Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Coach Gets stored for the Winter

Last year we left the coach sit out in the weather. It spent the winter on the lake lot. We visited it about once a month to check on it and it seemed to do fine for most of the winter. As spring approached in the February, March time frame some cracking occurred in the dark brown decals on the sides of the coach. It appeared to be the result of the rapid change in temperatures that occurred as it warmed up.

This year we decided that we would store the coach in a covered shed for the winter. We checked around a number of possible location and finally arrived at an RV storage lot in Little Falls. They have a very large metal building that while unheated it would keep snow ,and sunlight away from the coach. The building will also work to moderate extreme temperature changes.

The storage season runs from Oct 15th to May 15th and costs $17 per linear foot for the RV. We made an appointment to deliver the coach on Saturday morning October 17th for the season. To get there by noon on Saturday we would have to stay over night at the lake, and take off by 10:00am Saturday morning to get there by noon.

We arrived at the lake around 6:00 on Friday night after taking off a little early from work. Since the coach was parked in the driveway awaiting its departure, we parked in front of the garage and hooked the coach up to electricity and opened it up for the night.


Sitting in the driveway is not quite level but a few boards under the jacks solved the problem.


After some final close up tasks (cover the hot tub with a tarp) for the lake we settled down to a dinner of rotisserie chicken, French bread and wine in the coach.


Saturday morning dawned cold and foggy. It was about 30 degrees with a frost of ice on many of the trees and decks. Let’s hope the roads are clear at 10:00 when we take off!


After breakfast we wandered around the lot for a tour. You couldn’t see the lake at all for the fog!


Down along the shore you can get an idea how thick the fog was.


You can barely see the neighbor’s dock. It seems like its a little late to still have your dock in, but there are still several of them out there. If a freak storm occurs these folks could be in trouble.


About 8:00 I started get the coach ready to move for the winter. Since this will be the first time we have ever towed the Jeep behind the coach I wanted to be sure of a few things and allow plenty of time for the first hook up. Once the coach was out on the drive way in front of the garage I hooked up the Blue OX tow bar to the coach for the first time.


The coach is now ready to put it out on the road and hook up the Jeep.


The jeep is almost ready to be towed, only the lights need to be hooked up with the coiled blue cable.


Finally we are ready to head off down the road in the fog towing the jeep.


After stopping to check everything in Akeley we head off down highway 64 for the hour and half ride to Little Falls.

At 10:00 a few miles south of Akeley the fog is still thick with no signs of letting up. Other than being able to see the jeep in the rear view camera you cannot tell that it is even there. The coach doesn't even notice the jeep when braking.


At last just before Motley around 11:00 the fog starts to lift.


As we pull onto Hwy 10 and the four lane it actually starts to look like a nice day.


Around 11:30 we pull into the dealer lot for our storage appointment. While I go inside to arrange the parking Margaret documents our rig with her little camera.


We unhooked the jeep ,and stored the tow bar for the winter in the storage bay. Then we swept out the coach and unpacked the last of the things before locking it up. Here is the coaches winter home for this year.


Lets hope that this is its last trip to the storage shed!

To shorten winter, borrow some money due in spring. ~W.J. Vogel

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Business in New Orleans

This week I was on a business trip with several other people from our company to a Specialty Graphics (SGIA) show. It’s held once a year and this year Its in New Orleans. We will spend only two days there, but because its had to get convenient flights in and out of New Orleans we will have to fly in the day before and leave the day after.

Arriving in New Orleans and stepping out of the airport was a bit of a weather shock. New Orleans was experiencing a record heat wave and It was 93 degrees as we stood in line at the cab stand.


The heat wasn’t as bad as the humidity.The humidity must have been close to 100% .It was oppressive. The slightest movement of your body caused you to break out in a sweat.

I checked in at the Embassy Suites. My room was on the tenth floor and had a view of the Mississippi river Bridge and the convention center a couple of blocks away.


The next morning the air was so thick with moisture that you could almost drink it as I walked to the convention center.


Inside the convention center was comfortably cool and you could see sheets of condensing water running down the glass windows that contacted the humid air.


We saw quite a few interesting things at the show. A new type of printing device now prints images directly on fabric and will enable all sorts of new products to be sold.


Late in the afternoon I started back towards the hotel room. It was just starting to sprinkle rain drops as I walked along the route back to the hotel. About halfway back the skies opened up and it poured down rain. Now at the time I was standing under one of the many porches on the street in New Orleans so I wasn’t wet yet.


I waited for 15 or 20 minutes for the rain to let up , but it didn’t seen like it was going to quit any time soon so I decided that I would make a break for the hotel it was only 2 blocks away. If I run, I rationalized I can get there without getting too wet.

As it turns out it really doesn't matter how fast you run in a down pour. When I arrived at the hotel about 10 seconds later I might as well have gone swimming in my clothing.

I dripped my way through the lobby and up to my room where I changed clothing and snapped this picture from the dry safety of my balcony.


As it always does other than one notable exception with Noah and the whole Ark thing it stopped raining and the sun started to come out.


Standing on my room balcony I snapped a series of photos and stitched them together in the partial panorama of the historic warehouse district of New Orleans after the rain.

View pano

I had a business dinner that evening at 7:00 and walked from my hotel down towards Canal street to the restaurant where we were meeting. It was a nice walk with a few interesting scenes along the way.

I guess this is ART!


Typical New Orleans architecture


A Pano of a park along the way

Building pano

The following night we had another business dinner but this time my walk to the restaurant took me along the River walk.

Part of the Riverwalk from my balcony


The other end of the Riverwalk


Here is pano stitched together from several photos of the Mississippi river as it flows into the Gulf of Mexico under the River bridge.

River 1 Pano

The riverwalk.


We had dinner at the corner of Fulton street on the Gordon Bierch patio.


I arrived at the New Orleans airport for my flight home at 10:00AM the next morning for a 11:00 flight.

image image

At about 10:30 a sign went up that we would be weather delayed until 11:30. 10 minutes later the delay moved to 1:30PM. OH OH. I’m never going to make my connecting flight in Memphis. A line about 2 1/2 miles long immediately formed at the counter. (We are in trouble now!)

I grabbed my cell phone and immediately call the travel agent I use. She checked out all the flights and for the most part they were booked or wanted a thousand dollars. She was able to reserve a seat on the 6:00PM flight that evening in case the worst happened.

I then got in the 2 1/2 mile long line at the counter and slowly shuffled my way towards the counter with the rest of the prisoners. When I got to the counter the agent informed me that I was not going to make my connection in Memphis and that all other flights were sold out.

I politely asked him to check for my reservation on the 6:00 flight. Indeed I was booked on the 6:00PM flight. I was going to get out of here yet today!

It was 30 miles and a $60 cab ride back to town so I was stuck the rest of the day. I hung out in the airport had lunch and vegged out until 6:00PM. At 5:30 I boarded the plane. It looks like I was going to get out of New Orleans until the pilot came on the intercom and stated that thunderstorms were moving into the airport and he was shutting the engines down and was waiting until they passed, duration unknown! ( OH CRAP!). I got on the phone and called Margaret to inform here that I was on hold again and potentially sentenced to life in Louisiana. I would call again or send an email when I had further news.

People were up and milling about the airplane 15 minutes later when the pilot came on the intercom and urgently requested everyone be seated there was a small clearing and he was taxiing out to the runway. There was a chance we could get out!

We moved down the taxiway in the dark rain approaching the runway. I could see the lights stretching out along the runway as he made the turn. At this point planes usually stop, but he didn't even slow down as the plane straightened out onto the runway he powered up the jets and we were blasting down the runway in the rain on our way finally to Minneapolis!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Weekend and Lyndale Park

With our Lake lot mostly closed up for the year, Margaret and I are forced to wander the streets like homeless vagrants looking for entertainment on the weekends now. This weekend looks to be a beautiful weekend so Saturday we headed over to our old stand by lake “Lake Harriet” where we joined the people already walking around the lake for an hour long trip in the sunshine.

We noticed as we rounded the east side of the lake that the Rose Gardens in Lyndale park were still in full bloom and we thought that the garden may be a good destinations for Sundays outing.

The rest of the day we did some chores got some groceries and made a trip to the library.

Late Sunday morning we packed a picnic lunch and headed out towards Lyndale park. The weather was not quit as nice as Saturdays sunshine, but it was warm and the rain was holding off as we wandered around the park looking for a good place for our picnic lunch.


We found a nice spot and set up our chairs and had a nice lunch.


After lunch the weather was looking a little better while we wandered around the park enjoying the fountains and flowers


Part of Lyndale park is the Rose garden.


This is a fenced in area about a block square filled with rows and rows of Roses. Red ones, White ones, orange and every color imaginable.


We strolled up and down the roses enjoying the colors and the smells.



Stop and smell the roses.


A bouquet for anyone?


The honey bees certainly think this is a great area to hang out in.

P1011370 P1011367

Across the street from the Rose garden is the Peace gardens.


We crossed the street to the Peace Garden where I tried to feel the peace, but no luck.

Margaret did find a nice spot to relax though.


Is she at peace yet? I hope so.


All in all it was a fun day in a beautiful park just a couple miles from our apartment.

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