Nightmares of the Road

June 16, 2009
Christine - Stephen King's Nightmare

Christine - Stephen King's Nightmare

Ten Drivers to Avoid

The summer driving season is upon us. Just in time for our road adventures here’s my list of your worst nightmares roaming the highways and byways.

1. Cell Phone Talkers.
Drivers talking on cell phones oblivious to their surroundings.

2. No Turn Signals.
Those who never signal turns or lane changes. Seems those driving the most expensive cars are the worst. I was sure BMW and Cadillac installed signals on their vehicles. 

3. Tailgaters.
Yes those drivers who try to save gas by slipstreaming you. Either that or they want a tow.

 4. Lane changers.
Those who constantly change lanes trying to get ahead. Especially bad on three lane or more high speed interstates or expressways.

 5. Red light runners.
Death personified. If you’re in the front row when the light turns green make sure you look both ways, one of these idiots is sure to be just accelerating through the intersection; after all doesn’t red mean speed up.

6. Turtles.
Those who drive ridiculously slow, thirty in a 50 mph zone for example, and always on a two-lane road where passing is impossible. Worse than speeders.

 7. Horn Blowers.
You know, the one behind you laying on the horn when you’re stopped to let a pedestrian cross, or one of the more memorable ones who was blasting the horn when I was stopped by a policeman at an unlighted intersection letting traffic cross.

8. Rearview Mirror.
Drivers who never look in the rearview mirror. They believe no one else is on the road.

 9. Speeders.
Those who simply must pass everyone on the road no matter how fast they’re going. The oddity here is that they are the drivers who never get stopped.

 10. Ignoramuses.
These are the ones who never yield the right of way; never let you in a line of merging cars, and God forbid, are never considerate.

Drive decent and just try to ignore these persons, maybe they’ll go away.


A Day at KOA

July 30, 2008

During our recent RV trip we decided to stay at parks that had electric and water hook-ups as a minimum and a pool for the kids. Sure our motorhome can be self-sufficient. We can camp in more primitive parks without hook-ups, but with three little ones and a spouse who is not into the wild, power is essential. I have to agree.

Kampgrounds of America (KOA), who by the way I have no financial interest in, run campgrounds all over North America. Almost all sites have electric and water as a minimum, many others also have sewer connections.

To illustrate this I will take the KOA in Billings, Montana. Located just off Interstate 90 (I-90) at first glance it appears rather plain, but after you exit and enter the park one finds it’s in a beautifully wooded area right next to the Yellowstone River. Huge shade trees at throughout the park. Amenities include pool, hot-tub, playground for kids, restaurant serving specializing in ribs, store, and showers.

After registering at the office, you are given a map directing you to the site. Some KOAs have staff who actually take you to the site and ensure you are happy before leaving you.

Our site was close but not too close to neighbors, fairly level, and best of all a pull-through. What is a “pull-through” you ask? Access to your individual site is by driving in and out, with no backing up. This is a big plus when you are driving a 25 foot motorhome from which you have zero visibility out the back other than via rearview mirrors.

After spotting our RV on the level pad and making sure access to the hook-ups was easily available, translation does my electrical cable and water hose reach, the family piled out. I made the electrical and water service connections in less than ten minutes. This was important because the temperature was in the upper 80’s F. Running the air conditioning was a priority.

The site we had also had a cable TV connection so the kids were able to watch their favorite cartoon channels. Trust me this is essential.

We had arrived at about 5:00 p.m local time. I took the kids to the playground while Cindy started part of supper on the stove. Once I got the kids looked after, I returned and barbequed some burgers on our portable propane grill. After supper our six-year old did some skateboarding (the laneways were paved), then we all went for a swim to cool off and relax.

Swimming tired the kids out, so back at the RV they got into PJs and family movie night started. A DVD was selected and they watched along with mom and dad before retiring after a long day. By the way noise or party animals are not an issue at this or other parks. Quiet time after 10:00 p.m. is strictly enforced.

We had planned to stay only one night, but the family so enjoyed the park we signed up for another night.


RVing at KOA Campgrounds

July 26, 2008

Just a short post about our trip. We tended to stay at Kampground of American (KOA) sites with our motorhome. Sure we are independent enough to rough it a little, but at the end of the day with three little ones needing to let off some steam and then wind down for bed, these have several advantages,

– for about $40 you get full hook-ups, electric and water, sometimes sewer. This enables one to run the rooftop air conditioner and a TV. Contrast this with a $150 hotel room.
– it let us give the little ones showers in the RV without worrying about water.
– took along a TV with DVD player built in. After the kids played and got jammies on, we had a family movie night complete with popcorn to end the day.
– all the KOAs had children’s playgrounds and most had pools or waterslides. Great way for them to wear themselves out.
– the one at Mount Rushmore even had a shuttle bus where for $4 each for the adults (kids free) we were taken to the evening lighting ceremony and got time to tour the interpretive center as well. The price also included admission to the National Monument.
– the campsites at these facilities are quite level and easy to pull into for us motorhome drivers.
– I was hooked up to electric and water within 10 minutes or less of parking the RV for the night. No luggage to unload.
– every KOA has WiFi (wireless internet) so the laptop was well used.

We ate at fastfood places a total of twice in almost two weeks. The usual for our family is once for lunch at $35 per crack and a family dinner in the evening at $80 a pop. We all ate healthier as a result. We never stayed at a hotel or motel. Our driving was only about 4 hours a day so gas was not too bad.

Another big benefit was the ability to park at a shopping mall and let my wife shop, while the kids and I relaxed in the motorhome. I usually leaned back and had a brewsky while the kids drew pictures or did puzzles.

More later and pictures as well.


The Davis’s Vacation: Apologies to the Griswold’s

July 11, 2008

A road-tripping we will go. This weekend our family leaves for a planned two weeks of enriching the gas stations of the United States and Canada. The plan is to make this family fun for all. How the heck do you do that? Traveling with three little ones that can be hard to manage, but here are some of the ways we hope to make it enjoyable for all,

1. Don’t drive long distances in one haul. The plan is to drive only 4 – 5 hours per day.

2. Stop early in the evening. This should allow for ease of getting campsites and a more laid-back set up of the motorhome. Kids will have time for burning off energy before bed.

3. Visit attractions that appeal to all of us, especially the kids. Flintstone park and waterparks here we come.

4. Always ensure shopping malls are on the agenda along the way. This keeps my wife happy. Happy wife = happy life.

5. Stop frequently at picnic sites along the way. This lets the kids burn off steam and gets some food into them other than the “fine fare” found at the roadside choke’n’pukes like McDonalds.

6. Load the motorhome with provisions: snacks, DVD player and movies, iPods, crafts, coloring books, markers, and Tylenol (for Mom and Dad).

By the way I do plan on taking my laptop along. Most of the KOA’s and other RV parks have WiFi now so I will try to post along the way.

We have done several weekend camping trips with the RV, but it is still relatively new to us so I’m sure we’ll have some adventures along the way. It’s wonderful to camp in relative luxury, power, water and air conditioning. Makes the outdoors much more enjoyable.

Note: For those who don’t know – the Griswold’s are the dysfunctional family who take a cross-country trip in the movie “Vacation” which was released in 1983 and became a cult favorite. It starred Chevy Chase.


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