Retrofit / Refit Update

going slow . . . . But at least it’s going!

Our Truck (Old Pete) looks like it just came off the assembly line.

A couple of Before and an After picture !

New Pete

We are definitely happy with the final results, New Pete is lookin sleek! We want to Thank all are wonderful friends and family who picked us up and took us places. Took me to do laundry and even to work! And as you all know Newfane isn’t really close to anything!

When all the dust is settled and all the crowds are gone, the things that matter are faith, family, and friends.” — Barbara Bush

The Fiver is scheduled to be repaired on July 7th. Second phase of the Refit.

DAMAGE ESTIMATES ARE IN !!!!

We now have the truck and 5er damage estimates. Actually have had them about a week now, but been lazy in my posting. We have a $500.00 deduckable on the truck and 5er, so it will be $1,000.00 out of our pocket, everything else will be covered by insurance, including things that may come up while repairs are going on.

THE TRUCK;

The truck is already in the shop, went in Monday. They say it will be about 30 days in the shop, yep that long. As we only have one vehicle, that is a bummer. For now we are relying on friends and family to take us or lend us a car here and there when we need it. Unknowingly we did not have rental insurance on our auto policy (We do now) and the fact that I’m to cheap to rent a car for that long, means that’s what we are doing. We may rent one for a week around June 10th or so as we have places to go. Melissa also needs rides to work during the few days she wants to go ,so this is a hassle. Anyway as to the truck damage.

Total cost for all the repairs is $9,257.00 and change. The auto shop was higher, but the insurance came back with that amount and the auto shop has agreed to it. What will be done, New front hood, New top lid of the truck, how there going to do that, i have no idea. This means the windshield, back glass, interior ceiling liner all come out. Left front fender, both doors and rear panel all coming off, so they have to take the insides of the fenders out, and the interior parts of both doors. They will then pull out, punch out all the dents from both sides, if the front fender cannot be done correctly , it will be replaced. New driver’s mirror and assembly, new tail light covers. Passenger side, has a small amount of dents, these will be pulled out or bonded over. New tanour cover installed. Most of the truck will then be repainted. So, when it comes back it should look almost new, We will see.

THE 5ER;

Right after we had the hail storm, i took a lot of pictures of the damage. Then i called the insurance company and talked to Alyssa. She said when you are back in town, take it to whoever you would like to do the work. So i sent her all the pics, and when we got back into town we took the Rv to Colton Rv here in North Tonawanda. Shawn at Colton looked at it for us and spent about a half hour or so looking at it. He said he would write up an estimate and send that along with all the pictures HE took, to the insurance company. A week went by and nothing so i called him and he said he just heard that the insurance company wanted more pics and maybe send out an adjuster. WHAT after all the pics sent, they want more. I took more pics and sent them to Alyssa, then i heard that Yep, they want to send out an adjuster. That was set up and an adjuster did come out. It was rainy and cloudy that day(understand all my pics were in the bright sunshine where you could see stuff), the adjuster could not understand why he needed to come out, although after hinting i kind of figured it out. They did not believe that all the damage was caused by hail. He took his pictures and visually verified all the damage(they wanted him to see it). Another ten days or so went by and then i heard from Shawn from Colton, the insurance company contacted him and he was pretty much set to go????. I was a little baffled, why wasn’t I contacted also, and sent the info. So i contacted Alyssa, she had no idea what was going on, OH BOY, but told me when the appraisal comes in, she will send it. Another week has gone by and nothing. So today Friday the 21st of May, i got ahold of Alyssa, she then sent me the appraisal(which had just arrived). Not even close to what Colton’s estimate is. So i contacted Aylssa again, she said you need to talk to the estimator about all that. WHAT, another person is involved, holy crap O la. Forget that so i contacted Shawn, he said right now it is not a final appraisal, as the cost of some things like the slide toppers and a few others are not in, and will be forwarded, not to be worried and all i will have to pay for in the end is our deductable. OK now i have an answer, but i still am concerned about all this running around. Right now the 5er is set to go in on June 14th. More to come on this for sure.

Total cost of repairs from the estimate from Colton, $17,157.00. As i mentioned the insurance appraisal is lower, but we will see. What will be done. For one is a new rubber roof. Both air units, vents, skylite taken off, old rubber roof off, removal of all the roof plywood. New plywood put on, along with the new rubber roof. Then all the units put back on. Along with that on each side new gutter moulding and trim. On the left side of the Rv is a lower metal skirt, it is pot mark with dents, that will be removed and a new one put on. That entails, the removal of the side doors, heater cover, electrical covers, and all that, then they will be replaced. Also a new moulding and cover put on along the length. Two new air conditioner covers, new skylite, and covers for both fans. All three slide covers will be replaced. There are a few other things i want them to check also. I guess that’s enough.

To say the least it has been a little of a trying time, and as they say you have to roll with it, but right now i want to fight it, and make issues with everything and everyone (Sorry dear) not sure why yet. To be continued!!!!!!

OPERATION “REFIT”

During world war II, when warships would be damaged in combat, they would return to there home port for a retrofit or Refit. This is what we are doing. Returning to our home base for a damage refit. We will be here for a few months anyway. The last few days here have been a little nerving. We both have been a little on edge and eating way too much. We need to just settle in and make the most of it. Seeing familial things around here has been good and bad. Comforting to see them but knowing we should be in Arizona right now. In any event we have been busy, we have caught up a little with family and a few friends. Melissa has seen both of her old employers, and WILL be going back to work for both of them on and off here for a while. She wants to keep busy. For me I have enough to do soon. Both the truck and the 5er have been into the shops( more damage to both than we thought) and we are now just waiting for the estimates. Once they are in and we get things set up, I think we both will feel more at ease, and settle in for the time we will be here. The weather has been a big difference from what we are used to, so, that’s a bummer for now. Other than that just waiting to see the cost of things. For now operation refit has commenced.

ARRIVAL – HOME BASE

We are now back at our home base in Newfane NY, not by choice however. We arrived Friday late afternoon after driving about eight hours from Gettysburg. That completes our almost two week journey (un expected) to get back here. Checking things out more closely reveals, we have more damage to the Rv and truck than i thought, so it will be very interesting to see how the damage estimates go. I have an appointment Tuesday for the Rv to get looked at, and maybe the end of the week for the truck. For now we are just ajjusting to being back here. For now that’s it and that’s enough.

LIFE TURNED UPSIDE DOWN

In one fell swoop last night of a half hour. Life has changed. 2:30 am, Saturday night it hit, we got a huge hail storm come in. At first it didn’t seem bad, then it started to get a little scary, sounded like artillery shells hitting the Rv roof, then one crashed through the bathroom vent, landing on the floor. It only lasted not even five minutes, but seemed like a lifetime. The hail stones were baseball size, not little marbles like usual, these were big suckers. When it was over and the rain stopped, i went outside like any other idiot would, and of course went on the RV roof. It was not good, both air conditioner covers had holes in them, the bathroom vent and sky light has holes in them. The worst however was while i was walking on the roof, in places it felt soft, not good. Looking further there were impact craters in the rubber roof. The hail had punched into the plywood decking, but did not put holes in the rubber roof, not any i found yet however. I got a number of towels from Melissa and began stuffing all the holes. More rain coming, two more storm fronts came through with a lot, lot of wind and rain. By eight in the morning it was mostly over.

I once again got on the Rv roof. I counted at least 100 impacts of hail on the roof, most over an inch deep, as i looked out over at the truck, my heart sank, the back tonauer cover was full of holes and the hoods of the truck looked like a cratered moon scene. The truck is a mess at least 38 impacts on the hood, not dings but dents. Even the driver side got hit hard, dents all over. By this time people were out, not many of the 400 plus Rv here excaped damage, some cars had to be towed away .

I have taped and patched up all the holes, i can and hope there is no punctures through the roof. Both insurance companies have been called ,and now we will see.

THE BIGGEST THING HOWEVER, IS OUR TRIP OUT WEST IS OFF.

We have decided to go back to our home base at my brothers in Lockport, NY. There is just to much damage to deal with being on the go, and we both decided we would most not really enjoy ourselves, while dealing with all this. We leave here Tuesday and will most likely be back home by the 21st, 22nd of May. No fanfare , visiting, sightseeing or anything like that for now.

As you may think, Yes, we both are pretty distraught, but we are SAFE, no one got hurt that i know of. We are trying to take it in stride, and most the most out of it, thinking we will be able to visit family, friends during the summer, get all back in order, and head back out in Fall.

For now Dave, out.

Already has melted some
My finger is pretty deep into the roof

GSP

There wasn’t a lot going on in Gulf Shores until the completion of the Intracoastal Waterway in 1937, and the opening of the Gulf State Park in 1939, were both crucial factors in attracting people to the Gulf Shores area.

One of the first modern condos was built shortly after Hurricane Frederic in 1979. This made way for today’s landscape of beachfront high rises, beachfront communities, and tourist destinations.

It’s Gulf Shores State park that brings us back to AL.  The state park’s 6,500 acres mostly encompass the land behind the Gulf Shores beach community.  The Park features 28 miles of paved trails or boardwalks, two miles of beaches, a huge campground,  Lodge and conference center, nature center, restaurant, cabins, heated swimming pool, kayak, canoeing tennis & pickle ball courts, etc. I sound like I’m doing a commercial for the park, but we do like it here.

May you always have a shell in your pocket and sand in your shoes.”

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Our good friends Sandy & Bill, aka Our Pickleball Partners, were going to join us for our stay at Gulf Shores State Park, but as we all know covid changes everthing.

Me & my partner Bill
Dave & his partner Sandy

Dave & I played but we kept looking for our partners for help.  They were helping us mentally, but boy did we need them here physically as well!   Hopefully we’ll meet up on the road sometime soon!

The heated pool at the campground. We didn’t go in the water was only 72 degrees, We’re sissies we’re use to the warm ocean water of Key Biscayne.

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One of our walks we was the Pavilion, Butterfly Garden and Boulder Park on Catman Trail in the park.

On another path we found Ron’s FIX it STATION, What a great idea! Instead of a bench, which is nice,

Ron donated an air pump and tools to get your bike back in business. 😊

We found a slide on the side of a trail

A bench at Gulf Shores for Campground Volunteers for 2020 & 2021. I think that all campgrounds should have a bench like this !

Back again to Gulf Shores State Park in Sweet Home Alabama

When we arrived in Gulf Shores on Thursday April 1st, we didn’t know what to expect.  We knew they had a really bad hurricane season last year.    The Gulf Coast was especially hard-hit, with nine landfalls in 2020.   The two biggest hits Alabama took this season were from Sally and Zeta.  Hurricane Sally, took aim at Alabama and made landfall on Gulf Shores as a strengthening Category 2 storm. Another storm, Hurricane Zeta, made landfall in hard-hit Louisiana but raced inland and caused hurricane damage across parts of Alabama.

Dave when we were here last year
Damage from hurricane Sally Sept 2020

We asked a Ranger at Gulf Shores and he said they had lots of damage at the park and in town. Tons of debris to get rid of and lots to repair. The park and all the businesses did a great job as you can hardly see any damage at all.

How the Gulf Shore State Park Pier looked when we were here last year

The Pier now

Gulf State Park Pier reopens to the public this morning, Jan. 30, 2021. Hurricane Sally hit Gulf Shores Sept. 16 and caused widespread destruction, including damage to the pier. Since the storm, contractors and staff members have worked to reopen the pier. About 725 feet of the pier has been repaired and will be accessible for anglers on both sides beginning at 6 a.m. today, according to a statement from Gulf State Park. The remaining southern portion of the structure, which sustained significantly greater damage, will remain closed.

The pier, before the damage was, 2,448 long which is close to half a mile. It is one of the longest piers in the Gulf of Mexico and it is twenty feet wide. Everyone wants the pier to be finished soon.

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One of our first hikes in the park is Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail

Al’s Parkour Challenge is on the trail, not your regular playground

Fixing a cabin damaged by Hurricane Sally

We Facetimed with family, talk with friends and had a great Easter dinner outisde!

GULF SHORES ALABAMA

We are now in Gulf state park here in Gulf Shores Alabama. We were here last year for a few weeks. This time it is our stepping off point to Arizona.

We got here Yesterday (Thursday)leaving Stephen Foster state park in Florida about 10 and getting here about four but really three as there is a one hour differance. Drove 365 miles, without any issues. Wednesday however was a different matter, we left Ortano Park about ten and things were good till we got to Tampa, then all lanes of the interstate were closed due to an accident. Everyone was getting off the same exit. A twenty mile detour lasted almost five hours of frustration, and after we got back on the interstate it was four hours of more driving to get to Stephen Foster yet. Drove 356 miles all together that day .Need less to say I was beat and not in a good mood, but we were safe and made it OK.

We will be here at Gulf Shores till the tenth then onward we go. Temps are cooler here than Florida by about twenty degrees or more and we are freezing, no more 80’s for a while.

OUR LARGE PULL THROUGH HERE AT GULF SHORES

LA BELLE FLORIDA

We are now at La Belle Florida at the Corps of Engineer, Ortano Lock park. We have been here before, and will be just here tonight.

We left Key Biscayne about 11 this morning, pretty bittersweet, it was a great place, got in a lot of ocean swimming in the last week, and also an awesome tan. We will be back next year, but time to move on.

Drove 163 miles today and it felt forever, it was a pain in the ass, getting out of Miami and all the traffic, it’s just one big concrete jungle there. Other than that move on to the top of Florida tomorrow.

Our spot, just before leaving today.
Our spot for the night here at the lock’s

Pictures I’ve taken of Key Biscayne during our stay. . .

Dave riding his bike biking picking up debris and doing various jobs they gave him, like making the above signs.

Me at the gate and my friends who stop by to see me in the early morning.

WHY! My first thought when I saw him riding around the park
and still do when I see him.

A surrey with the fringe on top ….

My sister and I had a surrey when we were little

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Paths and trails we took off the beaten path in the park.

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A few more pictures of the park

No chicken for dinner tonight!

One of the beach entrances

Boater’s Grill restaurant inside the park

Seawall by the lighthouse

Along the pier there are some benches with notable dedications

Cooper’s friend Dasha, a female whipet

Some of my favorite Sunrise & Sunset pictures

It’s great to have your own private beach at night.

Village Green at the center of the Village

Mashta House (Mansion) in Key Biscayne Just Sold for $47 Million. What a steal, I wish we knew about it. 🤣

We went here a few times to eat and sat outside. Very good Latin food !!

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Today here is our last day here, we leave tomorrow morning