Wendy and Matt’s House in Iowa


Lots of rain and moisture on our drive today. This is where we are spending tonight and maybe tomorrow night. Nice and peaceful and quieter than last night that’s for sure. There is an extensive bicycle trail system in Adel and we’re hoping to explore them a little. There are covered bridges here that inspired the novel and movie Bridges of Madison County. And it is very near the birthplace of John Wayne! Sure is nice to have friends along the way.

Nice Man Named Channi [chun-nee]

Channi was camped across from our site. We had some interesting conversations about everything from water quality to bicycle engineering. Simon really like Channi and wished him a good morning each day with some friendly barking. We laughed one night when Channi was standing in the road wearing all black and back lit from the twilight sky. He startled Simon who thought he was seeing a ghost.

Tom and Janice

Nice to meet Tom and Janice while camping at Hahn’s Peak Lake CG. They said they liked the idea of tear drop trailers and were going to look into them. I hope they do. They have lots of experience traveling and living on a boat. We compared the similarities to traveling with a tear drop.

Camping close to home

We’ve been wanting to stay at the Angel of Shavano campground ever since we checked it out this spring before it opened. We had our favorite spots pre-selected and were happy when we got site 10. It’s right on the creek which is running big right now because of the snow melt.
We’re stocked and paid for for the next three nights and may just stay longer. Rick made a run into town this morning to do a little work and come back with some things we forgot. It’s 15 miles back to the house.
The bike ride four miles back to highway 50 is steeper than we thought. 1600 vertical for the 10 miles Rick rode our first day here. I’m still working up the courage to just do it.
We enjoyed a tasty meal and fell asleep to the sound of the creek and rain. Life is good.
Friends John and sherry plan to join us tomorrow. There’s lots of open spots but more campers tonight than last night. We wonder if it’s ever full.

These two guys walked through our campsite on the first day we were here. Moose One and Moose Two!

Bill and Tucker

We met Bill and Tucker the first night we got to Rianna Campground. They were out walking and stopped to say hi while we were setting up. Bill and his wife Pam are full time RV’s.  Later on our walk Bill and Pam invited us into their trailer. It was huge! She said that with the car in tow the whole rig is 65 feet long. They have trouble sometimes finding places to park. She said that campgrounds built by the Army Corp of Engineers are always built the best, so that’s the kind they look for.

Bill and Dee

Bill and Dee were very curious about our trailer. We opened it up for them to see inside front and back. That’s Bella. Simon seemed to like her.

I Had To Pee and Didn’t See

We stopped in Mayhill, NM for a little break. There’s a nice little park there with a well kept lawn, shade, and ready doggie bags. Simon loved it. But I had to relieve myself too. Across the road was a cafe/restaurant. About fifty yards up the road was a convenience store. I thought it only fair to use the store since I didn’t plan on eating.

As I approached the entrance I noticed the sign with red letters about needing to buy something if you’re going to use the restroom. No big deal I thought I’ll just get a candy bar or something. I rushed in and found the bathrooms. One was out of order and one that I used had the hot water turned off and no way to dry my hands. No big deal. I just shook them dry. I found the candy bars and got one of the smaller Snickers. I was surprised when the older man with greasy hair rung up my purchase as $1.38. Expensive I thought for the small candy bar. I felt like making a comment about it but thought it wasn’t that big a deal and just paid. When I stepped outside Susan asked what being in there was like and pointed out the other signs all over the windows. I couldn’t believe I didn’t see them before I went in. If I had I might have just peed on the side of the building.

We were offended even though we believe in everyone’s right to free speech. I would not have gone into this store if I had been paying attention.

Tip: Look before you patronize.

Kevin and Nancy

Kevin and Nancy are from Athens, Ohio, home of Ohio University, Susan’s alma matter where they work! Not only that they are happy T@G owners too! What are the chances? We had pleasant exchanges of routes, places to visit, camping with a T@G tips and tricks. Really cool seeing others T@G folks.


This is Tillie the golden- doodle. She belongs to Kevin and Nancy. She wanted to play with Simon but he didn’t want to.

Visit to Missouri Teardrop Trailers

Took a slight detour to visit Dana Parsons, the guy we bought our T@G from. It was time well spent learning a couple more things about our trailer and how to get it winterized too. He had some of the new offerings from Pleasant Valley Trailers which were fun to look at. Just makes us appreciate our unit and happy we made that choice.

Timber Woods Camping Resort, Van Wert, Ohio

While driving in we sarcastically wondered if we’d find a level place to park at this campground. Obviously it would not a problem based on the surrounding terrain. Lots of farm land here with no horizon, at least like we’re used to, as far as the eye can see.
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Beautiful grassy primitive camp sites. We’re the only ones here. There are lots of RVs over in the full hook up section but there seem to be very few people around.

We did get a visitor that stopped by for no apparent reason. Kevin just sort of pulled up and started talking to us. He asked where we were from and had lots of the usual questions about our trailer, how many does it sleep, how much did it cost. He did leave after a while.

Overall this was a nice place to stay. Firewood from a high pile was available and it was quiet and peaceful. The only thing that bothered a little was the light smoke from a nearby smoldering pile. I doubt it would’ve been burning during regular camping season. And the smell of cigarette smoke in the bathroom/showers was a little offensive.

Visit to Pleasant Valley Tear Drop Trailers

Since we’re in the area we stopped in to say hi where our T@G was born. Thought we’d ask a few questions that might make our lives easier. We had the the great pleasure of talking with Austin at their service center. He was able to help us with all the questions we could think of on the spot. He told us how to install extra charging stations near the front inside of our trailer. And he helped us upgrade our rear galley latch handles. We talked about tire presure, tongue weight, inside structural design, grease in the hubs, battery usage, refrigerator use, engineering wizards (Michigan Mike), and lots more. We probably spent an hour and a half with him. Susan and I agreed afterwards that it should probably be a requirement of all new tear drop owners to have a meeting like this. We came away feeling like we are much better and prouder T@G owners.
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We’d highly recommend taking a visit if you can. Just the drive through this beautiful part of the country is worth it. Maybe it was just because it was such a beautiful day, but this part of Amish country is breath taking. It’s no wonder they named their company Pleasant Valley Tear Drop Trailers.

Bath Time for Simon

We never got to give Simon a bath before we left and today he needed one. Found Julie online and she let us use her grooming facility to wash him. Best $10 spent so far!! Back on the road again at 10:30 smelling much better!
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Luanne and Steve

These really nice folks are from Indiana. Turns out they had one of the original Little Guy 4 x 8 trailers. So they knew all about tear drops but said it looks like they’ve come a long way since they had theirs. Steve said they ended up selling theirs for one and a half times more than what they paid for it. We were able to share info about locations in Colorado they might visit while here. They shared some of their camping experiences with us, mostly about maintenance issues. He said he used to carry an extra set of wheels bearings and grease for the their trailer just in case. He said they’d go on 6000 mile trips. Made me wonder if extra bearings might be a good idea. Little Guy says the bearings need to be repacked every year or some sort of mileage. I’m hoping there are some zerks under there.
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Our Little Guy dealer

Here’s Susan with Dana Parsons of Missouri Teardrop Trailers in Centerview, MO. What a pleasant experience dealing with this knowledgeable gentleman! We spent more than two uninterrupted hours with him as he took us through all the Ins and Outs of our new T@G trailer. Hope to stop in to see him again on one of our trips. Thanks again, Dana!

David with a Harley

This is David. We exchanged phone numbers cuz he’s interested in getting a Harley. I told him I’d sell him ours. He is the first person to complement us on our new T@G.

Eric and Narelie

This couple was traveling with a tear drop from another company and stopped near us at the rest stop today. They’re from Virginia and on their way to Colorado. Told them they should stop in Salida sometime.

First Stop Rest

I wanted to turn the fridge on. This was our first stop after we left Missouri Tear Drop. It’s actually a rest area along the highway. We just pulled out the umbrella and set it up for shade. We literally had three couples and a guy ask us if they could check out our trailer. I said that I think putting up the umbrella sort of makes folks think we’re not in any hurry so they think we have time to answer all their questions. We are used to folks asking us about our tear drop from having our Silver Shadow, but today has to be some kind of record. We were here for no more than 30 minutes.
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New home for Silver Shadow 5×8

Our Little Guy Silver Shadow has a new home with Lawton and Tom. It’s sad for us but at the same time we are looking forward to getting our T@G. We hope they have as much fun as we’ve had with that Little Guy. It sure is a great little unit.

Fun in Durango

No campgrounds wee open for the season in Durango so we contacted our friends Greg and April who moved here from Salida. It was great fun catching up with them while enjoying the warm sun. Simon got along well with all three of their dogs. We camped in their driveway since they were leaving very early on a trip. We took our time leaving this morning and are looking forward to our campsite in Chaco canyon.

Slight detour

Looking at the map the other day, we realized that with just a little detour we could visit Lake Tahoe and Susan’s sister. We arrived mid afternoon and joined Rosemary at kings beach where her son Frank was there with his family and several friends he grew up with. They had a great barbecue going on, live music and of course the fabulous view of the lake. It’s always so nice to be here and relax in her beautiful home. Glad we stopped!

Shopping spree

It was like Christmas at Brown’s cycle! Got a new helmet, gloves, socks, handle bar tape and a much needed floor pump. Oh yeah and it was two fer Tuesday so got 4 bike tubes and socks for Rick too. Still have some money left over for the next time (when my mountain bike sells). We camped at the Colorado national monument that night and I got to use my new stuff on a ride there.

If you’re going through here, stop in and say hi to Chris Brown the proprietor and old friend. Tell ’em Rick sent ya.

Tip: Stop at Brown’s Cycles if it’s Tuesday to buy  tubes.

Little Guy big guy

We thought it was kind of funny to be parked near a big air stream this morning.

It rained some last night. It’s a soothing sound inside our cabin. Simon barked a lot last night at passersby and who knows what else. Finally at 1 a.m. I put him and his bed in the car.

We’re heading up toward I-70 this morning.

My own posts?

We just realized that Rick has been getting credit for all my posts. We are here at the Global Libations Internet cafe in Kutztown chatting with these locals. Rick changed my “role” on this blog so I’m posting this to see if it worked.

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.

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.

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

Minnesota Mike


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.

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 – Shadow 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.

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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 – we 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.

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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.


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.

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.

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!

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, “Text me anytime!”  So we did – 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’s 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!