Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Minor Troubles - Luckily

Thursday September 22, 2011
Winnebago Industries
Forest City, Iowa


Let me start with a note to all my nurses out there. 
First I so appreciate your concern and your comments.
Thanks for being out there.
Here’s the scoop -
The orthopedic Surgeon in Kalispell, Montana
said that it “appeared” from the 3 side x-ray
as though I had re “fractured” an old injury.
But because of the old injury, she could not tell
if it was a complete break or a crack.
She congratulated me on my icing to excess
for days and was amazed at the decrease in swelling
after only 4 days.
Her advice was to use crutches for around 3 weeks or until
my leg felt ok with weight bearing.  But that
I should be doing some weight bearing by 3 weeks.
And begin those rubber band stretching exercises
at that point.   That would have been today.
  I was doing my short bit of no assistance
walking in the Badlands,
3 days early on the 19th with little complaint from
my ankle as long as I didn’t go faster than
a snail’s pace.  Not sure how to know else is
important, other than to listen to the ankle,
without some sort of further tests which
no one last time or this time seemed to think
was necessary.   They just kept taking x-rays and
they all looked exactly the same even though the ankle was
clearly showing less and less signs of injury on the outside at least.
Marti, I’m going to email you
about your break and see if it was similar to mine
and what you did.   
Thanks so much to all for your concerns.
I feel very warm and fuzzy.

On to what’s happenin’
We arrived in Mitchell South Dakota on
Tuesday, afternoon
after a long and difficult drive.

We were awakened about midnight on Monday
with the wind blowing the coach all around
I checked with Weather bug and it said
45 –60 mph winds all night
The way the coach was rocking I’d say it was mostly 60.

We brought in both slides
and took down the cradle point antenna.
Not sure how David kept from being blown away doing that
given what he weighs. 

The coach still shook and I
could hear things being blown around outside
and flying down the campground road.
I found out the next morning that
Terri Young had called at 11 PM
, she and Mike are camped across from us,
to see what we were doing she was so worried about the winds.
I’d turned my cell phone off for the night because
I had been getting unsolicited calls
from East Coast marketers at 7am East Coast time
which is 5AM mountain time.


The winds continued into the morning
although they had quieted down SOME. 
I called Terri back and they hadn’t decided whether
to stay in the Badlands Campground or go.
They were headed further west so they’d be
going into the winds.

We left the campground about 9am
and had to wait behind 2 others to use the dump.
That made me feel a “little” better about going anywhere. 
I wasn’t too keen on going in this weather
but we needed to do about 200 miles
to make it to Forest City Iowa and Winnebago by Thursday. 
David thought we would give it a try on I 90
since we would have the wind at our backs.  
I drove the car so it wouldn’t wag behind Winnona. 

Old camera 001A


Driving wasn’t too bad since I 90 is a straight
no need to shift road.


Just after we crossed the Missouri River
and determined that we couldn’t afford the
time to stop at the Rest Stop/Information Center
about Lewis & Clark that Mike and Terri
had recommended.
(see river in rear view)


Old camera 028


David noticed that the slide topper
was coming loose.  
Of course with the wind, it was impossible
to go up on the roof see what was wrong. 
We stopped in some teeny weeny
sketchy looking Casino truck stop
off of I 90 and called Winnebago. 

When he went outside to check
the topper, David also noticed that
the only other hood latch had broken off. 
And the hood was hanging open.
I’d called him on the walkie talkie 20 or so miles back
to say that some rather large metal thing
had just bounced across the highway and I had hit it.  

He said he thought it had probably come from
the semi that just passed him. 
But it turned out it was our only hood latch,
the other had come off back at Jim and Mary’s in Missoula.

So now we had to tie up both the hood
and the topper with ropes.

So that’s what he did without going up on the roof
thank goodness.

New Camera 006


New Camera 008




Here is Ms Winnona with her mouth tied shut.
She has a matching set of “braces”.




We made it to R & R Campground in Mitchell, South Dakota
where they are into their winter rates
which are $15 for full hook ups and self serve. 
We got there about 3:00 and by 5:30 the place was full.
Word must be out.

When we got there David informed me
that he thought he had the flu
and when we took his temperature it was 101.4. 
So on the couch he went with covers and a cold compress. 
I told him to take 2 aspirin to help bring down
the fever but he insisted on taking Naproxen Sodium
which did no good so a couple hours later
when the fever had gone over 102 he agreed to the aspirin.
Sorry, too busy for pictures of the patient.


I got us leveled, hooked up, got dinner
and took care of the patient. 
I used the crutches but luckily my ankle is much improved
and I can stand on it with no complaints and
do some walking on it especially inside the coach. 
Not sure what we’d have done if he had the flu
and I was still totally on crutches.


But we managed it all including the winds
which continued to roar and strip the leaves off
of the trees at R&R.


Next morning, Wednesday, was the miraculous cure. 
He felt fine. 
24 hour bug that wasn’t intestinal.


We took our time leaving
so it wasn’t until about noon that we set out
for another nearly 200 mile drive to Welcome, Minnesota.

We were welcomed to Minnesota before
we got to Welcome.


New Camera 013 

But once there, we set up at Checkers Welcome Campground
a Passport America stop, 30 amp full hook ups
for $14.  Just off I 90 but far enough that there
was little traffic noise.  There was one train which
must also go through Peter D’s in Great Falls since
at 4am he drove through blowing his horn twice
long and loud.


Checkers Welcome Campground


Up this morning and on the road for a short drive
to Forest City Iowa (77 miles) and only 3 turns.

First section of our trip, about 20 miles, was on I 90
where we could see that Minnesota farmers have
gotten the message about wind power and
are seeing that they can generate income from the
air and the soil.

New Camera 016


New Camera 017

BUT the next route 169 was THE WORST road
we have been on in nearly half a year. 
Talk about taking your home through an earthquake.  
We had to slow down to 25 mph just to keep
the rattling down to slightly below deafening.  

After the longest 20 miles ever driven,
the rest of the roads were the usual 2 lane.

We pulled into the big town of Forest City Iowa
(population 4000) about 11 am and went
in to talk to the folks at Winnebago Service
about our list of things to be checked and done.

We want to keep the bill under $1000 hopefully
so some of these things may revert back to David.
But at least we can buy the parts here and not have
to figure out where they can be shipped to us.

He’s now at the Winnebago Factory Tour which started
at 1:00 and I’m trying to catch up with the blog
posts.  He didn’t decide to go until 12:30 and
dashed out grabbing a quick sandwich as his lunch.

I’m not THAT interested in the tour although
I might go tomorrow while he waits with Winnona.
He seems to think he has to be there every second
while they are working on her and tomorrow is
Friday so it was today or tomorrow or Monday.
We hope we won’t be here on Monday.

Winnona is now parked in one of their “free” spaces
with 30 amp electric, no water, no dump
until our appointment at

Guess we’ll be getting up before the sun rises and
potentially having breakfast out although I’m not sure
this one horse industry town has a restaurant
that isn’t a Kwik Stop.
Guess I’d better check the place out thoroughly
before being so hard on them.

Thanks for checking in on us.


  1. Thanks for the update on your ankle. I know that you know what you're doing!! Just hope all continues to go well.

    Wow, what a trip you have had the last couple days. Don't ever remember you moving that far that fast. What's with all the winds??

    Glad David's illness was short lived and hope Winnona is back to her chipper self quickly and not to expensely;o))

    Let's us know if the Winnebago tour is worth seeing. We were thinking of possible going there and to Newmar Corp for a tour.

  2. I had to tie up my awning on my Adventurer the same way. Great minds think alike when jury rigging a repair. :c)

    I did the Winnebago factory tour a couple of years back and it was interesting to see how they build their (and two of my) motorhomes.

    If it isn't bad roads, it's wind. I hope to someday drive in a tailwind, headwinds always seem to find me.

    Liking those campground fees, you can put the saved cash towards new hood latches... ;c)

    I hope the ankle keeps cooperating, sounds like it's healing well. Must be all that cherry pie you ate?

  3. I don't like wind!!!!

    Hope your repairs go quickly and without too much of a dent in your wallet.

  4. I am exhausted just reading your post!!! That's a lot to do with a bum ankle. I'm impressed you do as much as you do...I, on the other hand would be milking it for all it's worth!

    I would want to be fed peeled grapes while I lounged on the sofa. You hike and cook, and nurse sick men (well, just one), and drive and shimmy and shake (that might have been the wind...(hopefully not from the fierce stanky winds.

    You're my hero!

  5. Your Winnebago stop reminds me of our Red Bay stop back in January. They sure do start work early in the morning!

    Glad your troubles were minor and hope your repairs will be also.

    PS-ok, I'll lay off the ankle :)

  6. We hate driving in the wind or trying to sleep in it. We have had to pull the slides in once because the winds were so strong.
    Glad your ankle is doing better and David did not come down with full blown flu. I am thinking we should get a flu shot this year. Have you guys done that?

  7. There is a grocery store called Bill's toward the north end of town. They have a nice eating area inside the store.

    The problem with your slide topper is that the bar that you tied down is supposed to point straight up when the slide is closed. Winnebago tends to just mount these any old way. The bar is the lock and needs to be installed properly. You can do this yourself since all you do is drill new pilot holes for the bracket and screw it in.

  8. You guys sure are resourceful! Wind is an RVer's worst nightmare, I think, other than a possible fire or burglary. Glad David is feeling better. Do your exercises! "Nurse Sparky"

  9. 'Sometimes' DavidSeptember 26, 2011 at 6:57 PM

    Thanks Doug, that is exactly what Winnebago told me. Hope it did not take the $100/hour professional more than 15 minutes to make this minor adjustment!

  10. You're my hero too, Mama! ;) Wonder why dad just had a 24 hour fever - must have a good immune system - saw whatever it was coming and fought it off. YAY! Crazy winds - glad those died down - dad is so resourceful -- braces for Winnona - lol.


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