March 10, 2014

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Downtown Murphys was host to a Volkswagen show. I had not read the local newspaper and it caught me by surprise. Our only city lot was filled row upon row with Volkswagens.

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Some of them are pretty strange critters I’d never seen before.

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See what I mean?

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I’m pretty clueless when it comes to car talk, but wisps of conversations came my way, the guys, talkin’ engines and restoration tips.

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The parts guys were all lined up in one corner, showing what extra “stuff” they are willing to part with.

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I was more attracted to folks with camper vans since I travel a good deal myself and they looked like they were having fun.

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A lift up gives a person some stand-up room.

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And, inside, a bed, and sink and stove. A small version of a motor home.

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In this similar camper van, a guy and his son had their bed in the couch position and were enjoying music and had a pot of water heating on the stove.

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He took out the old vinyl and replaced it with bamboo. Cool!

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Just about everybody of my generation either owned a Volks or knew someone who did. And, most had a ride in someone’s “Bug” if you didn’t own one. My husband and I owned two Volkswagen’s for a very short time each. I found this Karmin Ghia, and older model than ours was.  We owned it for about three weeks, a brand new Ghia, beautiful bright yellow, and it was t-boned on the way to work in Pleasanton. We never replaced the Ghia. I don’t remember what we bought after that.

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The second one we owned, looked just like this without the brows over the eyes. It was as cute as the bug, like a miniature van. We bought it second-hand and the thing blew-up on the road late at night returning from a big dinner at Castlewood Country Club, out Niles Canyon, also near Pleasanton. We had to hitch a ride home. I think it was called a “Fastback.”  It was pretty small for a big guy like my husband anyway, and we got rid of it soon after.

I enjoyed boppin’ around looking at Volkswagens. If you click on the picture below, it will take you to the 34 pictures I took. Maybe you can find your favorite Volks in the mix.

2014-3-9-Volkswagen Show


Crookston, Minnesota

September 3, 2013

Yesterday I drove the motorhome the about 90 miles from Bemidji to Crookston, Minnesota.

We continued traveling along U.S.Highway 2 West.

As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view…

Labor Day Weekend Monday Morning traffic was light…


The area is thinly populated. We passed through only a few small towns like this one..


We arrived just before noon in Crookston and parked alongside the railroad tracks behind the VFW…


After lunch we decided to take a walk around town and shoot some photos…





We saw this sign on the back of a large building…


The front of the building turned out to be the Grand Theatre. Built in 1911, it remains as the oldest continuously operating theatre in the United States. You can read about this place by clicking this link…


They allowed us to take a few photos before the afternoon movie started…





This old church has been boarded up…it apparently ran out of customers…


Adjacent and behind the church we stumbled upon Central Park. A city park that has camping…


We liked it so much, I went back and got the motorhome…


Here’s the usual dinette photo…


We continued with our walk along the river…






Central Park proved to be a pleasant and quiet place. We enjoyed our stay here very much…


Yesterday was a decent weather day. 73 degrees with 43% humidity. I could still stand lower humidity. Forecast for today is 86 degrees. YUK!

We’ll continue our westward travel later this morning.

Enjoying pretty campgrounds is another joy in the life of a full-time RVer!

The red dot on the below map shows our approximate location in the State of Minnesota. You may double left-click the map to make it larger…


Enjoying 65-75 degree temperatures with low humidity most of the year is a primary joy in the RVing lifestyle!

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”…Albert Einstein


On October 27, 2012, I created a two-minute video titled America The Beautiful. The music America The Beautiful is by Christopher W. French. The photos, which I randomly selected, are from the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, Washington and West Virginia (not shown in that order)…are mine. Yup, That’s me standing in front of the Post Office in Luckenbach, Texas…Y’all!

Click this link to start the video. Make sure you have your speakers turned on and go to full screen asap.

If you have not checked out my Ramblin Man’s Photos Blog, you can do so by clicking this link…

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2013
For more information about my three books, click this link:


May 17, 2012

The drive into Blue Lake State Park was kind of desolate. The country really opens up with few signs of human activity.  Much of the land around here is Indian Reservation. We saw Indian Ponies and cows eating the green grass along  the roadside. We could see fencing, but these animals seemed used to vehicles and had free range.

As we drove into the park, we saw this rancher and his dog riding a quarter horse and leading another horse  into the park.  This is a primitive park with no water or amenities save the lake. It took us some time to find a suitable level site away from the sand where  sharp wind gusts that come up push in that grit.  I was able to get my bike out and ride for the first time and it felt great. It’s quiet here and the peacefulness soaks into your bones after Albuquerque and Grants.  We are headed for Gallup then Canyon de Chelly.

Two hours later the quartet came back from their journey, just passing our camping spot. The horse on the left, Mash, is part thoroughbred and quarter, Paiute is a quarter horse. And Mattie, the herding dog, is part border collie. The quarter horse reminded me of my daughter’s horse and I asked if he rented them. No!  The horse on the lead is young and in training. “I just took ’em over some rough country,” he told me.  I love to ride but I hate those nags in the rental outfits.

I got to pat them down, remove a few burrs from their blankets and fur and they went on their way.

About dinner time, we saw the Indian ponies come in for a drink at the lake.  They seem used to people and ignore them.

Then more came, headed for a drink. Two colts were among the adults.

After their drink, they settled in to graze.

We watched them and some hunting raptors until the sun went down.  The motor home is outfitted with solar and we read until bedtime. We are tucked in for a quiet couple days before we move on.

Back in the sixth grade I had a Jewish manual training teacher who offered this piece of wisdom about life…”Plan your vork and vork your plan”. With his accent, the word work…sounded like vork. It seemed like good advice. Later in life I became an engineer and an ability to organize was an asset.

It’s really helpful in my RVing life. Researching an area prior to a visit is almost as much fun as going there.

Today we leave our RV Resort where we have been parked for the last ten days visiting friends and Mary’s relatives (another cousin yesterday) and head for southern Arizona. For about the next month we will be exploring much of the rather remote area basically south of Interstate Highway 8 and Mexico. A rough rectangular area of 150 x 50 miles.

Because of the remoteness…finding potential safe camping sites and places where we might empty our waste-water tanks became a concern. For the last several days, searching maps and books, but primarily searching on the Internet…I’ve managed to find some of those locations. With the help of Google Earth I’ve put this information in a manner which will help me find these locations while in the area. You may click upon the below image to see it in a larger view…

I’m not going to explain the codes to you…suffice it to say I know what they indicate. With this information available, as we explore the area for the about next month, it will greatly enhance our visits in that area. In other words…it will make me a happier camper!  &lt):) cowboy

It ain’t easy being an ex-engineer…I just cannot help myself!  :)

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2012
For more information about my three books, click this link:

Mary and I have spent the last four days here and now it’s time to move on in a southerly direction. I thought I’d share a few of the photos that I took while we were here. You may click on them to see them in an enlarged view…

Our parking spot. We were the only RV on this 12 site loop which made for a very quiet and peaceful stay. Mary and I both agree this is the quietest camping spot we’ve shared together…

This is the adult pool where Mary swam every day…

And some nature shots…

I’ll close with Mary enjoying her reading…something she does not get to do when she is home…

We’ve spent the entire summer in several Thousand Trails campgrounds…all of them have been very enjoyable stays. But now it’s time to continue our southerly migration…

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2011
For more information about my three books, click this link:

MVP RV has built an all electric RV. Brad Williams CEO, and his partner Winston Chung, who developed the special ion battery for it, each own their own luxury electric RV. “Chung says, telephone lines came after the first phone call.” Williams’ all electric RV, on its first trip,  traveled 180 miles at 60 and 70 MPH. It has two flat screen televisions, washer, dryer, dishwasher and all of the comforts of home for only $750,000.  It takes 20 minutes to charge with a 220 volt station, or as much as 24 hours with regular electricity. Until there are more electric charging stations in California, the Winston isn’t for sale.

We had a fascinating  glimpse of the past RVing world in August at the RV Hall of Fame in Indiana.

The basics is what you could expect then.

Even so, I have good memories of taking our kids out in a tear drop trailer similar to this one and cooking off the back. The kids slept inside.

This little Airstream trailer looks like a miniature, but they were an industry icon at one time and there are still many of them on the road today. Oh, to own an Airstream, aero-dynamic, less wind resistance…that is how the industry developed, better mileage, greater comfort.

The amenities eventually came, indoor plumbing.

Heating and refrigeration.

Todays RVers own every type of vehicle imaginable. We see many, huge, luxury behemoths on the road, but most are more efficient, modest motor homes like ours.
It doesn’t really matter what type of rig you have. RVers want to be outside, enjoy nature and get away from it all.
As an electric vehicle owner, I’m very interested in the development of electrics. I love my zippy Prius Hybrid. My electric scooter is a handy machine.  Electrics have come a long way. I hope they make them affordable soon.

One treat while parking in son Jim’s yard was enjoying the foxes that cruise through in the early morning, usually with a mouth full of freshly killed squirrel. Moving quickly, we attempted several times to get pictures of them, without much luck. Normally, they arrive in the early half light after dawn. But, this little fellow above, treated us to a great display in the bright early morning son. We caught him on video, below:

I tried to load the 2 minute video of “foxy” but it was going to take 71 minutes and I gave it up. Here, instead is a very small snatch of the 2 minute video, a hint of the fun. He tossed his prey and played with it and danced, walked the wall,  cavorted and attempted to play with the kids half deflated soccer ball.We are on solar for several days right now at Rocky Neck State Park camping with Jim’s family. I’ll get it loaded into You Tube and provide a link to the full video some time down the line when I have full power. Its a rare sight.

This is Jim, his sister-in-law, Kathy and wife Wendy. A family tradition for years, camping at Rocky Neck.

Father Jim visits with Kathy’s husband, Dave, next to their trailer where he is cooking the potatoes on a barbeque.

Jaime and cousins Sara and Ben have their own dining tent.

Stopping to talk to old friends on the road is common. The families have met other families here and meet them again and again from year to year.

Joceylyn and Sara were able to catch a signal from the motor home and connect with friends via computer. They arrived at Rocky Neck several days ago. This camp ground does not have hook-ups. A real get-a-way for parents.

Dave seems to be chief cook, here. Later, during the evening, the moon came out and we enjoyed sitting around the fire. The kids spent part of the day at the beach or just running free with friends all over the grounds which are spacious and well treed.

Jim says:

Yesterday was cool with light rain and Mary decided she wanted to walk through shops. On the island of Martha’s Vineyard don’t look for chain stores like McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Costco,…etc…there are none! Most folks simply refer to Martha’s Vineyard as “The Island”.

First stop was Vineyard Haven.

Here’s some photos I took in Vineyard Haven…

There are lots of roads like this on the island.
The main street of Vineyard Haven.
The old hotel.
The Vineyard Haven movie house.
The Bank Of Martha’s Vineyard.

Here’s a Wikipedia informational link about Vineyard Haven…,_Massachusetts

Next we went to the Town off Oak Bluffs about 5 miles distant…

Here’s some photos I took in Oak Bluffs…

The main street of Oak Bluffs.
In the 1960’s and 1970’s, my aunt and uncle ran an ice dream parlor in this shop. Today it’s Sharky’s Cantina.
The Martha’s Vineyard Camp-meeting Association began in 1835 and celebrates its 175th Anniversary this year.
There are many gaily colored gingerbread cottages in the camp-meeting association.
Some of them are very close to one another. There’s only two inches between roofs here.
This Camp-meeting Association Tabernacle was built  in 1879.
The interior of the open-sided tabernacle.

Here’s a Wikipedia informational link about Oak Bluffs and the Martha’s Vineyard Campmeeting Association…,_Massachusetts

On the way back to our motorhome in a campground near Vineyard Haven we stopped at Sandy’s Fish & Chips (voted best Fish and chips on the island for the last several years) to visit with my cousin Jackie’s daughter Rebecca who works there. I last saw her many years ago when she was just a toddler.

My cousin Jackie’s daughter Rebecca.

Then back to the motorhome for an afternoon nap before happy hour.

Just another peaceful and relaxing day in the life of a full-time RVer!

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2010
For more information about my three books, click this link:


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