Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Orientation with Kelly.

We were up early and at the Visitor Center by 8:30 a.m. to meet with Kellly for our orientation.  This included a tour of the refuge grounds to check out all the mowing and potential maintenance spots.  Lucky for us the eagle was perched in his usual spot.  A great photo opportunity.

 As we continued on I was able to get some great photos. 

Woodcock nest.  Kelly noticed one of the eggs had hatched. 

John and Kelly heading back to the car.

On one of our stops Kelly showed us an old homestead with a working water pump.  John decided to try it out. 
Yeah...he got water. 
 After dinner tonight we drove back over to see if the eagle was still there so we could get more photos and look at him with our binoculars.   
He was there. We stayed and watched until he flew to another tree.   
The sun was beginning to go down so this is all I got.  
On the way back home we stopped to look at the Trumpeter Swan that is nesting at the front of the refuge. 
A view of the Visitor Center from the road. 
John was able to get this picture of the Trumpeter Swan on the nest. (Center of photo)

Tomorrow will be a work day for both of us.  John will probably be mowing and I will be assisting with a children's group visiting the refuge. 

Laugh everyday.  Happy trails.  Stay safe. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Early visitor at the Visitor Center.

Today was a work day for us.  We arrived at the Visitor Center at 8:00 a.m. and met the rest of the Tamarac staff.  Just before John put the bird feeders out we noticed a porcupine slowling walking up to the the center.   He was the first visitor of the day.

After setting up the bird feeders and helping with a few chores at the center John left for a tour of the maintenance building and other buildings on the grounds that he will be working out of.  He also accompanied the Volunteer Coordinator into Detroit Lakes to the recycling center and to pick up a pair of steel toed work boots. 

We have enjoyed nice warm and sunny weather since our arrival. I am liking that. 

Laugh everyday.  Happy trails.  Stay safe. 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Thank you to those who serve and are serving our country.

Today many people attended gatherings with family and friends.  This freedom we would not have if it were not for the sacrifices of those who have defended our country and are still defending it today.  To those who have served and are still serving, a huge thank you.

My Dad when he was in Germany.
Dad Hatch.

Today John and I took a tour of the park with Judy as she replenished brochures.  Lots to look at in the refuge.   Thanks for the tour Judy.

Laugh everyday.  Happy trails.  Stay safe.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

First day of work at Tamarac.

Today was our first day of work at Tamarac.  Our assignment today was to work in the Visitor Center.  We had 78 people come throught there today.  I understand that is quite a crowd. One thing I liked about working there was the photo ops.   Lots of birds to look at and photograph.
The bird on the top is a female Rose-breasted Grosbeak and the bird on the bottom is a male American Goldfinch.
The bird on the left is a male Purple Finch.
My favorite is the male Baltimore Oriole.
A male Rose-breasted Grosbeak.
Of course there had to be a squirrel.

We received some new pictures of our granddaughters today via facebook.  Kelsey's mom keeps us up to date on pictures.  Thank you Cindy. 
Shelby and Ava.

We are off tomorrow as the park will be closed for Memorial Day.   A huge thank you goes out to all those who have served and those who continue to serve.  We owe our freedom to them. 

Laugh everyday.  Happy trails.  Stay safe. 

Friday, May 23, 2014

We have arrived at Tamarac Wildlife Refuge.

We were up and on the road by 8:00 a.m. making our way to Detroit Lakes, MN.  I am happy to say we had no problems with the truck and arrived at our destination around 10:00 a.m.

Our site at Tamarac Wildlife Refuge.

After getting settled in we met with our supervisor about our work assignments.   This place is full of great photo opportunities and we have the best neighbors, Judy and Emma. 

While outside last night this little visitor stopped by. 

Tomorrow we plan to go into town to the farmer's market.  I am looking forward to that. 

Laugh everyday.  Happy trails.  Stay safe.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Truck is finally fixed!

UPDATE ON MY DAD:  He passed his test with flying colors. Yeah!! 

John was up very early this morning.  He drove 40 miles to La Crosse to pick up the part for the truck. As soon as he returned the part was installed and we were on the road to Rice, MN before 10:00 a.m. Yeah!!!

Fred napping on the way to Rice, MN.

Our trip was uneventful and we arrived at Benton Beach Campground around 3:00 p.m.  The weather was sunny with temperatures in the mid 70s. Just the way I like it. 

Our campsite for the night. 

Tomorrow we leave for Detroit Lakes, MN. 

Laugh everyday.  Happy trails.  Stay safe. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Just hanging out at the dealership.

John was up early this morning and at the service door with the truck to have it checked out.  After hooking it up to the computer the tech said it was the EGT Sensor and a Pressure Sensor.  The dealership did not have the parts so they sent someone to pick them up.  Around 3:00 p.m. the work was complete and the tech took it for a test drive. While he was gone I packed up everything and pulled in the slides so we could hit the road when he got back.  That "was" the plan.  That plan was quickly changed when it quit on the tech while out on the test drive.   Now they have determined  another EGT Sensor is bad and, of course, they do not have the part.  Oh happy happy joy joy!  So, out go the slides again.  John will be driving to pick up the part in the morning or we will have to wait until noon for it to be delivered.   We hope to be out of here before noon.  I am crossing my fingers, toes, legs and eyes on this one.

This afternoon while John was up at the dealership office, Fred and I were hanging out in the RV when a couple walked up to the door and started to open it.  Before they could go any farther Fred the guard dog scared them.  When I got to the door they apologized and said they thought the RV might be for sale and wanted to look at it.  I guess the dealership takes RVs in on trade and has them on the lot from time to time.  I told them the RV was not for sale but I would sell them a Ford truck.  They were local people out looking at trucks and campers.  Before they left the lady gave me her phone number in case we needed anything and said they live two streets over. 

Fred at his post guarding.

Ah....the view of the truck from our RV.  Don't it look sad sitting there. 

Before we knew it supper time was upon us. Luckily we have propane to cook with.  I scrounged and decided I would throw something together. What do you get when you throw together sauteed garlic, onions, ranch style beans, diced tomatoes, chili seasoning and angel hair pasta? 

I think I will call it Broke Down Pasta & Beans.  Oh well, it was something hot to eat.  Better than eating another sandwich today.  I think we have a little ice cream left in the freezer.  That should make a great dessert.   We have been blessed with mild temperatures while stranded here so we are happy with that. 

Tomorrow my dad, Bob, is having a heart test run.  Dad our thoughts and prayers are with you.  Love you. 

Laugh everyday.  Happy trails.  Stay safe. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Oh no....the truck has a problem!

Up and on the road before 10:00 a.m. and things were going great.  Around 3:00 p.m. we stopped and fueled up and got back on the road.  We hadn't gotten very far when the check engine light came on along with a message "stop vehicle safely".  John pulled off on the side of the road and the truck wouldn't start. I think we had about 98 miles to go before reaching our destination.  Bummer!

John thinks it might be an exhaust sensor.  I am beginning to think this Ford might be jinxed.  This is the 3rd or 4th thing that has gone wrong with it since we bought it in December.  I am missing the old Dodge about now. 

Here we are on the side of the road waiting for the tow truck. 
The tow truck has arrived. 

There goes the Dodge wrecker pulling us. 
There we go.
Arriving at the dealership.

Ahh....all set up for the night at the dealership.  Not a 4-Star campground but we are thankful to have it. 

Laugh everyday.  Happy trails.  Stay safe.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Lunch with Dennis and Donna

This morning our friends Dennis and Donna came by for coffee and we visited for a while.  So good to see them again. Fred certainly enjoyed the attention.
Donna, Dennis and Fred.
Fred enjoying attention from Donna.

Dennis and Donna treated us to lunch at a place called The Bull Moose Bar and Grill, a train car that was converted in to a restaurant.  This cool local attraction packed full of history.  If you are ever in this area stop in and check it out.  We all had the special for lunch....cheeseburgers.  They were very tasty.  

A view of the ceiling.
After enjoying our lunch Dennis took us on a tour of the town.  I love looking at old buildings and houses when we travel and this town has lots of interesting structures to look at.  One of them is the
Von KleinSmid Mansion.  What cool looking place.  Dennis and Donna are great tour guides.
The Von KleinSmid Mansion.

After touring the town we returned to their place and visted for a while longer.  It is always fun to share travel stories and RVing mishaps.   

We will be leaving Sandwich, IL tomorrow morning to continue on our way to Detroit Lakes, MN. 

Thank you Dennis and Donna for a fun day.  Hope to see you both again down the road real soon. 

Laugh everyday.  Happy trails.  Stay safe.