Mar and Gar's Adventures

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The Last Chapter(s)

We are safely home and I will try to catch you up on everything.  I had many days without wifi, so could not post.  I am very jealous of Denise’s little Verizon do-hickey that let her get on the internet almost anywhere.  Might need to try to justify that for me

I decided all the names and people might be a little confusing for some of you, so came up with a chart and a description of everyone, so it makes more sense.  Hope it helps.  Click on the chart for a bigger view, then go back to the post.  I think that works…

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Chart Description

The Hub –  Logger Dan and Denise.  Dan logged with Kasey Kahne’s dad.  Dan & Denise’s first Nascar race.

Arlene & Joe – Neighbors of Dan & Denise.  Know Busch’s, Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne and many more.  Arlene was texting with Busch’s mother, phone calls with Tony.  Got hot pit passes for Dan & Denise.  Got Dale Jr’s autograph for Garry on Dale Sr’s. coat.

Dennis from Pahrump – Grew up in Enumclaw with Dan, logged with him.

Bill & Judy – Des Moines Yacht Club friends.  Good friends of Dan & Denise for years.  Lots of fishing adventures to tell.

Bill & Jan – Des Moines Yacht Club friends.  Stayed with them at Lake Havasu for a few days.

Brian –  Good friend of ours.  Dan cut down some trees for him this year.

Randy & Terri – Des Moines Yacht Club friends.  Happened to be down for the race  and were watching over in the grandstands.  Terri’s older sister used to baby sit Kasey Kahne.

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So, about the actual race day.  It was great weather – not too hot, and in fact some clouds came in later and I put on a jacket.  The viewing platforms were awesome.  We could see most of the course and had a great view of the big screen.   For those who did not want to venture to the rooftops, we had a 42″ tv for viewing that we brought from our boat.  We hooked it up to Dan’s rv in one of his side compartments and could

Some of our neighbors

watch it sitting under the awnings of the motorhomes.  It was so convenient to be on the infield.  We splurged and got passes to the Neon Garage – a spectator area where we could see into the team garages, see the driver’s meeting on race day, hear bands, get food, and if we wanted could be in Victory Lane after the race.   I took some pictures of driver’s going to the driver’s meeting but I was up on level 2, standing on a bench, so the pictures are of the tops of heads.  Have no idea who I really go, but it was fun.  If the people down below started cheering I started taking pictures.

Dale Earnhardt Jr

Our guy, Kasey Kahne, had a bad day.  Garry has retired his Kahne shirt and is going to pick a new favorite driver or two.   I have always  been a non-fan of Kyle Busch and Tony Stewart, but after meeting Arlene, who knows them personally, I am willing to change allegiance some; especially about Tony.   He seems to have matured and he sure ran a great race.  My theory is that you buy a generic souvenier t-shirt rather than a specific driver.  Then you can like anyone.

Anyway, after a super quick tear down of rooftop stands after the race (how did it take 3 days to make them and 2 hours to take them down??), those who needed to head out took off for town, leaving Dan & Denise and Garry & I to spend Sunday night at the race site for one last night.    We were ready to head out by 8:30 the next morning.

On our roof

If we get a chance to do it again, we would definitely do the infield.  It was a blast.  And I figure the money we spent to be able to do it was more than saved by not going into town and gambling and paying for a room on the Strip somewhere.  Not to mention all the meals we would have eaten out.  I believe in psych talk that is

Kahne had the pole, but never led a lap

called rationalization.

THE DRIVE HOME

So, Monday I navigated us as best I could to miss major freeways and we got to Valencia, Ca and found a nice RV park for the night.   We had just gone to bed when I heard someone trying to get in our motorhome.   Gar jumped up – only wearing his shorts, I might add – threw open the door and after a few comments scared the guy off.  The funny part, it was an older guy carrying a laptop that got confused and thought it was his RV.  After my heart started beating normally again, we laughed alot about it.  I mean, really, how could anyone confuse our Ma & Pa Kettle RV with theirs?

Tuesday we hit US 1 and started up the California coast.  After a brief stop at Morro Bay we stayed at a State Park just south of San Simeon and the Hearst Castle.  Garry got his bonfire and we cooked polish dogs on the fire and had a great night.  Wednesday we head up the coast along the Big Sur area.  The predicted bad weather started coming in.   Highway 1 is very narrow and windy and I was white knuckled alot.  It was also very

Firestarter always works

rainy and wind-ee as oppsed to windy.  We made it through Theresa’s old college town of Santa Cruz a couple hours before it started flooding.   We successfully made it through San Francisco (that flooded in areas later that night) and took Hwy 1 to Bodega Bay.  More rain, flooding, wind, slides, narrow narrow roads and white knuckles.   In total, we went 203 miles in 10 hours and were exhausted that night!

Weather reports were getting worse and worse so instead of doing the rest of the white knuckle drive we backtracked 6 miles and headed over to Hwy 101.  Why be on the coast when you can’t see it?   We put in a long day, making it all the way to Coos Bay, Oregon.

We had heard about a winter storm that had hit several days before but it was amazing to see what it had done.  From Coos Bay all the way to Astoria (on Friday) we saw flooding, slides, snow on the sides of the roads, and trees blown down and knocked down by snow as  if one big huge gust of wind took everything down at once.  Trees were laying on their sides in nice little lines – some just snapped off and others with their entire root base.  It must have been some storm!

New friends at Morro Bay

A not so fun discovery on Thursday night was that our back window had started leaking so our pillows and part of the bed were wet, so we took that as a sign to definitely head for home.   Friday’s weather was better so we stayed on the coast and enjoyed the views but did not stop and linger.

Made it home to Des Moines on Friday at 3:15 p.m. after leaving Coos Bay and 6:30 that morning.  Another long day, but it was so nice to be home.

The trip was 3,412 miles.   Gas prices ranged from $3.51 to $4.89.  Five loads of laundry done.  Mail is sorted and organized.  Whew!  Overall a great trip but there is no place like home!

Planning the route home

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Vegas Adventure Begins

Well, we are successfully set up on the infield at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.   Here is how it all happened.  Last summer we learned that boating friends Logger Dan & his wife Denise were going to go to the race and be on the infield.  Bill & Judy Bryant were going to stay with them.  Well, that got Gar all excited and next thing you know we are going also.   Logger Dan is friends with Kasey Kahne’s dad and Gar is a huge Kahne fan, so it was meant to happen.

We have been to Daytona twice and California Speedway once, but never on the infield.  It is quite the experience.   Our tickets let us be here from Monday til noon the Monday after the race.  There are hundreds and hundreds of RVs of all shapes and sizes.  With the ticket package we have grandstand seats for Saturday’s Nationwide race, but we watch the Sunday race from our motorhomes.  You really can only

New friends helping with viewing platform

see a small portion from there so  many people build viewing platforms on top of their rvs.  There are all sorts of rules on what you can and cannot do.  For example, nothing can touch the ground.  That would require a building permit.  The base of your structure cannot be more than 12 inches high and there must be a railing all the way around.

We got here Tuesday and Logger Dan and Denise showed up about 2 hours after us.  After many trips to Lowes Gar and Dan started constructing our platform on Wednesday.   Dan was waiting for Bill and Judy to show up on Thursday before he started his.

We are right next to Nellis AFB so there are lots of fighter jets coming and going; the Stealth Bomber shows up from time to time; and the Thunderbirds were practicing on Wednesday for their show over the raceway this weekend.  It gets pretty noisy and exciting.

You may wonder what we do about water and full holding tanks.  Well, there are companies that drive around and for a fee ($$$$!) will pump your tanks, fill your tanks, sell you propane.  You can also buy bagged ice.  So we are pretty set.

All our neighboring rvs are very friendly.  We are in the second row right behind turn 3.  If they show any pictures, the rv right in front of us on the turn has a large cutout of Kyle Busch on top of his rv.  Otherwise we are just one of the many crammed in..  but we will wave for you!

Others coming to join us are Bill & Jan Lande.. They arrive today sometime and are staying in a motel.  Good friend Brian Halvorsen arrived Wednesday night but we haven’t seen him.  He is staying on the strip and will join us today.  He did the Vegas thing yesterday.  He joined the  Kyle Busch slot tourney at the Riviera and made it to the top 16, won $ and got to shake Kyle’s hand.  If it was me, I would have quickly washed my hand, but he had a great time.

Kasey Kahne's car #5 Farmers Insurance

Some time this morning Dan and Denise are meeting up with friends who got them hot pit credentials and are going to take them on a tour of the garages and pits.

Qualifying starts this morning so things will be loud soon.   The Nationwide race is noon on Saturday, the Sprint Cup race is 2:00 on Sunday but we need to remember daylight savings time.

On a side note regarding those winds on Monday – Dan met a guy who had a brand new truck that had to get a new windshield from all the sand pitting.  Guess his new paint job didn’t do so well either.   Just after we crossed the Hoover Dam area, I-95 and I-93 were both closed for a few hours due to wind and dust.

Will post more probably Sunday – possibly tomorrow…


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Brrrrr

We woke up an hour early forgetting about the time difference being back on PDT.  It is 37 degrees out, and with a windchill it is 27 degrees and rain threatening at the Motor Speedway.  That is to be short lived.  It is still windy, but only gusting to 35 mph today, then better tomorrow…..we hope….

Just saw on the news that the people who started camping early at the Speedway had flying port-a-pottys all over the place.  One is still unaccounted for.  We are glad we stayed at the Hitching Post RV park about 1 mile away.  We will head down mid-day to set up camp.

 


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Wild Wamsley Weather

We have done it again! We continue the Wamsley tradition of crazy weather wherever we go! It doesn’t happen every day but often enough that people think we take it with us.

We left Yuma to head to Peoria for a Mariner’s spring training game on Monday. It was a great game against the Padres. Everyone at the game was friendly, helpful and we had a great time. But upcoming weather reports were ‘interesting’ so we left early and headed to Kingman. We stayed at a great RV Park and after some laundry and a rv wash this morning we headed to Las Vegas with predictions of lots of wind.

White knuckled and sweaty hands (me) and not worried (Gar) we drove to Vegas. Winds were about 50 mph as we crossed the Hoover Dam route. We found out later today there were power outages and the highway to Laughlin was closed for awhile due to sand storms.

Got to Vegas about noon…Checked into our RV place then drove to the Speedway to check out our infield RV spot. That was a great idea because now we know what to expect tomorrow when we go in for the rest of the week.

Anyway, Las Vegas went from 82 degrees to the current 59 with tomorrow’s high predicted of 54. Winds hit from 60 to 70 mph. Flights were delayed for hours at the airport and due to sand storms and poor visibility. There were times we could barely see one block today.

They say we may have some rain tonight. Hmmm. It must be us.

We went to dinner at the bar/restaurant attached to our rv park. The cook was sick (went home early… not feeling good from her hysterectomy)… the head bartender was in a car accident today so not there. One girl did the bar, the food, and everything else. Now it was a small place, but still… she did a great job. She offered one NY steak option and nothing else. It was great. She gave us the military ‘discount and comp’d a drink for us.

We are heading pretty early for the race track in the morning. We will probably have no wifi unless I can hack into someone. So until after the race you won’t hear from me..


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Car Show Yuma

Getting late here so will post fast, but must mention friend Mike McQuade’s ’53 (or is it a ’54??) Mercury was on the front page of the Yuma paper today…. showing him and friends throwing candy to parade watchers last night. It was blowing dust and sand about 30 plus mph so was interesting, to say the least.

The car show was great today. About 1000 cars. We think we found the shade of red that we want for the Malibu back at home.

Off early in the morning for Peoria or thereabouts…


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Windy Yuma

We are in sunny but windy Yuma.  It is fairly cool – only up to 69 today, but is to start warming up on Sunday (the day we leave).  We left Lake Havasu and the Landes on Wednesday.  There was so much good news that day that outweighed the bad!

The cause of the leak

The fuel leak is completely fixed!   Yay!   The bad news is that now we can fill the tank to the top it is a shock to the system to see the tab for almost 50 gallons of gas.  More good news!   The door seems to be staying closed as we bee bop around corners at death defying speeds.  No more bungee cord holding the door closed.   And the side mirror on the passenger side is holding its position.

By the time we got to Yuma it was evening.  We had decided to stay at the Caravan Oasis RV Resort that our friends Dick & Davie have stayed at for years.  They sold their place last year, but we have been here before and it is close to stores and to McQuades.

So, we get set up, bbq dinner and doing fine until I try to do dishes.  What?  No hot water?  Argh…Gar checked outside where the igniter place is and the wires are melted.  So, it becomes a Thursday project and no shower Thursday morning.  Makes me not a happy camper.

Imagine our surprise when we go to the office Thursday morning to register and we see Dick playing volleyball!   Well, I was shocked, but Gar thought they were renting a place here and sure enough he was right.  Gotta give him credit when that happens!   Dick was totally shocked to see us!

Because we are staying for several days in Yuma we decided to rent a car to get to the events and places on our list, so Thursday morning I called Enterprise and they came and picked me up (just like the commercial).  Gar was going to work on the hot water problem while I was gone.  Well, I got back and there is Dick visiting and they tell me to go ahead and do the dishes.  I turn on the water and it is hot!  Turns out the whole problem was a miscommunication between the rv and us.  We had hooked up to city water for the first time instead of using the pump and there is some sort of shutoff that we haven’t found yet that tells the rv not to access the hot water.  In other words, it was working the whole time but we didn’t know that..   Gar did replace the wires and connectors though, since they didn’t look safe.

We have a list of things to do on Thursday.  Got to the huge swap meet was tops on Garry’s list.  Then we looked up a guy named Hans.  We have never met Hans (not the one in Bullhead City – a different one).  This Hans is an expert on Tohatsu motors and last year he was the ‘go to’ guy who helped over the phone with problems we were having with our motor.  The Tohatsu is a 50 hp motor for our tender to our big boat.  Anyway, we found Hans and gave him a belated thank you gift of wine.  We then headed to Dick and Davie’s for cocktails and then headed to our place.

Backtracking a bit, when we originally decided to come to Yuma it was because we heard about this huge car show this weekend, Midnight At The Oasis.. Car parade, show, bands…A huge 3 day event.  Mike McQuade is going to have his Merc in the parade and show.   We had debated on staying in the rv next door to Mike’s at his brothers’s place, but thought it might be easier to do the RV park because Mike & Bette were having lots of company for the car show, but we called them last night and went up to visit for awhile and they insisted that they were expecting us up there, so we are moving later today.  We leave with that group this afternoon in a 12 person van to go to the parade, then we go out to dinner.  Should be fun times!

Bar in the Desert with Landes and Keenans