Thursday 11th August
started late last night, around 9pm. Stopped in Alpine
overnight. Didn’t sleep that much, guess we’ll do better
when we get used to it. We let Frostie out of the
carrier this morning. He wouldn’t get out at first, but
eventually did and seems to be taking the traveling
well. Wish he’d drink more water though.
engine’s overheated. Right now we’re stuck somewhere on
I8. Slim managed to flag down a truck driver who put
some coolant in, but we still overheated. We can only
drive a few feet before doing so. Right now, we can only
wait ‘til someone comes along.
Friday 12th August 2005
stayed on the hard shoulder last night. This morning, we
flagged down 3 kids - late teens, early 20s -who gave us
some water, root beer, and crackers. The water was
great, we’d run out earlier, so we’d had nothing. One
called the state troopers, then we showed them the
‘zibit that Doug made us. One seemed amazed, not sure
about the other two, but they liked it. Anyhow, they
left, and waited quite a while. Slim flagged down
another guy who gave us some ice water and called a tow
got to the garage, the guys looked it over and said
there was nothing wrong. So we got out of Gila Bend,
went on the road to Buckeye, we over heated again. We
had to flag down another driver to use their cell phone,
to call the garage, who in turn said they'd call the
garage in Buckeye to come out. That was about a 2 hour
wait, and when the tow truck got here, he said that he'd
only gotten the call 15 mins earlier. ARG!
we got towed again and the point is, the radiator had
gone, the radiator hose had a leak, needs a head gasket,
a water pump and god knows what else. So we got some
work done today, and we'll have to do back on Monday to
get the rest done.
now in an RV park til then. Slim will take a break from
driving tomorrow, and I'll sort out the car again.
is taking the traveling rather nobly.
Monday 15th August 2005
Today started badly. We left the RV park with no
Frostie. I got up around 4 this morning and left the
door open a little. He must have gotten out, we haven't
seen him since. Frostie was loving us up real good last
night, we both think that was his way of saying goodbye.
We're both upset, Slim doesn't want to talk about it.
He'll miss that cat, for a while Frostie was the only
companion he had. Where ever Frostie goes, I hope he'll
be happy, and know we love him always.
now, we're in the garage, trying and hoping to get the
car fixed so we can get going.
We've stopped for the night. I'm feeling Frosties loss,
Slim says he'll miss me "communing," i.e. talking with
him. I got the feeling that we don't have to worry about
him as much, if at all. He's a survivor, he'll be ok.
Probably found a family by now. Right now, We're 50
miles from Flagstaff. Still a long way to go.
Wednesday 17th August 2005
gotten to Alberque (sp), and on our way to Denver. The
last couple of rest stops there've been a survey where
you can say whether you approve of the place or not.
I've not seen that before. Anyhow, I'm finally getting
into the idea of being on the road, no our "Gypsy Quest"
is finally underway.
Thursday 25th August 2005
we picked up the RV at Nashua, New Hampshire. We got
there late, as we went to see Oliver first. Nice guy.
Slim conned a couple of bucks out of him to see the
'zibit, rattling off a story, but Oliver know Doug had
made it. We got lost going to his friends place, which
is why we got there late. His friend wasn't home, so
Slim talked his way into a neighbors garden to sit and
chat for a while.
we left them and went back to the car. Not long after
that, Oliver's friend Tony got back. We spent the night
parked in their driveway and early Wednesday moved our
things into the rv. Almost as soon as we drove off,
there was a problem with it. I think the transmission
hose went, as there was a lot of trans fluid around. (I
guess there would be huh?) We drove a ways, but a cloud
of smoke came from the drivers side, so we ended up
getting towed again, and getting the hose replaced. It's
only temporary though, so we'll have to get to a service
station to get it looked at.
went on our way, and stayed at a rest stop over night.
Now it's about 8am, and we'll spend the day finding
places for things, or I will anyway. Slim's not used to
driving the rv, no time for practice really, and he's
not sure what all the buttons do yet. Anyhow, today will
be a day to relax for him.
myself, I believe that America is truly a great
country. For a while I thought where's the trees, then
finally, forests, hills, green for miles. Reminded me of
England. For a while there were miles of grassland,
hills in the distance that you could hardly see. It's a
great experience. If I ever get married again and have
kids, even if I don't, I hope I get to do it again. The
Gypsy Quest part 2.
Sunday 28th August 2005
arrived at Wilkes-Barre Pa yesterday. Finally got to do
some laundry, and got on the 'net briefly. Got the rv
looked at, it's ok. The right hand side mirrors, were
bent out of shape where Slim hit a road cone. Slim's
just getting the concept of the body being wider than
just moved things around again. Slim's taking it easy
today, needs the rest. The RV looks a little more like
home. We're at a rest stop a few miles south of
Wilkes-Barre, and I get the feeling that we're going to
be asked to leave. You're not supposed to be parked here
for more than 2 hours. By the end of today, we will be.
Or, maybe that's just me being paranoid.
Monday 29th August 2005
was right. We were asked to leave. The cop who knocked
on the door about 6:15pm gave us an hour to leave. We
left around 6:30, and went south to a campground. Nice
area, quiet, even has a pond. Feels good to stick my
feet into. There's a couple of showers too, and after a
couple of weeks not washing properly, I didn't want to
Tuesday 30th August 2005
driving around, not really going anywhere, when we
passed Marc's Tattooing. We pulled in on the off chance
that it was the one in the Sideshow Gathering and Inking
the Valley. It was, and Slim managed to get in touch
with Franco. Anyhow, we went to the Ramada Inn, and
finally met with him. We got booked in early and went to
his room. Matt The Knife was there, along with a couple
of his friends. Natasha and Terrance are here too, but
I've not seen them yet.
Matt pretty much dominated the conversation. Slim with
his stories, (new audience,) and Matt with His
experiences. I just get the feeling that people will be
disappointed when they look at me after what Slim's
Thursday 1st September 2005
was the unofficial start of the gathering. Slim did a Q
& A, after that, Ward Hall came to the stage. Slim was
glad to give up the mike, he wasn't sure what to say.
Afterwards at the buffet, Sideshow Bennie, Nipplini,
Natasha, and a few others who we've only known names of
were there. Good to put faces to the names at last.
Saturday 3rd September 2005
finally met Natasha. Personally I think they're secretly
in love with each other. :) Anyway, she's a hell of a
dancer. The Crispy Family , Sideshow Bennie, and a few
others performed. The big swallow was last night. 52
swords were dropped, a new record. A cheer went up when
we heard. Slim was a glad witness. Slim also wanted to
take part, though he wanted to swallow a catheter. He
can't get a sword down anymore, so he thought he's give
that a go. Didn't work though, swords only.
Sunday 4th September 2005
of the gathering. The brunch started at 10am, and around
11:30, awards were given out. Slim was last and got a
standing ovation. He tried real hard not to tear up, but
I think I did enough for both of us. Slims daughter
Joyce and her friend left today. I was pleased that they
got to meet after all these years.
Tuesday 6th September 2005
we arrived at Allegany State Park. Slim wanted a place
to crash after a few days after the gathering. I love
the place, plenty of trees and hills, I like that. Quiet
too, all you can hear are birds, insects, distant
gunshots, and the faint rumble of traffic. I guess it's
hard to get away from that.
still can't get over the fact that he got a standing
ovation at all, especially one lasting that long.
we're done here, who knows what we'll do. Slim's
thinking of wintering in Las Vegas or Florida. I really
don't care where we go, as long as there isn't any snow.
Rain's fine, no snow. I'm not mad keen on snow. Anyhow,
we'll hang here for a few days.
Monday 12th September 2005
Allegany State Park and went to Buffalo, NY to see Joyce
for a couple of days. I'm really just staying out of the
way so they can talk. Feels a bit odd to have a step
daughter who's older than me. We're also getting the rv
insured and registered, so we'll be here a while.
Sunday 25th September 2005
Buffalo on Thursday morning. We took a drive through
Chicago, and that's something that I've no wish to
repeat. The drivers are crazy, if you want to change
lanes, they don't let you We ended up on the wrong side
of the road at one point. You go to change lanes, and
people keep coming. Seems no one here know what
indicators are. It's the sort of town that you see on
the bus rather than by car. We managed to get out of
there and stopped just outside of Wisconsin. Hopefully
we'll start looking for small town America. That's the
country I'd like to see.
Thursday 29th September 2005
driven through Minnesota, and are now going through
South Dakota. What I've seen so far of both, it's
nothing but plains and small towns. We stopped in Mundo
to see if there was a library. There was, but it was in
the process of moving to another building.
passed through the Badlands National Park with the hope
of staying in the campground there for a few days.
Neither of us fancied staying there after we discovered
there wasn't any shade. Anyhow, we made a detour through
a town called Wall. We'd seen signs for the towns
attractions for around 350 miles. so we decided to take
a look. We didn't stop, although there was free parking.
It didn't allow motor homes or campers, so we just rode
around a little before we got back on the highway.
should be in Wyoming by tonight or tomorrow. We'll see
what that brings.
Saturday 1st October 2005
it to Wyoming yesterday. Finally found a town with a
library, nice one too. Anyhow, we decided to go to
Yellowstone and camp for a few days. We'd gone over the
mountains into Ten Sleep Creek. hard work for the
camper, but it's holding up real well. Today, on the way
to Cody, then Yellowstone, we passed a town called
Emblem with a population of 10. With only a few houses
it's a blink and you miss it town.
towards Cody, the area's mainly flat with a few hills
and mountains in the distance. A few of those with snow
on the peaks already.
to Yellowstone and discovered that it cost $33 a night
to stay, so we decided that we'd go and see the mud
flats and old faithful. That fell through as well. To
get there, we'd have to wait for a pilot car to lead us
up there. That plus the fact we had to pay for that, and
had to be out by 8pm, so we turned back, went through
Cody, Thermopolis, and spent the night in a Wal-Mart
parking lot in Riverton. We've not seen much of the
town, but I'd like to see if there's a library.
Wednesday 5th October 2005
the border into Utah this morning, going toward Salt
Lake City. Not quite where we intended to go, but it'll
be a nice detour. Yesterday, it snowed. We'd stayed
overnight in Rock Springs, and it only took about 4
hours to get to Everton, but on the way, it started to
snow. We parked at Wal-mart to wait the wand and snow
out. It let up for a while, but started again, so we
stayed overnight. Now long after getting into Utah, we
hit some fog. Real thick too, we could hardly see 10
feet in any direction.
Thursday 6th October 2005
stayed in Moab last night. Nice place, couldn't find a
Wal-mart to park in, so we went to a City Market
Park is impressive. Slim's been raving about it, and
I'll have to admit it's like nothing I've seen before.
The views are great. Slim says that this is the America
he wants me to see. America is a great and beautiful
place, it's great to be able to see it like this.
been giving me a running commentary as we drove through
the park It's good to see that his enthusiasm hasn't
gone away. He's got some life back when he does that. He
loves the place, and really wants me to like it to. When
I said I loved it, he got tears in his eyes. He was
pleased when I said that.
to Archers Park and Dead Horse Point looking for places
to camp. Neither had water, so we didn't stay. Just
outside Archers Park, there's an RV park. Prices aren't
great, but we're staying a couple of nights.
Saturday 8th October 2005
into Colorado about 10:50 this morning. We're hoping to
be in Denver tomorrow. Hopefully we'll see The Crispy
Family Circus for a couple of days. After that, the plan
is to go to Arizona or Nevada and winter in an RV park.
We had a quick drive around aspen, just out of
drove through a canyon, Slim gave me a commentary. He
used to go this road years ago, so he told me what it
used to be like, and what he did. I admit I enjoy the
commentary, it brings the area to life.
Sunday 9th October 2005
snowed on again during the night. Neither of us were mad
keen on driving in it all, but nothing could be done
got to Denver after a couple of side trips. One of those
was Central Valley, a town that Slim worked and lived
in years ago. Trouble is, the fog was real thick and we
could hardly see 30 feet in front of us, if that. So, we
turned around and got back on the road to Denver.
in touch with Loki in Boulder and we’ll be here for a
couple of nights, or less if we start to stink. Anyhow,
Loki wants to interview him as part os a journalism
course he’s doing at university, plus he wants to hear
the stories. Slim’s just happy to have a new person to
tell them to.
Monday 10th October 2005
part of the interview this morning. Loki wanted to do
some more this afternoon, but Slim was too tired, so
he’ll do some more another time. Probably tomorrow. He’s
been tired all day and slept a lot. He needs it, because
of all the driving.
out to look around the town. This is a campus area,
Colorado University. I went into the campus bookstore,
there was quite a few books that I wanted, but being
school books, expensive. Shame really.
Sunday 16th October 2005
stayed with Crispy and Boobzilla since Wednesday night.
We both had a good time, especially Slim. More new
people to tell his stories to. Their dog is adorable.
He’s a cross between a rottwiler and a basset hound. (I
think.) He’s big, especially when he’s trying to be a
left, we got lost a couple of times, and we’re still in
Monday 17th October 2005
stayed in Alamosa overnight, (thanks Wal-Mart!) Our
final destination is Quartzsite Arizona, where we’ll
winter. The rent won’t be bad either.
through Durango, Mancos, and stayed in Cortez. The RV
doesn’t like mountains that much, we could only do 20
mph for a while. Mind you, we hadn’t got the engine
adjusted. Once we get to lower ground, we’ll be fine.
Tuesday 18th October 2005
passed Four Corners today. We were going to stop, but
not for $3 a person. Nothing there really except for a
couple of gift shops. I guess America isn’t free
anymore, there are ticket booths everywhere.
miles from Tuba City, we passed through a real heavy
hail storm. We were worried about the windshield for a
while, the hail was so large. We stopped for a while to
wait it out, we could hardly see. Didn’t last long
before it broke up. There was a lot of lightening, but
didn’t hear any hear any thunder.
was to go to the Grand Canyon. We’d just turned onto the
road leading to it, when we saw a sign saying there was
a $20 charge for vehicles. $20 to see what’s basically a
hole in the ground. Like I said, America isn’t free
Thursday 20 October 2005
through Phoenix yesterday, and arrived in Quartzsite
last night. We parked in an empty lot overnight, and
after looking at a few sites, we found one that was more
in our price range, i.e. the cheapest. I had a walk
around, and there doesn’t seem to be much here, but I’ve
not seen all of it yet.