Yesterday marked our first anniversary of hitting the road as full-time RVers. I’ve written 277 blog posts since then and I’ve slept in our motorhome every night for more than a year (we moved into our Gulfstream before we actually hit the road – we sold our bed the week before).
The early days on the road have become a blur. We had planned to take a vacation to upstate New York to visit Donna’s family and also visit friends during the Lake Placid Ironman week. When I moved up my early retirement date, we carried on with our vacation plan. The only difference was that we didn’t return to Michigan. We took our home with us.
So we started our journey in the Northeast. From there we headed west. A month or so later, we were in the state of Washington. A month to get from New York to Washington may seem like plenty of time. But we learned that traveling by RV means you should plan for short hops and try to stop for at least a couple of nights at each place. Staying for a week or more in an interesting area is even better.
We utilized an America the Beautiful Pass to enter national parks along the way. We visited so many beautiful places and even had a few wildlife encounters. Posting this journal has kept the memory of these places and the people we’ve met fresh.
It’s also gratifying to know that this blog has inspired others to enter the RV world, just as other blogs inspired us to hit the road. We’ve been told that we inspired at least two couples to make the plunge into the full-time RV lifestyle.
By the time we made it to the Washington coast, the rainy season was looming. After visiting family for a week north of Seattle, we hit the road and headed south. We traveled down the coast through Oregon and northern California much too quickly, but still couldn’t beat the rain. When we finally made it to San Diego in late September and settled in, we found our groove.
Our first two months were exhilarating, but at the same time exhausting. We learned the ropes and could set up or break camp efficiently. We also realized that our choice of coach wasn’t ideal for our full-time lifestyle.
Three months in San Diego allowed us to get re-energized. I enjoyed re-connecting with old friends. Donna and I also have immediate family in the area which made our home feel even more like home. We plan to be there again this fall.
We’ve learned to dry camp – whether it’s an overnight stay at a casino or WalMart or in a state or county park or on privately owned land like Mumbro Park. Taking what we learned and researching coaches on the market, we found a coach that met our needs in Mesa, Arizona. We traded the Gulfstream in for an Alpine Coach.
Mesa was another long-term stay (for us anything over two weeks is long-term) of three months. Again, we were able to re-connect with friends there. That’s the beauty of the nomadic lifestyle. We can travel to great places and spend time with friends and family.
When we left Mesa in the spring, we had a better idea of how to plan our itinerary. We had reservations scheduled in places where we knew we wanted to spend time. We also had open dates between these reservations which allowed us flexibility and spontaneity. So far, it’s worked out great this summer.
We had an opening in our calendar recently that we filled with a stay in Winthrop, Washington that Donna said felt like a vacation. A week after we left there, the town was threatened by wildfire. People were evacuated from the area. There’s no electricity at this time for many of the small towns east of the Cascade Mountains. More than 150 homes have been destroyed by the largest wildfire on record in Washington. The fires have burned more than 250,000 acres of forest and towns.
We’ve had a mix of weather here at the Lake Goodwin RV Resort. During the first week of our stay, we had temperatures well above average. The weather deteriorated last weekend and we had a few showers. Yesterday we awoke to a thunderstorm. It rained all day and the temperature stayed in the low 60s. The rain made it to the east side, helping the fire fighters. With so much groundcover gone, the next threat east of the Cascades is flash flooding.
We spent the day indoors and played games with our eight-year-old granddaughter, Gabi. Alana stopped by after work. We ate fish tacos and visited for awhile and then she took Gabi home with her.
This morning, the rain is still falling. I don’t have much of a plan for today. We’ll move out of Lake Goodwin RV Resort next Monday after a two-week stay. We might move over to my daughter, Alana’s driveway for a night or two before we head down to Portland, Oregon.