the

Scenic highway 395 near Bishop, California.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Bishop, California.

Where are they going next? South, towards Death Valley National Park.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Into the city of Amarillo... and we picked up a couple of packages for you all...

We weren't in a huge rush to get into the city of Amarillo, but we did want to get there before the winds picked up. That would mean before 10am or so. We were a little later than planned because we filled up with water and stopped at the dump station before pulling out of Palo Duro Canyon State Park

Fortunately, the day started with a bit of a tailwind.

Heading uphill... Sherman summoned all of his horses and made his way up the 10% grade leading out of the park...




The city of Amarillo was only 25 miles (40 kms) away.

Our first stop was the post office! We were picking up a package sent by the Winegard company.

Most RV'ers will recognize the name Winegard. They are well known for their RV antennas, for both television and satellite.

Now, they are also producing a wi-fi antenna with built in cellular capabilities... and we are going to test it out for you over the next several months during our trip up to Yukon and Alaska.

Here's is the product we are trying out...

Winegard Connect 2.0 4G LTE

We'll be running through it's capabilities with you, right from installation to usage.

Next stop, was the UPS store where we picked up another package.

weboost makes antenna boosters for the cellular market. Quite a different product than the Winegard, but certainly with a little bit of similarity in the end result with the cellular capabilities. It will be interesting to be able to try them both during this extended trip that will include a lot of time in the middle of nowhere!

Here is the product we are trying out for you...

weboost Drive 4G-X RV


With that accomplished, we had to find some fuel. Sherman was getting low on gas. We sure didn't get very good mileage out of that last tankful with all of the wind we had to deal with. We only managed about 8.5 mpg, where he normally gets close to 10. Anyhow, we found a station selling at $2.39 per gallon ($0.80 per liter CAD) when most others in the area are between $2.45 and $2.49, so that's not bad. Put in another $100 USD worth!

Then, we drove to the east end of town. It was starting to get windy now, but Sherman made it just fine. We pulled into the lot at S&L Automotive and Truck Service.

I had read some reviews online that this place treated people fairly and were friendly to deal with. And, they had a lot of experience with the older Chevy and Workhorse motorhome chassis.

Sure enough, Richard the service manager was great. He explained that they don't do wheel alignments, and I was better off going to Panhandle Tire near here when S&L is done with the other repairs I asked him about. They were currently looking after one other motorhome, but would be able to take Sherman in at 8am Wednesday morning.

Perfect.

He gave us the wifi code, and said we were fine to be parked where we were.

If we're going to be here for a couple of days, this seemed like a perfect time to rent us a car so we can see the sights around the city of Amarillo while Sherman is being fixed up. We've got about $500 worth of Visa travel points saved up, so I went online to see what I could find. Anything near the airport here was about $80 a day (ridiculous) but I found one at a west end mall with an Avis location for $35 a day. Not cheap, but I didn't expect it would be with a last minute booking.

We took an Uber ($15 USD, $19 CAD) for the 8 mile trip from the shop to the mall. A bit pricey, but I just didn't feel like driving Sherman through the city and dealing with the wind. Ruth was in the market for a new pair of hiking boots, so we figured we would do some shopping at the same time before picking up the car.

Nobody in the mall had decent hiking boots. We were told to go to Academy Sports. We went to the Avis location and picked up our brand new 2018 Hyundai Accent (with 3,200 miles on the clock) for the next two days. Just have to call him back to add another day or two if we need to.

Then, to Academy Sports which was a waste of time with very little selection. Next stop was Gander Outdoors, which was Gander Mountain until they were taken over by Camping World last month.

Lots of selection, and the people were really helpful. But, there was nothing on sale, and we hate paying regular price for anything. But, she needed some new boots.

Sorry for the blurry photos. 
Ruth, trying on hiking boots!

Hm. 
Which do you like better?

She couldn't decide between the Keens or the Merrells. We've been Merrell fans for a long time, but the last couple of pairs haven't lasted as long as we thought they should. After much humming and hawing, she ended up with Merrell's again!

Here's what she bought, at $133 USD ($167 CAD). 
Yikes!

But, we do a lot of hiking and we like our feet to be comfortable. It's one of the very few things that we splurge on for our comfort.

After that, it was back to Sherman. 

Sherman, with our rental car.
Parked outside of S&L Auto and Truck Service for the night.

This morning while Sherman is being worked on, we will go find a laundromat, and then go out and do some exploring. Apparently there's an RV museum here, so that should be fun.

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Nice little electric pressure washer for very little money!


And in Canada...






30 comments:

  1. I will be very interested to know how those antennas work in Canada and the wilds in the north. I hope to head that way too.

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  2. I'm curious about where you're staying in/near Boise City. Black Mesa State Park looks interesting. It's said to be one of the most remote and least visited state parks in the US. It's also said to be popular with stargazers. The moon will set about 9:30pm on Friday, it should be really dark there. Not particularly cheap though. I've never been there although my parents lived about 30 miles away for many years. Boise City, along with nearby Clayton, NM and Dalhart TX, was featured prominently in "The Worst Hard Time" by Timothy Egan (National Book Award winner) about people who lived through the Dust Bowl. The area has never recovered, and has only a small fraction of the population it had in 1930.

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    1. I actually have no idea where we will stay in or around Boise City. It just looked about the right distance for us.

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  3. Good shoes are priceless, I no longer settle for shoes that are not comfortable, pickup good brands used when I see them but that is rare so at least once a year I buy myself a new pair of good shoes. Hopefully Sherman's repairs go ok

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    1. Yep, when it comes to hiking shoes we want ones that are comfortable and will last and boy we really put them to their limits, that's probably why we can only get a 1 1/2 to 2 years out of a pair.

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  4. Bought a pair of Keen low hikers (work shoes) at Bass Pro a couple of months ago. Great reviews and love 'em

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    1. Glad you are enjoying your Keens. I was really hoping to get a pair to see how they held up to the Merrells but my foot just felt more comfortable in the Merrells right from the get go. I really don't want to have to try to "break" shoes in to get them to feel comfortable.

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  5. The new antenna products sound most interesting. However between those and all the repairs you have had done on your RV which you have to declare and pay duty on when you enter Canada you are going to be well over your limit between you. I just can't understand why one has to declare and pay for RV repair work, makes no sense at all. If you have to have it done you have to have it done. Why should Canada collect a tax on that? Of course one can simply not declare it but if they check then you are in trouble.

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    1. We know the rules for crossing and are keeping a detailed list like we always do and yes we will probably be a little over but most of the repairs on Sherman have to do with his breakdown in Mexico and some of it we couldn't get done there like the wheel aliment so these are deemed emergency repairs which you must declare but we shouldn't have to pay taxes on as long as we can prove that they were necessary which I don't think we will have a problem proving seeing that we couldn't drive Sherman. We do agree though that repairs shouldn't have to be included, modifications yes, but not repairs.

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    2. Please post what happens at the border re the repairs. Of course you might not even be asked so then you will be in the clear. When we blew a tire one year and had it replaced ( as we could not drive the RV ) we still had to pay duty on the tire. As I said, makes no sense.

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    3. We always tell about our experiences crossing the border so this time won't be any different. Every crossing is unique, it can all depend on who you get, you just never know what to expect.

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  6. Annoyingly, decent hiking boots, or most anything you put on your feet, are/is expensive. I just about croaked when I went with T.C. to "The Running Room" (*pfft* I don't run!) to get some decent footwear. You just know that, when the clerk wants to see how you walk in them, they'll likely be pricey. Having said that though, they are the most comfortable shoes (running shoes) of any kind that I own. Just don't want to wear them out! I'm too cheap!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Yes, it seems anything that is deemed healthy is expensive and good shoes are no different. If the shoe fits nicely and is comfortable it is worth the extra busks though. In order for our hikers to not wear out so quickly it would mean less hiking and that's just not going to happen. ;-)

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  7. Hope Sherman’s repairs go well. Enjoy your sightseeing time with the rental. Will be much better to scoot around in than Sherman. Nice hiking shoes Ruth hope they last awhile and are comfortable. Also interested in the new antennas and how well they pick up! Travel safe!

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    1. So far so good with Sherman's repairs. We aren't going to be able to get it all done though.

      I hope the hikers will last awhile too but with all the hiking that we do, I doubt that they will last any longer than the others.

      I am sure it won't be long before we are able to test them because we will soon be back in the boonies.

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  8. I am heading up to Alaska in late May, planning on staying until early Sept. I hope to see you guys on the trail up there

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    1. That sounds similar to our time frame so who knows maybe our paths will cross. We plan on spending the majority of our time in Yukon and Northwest Territories though and only a little time in Alaska.

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  9. Been to Alaska in all seasons, spring, summer, fall and winter. Surprisingly even tho it was below zero, it didn't feel cold...maybe wind chill has something to do with it. Most times there is no wind. We took a small plane tour of Puget Sound to view wild life below...it was awesome especially when the plane banked and I felt like floating in air above watching caribou, moose, big sheep high up in rocky mountains. Saw salmon swimming upriver, eagles, bears, whales, otters, etc. Truly amazing to see all this. The spring thaw brings swollen rivers, lakes, mud...have to be careful near water.

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    1. I have heard that the weather up north actually feels better than further south. I had a friend who found it too cold in Ottawa and moved back to Whitehorse, Yukon. She said the damp weather went right through her whereas in the Yukon it was just cold not damp and cold.

      We are looking forward to seeing all the amazing scenery and wildlife up north.

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  10. Hard to go wrong with the Merrells. I find they have much better support than Keens. I have those same boots. After two years, I had a chunk come out of the Vibram sole. I contacted Merrell because I thought I remembered reading that the Vibram sole is guaranteed for life. Sure enough, they replaced the boots!

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    1. I think both brands are good quality ones but I have to admit that after trying on the two different brands my feet just naturally felt more comfortable in the Merrells. I will have to remember that about the Vibram soles, didn't realize they had a guarantee like that.

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  11. I agree on the hiking shoes, never can be cheap on those. Feet are important! (and posture)

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    1. Yep, definitely worth the money when you consider the amount of hiking that we do.

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  12. You want comfort on your feet you get what you pay for. Good choice.

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    1. Definitely want to be comfortable, especially on those long hikes that we do.

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  13. Good choice on the Merrells...can’t be cheap on your hiking feet and legs! Hope Sherman’s repairs go well.

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    1. We have had Merrells for many years now and really do like them, they just don't seem to last quite as long as they used to but maybe that is because we use them way more than we did years ago.

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  14. We missed seeing you when you were at Tres Amigos in Mazatlan.
    You should consider renting a U-Haul pick up next time you need to rent a car $19.95/day just about anywhere
    https://www.uhaul.com/ReservationsMVC/RatesTrucks/
    Wayne & Nonie

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    1. Sorry we missed you as well, perhaps our paths will cross next winter.

      That is definitely a thought when needing to rent a vehicle, we will have to remember that for next time. We were lucky on this rental though because we used credit card points to pay for it so it ended up costing us nothing. :-)

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