Sunday, August 27, 2006

Hello from Mammoth Caves!!!

We are now settled in at a WiFi KOA campground in Bowling Green, Kentucky. We have not posted anything on our blog for a few days. What an adventure we have had so far. We have traveled through 11 states in 11 days ( Utah, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky). The day we left the Black Hills we drove a few hours and then realized that our trailer brakes and lights were not working. We pulled off the road and checked the elecrical cord between the Toyota and the trailer and the cord had come off the SUV and we had been dragging it for some time. The cord was way beyond repair. We drove to the next "big" town called Mitchell, South Dakota. We made it into the town around 8 pm and a large storm was closing in above us. We rushed around the town looking for a new electrical cord, but no one sells that part. We were told by many of the stores to check with an RV dealer in town the next morning. We were not to excited about the idea of having to stay the night. That part of SD was becoming very, very humid. The trailer was roasting inside. There was no way we could sweat it out literally in the trailer over night without power. We headed over to the RV dealer and knowing that it was getting dark and it was 8:30 now, we probably had no chance of them being opened. The sign said they closed at 7pm, but we went around to the garage anyway hopeing to find someone. Well we found a man that worked at the Dealership, told him our problem and he had us up and running in about an hour. What a great guy (we tipped him well)! We then headed out of there and made it to our Wal-mart sleeping destination in Sioux City, Iowa. Before we set out yesterday morning we did our normal check around the trailer to make sure nothing was broke or out of place. We then realized that the spare tire cover had flown away some where between South Dakota and Iowa.....go figure! We packed the kids in the car and headed for Winter Quarters, Nebraska. For most of our friends and family, you know that this was one of the places that the Mormon pioneers stayed at on their way to Utah. We walked around the temple grounds and visited the visitor center. We watched a short movie about the area and its pioneer history and at the beginning of it they show one of our (Steve's)pioneer relatives picture. It brought the experience closer to home. (the kids will tell you that seeing a black squirel here was a major highlight! We've never seen a jet black squirel before)We headed off driving knowing now that our next destination was going to be Mammoth Cave in Kentucky. We put alot of miles behind us yesterday and ended the day at a Wal-mart parking lot in Evansville, Kentucky. We left early this morning because the heat was too much in the trailer. We drove a few hours to Bowling Green, Kentucky. We found a nice KOA campground, which means electrical hookups, which means A/C!!! We went swimming at the pool and met a nice LDS homeschooling family with 4 boys from GA. Tonight we went to Mammoth Cave. Julie had seen on their website that they had an evening program, so we went and had dinner at Mammoth Cave Hotel. We then waited for a ranger to show up to do the program at the Visitor center, but it was a no-show. Bummer! We are having lots of fun, despite some of our little setbacks. We only wish you could join us on this adventure. We think we will see the Caves tomorrow sometime and stay one more night at the KOA (we still have not hit the miniature golf course). Julie and the kids are fast asleep now and I am pretty tired my self, so I will close this blog, please forgive my rambling. Julie will usually check what I have written and by time she's done going over it all, its not the same blog that I had typed. (Julie here... I only changed a few things ; ) Love from the Sloan Clan -Good night-

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Update 22 August 2006

Hello all, we hope all is well in your lives. Who would have thought we would be enjoying the Black Hills of South Dakota as much as we are. We had planned on being here for one day, that has now turned into three days. We have seen Mount Rushmore's night program, (spectacular!!), we have driven through Sturgis (missed bike week by 2 weeks, thank goodness), We traveled today through Custer State Park and saw many more buffalo, mnt goats, bighorn sheep, pronghorn, prairie dogs and wild turkeys. We were told we would see wild donkeys, but we did not see any. We took the kids this morning into Rapid City to Storybook Island. They tell us that was the best part of the day. Wouldn't you know it, that was actually the only thing we did today that was free! We also went to see Jewel caves, but they were sold out of tours, maybe tomorrow. Tonight we finished with a drive through a place called the Needles (way cool)! We finally have WiFi reception tonight at the RV park we are staying at. We will try to stay updated as much as possible. We did not think it would be this hard to find reception. The kids are working on and have earned a slew of Jr. Ranger badges. They are trying to see how many they can get. They can't wait to show and tell Toby ( their cousin ) everything they have done and seen. Under the Big Dipper tonight, love Steve and Julie

Monday, August 21, 2006

On the road (Aug. 15, 2006)

Today we finalized the sale of our house. We finished packing our travel trailer and SUV and left for our plan B trip. We are not going to Alaska now, because of the late closing of our home about 3 weeks late. We looked at the weather in Alaska for the next 2 weeks and the temps are in the mid 60’s and nothing in the for-cast, but rain. We figure we wouldn’t get out of the trailer with it raining so much and that wouldn’t be the trip that we wanted to take. So now Plan-B will be taking us to North and South Carolina to look for a new home. On our way out East, we will be doing a little American history. First stop is no other than Yellow Stone National Park. We only made it to Idaho Falls, Idaho tonight. Its late and time to put the kids to bed we are spending the night at a place called “DAD’s” Truck stop.

Day 2 (Aug. 16, 2006)

We woke up around 9am this morning, ate breakfast and headed off for Yellow Stone. We made a detour into Idaho Falls to search out a bike shop for a bike rack, so that we could move our bikes out of the center of the trailer, its quite hard to function around 2 adult bikes in a limited space already given. We found one and headed towards Yellowstone, we made it to the town of West Yellowstone, and did a little grocery shopping. We then sat out in the car trying to connect onto the towns library WiFi with our laptop. We couldn’t get a strong signal, so we headed into Yellowstone National Park. We made it into the entrance around 6pm, We registered for a trailer site at Madison Camp Ground, emptied out at the pumps (fun for Steve!) and refilled with fresh water, before heading to our campsite. We then fixed a late dinner consisting of Tomato soup and garlic bread sticks. Then we rushed over to the amphitheater to listen to the Camp Ranger at 9pm. Put the kids to bed, and waited until about 1:00 am for Winston to finally fall asleep to little Einstein’s movie. Happy b-day Clora and June!!!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Just waiting around

So my friend (Cindy in NC) talked me into making a blog here and so far I like it. It should be easy for anyone to post a comment without signing up for anything. I promise I really am not planning on trying EVERY blog server out!
We have been hanging out at my parents just waiting to close on our house, which is empty. We have sold most of our furniture and put the rest of our stuff in a storage unit. Our trailer is packed up and ready to go. We're wishing we were on our way to Alaska, but unfortunately I think it may not happen. I've been checking the weather there and it's definitely into the rainy season already. AK averages over 10 in of rain in Sept and by the end of Sept you can get freezing rains. So we are trying to figure out plan B, C and D. With us a plan B is just not enough! We will of course post when we figure out what we are doing!
On the homeschool news front, Isabelle wrote this great story and read it to us all before the kids went to bed tonight. She has been writing alot lately and added being an author to her very LONG list of things she wants to be when she grows up! Too cute!

Isabelle, Conner, Lincoln and Winston