunset on Wednesday however.

I spent the better part of Thursday fishing from the pier.  A couple of strikes, but nothing landed.  Rob joined me later in the day, and neither of us had any luck.

On Friday, we went to Sheboygan with a bunch of the guys. Calmer waters, and some of the guys had some luck...not me.

On Friday, we went to Sheboygan with a bunch of the guys. Calmer waters, and some of the guys had some luck…not me.

These fish are awesome, and even more intense in a kayak!

These fish are awesome, and even more intense in a kayak!

Bob landed this nice one later in the afternoon.

Bob landed this nice one later in the afternoon.

Panorama of the area where the rest of the gang were camped.

Panorama of the area where the rest of the gang were camped.

It was a great evening on the river.

It was a great evening on the river.

And fresh caught Salmon on the grill as well!!

And fresh caught Salmon on the grill as well!!

I was up early on Saturday in order to make the 1.5 hour trek back to Cliffside.  I got settled in early, and we had a nice evening at the Park.  We were up early on Sunday, and headed to church with Ashley’s family.  Our friends from the Netherlands would be arriving around noon.

So, how do we know these folks?  Marianne and Theo Kooij lived near us when we were stationed in the Netherlands from 1983-1986.  They were our daughter’s first baby sitters, and really were like our surrogate parents when we lived there.  We lived on the economy, and not in base housing, so they showed us how to pay bills, shop and everything else you needed to know about living in the Netherlands.  They also became great and life-long friends.  They have visited us here in the states 4 times now since we lived there, and their kids visited us once each as well.  So, in honor of their 50th wedding anniversary, they decided to take another trip to the states to visit us and many other American families they helped out over the years.

Ashley, me, Theo and Marianne near the lake by Ashley's house.

Ashley, me, Theo and Marianne near the lake by Ashley’s house.

What is a trip to this area like without a visit to the Jelly Belly factory?

What is a trip to this area like without a visit to the Jelly Belly factory?

We had a great time all week, mostly just visiting and catching up…and playing cards as well.

Thank you Garreck and Ashley for being the hosts this time around!!

Thank you Garreck and Ashley for being the hosts this time around!!

They hit the road early on Saturday morning to visit more friends in Texas.  It sure was great to catch up with them again!!

Just a shot of Toby and his best friend.

Just a shot of Toby and his best friend.

We were up early on Saturday, as Ashley and Garreck were joining us for a trip to Old Wisconsin, a very well constructed community of what Wisconsin would have looked like in the 1800’s.  Most of the structures, situated on over 250 acres were relocated piece by piece to recreate the way life was back then.  They have all different types of farmsteads and towns set up, depicting everyday life, as well as period actors that know the story and the history very well.  There are Danish, Finn, Swede, Polish, German farms and communities.  Very well done, and well worth it if you are ever in the area.

Toby at the old school house trying out some of the games.

Toby at the old school house trying out some of the games.

Garreck trying to make sense of the huge bike.

Garreck trying to make sense of the huge bike.

Terri taking a trip on the trike of the day.

Terri taking a trip on the trike of the day.

A shot of one of the communities.

A shot of one of the communities.

Panorama of a Finnish Farmstead.

Panorama of a Finnish Farmstead.

In a German barn learning how to clean the flax, which was used for clothes since the war effort used up all of the cotton.

In a German barn learning how to clean the flax, which was used for clothes since the war effort used up all of the cotton.

A good shot of Terri and Toby after a long day.

A good shot of Terri and Toby after a long day.

Yesterday was church and a restful day.  We had a great view of the eclipse last night, but none of the pictures turned out.  Here is one of the moon as it was coming up as we headed back to the camp ground last night.

IMG_5783

Fall has pretty much arrived, although it is quite warm today.  Cooler temperatures are supposed to strike later in the week, but there are hints of fall:

This tree should be brilliant with color in a week or so.

This tree should be brilliant with color in a week or so.

We will be at Cliffside until Thursday morning.  That is when the rest of our kids fly in for our nephew Ben’s wedding this coming weekend.  We will be staying at one of our favorite VRBOs on Pike Lake owned by friends Jenny and Steve.  Steve even put a 30 AMP line in last year so I can park the Coach there for the Weekend.  After that, we have the Coach maintenance on Monday, then likely back down to Cliffside, where we will stay until the morning of the 11th…the day the park closes for the winter.  We then will be working our way south in order to be at Horseshoe Cove RV Resort in Bradenton, FL for a month starting on the 20th of October.  We have a rally to attend the first week we arrive, then hope to be able to spend some time with our daughter Mandi and son-in-law Justin in Orlando, and my parents in Leesburg.  From there…who knows?  We also have many friends to catch up with in Florida.

Whewww…that was more than enough for one post.  As always, we hope this finds you Happy, Healthy, and Living Your Dreams!!!!

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