"Could I have this dance for the rest of my life?" - Anne Murray

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Update on Drifting Jacks

I forgot to relate that we think we've finally fixed our drifting jacks problem. For the past year we've been having trouble with the two driver's side jacks drifting down while we're driving. Not good. We've had them "fixed" several times and have been advised by Lippert as to various ways to bleed, purge, tighten the valves, etc. At our last repair stop in San Antonio, we got the diagnosis that it wasn't the valves but the jacks themselves that were the problem.  OK...

So, because we were going to be in Kerrville, TX for awhile, we took the RV to LeMeilleur's Truck and RV to have the two faulty jacks replaced. It was not a huge job, and shouldn't have taken too long but... just after we pulled into one of their bays, the Level Up system wouldn't work. We all puzzled over that for awhile, with no results...because the solenoid was broken. That was a new problem. We had just used the system not 15 minutes before. So the jacks and slides were not moving until that was fixed, and of course they didn't have that solenoid in stock. And because the slides wouldn't open, we were unable to live in the RV while waiting for the part and the repair.

Off to the local motel with no clothes and no toiletries. Luckily the part was able to ship overnight and the repairs were all done by the following afternoon. We were very impressed with LeMeilleur's. They were efficient and communicative all along the way. Their shop was large, clean and orderly, with a very comfortable, well equipped waiting room.

Although we haven't had the chance to test the jacks on a long drive, they did stay up on the ride home from the shop, and haven't collapsed at all since we've been parked. So we're hopeful that it's finally fixed. We travel again soon, so we'll know for sure then.  Oh, and our extended warranty covered much of our costs. That was good news.

Although this all sounds like a giant pain-in-the-neck, we've gotten used to these unpredictable events and have learned to roll with what comes our way. It's all part of this full-time lifestyle, and it's all worth it (though we sure wouldn't miss this part).

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Keep on Dancing!

I am revisiting a post from awhile ago, for a couple of reasons. It popped up on the sidebar of this blog as a post that people are reading now, so I reread it too, and loved it again. Embedded in it is a beautiful video created by the Ontario Arts Council that captures a truly universal sentiment that has been central to my personal and professional life.

People sometimes ask why our blog is called "Dancing 'Cross the Country" and this video will help explain it. Although we may not be literally dancing all that often, we try to keep the spirit of dance alive in our adventures, as individuals and in our relationship. There are aspects of dancing, like mutual respect, alertness to the other person, cooperation, timing, going with the flow and small space negotiation that all contribute to the success of our lives on the road.

Finally, I want to honor my community of friends and colleagues in the dance/movement therapy world. This weekend I attended the Alumni Concert of the Creative Arts Therapy Department, Columbia College Chicago. It was wonderful to see my friends and to witness again the commitment and passion they have for dance.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Highs and Lows in Texas

Wow. It's 31 degrees here in Kerrville right now, and 24 hours ago it was 89! It's kind of hard to get acclimated when I don't know whether to put on my flip flops and bathing suit, or layer up with long underwear. Fortunately we don't have to go out if we don't want to, but tomorrow we head north to Illinois for some real weather. This little cold snap helped prepare us for that shock.

My son Mark is here to RV-sit for us while we take this little detour back to our previous state of residence to take care of some personal business. He came a few days early so we could visit and so he could get used to how the RV works.  

Yesterday, in all that sunshine and dry heat we took an outing to Enchanted Rock, where it seemed everyone in Texas hill country also thought it was the place to be. 

Last time we were here, it was so desolate that we had a hard time knowing where the hiking trail was. This time it was a veritable parade going up and down the "Rock" - the highest point around. In the background of this picture you can see the line of cars waiting to get in and the full parking lots.

The place was big enough for all of us though, and once we got up top the views were still wide open.  Although it was a hot day by our standards, the wind was strong and kept us cool. It was even strong enough to keep Mark's hat plastered to his belly. "Look Ma, No hands!"

After working up an appetite we headed north to Llano to revisit Cooper's BBQ. This place is just too good to pass up.  They carve pork chops, half chickens, pork ribs, steak, brisket, goat and sausage and slap it into a pile on your tray. (BTW, when they ask if you want it dipped in sauce, the answer is a resounding "YES.")

In the dining room find big pots of pinto beans and more juice. YES please!

Required by Texans to accompany BBQ is white bread, 
which they go through almost as fast as the paper towels.

I snuck a peek into the kitchen where they were cooking up these huge vats of beans and sauce.

Once again, the meat was the best ever, and the sauce makes it all slide down so easy….making everybody pretty happy. 

(Many thanks to these local basketball players who helped orient us to the unique dining ways of Cooper's BBQ. That's Mark in the middle. He's not a basketball player.)

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Things We Can't Do Without - 1 Again.

Funny, I forgot to mention that I also use a yoga mat for yoga. Imagine that. Getting exercise while living full-time on the road is not always easy. We walk/hike and ride our bikes as often as we can, given weather and environment, and we even kayak now and then. Before starting our adventures I had been practicing yoga for about 9 years and intended to continue to do so on the road. I brought along my yoga mat, a couple of yoga blocks and a bolster, and some yoga videos. It's very hard to practice yoga in our RV, as space is limited and I can't quite create the same ambience as a yoga studio to support a meditative and motivated state.

Luckily, there are many fine yoga studios across the country and I have been fortunate to find some excellent teachers. But this goes in fits and starts. I'll go for periods of time without finding a studio as well.  (Right now I'm in one of those long stretches - and not the yoga kind.)

Here are a few of the best places 'cross the country that I've found to practice yoga:

Gaea Yoga in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina 

Living Yoga in Temecula, California

The Ocean Resort in Campbell River, British Columbia, CA 

YogaHeart Montana in Polson, Montana

Bodhi Yoga in Bee Cave, Texas