A good place to test our stamina

Don’t get excited — it’s not like we’re doing any 17 mile hikes or anything!

I’ve been moving image files around and making some changes to my cataloging system so that has also given me some time to play with older images.  I’ve been tossing some into the blog just for the fun of it, and because they are fond memories for me.  Sorry if they have no relationship to the blog per se, they are just images that make me feel good.

One of the ‘reasons’ we routed ourselves back through Grenada is to give ourselves a chance to see if we are any better conditioned now than we were in December when we stopped here on our way South.  At that point I was still acclimating to new meds and I’ll freely admit that I wasn’t in very good shape.


One thing about Mississippi state highways is that while they are generally quite smooth, they do tend to skimp on the shoulders — and many places the shoulders are non-existent — as you can see from this shot about 30 miles from Grenada

We did a test walk up and down some of the not-very-high hills around here — but hills that we both knew were wind-ing me on our last visit and I do think my body has settled into the new normal reasonably well.  Of course I’ll find out a more definitive answer to that when we see the doctor — a week from today.  I’m a bit nervous about that but what can you do…  He’s my friend (in the sense of wanting good things for me — not as in cohort) and I want to listen to what he says.

I have to say that this whole hypertrophic cardiomyopathy thing has me a little unsure of myself.  When we left Milwaukee I had been told to pretty much go do what I want to do.  But the example they gave me was golfing.  Like golf  is anything I ever had any interest in doing in the first place.  We have been doing the things we want, and hoping that we aren’t doing any damage but who the heck knows…. so it’s good we have a check-up, check-in, check-over scheduled.  It sounded as if from here on in we will be looking at regular 6 month visits to monitor the dilation of my aorta so we are having to adjust how we think about RV’ing.

press to reset the world

it might be nice to ‘reset the world’ but hey — I’ve had a wonderful life and I’m not complaining. It IS a novel idea though. 🙂

I don’t know what this revision may ultimately end up resulting in.  We never planned on being back in Milwaukee twice in a year when we got started and spending time on the Left Coast isn’t particularly cost effective if you have to be back in the Midwest in 6 months or under.  We really have no idea what this will do to our overall RV plans and until we’ve gone a couple 6 month cycles.


It seems that lately I’ve heard a lot of stories from others about peer pressure and being liked by others. This has always been my point of view.

Grenada always seems to be a place where we can get routine chores taken care of.  The sites are nice and large, there’s room between you and your neighbor and all the sites have a nice well-maintained table — so getting out, or getting under (as in the basement) is easy to do.

I don’t know about you, but I’m a little cautious about where I open my basement doors. Most campers and RV’ers are pretty good people but I’m not one to tempt fate and the idea of leaving whatever I happen to be storing in the basement open to observation just doesn’t seem to me to be a smart move.  One never knows what might appeal to another camper’s lust for things.


another view of rural Mississippi

When it comes to security we’re not obsessive, but we are cautious.  I don’t leave the RV unlocked.  Blame that on a lifetime in major cities, or to my paranoia, but I just don’t.  We know people who have never locked their house door in their life.  I even know people who don’t even have the keys to their own homes.  That’s not me.  Campers and campgrounds are usually pretty safe places.  You don’t see strangers walking up to other people’s campers (not normally) and if you do friends and neighbors have been known to question the stranger (in our experience).  Still, there’s no sense taking changes.

The first campground we stayed at our first night on the road with our first RV.  Blackhawk County Park, in Iowa.

The first campground we stayed at our first night on the road with our first RV. Blackhawk County Park, in Iowa.

While I was cataloguing I happened across this photo from our first night away from Lichtsinn Motors in Forest City Iowa.  We had bought our first coach there, picked it up and headed off on a short jaunt to see how we liked RV’ing (now that we had already made the move and purchased the fool thing!). On that trip we were destined for the same friend’s home in Illinois whom we’ll be seeing in two days and the entire trip took us about 2 weeks.  Needless to say, we had a ball!

It seems, in general, that the places we have returned to have almost exclusively been CORPS campgrounds.  That might partly be circumstantial — there were a couple summers that we needed to be near Wisconsin so we did the Mississippi River Corps circuit.  And when we have returned off the Left Coast it has been convenient to hit CORPS campgrounds that we knew about — just for the convenience of knowing where things are.

I can’t recall a single private campground that we have returned to.  There may have been one but I think I can still count on 2 hands the number of private campgrounds we have stayed at in 5 years.  We all have our own way of doing thing — and there’s no right way to RV.  Some friends always stay at private campgrounds.  I know one couple that’s been on the road for a couple years now and they just stayed their first night at on a Walmart parking lot.  In a typical year we might do that three or four nights — but it’s not a regular thing and it’s always been when we’ve been in a hurry to get some place.


When we first started RV’ing we took Brrrt the Penguin along with us and posed him in various places. Brrrt is still with us abut for some reason we have stopped taking his picture. He’s probably miffed.

We don’t do a lot of museums.  This photo from the Spam Museum in Minnesota 5 years ago is actually one of the last real museums we visited. Another might be the RV Hall of Fame museum in Elkhart IN. I guess when we were younger we stopped at a lot of museums.  They don’t have nearly as much appeal to us any more.

We do like walking, and we try to walk a lot — or as much as my cranky leg will allow.  And we love people watching — I guess I got that from my parents who were always going to National Parks and plopping down on a park bench and just watching the population pass by.  Not sure where Peggy got her inclination to do the same — maybe I’m just rubbing off on her.

Today’s a day before travel, and we have three travel days in a row coming up, so I’m cooling my jets today.  We’ll cover 725 miles in those three days and I’ll be ready for a couple days relaxation while we’re in Milwaukee.  As much as we loathe staying on the Interstate the good thing about Interstate travel is the rest areas.  It seems that typically I awaken on a travel day and food is not high on my priority list.  I’m just not hungry.  Frequently we’ll find a place to stop an hour into our trip and have breakfast.    On roads like our last trip from Foscue Creek Campground to here there weren’t really any good places to stop — not ones that wanted to stop at.  So breakfast went begging until we pulled in here at noon.  But typically a day on the Interstate will see us stop at a couple rest areas, and often we’ll stay long enough to cook up a meal and relax for a while.  The rooftop solar gives us enough electricity that we crank up the induction burner and make some eggs or whatever and then mosey on down the road.  We still have the propane stove in the coach — we just don’t use it very often.


One of the reasons we settled on a Class A coach relates to just that kind of behavior.  Some of the 5er’s we saw make in nearly impossible to use the kitchen when the slides are retracted.  At dealerships you always see the fifth wheels with their slides extended and I’m not sure if anyone has ever bought a trailer and then realized after it was theirs that there wasn’t much walking space inside because of the walls that move to the middle of the trailer when the slides are retracted.  I know it’s been something we considered when we bought Serendipity — some of the coach slides are so wide on newer coaches that moving to the back of the coach while the slides are retracted can also be difficult.  It’s something to look at carefully when you’re out shopping. Deep slides give you more living space, but deep slides can make traveling a little more difficult.

Well, that’s enough for today.  Thanks for stopping by, I’ll be here to chat tomorrow.  Have a nice day.



13 thoughts on “A good place to test our stamina

  1. So true, Peter. That is definitely something we looked at with our fiver. Access to the kitchen, potty and bed are crucial, Our layout allows all of that, thank goodness.

    It must be the ‘city’ thing, as this former Detroiter locks everything. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. When we were growing up, never lock the back door. But, when we boys (3) left home mom started locking it when Dad was gone, which was a lot too. So, we boys couldn’t just drop in anymore.
    Yes it was in the country, rural Indiana. Of course my wife was raised in the small county seat so she locks the doors always! 🙂
    Have a good check up.


    1. Norm — it’s funny how where one grows up ‘determines’ what they consider to be normal — or safe — or healthy — or…. you get the idea.

      I’d LIKE to be trusting but I have known for a long time that at heart I have trust issues. I’ve rarely been part of big organizations, and the ones I have been part of haven’t always been satisfactory experiences. As a result — trusting my neighbors isn’t exactly ingrained!!!!!!!!



  3. OH – my I just stumbled on your blog and saw you said you have HCM, I will go back and see if I can read more – We are very familiar with that, My husband had HOCM and had surgery for it just a little over 2 years ago – if you will email me privately we can give you everything we learned about this and the details. HCM is nothing to play with and it took years for my husband to be diagnosed, dizzy spells, passing out – send an email if you would like to talk to him about his experience – he is doing fabulous since the surgery no episodes at all. We wish you well and please seek out some one familiar with HCM most cardiologists are not experienced with it and go to the hcm website http://www.4hcm.org offers a lot of information. Best wishes.


    1. Thanks for the comment (private email coming separately). I was just diagnosed last september. I had been told for years that I had a wonky valve but no one ever made enough of a connection to give it a name. So, when we came to Milwaukee for a 1 month stay and ended up here for 3 months it proved to be kind of a traumatic experience — just the uncertainty while all these new things and ideas got figured out. No indication of a need for surgery at this point — but it sounds like the doc is going to want to see me about every 6 months — and there is the definite prospect of surgery for a dilated aorta — at some point. I’ll check out the link — it’s similar to one my cardiologist gave me probably but I’ll check it out.


  4. I looked at the plan of a fifth wheel a couple days ago that made me wonder. It had two side doors. It looked like when the slides are in you’d need to use one door to get to the kitchen and the other one to get to the bathroom. Really?!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When we were in Wildwood we stopped at the nearby Camping World and saw one very similar to what you are describing. Based on the size of the slides I suspect that you are right — retracted the only way to get from one to the other is outside! Friends of ours have a tow-behind with a similar situation. And tow behinds don’t usually have such large slides. But that one did.


  5. I’m glad you had an opportunity to compare your physical state of being before heading back to the doc. It will be good to have that frame of reference as he assesses you progress. Hoping for good news.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I too am finding things take longer than they used to…I still can’t clench my left hand and it’s been over five months since I broke it.


      2. Sorry to hear about the hand. Did they have you doing any kind of exercise or therapy? I forget were you in a hard cast? Being left-handed when I hear “can’t clench my left hand” I get shivers up my spine! Although since my trucking days I learned one lesson. If I have to put my hand in a dangerous place — it’s always the right hand. 🙂



      3. I am doing physical therapy and I only had to wear a hard splint which made it nice because I could air it out and wash it daily. I am right handed so not a problem. I can do most things fine, I just can’t clench. It’s easy to not use it so I am making an effort to use it…so I don’t lose it. 😉


      4. I only ever broke one thing: my left wrist when I literally fell off my truck and landed on my butt and my hands — clipped the little knobby at the end of one of those long forearm bones.

        Like you say, keep using it lest you lose it.

        > >

        Liked by 1 person

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