Looking Through the Windshield

Happiness in the rear view mirror didn’t last as long as I planned! We had barely made it out of New Hampshire when the problems started. In a motor home, you can have 2 completely different sets of problems, either of which can leave you on the side of the road. On one hand, you have the mechanical components, the engine, transmission and so on. On the other hand, you have all the same problems you have in your house, the roof, the windows, the plumbing, electrical systems, yada yada yada…

If you saw the last post, you know we are already aware of the fact we need a new roof. We had already taken care of a plumbing issue (the cap on the faucet in the kitchen had to be replaced). Steve fixed a starting issue with our generator. SO, when we left, we were pretty confident we were on our way. Not so fast…literally! Not long after we hit the highway in Vermont, we started noticing a steep decline in speed every time we started up a hill. Since Vermont is nothing but hills/mountains, this quickly became a major problem! At first, I thought it was because we were loaded to the brim and overwieght. Every available inch of space had something in it, so I sat quietly in my seat calculating how long it would take to get to Florida, 1300 miles, at 30mph. After a while, we were climbing hills at 18mph and getting up to 30mph on the downhill side of the hills. Not good! Finally, five hours later, somewhere in the southern part of Connecticut, Steve pulled off on the side of Interstate 95 and changed the fuel filters. It made me glad to have mechanic for a husband, I wouldn’t have thought of it!  Problem solved! Woohoo – 65mph. Since it was getting late, we pulled into a rest area and got a couple hours sleep.

Our first full day on the road started early. With the fuel issue solved, I had high hopes of making good time the rest of the trip….not so fast…literally! Not that again!! Nope, new problem.  Ugh.  Now, Waldo was overheating. We had had this problem before, but we thought it was fixed. Obviously not. We babied Waldo as best we could and finally made it to the outskirts of Roanoke, VA. I have a cool app on my phone called Overnight RV Parking It uses your location to show where verified free overnight parking is available. Or you can search an area using the map. I found a place we could stop for the night and give Waldo a break. Right off the highway was a Gander Mountain that allowed parking. We settled in for the night. There was another family parked near by. They had a dog too! Diesel got to spend some off-leash time playing ball after the store closed. Happy dogs!

We set off in the coolness of the early morning, knowing it would be slow going as long as the engine kept overheating. Most of the day was uneventful. We pulled into every rest area, letting Waldo cool down. The only one happy with this was Diesel because he got to get out and investigate the area. Ok…maybe I didn’t mind too much…

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We’d been pretty lucky with the weather, once out of New England, we were out of the rain. The temps were rising and a cold one was just what I wanted.

Knowing we wouldn’t make it to my dad’s house without stopping again, I began to look for a place to spend the night. I figured how many miles I thought we could make and chose A Big Wheel RV Park in Saint Mary’s, Georgia. A small, quiet park sounded like the perfect place to spend the night. Lucky for us, this is the off season and they had a pull-thru site available. We used our Passport America membership and our spot only cost us $19.

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After getting setup, I cooked our first meal on the road…

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We took Diesel for a nice long walk, ending up near the fishing pond. There was another family there with their bicycles and I was going to let Diesel get a drink until they pointed out the baby alligators. Across the pond was a sign which read “BEWARE Alligators Poisonous Snakes Red Ants” I tried to get a picture of it – not my best shot…

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We debated staying another day, but when we awoke the next morning, the skies opened up and drenched us. Knowing Waldo’s roof didn’t need the ‘bath’, we headed south…

Stay tuned for our Florida adventure…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happiness in the rear view mirror

I know it has been quite a while since I’ve written a post and I’m sorry. An awful lot has happened in the last nine weeks! It has been an emotional rollercoaster, to say the least. In April, we put the house on the market. But it seemed every time I turned around, there was still some unfinished little project that needed to be done. Touch up the paint here, wash that cabinet, clean out that room. It was almost never ending and it really took a mental and physical toll on me. In May, we liquidated the contents of our business and our home. We auctioned off all the business assets. There was quite a crowd but the bidding was low and we came away with a lot less than we had hoped. But it was done! Next came our moving sale. Steve and I spent every spare moment moving items from the house to the garage. I organized and tagged while he did the heavy lifting. How in the world did we ever end up with so much stuff!?!?! The sale lasted 3 days – 3 long days! In the end, we did pretty well and a lot of “stuff” was gone. But what to do with the rest of our possessions? As I looked around at the leftovers, I made mental lists of what could be donated (and to whom), what should be thrown in the dumpster and what should be brought to Our Town Co Op, my favorite consignment store. It took several weeks to go from…

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To…

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In the midst of all of this, there was a family get together. For the first time ever, we had all three of our kids and all three of our grandchildren together.

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Plus there were lots of friends to say goodbye to. Breakfast with Bill and Sue, dinner with Jeff, lunch with Keith, dinner with Lindsay and Leo, beverages on the patio with Rick and Carol, lunch with Martha. It seemed every day we squeezed in one more goodbye. Unfortunately, it was taking away time I needed for wrapping everything up. Don’t get me wrong, I love our friends dearly, but I was feeling the stress of finishing my to-do list. Last week, I checked one of those things off my list – mowing the lawn for the last time…

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Finally it came down to packing Waldo. Our first destination is my dad’s house in Florida. There are just some things we don’t want to part with, but do not need on the road. Leaving them in Florida just makes the most sense, plus we need to have a new roof put on Waldo before we hit the road for good and staying at my dad’s sure beats nights in a motel! Finally, Waldo was loaded to the brim, every available inch of space was stuffed with something. It’s time!!!

 

We did stop at the end of our driveway to say one last goodbye…

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Happiness in the rear view mirror….

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Florida – Here we come!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Planning To Wander

We’ve had a 5 year plan for about 14 years now. When we first got married, we talked about homesteading; living off the land, finding our own way. Life has a funny way of changing your plans for you. It doesn’t ask – it just does it and leaves you with the mess. After you dust yourself off, you start making a new 5 year plan. Sometimes, if you’ve screwed off for 5 years you’re not careful, 5 years comes and goes without any furtherance of your plan. Perhaps it wasn’t the right plan. My mom had a long list of serious medical issues, things that would ensure she didn’t live to be a centurion. So, my dad retired early, put their home on the market, bought a truck and a camper. Medical issues be damned – they were going to travel. And the things/places they saw!!! Steve and I began to formulate a NEW new plan. We wanted to travel too! Anyone who knows me, even just a little, knows I hate winter and I hate the cold. I’ve been talking about leaving New Hampshire since, well, let’s just say for a very long time.

Over the years, my parents went through several upgrades and downgrades. Everything from a 26′ tag trailer called The Dog, towed by an F250 named Beast to a 38′ Class A motor home named Waldo who towed a nameless Jeep Wrangler. I’m the one who named the motor home. I never knew exactly where my parents might be. Just because they were in Arizona yesterday, didn’t mean they were still there today. Hence – Where’s Waldo. Every summer, my parents would make the trek to New Hampshire, park their rig in our driveway and spend a few weeks with us. During their visit, Steve and I would listen to stories of the places they had visited and “oops” moments along the way. We learned a lot from my parents. Things like: when you buy your rig, make sure there are enough outlets, don’t buy things you don’t have room for, be willing to unplug from the world, it’s never too soon to start downsizing but maybe the biggest thing we learned is LIFE IS SHORT. Due to deteriorating health, in 2011 my parents bought a house in Florida. Travel time was over.

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Before my mom passed away in 2012, my parents gifted Waldo to us. Our travel plan got a little nearer – we had wheels!

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The next 16 months were a disaster for us. In Oct 2012 , my mom passed away at just 64 years old. In Sept. 2013, Steve’s dad passed away. And in Feb 2014, Steve’s 32 year old son lost his battle with cancer. We were learning first hand how short life is. And just to show that life doesn’t care what your plans are, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder to go along with the heart problems I have. Luckily, the heart problem was mostly solved with a cardiac ablation, but the autoimmune disorder isn’t going away (as with most autoimmunes there is no cure). Steve and I have learned to “live with it”. Good days – bad days. S0, before it becomes Bad days – good days we have decided to throw caution to the wind and implement our plan!

The first part of this blog will be about our journey from

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To

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We have a different Jeep now but you get the idea…

As we wander, I will post about where we are and the adventures we are having. I’d love for you to wander with us!

You can see where I’ve visited in New Hampshire by checking out www.TouringNH.com