Sunday, October 6, 2019

Homeward Bound; Rudy's Racing Life; I Like Ike; Sunset Clouds and Coyotes; Cincinnati; Maryland's Eastern Shore; Home in SC!


The day after our dinner with The Army in Longmont, we drove to Denver airport for Suzanne to board a flight to Scottsdale... but the trip to the airport wasn't without "its moments". I had called the day before to see if the departure area could accommodate our 13' high, 8' 6" wide , 60' long motor coach and car towed astern. The police lady laughed and said, "Sir, there is an 8' 6" limit there; you might want to drive to the Mt. Elbert shuttle lot." Thank you, ma'am!!! Even so, I still had to disconnect the car when I got there because the map didn't show a dead end on the road to the shuttle lot. Sigh...







While Suzanne was in Arizona at the Scottsdale Soul Summit, the puppies and I drove across country to Cincinnati, where she would meet us. We stopped in Wakeeney, Kansas; Lee's Summit, Missouri; Grayville, Illinois (really); and North Bend, Ohio. It was a long trip, but fortunately, Rudy is a pretty good bus driver, especially in cruise control, although we have to be careful because his legs are so short that he has difficulty reaching the brake pedal. Gretchen is the lookout, and will bark at him when cars cut in front of us and we need to brake. 








Rudy reads voraciously, and one of his favorite books is The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein. He loves to race, and we had to put a speed limiting governor on the bus to keep our speed down below 80...





















While crossing Kansas, I stopped at the Eisenhower Presidential Museum and Library in Abilene. It's an amazing museum, and as an "I Like Ike" guy, I was particularly grateful to have the opportunity to experience this national historic site and learn more about Dwight David Eisenhower. I recommend it highly to every American.







Sunset is always a favorite time of day for me, partly because I'm not crazy about getting up before dawn... this photo was taken while on a walk near our campground in Lee's Summit, Missouri. Just after taking it, I heard the yip-howls of several coyotes (ki-otes) (Canis latrans) in the distance. They are rarely a threat to humans, but dogs are often prey of the prairie wolf, as they were known in the 18th-19th Centuries. They are found in almost every state today. 











When Suzanne joined us in Cincinnati, we had some special time with Ty and Brian Smith, dear friends who are also Shining Light Parents. Ty and I share the same nickname (she is Tywana and I am Tyler), and Brian and Suzanne are both authors. Ty and Brian opened their home for Suzanne to use for a SHIFT Network interview (see Suzanne's web site for more info). This was the first time we had been to Cincinnati, and unfortunately, we only had one night there. (Maybe next year.) But Ty and Brian allowed Suzanne to do a radio interview with SHIFT Network CEO Stephen Dinan from Ty's meditation room...












From Cincinnati, we drove east to West Virginia, and then to Maryland, where we met up with a great sailing friend, Jim W., a Vietnam era Navy guy who became an airline pilot and an accomplished sailboat captain. We have met up with Jim and Dianne twice during our cross-country trip, and look forward to more time with them in the future (they were staying at a friend's house... a tiny hovel...







While in Maryland, My Lovely Bride had a radio show scheduled... when booking our campgrounds, I always ask whether they have AT&T or Verizon cell service, or good Wi-Fi. When we checked into our campsite at an Elks Lodge on the  Eastern Shore of Maryland, everything looked great.. Our next door neighbors in another RV had asked me to have a beer with them at the Elks Lodge Bar, which had a secure door that you had to ring a buzzer for, and the bartender would buzz you in. We were at 30 minutes into her show, when everyone in the bar was shocked to hear a loud banging on the door, and there is a CRAZY WOMAN, fortunately not carrying a weapon, trying to get into the bar. I said to the young bartender, "Michelle, please let her in, it's my wife, not a psychopath..." Suzanne rushes in, and yells, "I need anyone's cell phone, right NOW!" Our neighbors (in a mild state of shock)  gave up their cell phone, and MLB (in Commander Mode) proceeded to find a table in the corner, away from most of the bar noise, and continued her radio show... turns out that her AT&T cell phone dropped off line, and she had no communications with the techs back in Lee's Summit, Missouri, at Unity Village... it was one of those "aw shit" moments that as a naval officer, she was prepared to overcome. Somehow, she maintained her sense of humor and finished the show with her listeners none the wiser, while I just had another beer with our friends who had to wait for her to finish with their cell phone. 


From Maryland, we headed south down the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Virginia, one of the prettiest parts of the USA, lots of corn fields, rivers and estuaries, and small towns with homes of fishermen, crabbers and oystermen. 














Our babies, Rudy and Gretchen, are almost 15 and 14 now, and sleep a lot; their favorite place is in their Dog Mom's lap, as you can see...



















After a couple of VERY LONG driving days, we arrived back in Hilton Head, SC, and went to see our dear friends Irene and Tony Vouvalides. Our new house (still being built) is only 3 doors down from theirs, and they have been our personal project supervisors while we were on the road (much to the good-natured chagrin of our official construction project manager, who is a great guy). After parking our car in their driveway, Tony and Irene walked us down to see our almost-completed home, and had a bottle of Champagne ready to open when we got there, followed by one of Irene's gourmet dinners. It was a glorious last day of our 2019 Tour.





Finally, I must mention a note I received from six attractive young women (Shelley, Amanda, Jenny, Cathy, Jolene and Muffy) ... a note which initially surprised MLB, and provided a moment or four of consternation, but then ended in hysterical laughter. It read something like this, "Ty, it was great meeting you, and we look forward to seeing more of you in the future..." Suzanne at first thought it was from some Hooters girls, but she calmed down when I told her, "No, Sweetheart, these were the nurses who did my colonoscopy..."




Okay, one last note and photo: To everyone who follows this blog, thank you for your kind notes, comments and support during our 2019 Summer Tour. We have been living in our RV since January, and are now staying in a campground about three miles from our new house. We hope to move into it in a month or so, but having this "hateful" view every day at sunset isn't all bad. 




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