May 1, 2015

Back to Our Old Stomping Grounds

Tim and I arrived in the Loveland, Colorado, area on April 4 for a two-week stay.  When we lived in Estes Park, we often ventured down the mountain to Loveland for shopping or other errands.  Loveland is a convenient location for us now since it is close to doctors and dentists (we still have to them somewhere), Tim’s siblings and nieces, our favorite RV repair shop and our storage unit.  We knew it would be a hectic two weeks, but we had no idea just how busy it would be.

Our main purpose was to take a look at everything we were carrying in the RV and the car and decide what could be left behind as we travel to Alaska.  We had decided some time ago that we would leave the car at Tim’s sister’s house since it made no sense to drive two vehicles all the way to Alaska.  That meant, however, that we would lose all the extra space in our “garage,” as we sometimes call the car.  Everything we would need would have to fit in the RV. 

It’s amazing how much stuff we had that we rarely used and could easily leave behind.  It seemed to take forever, but we finally were able to make those decisions and rearrange and consolidate all of our possessions into the RV.  We had traveled that way before, and we knew we could do it again.  We also had to purchase a few items that we knew we would need, including insect repellent, rain boots and a good sun hat for me. 

Everything that we weren’t going to carry with us had to go into our storage unit, or trash can.  We also had to reorganize the storage unit to make room for my collection of historic railroad posters.  Tim’s niece had been “storing” them for us on the walls of her apartment, but she would be moving this summer and would have no room for them.  With a bit of creative organization, we were able to cram everything into storage.  Phew!

With the RV a bit “lighter,” a little routine maintenance and a few upgrades were in order.  DM RV Repair in Loveland does great work, and we have been taking the RV there ever since we found them several years ago.  While we were at The Rally, we had purchased several LED bulbs to replace our fluorescent bulbs, and DM was able to install them for us.  They also serviced the generator and hot water heater and checked out our air conditioner that did not seem to cool as it should.  A little bit of investigation revealed that the louvered vents were not properly connected to the AC duct, thus allowing much of the cold air to flow into the ceiling, not the coach.  New vent covers had to be ordered, and we had to return on our last day in town to get that straightened out.  We may not test the AC too much in Alaska, but at least we’ll be ready.

We spent one day in Estes Park attending to routine doctor and dentist visits, and that turned out to be the day it started to snow.  Although we are certainly used to April snowstorms in Colorado, we had really hoped to avoid them!  No such luck!  Even Kitty went to the vet to have her teeth cleaned on the same day.  Now we all have pearly whites.

We did make time to schedule several visits with family.  One day we drove to Denver to do a little shopping at REI, one of our favorite stores, and to have dinner with Tim’s niece and her fianc√©.  Unfortunately, we will miss their wedding later this month, so we definitely wanted to spend some time with them.  We also were able to have a lively lunch with Tim’s brother and his wife and daughter.  We had used his brother’s address for several of our Amazon deliveries, so it was like Christmas for us when we got together.  On our last Sunday in town, we drove to Fort Morgan to spend the day with two of Tim’s sisters and nieces.  We had a wonderful day at his sister’s house.  I can’t believe that I forgot to take photographs.

Our plan was to leave Colorado on April 17 and begin our long drive to Alaska.  We had reservations in Oregon beginning on April 24, and we planned to spend a week there for some exciting upgrades to the RV.  This would give us seven days to leisurely make the drive across country, as well as give us two days in case of weather delays.  We were not expecting those delays to occur even before we left Colorado!  Once again, a major snowstorm hit the West, and although we didn’t get too much where we were, Wyoming was slammed.  Interstate 80, which was our planned route, was even closed for most of a day.  So, we extended our stay in Colorado and relaxed for those two days.  Thank goodness we had that flexibility.

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