Winter In Phoenix travel blog

Our first hole, Mike deciding where to go, see that fairway way...

Sunrise on the casino, as we prepare to leave Kansas

Good bye Kansas, on to Nebraska

This is an I29 highway on ramp that had been flooded over...

And into Iowa, the first time! Saw this sign a few times...

Another state today, into South Dakota, barely, but we're there

Parked at North Sioux City KOA in SD, notice the red pickup...

Just to be clear, we have issues with GPS and paper maps... they don't seem to relate to us very well...

But before we get into the drama of today, lets go back to where life was relaxed and wonderful.

Something we've notice over the past few stops is that where ever we go there are places with identified storm shelters... Each of the RV park offices had a room for us to huddle in if the alarms go off. Is this supposed to make us feel comforted? One of the towns we passed today, just off the main drag, was a tower of sirens - storm warning alarms? A different way to live.

Another odd thing we found when shopping, the clerk would ask '... would you like a sac with that?' Here in the Midwest they ask if you want a sac, where we would ask if you want a bag for what you purchased.

We are back on the back back roads of America again these two days and one of the things we noticed the farmers burn the grass in their fields. As we drive, we see acres and acres of fields all black with some new green growth popping up. (Mike remembers his mom burning the grass at the cottage every spring to get rid of the poison ivy and weeds...) Google says farmers burn their fields to remove plants that are already growing and to help the plants that are about to come up. These burns are often called “prescribed burns” because they are used to improve the health of the field.

So let go back to where we got to the Casino north of Topeka. We had a nice quiet Friday resting inside watching golf on TV and doing some chores around the bus. We did go and play slots for a bit with some of the free money we got when we signed in.

Saturday we got out and probably played our last game of golf until mid-May, at the course that was attached to the Casino. The golf course wasn't far, but Security shuttled us around there and back ... a nice service. We won't say much more about the golf game except that this course is the second best public course in Kansas and Michelle may have beat Mike .... AGAIN.

After golf we came back to the Casino steakhouse for a fancy diner and then we worked hard at spending all the free money the casino had given us for the machines.

Today we were packed, ready and off before 8am. But we hadn't gotten very far down the road before we pulled in for groceries... but since it was Sunday morning, it didn't take us long and we were off to Omaha to get our GPS replaced.

Some odd observations on today's travels... we were driving through a town called Dawson Nebraska, and there was a payphone ... there on the side of the road... just seemed odd.

Previously we had been on the Mormon trail, but now we had switched to the Lewis and Clark Trail. As we traveled the highway north, there were many patchy reminders of the old road from the 20's and 30's that this new highway replaced. It must have been an interesting drive back in those days.

So, now onto today's task... to get the GPS replaced. Here we are driving with the old school maps and internet printouts telling us to go left, go right but none of that matched the current road under repair situations. We only missed our GPS repair destination by about 2 miles. Once we got turned around on the interstate and used common sense, we arrived.

Okay. So now we go into the store to explain that our GPS stopped working, and the staff they where so helpful... they ran off and during the 30min stop, the staff turned on the GPS and it worked... Mike had left the thing on for the past 4 days and it just kept rebooting... over and over. Mike said it's one of those computer things... there is no explaining it, just accept it. So now our GPS works again :-)

We jump in the bus, punch in our final destination for the night into the GPS and off we go... two blocks out and the GPS wants to take us back to Arizona... NO... Back to the paper maps which don't help much because now we don't know exactly where we are... other than in the middle of Omaha. Michelle fights with the GPS and gets it running again, and we now have a route. Except that the sign up ahead on the side of the road says the road ahead is closed due to flooding. If anyone has had a GPS, they know that they are not all that receptive to being yelled at and perhaps it was because it had been on for a number of days trying to start up... anyway after crossing state borders 10 times in 15 minutes (Omaha straddles it)... The fact that it was the same border shouldn't bother anyone. We finally found a way around the flooding of the mighty Missouri and Platt Rivers and we were slowly starting to trust the GPS again. In our travels back and forth around Omaha, we came across damage from the flooding, RV parks with trailers flipped and trailers out in the middle of new ponds/lakes.

In the end, today was another day of back roads and some really back roads of the USA. We also found some decent interstates and tonight we finally parked ourselves in North Sioux City, South Dakota. So far we've dodged the worst of the weather, hopefully our luck continues.

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