On mon May 5th we were getting ready to head to Clearlake when we got a phone call that Kay's dad was taken to the emergency room at the hospital. More phone calls and found out they would just keep him for the night for observation so we went on to Clearlake. Next day got another call that they were transferring him to the hospital in Springfield, Il for some tests and that he had a mild heart attack. Packed up again and got ready to head to Il. Talked about getting Kay a plane ticket back and the dog and I driving back. Received more updating phone calls and found that he was stable and not in any danger but they would be doing a procedure on him. So we all drove  back. Took Rt. 20 to I-80 and hit a snowstorm just before the interstate. Continued on and snow quit after we went over Donner Pass. What a relief! At Wells, Nv we hit another snowstorm but were able to drive thru it. In Wy we hit 2 more snowstorms one was almost a whiteout. People on the CB were saying that these storms were only a few miles long and it wouldn't take long to drive thru them. So we pushed on. Hit lots of rain. Got a little touchy at times but overall it wasn't bad. At least I didn’t have to worry about keeping the windshield clean.  Had planned to drop down to I-70 from Cheyenne, Wy but CB traffic said that Denver was undergoing severe thunderstorms with tornados. We decided to go on to Lincoln, Ne and drop down to I-70 there. By now I had been driving for 28 hrs. More phone calls and we determined that we could take a little more time to get there so we stopped for the night.

Our friends, Linda & Willie, were heading to Effingham also so we called them to see where they were and they were on I-70 almost straight south of us. Next day we dropped down from Lincoln, Ne to Kansas City to pick up I-70 and decided to stop another night. Called Linda & Willie when we were about 1/2 hour from KC and they were about 10 min from there so we decided to find an RV park on I-70 where we could meet for the evening.

Found a nice park north of Columbia, Mo. L&W were already there. While signing in the sirens went off and some guy came running in the office yelling about a tornado sighting. We went out and could see this huge tornado north of us about 2 miles. While watching, it split into 2 tornados. By the time I thought about taking pics it was dissipating so--no pics. Parked for the night and some hellacious thunderstorms came thru that evening. In the AM the RV park had lots of water standing everywhere. Drove on in to Effingham with no problems but ominous skies. Next 2 days in Eff were full of storms and high winds. Afterwards we found out that this was the series of storms that causes over 300 tornados that week. Now I remember one of the reasons we like being away from this area at this time of year --- "tornado season".

  A week later we were back on the road again heading to Utah with a stopoff at the HWH (leveling jacks) factory in Moscow, Ia. They checked them, all was OK and no charge. I had heard that they are a good company to deal with and now I know for sure.

Trip to Garland, Utah was uneventful and we arrived early AM. B&D were up already but not out & about. The place where we stayed had a fenced in yard so we had to get them to open the gate for us to pull in. The house belongs to a friend of theirs that was working on the road. B&D had a full hookup setup and Bob ran a water line and 30AMP elec for us. They had acquired a new dog since we saw them in Illinois. We laughed a lot at their 2 dogs and ours as they could run free in the yard and play. They all got along real well.  

Bob's Cochlear Implant is amazing!!!! He can hear. Remember--he has been TOTALLY deaf for over 25 years. Now he has to learn to listen. :>) He was going back to the Dr. on a weekly basis for "tuneups" and after each one he could hear better. One evening we were sitting under his awning and it started raining lightly. You could look at him and see he was trying to figure out the noise and finally he popped up and said: 'It's raining!' Besides the 'tuneups' he has to retrain his brain to interpret the sounds properly. They say it will take 9 or 10 months til he reaches the peak that he will achieve. At the rate he is going it might be sooner. He had trouble hearing on his phone so we tried ours and he can hear it fine. Guess they will be getting a new phone!

  B&D took us to where they used to live in Ogden Valley which is over a mountain from Ogden. Big lake in the middle of the valley. A very beautiful place. Then up a mountain on the other side to Causey Reservoir. Then back to Ogden to meet their friend Angella and we had a birthday party for Bob at her house later in the week.

  Kay and I took a day trip to the “Golden Spike National Historic Site”. A small park with lots of history. They run the trains once a day at 1:30PM for the tourists to see and they have a guide there that gives a short talk and answers questions. He was very knowledgeable and had some facts that we never learned in the history books. The one that really stuck with me was that when they finally met for the celebration of the railroads meeting to create our nation’s first Trans-Continental Railroad, none of the bigwigs with either RR, Union Pacific or Central Pacific, had made arrangements for a flag. They finally found one that one of the soldiers had with him as a souvenir and they flew that one. Only problem was that it was a twenty star flag and there were 37 states in the union at that time. They still fly a 20 star flag today. When you  go to the pic section, you will notice the elaborate paint job on the engines. These are exact (within ¼”) replicas of the original engines including the paint. One was a wood burner (The Jupiter) and the other was a coal burner (#119). They had a sandhopper with a tube running down in front of the wheels to drop sand for traction. The original engines were melted down during WWI as were most of the original rails. The railroad was very instrumental in the settling of the west. Wagon trains took more than six months to make the trip and ships took 6 months having to go around Cape Horn.  The trip could be made in less than 10 days by rail. I’m not sure I would have ever visited this park if I hadn’t been in the area already. Now I highly recommend it. And I think we will try and visit more of our smaller National Parks.

  While we were in Utah B&D bought a boat. A 20 footer with an inboard Mercury engine. They got it just before we left, took it to a lake, it needs a tuneup, so we never got to ride in it.

  While we were in Effingham we had our mail forwarded to us and we still haven’t got it. In Utah we got the first forwarding to that area and have never received the second one. Now we have them forward our mail by UPS. How weird is that?

  We headed out to Clearlake, Ca with stops at Winnemucca, Nv (casinos) and Boomtown (casinos) in Verdi, Nv just outside Reno. My back had started hurting me in Utah and at Boomtown it really put me down. Kay took me to the VA hosp in Reno and got me some meds and they said we needed to stay for a few more days and rest. Plus it wouldn’t be safe for me to drive with the meds they gave me. Emailed Bill & Norma (Merced, Ca) and they were on vacation that week so they drove up for 2 nights. I was able to go with the 3 of them the first night but had to stay in the MH the second night. Overdid it with my back.  While we were in Boomtown our front A/C unit started acting up and the night before we left it quit altogether. Figured we would get it fixed in the Clearlake area. Stopped at a local RV place and he checked it out. It was working fine. Checked in at the campground and within 4 hours it quit again. Daytime temps in the 100’s. The back air cannot cool the MH by itself. Temps inside get up to 85 by mid afternoon. At least it cools down to the 60’s at night.

My top teeth started hurting me all day. Found a dentist thru a friend (Mike Dwyer) and he said I had a sinus infection and an abscessed tooth. At least that explained all of the top teeth hurting at once. Got my meds and headed back to MH to let things get better.