Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Kick-back Day

Intermittent rain and a knowledge that very active days are ahead led us to just kick back today. We ran a few errands to buy an extra black ink printer cartridge, an air filler nozzle with tire pressure gauge for the compressor, a bottle of Awesome cleaner at the Dollar store, and a few other odds and ends. Afternoon naps were also high on the list of priorities. We thought about doing some ‘touristy’ thing, but we’ve both been here in Great Falls before, and other things took priority.

We got the Acer notepad computer set up with the new Logitech speakers, and Don managed to control all the miscellaneous wires and cables so they’re out of the way and almost invisible. (The small lamp on the floor won’t be there when we travel – I didn’t intend it to show up in the pic.) The GPS sensor sits on the dash where it can pick up all the satellites for navigation.


We’re departing tomorrow for Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. We’ll cross the US-Canada border at Sweetgrass, Montana. The day’s trip will be about 186 miles. If you can see the details in the map below, it’s the entire route from Great Falls, MT to Dawson Creek, BC. We’ll have several nights on the road, with plans that might change as we move along. As lots of RVers say, “Our plans are set in Jello.”


With the Alt-Tab key combo, we can switch between Microsoft Streets & Trips to the Silverleaf software that monitors the motorhome. (Actual numbers appear when the engine is running. The ?? change to numbers 1 to 6 replacing the ?’s, showing the Allison transmission gears while rolling down the road.)


Don is more interested in using Silverleaf than I am, but we can both hear directions from MS S&T in the background now that we have external speakers. And I’m starting to appreciate the extra information that the Silverleaf system gives us.

We hosted happy hour starting about 4 pm today for Dennis & Carol and Larry & Marilyn. As usual, the ‘girls’ ended up in one section of our living/eating area, and the ‘boys’ in the other. All of us seemed to have no problems keeping conversations going! And we girls decided to find time in our travels to do some craft projects. All 3 of us have lots of experience with various yarn crafts, and we look forward to sharing ideas with each other.

During happy hour we also worked toward reducing the amount of wine/liquor we have on board so maybe the border inspectors won’t penalize us too much. We made a little headway, maybe a lot of headway! And the excitement level is rising as we anticipate adventures ahead! Now it’s early to bed for the relatively short, but important and significant, drive ahead.

One final note: We’ll be turning off our cell phones while we’re in Canada to avoid the high rates for international calls. We’ll still be in touch through email and this blog, so feel free to comment or send messages.


  1. Thanks for the tip on the speakers. I bought the same ones today for my TV and they work great. Sound is sooooo much better than the speaker on the TV.

  2. We loved our trip to Alaska in 2009. It's all on our blog. Take your time and just let the scenery roll by. You have to spend at least a night or two at Liard Hot Springs up near Watson Lake. The three pools are wonderful. No hookups, $19/night back when we went through. Safe travels. We are following all of your blogs.

  3. O Boy, I been wanting one of those silverleaf setups myself. I love gadgets like that, the more info you hsve the better... That $350.00 bucks for the computer cable kills me,,,,now I can handle the free software!!LOL I'll get over the sticker shock one of these days and buy one...
    You guys have a fun and safe trip and tell the rest of the gang hello!! We sure would like to be with you.....never made Alaska and I'm quickly growing older every day.. Gotta do it soon!!

  4. We are sure looking forward to revisiting Alaska with you guys, especially since you'll surely visit many places we did not see. In my experience, the more "headway" you make into reducing the amount of alcohol aboard, the more "headache" you have the next day!

  5. We are about two weeks behind you -- well actually, we are going into Canada from Sumas, WA (east of Seattle) and will meet you on the road. We plan to add the "North American" Canadian plan to our existing Verizon VOICE plan so we can use our phones. Service fee is not that much and you turn it off when you return to the lower-48 and the fees are prorated for only the time used. We WILL turn the Verizon DATA USB modem off while in Canada and just use wi-fi hot spots to retrieve emails. Also will turn off the Droid smartphone data service.


Please tell me what you think, either here, on Facebook, or by email. I *love* comments!