Thursday, September 22, 2016

Busy Days in Chi-Town

After picking up my newly painted Winnie from Mike's Custom Painting at the beginning of June, I headed back to Chicago for my annual oasis on the prairie at Paul Wolff Campground at Burnidge Forest Preserve in Elgin.  The big summer skies did not disappoint!

My first priority was get all my stuff moved back into the RV and Tracker from my rented storage unit nearby.  This was my first experience renting a storage unit, and it was great!

CubeSmart had an 5 x 5 x 8 unit for only $18/mo (plus a $25 initial admin fee), and it worked out great to keep my non-essentials stored there for a month.

I thought after my massive downsizing 2 summers ago to rid myself of excess stuff and move into a 24' RV, that I'd been living pretty lean.  But moving to a storage locker revealed that I still had even more de-cluttering to do.  I was amazed at how much unused stuff I'd been hauling around for the past 2 years, so this became the perfect opportunity to pitch the excess before re-packing the Winnie!

All my worldly possessions easily occupying a 5 x 5 storage unit!

With that chore now done,  I started trying to nail down my summer travels.  I originally had planned to head to the PacNW for the summer, but with a big Mexico trip planned for the Fall, I was now starting to reconsider such an ambitious itinerary.

Just as a new "Jello" plan was forming to spend a leisurely summer in Wisconsin, the U.P., and Minnesota, I happened to see a last-minute vacancy posted on for a Volunteer Interpretive Ranger at Bryce Canyon National Park....pretty much a dream job with a timeframe that fit my availability perfectly.  Figuring "what the heck," I went ahead and applied.  Two weeks later, I was called and offered the job!  Jello plans would now change once more!

After my quick vacation week in Wisconsin, I returned back to Chicago for 2 more weeks to help my sisters with a few of their projects, finish up my chores, and stock up provisions for spending the next few months in the outback of southern Utah.

In the midst of all this activity, Winnie's coach door electric steps started making a horrendous noise whenever they were extended.  A bit of online searching seemed to point to the plastic gears in the motor wearing out.  Amazon Prime happened to have new motors for only $60 bucks, so I figured it couldn't hurt to order one and try installing it myself.  I thought I'd use the opportunity to shoot my first YouTube "How To" video, and incredibly, replacing my Kwikee Electric Step Motor turned out to be a fairly easy repair!

Of course, my RVing neighbors likely thought I was nuts talking out loud to myself while crawling under my RV with a GoPro strapped to my head!!!

With projects now complete, I spent my final few days in Chicago just kicking back and enjoying the prairie.  The purple coneflowers were in full bloom!

the lightening bugs abundant--

and the sunsets continued to be magnificent!

There was just one final thing to do to make my Chicago summer complete-- attend a Cubs game at Wrigley Field (especially, with this being such a history-making year for my favorite baseball team)!

My friend Carla, a lifelong Cubs fanatic, used her magic to scare up a pair of tickets to the Cubbies' July 4th home game against the Cincinnati Reds.  What a perfect way to spend my final day in Chicago!

Off we went to Wrigley!

The National Anthem featured a gigantic American Flag on the field for the Independence Day celebration...

Kyle Hendricks pitched a great game....

While the Cubs hitters filled up the scoreboard for an easy 10-4 win against the last place Reds...

A final goofy selfie before singing "Go Cubs Go" at the end of the game, made it the perfect end to my visit with friends and family back in Chicago.

Fingers, toes, and eyes are now crossed that this might finally, FINALLY, be the Cubbies' year to break their curse and win the World Series (prayers please!!!).


  1. Winnie seems to look better every day. Gorgeous pictures, as usual. Brice canyon for the summer sounds great, except for the possible heat. I would give prayers to your cubbies, but am hoping it is the year for my Rangers. ;)

  2. Great HowTo on the steps, will this be the first of many? You're perfect for Bryce, knowledgeable and talented, your tripod is going to get a workout! The Cubs have the best fans, loyal and appreciative of good baseball even in a loss. Sloan Field is the only Cactus League venue I have not been to - it sells out fast!

  3. Those are MY last place Reds you are talking about ... lol ... they set an all-time record this year and the season is not over yet. Most Home Runs Allowed in one season. The Cubs have all the need to win it all. I'm really happy for those Cub fans older than I, that have gone to Wrigley since they were kids and are now in their 70's and 80's and have never seen their team in a World Series. Watch out for the Texas Rangers though ... that's my sleeper team this year to "rock the boat".

  4. You certainly do live the good life :)

    Love the first shot of the Winnie and the clouds and the coneflowers, the rest are second best but all perfect :))

  5. Winnie looks good!
    Sounds like you did a good job on your Kwikee motor.
    Sure wish we could rent a storage locker here for that kinda money, smallest locker here $100.00 a month, not gonna do it.

  6. Nice job and video showing your step motor replacement! Just goes to show if you're not handy before you buy an RV, you will be after you buy one! :cD


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