Monthly Archives: July 2013


On some of the blogs I follow, people have names for their RV. I’ve never been one to name my vehicles, but we’ve been trying to come up with a name. This morning I woke up thinking about our trip out west coming up. I thought about the settlers heading west in their Conestoga wagons. I think we’ll call our RV “Connie” as it’s our modern day version of the Conestoga wagon heading west with all of our possessions aboard. What do you think?

Photo, caption and description below courtesy of Wikipedia

Painting depicting a Conestoga wagon

The Conestoga wagon is a heavy, covered wagon that was used extensively during the late 18th century and the 19th century in the United States and Canada. It was large enough to transport loads up to 8 tons (7 metric tons), and was drawn by horses, mules or oxen. It was designed to help keep its contents from moving about when in motion and to aid it in crossing rivers and streams, though it sometimes leaked unless caulked…

Yesterday was a move day. We were still trying to dry things from the disaster the day before. It poured rain overnight. This didn’t help with the things we had hanging to dry.

In the morning, I rode the scooter to the FedEx office in the village to overnight the title to my BMW motorcycle. I’m really happy that it sold; it’s been on consignment at the BMW dealership for a few months. Donna’s Beemer sold after couple of weeks there.

Packing up to move took a lot of time. I had to rearrange much of the trailer before I could load the scooter. We didn’t hit the road until 1PM. We followed Rt 73 out of Lake Placid through Keene Valley to I-87 (the Adirondack Northway). The first section of 73 to the village of Keene has a few steep downgrades. This was part of the Ironman cycling course. Driving 11+ tons of RV requires attention when going downhill. I used lower gears to utilize engine braking and braked with the service brakes as necessary to maintain the desired speed. The worst thing to do is to ride the brakes all the time, they will overheat and become ineffective.

We arrived at the Lake George Escape Campground a couple of hours later. While we were on the road, I realized I hadn’t eaten anything except for a cup of Greek yogurt all day. In our estate sale, I sold pants that were tight fitting and only kept a few with a 36″ waist size. After one week on the road these are loose and falling down. I’ll be wearing 34″ again very soon!

We checked in and found that Donna’s brother-in-law, Tom, had set us up with a nice pull-through site. The Lake George Escape Campground is a large private facility with all of the amenities. We have full hookups with 50 amp service and cable TV. The site is large, level and the trees and shrubs make it relatively private. We booked our stay here several months ago and neither Donna or I can remember what we paid; we’ll have to check our records.

We’re thinking about tubing on the river today. The campground is located on the Schroon River which runs from Schroon Lake to the Hudson River. We plan to make today a mostly lazy day as we had a fairly busy time in Lake Placid.

Tomorrow we’ll move to Thompson’s Lake State Park where we’ll visit with Donna’s parents, her brother Mark’s family and some old friends (she grew up and lived in the area for many years).

Tough Day in Lake Placid

Yesterday the Ironman event was held here in Lake Placid. This grueling event combines timed swimming (2.4 miles), cycling (112 miles) and running (26.2 miles). Our friend, Allen Hutchinson, competed. He’s been training for about 18 months and competed in half triathlons in the past. This was his first full Ironman event.

Allen set reasonable expectations. When asked what goal he set for the race he said he would like to beat the average time which is over 13 hours. Donna and I didn’t see the swim event as the race starts very early and there was a light rain falling. We followed Allen’s time splits online and knew he hit his swim goal of 1 hour 10 minutes.

When I saw his 30 mile bike split time, I knew he was flying but didn’t know if he could sustain the pace through the next 82 miles which included significant climbs. Donna and I went to the course to cheer about 30 minutes before we expected to see Allen come though town. He surprised us by coming through 10 minutes after we arrived.

The streets were lined with spectators, all of them cheering the competitors. We walked over to Donna’s sister, Pam’s, house and visited for a awhile. Donna decided she would walk the three miles back to our place while I scootered back.

Upon my return I removed my helmet and could hardly believe my eyes. Water was coming out of one of the bays behind the right rear tire. I opened the bay and it was full of water dripping down from above. I ran inside the coach, the bathroom floor was flooded with water coming out of the shower stall. I quickly went back outside to the left side of the coach and opened the gray water drain valve.

When I came back in to the bathroom, it didn’t look like the shower was draining very fast. I looked at all of the faucets to see if something was left open, filling the gray water holding tank. I was puzzled as no faucets were dripping. I went back out and turned the water inlet valve from outside water to the freshwater tank position so the plumbing would no longer have pressure.

By now the shower had drained and I began mopping up. Luckily I arrived just as the bathroom floor was filling with water and it didn’t get into the rest of the coach. As I was mopping, I was trying to think of the cause of the flood when I heard and felt a loud pop in the floor. Hmmm…what was that? Then it happened again.

I dashed outside again and opened the bay where the fresh water tank is. When I diverted the incoming freshwater to the tank I neglected to open the vent valves. The tank was blowing up like a balloon and pressing on the floor of the coach. I quickly opened both valves and wondered what else could go wrong. I inspected what I could see of the tank and it didn’t appear to be damaged. One of the level sensors had a few drops of water around it but didn’t leak once the pressure was relieved.

In the middle of all this Donna sent me a text message stating she was on her way here. I replied “disaster here.” I set up a fan and space heater and continued to clean up. When Donna arrived she went to the fire station and borrowed a wet/dry shop vac. I finally figured out the source of the water. Before we left Donna started a load of laundry, neither of us thought about how much water that dumps into the gray water tank or what the current state of the tank was. Lesson learned. I was wound up tight for hours. Water damage is an RVers worst nightmare.

Meanwhile out on the course Allen was continuing his fast pace. His average speed for the bike portion was a hair under 18 MPH. On a hilly course this is excellent. I knew he would be strong in the run.

After all of the clean up work I was sweaty and felt not so clean. We had dinner plans with friends so Donna and I showered and changed clothes. We planned to go into the village to cheer Allen on during his final leg of the run. Just as we were beginning to leave it started raining again. Donna stayed back and finished tidying up the place instead of riding in the rain while I scootered into town.

The village was crazy — streets lined with cheering spectators, competitors straining to reach the finish. I looked for Allen. I walked over to the Prague Motor Inn and looked for his wife, Crystal. When I couldn’t find her I realized Allen must have already come through and she would be at the finish line.

I walked back to my scooter and rode over to the stadium where they finish the event. It was an absolute zoo. Masses of people, supporters and athletes milling about everywhere. I gave up trying to find them. I phoned Crystal but didn’t get answer. It was no surprise considering the noise.

I returned “home” and looked up Allen on the Ironman site. He finished well ahead of expectations with a total time of 11 hours, 40 minutes and 48 seconds. It was an outstanding performance, even more impressive when you consider that it was his first full triathlon. He competes in the 40-44 age division which is probably one of the toughest. His time placed him 98th in the division.He was 480th overall in a race against 2800 competitors. I’m impressed and proud to know him.

We finished off what turned out to be a tough day on the Ironman circuit and a tough day in the RV by joining friends for dinner. We ate at the Whiteface Lodge in Lake Placid with Wendy, Ian, Karen and Bernie. Good food, good conversation with good friends was a great way to end the day.

Today we’ll pack up and drive to Lake George to join Donna’s sister, Linda, and her husband Tom.

More From Lake Placid

The Iron Man event takes place today. In fact it’s 7am as I write and the competitors are already in the water for the 2.4 mile swim. But I’ll write about that tomorrow, this morning I need to catch up on the last couple of days.

Friday morning Gene and I went out in his boat on Lake Placid intending to do a little fishing. As we cruised across the lake, Gene filled me in on a little of the history and the layout of the lake. Suddenly the outboard engine started making unusual noises and lost power. We turned around to limp back to the boat launch, but soon the engine quit running.

It seemed like a fuel delivery problem to me and I began to investigate. After a while another boater saw that we were powerless and offered a tow which we gladly accepted. While we were being towed, I continued to look for the problem and found a pinhole in the fuel line under the cowl. The pinhole was allowing the fuel pump to draw air, so the engine ran lean and then quit.

The good news is that I saw some of the lake and the issue with engine is an easy fix, but our tour was cut short and we didn’t get a chance to fish.

Donna and I went into the village and it was really hopping. Sidewalks filled with people, streets filled with cars, bicycles, runners and scooter (yes, we had the only scooter that we saw in town). There was a large vendor area with a platform the could raise and lower. Under the platform was a large inflatable cushion. Kids were lined up for the opportunity to jump from the platform and land in the cushion! No thank you.

The Platform

The Platform




Friday night we were invited to dinner at Wendy and Ian Poole’s house. Donna’s old friends, Karen and Diane, were also invited along with their husbands, Bernie and Patrick. We had cocktails, good conversation and good food. It was a great dinner party. Our contribution to the dinner was a bottle of wine – “Triple Overtime” from Igor Larionov’s winery, signed by the man himself.

Bernie and Karen drove us home but first we stopped at their place for a nightcap and tour of their house. It’s a beautiful place that Bernie built.

Yesterday I had good news from Detroit BMW. They sold my R1200RT motorcycle! Tomorrow I’ll sign off the title and send to them via FedEx overnight.

Wendy and Ian invited us to go boating on Saranac Lake. The village of Saranac Lake is about seven miles from Lake Placid and is slightly larger with about 6,000 residents. The lake itself is actually comprised of three lakes – Upper, Middle and Lower Saranac Lake. We were on Lower Saranac Lake. About half of the shoreline of this lake is public property. The islands are also state land and have reservable camp sites on them.

Cove on Lower Saranac Lake

Cove on Lower Saranac Lake

We had lunch on the boat anchored in  a small cove. Wendy made some delicious wraps. We talked and enjoyed the scenery and each other’s company and then took a short swim to cool off. It was a very pleasant way to spend a beautiful day.

Delicious lunch on Ian's boat

Delicious lunch on Ian’s boat

Last evening Allen Hutchinson, his wife Crystal and their three daughters joined us for dinner. I grilled jerk chicken with mango salsa (which Donna prepared). We also had a green bean and fennel salad and brown rice. We spent a couple of hours at the picnic table eating and talking. They’re a lovely family.

Donna and the Hutchinson family

Donna and the Hutchinson family

I hope Allen is doing well in the swim right now. It’s raining, 62 degrees and cloudy. The rain shouldn’t affect his swim but I hope it stops before he begins the ride. He expected to complete the 2.4 mile swim in ~70 minutes so he’ll be transitioning to the bike soon. We’ll go watch the bike portion.

That’s what we’ve been up to. Tomorrow we’ll move to Lake George to camp alongside Donna’s sister Linda and her husband Tommy.




Lake Placid

Thursday morning we were up early – this is still a habit for me. During the night, a nice Prevost coach pulling a trailer parked at the Lowes. I wish I had taken a picture of it. It was a real beauty. We hit the road around 7:30 and drove RT3 into the Adirondacks. This is a great road – very scenic and the smoothest pavement of the entire trip with not much traffic.

We stopped in the village of Cranberry Lake for breakfast then continued on through Tupper Lake, Saranac Lake and into Lake Placid. Lake Placid is a village with a population of about 5,000 people. For such a small village it has an astounding vibe and history.

Lake Placid hosted the winter Olympic games twice – in 1932 and again in 1980. Donna worked at 1980 games parking cars on Mount Van Hoevenburg. Another interesting factoid about the 1980 Olympic games – the Lake Placid Middle/High school was issued a liquor license and served as a bar during the games. It’s the only high school in the USA to be issued a liquor license!

We’re staying at the Lake Placid fire station RV park. The fire station is manned by three full time fire fighters and a volunteer crew. One of volunteers, Bob, runs the RV park (which is a New York state licensed RV park). The spaces are bit cramped but all of them have full hook ups with 50 amp service. We have the only pull through site so we didn’t have to drop our trailer. We also have a view of Mill Pond from our front door!

Getting into the fire station was an adventure. I turned on to Mill Pond Road, but I should have driven another 50 feet and pulled in to the fire station entrance. Once I committed to Mill Pond Road, I had no choice but to follow it into the village center. This involved a couple of narrow streets and tight turns. The Iron Man triathlon is being held here this weekend and the village was bustling with pre-race activities. We remained calm and made our way through it all and back to fire station without any drama.

The Iron Man triathlon has been held here every year since 1999. It’s the second oldest official Iron Man event in North America. We have a friend from Michigan, Allen Hutchinson, competing this weekend in the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bicycle and 26.2-mile run. The race takes place on Sunday but there have been athletes up here training for weeks. We’ll try to hook up with Allen and his wife, Crystal in the days ahead.

We had lunch in town at the Chair6 restaurant with our friends Alec and Susan Friedman. Susan is an author/speaker Donna met in a book club when she lived here back in 2000 – 2002. Alec is the rabbi at the synagogue here.

Donna’s sister, Pam and her husband Gene joined us later at the fire station. We grilled pork tenderloins and ate at the picnic table. Entertainment was provided by the fire crew. They were training for fire department competition. This was fun to watch and something new to me. Gene was a former volunteer fire fighter here and he explained the activity to us. The fire crews compete against other departments in various timed events. Some of the events involve a drag race type start with special race vehicles quickly accelerating to 60 mph with fire crewmen standing on a platform on the rear. The vehicle then skids to a stop as the crew jumps off, sets a ladder and one of them climbs a tower to complete the course. This type of competition is great training for the fire crew as the events they compete in simulate many of the firefighting skills they need.

We had a very full day and look forward to more fun-filled activities throughout the weekend.

View of Mill Pond from our doorstep

View of Mill Pond from our doorstep

Lunch served at Chair6

Lunch served at Chair6

Lake Placid FD pump truck

Lake Placid FD pump truck

LPFD competition truck

LPFD competition truck

LPFD Roush powered race car

LPFD Roush powered race car

Crew aboard race car

Crew aboard race car

Setting ladder amid tire smoke

Setting ladder amid tire smoke

Climbing up to the tower

Climbing up to the tower








Is it “boondocking” when you spend the night in a parking lot? I think not. To me boondocking is a more remote experience, away from commercial conveniences. No hookups, no Starbucks. I prefer to call the overnight stays at the Walmart or Lowes parking lot “dry camping”. Hmmm…this raises the question of the definition of camping.

However you define or describe it, we had our second parking lot experience after driving to Watertown. The drive from Dunkirk was nice, we bypassed the NY Turnpike and choose back roads and US 20 through western New York state. The route was rolling hills and very rural. This is wine country and very scenic. We passed through the Finger Lake region where we hope to spend a couple of days on our way back  west.

We took a break at a truck stop and ran the generator for an hour.This allowed us to charge our laptops and tablets. Donna used the break time to shower and catch up on email while I searched for an overnight spot in Watertown.

The generator is not only making electricity; it’s also making an unusual odor. This has me concerned. The smell is similar to the odor of a bad fluorescent light fixture ballast. I’ll look into it once we’re settled in Lake Placid.

We drove to another Walmart. I made a pass though the parking lot. It was spacious but adjacent to a busy road, very open and not so level. While I was trying to figure out the best way to park our rig, Donna spotted a Lowes across the boulevard below the grade of the road. We drove over and found it to be more desirable for an overnight stay. We parked on the side of the building where it was level, quiet and we had a view of grass and woods again!

We went inside to seek permission for overnight parking. The manager told us it wasn’t allowed, but nobody would complain – wink,wink. After dinner at the Texas Roadhouse we returned to our coach and sat outside with an after dinner cocktail.

Then our fortune turned. The manager came over with one of the workers and told us we could stay but we couldn’t stay in the area we chose. The workers needed to access a container near our rig to load and unload goods during the night. Time to be flexible again.

We moved to a large open, level lot on the other side of the building near a Kmart. No view but it’s quiet and level and well, not a bad place to camp for the night. In the morning, we’ll fuel up and drive 130 miles through the mountains to Lake Placid.

Road Trip

I wonder how long this will feel like a road trip. I’ve always enjoyed road trips and get really excited about them. In fact I usually get impatient for the trip to begin and can hardly sleep. That’s how Tuesday (yesterday) began. I woke up at 4:15am and couldn’t sleep so I got up and wrote the day’s post. Donna got up at a more sensible 6:00am.

We made our final departure from the driveway at 8:00am. It was an emotional moment for Donna while I was feeling excitement and wanderlust. We pounded down I75 and I mean that literally – that road surface is awful. Weeks ago I had mapped out our route with the trip to Lake Placid broken up onto three roughly equal legs. Remember what I said about plans changing? We quickly learned that when we’re on the road, flexibility is the key word.

We made it to Cleveland around 2:00pm and decided it was too early to stop. A couple of hours later Donna was learning how to use some of the functions on the Rand-McNally RVND 7720 GPS.  This device is designed for RV use and she used it to direct us to RV friendly overnight parking. We ended up at a Walmart Super Center in Dunkirk, New York around 4:30. I think we drove about an hour longer than we should have. I was feeling road weary and Donna was a bit antsy from co-piloting all day. Driving a big rig isn’t the same as cruising in a modern car. it’s a bit more challenging and mentally taxing. Although I know a Walmart parking lot doesn’t sound like a good place to spend the night, we felt pretty good about it. We were at the end of the lot looking into a grassy area with a wooded creek. It was also quiet where we were.

There was another RV in the parking lot – a 40′ Newmar Dutch Star. It belonged to an older couple, Mason and Floretta from Oklahoma. They’re en route to Nova Scotia via Niagara Falls. Mason is a retired pilot. He flew business and charter aircraft all over the world. He gave us the tour of his coach and Floretta told tales of RVing to Alaska.

Donna whipped up a salad for dinner with roasted chicken from the Walmart Supercenter. I wanted to take a picture of the salad as I thought it was quite nice but Donna wouldn’t let me. Apparently the presentation wasn’t up to her standards. Next time I’ll have to make the photo request before she serves.

Tomorrow we’ll head up to Watertown before we call it a day. Then it’s on to Lake Placid. I’ll add pictures to the posts once we’re settled in at Lake Placid.

No Rest for the Weary

We started our day Monday, July 22nd full of optimism and believed we could start our journey a day ahead of schedule. Before breakfast Donna said, “10 hours from now we’ll be on our way.” I think I better get used to things not always going according to plan.

We buckled down and started packing things. It seemed like odds and ends kept multiplying – where was all this stuff coming from? It took me a couple of hours to finish moving things from the basement of the “sticks and bricks”.. home and find space to load it in the basement of the motorhome. Around noon I loaded a couple of amplifier heads and a 212 cabinet into my Touareg and took them over to Gerhard Rauch. Gerhard is a good friend and leader of the band “Backtrack.” I gave him the equipment but he insists that he’s just holding on to them for me.

From there I drove up to Romeo and collected the proceeds from our estate sale. This gave me the opportunity to see our new friend Nancy and mumble another goodbye. It also robbed me of about an hour of time I needed to continue loading the motorhome and trailer. Meanwhile Donna kept plugging away at the paperwork she was sorting through.

I made arrangements to leave my Les Paul guitar with Jeff Quartuccio, Jeff plays guitar in the band Planet of Fun and also taught me guitar lessons. I was supposed to meet him at the studio at 4pm. I also needed to return the Comcast DVR box and router but I wanted to hang on to them as late as I could for an internet connection. This wasn’t too smart. I have a Verizon Jetpack (which is how I’m online now) and should have returned the Comcast stuff earlier. I didn’t realize I would have to go all the way out Hall Road to Macomb to return it. Around 3pm I asked Donna where the Comcast place was. She only had a vague notion of it being on Hall Road. For some reason I thought it was nearby on Van Dyke. I did a Google search and it showed the nearest Comcast store in Sterling Heights south of 16 mile. This was no good, it would take me an hour to drive there and back. Donna was sure that wasn’t right, I decided to go down Hall Road and try to find the place she remembered. While I was driving she was on hold with the Comcast phone-bots.

Donna finally got a live person on the phone and got the address while I was driving back and forth through the usual Hall Road mayhem trying to find Comcast amid the endless strip malls there. She phoned me and gave me an address – now I can rant about street numbers. Building after building on Hall Road have business names but try to find an actual street number. I finally found the place – it’s not called Comcast, it’s the Xfinity store!

By the time I dealt with Comcast (Xfinity) and dropped the guitar off I’d lost a couple more hours and it was time to turn in my Touareg at the dealership in Rochester. Donna drove the Touareg there while I rode the scooter. Another hour lost.

We were home and back at it by 6pm. Once I loaded the scooter in the trailer I was able to finish packing the remainder of garage items fairly quickly but I knew there was no way we would be on the road today. We ordered a pizza from Dan Good pizza and finished loading, By 8 o’clock we were finished and showered. I was beat once again, settled down with a couple of cold ones and called it a day.

We’ll hook up the trailer in the morning and the journey will truly begin.

Work Hard – Play Hard

So far this retirement gig has been hard work! We’re making the final push to pack everything in the motorhome. I thought we had done a really good job of downsizing but it turns out we still have too much stuff. In the last week, Donna happened to connect with two women who run non-profit organizations that help 1) animal rescues and 2) abused children. So between the two of them, they are taking most of what’s left for good causes. We also posted more stuff on Freecycle. This worked well. One evening we had a visit from a guy I tagged as a “Freecycle gleaner.” This is someone that shows up to pick up a particular item that was posted but ends up looking around and asking “what about this or how about that?” He was a nice guy but I had hunch when he drove up in a van full of stuff with an empty utility trailer in tow that he does this kind of thing often.

Saturday night we took a break and attended a lobster fest fundraiser at Upper Straits Lake with our friends, Bill and Cindy. It was fun; the lobster was mediocre but there was lots of it! They also had live entertainment — a classic rock band that was really good.

Sunday we packed and cleaned most of the day. I serviced the scooter while I still had a garage to work in. We finally took a break at 7pm and went to Da Francesco for Italian food. I was beat. After dinner I downloaded the Moto GP race at Laguna Seca and watched that. If we can finish packing, return our Comcast box and drop off one of my guitars by this afternoon we’ll probably hit the road this evening.

Buffet Line at Lobster Fest

Buffet Line at Lobster Fest

Large Lobsters!

Large Lobsters!

Lobster versus Bill

Lobster versus Bill





Classic Rock

Classic Rock


Upper Straits Lake








Saturday Club

It’s strange how time can seem to pass slowly yet speed by all at once. My last week at work was like that. In some of the meetings an hour was agonizingly long but by Friday it seemed like the week flew by. The passage of time accelerated throughout the day, I tried to stay on course and do the things that needed to be done but truthfully it was difficult not to be distracted.

Thursday the guys on my team took me to lunch at the Rochester Chop House. Very nice! I struggled for words and mostly just made small talk. They’re a great group. As a manager I’ve always tried to assemble the right group of people and give them the opportunities to develop and grow into their careers. These guys have a great future ahead of them.

Yesterday I had lunch with my boss and fellow managers. Again I couldn’t come up with anything to say other than the usual banter. I sent a delegate to my last meeting of the day and quietly slipped out. I went to our old watering hole (Grand Tavern) and had a few beers while some of the crew stopped by. A couple of years ago this was our Friday ritual but not so much anymore.

When I think about the passage of time it seems incredible to me that I’ve been with the same company for 29 years. Next year will mark my 40th high school reunion! I feel like the years blew by in such a rush that many things got by me unnoticed. I plan to slow my pace and take some time to smell the flowers and savor every day.

Right before I left the office I posted to Facebook “from now on everyday is Saturday.” My friend and fellow retiree, Ed Brubaker commented, “Welcome to the Saturday club.” I like that…this is a club I’m pleased to join!

The heat and humidity this past week has been almost unbearable. Since we are sleeping in the motorhome I’ve had to fire up the generator and run both A/C units for a couple of hours in the evening to cool the coach. When we go to bed I shut the generator down and run the front A/C off a 20 amp outlet by the garage. This has worked well and we’ve slept comfortably.

In a few days we’ll drive away from here and join the full-time RV world. But, before we can do that we still have some loose ends to tie up. Donna has been burning the candle at both ends to meet a writing deadline and get our household organized and cleaned up at the same time. She’s amazing. I still have to sell a couple of amps and a nice Gibson Les Paul G0. I’ve reduced the asking price on my BMW R1200RT to fire sale levels and hopefully that goes this weekend. If not, it’ll stay on consignment at BMW Motorcycles of Detroit. I’ll service the scooter while I have a garage to do it in. The forecast calls for the heat and humidity to drop over the next few days which is a relief (if the weather guessers have it right).

So, although I’m in the Saturday club, I have much to do!

Getting Wound Up and Winding Down

Last week seems like a whirlwind now. Wrapping things up at work, dealing with the estate sale and trying to carry on as normally as possible. I’ve read about the stress a major life change can create. Well, we’re making multiple life changes at once.

Retirement – I’ve held various jobs since I was 15 years old. If I only count the years in the auto industry, I’ve been getting up and going to work for more than 1,800 weeks. Now I’m counting down the last week – 4 more days as I write this. It’s a little weird to think I won’t get up and go to the office after Friday. A colleague asked me what I would miss about working – I couldn’t think of anything other than some of the people.

Selling our house and its contents – I’ve bought and sold several houses over the years and it always creates some stress. Add to that the prospect of selling all of our “stuff.” Our three-day estate sale concluded successfully last Saturday. Successfully in this case means we no longer have any furniture in the house and the cupboards are bare. We still have a few items left over that will be donated or distributed through While this was going on I still had to go to work. We had the spare bedroom closed off and I kept a few work clothes in there. Most of our clothing, kitchen utensils and whatnot are in the motorhome where we are sleeping now that our bed has been sold. But we’re still showering and cooking in the house. It will be better when everything is in the motorhome and we’re not running back and forth trying to find things.

Hitting the road full time – This is something we’ve never done before. We think we have a pretty good idea of what it will be like, but the truth is we’re venturing into the unknown. Somewhere I saw a quote that said “If it excites you and scares the crap out of you at the same time, you should probably do it.” After the events of the past few weeks, I think hitting the road will be a relief.

Yesterday we were able to relax and unwind with our friends, Tom and Nancy. We went to their place on Long Lake and took a couple of relaxing cruises around the lake on their pontoon boat.  Then Tom pulled us around the lake tubing behind his Malibu ski boat. I’m feeling it today, will probably really feel it tomorrow. We grilled steaks and enjoyed dinner on the patio. It was great way to unwind and spend our next to last weekend in Michigan. Tom and Nancy are really fun. We’ve only met them recently but it feels like they’re old friends.

Michigan was always intended to be a temporary home for us. When we moved here in 2009 due to a work assignment, we always figured it would be a four-year stint. A friend of Donna’s asked her what she will miss about Michigan. She replied that she really won’t know until we’ve gone! But despite not being altogether thrilled about leaving Arizona for Michigan, she found a lot of things to like here – from cycling through lush green summer landscape to discovering Eastern Market, Belle Isle and other gems in downtown Detroit to gourmet food shopping and enjoying Michigan cherries and peach pie. And then there was that motorcycle tour through the UP, and of course, the great friendships. I guess we’ll have to come back and visit!

Nancy and Donna

Nancy and Donna

View of their dock and Long Lake from the deck

View of their dock and Long Lake from the deck

Steaks off of the grill!

Steaks off of the grill!

After dinner cruise with Tom, Donna and Nancy

After dinner cruise with Tom, Donna and Nancy