July 12 to 13, 2019 – Livingston KOA, Livingston, Montana
Another uneventful drive today through the rest of Wyoming and into Montana. We had warm, sunny weather the whole way here. Our site faces the campground office, so we can see everyone coming in. Also, the Beartooth Mountains are very visible behind us.
Since we got in a bit early (around 2:00 PM), we hooked everything up so we could do some laundry in the trailer. We also sat outside under our awning and enjoyed watching the world go by for a while. Malcolm walked down to see the Yellowstone River rushing by (the camping cabins back up to the river).
While we were cooking dinner, a storm rolled in. It hailed for a few minutes – mostly pea-sized hail, then settled into a steady rain with some occasional thunder. The temperature cooled down from the upper-80s into the mid-60s. Should be a chilly morning tomorrow.
While sitting outside, Malcolm called our next stop – the only one we didn’t pre-arrange a reservation for – only to find out they are full tomorrow. There is some type of festival going on in the Idaho panhandle area or Spokane, Washington area that has all the campgrounds through that stretch booked full. We finally found something a good ways west of Spokane, which means we have a nearly 500 mile drive tomorrow. Fortunately, that is the last stop before we reach our destination in Gig Harbor, WA, so we’ll have a shorter drive on Sunday.
July 11 to 12, 2019 – Buffalo KOA, Buffalo, Wyoming
Pretty uneventful trip today from Wellington, Colorado to Buffalo, Wyoming. There is an event called Frontier Days going on in Cheyenne, Wyoming that has rodeos, country music stars, etc. We saw dozens of trucks pulling big horse trailers running south on I-25 the whole way here.
After setting up the trailer and turning on both air conditioners (it was 94 degrees here), we headed to downtown Buffalo to wander through downtown. We founds a couple treasures at an antique store before heading back to the trailer.
We picked up some wiper blades on the way back as we noticed the truck needed new ones the last time it rained on us. A thunderstorm that ended up passing by Buffalo was a nice reminder to pick up a pair of blades.
Tomorrow it is on to Montana.
July 10 to 11, 2019 – Fort Collins North / Wellington KOA, Wellington, Colorado
We had our breakfast this morning at the Wakeeney KOA – pancakes and (for Malcolm) sausage. Very tasty and a great way to start a travel day.
The trip from Wakeeney to Wellington, Colorado was pretty uneventful. One one of our stops along the way, we parked next to this big EarthRoamer RV. Very impressive looking (and very expensive).
We arrived at the Wellington KOA around 3:00 or so mountain time. This is our only stop with 30 amp service (the campground is full), so we ran one air conditioner at a time and cooked on the gas stove instead of our induction cooktop. Life is rough at 30 amps.
Malcolm found his buddies that he met at this campground last year.
Tomorrow we head on up into Wyoming.
July 9 to 10, 2019 – WaKeeney KOA, WaKeeney, Kansas
Today’s trip was uneventful. A straight drive from Odessa, Missouri through Kansas City, Missouri and on down I-70 west to Wakeeney. We’ve stayed at this KOA before and it has really improved each time.
As we were driving in, we noticed the new pool area and decided that would be our first stop after getting everything set up. The pool just opened this year and they did a super job on it and the surrounding area. Very nice.
Back to the trailer after a swim and Malcolm set up the grill to cook up some chicken, pineapple and pepper packets on the grill. He had some help via our next door neighbor’s chocolate lab – Murphy.
After dinner, we headed over to the campground office where they serve ice cream and floats each evening. We each got a double scoop of ice cream ($1.75 for a double scoop) and a bottle of water. We also wandered around the shop but didn’t buy anything.
Tomorrow morning, we’ll drop back by the office for breakfast. They serve pancakes and sausage at a pretty reasonable price, as well. Makes for a nice, hearty breakfast before heading out on the road.
July 8 to 9, 2019 – Country Gardens RV Park, Odessa, Missouri
When we got up this morning, Malcolm planned on taking our trailer tire over to a local tire shop to have them check to see where it was leaking. Knowing they would just spray soapy water over it to check for leaks, Malcolm decided to make up his own soapy spray with a spray bottle we already had. It just took a few seconds to find that our aluminum rim was cracked inside the rim.
This is the third rim that we’ve had do the exact same thing. This is also one of the replacement rims they sent to take care of the previous cracked rims. Malcolm decided to drive over to a local tire place to see if they happened to carry standard steel rims like our spare tire is on. They didn’t but recommended us to backtrack back to Paducah, Kentucky (about 30 miles the wrong way) and a place there would probably have it.
We decided to instead just drive on toward our next destination on what we had (no spare available) and count on roadside assistance if we needed it. Malcolm looked up several RV dealers near our next destination to call once we got there. We packed up and headed out.
We arrived at our destination in Odessa, Missouri without incident and set the trailer up around 3:15 PM.
Malcolm called the first RV dealer on his list and they indicated that a nearby tire store, OK Tire, almost always carries rims of all types so they always send people there, instead. Malcolm called OK Tire and sure enough they had a rim in stock. They even said if we brought our current tire and wheel over that they could swap the tire to the new rim for us right away. Malcolm headed down the road to the tire store.
Once there, they jumped right in and started working. 15 minutes later, Malcolm was driving away with a new rim with our tire mounted on it. All for $63 (rim, mounting charge and metal valve stem).
Now we’ll have a working spare in case we need it along the rest of our trip west. Once we’re settled out in Washington state, we’ll decide how to proceed with wheels. We should be able to get the aluminum rim replaced under warranty, but how many more times will we possibly have to go through this?