Archive for: ‘July 2014’

Back in the Land of the Next Two Generations

July 17, 2014 Posted by Deb

We flew into Des Moines, IA, on June 25, and re-entered a world we had only been monitoring on Facebook. There are a lot of new and/or rapidly changing faces among the new munchkins and I would get looks of astonishment if I couldn’t quite tell one from the other. On Deb’s side there is a large extended family and it is actually growing now that some grandparents are moving to be closer to the action. There is a lot of action.


The Hunt for a Home

We are at eight beds already and in search of a home on land. Since we can’t decide where we would like to live (we like too many), we decided to try an RV and follow in the footsteps of Bumfuzzle. Our search started as we sailed up the Florida coast which is ground zero for RV’s in the U.S. One dealer started bragging about the number of used RV’s they had because “they come down here and …. “ then he stopped because he was about to say they come down here and die and I guess we looked too old for him to finish the sentence. Actually, one of Florida’s big exports is full caskets.

We started on a fifth wheel hunt because there were a lot of models that had a garage called a “toy hauler.” We moved on to the Class A Newmar Canyon Star because it was one of the few Class A RV’s that had a garage. Most of those we looked at had too many options and were quite pricey for being two years old with significant mileage. A dealer said we should look at a custom made new RV since we wanted “less” and that he could probably beat a used price. He did and we did. We take delivery at the end of August on a 2015 Newmar Canyon Star that actually has options on it that no other Canyon Star will have and it has a lot fewer of the options that make an RV look like a travelling brothel.


What we do with the new RV is still up in the air since most of the RV Parks are booked for the year. If you have a flat space on your property, we may show up. We’ll probably head north for awhile and then migrate south with the weather until we get back to the boat. Then we have to store the RV so our de-commission trauma has doubled.

St. Louis

On a whim, we decided to head east to St. Louis to see sister Barb after looking at RV’s in Kansas City. She wasn’t home when we called so we gave her about an hour to return our call or we would head north out of Columbia. She got out of a movie, checked her calls, and caught us with minutes to spare.


Continuing a July 4th Tradition

We moved north to Iowa City and the annual free concert in Coralville, IA, featuring Jefferson Starship. The replacement for Gracie Slick can really wail and the original lead singer still has his pipes as well. We were in the earthquake zone so earplugs all around.


This year we did not do a canoe trip and the pictures below show why. Deb’s cousin in law Marti plays in the Muscatine orchestra on the river (and almost in the river) leading up to the fireworks out over the Mississippi. We drove over to watch her and the fireworks. They had to move their venue since their normal platform was many feet under the Mississippi. The bridge over the Mississippi was lighted by Deb’s nephew, Wil. The pictures doesn’t show it very well, but the symphony was playing, the fireworks were overhead and the bridge was putting on quite a light show. Small potatoes, I guess, since he’s done the San Franscisco bridge and other lighting jobs all over the planet. Deb tried her best to get a shot of it but the high water and street lighting made it tough.


North Again to Michigan and Sherpa

It’s boat building time in Irons Michigan. Oh … that’s been true for twelve years. Eric, Julia, and Mara lined us up for hiking, boat building, jazz festivals, Jackson Browne, tailgating, dancing practice, play practice, barbeques, and reunions with sailing friends, Deno and Gail on SeaHawk and now on Gadabout. Mara is now 15 and heavily into the Manistee Ransdale theater as well as working two or three jobs. They now have a “palace” apartment in Manistee to use as a staging area for both Mara’s rehearsals and Julia’s massage therapy practice.

Blues in the Park in Manistee

Blues in the Park in Manistee

Tailgating the Jackson Browne Concert in Interlachen

Tailgating the Jackson Browne Concert in Interlachen

Jackson Browne Unplugged

Jackson Browne Unplugged

More on Boat Building

There is really no way to describe the size of the Sherpa boat project. It is big and impressive. We were here years ago when there was nothing but a building with concrete frame mounts for the primary beams and bulkheads. We were also around for the first sheet of plywood several years ago. Now the boat has been flipped right side up and the interior and topsides are taking shape. Eric estimates that she will launch in four more years. There are boat parts everywhere waiting to be installed but there is an order to every process that leads up to using that part. This trip we helped slightly with the fuel tanks and the rear cabin wall.

Sherpa, Seahawk and the Michighan Mountain Bikers on Tank Duty

Sherpa, Seahawk and the Michigan Mountain Bikers on Tank Duty

Adding the Fuel Tanks

On the Marks

m/v Sherpa

m/v Sherpa

Holding Up the Back Wall

Holding Up the Back Wall