Monday, September 01, 2008
We've finished our volunteer tour at the Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge, packed up the motorhome, and are ready to head south with the migrating waterfowl. I'm writing this from the KOA park in Missoula, where we gave programs during the summer. We're dropping the coach off for an oil change tomorrow morning and thought we'd spend the night here so that we'll have a short drive in the morning. Since I don't have anything new to tell you about our stay at the refuge, I thought I'd give you a quick overview of our new home; a 2006 Itasca Ellipse. Barely used, with only 10,000 miles, it's like new inside and out, and gives us a truly residential feel. At 40 feet long, with four slides, and weighing in at over 30,000 pounds, it's bigger than our Allegro Bay, but handles about the same. It's a bit more sophisticated; big Catapiller diesel, hydraulic system for the slides and levelers, air bag suspension, and lots of buttons and gauges that I still haven't figured out.....and AIR HORNS! Brenda insists that I bought the air horns and the coach just happended to come with them. It has some very nice features; we especially like the entertainment center that is at eye level with a fireplace (electric) underneath. The dining room table has leaves to seat four comfortably, and the kitchen has a pull-out island that gives Brenda the room and counter space that she's always wanted. The pictures were taken the night we had guests for dinner and Brenda was gaily preparing pork roast, dumplings, and sauerkraut - my bohemian grandmother would be proud! Besides more room, the kitchen also has a dishwasher...no more dishpan hands from drying the dishes for me! With larger holding tanks, more fuel capacity, more batteries, and a solar panel, we'll be able to comfortably stay overnight in forest service and state campgrounds without hookups. We're looking forward to trying out all our new systems on our trip south....first stop Yellowstone NP and the Beartooth Highway - C'mon back and see how we're doing!