AmeriCanada 2015

NOTE:  When Sharon adds comments, they will be in {curly brackets}. 

Day 15. Saturday, August 8, 2015. An Apple a Day...

Hardly any photos today. We wake up at 5:30 and hit the road by 5:45. I am driven to get to Apple. Actually true when Sharon's driving, Nes Pa?

We refuel up in Rush City, Minnesota, and get on the road again. We arrive in the Minneapolis area, and I see we are going to arrive at the Apple store at exactly 10 am. Perfect. Since we didn't have an appointment (first appt is next Tuesday), we will have to join the line ahead of us for drop-ins. So I want to be first, or very early anyway.

But What Ho? Cried Daniel. We get a "check trailer wiring" message. Hmmm. Reminds me of trailer connector problems we had in Canada last year, which were solved by a magic spray stuff which we bought and have been carrying ever since. {It's something that "cleans" connector points and has been helpful when we have a strange "light not working situation" He sprays the connectors and suddenly, the light works. Like magic! I love things that work well.} Safety is 1000 times more important than getting to Apple early so I find a place to stop, and find that the connector plug has vibrated its way out of its mating truck connector. Hmmm. I didn't check the connector when it was connected at Ed's farm, but it very likely wasn't pushed all the way in, past the locking projection. I plug it back in all the way, verifying that the locking projection comes down to hold it in, and voila! problem is gone. Woohoo.

We make it into Minneapolis, or Roseville, more precisely, north of Minneapolis. I am calm, and expect to walk away with a brand new Six Plus, and don't particularly care if it takes half the day. {I, naively, think it's just "here's your new phone", pop in the SIM card and we are on our way. I find out, NOT.} It's 10:25am. I'm warmly greeted, and they say then can take care of me. The only delay will be for whoever is ahead of me, and I see only a few people. Within minutes, a worker finds me and takes my information, and schedules me to see worker #2. Worker #2 finds me in no time, and does some measurementns on the watery iphone to verify that it "qualifies" for repair, I guess, or replacement. He says it's gonna be replacement. Woohoo. He fills in some digital form and says that Worker #3 will see me after 11:30. Sharon is discussing issues she is having with her iphone, and getting some helpful stuff. {I have the same experience. First you talk to someone who sees what you want. They do what they can and then sit you down to wait for the next "expert". Then that one came, suggested some things for me to do (I can't seem to delete pictures off my phone to have more storage room to take MORE pictures). Then he puts me in line to talk with the "Genius", who turns out to be about 17-18 years old. As I progressed through the experts each one got progressively younger.}

The Apple store here near Minneapolis is similar to the new one in the Oakridge Shopping Center near our house in San Jose. The San Jose store just did a giant remodel, expanding in a different location, but very inviting. This is that same new style.

Parallel Story: Sharon has been complaining that at key times, when she tries to take a photo with her iPhone 5s, it says "No storage." We thought it was trying to get us to buy more iCloud storage, but after finally checking it carefully, I realize that it's her iPhone storage that's full. Sharon will talk to them about that.

Now she's got 15 Gb of free space. SPECTACULAR!! Especially after all those times she couldn't take a photo.

{look at the "experts" of the future.}

A little before 11:30, I go over to Sharon's table and am talking to her when I notice an Apple guy looking around with a box in his hand. I ask if he's looking for Lutman and Bingo. He fires up the new iPhone and gets me started reloading it from my iCloud, and after 20 minutes or so, as I recall, it has finished updating except for some of the apps. I make sure I have some key apps, and then, as Sharon's tired and wants to go, I feel I have enough to leave, so we take off. {Except as we are ready to go, MY genius calls my name and we end up buying a new 1 Terabyte USB-powered hard drive for Bob to put all (2200) of my pictures on and then delete ALL my stored pictures which I had been afraid to do that I would lose some I really wanted. Solution arrives! and we are off.}

I click off all 2200 or so of her photos to my orange LaCie, which I purchased from Apple while we were there. While we were there, Apple explained how to delete them, and how to empty the trash immediately if you don't want to let them hang around, each photo on a 30-day timer, after which it is deleted completely. Too much detail? Yeah, I know.

We go to a Best Buy but they don't have the audio recorder I dunked. We hit the road for Sharon's Uncle Terry in Wisconsin.Then it's pretty ho hum. Lunch at McDonalds, then back on the road and after a bit, Sharon collects this photo.

We get to Terry's in Webster, Wis, where Gretchen was born, about 5 pm, and he helps me back from the local road through a 90 degree angle into his wonderfully long driveway, taking care to make sure the air conditioner and new satellite antenna aren't going to be knocked off by a low hanging branches. There are trees on both sides of the driveway, and also big ditches on both sides. But in the very middle of the driveway, overhead at the level of the top of the trailer it's clear, and that's what I aim for. And hit. Success. {For those of you not in our family, Terry is my Uncle, Mom's youngest brother. He is actually closer to age to me (11 years) than to Mom. She had one sister and 6 brothers, although one, Jackie died at age 5 from Scarlet Fever. Now there are only Terry and Uncle Stubb (George) still living.}

We proceed to set up the trailer for a two night stay, after which we will drive to another location in Wisconsin and pick up our Dallas friend Nancy Burlingame, who will do the rest of the trip with us, as we continue our giant clockwise circle, with a bump on the circle called all of northeast Canada.

The odometer says 28156. It was about 27800 in Gilbert, Minn., so that's 356 miles today.

We use Terry's extension cord, plus my adapter cord, but get an abnormal "neutral side ungrounded" reading. After messing around a little, we substitute our extension cord for Terry's and things are both hunky and also dory.

We visit a while, Sharon starting a laundry, enjoying the birds on Terry's four birdfeeders strung across a high wire from his house to a pine tree near the road in front of the house. We rack up Black-capped Chickadee, a nice little female Downy Woodpecker, a Red-bellied Woodpeckeer, several female Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, a Cardinal and more. I get a great kick out of a pair of baby Downies who fly in land on the clothesline, but can't maintain their balance, and rotate upside down. Then its as if one says to the other, "OK hotshot, NOW what do we do."

Below, American Goldfinch and Black-capped Chickadee.

Next, Female Rose-breasted Grosbeak and in the next three photos, a Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted Race, or Subspecies). The flickers in California are red-shafted.

Bird at the left of each photo: Downy Woodpecker.


Later, I drive to the hardware store and get some caulking, {I still see places in the bathroom where it looks like moisture is getting in so Bob is going to calk the places on the roof that might be the problem.}plus we go to Wayne's Foods in Webster and rack up a $98.64 bill, to which I smack down a hunnert on the counter.

I only pay cash for things on vacation, so it's kind of fun. Actually on all our past similar RV vacations, I would carefully use Master Card so I could track our location, dates and purchases. But for this trip, I'm using a combination.

After asking Terry this afternoon, I forget to fill the fresh water tank using his hoses and water till now, because we've had fun trading stories from our past till now and he's gone to bed.

Back in the trailer, I say, "I'm gonna call Terry and tell him I'm gonna fill tonight." Sharon was abhored at the idea. "A phone call to him at 9:30 could only mean something terrible and serious has happened, and somebody's calling to let him know. Bad News, in other words. I think about it, and say yes but that only lasts till I talk to him, but Sharon still doesn't want me to. So I think, OK, I'll knock on his door. Which I do. But he's already in his bedroom and can't hear me. Hmmm, well I'll try to be quiet.

The hose bib is just outside his bedroom window, and now it's dark. I walk over to stretch out the hose, but there are three different hoses looped over a hanger, and they don't separate easily. As I'm trying to separate them, I'm inadvertantly banging them against the wall. Then I hear, "Bang, bang bang." Terry is banging on his bedroom wall. "Get out of here. Who's there?" I yell that it's me, and I'm sorry, and I'm trying to separate the hoses. He yells, "I thought it was a bear." We both laugh, and now I'm freed of trying not to make noise, so I get the three lengths separated, hook them up, to near the trailer, and fill up the tank to an estimated 70-80%, but the level gauge hasn't worked for years on the fresh water tank, and the normal method is to let the hose water pour in until some comes back out from the fill hole (which the hose is in). Anyway, because of this, and because I want it 100% full, I decide to do the final filling tomorrow morning.

After going to bed, I can hear that it's raining a little. Ahh, music to a Californian's ears.

Good night all, may your troubles be small.

Began: Gilbert, Minnesota
Pass Through: Moose Lake and Rush City, Minnesota; Grantsburg, Wisconsin
End: Webster, Wisconsin
Miles Today: 356
Miles for Trip: 2611
Odometer at End of Day: 28156

Previous Report 14
Next Report 16

Niagara 2015 Report List
Family Trips