Sunday, July 26, 2015

Assessing our accomplishments

We came back to Minnesota for a number of reasons. Number one was to see our kids, family and friends. Number two was to get our yearly medical appointments taken care of and thirdly was to get repair work done on the house and truck.

So with that in mind we have been very busy to say the least. We stayed 3 weeks with Lisa's mom in here driveway which is no easy feat to get into. It has an S-curve to it lined with very large trees. So with the help of Lisa's mom on one side and Lisa watching the other we got in after about 20 minutes. At one point I think I was stuck. I couldn't go forward or backwards. But with a little bit of destruction to the neighbor's across the street landscaping we got in. That will be the last time till one major tree is gone. The sweat was flowing freely when I got out of the pick-up. We spent a lot of time visiting with Lisa's mom and 98 year old Grandfather. Kendra has been visiting every weekend. We have seen our son a couple of times but he is very busy working and a new girlfriend.

Our appointments are going well. No major medical issues to worry about or minor ones. Our new kitten has been fixed and she is ready for the road again.

Repairs to the house and truck are a little more involved. When we were in Florida at the RV-Dreams boon docking rally our water heater quit working on propane. It worked on electric, however we didn't have electric at that time. So every time we wanted a shower we would have to turn on the generator. Annoying to the neighbors I'm sure. So that was on the list to get fixed in Minnesota. Then when we were in Colorado, I looked under the rig and noticed some sagging. Looked inside and saw that our fresh water tank bracket was bending. I put a tie down strap on it and hoped it would make it back to MN. It did without falling on the highway.
Underbelly re-inforced with hardened steel.

Lisa is a master with caulking so she attacked the shower and re-caulked that and fixed our shower handle. I replaced our interior door knobs. The bathroom one broke after a million trips to the pooper. I upgraded our TV antenna to a HD one. Have not broken down and gotten a dish yet. Probably won't. Wheel bearings were re-packed. Supposed to be done yearly but a year goes by fast. It was 2 year on the last time it was done.
Razer HD antenna. Looks like a big spatula. :-)

The truck had it's usual maintenance done to it. I had a grill guard on the front of the pick-up. But one winter in Minnesota made it start to rust like crazy. The ocean air didn't help much either.So I took it off and it is getting Line-Xed as we speak. That should prevent any rock chips or rusting. When we were in Moab Utah for Jeep Safari they were Line-Xing everything. Looked pretty tough.

That raps up mainly what we have been doing. A few odds and ends to take care of and a few more people to see and have some frosty ones with them.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Our first 525,600 minutes on the road.

This is our wrap up of our first year in this lifestyle. I am going to go first with my thoughts and then Lisa is going to put down here thoughts.

July 10th is our anniversary date for starting this crazy adventure. It took us 4 years to plan this out and also to get rid of everything like our house, car and all of our household stuff. Also we had to acquire a truck and fifthwheel in that time period also. We had to prepare our families and friends on what we were going to do. Especially getting our kids settled into their places and hopefully have good jobs to get them going. We gave them good dependable cars to get them through the harsh winters in the north. So once all the preparations where in place we could hit the road with confidence.

So we finally hit the road. When we hit the road we told everyone that we were going to be traveling. I assumed that we would travel more, but in reality we didn't travel as much as I thought. Several reasons for that. The more you travel the more expensive it is. Fuel costs. Driving a diesel pick-up pulling a huge camper is not cheap. Campground fees. If you stay longer in a camp ground you can get weekly rates and even monthly rates. If you spend one or two nights in a campground it is more expansive. You have to take into account also the type of campground you stay in. Private being more expensive than State Parks or Army Corps. Parks. Activities that you want to do and places you want to see. Everything costs money.

With rose colored glasses we hit the road all excited and everything. But reality caught up to us pretty fast. That being the money thing. Am I happy that we did this? Yes, very happy. Wouldn't change a thing. We now know that our money isn't going to last so we have to make some changes to our plans. We know that we couldn't see the entire country in a year which is fine. It gives us things to explore and places to find in the future.

In a nut shell. I love the lifestyle. The freedom to go anywhere. The places that we have seen so far and also the many knew friends we have made along the way. Our kids are doing well, so that's a plus.

Lisa's turn:

Best things about this lifestyle:
     Seeing new places.
     Experiencing new things.
     Meeting new people.
     Having time to explore an area.
     Spending my days with Dino in a very small space.

     Rocket launch at NASA in Florida:
          This is when I finally realized how lucky I was to be able to live this lifestyle. Sitting on the tailgate of the truck watching the sunset, waiting for the launch. It took me a while to adjust.

     Roman and Kendra coming to Orlando and Moab for visits:
          It is so great to spend a week or two of quality time together with them without interruptions.

     Moab, UT:
          I love so much about this place! The scenery, the outdoor activities, our first workamping job and the great people we met

     Key West, FL
          We didn't spend enough time here but loved it. We need to go back.

This first year on the road has been such a learning experience about the lifestyle and myself. I am sure the next will be the same.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Doing the Limbo

No I am not actually doing the Limbo. That would not be a pretty site at all.  We have made it to the "Land of 10,000 lakes" and we are getting things taken care of. Quite a few maintenance items to take care of both with the RV and ourselves. New glasses ordered, teeth checked on and of course doctor visits. But I am sure you don't want to know how my prostrate exam went (do you?). Well you will have to google it.

So since we aren't really doing a whole lot that many people would find interesting I thought I would do a little photo highlight. A friend of mine picked 10 of his top pictures that he thought where outstanding(and they where) and he just discussed them so you would know why he thought they were what they were. So I thought I would try that also. Although I don't know if I have 10 but we will see. Be sure to enlarge the photo so you can see the detail better.
I like this one because its Moose. Also the lighting, the texture of the carpet and the detail of his fur. I like the look on his face. You can almost feel how good that sunbeam feels. Lisa took this picture with her Samsung tablet. Pretty good I thought. Although I don't want to be one of those people that you see on vacation taking photos with thier big tablets.
Beach walk on St. George Island
We were taking an early morning walk on St. George Island in Florida when we took this picture. There were many beautiful pictures this day. What I like about this one though is the beautiful colors. The contrasts from the sand, the water the dark clouds and also the falling rain. This was taken with our Canon Powershot  SD 1200 IS camera. Just a little point and shoot camera. That is what we usually have along on our adventures.
Sunset Grill, Marathon, FL.
So many places in Florida brag about thier sunsets. And of the places we have been to, they have a right to brag about them. This was at the Sunset grill in Marathon Florida on the way to Key West. 7 mile bridge is just to the right. This picture was shooting into the setting sun and the Tiki roof, palm trees and people all came out black from the brightness. I like this one because it almost could be a post card. The detail is amazing. Look at the waves on the pool. This was taken with our Canon Powershot on the sunset setting.
Canadian Rockies
I like this photo because of the ruggedness of the mountains. thier grey and white color next to the blue of the water. We have never seen water that color of blue before. Also the green of the pine trees. We should of had a 3d camera to show the depth of the entire area. Canon Powershot.
Antelope Canyon
This is a unique photo that I like. This is a picture in the Antelope Canyon in Arizona. It shows a lot of depth to it with the darkness and the light. It looks like you are looking into a cave but in fact this was taken pointing straight up with the light shinning down. Our Navajo tour guide Irene gets credit for this picture. She knew how to optimize our camera settings to get this shot. She knew more about our camera than we did. Canon Powershot again.

Well that is it. Not quite 10 but it is a start. Hopefully we will get better at photography.