Ian and Margaret's RV Adventures travel blog

This is a painted wall in one dining room at the Brookville...

The hallways are lined with family pictures, mementoes and "old-timey" artwork.

This is one dining room -- the place is huge, with at...

This was our second plate of chicken and biscuits!

Out with the old, non-working microwave . . .

and in with the new microwave/convection oven (can you tell I'm excited?)...

While Ian and Max "supervise" (not so excited!).

New friends Bob and Donna Hutsler.

We finally got out of Junction City on Friday afternoon about 2. Our microwave/convection oven arrived around noon (although the saga of how it got there, two days late, was maddening – it basically passed us three times) and Dan and Mike, the main service guys, were very efficient in installing it. Then we just had to pay up, say our good-byes to the staff and our new friends Bob and Donna Hutsler, who, unfortunately, will remain at the factory for some additional work on their trailer, hitch up and hit the road. We drove about 225 miles across Kansas to Oakley, our intermediate stop on the way to Pueblo.

Thursday night we had made plans with Bob and Donna to drive over to Abilene KS for dinner at the Brookville Hotel. It’s an interesting place, basically relocated from the town of Brookville farther west and reconstructed as a faithful replica of the original. They are famous for their “family style” fried chicken dinners – they don’t serve any other menu, and just bring out bowls and platters of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, biscuits, creamed corn, cole slaw and a bunch of other stuff. Oink. Of course, with my gluten allergy I had to take all the skin off the chicken (which wouldn’t work for many gluten-allergic people but was OK for me) and pass up the biscuits, gravy and creamed corn, but I still got enough food to feel like I should walk back the 30 miles to Junction City to work it off! Needless to say, however, I didn’t. It was a nice break for all of us and a chance to get to know Bob and Donna better. They’ve had a rather lengthy go of it with their trailer repairs, so we left them with hopes they will be able to get back on the road soon.

Our drive across Kansas was beautiful – and frustrating. We took I-70 (a much better road and somewhat less traffic than we had on the same highway in Missouri), which runs straight through northern Kansas. There aren’t many towns of any significant size, but lots of grain fields, grazing cattle and farmsteads. Because we were travelling late in the day, a rarity for us, we got the wonderful late-afternoon light which turned the fields of ripening grain into sheets of gold. In many places the big green or red farm machinery was out in the fields, cutting and threshing the grain, adding spots of color. Could I get pictures of it? No.

Likewise all the abandoned and picturesquely deteriorating farm buildings – and there were dozens it seemed like. Of course I whined and whimpered, but we were on an interstate highway, no place to stop, Ian didn’t want to take the trailer off on a farm road (I don’t blame him for that one) and I’m not good at “drive-by” shooting out the window of a moving truck. Anyway, the farm buildings are best photographed up close and personal (or as close as it is possible to get) and walking around to get several angles. So I’ve made a note of the area where we saw the most buildings I want to photograph and we’ll just have to figure out a way to get back there and stay somewhere in the area for long enough to take day trips around the area.

We battled strong headwinds all the way and were glad when we got to our stop for the night and were able to get off the road. Later we figured that our fuel efficiency on that trip was the lowest we’ve ever had with this trailer. Serious winds. Of course the winds didn’t stop for several hours, but the slight chance of thunderstorms never materialized and things calmed down later in the evening that we figured we were no longer in danger of joining Dorothy and Toto in Oz.

We got an early start Saturday morning for our long (for us) drive to Pueblo CO. This time we stayed off the interstate and took secondary roads, which is our favored method of travel and one we’ve been forced to abandon too much this summer. We had the benefit of travelling west, with the morning light at our back, again lighting the fields beautifully, if not as dramatic as the evening light. And we had the road pretty much to ourselves for quite a while – only the occasional grain truck, a couple of trucks carrying large machinery and a huge flatbed truck carrying both halves of a wind turbine blade. Now THAT was exciting!

Having picked up an hour by crossing into the Mountain Time Zone, we arrived at our campground in Pueblo around noon and, after grabbing some lunch, we both promptly collapsed for long afternoon naps. For our entire stay in Junction City, except for the weekend, we were up at 6 or 6:30 in the morning, something we do not like to do, even occasionally, much less every day. The factory and service department day at New Horizons starts at 7 and we needed to be at least dressed in case we needed to move our truck or trailer or they were ready to work on something. A couple of days they moved our trailer into the service bay so we had to be up and dressed, with the cats in their carrier, satellite dish stowed and the slides in. It was stressful and we’re looking forward to sleeping in for a couple of days at least.

My near-niece Lindsay is in the process of moving to Pueblo to begin her career as a newly-minted veterinarian and her mom is here helping her move into her new digs, so we hope to see them while we’re here. Otherwise, we’ll just scout out the area, see what there is to see and do (it’s sort of a gateway to the mountains and other play areas) for a few days before we move back down to New Mexico to spend most of July.

I hope everyone is having a fun and safe Independence Day holiday and that those of you who are on the road travel safely.

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