Posts Tagged Running

On The Road Again

St. Louis

St. Louis Arch

We’ve spent the last two weeks traveling out west and back again.

Our trip started with driving to St. Louis to drop Sammy-do off at my Mom’s for a little paw sitting. Sam loves going to his grandma’s because the food scoop overflows, the squirrels are plentiful in a fenced in back yard and the cute factor gains a little extra loving. We hate traveling without him, but it’s comforting to know he is being super spoiled while we are gone.

While we were in St. Louis Jeff and I decided to try something new. We took a running tour of downtown. After 3 hours and 6 miles I learned things about St. Louis that I never knew. We went with St. Louis Running Tour, THE ONLY running tour in St. Louis. Our tour guide Joe showed us iconic buildings like Union Station, The Arch and Cardinal Stadium. Joe also gave the behind the scenes facts and sometimes seedy drama that unfolds during the development of the new frontier.

It is a run and it is a tour so there are lots of stops to talk with bursts of running to the next destination. Our longest stretch of running was no more that ¼ mile, so if you do this thinking you are going to get your 4-6 mile solid run in, you won’t.

We didn’t take the tour for the run, but to learn & see more about the city that I grew up around…while getting a little low-key exercise. Definitely a very fun morning with Joe!

Hardware Show

The super awesome CFX refrigerator/freezer by Dometic

That afternoon we flew off to Las Vegas for the National Hardware Show. Dometic had a huge display of their new portable refrigerator/freezers (CFX) that run off of 12V, 24V or 120 and their super insulated coolers. They are great for tailgating, RV’ing and boating. We have a CFX frig/freezer that is the best! You can set it to freeze or refrigerate anywhere from 50 degrees down to -8 degrees. That’s a lot of frozen solid ice cream…on 12volts of power no less! It makes up for the small refrigerators that RV’s typically have.

Las Vegas is an interesting town and one that neither of us is particularly comfortable in. I recharge in tranquility and nature. So when you go out for a run at 5AM and the street department is already at work with jack hammers and the all night partiers are just reaching their peak volume, my soul is just piled on with more noise that I went out to decompress from. Throw in a couple of propositions from some ladies of the night (Jeff) and we were ready to get rolling.

From Las Vegas we drove the Dometic RV back to Elkhart Indiana. We were going to hit the central, most direct route through Colorado, but with forecasted snow in the mountains we redirected to the southern route. Our first stop was in Flagstaff where we drove though sleet, snow and rain.

Saturday morning we woke to 1” of snow. The sun popped out and we decided to wash the Vegas grime off our running shoes with a trail run before hitting the road. We stayed at the Flagstaff KOA and they have access to trails right out the back gate. It was a stunning 5-mile run as the sun filtered through the snow-covered foliage. Now this is what I’m talking about! Running through the woods fully alive…nothing is better for the soul. I love this KOA for its convenience to town, trails right out back and very little road noise.

Our other stops

Albuquerque, New Mexico– Long push day to the KOA. Very nice park with level sites, good spacing but very close to the highway. I was able to get a 3.5-mile walk in just within the park by making 3 loops. It was a big RV park! We met a group of French Canadians who where traveling together. One of them had a Heartland Edge, similar to our Ironman Can we just sold. We are hoping to come back here in October for the Xscapers very first Convergence at the Balloon Fiesta.

Amarillo TX

Oasis RV Park just down the road from the Cadillac Ranch

Amarillo, Texas-Oasis RV Resort. This was a really nice RV park as well. Very level and spacious sites with weight room, hot tub and pool. We didn’t use any of the amenities and reviews are mixed on this RV Park as it relates to smell. There are a couple of VERY LARGE cow farms nearby. So the prevailing winds has a directed correlation to the type of experience you will have here.

Luckily the temps were cold and the wind was blowing from the North, so we had no issues of smell.

Tulsa, Oklahoma-Long push day to KOA at Will Rogers horse racing track. This is mostly grass covered RV parking. A lot of the sites were flooded with the recent rains, so we were upgraded to a raised gravel site that backed right up to the horse track. We arrived at 4pm so we were able to catch the last 3 horse races.

It was entertaining as the horses made their 90-second run (if that) around the track, then a water truck and 3 tractors made their way around grading the course with diligence and speed. Their job took about 15 minutes that was repeated after each 90 second run. We found it quite humorous and had more fun watching the tractors than we did the horses. I know…we are strange that way.

We went out for a run the next morning at 6AM to soothing country music over the loud speakers while the horse trainers were already out running the horses. We definitely felt like we were back in our part of the country where people wave as they drive by. If you are from the country you know the wave…one or two fingers just barely lifted off the steering wheel just to give you a friendly hello.

Tulsa OK

Horse Races at the Will Rogers Downs KOA Park

St. Louis, Missouri-Long push day to Mom’s house. We got to see our fur baby and stayed two nights so that Jeff could put in a solid workday that didn’t involve the swerving and jostling that comes with driving a can of marbles down the road at 70 mph. It was hard to leave Sam again especially when he was lying in front of doors, at our feet and around our shoes to ensure that he is not left behind. 😦

Elkhart, Indiana-Long push day to our final destination, MasterTech RV. They are doing the work on our personal RV project. The slide on the Dometic RV decided to stop working in Albuquerque so MasterTech is going to work on it for us. And they provide free parking with electric hookups.

It’s been a long trip with a few memorable moments. Now that we are here in Elkhart we get to check on the progress on our personal RV project over the weekend. The water damage on our roof was much more extensive than we originally thought…but everything is fixable.

More on our project in the next post. Until then…get out and play!

Elkhart, IN

The new rolling crib will be good as new…we hope!

, , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Nashville Inspiration And The Big 4

IMG_0980

Jeff and I are on a two-week road trip for business at the moment. We are making stops in Nashville, Louisville, Indianapolis, Elkhart, back to Indy, St. Louis and home to Arkansas.

Since we sold our Edge and are having work done on the Domani we are resorting to hotel stays for this trip. After traveling in an RV for the better part of 8 months and now traveling via hotels, I have to say I prefer our RV much better (of course I would).

Franklin, TN

While in Nashville, we had the privilege of having dinner with one of our favorite authors, Dan Miller , and his lovely family. He has authored books that have been very influential in our lives. 48 Days to the Work You Love, No More Dreaded Mondays, Wisdom Meets Passion, are just a few.

Jeff and I attended one of his Coaching With Excellence weekend workshop 3 years ago which was instrumental in getting us to where we are today…working in the RV industry and traveling this beautiful country both at the same time. OUR DREAM!

Dan challenged us to not think of options in terms of “either/or” but “this AND that”. “AND” is a powerful word when thinking of options in life. I’ve always thought in terms of…you have to do either this OR that. But Dan challenged us to think in terms of…why not do this AND that. Why can’t you pursue your dreams of traveling in an RV AND work at the same time? It was an interesting question and one we found the answer to by working in the RV industry.

We are so thankful to Dan and thankful to have the opportunity to share our appreciation in person!

One last thing about Franklin, TN…

We discovered a new-to-us restaurant called First Watch. They serve breakfast, brunch and lunch. First Watch has a limited menu with rotating items and everything is super fresh and super yummy. Our favorite was the Kale Tonic (Kale, cucumber, lime, apple) and Day Glow (Carrots, orange, lemon, ginger). Oh so good!

Nashville, TN

OMG…Kale Tonic at First Watch cafe

Louisville, KY

Our next stop was in Louisville, KY. We’ve been to Louisville several times, but never long enough to explore. So we headed to the riverfront area of Louisville early on a Sunday morning to go for a run.

Part of Louisville’s riverfront is a pedestrian and bike bridge called, The Big Four Bridge. It connects Kentucky with Indiana in less than a mile over the Ohio River.

The Big Four Bridge was originally constructed by the Louisville and Jefferson Bridge Company who started construction in 1888. The construction of the bridge was not without it’s challenges. After several accidents and deaths during construction, the bridge was completed in 1895. Unfortunately by then the Louisville and Jefferson Bridge Company was broke. It was sold that same year to the Indianapolis based Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railway, also known as the Big Four Railroad.

The Big Four Bridge fell into disused by 1968 and portions of the bridge were being dismantled by 1969.

In 1990 a proposal was made to convert the dilapidated bridge to a bike and pedestrian bridge as part of the Louisville Waterfront Park project. After millions of dollars the Big Four Bridge was re-opened in 2013 to people and bikes. We really enjoyed our run here!

Elkhart, IN

We headed further north to Elkhart Indiana making a brief stop over in Indianapolis to say hi to my college girlfriend Sherry. Sherry hiked the Rim2Rim with us last year.

In Elkhart we got our first look at our new-to-us RV, the Domani. I have to admit, I was a bit disappointed. After our discussions with the seller and having our inspection, our expectations were a bit higher than the RV we walked into. Our “hardly camped in” RV had a lot of furniture ware and lingering cigarette smoke that let us know that it had been lived in more than had been disclosed.

It is going to be a bit more of a project than we had anticipated. But we love the floor plan, size and quality…the rest can be dealt with pretty easily. Thank goodness we bought this thing right!

Next week MasterTech RV will start on the biggest project, which is to take off the roof, repair the damage, run electrical and conduit and put on a new roof membrane. Our second priority will be to replace all the flooring in order to help with the smell.

We have a $20,000 budget for our entire project so we will see how much our roof and flooring costs us before we make plans for the rest.

Indianapolis, IN

One of Jeff’s bucket list items is to run a marathon in each state. So while we were passing through Indiana Jeff noticed that Carmel, Indiana was having a marathon. This was his 7th marathon state.

Carmel Marathon

Jeff finishing the Carmel IN Marathon…his 7th state!

While Jeff was at the marathon I went with my friend Sherry to a retirement party that one of her running friends was throwing for herself.

This was the wackiest and most fun retirement party I have ever been to.

It started at 6am for a 11 mile run or 7am for a 5 mile run (you choose) followed by slippers and coffee mixed in with a 10 minute core workout, 10 minute weight workout, 20 minute message, then hot tub soak, sauna and brunch. All before 10AM.

It was so fun that it was decided by the group that she needed to throw a quarterly retirement party for herself going forward!

We have one more leg on our journey home. We are looking forward to getting home and staying in one spot for more than 2 nights in a row.

Keep in touch!

IMG_0879

 

 

, , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment

Doggie reunion, missing eyebrows and The Katy Trail

Wisdom curtesy of Jimmy Johns

Wisdom curtesy of Jimmy Johns

We flew from Phoenix to St. Louis is order to pick up our fur baby, Sam. He has been staying with Grandma for 5 weeks while we were attending our RV rallies out west. We missed our little guy so much. But there was something amiss when we arrived. Evidently while we were gone someone stole his eyebrows. That’s right. My mom took him to Petco for some grooming and while he was there someone swiped his curls and his eyebrows right from above his terrier nose.

Of course Petco is not quite sure what happened. But nothing could be done. The incident has already happened and Sam will have to endure the embarrassment of an expressionless head until they grow back. It’s nothing that a treat can’t help improve his mood, but he may need some therapy to regain his terrier mojo. Poor guy.

While in St. Louis we tried to lighten Sam’s mood with a run, so we headed to Old St. Charles MO to jump on The Katy Trail. The Katy Trail is considered the most successful rails-to-trails projects in the US. A portion of the Missouri KT Railroad experienced a flood in 1986. Since the railroad was in decline and the cost to repair the tracks were excessive, the railroad disbanded and ceased to exist. In 1989 it was decided to convert the old railroad tracks to a trail system and the first segment of the Katy Trail was officially opened in 1990. It is considered the nations longest rails-to-trails system that spans 237 miles from Machens, MO to Clinton, MO.

This was our first time running on The Katy Trail, and after experiencing a small section we are determined to add biking this trail to our bucket list. There are companies that can help make this happen by hauling your gear from stop to stop over the course of 5 days and make your overnight accommodations for you.  Or you can ride or hike the trail unsupported. Obviously we would like to use the RV for our stop overs, but that requires finding someone who is comfortable pull/parking a camper and can take the time off to do so. All logistics that can be worked out in due time I suppose.

The Eastern most terminus, Machens MO.

The Eastern most terminus, Machens MO.

Sam and I ran/walked an out and back for 6 miles while Jeff ran the entire 12 mile section from St. Charles to Machens. I then drove to pick up Jeff at the trailhead. It was certainly a beautiful day with temps in the low 70s. Shades-on-sunroof-open kind of day. The frogs were croaking and the birds where in full song. Sure signs of spring on the horizon (hopefully).

After being in the dry desert for so long it is definitely a world of change coming back to moist air (code for humidity) and dark brown soil. The contrast is striking. It’s a contrast that I am at odds with. I miss the dry air, amazing sunsets and abundance sunshine of the Southwest. But there is something comforting about the familiarity of the Midwest. It will be nice to be home to experience spring, but my mind is still out on the road.

We had a nice dinner with my Mom and my Grandmom. I have my big 5-0 birthday coming up and it still astounds me that I have a Grandmother still alive. She will be 98 this July. She was living alone, driving and mowing her 1.5 acres until 92 when she finally moved in with my Mom. We got her situated in her own apartment about a year ago at an assisted living facility where she is safe and well cared for. No more going down a flight of stairs to the basement to do laundry when no one is home. Her short-term memory is a challenge now, but she is always willing to talk about the old days.

Jeff put on some Big Band music and asked her to dance. She loves listening to music and it brought back memories of her and my Grandpa going out dancing every Saturday night while my Mom and her brother were free to play with the other kids outside the VFW hall. It was a sweet visit and we never know if this will be our last with Grandma. She hopes she gets to see us again and we do too. She is a feisty gall who loves sweets and ribs…and a few beers in her day. Now her favorite drink is a chocolate shake. Jeff asked her what she attributes her long life to. “Hard work and eating anything she wants”. That sums it up folks…eat more ice-cream!

We will be driving back to Arkansas soon, memories and eyebrow-less dog in tow.

Old St. Charles MO

Old St. Charles MO

, , , , , ,

Leave a comment

%d bloggers like this: