Test Post

cropped-p5111624-php.jpg

This is a test post to see what it looks like. I’m stealing this image off of the official Little Guy website (www.golittleguy.com) for now. I should probably get permission from them. Who knows maybe after we massage this site a little to make it look really great and we start posting our trips they might feature us on their site. That’d be really cool. Then we’d be famous!

I’m playing around with the look and feel of this site. I’m trying different themes. Almost decided on the Twenty Thirteen theme and may go back to it. Rather than take the time to learn the new theme, I’m using the same theme we used on GeeGeerides.com. That blogged the trips we took on our ’06 Harley Davidson Ultra Classic motorcycle. Since it worked so well for us on that blog, I’ve decided to just simply host this new blog as well on WordPress.com.

I could self host it, but I’m going for simplicity here. The main point is to create our journal of travels in our Little Guy, if or when we get it. But that’s another post. Hmmm, if we get to the point of asking for donations via PayPal, I’d have to self host to get the plugins I’d need.

Audio Post

This is something new! Looks like we can post via voice message. So now with posting via email and via voice mail there should be no excuse, except maybe just being too far off the grid. Well if that ever happens we might just hang out there and have a little grid-less time. ūüėČ

Anticipation

We’ve been communicating with a dealer in Bayfield, Colorado about a Little Guy Silver Shadow they have on their lot. It basically looks like our current header image on this website. We’re pretty excited to drive over there on Wednesday to take a look at it. If it works outs to be the one, then we’ll have a hitch installed on the Subaru and drive ‘er home! We may make a small camping trip out of it. Bayfield is 165 miles away from Salida. It’s almost to Durango. I think we’re planning on camping out on Wednesday night in our tent.

Little Guy Customer Service

Once we decided to pursue Little Guy rather than other similar types of teardrop trailers and after watching all the online videos, we had questions that needed answers from Headquarters in Ohio. ¬†Of course, it was a Friday afternoon and they are 2 hours ahead of us, but as Chris says in the videos on their golittleguy.com website, ‚ÄúText me anytime!‚ÄĚ ¬†So we did ‚Äď at 6:30 Mountain Time. ¬†We really did not expect to hear back that evening, but sure enough, he did! ¬†We went back and forth with him on a couple of issues and he answered them to our satisfaction so we could sleep easy that night. ¬†It‚Äôs reassuring to know that he did what he said he would, even after 9 pm on a Friday. ¬†We feel very good about this company and are hoping all works out when we meet our Little Guy Silver Shadow in two days. ¬†We are even thinking of making a trip east and taking a side trip to World HQ in Canton, Ohio on the way.

On the local level, we have been dealing with Dena at Rich’s Performance Marine in Bayfield, Colorado¬†and have been similarly impressed with her followup and assistance. ¬†Really looking forward to meeting her on Wednesday!

On Our Way to See Our Little Guy

On our way this morning to see a Little Guy Silver Shadow in Bayfield, Colorado. We’re probably going to camp out tonight somewhere near there. Tomorrow, if we decide to actually get this Little Guy, we’ll have a hitch installed on our 2009 Subaru Outback.

Here’s the route we’ll be taking. I realize this particular map is not very interesting, but I’m just practicing putting maps into our posts. I’m thinking it’ll be interesting when our trips really start going places. Oh, then there is the whole new “places” technology happening on Social. It’d be cool to take advantage of it.

Selecting Our Little Guy

We arrived at Rich’s Performance Marine at about 2:00 o’clock today and were warmly greeted by Dena who Susan has been talking to on the phone all these days. She knew right off who we were. After introductions including Simon (they are very dog friendly) she showed us the Silver Shadow Little Guy we were coming to see. It was beautiful and big. With a fridge, stove, and sink and being six feet wide and fifteen feet long it was plenty spacious for us. Maybe a little bit too spacious. It was actually wider than our Subaru Outback. We had some concerns about the weight and towing capacity of our car. Even though we’d heard through texting, emails, and verbal assurances that the Subie can handle it, we were still worried it would be too much stress on the car, especially on Colorado mountain passes.

Over near the other corner of the show room was a smaller version of the Silver Shadow. Instead of it being called a 6 X 10 it’s called a 5 X 8. Actually the mattress inside is almost as big and plenty of room for my 5 foot 9 inches and Susan’s 5’3″. It weighs almost 300 pounds less and fits nicely behind the Outback. This smaller version doesn’t have a stove or refrigerator, but we’re thinking we won’t miss them. So we are opting for the smaller 5 x 8 rather than the 6 x 10. Easier on the car, energy consumption, and pocketbook. It still has plenty of room for all of us.

Dena and Rich were very patient and helpful as Susan and I went back and forth with which one to choose. No pressure. And are feeling like we definitely made the right choice. After all the online research and weighing options, we did it! We pick up our Little Guy tomorrow!

Simon Waiting

We’re waiting for the trailer hitch to be installed. Our Silver Shadow is waiting for us to hook it up. Probably should have your hitch installed before hand it’d be a good idea. Build in time. Things always seem to take longer than you thought.

Shadow’s Spot When Were Home

Made it home from picking up our Little Guy. We were on the road for three full days. Camped three nights, twice in the Shadow once in tent. We were out of Internet range a lot of the time. Now need to write about events and post pics. Just have to say, we are very pleased with our new Silver Shadow Little Guy. I’m calling him Shadow. Making lots of plans and imagining all the places to go and stuff to do.

Our First Trip

We picked up Shadow in Bayfield, CO and headed west for Durango not sure where we would stop for the night. It was raining pretty hard so at the first USFS campground sign we saw, we turned in.  This was Lake Haviland and we got lucky!  Cost for the night with our Golden Age Pass was $9.50.  Site 30 was in the trees close to water and the bathroom.  We set up quickly РShadow was easy to turn to where we wanted him so we positioned it with the kitchen facing the picnic table just on the edge of the tarp.  Setting up the tarp was a real challenge so first thing on our Needs List is a gazebo shelter.

IMG_5623 IMG_5630

We had stopped in Durango for food and ate a delicious meal of chicken with rice and veggies cooked on our stove .  Easy cleanup with the counter tops and water handy.  Simon was a happy camper too since we could let him roam a bit.  The rain let up for a while and dried everything up.  Simon is happier not sleeping in Shadow so Rick rigged up a tie-out for him and set him up under the camper.  Sometime in the night he was asking to come inside and then the skies opened up again.  Lightning and thunder and soaking rain.  We were so glad to be off the ground, warm and dry.

Next morning we had our coffee and breakfast then headed out to the lake for a look-see.  We went around the lake as far as we could go which was about a mile or so.  So quiet and serene Рwe felt like whispering or just being with our own thoughts.  Simon was having so much fun running off leash through the rocks and tall grass.  We are so enjoying his spirit and energy.

IMG_5632IMG_5635Simon Spirit

We packed up at checkout (noon) and headed towards Silverton over Coal Bank Pass. The Subie did great with the elevation and steepness. ¬†We find it nice to have the Sport feature which allows us to use manual shifting to hold the speed with the transmission rather than the brakes. ¬†We got to Silverton a little tired so we found a spot in the shade and rested for a while. ¬†Simon barked every time the horse drawn buggy came by so we didn’t really sleep. ¬†Gotta get him to get used to horses.

IMG_5667

Left there around 4 and headed over the Million Dollar Highway into Ouray, one of our favorite places.  No stopping this time but we did stop in Ridgeway Town Park for a late lunch of leftovers from dinner the night before.  We headed to Montrose and stopped in Walmart to see if they had a stove that would fit on the countertop and maybe buy some dinner.  We did neither and decided to go home.

As we continued toward Gunnison, it was getting dark and we realized we would be home after 10 so we scoped out a couple of campsites and decided to stay at Stevens Creek along Blue Mesa Reservoir, another USFS area.  Not much of a setting but it was $6 for the spot.  We backed Shadow in, snacked on whatever was in the cooler, took a short walk with Simon and hit the bed again.  So nice to be able to stop like that!  Simon got some sort of burrs in him from running in the weeds so we spent some time getting those out.  Again, he slept under the trailer until morning.

We had coffee and a snack in the morning in Gunnison, stopped at Gene Taylor Sporting Goods in our continued search for a gazebo, a stove and now a percolator.  No luck there or at the local Walmart.  So we headed home arriving around 11.  Total mileage from Bayfield was 256 miles and we got 20.7 mpg even going over all those mountain passes.  We were happy with that.

Category for Info

On our first night of camping with Shadow, we had two separate people stop by our camp site to check out our Little Guy. The first guy from New Mexico was very animated and excited calling out to someone, “Hey honey! This is what we need! This’ll do everything we want!” The next person was a lady walking her dog and was very impressed with our camp site and said she was going to tell her husband all about it. We’ve also heard stories on the Little Guy forum about how we should probably carry Little Guy brochures so we can hand ’em out. From now on, when we’re on the road, I’m going to take a picture of every person that asks us about our Little Guy and post it here, maybe with a few bits of info like where they are from and their names. I’m creating a category on this site called “LG Queries” to label them.

I think I’m going to create a list of links in the sidebar as well, so that when someone asks us about our Little Guy we can just point ’em to this website to start their research. It might be a way of gathering followers too.

Lunch break

We stopped for lunch at a park near Blue Mesa Reservoir. Just a quick stop but Simon wasn’t ready to leave when we were. We had to trick him into finally moving.

Ridgeway State Park

Here’s a pic near our camp site for tonight. It’s late right now and I’m writing this on my iPhone. I just wanted to mention something we just thought of about the different kinds of sites we’ve stayed in so far with Shadow. The first night was a private RV park with some great tent sites. Next night was a US Forest service site near Lake Haviland. Now tonight is a state campground. All are nice in their own way. I think the USFS place was my fav so far. I’d like to talk about the differences sometime. Perhaps when I get on a keyboard somewhere.

Shade/Blind Solution

IMG_5747I kind of discovered a solution to our need for blinds inside our Little Guy. In the car one day I was setting up the sun shades in the car windshield. We’d been wondering if we should order those blinds they sell on the Little Guy website store. As I set up the windshield shades I said to myself, “Hey, these might work inside the Little Guy!” As soon as I got home I tried to see if I could make them stand up somehow against the inside of the doors. The ones we have for the Subaru are just about the right size to completely cover the inside of the Silver Shadow doors. Cool! They’re even silver on one side so they match color perfectly. Still I was wondering how we could make them stay. Velcro, sew a button hole, hang a little string loop . . . ? But as we started to use them we found that one side fit into the handle of the door and the other side pushed up against the cup holder. Voila! They stay in position nicely while the door is closed. They can even be slid up or down to allow for ventilation or peeking out the bottom of the door. Also if you need to escape quickly they don’t impede the handles, so you can just open the door without a hitch. True, if you open the door, you have to reset the shade, but it’s so easy that it’s not an issue. Just pull it off, throw it to the foot end of the bed. Then when you get back in just put it in place.

Map of Ridgeway-Grand Mesa trip

This is a map of our trip to Ridgeway and Grand Mesa.  We went 426 miles which was a little further than we had anticipated.  The Subie averaged 22.2 mpg this time which was better than last trip but we only went over Monarch Pass and up and down the Grand Mesa.  Bet we do really well on flat terrain.

View Larger Map

Minnesota Mike

IMG_1283[1]IMG_1282[1]

This was the scene at our campsite in Grand Mesa. After the rain stopped on Saturday night, the setting was beautiful and serene. Sometime late Saturday, a large SUV pulled into the site two over from us.  The camper started pulling everything out of his car, made a fire using old pizza boxes and other burnable items (not firewood) and then put everything back into his car.  He was apparently car camping since he started his car several times during the night, probably to keep warm.

On Sunday morning, while just waking up and starting to make coffee, our campsite neighbor paid us a visit. ¬†He loudly came into our site asking if we had seen a gray cat. Really?? ¬†We said we had not and that’s why we kept our dog tied up. ¬†He said, “He always does this, just when I need to leave. ¬†So, where are you guys from?” ¬†REALLY?? ¬† “I’m from Minnesota and I really like it here, ¬†I think I’ll stay.” We we’re not in chat mode and pretty much ignored him as he wandered off to our campsite neighbor across the road.¬† Heard him give the same intro about the cat, but when the “So where are you from” question was asked, he got trapped. ¬†Several minutes later he finally left the poor guy alone and went back to calling “Gabriel” and trying to reason with Gabe that it was time to go and to get into the car. ¬†He started to play loud pop music as if that would alert Gabe to come. ¬†He also made several passes back and forth along the road as if he were leaving and Gabe better come out of the trees or he would be left behind. ¬†Still no Gabe.

After about two hours of this, he told our neighbor that he was “running to Walmart” (Really? ¬†The nearest one is several hours away) and was he going to be there in case Gabe showed up. ¬†Not sure what our neighbor said. We were packing up and apparently got the message that we were not sympathetic to his situation so he didn’t come back to us. ¬†We never got his real name but nicknamed him Michael since his cat was Gabriel and they made a good pair of archangels.

Tried an Overnighter

Recently we thought we’d try using our Little Guy trailer a little differently. We’d just spend an evening somewhere in a campground near a hiking trail. Spend the evening relaxing then in the morning be near a hike we’d like to do.

The campsite set up quickly.  Just back in the Little Guy, unhook and put into position near the picnic table, open up the back, set up the awning, and voila!

Next morning we were able to be at our trail head nice and early. Enjoyed the great Colorado outdoors. We were home by 2 o’clock.

First Full Day

We left Salida around 11:30 Denver bound to attend Karens birthday party. Our goal was to find Hwy 86 east for Limon and I-70. After two tries and a few choice comments, we found our way to the Limon truck stop and our little guy parked along with the big guys for the night. There was an eerie string of red lights blinking rhythmically along the horizon that made us think of “ET phone home”. We realized in the morning that it was windmills!
Off we went eastbound by 8:30. Simon is a good traveler and pays attention to what’s going on (when he’s not sleeping.) Rick wanted to get a bit of exercise and suited up for a short ride. Simon and I reorganized the gear and then watched the race cars at the local fairground. We headed east to find Rick along Hwy 36 sharing some of our “scenic” ride with farm equipment that slowed us down to 20 mph for a while!
We saw the sign for an historic marker and here I am just about in the geographic center of the US. Wow.
Tonight we are in marysville, ks in the SuperWalmart parking lot. The wind has finally died down and it should be quieter than last night. We plan to get up early and keep heading east.

Some thoughts FTR

Last night stayed in a Limon truck stop. The guy said sure park anywhere. So we found a spot that seemed out of the way and just basically climbed into the Little Guy to sleep. We found that all the idling semi trucks was kind of like rain on the roof and slept pretty good. This is a shot I took in the morning from our spot.

Hwy 36 seems to go on forever. Hardly any cars. Got to listen to the Broncos game on an AM radio station. Yah! Go broncos!

We went right by the geographic center of the USA. I think it’s kids funny that it’s near a town called Athol.

Here’s our rig parked in a shady spot along the hwy.

Settling in tonight in a Walmart parking lot in Marysville Kansas. You can see our little guy way off in the west end of the lot. Hey it’s clean and well lit. Took Simon for a walk around the property. Probably more than mile of nice green grass all around.

This post is coming from my iPhone. We’re find connectivity sketchy at best.

Same Road Different Time

A friend and I tried to ride our bikes from Colorado Springs to Connecticut in 1979 or 80 (memory fails). We followed this same route. Lots more to the story, but I thought it was so cool today to do about 20 miles just for the fun of it. Glad I brought my bike. Here’s a pic while I was riding. Oh, had a awesome tail wind! The wind blew strong all day. Good thing it’s was blowing our way.

Hannibal, Missouri

We arrived in Hannibal just in time to take the one riverboat tour scheduled today. Simon was allowed to come along! Lots of Mark Twain type stories along with history of the area.

We enjoyed the tour while Simon made friends with a bunch of kids who are home schooled and on a field trip.

While Rick did some work at a local coffee shop, Simon and I took our own tour of the town. We climbed up a couple hundred steps to the lighthouse overlooking the river and town . We are having great weather with cool nights and warm days.

View from the lighthouse. Upon returning to the car, we realized our trailer license plate was missing – probably blown off in yesterday’s wind. Several calls to Chaffee county clerk, Colorado DMV and a local county clerk ran us around in circles with no real help. We decided to take the risk of no plate and deal with it when we get home.
Tonight we are in Tuscola, IL in a Pilot truck stop. Just a word about our Little Guy – we are sleeping so well that we are getting late starts in the morning! The bed is so comfortable, we have figured out our “systems” so everything has a place and Simon has slept with us each night. It’s working out perfectly !
Tomorrow we are taking a different route than planned to avoid Indianapolis. I’ll let you know how that works out for us. Sent from my iPhone

Feet in Ilinois

Good night’s sleep at the Pilot Travel Center in Tuscola. This is farm land. We liked for a camp ground but closest was 50 miles away and it was already 8 pm. Starting to get a new appreciation for truck stops. Seems like if there’s an open spot in one then you can park in it.

The home schoolers on their field trip gravitated to Simon on the Mark Twain River Boat tour.

Hoping to reach Little Guy world headquarters today and show em how the license plate holder doesn’t hold.

Random thoughts about Tuscola

As I think about our brief stay in Tuscola, I realized a couple of contradictions. First, arriving from the west, it’s a very depressed town with a few questionable businesses. As you head east, everything changes. There is a huge high end outlet mall there with a beautiful entrance and landscaping. That was across the street from the truck stop we stayed in.

And then there are the trains. It seemed like they came through town every 20 minutes all night long horns a blaring. After a while, you don’t hear them and fall asleep. Can’t say I’d seek out Tuscola again. We are now Ohio bound. Sent from my iPhone

Nice quiet spot at Clay’s Park

Found a great place to spend last night at Clay’s RV Park and Water World. They call this “resort camping”.

Here’s Dennis that showed us where to camp. We needed to be shown because this place is soooo huge.

No one really around it seems this time of year. The place has lots of RVs parked in beautiful spots but no is here. Dennis says they just leave their RVs here all year round. This place even has it’s own airport.

Here’s the renovated shower building. Nice to get cleaned up.

Simon watches everything for us.

On to Shaker Heights today!

Best shower ever … Almost

We stayed in this resort campground for the peace, quiet and hot showers. The morning was chilly and clear – this is what the lake in front of the bathhouse looked like when I got there.

This is the front of the bathhouse – The light was hitting it just right. I was luxuriating in the hot water running through my hair when I realized I had forgotten my bar of soap and MY TOWEL! Damn! I spent the rest of this awesome shower wondering how I was going to dry myself off and my hair too before stepping out in the cold air. I also left my hair dryer in the LG. There was a turbo hand dryer that worked pretty good and just then Rick showed up. He too had forgotten his towel so he went back for it and my hair dryer . My hero! Needless to say, I still enjoyed the shower and clean styled hair all day.

This is the drive out of the resort. Beautiful grounds and a great nights sleep!

Tip: Don’t forget your towels.

Stopped in at world headquarters

Got a great welcome today at Little Guy Headquarters in Massillon, OH. Joe showed us around and made us feel right at home.

Scott checked out our blog and even mentioned us on Facebook! We’re getting lots of new followers so we suppose we better keep track of our spelling. Most our posts are done via smartphone and autocorrect gets us sometimes. Thanks checking us out!

If you happen to stop by Little Guy WHQ you might be surprised to get a t-shirt. This one is from the annual rolling home rally. We’re thinking about going to it next year.

You may remember our license plate blew off on the first day of our trip. Scott made a call down to the manufacturing plant. We went down right away and they installed a new version of their license plate holder and washed our little guy while they were at it. This is Richard who installed it. Everyone at the plant was great. Real friendly and professional. I wish we’d had more time to take the official tour. Maybe on the way back through.

Here’s our new license plate holder.

Some shots of a day off from traveling

Made it to Mom’s

Susan tells me we forgot to mention our destination, Terryville, Connecticut at my Mom’s house. It’s the central location where my sisters and brother-in-laws sort of congregate.

Frankly when left Salida, Colorado we didn’t know our blog would actually be followed by real people. We just kind of thought of our blog as a sort of travel log for journal of our own trip with our new Little Guy. We didn’t know Joe and Scott were going to make us famous by putting our blog address on The Little Guy Facebook page. Now we’ve got followers wanting to know what’s up because we haven’t posted in a few days. That’s okay. We’ll just have to keep ya’ll updated and let you know when there’s going to be a dead space for a little while. We’ll be back on the road tomorrow afternoon with regular posts as we head back to Salida.

IMG_8489

This is where we’re parked for the last few days. It’s right outside my mom’s house. She said we could sleep inside the house, but we hated to have the family shift around and we actually are very comfortable sleeping in the Little Guy. Nice quiet nights and convenient.

IMG_0032

Trying to figure out a way to keep the windows open just a little bit rather than the whole way up. They don’t have enough friction in the sliding mechanism to hold them up just part way. I stuck this small plastic box as a block to hold it open enough to keep the ventilation going. We found out that they mean it when they recommend ventilating the cabin while sleeping. Condensation will build up on the windows and the star gazer window which can drip onto your head. I’m thinking it would be great to have an intake vent somewhere other than having to open the windows.

IMG_8345

Got to help my brother-in-law winterize their camper trailer. It took hours! Made me glad we’ve gone the small tear drop route.

IMG_8380

That’s Simon on the pool covering. He’s not supposed to be there and we had a hard time keeping him out of the water. Can’t let him in the backyard unsupervised; we’re afraid he might fall though. Uggg.

Gettin started back

We’re just getting going on our way back to Colorado. Stopped to get gas and this gentleman wanted to know all about our Little Guy. Turns out his name is Jerry. He kept calling it the “bomb.” We gave him a brochure courtesy of Little Guy WHQ. Said he was “sold!”

Stopped at Yankee Boy Harley Davidson on the way out for the fun of it. Simon and Susan were telling me to just let’s go.

Heading West

After saying our goodbyes to the family this morning, we were on the road by about noon. Simon had to take a couple more dips in the pool cover and a romp on the mud so one more bath for him before we left.
Didn’t realize it was lunchtime already and since we don’t have Friendlies out west, we felt obligated to treat ourselves. We munched on salads and held back on dessert so when we see another one we will be sure to have a cone with jimmies! If you are from New England you will get that!
I had planned a route along the Delaware river (rte. 209) and it did not disappoint. No trucks allowed and just beautiful rolling hills and changing foliage. Highly recommend it.
I could tell by the map that coming into stroudsburg would be challenging. A couple of wrong turns and no help from Siri caused some minor frustration but we finally found our way to 80 west towards Allentown.
Several accidents (one two cars in front of us!!) caused more delays and a few choice words. We decided not to press our luck and got off at fogelsville and right there was a Cracker Barrell! Yes, you can stay here. So after a quick tour of the area including the velodrome in trexlertown , we had a quick meal and called it a night. Almost.
The deadbolt lock on one side of the LG will not open with the key or from the inside. Rather than deal with it tonight, we will share one door and call LG in the morning. Hope this is any easy fix.

Door lock is stuck

Something is wrong with one of our Little Guy door bolt locks. The key only goes in half way, and the latch inside won’t unlock it either. It’s dark now so we’ll have to try and fix it on the morning. Anybody seen this before?

Cracker Barrel campsite

We gotta figure out a better way for Simon to sleep in the LG. He likes to put his nose by the open window against the screen but we are concerned that he will push through it. He had to sleep outside last night. We’ll probably seek out Cracker Barrel again.

Taking a break

We’ve stumbled upon an idealic place to take a break. We still need to fix the deadbolt lock on one of the doors, Simon kept me awake a lot of last night, and we wished we’d stayed here last night instead of the Cracker Barrel restaurant. The CB wasn’t bad as far as truck stops go, but here at the Lehigh Valley Preferred Cycling Center, we’re in a beautiful, quiet park hanging out in the shade. It’s so nice we don’t want to leave.

I’m just sitting here waiting for Susan to get back from the shower facilities then I’m gonna go on a on a bicycle ride to get my legs loosened up.

Got to ride today

Put in 20 miles on a beautiful loop at the Lehigh Preferred Cycle Center.

We’re camping in a field on the property. Nice and quiet, except for the crickets, but they’ll help put us to sleep.

A Day in the Park

While Rick was doing his laps around the park, Simon and I did our own laps on foot.

There’s a separate lane for fast cyclists, roller bladers and pedestrians or slow cyclists. We had the trail to ourselves most of the time.

We cooled off in the shade near the sandbox area where moms bring their kids to play. Even preschoolers were making short laps on the trail. Big biking community!