Saturday, September 20, 2008

Froggi Hops to a New Blog

Well, now that Stu and I are together we have decided to start a new blog together and leave our current blogs as history. I have already copied some of my later blog entries to the new blog and shortly will be posting an update of the last week or so.

Soooooo, change your bookmarks, adjust your blog readers to 2 Taking a 5th and join in our adventures as we travel the country!

Keep on rollin',
Froggi/Donna

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Catching Up....

Things are a bit hectic here but I know everyone is wondering what's up so here's the short version.

  • Drove from White Sulfur Springs, MT to Colorado Springs, CO with only one teensy little defugalty. Hadn't towed in a while (almost 2 months) and forgot to turn off the key at night. Ended up in northern CO with a dead battery in the car. Got that taken care of at the Longmont Camping World where I stopped to get tire covers.
  • Spent a quiet night in the campground, got gas, argued with the bottle of Sta-bil that didn't want to transfer to the gas tank, moved the RV to the storage lot.
  • Unloaded the rest of the stuff out of the RV into daughter's car, stored my bicycle in the RV, then got the winterization done.
  • Went to visit some old friends who stored my rifel & handgun and took possession of the spare set of keys (in case I need something shipped to me) and had a great lunch at a local Chinese restaurant (best Chinese food in years).
  • Went to the airport to pick up the rental car (daughter took possession of my old car), found out their lot was off-site, finally got the car, headed to the hotel for a rest before dinner.
  • Nice dinner with some other friends, almost closed the restaurant while we chatted (daughter & grandson there as well), headed back to the hotel to find about 30 kids in the lobby registering.
  • Woke up realizing that 1) I had forgotten some food in the pantry and 2) the generator never got serviced. Called the RV folks to get the generator done and headed back to the storage lot. Had hoped to meet some friends in Colorado Springs but by the time this was all done it was too close to time to turn in the rental car (2pm deadline).
  • Plane took off for Chicago on time, not full so I got to move to an empty seat with no one beside me. Flight attendant gave me the wrong gate, fortunately I checked the monitor. Walked - LONG walk - to the next concourse.
  • Half hour late out of Chicago to Baltimore (BWI) and full...cramped flying but finished reading my book. Arrived close to on time, met Stu in the baggage claim.
  • Since then it has been a whirlwind of sorting my stuff into his stuff, finding spots for everything, mailing another box of stuff back to my daughter, tossing a few things topped with meeting a TON of family & friends. Been eating out WAY too much. Tonight? Out to meet more friends for dinner....LOL!
  • Tomorrow we load everything up and head to Gettysburg. We'll be meeting up with other retired firefighter friends for a weekend of fun as well as a lunch with some of my motorcycle friends on Sunday. Monday we move to a different park in Gettysburg and relax a bit before heading to Highland NY to meet with my late husband's youngest daughter & her family (Micki, Eric & the kids - Matthew, Abbi, Zoe & Luke). After that we'll wander somewhere in eastern PA till the 24th when we get the RV serviced in Pottstown, PA.
  • Back to Stevensville where we have another motorcycle friend lunch in Prince Frederick on the 27th, will attend the Renaissance Faire on the 28th (something I've never done but always wanted to), do the Red Hats ride in honor of Fallen Firefighters on 10/4 and somewhere in the middle of all that have a homemade pizza night for the family (Stu makes it from scratch....).

I will blog when I can but for a while things will stay pretty hectic...as you can see! Having an absolute blast....LIFE IS GOOD!

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Froggi/Donna

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Halfway.....

Just a quick travel note....I left White Sulfur Springs at 3:30 pm on Tuesday afternoon. I spent Tuesday night at the Old West RV Park in Reed Point as planned. I got an early start (for me) and hit the road at 7:45 am.

Traffic was light, skies clear for most of the day, comfortable temperatures and I made good time. I ended up in Wheatland, WY for the night at Mountain View RV Park (after my GPS lied to me...LOL!).

This put me about 80 miles ahead of my planned stop for the night so I can sleep in a little tomorrow. I'll stop at Camping World in Longmont, CO to pick up tire cover for the rig. Then will meet with my daughter at the Park and Ride north of Denver and close to her house. We'll load up the car with refrig/pantry/cleaning goods and take them to her house. She'll take me back to the RV and I will head to Colorado Springs. She'll arrive later in the day after picking up my grandson from his 4H meeting.

Friday and Saturday will be FULL-FULL-FULL days so I doubt I will be posting again before Monday (at the earliest). I don't arrive in Baltimore until almost midnight on Saturday. In the meantime, just know that I'm having FUN-FUN-FUN!!!

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Froggi/Donna

Monday, September 01, 2008

Wild, Wacky, Wonderful, Weird Weather

The weather has decided to show its true Montana colors the last week or two. One day we have a high of 97, the next it's 65. Then back to averages in low 80s....nice. Followed by a dramatic change yesterday. Severe storm warnings....thunder, rain, hail....and we got it all. Made for an interesting sky.




The rain and hail didn't hit until the sun starting peeking out again.



Within 10 minutes the temperature dropped from 65 to 48. The low last night was forecast in the mid-30's. I have no idea what it finally was, my outside thermometer came in yesterday morning as I packed up all my outside gear in preparation for leaving tomorrow afternoon. It then rained most of the night and off & on early this morning.

The topper of the day, I thought, was discovering on a the Sunday before Labor Day that my propane tank read empty. Glad I have the electric space heater!

But the REAL topper was this morning as I ran last minute errands and enjoyed breakfast out. Snow....yup, you heard me, SNOW. For the last couple of hours it's been snowing off & on. Too warm to stick, still fun to watch....from inside.

I work this afternoon till 7 pm but don't expect to be very busy. Tomorrow is a morning shift but I hope to take the RV out for propane & gas before hitting work at 10 am. I get off at 2:30 and hope to be on the road by 3:30. Will spend the night in Reed Point, MT at the Old West RV Park where Stu & I stayed twice. Will be in Colorado Springs late afternoon, early evening on Thursday. Winterizing the rig on Friday as well as seeing family & friends. Flight out of the Springs on Saturday, headed to Baltimore and my sweetie...the start of a wonderful new adventure!

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Froggi/Donna

Sunday, August 31, 2008

70th National Folk Festival - Butte MT (7/12-13/2008)

When I hear the words "Folk Festival", I envision Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Kingston Trio and Peter Paul and Mary. Well, the 70th National Folk Festival completely changed my mind. Take a look at the list of performers and you'll see what I mean.

From the website: "Music and dance traditions from every part of the nation are represented, performed by the country’s very finest traditional artists. Audiences are treated to authentic blues, gospel, jazz, polka, cowboy, bluegrass, klezmer, old-time, Cajun, rhythm and blues, mariachi, western swing, zydeco and more. Continuous performances on seven stages celebrate Native American, Celtic, Acadian, Middle Eastern, Caribbean, East Asian, Appalachian, Hispanic, Eastern European, African and Pacific Island cultures."

What a wonderful eclectic gathering of extremely talented and passionate musicians. With only one late afternoon/evening and one full day, we saw only a small smattering of the performers. But what we saw....oh my!

The main reason for out attending was so Stu could see his retiree friends, Bill (mentioned yesterday) and Freddie, who plays in the bluegrass band, The Seldom Scene. When we arrived on Saturday afternoon, it was just in time to catch the band and meet up briefly with Freddie. When they were done we managed to meet up with Bill & Cindy (remember that proverbial needle in a haystack, thank goodness for cell phones) and headed off for drinks & something to eat. Here is a pic from Sunday after the festival ended. From left to right, Stu, Freddie & Bill.




Let me interject a little about the setting for the event. We were quite impressed with how well Butte had this set up. There were multiple stages but they were scattered throughout the closed downtown area. Rarely did the music from one stage impact that playing on another. There was a lot of walking and most of it up or down hill, but we just took our time. Parking was provided at community parking center with free shuttles to take you back & forth. The food tents were all in one location with drink tents scattered around. Another area contained souvenirs and other items to purchase.



There were people of all ages.....young and old, from babies to the elderly. Everyone was having a good time and often there was spontaneous dancing in front of the stages. At one point Cindy dragged Stu out to dance and I soon followed. First time I'd really danced in 10 years. LOL! What fun...well, except for trying to fast dance on an uneven rocky surface. We both felt it the next day.



The closing act for the night was Shemekia Copeland....she hosts Sirius Blues and I have listened to her for several years. Wonderful to see her perform in person!



From there Freddie invited us to the hotel (where all the performers were staying) to have a few drinks at the reception. We walked into the lobby and listened to a jam with folks from at least 4 different bands while we waited for Freddie. Once back in the reception area we saw the same thing repeated several more times. These people are truly passionate about their craft. Eventually we saddled up the trike and headed back to the campground, taking an interesting back road scenic route picked by the GPS.

We got a bit of a slow start on Sunday and missed the first couple of acts that we had hoped to catch. We did see The Seldom Scene performing again (different stage).



Then we wandered around, enjoyed the beautiful views as well as historic sites, ate a little and eventually caught my new favorite group, Le Vent du Nord. They were the closing act for Sunday and the crowd was very appreciative. Dancing galore....everyone getting into the act. (I have already downloaded some of their music from iTunes). We didn't understand a word they sang, but we sure enjoyed the entertainment!



So what was the cost for all this? Three days of professional music, morning - noon - night? Nothing...nada....zip...zilch...zero! Needless to say, we've already put the dates for the 71st National Folk Festival on our calendar, July 10-12 2009 in Butte. Hope to see you there!

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Froggi/Donna