Thursday, June 30, 2005

Some pictures of the bus!!

Just hanging out with the Good Sam crowd. (We parked here first!)

Every luxury motorcoach needs one of these! This is a custom-welded rack, that Uncle Bob Klein crafted for us out of sheet metal before our very eyes! It is so strong, Dave can dance on the thing! (The black portion on the right.) The green portion is the base of the generator. Uncle Bob welded that on our bumper too (with bars underneath to support it), and then tailored the black portion to match. We attached a rugged tool box on the other side, you know, to make it look more symmetrical and classy! Zak designed and built the shelter. Mommy and Solomon John shingled!

Daddy (aka Dave "I don't do hardware" Klein) rigged up this gas can with a fuel line to power the generator. It worked great! We know now we need to ADD OIL to keep this thing running!

Zak and Solomon got quite used to climbing up and getting under the hood, to refill the radiator and check the oil. What's nice on a schoolbus is you can also get ON the hood...even if you have a dozen children!

Of course, alot of work goes into preparing for a trip like this. Here are some members of the janitorial team!

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Told you we'd post photos!

This is our first photo up on our blog, yay! All us Kleins in Monterey Park, California. What a lovely day! Thanks for the photos, Kerrie and family!!!

Oh, a post script for our generator problems: it needed oil! Ha ha ha ha! Humpf.

Departure date for Mexico, Lord willing, Friday, July 1, noonish.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

The end of the road... for now.

Well, as we had hoped, we drove all night long. At about 4 AM, Debbie awoke from the table bed directly behind Dave's driver's seat, because she heard the ominous sound of Dave slapping his own face to keep himself awake. Its a very slight sound, but like the click that used to preceed the blast of her AM clock radio, it triggers an awake response like nothing else. ( Note from Dave: I was doing that for about 2 hours before she woke up. )

Last night, as we entered Texas, we enjoyed a hot meal...canned beans and store-bought tortillas heated by our very own diesel engine. Solomon laid them all out on the floor, and in just a few miles, they were toasty and ready to eat. Unfortunately, we could not find the can opener. So, Solomon and Ben whipped out their trusty pocket knives (a definate extra benefit from homeschooling, you can carry a pocket knife!), and pried opend the cans of beans.

After dinner, we cleaned up and got the beds made and I am telling you it was warm in Texas! The further south we drove through the night, the more humid it became, a definate sign we were nearing home. I had been telling some of the children with chapped lips that that problem would soon be gone once we got home!

So, at the dawn's early light, Debbie relieved Dave of driving, and we continued on till about San Antonio. Dave navigated that metropolis, and we were Rio Grande Valley bound! Wa-hoo! Dave resumed his sleeping in the snuggly warm back bedroom, and Debbie drove until Giddy-Doo needed a refil. Then Zak took over. He was a little rusty at first, but eventually, he gained confidence and took us just north of Corpus Christi. At that point, Debbie navigated through several towns, in the hopes of finding the westbound state highway that takes us to US 281 and home. Driving slowly through the towns meant less ventilation, so that was not the most enjoyable part of the day.

During Dave's nap, we passed a marquee wishing all fathers a HAPPY FATHERS DAY! Oh no! Happy Father's Day to our Grandpas in California too! Ug! I reminded the kids and they all scrambled to decorate the ceiling of the bus with father's day cards.

As we neared a familiar McDonalds about 2 hours from home, Dave woke and informed us he was taking us to lunch. He took over the driving and didn't notice the ceiling of the bus until we emerged into the McDonald's parking lot. He had forgotten too!

We enjoyed AIR CONDITIONING for a good long time, and the manager treated all the kids to free chocolate chip cookies!

Before too long, we were on the road, counting down the miles and landmarks until we got to our home! Safe and sound, praise the LORD, at about 6 PM.

We found everything secure and neater than we remembered leaving it. We proceeded to figure out the procedure for unloading and laundry and all that. The house is still just starting to cool down after not having the air conditioner on for so long.

Our current plan is to postpone the Mexico portion of our trip until July 1. During that trip, it is likely that blogging will be alot less frequent, but we will see.

We thank you for following the blog, and if you have any comments, feel free to eem us at daveanddebklein@yahoo.com!

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Yucca blooms

Yuccas are these tree/plants that look like Cousin It after putting his finger in a light socket. They spike a stem 3-4 feet high from Cousin It's scalp, and have marvelous cream colored blooms that look like bridal bouquets. They cover the wide, flat, cloudless desert.

Its been toasty here on the bus. Since we are moving east, we devised a way to double-cover the sunny side windows on the bus (usually the south side) with our velcro edged window covers, to keep it shadier. Then we open windows on the opposite side.

The floor of the bus heats up as the day progresses. We found a lone fig bar in a package on the floor, and after taking a bite, found it was crispy on the outside & hot inside! Like a pop tart.

Last night we drove till we dropped, at about 10 pm, finishing a stretch of over 24 hours from Sacramento! Praise the Lord for safety & not overheating!

We finally stopped at FORT WILCOX RV CAMPGROUND in Wilcox, Arizona. It was so nice! First, it was big. Second, it was friendly. The night self-registration informed us we could park & square up in the morning. We found a pull through right next to the laundry/shower building. The ladies and men's showers (separate of course) were just like a grandma's bathroom, clean, cute, homey. The pay shower (water rationing) was stuck on, which was a blessing, because we only had enough quarters for 2 laundry loads (we put extra cash in our registration). Oh, and the laundry room was filled with laundry supplies, in case you didn't have any.

Wilcox is small, and the cool evening, and black velvet sky, well, you get the idea.

Today we blitzed through New Mexico, Land of Enchanting Diesel Prices, $2.69 a gallon, like I am so sure. We held out till Texas as much as possible, and now in Texas, $2.19. Hoping to get home by tomorrow afternoon. We are right outside El Paso now, I think.

Friday, June 17, 2005

On a bus with no name

We are driving through the desert now. The generator
runs, but won't power anything. Fortunately, our
inverter does run for now. It had been overheating,
but we have a box fan running. So we can keep
curtains closed for shade, but still have ventilation.
And we're not buying gas
for it.

We passed many radiator water stops ("Caution possible
killer bee activity") on another stretch of grade at
about 9am. Praise the Lord we haven't needed to stop!

We always do this routine with the chiidren when
they're young: "Who made the world?" And they say:
GOD did! "Who made the trees?" GOD did! "Who made
the stars?" GOD did! But then we'd see a man-made
object, and they'd at first say God made the truck or
house or whatever. No, we'd say, people did that, but
GOD made the people. But it made me feel a bit
defensive inside, like, why couldn't God make a house
or truck?

Duh! A house or a truck is like a playdoh snail
compared to a tree or fish, or generator! He is the
best engineer in the universe! Even though the rest
of our stuff will be as hot as the desert or hotter
(engine), our bodies will remain right at 98.6 because
of our personal cooling systems! Good ol' sweat!

Dave is enjoying some much needed sleep in the
recovering taco bed. The boys are pumping diesel. We
just crossed a beautiful river which God made, and are
now in Arizona! A guy just came up to us to
complement the bus: "You're living my dream!"

Susanna just gave me a hug, "We have six wheels, "
she said accurately, "two in front and two in back!"

Through the Grapevine, 3 am, 35 mph, AOK!

¡No hay problemo!

We made it with no problems through the pass over the
Tehachapis on I 5. We are at Palm Desert, in the Palm
Springs area. Its very windy and bright and 80
degrees. Dave's gonna try to install the new fuel
filter on the generator, so we can use the roof a/c.
Otherwise, we will be one hot tamale.

Grandma had her bi-monthy infusion therapy this a.m.
so it didn't work out to see her. Perhaps we can see
Grandma & Grandpa Yearwood (Auntie Susie's inlaws)
near Tuscon? Dave thinks we can make it there by
tonight & maybe hit a camground. We'll see.

All but Dave are rolling around the beds and starting
to rouse. There's alot of stuff on the floor. Its
good to be home.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

So long Sacramento!

We are 30 miles south of Sacramento at 6:45 pm local
time. We have said goodbye to the same folks quite a
few times. Its raining today, and about 69 degrees in
our bus. The temp gauge on the instrument panel
continues to stay down there. Praise the LORD!

We are again so happy to be back in the bus, and so
glad our delay helped us to visit folks longer.

We will drive late as we can tonight, and hope to
visit Great Grandma Eunice sometime tomorrow, if its a
good day for her.

Solomon is our little full service man! He has his
gloves & handles filling & draining everything.

Welp, will write later!

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

One more slight delay

Earlier this evening Grandpa Edd was in such a generous mood with that he gave us his neighbors table saw! OOPS! Don't worry Dad, at least now we have more experience loading table saws on the bus! So, tomorrow morning we will head back to swap with the one he was going to give us, his, which is at the shop. It will be a good excuse to have one more round of goodbye hugs. Then we're heading south. Really.

Time to head south

The last couple of days have been very busy! We have tried to make the most of the time that our bus/home has been in the shop.

Yesterday (Tuesday), Debbie and the children did alot of driving in the "minivan" (15 pass rental van), while Dave hung out at Future Ford and got some work done while taking advantage of their free coffee. The rest of us had a wonderful time with Auntie Susie and Alex, Allison, and Baby Emily ("Booper Lovely" as we call her) at the Folsom Zoo/Park. Sammy was quite sick, so we didn't actually go to the zoo, but parts of it came to us. We mommies spent alot of time kicking back on the blankie with the babies, while the older cousins kept everyone local for us. Grandma Penny treated all the cousins to a fun train ride, and everyone played on the playground and had lunch. It was really nice.

After finding our way out of Folsom, Debbie and children ventured to the Fair Oaks part of town, and saw long time family friend NANCY SALEMI, proud grandma of two. Our visit was short but sweet! It has been so many years! Thanks for inviting us, Nancy!

Then we tracked down Auntie Dawnel, also in Fair Oaks, and arranged to have her pop by in her new car. When I say new, I mean used, but after 14 years with the same Honda, it sure is new to her!

Then we headed over to Uncle Eddie and Auntie Dena's house, and seeing the house empty and doors unlocked, proceeded to use the facilities and return the much appreciated CD's they lent us...just in time for them to arrive home and find us stuffing their trash cans with our rental car garbage. Oops! We love you guys! Thanks!

So, the Ford place gave us leave to take the bus home that night, as it still needed one more part replaced. The part would arrive the next morning (that's today -- Wednesday!) That was nice!

Dave and boys went to HOME DEPOT (no place like it) to get some hardware, while Debbie and Aunti Dawnel tried to settle the rest of the children in their sleeping bags. After Dave returned, Debbie and Dawnel stepped out in Dawnel's new car and did a little shopping and a lot of talking, till 1 AM or something. It was great! Love you sis!

We returned the rental van this morning early (also Wednesday), and became a one car family again!

The latest on the bus was that it needed a "fan clutch", and as mentioned, it would arrive this morning (Wednesday) at 9 AM. The waiting room at Future Ford is not that big, and staying at the house would slow us down in alot of ways, so we asked Grandpa Edd and Bachan if Debbie and 11 of the children could hang out at CREATIVE T'S N THINGS. They graciously agreed. Are they nuts or what? So we loaded up a few necessities for the day, roughly about 100 lbs of stuff, and invaded their shop. We found it very fun and interesting. We worked on getting our homeschool group newsletter typeset, printed, collated and stuffed and addressed. Noah was the only one to lock himself in the bathroom. That was refreshing. We were given massive doses of cookies by Grandpa Edd. Bachan (Grandma Mabel -- Bachan is Japanese for Grandma) did a couple of loads of laundry with their inhouse laundry set up.

Dave and Ben were able to test the bus on a good nearby hill by the Ford shop, and it did well...even without the heater running! Wow! Just like old times!

Eventually Dave and Ben picked us up and we were reunited, and then Grandpa Bill and Grandma Penny dropped in to CREATIVE T'S N THINGS to say a last goodbye and check out the cool wheels. We are so thankful for their help in housing us, and mechanical advice and catering delicious picnic lunches in the park. We love you!

Then, we were invited to Grandpa Edd and Bachan's pad for pizza, and enjoyed some time with Bachan's daughter Kimi and children Devante and Azaria (sorry if I mangled those names!). They loaded us down with various tools and things, and we are very thankful for their hospitality! We love you!

Now we are gearing up to do a few RV furniture repairs, clean up the house and bus and blow this taco stand we call Sacramento. We will be heading south, at least to Tuscon, Arizona. From there, we'll decide if we will attempt Mexico or just head back to deep south Texas. It's possible that we could do Mexico at a later date on a separate trip. We wil be praying about which way to go.

We have seen so many folks and so much of Sacramento, it has been amazing! We know God held us over here for a reason.

Monday, June 13, 2005

A note from Zak


Well, it's been very interesting yesterday, today, and, probably, forever. We finally got the bus back from the shop, just in time to put it back in. Personally I've been jumping around our rental van (if it may be called be called jumping) trying to keep the littler kids quiet/alive, cleaning up Sammy's 'cheeseburgers' that didn't quite stay down, and be lazy all at the same time. Quite a challenge, I can assure you. In case you needed assurance. If you didn't, sorry.
We had an interesting clash of emotions (or some other fancy sounding [something fancy sounding]) after getting the bus out. First we were all excited that everything was ready, then we were excited that Future Ford was open late enough for us to get it back in the shop.

This all seems to be a big blow but thinking about it, it really could be worse. Paul, after all, was delayed months on his journey, and he also had some major 'mechanical difficulties' with his vehicle. We're just not quite as flexible as they were back then. But the same God who got Paul where he needed to go is still here and working, and we know He'll get us to wherever we need to go, when we need to get there. It's a frustrating view from our angle, but, as we have seen over and over, our vision isn't much to boast about.

Back to the Future...

Hello from Sacramento, and, like, you know, we are totally like absorbing the ambience so like totally nobody knows we are really Texans. On Mars.

We have enjoyed spending time with Debbie's family and others and were very happy to hear that our rebuilt radiator arrived last Friday, and would be all installed this AFTERNOON! Yay Future Ford!

The Sacramento area is this growing sprawling metropolis, and we are on one end of it, and Future Ford is on the other end. So, we drove Daddy-Dave out to Future Ford, where he is heavily investing in their cappucuino machine, and drove out to our end, to shop vac the van so we could return it. But, due to a teency detail, we had to drive back to Future Ford, to get the key to Grandma Penny's house (where we have been staying). So, we went to get the key, and there was a conspicuous SCHOOL BUS RV CONVERSION in the lot, as they were done with our bus, YAY! So, we did a quick swap of keys and children, and Dave waited to foot the bill, and Debbie and kids hopped on the road back to the rental/dwelling region of the metropolis. When suddenly, Sammy's tummy errupted.

At this juncture, Dave called on his cell, and the familiar ringing sound of our radiator alarm was going off in the background. It was overheating. So, we made plans to meet up at Future Ford, after I made a quick stop at Target to get some cleaning supplies and to supplement Sammy's wardrobe.

So, we finally got back to the Future Ford spot, where they had said we were first on the list for tomorrow's work load! The van rental place said we could keep the van for a few more days, as needed, so we loaded up and the details are probably getting scrambled, but you get the general idea. We are still here for the time being.

Today, while stopping by to say good bye to Grandpa Edd and Bachan at CREATIVE T'S N THINGS, we found a perfect minivan bench to replace the driver's bench for our bus. We had a delegation of kids take it up the street to their shop, 1/2 a block from the trash heap. They graciously offered to store it for us till the bus is out of the shop, and Grandpa Edd gave Debbie a custom made Tshirt, with a motto that occurred to her when we first pulled up at CREATIVE T'S N THINGS:

"I'd rather be poor than ignert"

Thanks Grandpa Edd!

Well, that is all for now. We are having the kids make up lists of things we are thankful for. We are still really convinced God has us on this trip for His reasons and we will just wait and see what is up!

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Southbound Interstate 5, 30 miles south of Sacto

We left this morning from Grandma and Grandpa's. Had to call AAA to get the keys which were locked in the van first! Didn't take too long. Its a genetic thing.

Noah has come into 16 quarters, which he carries around in his pockets. I noticed he really wanted to foot the bill for a 12 pack of sodies at the truck stop here, but he just told me he had 3 quarters. That reminds me that we need to frisk the little kids for any of cousin Jami's toys.

Anywho, yesterday, we had the pleasure of meeting Aunt Jennie and Uncle Toby, Aunt Dolores, Aunt Mary Lou and Cousin Kerrie, with Ryan, Ashley, and Kaitlin, and Aunt Lupe and Uncle Don! Wow! They joined us with Grandma and Grandpa for a fun picnic dinner, and we are so blessed to see them all! Thanks for coming and please email photos ASAP!

We will add photos to this blog eventually, bear with us!

Anyway, we got out the door a bit later than we hoped, but hopefully poor Grandma can rebuild the house before her next batch of relatives makes it over, THIS MORNING! (Auntie Susie said she would have to level her house after we left, ha ha?)

So, we will be back in Sacramento until our bus radiator is rebuilt, and then we hope to make it to Mexico as fast as our little transmission will carry us. We miss our bus so much, but the air conditioning in the rental van has been a blessing! Also, thanks Uncle Eddie for the tunes! Zak is picking up so many of them by EAR, like "They that go down to the sea in ships" which has been Ben's lullaby since he was a little Klein.

So we miss our bus and we are missing the elbow room. And bathroom, and running water and tables and the whole enchilada! But, we are still having a great time visiting and that's what counts!

Friday, June 10, 2005

Day 23

We are having a great time here at Klein HQ, Monterey Park, California! Last night we had a cousin fest, count 'em, THIRTEEN!, starting at McDonalds and ending up at Grandma and Grandpa's house for some hot dogs and macaroni and cheese! Jami Lyn is the local cousin in this region. She will be 7 this month! It was a great time! She left happy and perhaps a bit stunned.

Today, we are hoping to link up with some of the Delgadillos at Barnes Memorial Park in Monterey Park. About 3 PM local time.

We are planning to head north either tonight (Friday night) or Saturday morning (early) to Sacramento. We are hoping to head out early to hook up with Uncle Shawn and Ryan in Sacramento. But knowing Grandpa, nobody is getting out of here until we have some paslo food (ice cream).

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

i'm bloggin' it

We are at Mc Donalds after a wonderful evening spent with wonderful people! Since we are sans RV, we don't have the luxury of bathroom breaks in transit, and we knew if we didn't stop before getting back to our part of town, we'd have some wet, sleepy-heads. And McD also has internet, wow.

Tomorrow we hope to leave from Sacramento and head south to Los Angeles, as previously mentioned. Even though we can't take the RV and are kind of making two trips down south, we are thankful to have some faster wheels, and the smaller size will make navigation easier in certain parts of L.A.

Last night, we got to see our dear friend Arlene and her daughter Tara, and Tara's three little children. We enjoyed a wonderful visit, first time since 2001, I guess. Then we headed over to Creative T's N Things, domain of Grandpa Edd and Bachan (Grandma Mabel). We enjoyed a tour of their new facilities and diet cream soda. A silk-screen shop is a scary place for a mom with lots of little ones, as they have gallons of this special silk-screen ink that NEVER DRIES. They don't even bother to put the lids back on the tubs of it. It only dries after running through a special garmen heater, which bakes it on or something. Fortunately, we seemed to escape without mishap...this time. We had a nice dinner with them, visited their house, and Bachan (Japanese for "grandma") loaded us down with a whole lot of shelf-stable convenience foods. Thanks alot!

Today, we visited Auntie Chris Todd, and daughter Lisa, and grandbaby Emily! That was alot of fun for all of us too. Dave hung back at the laundromat, getting caught up on some work. We hear Lisa is EXPECTING AGAIN! We ladies and kids played at the park and had a bite to eat, before we had to head back to get Daddy, and head towards the site of the evening gathering.

We met with family and friends at Rusch Park for a bring your own dinner thang. It was so wonderful to see folks we haven't seen for maybe 10 years! Wow! Thank you so much for coming everyone! Grandpa Bill seemed to enjoy having certain grandchildren show an interest in his unique method of baby tooth extraction, Grandma Penny fed us like kings, Uncle Eddie wailed away Petra songs, Baby Danielle packed away enough watermelon to maybe double her body weight...it was all around really neat. We feel very loved! I wish we could have given folks more lead time, as we know everyone is busy, but maybe next time.

So, get ready for the Kleins of the Rio Grande, all you folks down south!

Good news/Good news

"I think the LORD is trying to teach us to not make plans, and let Him make the plans!" Hannah, 10

Welp, the nice folks at Future Ford (we won't put in the interesting insights our kids had about THAT name) squeezed our 38 foot bus in a bit ahead of the pack and pronounced that we need a new radiator. Only, that a new radiator no longer existed for our bus. So, they are sending our old one out to be rebuilt, just somewhere here in the area. At least one week till its ready.

So, we have rented a 15 pass van ("the mini van"), and are whizzing around at posted speed limits with the greatest of ease, although its hard to break the habit of allowing 3 car lengths before you pass someone.

Grandma Penny's pad is working out very nice as our landing pad.

Had wonderful visits here in Sacramento which we hope to document ASAP.

Current hope is to leave sometime mid-morning TOMORROW - WEDNESDAY for the Los Angeles area, using the "mini van". Hope to arrive by sunset or so at Grandma and Grandpa Klein's house (will call during the drive!). Then, we will high-tail it back to Sacramento on the weekend to pick up our home away from home, and head to El Paso, TX.

Will try to post more after our get together tonight at Rusch Park, 5 PM till dark, Citrus Heights!

Sunday, June 05, 2005

All about Almanor

This is a recap of the time we had in Lake Almanor with Debbie's sister Susie, and her family, and Debbie and Susie's mom, who lives near Susie. This was from Thursday, June 2 to Saturday, June 4. Two of the longest days Mike and Susie have ever known, no doubt!

Mike and Susie had a copy of the Klein flash card pack, and had been brushing up on our names and did a FABULOUS job! Wow!

Mike and Susie are the parents of Alex and Alison (twins, 5 in July) and baby Emily (6 mos). The have lived at Lake Almanor since the twins were 7 mos old. Mike jumps out of helicopters into forest fires, stuff like that. The kids were in rapt wonder as he told stories about his time in Texas, helping with the Space Shuttle recovery effot, fending off snakes in thorn bush terrain, accidentally swallowing a poisionous spider, 14 hour days, etc. (Debbie noticed the bugged out eyes of some of the children, and slyly elbowed Dave, suggesting he tell of some of the harrowing computer bugs he has dealt with, drinking an entire pot of coffee in 4 hours, etc.)

Susie worked for the Susanville school district, until Baby Emily came along. Now she is home full time and doing a great job with her little nuts.

As mentioned, they have what some people would consider a forest in their backyard, and it smells like there is a pine scent tree car freshener factory nearby. Really grates on you, you know?

So, they got pines, they got rivers, they got volcanic rock, they drink melted snow from the tap, pine cones, mountains. Apart from that, its really not that bad.

Mike has a small Home Depot thing going on in his garage, and made modifications to the taco bed, and gave Dave and the boys a beginner's tour of the engine, since he works with similar vehicles in his work. That was tremendously helpful. After a few beers, he said our bus looked pretty good, and we would probably make it to Sacramento without a problem, since it was mostly downhill.

While the guys were doing mechanic-y things, Susie and Debbie took most of the children on a walk around their neighborhood. It was a beautiful day. Since we had been so swamped with cleaning up the bus and airing out our sleeping bags (they now smell like pristine pine forest, sigh), we didn't lounge and chat as much as we would have liked. But it was still great to spend some time together and see how well she is doing. We are talking them into flying south for the winter, before all that irritating white stuff takes over their area.

The Yearwood cousins adapted well with the inundation of Klein cousins, and enduring Noah's "Big Wheel Overload Syndrome". Next time we need to work on turn-taking skills.

Grandma Birdy enjoyed a day with all the grandchildren, and we got some great photos with her and us. Grandma has gotten herself a computer, and she's not afraid to tell people about it. Hopefully she is reading the blog by now. Hi Grandma! We love you! Thanks for the stuff!

One of Debbie's funniest memories is when Susie explained she was turning on her engine a few minutes before departure to run the air conditioner. It was funny because after 3 weeks in the bus, I could not tell her Toyota minivan was even on!

So it was a great time, and we are so glad we made it up there. We would definately do it again, and give the Yearwood lodge a 14 star rating!

Our rough and sketchy itenerary revision

We are slapping another revised itenerary on the blog again.

We are thinking we'll be in Sacramento until Wednesday morning. This is contingent on when we can get our wheels all tuned up and everything. Grandma Penny, our former landlady, has graciously allowed us to use her pad, which we lived in when Ben, Sarah, and Solomon John were born! That will be good because some of us still have this persistent cough thing going on.

We were tossing around the idea of a park/BBQ/potluck thing on Tuesday night, June 7, starting at 3 or whatever, like a come and go thing. If any locals are interested in that, please email us at daveanddebklein@yahoo.com, or you can call us at 956-533-0076.

If we can get our bus worked on and ready for the Grapevine grade, we will leave for Los Angeles Wednesday morning, but probably take it in two days, arriving on Thursday noonish, June 9th. But we have no idea how this bus fixing thing will go. We probably need some new belts, perhaps in a tone that matches our new tire (???)

Room in the inn

We made it down the mountain a.o.k., praise the LORD! Our radiator heats up, but we just crank that good ol' heater, which was SUCH a wonderful thing when we were in chilly Wyoming and South Dakota. Here in Sacramento, its a little overkill. The generator doesn't work, so we don't have air conditioning. So we have the heater on and the windows down!

We arrived in the evening after dinner and connected with Grandpa Bill and Grandma Penny at Rusch Park for ICE CREAM. The little girls always get a kick out of the names Bill and Penny...because they are both monetary terms. We reviewed all the zillions of photos that the kids took with Sarah's new/used camera (12th birthday present). Lots of pictures of our fun time in Lake Almanor, and elsewhere. And of course we took a few photos. Eventually it got darker and darker, so we had to call it a night.

Since it was getting late, our hope was to find a place to empty our waste tank, take showers, the whole enchilada. On a Saturday night, without reservations. So we headed out to the only campground we knew of, in Loomis, and prayed for a spot, and for a wireless internet, too. We arrived when the office was closed, and the night registration box had "campground full" markers. We noticed you could pay a small fee to empty your waste tank, so we did that, and figured we'd be on our way.

Then this guy in a pickup showed up and asked about if we had paid our fee. He learned we had been looking for a place to stay, and pointed just across the driveway to an open slot and invited us to take it. He is a caretaker. Oh, by the way, the campground has wireless internet too. So we praise the LORD for that!

Our plans were not without some snags. After loading up all of our clean clothes for a late night trip to the shower, we realized we had no clean towels. Oh well.

Tomorrow we hope to do some visiting and some laundry, not necessarily in that order. Good night.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Who needs all these trees anyway?

Well, we are getting ready to head down to Sacramento, after enjoying a too-short visit with the Yearwood family. Uncle Mike has just looked under the hood, and seems to think we can make it to Sacramento, where we hope a new world of Ford motor accessories will be within sneezing distance.

It is really beautiful up here at Lake Almanor, and the Yearwoods have a forest in their backyard! It is very fun. Too fun! All the cousins have had a very good time, and we got to see Grandma Birdy, whom we presented with a hummingbird feeder.

So, we will be hoping to get to the flat land this evening and hopefully we will see lots of folks during our visit there!

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Right back where we started from!

Howdy! We picked up Grandma Birdy in Susanville, and made it over to Lake Almanor, to Susie and Mike's place. Baby Emily sits on my lap as I type. We only slightly overheated on the way here, and Mike is very interested in looking under the hood and doing things to our radiator.

It is very nice here and we will chow down soon!

Happy Birthdays!

Today, Sarah Elizabeth is TWELVE! Traditionally, we
let the birthday girl/boy choose their favorite sugary
breakfast cereal. Sarah chose Cap'n Crunch & Lucky

Uncle Eddie is 39! Traditionally we write him a
birthday song. We will have to work on that. Happy
birthday, Uncle Eddie! See you soon!

We are leaving Winnemucca with haste, and I guess
we'll pick up Grandma Birdy (Chris) on the way to Mike
& Susie's.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Winnemucca, Nevada

We are circling the bus at the Hi-Desert RV
campground. We are about 167 miles from Reno.

Debbie went into the campground office, while Dave,
wearing a tye-dye T-shirt (from Microsoft!) sat in the
school bus with the children. But we had no problem
getting a spot. No RV snobbery sd far.

Night night.

Pacific Time!

Here we are in Wells, Nevada. Zak has been driving,
but Daddy took over before we drove into town.

Solomon is pumping and the boys are doing the holding
tank thang.

Nowhere fast

TDS came out and delivered us a "new" tire & tube last
night. Actually a new tire would mess up the other
dually, and cost $200 more. So they kindly saved us
a truck call and were very kind.

So we got in line at the 24/7 truck shop and had
dinner at the in-house Taco Bell with our pal, Bill
Kleinbach, who has 12 children (grown).

Three hours later, our number was up, but it was a big
zero, as they couldn't handle our split rims.

Split rims are largely phased out in the States. They
are very common in Mexico, as they allow the driver to
fix his own flats without special equipment on the
road. The rim is made of two connecting "c" shaped

However, if not installed with wisdom & caution, fatal
accident (decapitations) can occur. So they are less
common in the States.

So we were told to try Big O in the morning. We
camped out in the Walmart lot, enjoying a morning
thunderstorm. We tried the nearby Big O, but that
was also a big zero.

So, then we tried good ol' TDS, and they said no
problem! Now our new tire is all installed!

Bill, last night, adjusted our brakes (they had been
pulling right), and tightened belts. He is between
jobs and lives out of a small camper which houses him
& his tools. Until his new job in June starts, he
just hangs out here, helping out travelers. He would
accept no money from us.

So today we hope to cross the Great Salt Desert, and
see how far we get. Its 10 am.