Monday, May 31, 2010

Breakfast Cruise...

What a great premise - we take passengers to an island where a crew has set up to prepare and serve fresh cooked meals. The boat crew helps dish out the food... kinda reminds me of a "chuck wagon" style, but with the spectacular Tetons as a backdrop.

It was chilly this morning when I got onboard the boat at 7:00... frost on the windows. Warm up the engines and check out the boat before we board passengers for a 7:30 departure. It's a beautiful way to start the day.

I'll try to get some photos on tomorrow's breakfast cruise.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

First Day...

My first day on the job. I went on one cruise as an observer, a trip to the clinic to pee in a cup and blow in a breathalyzer, back to the boat, where I drove and one of the other captains was an observer, another cruise.

Here's a look at the cabin...

And my "office" for the summer...

Certainly, quite the view! The Tetons are magnificent. The boat is comfortable and stable... and a surprising number of passengers this early in the season.

Tomorrow - my first breakfast cruise.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Officially Official

I checked in today. There were some computer problems, so I got through most of the process. First day on the job is tomorrow. In the meantime, between going back to see if the computer was up, and the pants (for the uniform) were ready, we got to look around a bit. We know where the employee dining room is located, the post office, the laundry. While cruising around, we drove by the mooring balls at Leeks Marina and came across a C-Dory on a mooring...

A mediocre image, but you can also see the low clouds... most of the day was off and on drizzle, temps in the 40s, and a cold breeze. Like in the Pacific Northwest, there were a few sunbreaks. On the bright side, the weather trend is improving.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Up, Over, and Down...

The Love Shack has landed. We don't fit in the employee campground, so we are in the "real" campground. Not a problem - we have 50 amp service, ran a cable WAY out to get satellite TV, and (as you can tell from this post) we have a wireless broadband signal... weak, but if it's always at least this good, I will be content. The campground manager is our next door neighbor, so if we need anything... Wink There is room for the HH, motorcycle trailer, and the truck on our paved site. It's snug; anything would be after Hart Ranch.

I check in tomorrow. It sounds like it may be more hours than originally discussed.

It turned out to be a beautiful ride up, over, and down. No ugly wind! No precip, until just now (5:00 pm). If the signal holds up, I'll get some photos posted.

Little Izzy isn't sure about all this... LOTS of trees, no wide open grassy area. There are little critters (ground squirrels) running all around.

On edit, some photos...

Coming up to the pass...

Our first view of the Tetons (through the grubby windshield)...

At a pull-out in the park...

Getting settled in the campground...

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Blowing Like Stink...

We drove about 2/3 of the way to the Tetons today. I don't mean to make this all about the weather, but the wind was out of the south at about a gazillion miles per hour. Of course, I am exaggerating... it was out of the south southwest at about a gazillion miles per hour! shocked We were traveling mostly south, then west. If I had not agreed to show up early, I would have pulled off or never started today. The truck and HH handled it fine... but we did feel passing trucks more than usual. But with the wind gusting consistently above 40, getting out of the truck was a lot of work - the wind had the door "pinned" shut. Speaking of pinned, we had to put the pin in the step today; first time we've used it. With the strong crosswind, it was actually blowing the step out!

On the bright side, much of the drive was in blowing dust/dirt. angry We are down for the night in an RV park in Riverton, WY... I plugged in, hooked up the cable, and called it good. I violated my 2/2/2 Rule, but I may try to make up for it with 2 drinks tonight. Wink

Forecast for tomorrow: less windy (20+), chance of thunderstorms (possible snow at the 9,600' elevation of the pass we have to cross), and a high of 60 degrees in the Tetons tomorrow. Never dull. Roll  Eyes

As always, Izzy took it all in stride. Once we put her in the truck and get ready to roll, we open her carrier. She divides her time between Joan's lap and her blanket on the console... and sleeps through most of the traveling.

With the wind on the nose or a quartering headwind, fuel mileage was atrocious. We were in 5th gear much of the day. Big Red likes to see 60 mph before she shifts to 6th. This was one of the rare times that wind and hills frequently kept us below 60 mph. We passed quite a few motorcyclists going the other direction... white knuckled and leaning a bunch (even on the straight stretches).

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Hi Ho Hi Ho...

It's off to work we go. The marina manger called, asking if we could come any earlier for our summer jobs. Yep; so we'll be wrapping up our time in the Black Hills and heading west.

The severe weather from the last post did some damage in western South Dakota, including nearby flooding. BIG gusts during the evening and night rocked the HitchHiker. No damage to us, but the 50+ mph gusts and heavy thunderstorms made for a restless night

I got out on the motorcycle yesterday and stopped to visit an old sailing buddy, Steve. He couldn't wait to show me his newest "toy" - a Porsche Boxster S. What a gorgeous car and an amazing performer. He said, "You just have to drive this..."

I told him, "I don't have room in my life for a sports car right now." But, what a machine!

We had supper with Steve and Jan, then went back to their place to go over some charts for an upcoming trip Steve will be doing to the San Juan Islands. It's one of our favorite places to cruise, so we were able to give them tips on places to check out. It got me excited, just talking about the area. If we were not going to do these summer jobs, I'm sure we'd be heading to the PNW for the summer.

But, we are excited about our up-coming summer experience. Heading out tomorrow.

A friend on the C-Brats drove through the Colter Bay area and got a photo of my summer "office"...

Not as stylish as Wild Blue, but designed for a purpose - scenic cruise boat. I'm looking forward to seeing it in person.

Remember when you were a kid and you were excited about going to summer camp? Or when you got to be a teenager and you could get a summer job? This is going to work out well, since I seem to be entering my third childhood.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Ugly weather...

Tornado warnings (several sighted in western SD), hail (the size of baseballs), heavy rain, flash floods, wind... but other than that, it was a nice day.

I watched weather radar on the computer and my Droid to see if we needed to head for shelter. Nice technology... we could see the worst of the storm system slide just east of us, and stayed put.

Driving back from Rapid City, the rain was so heavy that cars were pulled over on the side of the road and hiding in underpasses. We wanted to get back before Spring Creek ran over its banks... little Izzy was in the HitchHiker by herself.

All turned out well, but the sky was as nasty looking as I've seen it. Our timing was good - hail in the northern part of town as we headed south (just a few pea size hailstones hit us). Heavy rain that we drove out of when we got to Hart Ranch. We unloaded the truck in a light rain, and the sky really opened up and poured once we were inside. Flood warnings all over the Black Hills as I write this.

I was surprised by all the thunderstorm activity with the temperature, in the low 50s... 3 to 4 inches of rain in a couple hours. Golf ball size hail in the area that we had just vacated.

We were ready to go to shelter if necessary - we brought Izzy's carrier in, had the raincoats ready, and know where the closest solid shelter is. Thank goodness we didn't have to implement that plan.


Saturday, May 22, 2010

A Statue Day...

After getting the bugs off the front of the HitchHiker and putting the ReJex on, I rewarded myself with a great ride through the Hills. Some days you're the pigeon, some days you're the statue. Today was a "statue day." As I pulled up to the stop sign for the turn onto my favorite twisty road here, a guy with a yellow and black sport bike roared by. He was wearing black and yellow leathers and a yellow helmet. I know some of you will say this is juvenile and macho, but I throttled up the V-Strom and turned to follow the crotch-rocket. His bike was bigger, more horsepower, and a sportier suspension. BUT, this road is full of twisties, road signs that look like a portrait of a snake, and a plethora of 25 mph curves. And no traffic. I got close enough to let him see me coming over a hill... yeah, his head turned to check the mirrors and he accelerated. Then, it was just some cat and mouse, with the V-Strom consistently gaining. By the time we approached the T at the end of the road, he had backed off the throttle. He stopped at the stop sign, put his kick stand down and took off his helmet. He said, "I think something was dragging on my bike. Oh, and you can ride!" I flipped up my helmet so he could see that I was about 30 years his senior. "Thanks, that was a lot of fun." We turned different directions; he was heading to the highway, I was staying on the back roads. Now, where's that minivan? Cool

The V-Strom is classified as a dual purpose bike, but definitely geared towards road riding. A lot of V-Strom owners consider them "adventure sport touring bikes." I just think it's agile and fun. Having owned mostly big touring or sport touring bikes, this is a departure. It doesn't have the staccato growl of my last BMW, nor the unique baratone rumble of the Harleys... this is more of a tenor. Wink But lots of torque + light weight = tons of fun.

I ran through the back roads, seeing very little traffic. Then into Keystone, up past Mt. Rushmore, along a great road to Hill City, then back through the famous Keystone Y wood bridge, through the Hills, and back "home."

Joan had Izzy out on the leash, chairs set up on the patio, and Radio Margaritaville on the satellite radio. We sat out on the picnic table and chopped pieces of PVC to make sewer hose risers... I did the chops while Joan put on the caps and Ts. Kinda like Tinker-Toys for grown ups. We don't need this here, since the utilities are set up very nicely, but I know it will come in handy. We finished the project in time to put stuff away as the late afternoon thunderstorm clouds rolled in.

And some people wonder what we do all day. grin

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Just one of those days...

When you're retired, out in your HitchHiker, and staying at a great RV resort, it should all be rosy, right? Every once in a while, you get one of those days. It started with a service appointment I scheduled for the cargo trailer... it has a broken rear stabilizer jack. I told them what I needed when I made the appointment. When I rolled in today, cargo trailer in tow, I went into the service area... and the service guy didn't know anything about my appointment. I showed him where it was in his book... the ONLY appointment on the page today.

After he left me waiting for about an hour, he came out and said, "Your stabilizer is broke."

"I know that. That's why I made an appointment with you - to get the broken stabilizer replaced. The owner told me it would only take 15 or 20 minutes."

He said, "We ain't got another stabilizer. You wanna leave the trailer and we'll replace it when we get one?"

"No, I will take my trailer. When will you have another one?" I asked (biting my tongue)

"Maybe Tuesday. We always have them. I guess we sold the last one."

When I got back to the 5th wheel, WITH my cargo trailer, I parked it and took Joan for lunch. We decided on pizza. New girl (woman, not girl)... I repeated my order 4 times... it must have been pretty complicated: a pizza with pepperoni, hamburger, and green olive. She kept writing green pepper... repeatedly. Yep, it came out with green peppers. I was really hungry. Not that big of a deal... they made us another pizza.

Back at the coach, I decided to take the motorcycle out for a ride. The wind has been blowing like stink, but I'll be wearing a leather jacket and a helmet and riding twisty roads... the wind shouldn't be a problem. There's a great motorcycle road nearby... I was cranking the bike through the gears, leaning into the curves... not another vehicle on this back road. Yeah, I was exceeding the speed limit a bit; but I was never acting crazy... just blowing out the cobwebs and reducing the blood pressure. And then one vehicle in my rear view mirrors... and gaining on me. You might think I would tell you it was a police car... but, no. It was a minivan. Here I was, working the bike, enjoying the feel of the bike... and there was a minivan gaining on me!

Yeah, I was having one of those days. embarrassed

When I got back, I took Izzy for a walk in the grass. I was getting cold from the wind and told her it was time for us to go home (she knows that phrase)... she hissed at me! Not a casual, over-the-shoulder little hiss, but a growly, pissy, hissssssssssssssssssssss!


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Big Move...

The road re-sealing is done in our part of the park; we can move to the spot we reserved out on the perimeter. Yep, a whole 4 blocks or so... and it took about an hour and a half to get it done. Two trips to get the cargo trailer, motorcycle, then the HitchHiker moved to the new site. It doesn't matter if you are going 4 blocks or 4oo miles, you still have to unhook all the utilities, pull in the slides, put everything down, and hitch the 5th wheel to the truck.

Even though it is further away from all the amenities (or maybe because it is), we prefer this location. Less traffic, it's quieter, and no people walking through your site. Out the back of the coach is a large grassy area for pet walking... Izzy's favorite place here at Hart Ranch.

Izzy isn't alone in her preference... yesterday this area was all unoccupied, this afternoon, the spots are filling up. You can see in the photo above that spring has not quite come to the Black Hills - the trees are just getting buds.

Mother Nature had some fun with us today. It was a beautiful morning and early afternoon. When the time came to get moved, the wind kicked up... 30+ miles per hour. Within a half hour of completing the move, it eased back off to 15 - 20... enough that Izzy wanted to explore all that grassy area. It wasn't long before the sky turned black and thunderstorms rolled across us; more wind, rain and lightning. Nothing particularly severe, just springtime in the Black Hills.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Simple Solution...

We picked up mail today. In our mail was a screen door mod I had ordered... this is a handle that attaches to the RV screen door that allows you to open the screen door without sliding the little plastic piece in the middle of the door. Every RV owner who reads this will understand what I am talking about. With this kit, you cut a small hole, install the handle, and your RV screen door is more "home-like". Many products don't work as advertised, nor are they as easy to install as advertised. This was easy and is a simple, but classy, solution.

I found the mod on the NuWa Owners Forum; the maker (an engineer) is also a NuWa owner. The door as it is isn't problematic... this just makes it even better.

Here's a link...

It took me about 5 minutes to install, including the time spent reading the directions. Yes, even though I am a guy, I did read the directions. Oh, and maybe a minute to clean up the little plastic bits left over from the Dremel cutting bit. So, maybe 6 minutes.

I made it look so easy that Joan now has other projects for me to work on. That's OK, it was a beautiful day in the Black Hills... sunshine, light breeze, and temps just above 70º. I got the motorcycle out to exercise it a bit. This is more like it.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Go West Young Man...

For the past couple weeks, we have been visiting family. You know what they say about fish and family. lipsrsealed We are back to the two of us and little Izzy, and in the Black Hills at our all-time favorite RV resort - Hart Ranch. We totally violated our 2/2/2 Rule today, making it more of a 4/4/4 situation... we ran over 400 miles, got in after 4:00, and I think I may have 4 drinks tonight. Cool Um, I mean we'll be staying for more than 4 nights. Wink

We originally intended to stop about half way today, but Mother Nature wasn't being very kind... wind on the nose at about a gazillion miles per hour gave us the worst fuel mileage we've ever gotten while pulling the Love Shack. I can't bring myself to write it, but it was south of 7 mpg. embarrassed If it wasn't for the fact that I wanted to get to Hart Ranch, we may have sat out the never-ending headwind. Yep, self-imposed deadlines. We heard on the local Rapid City radio station on the way in that this was the first time they've seen the sun this week. It rained much of the way on our route today. While heading north, the wind was out of the NNW. When we turned west, it turned to WNW. Mother Nature has a sense of humor, huh?

For the Izzy fans, she was a perfect traveler today... she spent most of the ride curled up on Joan's lap. She was patient all through the long drive. When we stopped for lunch, she ate her lunch then waited for us while perched on her tower. She goes to her carrier when it's time to stop or move from the coach to the truck. No fuss, just pure sweetness. I'm pretty sure Joan would say the same thing about me. Roll  Eyes

It will be nice to be down for a couple weeks before we head to the Tetons.

Refer back to the second sentence... when I was little, my sisters used to tease me, saying I was tossed up on the porch by Gypsies. That would explain a lot. I must be adopted. Wink

Monday, May 10, 2010

Heading South...

Well, an hour and a half south of our current position. And not far enough south to make a difference in the snitty weather Mother Nature tossed at us today... it was supposed to be a high of 53º and occasional showers. It never made it out of the 40s, the wind blew like stink, and it rained. We drove to visit my Brother-in-law, John, today. Yes, this is the John who visited us in Texas in March.

It was great to see him again, and get the tour of his "basement project" and his new 67 year old airplane (a PA-11 for those of you who know Cubs)...

The time flew by. Unfortunately, Mother Nature didn't allow for me to get some flight time in the Cub today. John taught me to fly in a Cub when I was 16. Next time, for sure.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mothers Day!

It was a chilly start to the day today... a frost advisory for the Siouxland area (around Sioux City, IA). We haven't seen the low 30s since we were in Arizona in December. We'll be here for a few days to visit my Mother and Brother-in-law.

Little Izzy snuggled with her Momma this morning... with the fireplace keeping the HitchHiker cozy.

Good thing we brought our cold weather clothes.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Everyone knows it's windy...

What a difference. We left Chanute this morning with wind out of the NW at about a gazillion miles per hour. We plan to be at my Mother's in time for Mothers Day, so we we rolled. The temp was 69 degrees when we got up, 61 degrees when we stopped at the dump station an hour later, and dropped to the 50s by the time we hit the highway. Gray sky, threatening looking clouds the further north we went.

A whole 150 miles and we're in Basswood RV Resort in Platte City, MO. We're stopping here overnight to visit my sister. We've stayed in this resort many times in the past, but today it looks a bit tattered. Not getting run down, they had a hail storm that did some damage last night. There is a community wide BBQ being held here this weekend, so the place is packed. We were fortunate to get a site. No pull-throughs available, so we had to unhook the cargo trailer, back in the HH, and pull the cargo trailer in with the truck. It's a less than developed site... some gravel and a lot of soft mud. Not their fault, blame it on Mother Nature. Even though their brochure says cable TV and wifi... "Oh, not in those new sites." Yes, I should be glad they found me any place at all. ;) This "new area" isn't level, backs up against a hill, and is heavily wooded... so no satellite TV. Yep, we're roughing it. On the bright side, I do have a bit of a signal for my Mifi. :grin:

When I called the office to ask about their wifi, I was told they couldn't give me the access code over the phone. So I walked down to the office, they gave me the slip of paper with the code, and then told me, "You probably won't get it in the site you're in." I did tell them my site when I called. ::)

This is a very nice park, but I remember it when it was owned by a nice couple who belonged to the same coach club. It's now owned by a big company, so you get their central reservations when you call to book a site... and they have no idea how long the sites are.

It's gray, chilly, and windy here right now... sure hope Mother Nature cuts 'em some slack for the BBQ this weekend.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Back To Her Roots...

No, nothing to do with hair. Today, we went to NuWa to take the factory tour. We got there a few minutes early, so we stopped in at the service building to confirm our appointment for tomorrow morning. The service manager said, “We can get started on it at 1:00 today, if you want.”

Good timing. We were able to take the factory tour and still have time for lunch before breaking camp and hauling the 5th wheel from the park to the service building.

We took the factory tour almost two years ago before we bought our HitchHiker. It was MUCH busier this time compared to last. There were plenty of coaches being built, and workers scurrying around. NuWa does a nice job of building these coaches and doesn’t cut corners. 5th wheels are their only product, and they’ve been making them longer than any other manufacturer still in business.

Most of the people on the tour already own a HitchHiker. One couple was looking to trade their SOB (some other brand) for a new HitchHiker... this tour is a good sales tool.

With the tour done, lunch eaten, it was time to get our HH to the service guys. It’s a big building; we were able to pull in one door and parked towards the middle, inside. They hooked us up to power and went over the items we need addressed. Only two things, really: there is a cosmetic bubble in several places in our ceiling and the rubber roof has bubbles in it (not a cosmetic problem). Today they worked on the ceiling, tomorrow they will pull up the roof, re-glue it, put it back down, then re-caulk all the seams. That will be an all-day job we were told.

Joan stayed with the coach when they went to work; I went down to the main plant to look at display coaches and check out their parts store. Lots of pretty new 5th wheels to look at and some things I’ll go back to get tomorrow in the store. When I came back to our coach, Joan was working with the service guy on the ceiling. She wanted to know how to fix this if it happens again. He said, “She’s as good at this as I am. We’re ready to hire her to go on the road to fix other coaches with this problem.”

“Good, I was hoping to find her a good job!”

By 3:30 they were done with us for the day. We hooked Big Red up to the coach and towed it back to the park to settle in for the evening. It will be an early morning tomorrow - our appointment is at 7:00 am.

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

On the Plains of the Serengetti...

Well, OK, in Kansas, just behind the HitchHiker, parked by the golf course. In the heart of the little cat is the soul of a big hunter. And for the first time in quite a while, her intended prey is smaller than she is. Not to worry, the sparrow was never really in any danger. Still, it is fun to watch her stalk... slink through the tall grass and stealthily creep towards the bird. Fortunately, she doesn’t have to depend on her fledgling hunting skills to eat.

With no schedule until our service at the factory tomorrow, we have plenty of time for these leisurely hunting excursions.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Well, that was interesting...

One very interesting moment today: coming north on Hwy 169, a semi pulled out to pass us... an idiot in a car pulled further out to pass the truck... on the far shoulder... with traffic coming at us. I moved to the right shoulder to make room for the truck; he got on his brakes to tuck back behind us, the idiot in the car swerved back to our lane (well, the lane that we had just vacated in favor of the shoulder) about a nano-second before the on-coming traffic passed us! shocked Here's an example of where you may be doing everything right, but circumstances (and the idiocy of others) can make things take an ugly turn. Had we not been watching this unfold in our mirror, the outcome may have been seriously ugly. By the way, Hwy 169 is a TWO LANE highway in that area. angry

I said to myself, "Self, that truck isn't going to make it around you before that on-coming car gets here. Oh, Self, look again - the dumas in the car is coming around the truck that is coming around you! Self, this has the makings of a bad Drivers' Ed film!" Things got kinda busy kinda quick after that, so I didn't have time to answer myself. If I had slammed on the brakes, the truck would have most certainly rear-ended us. If I had stayed in the lane, the passing car would have hit us from the side. As it was, the look on the driver's face coming at us probably mirrored mine as he went for the shoulder on his side of the road. Pretty sure we were harmonizing on expletives. lipsrsealed

Fortunately, I have plenty of experience driving in deep south Texas, where they not only drive on the shoulder, they pass on the shoulder... or the sidewalk... whichever is available. In over 300,000 miles of RVing, this is only the second really close call. The other was driving a 40' motorcoach on a snowy Interstate in Utah, when the car in front of us spun out. I wrote a thank you letter to the chassis manufacturer after that one. The ABS brakes on the coach likely saved the life of the woman in that car. Today was more of a "you're kidding me?!?" moment, followed by a "oh, come on!?!" moment. In the words of the philosopher Forrest Gump, "Stupid is as stupid does."

We were fortunate that all that stupid didn't rain down all over us today.

Monday, May 3, 2010

3 State Day...

We left north Texas, heading north into Oklahoma. No particular destination for the day, but we were thinking of stopping at an RV park in northern Oklahoma. Consulting the Passport America book, we found a park 30 miles further north that had sites that were good for our length, 50 amp service, and wifi. Generally, we don't care if there's wifi or not, since we run with our Mifi card... for the first time since we were in Canada last summer, we don't have a phone signal or wireless broadband coverage... just barely into Kansas, but not far from the I-35 corridor.

We ran a bit longer than our 2/2/2 Rule; a leisurely lunch stop, the decision to run a bit further, and we were still in by 3:00. This park isn't anything fancy, but it is the most level and the best layout for utilities for our RV that we've come across.

Back in the state of origin for our 5th wheel, our next stop will be the factory for service.

I was taking little Izzy for a walk at sunset, when a big ol' Ford F450 pulled up to us. They rolled down the window and asked, "We need some directions - can you tell us how to get to the Tropical Tip of Texas from here?"

It was a couple from the NuWa owners forum who had been following our travels. We spent the next hour and half visiting with our new friends, Dee and Mel. They live about 20 miles away, and drove down to meet another NuWa couple. Izzy was a little miffed - she couldn't believe they weren't here just to see her.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

British and European Car Show...

We had a short visit with our new HitchHiker friends this morning before heading out for family stuff...

Joan gave me "time off" (not necessarily for good behavior) and I got to go to a British and European car show with her brothers while she spent time with her Mother. The "short drive" to the car show turned out to be about an hour, but the conversation was lively. Having had some British and German sports cars, I was really looking forward to the show.

There was a nice turn out: Ferraris, Triumphs, Porsches, MGs, Austin Healeys, Fiats, Alphas, and even an assortment of Morgans. It was a lot of fun looking it all over.

Yes, those are flames on that MGB above. If that's not sacrilegious enough, it had a Corvette engine in it. I can't imagine what the handling would be like with that much horsepower in that light weight, but it was interesting... and well done.

At the end of the day, we said our good-byes - we're heading out in the morning.

When it flushes, it pours...

We've been in the Dallas area for a few days, visiting Joan's Mom and brothers. Just finished moving her Mom into a new apartment... and a "runaway" toilet put water everywhere. All that work of moving furniture and decorating, got undone while the Chem-Dry guys came out... twice. And the Rooter guy found that the construction workers had thrown paper towels down the toilet. So, the "visit" has turned into more moving and jockying.

In spite of that, we've enjoyed time with family and have had the opportunity to meet two couples from our HitchHiker owners forum. The days have been plenty full.