Thursday, April 27, 2017

In Search of a Shower House

We were told there was a shower house at St. Vrain State Park.  We knew it would have a "nominal" fee. This morning Alex set out for the turned out to be a toilet. He looked around and could find no other buildings. Michael checked the map. Nothing.

I wanted to KNOW if there were showers, as I planned to write a review of the park.  Yuuki and I went for a walk. In a new place it is quite a challenge to get her nose to cooperate with her feet and my walking pace. πŸΆπŸ‘©πŸΆ

We saw geese, ducks, various birds  and hawks - but no Eagles. We saw fishermen and fellow "campers."  We did not see a shower house.  I did see a conflab of people in little golf carts. The golf cart is the universally accepted sign of a camp host. I queried the group. There IS a shower house - on the NORTH SIDE.  After some discussion I was told it would be .25 for 4 minutes.

Back at Uchi, the others were working through the shower. I mentioned I'd found showers and they were on the north side. I went about battening down the hatches for travel. Finally, I realized Alex was gone. Nolan said he'd gone to the showers. I needed to tell him WHERE they were - but he had left his phone and was nowhere to be seen. This reminded me of the years when "Zander" was a runner. He's come a long ways but we had a conundrum. We were pretty sure Alex didn't have a clue the showers were up by the entrance to the park at the CPW building.   But if we left, we couldn't tell him where we were.

Nolan and Yuuki went to find Alex. Finally calling that they'd found a building and were told where to go for the showers. They hadn't seen Alex.  We were ready to leave.

Alex walked up just about then. He reported the shower was .75 for 4 min, but he had found it and enjoyed it greatly.  The slides were in, hoses stored - we called Nolan. He would walk toward the gate and there was "no way" we could miss him.

Reunited, we left the park about 30 min behind schedule - but we're retired - who has a schedule??!!

NEWS - Gherkin Alaskan Migration of 2017


Any guesses as to what this group is doing?????

Izaak and Cory are booking airline tickets to ALASKA, and renting U-haul trailers to carry their household goods up the AlCan.

I believe Bella and Arielle are scouting out the route for the AlCan travelers!

Did you catch that CORY was booking tickets and renting a U-haul! We're so very excited.

Easter afternoon Cory told us he and Arielle would be joining the great Gherkin Alaskan Migration of 2017.  We knew they had decided to transfer their New Hope credits into a degree from Lancaster Bible College.  Lancaster and New Hope are partner colleges.  Transferring will allow them to finish their degrees online. This will save money, and they felt it was time for a change.  They were no longer location dependent and were praying about staying in OR, moving to WA or, as it turns out, moving to Alaska.

I am STUNNED, and am simply watching what God is doing in amazement. I joked with Michael I wouldn't move to Alaska unless he promised me a hot tub. He did.  Ultimately, we both agreed we wouldn't retire in Alaska as it would be too far from the Gherkins.  JaRissa got married and moved to Alaska - and made living in Alaska look really fun. Josiah is moving up  in May 2017. BreZaak decided to move to Alaska.  I told Izaak I needed a sauna. He said he can build me one. I'm jokingly holding out for "10 acres and a llama" at this point. ::snort::

I always dreamed of living near all my children. But the GHERKINS were settling in OR, WA, TX....and we planned to move to Japan. I figured, with our ministry lifestyles and the military lifestyle, it was an unrealistic dream. So many dreams have shifted in the past two years - this one has unexpectedly shifted into reality.πŸ™ŒπŸ’—πŸ™Œ

This summer Krista will be at Maxwell AFB. The other eight Gherkins will be in Alaska....tears of joy (Jamin is spending the summer up there).

All that remains is to find our dream home. 🏑 Many are planning to land there as they transition.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

St. Vrain Colorado State Park

Kudos to the state of Colorado! St. Vrain State Park outside of Fort Collins is an excellent concept.  The park is right off I-25 in Firestone, CO. Their website says they are conveniently located for families who want a break. This is true....but they are also PERFECT for travelers.   This time of year we were able to drive in and get it spot without a reservation - though they said they fill up on the weekends.
Our site
All the sites are 40 ft, pull-thrus. When traveling it is nice not to have to unhook the Jeep for an over-nighter.  The sites are spacious, level, concrete pads. Each has a wind block, a table and fire grill. Most are situated around pounds. There are showers and bathrooms. A word about the shower house is in order. It is on the NORTH side of the park, and can be quite a hike from man of the loops. The shower costs $.75 for 4 minutes. There are tent sites, water/electric sites, and full hook up sites. There is a dump station on the grounds.
Great fire rings and wind breaks
Flush toilets in each loop 
There are trails, wildlife, catch and release fishing and you could bring a canoe etc and enjoy paddling around. For the traveler they are close to many local attractions.  It was quiet.

Lots of ponds like this - with sites around them 

Each pond has a well-maintained trail for walking and easy fishing access

The State Park Entrance fee is $7 and the over night fee for a full hook up was $28.00. 

We are thrilled with this find and highly recommend it to those traveling through the area. Visit their site for more info and full fees. For campground suggestions click campgrounds, private parks, state parks in the side bar.

Weather Adventures, Japanese and Travel

We added a twist to our travel routine today.  We attempted the boys' Japanese Class, instead of cancelling for the week.


The boys were good sports. They aren't used to photos and videos while taking lessons. 

Michael timed it so that we took care of a bit of business and weren't moving for much of the time they were online with their teachers. This is good as Nolan got motion sick in the bit of time we were driving and he was trying to watch the screen and dialogue. We had hoped to find a grocery store before it was time for lessons - but we didn't.  When we woke up this morning in Rock Springs it felt like snow to us. We used the lesson time  to prepare for stormy conditions.
Filled up our propane tank

Washed Windows

Topped off the diesel tank

Checked tire pressure before the passes
The windshield view was ever-changing today as we made our way across the state of Wyoming and into Colorado.  Here are a few glimpses of the #ViewFromMyWindshield.
Always sobering to see the underside of a semi
 We called this snog - snow and fog. 
Been a long time since we drove in a white out

First time to drive Uchi in a snow storm

Clearing up 
  Then it was BEAUTIFUL! 

 Kudos to Petro Truck Stops for Truckers Chapels

It was a long and slow day of travel. We decided not to push on to Earl and Mary's tonight. We are at a state campground off I-25 and will finish the trip tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Rock Springs/Green River KOA

We spent the night at the Rock Springs/Green River KOA.  We had read mixed reviews, but quite honestly, we wanted a full hookup so we could do some laundry and take long, hot showers.  There wasn't a lot of choice in this area - and we were ready to stop.


  • All the amenities you'd expect from a KOA
  • Friendly staff
  • Night check in 
  • 10% Military Discount
  • Conveniently located to I-80

  • The petroleum plant isn't a great view - but we chose to look at the mountains - didn't bother us
  • It was a mud hole. It really was. We knew there would be "gravel sites," but there was very little gravel and mostly dirt.

Actual freight wagon from the early 1900's used by a local homesteader
Mountains ring the campground

 Will we stay here on our return trip? The boys were covered in mud dealing with the hook ups. The RV collected quite a bit of mud inside and out.... we'll stay somewhere else if it is raining when we pass through again.

Otherwise, it's a great overnight stop. Quiet and clean.

It is possible that later in the spring they bring in more gravel?


I opened the curtain to get the big view and this is what met me!  The very picture of irony!
Not so much ::snort:: 

After a "short," but LONG, night of overnighting with the trucks, I felt anything but rested.  We woke with the trucks in ID....

Drove all day...

... and ended the day in a mud hole in WY.  We PAID to stay at this KOA. LOL

It was a quiet location, with hot showers and electricity.  Perfect, except for the mud. Today we finish our trek through Wyoming and enter Colorado. 

A Name for Baby D2 (BreZaak's Baby)

Excerpt from BreZaak's blog And They Lived Joyfully Ever After

Baby D2 has a real name! Actually, he has had a name for quite a while now. In fact, he was named eight years ago. I took a fancy to his name and the meaning. I wrote in my journal to "my future husband" about it. Years later, when I was pregnant with Bella and we didn't know we were having a girl, Izaak read that entry. The name was the only name we had when we went to the ultra sound where we found out she was a girl. Needless to say, Bella was the wrong child for the name. Baby D2, however, is the right child. Drum roll, please! His name is...   
Via Google Images

Gideon was a biblical judge through whom God gave miraculous victory to the Israelites over the Midianites. He was like you and me in that he was a normal guy with questions, fears, and doubts. Yet, once he had confirmation that he was hearing from God, he led with incredible faith and obedience! He was nothing without God. Yet, God saw what he could be. He sent His angel to him to say, "The Lord is with you, O valiant warrior" (Judges 6:12). His first assignment was to tear down the alter of Baal and the Asherah pole of his father "and build an altar to the Lord your God on the top of this stronghold" (Judges 6:26a). This was such a defining point in his life that his name was changed because of it. Later, God directed him to reduce his army twice. In faith-filled obedience to God; he went from having 32,000 men to 300 men. God wanted it to be known that He had given the victory, not the number of men in their army. After the defeat of their enemies, the Israelites tried to make Gideon their king. He, however, refused saying that God was their king. Israel enjoyed forty years of peace while Gideon was their judge.

He was not perfect. In fact, the Bible records his failings along with his victories. However, he was a valiant warrior who led with incredible faith. God used this man to show His power.

May our son also be valiant, full of faith, and obedient to God. May he be God's warrior to display God's power. May he know that he is a mere man without God and always give the glory to Him. May he be a leader in his generation who tears down strongholds of previous generations. However, may he not (as Gideon did) establish new strongholds. Rather, may he establish alters to God that would last for future generations. May the Lord be ever with him!

His middle names are a tribute to Izaak and I's fathers. Both of those men are a part of our story and thus a part of Gideon's story.

As a tribute to Izaak's father, Tom, he will have Tom's middle name: Vinton. This is a family name that has been passed down for five generations. Gideon will be the sixth generation. We do not know it's meaning. However, we wonder if it is related to Vincent (meaning: conquering) and Vinson (meaning: the conqueror's son).

Gideon will also receive my father's name: Michael. Michael means "who is like the Lord?" May he be a man that ever points people to God has his Grandpa Mike before him has. May he be a strong, gentle, gracious, leader as his Grandpa Mike is.

We haven't decided the order of his middle names, but these will be them.