Where We Have Been and Where We Are Headed

Since it is now a new year, I thought I would write a post about our travel plans for the next four months.  But first, a recap of where we have been.  As I write this we are located on the Alabama Coast near Gulf Shores and have now been on the road for four and a half months.  On August 25, 2017 we moved out of our home and into our trailer.  In the past four plus months, we have traveled through 11 states and stayed at 25 different RV parks.  For some reason it seems like we have been gone longer because we have seen so much and stayed so many different places.

Living in such a small space has been a challenge.  Finding room for everything and keeping our belongings organized in a 21 foot trailer takes some work.  I used to think my house in Modesto was small, but it doesn’t seem quite so small any longer!  Sometimes I would like to have more room to spread out and perhaps a comfortable chair or couch to recline on.  It would be great to have more counter space when cooking, a bigger refrigerator and more cabinet space to keep our food stuff.

Perhaps our biggest challenge has been dealing with the weather.  Traveling through the South and especially along the Gulf of Mexico has been much colder than we expected.  We had snow in Louisiana and the owner of the RV park said he hadn’t seen weather like this in 20+ years.

We have had chilly temperatures in Mississippi and Alabama.  During our stay in Mobile, temperatures were below freezing for five nights in a row.  I was glad I brought along my heaviest coat.  Mark is a whiz at knitting hats and he knit this baby alpaca for me during our trip.  (When we left California, he had to trade his wood shop for a set of knitting needles).   I have been taking advantage of his hats and scarves!  This little guy below was a welcome fixture in the trailer.  When it is freezing outside it can be cold inside, especially since we sit near the door.  We have heat and air for our trailer, but having a space heater warming my legs is really comfortable.  We recently replaced “old faithful” for a newer, quieter model.  The funny thing is that it took us several weeks to locate a replacement.  They were sold out of them in five major stores in Mobile after the cold weather hit!  Mark even tried to order one on Amazon and there were none in stock.  When we reached Gulf Shores, Lowes had a model that was just right.

The sacrifice of space and comfort though is definitely worth it to be able to explore our wonderful country.  In each state, city and town we have visited we learned things we didn’t know about the people, their culture and history.  We have seen beautiful scenery in every state we visited.  Being able to hit the road and go from place to place whenever and wherever we want is truly a delight.  It does take time and research to figure out where to go, attractions to visit and the best places to stay, but it is a small amount of work for all the adventures we find in each new place.  Although Mark and I are sometimes a little sad to move on, we usually feel we have seen and done most of what we wanted to and are looking forward to what the next location has to offer.

Our travels have opened our eyes to so many unique places and people.  It is neat to see the pride that people have in their states, cities and towns and how happy they are to show it to visitors.  No matter where we go, I believe we will find much to interest us, even in the out of the way, lesser known and visited places.   The difficulty is not being able to see everything as we can only scratch the surface of what is out there.   This is especially true since we are trying to visit as many states as possible.

From January through April, we will continue our travels through the southeastern part of the U.S.  Here is where we are hoping to travel during the coming months.  It will be interesting to see if we keep with this plan.  There is so much to see, it is easy to get distracted!

January:  We will be staying in Alabama’s Gulf Shores area for another week and then heading January 23 to the Florida Panhandle.

February:  We plan to spend a month in Florida with the first few weeks in the Pensacola, Destin or Panama City areas.  I hear that finding an RV site in Florida in the winter can be tricky as others who are wintering here have reserved their spots months in advance and parks could already be full.   It will be interesting to see where we end up.  As I have probably said before, I don’t like making reservations way in advance because I feel it ties us to a schedule we might not want to keep.  After our stay in the Panhandle, we will head to St. Augustine, Florida on the Atlantic Coast for a few weeks.  Excited to visit the oldest city in the United States!   Around February 20, we hope to move on to Jekyll Island, Georgia for a week stay.  I visited here for a few days some years ago and vowed to return for a longer visit.

March:  We hope to be in Savannah, Georgia a few days before the beginning of March and spend two weeks there.  This is a city I have been wanting to visit for some time!  After leaving around March 13, we will move on to Charleston, South Carolina to spend around 10 days before continuing to North Carolina.  At this point in planning, I am looking at staying in Winston-Salem for a few weeks as it is mid point between the Blue Ridge Parkway and other cities of interest in this state including Raleigh, the Capitol.

April:  This month will find us moving into Virginia and staying in the Richmond or Williamsburg areas.  There are a lot of historic sights including Colonial Williamsburg, the capitol building in Richmond, Montpelier, Jamestown, Yorktown and Monticello.  Around April 20 we will travel into Maryland and hope to stay in the vicinity of Annapolis the Capitol for two weeks.

Although our first four months went pretty close to what we planned, the next four could wind up going in a completely different direction.

We hope you will continue to follow along with us and appreciate your support through our journey.  Just a reminder, that you can subscribe to the blog and then will be notified when new blogs are published.

How’s it Going? Beth

Mark asked me to write on three different topics of our life so far as full time RVers:  1). First impressions of full time RVing; 2) How do I like traveling and 3) What are the challenges so far.  We are each going to cover these topics separately and it may be interesting to see how they compare.

1) Full time RVing has gone quite well with little problems.  I tend to be a worrier and want things to go smoothly.  I worry about finding a good place for us to stay and if the route we are traveling is the best one for us to take.   I worry if we are staying too short of a time or too long.   So far these things have not been an issue.  Every place we have stayed has been good and the places we have traveled have been interesting with plenty to do and see.  Full time RVing and carrying our house with us has given us the chance to “play” tourist almost every day, experience and learn new things.  I get to think each day about where I want to go next and what activities to do.   I marvel at this opportunity we have and don’t want to lose sight of that or take it for granted.  Living in a small trailer full time is working out even though we don’t have much space.  We have the things we need and do not go without.  As minimalists have found, you don’t need a lot of belongings in life, you can learn to do with less and be satisfied.

2). I love traveling and could happily go sightseeing every day!  At least at this point in time.  Although I don’t mind some down time and relaxing, my mind is usually filled with all the places we could be seeing or the activities available.  I knew before we left that I would really enjoy the traveling and exploring.  I was worried about leaving family, friends and my daily life behind which is the most difficult part of full time RVing.  I wish I didn’t have to be so far from those I care about!  I don’t seem to miss my home or think about it much.  It might be nice at times to sit on my comfortable couch and chair rather than a thin, rather hard RV cushion seat and back.  Being able to spread out my things and have storage space for everything would also be nice.  Having more kitchen counters and cupboards for cook ware and gadgets would also come in handy.  But I don’t think often of those things because the traveling is worth the inconveniences.  It will be interesting to see how I feel in several more months!

3). One of the challenges I face as we are on the road is deciding which places to see and which ones to pass up.  This is so difficult as I want to see almost everything!  I find I have to “let go” and realize that I cannot explore every where we go as we don’t stay long enough.  I have to make priorities of what would be the best for us with the time and energy we have.   I try to plan to see and do things that are unique, educational and will be interesting for Mark and I.  Mark and I are different in many ways – had to take this picture of him as he loves Diet Coke and I wouldn’t touch the stuff!

Mark and I have a different level of interest in traveling.  I want to see everything and sightsee every day and Mark doesn’t have the need to see everything and would probably not be disappointed to pass up many of the things we do stop to see.  Mark is often done looking at a point of interest before I am and then I feel bad that I am holding him up. Mark always tells me to take my time and that he is fine sitting, waiting and relaxing.  He says he enjoys the down time.  We are different in that I get excited about a new place I have seen and Mark gets excited about a new hobby or finding something for one of his hobbies at a store we come to in our travels.

Mark has a different schedule than I do.  He likes to sleep later and gets going slower.  I want to get going sooner although I am definitely not a morning person either.    Mark is happy to hang out more at the trailer than I am.   I could sightsee from morning to dark, trying to get everything in.  In spite of the challenges we are able to work it out.  I get to see lots of new places and Mark still gets to pursue his hobbies while on the road.  We try to be supportive of the other’s interests.  Mark does have an ongoing sense of humor!  He sent the picture below to family members via text and titled it “tempting.”  It was fortunate that day that he loved seeing the sights at this Civil War Battlefield.   No sitting on benches for him!

Thanks for reading this!  In my next post I will continue to write about our travel experiences while in Kansas.

How’s it going? Mark

 

We have been going now 2 months and I thought it might be fun if Beth and I checked in on how’s it going without seeing what the other one said.  We are so different in our thinking I bet it will be interesting.  So I picked three questions or topics and we will both write.  The questions/topics are 1) How is RV life? 2) How is traveling/sight seeing? and 3) What are the challenges so far?  So here goes mine…

  1. RVing

The first two months of RVing have really not been bad.  Beth and I have divided up the work with me taking physical care of the RV and her doing all the planning/routing/reserving.  We have pulled the trailer over 3,000 miles and stayed at 16 or 17 different parks without a major problem.  The trailer is easy to pull  and easy to set up and take down.  So far we have always stayed at places with full hookups so that has helped.

The trailer is actually pretty comfortable and it is really nice having all the upkeep of a house and yard.  I will do some posts and show the trailer and how we have adapted to it.  We bought a nice mattress right away because the ones that come with them are pretty bad.  I think I sleep better now.  Showering is not bad and I actually kind of like the water on and off during a shower.  The hot water seems just right and there is plenty for us to both shower.  Cooking (when we do it) is not too much different.  Before it seemed we would use dishes and keep going until the dishwasher was full then run it.  Now we just use a bowl then wash it and put it away.

As far as clothes I really like it!  For and old retiree like me the fewer clothes the better.  Jeans and a tee shirt is my uniform.  I keep a shirt around for going somewhere and 1 or 2 can last me for weeks.  A little spot for my shorts and socks and I am good.  Trailer fashion works for me.

The one thing I will say is that Beth does a terrific job on her side of planning and arranging!  We have really stayed in some good places.  The drives were a little long at first but now we have slowed quite a bit.

2. Traveling/Sight Seeing

I’ll talk more about this when I do my “Opposites Attract” blog but I really don’t like to travel much.  I never did much growing up and most likely wouldn’t travel if not for Beth.  That surprises people a lot.  I explain by saying that I don’t like to travel, but I love going places with Beth.  That being said the 2 months of travel have been really fun.  Beth comes up with great places to go and see.  They are interesting (mostly) and easy.  We go to places that are not crowded and easy to get to.  I have a pretty good collection of pictures( where our truck is the only vehicle in the parking lot.  It has also been interesting that places we go seem to go together.  Like we went to a museum that had WWII aircraft then went to the Truman Library that talked about his role in the bombings.  We go to a lot of history type places and it has been fun learning.  Beth tries take it all in, but I take a smaller path.  There were people living in the East and they took some paths to go West.  Do I really need to know more?  Names? Dates? Wagon models? I don’t think so.  For me a good museum has parking spaces big enough for the truck, some stuff to see and a nice gift shop at the end, preferably that sells Diet Coke and has a comfortable bench.   I can park, stroll through, see some things and be refreshed while waiting for Beth to finish her studies.

So, traveling, even for the non-traveler, has been good, but only having Beth along.

3. Challenges

For me there are 2 real challenges to this so far.  The first and by far biggest is the eating.

Eating well with this lifestyle is very hard.  As we travel there are so many good, new, interesting places to eat and they generally don’t specialize in healthy food.  I realize I have a choice, but going to a top BBQ place and ordering just the cole slaw is hard.  Plus, our oppositeism comes in here too.  I really love breakfast and Beth is a lunch/dinner fan so we wind up going to both a lot, some for her some for me.  Also, cooking takes time and cooking in a small space even longer.  Many days we are out and away early and back late so there is little time to quality cook.  The other downside is that eating out is really expensive.  We are doing ok on a budget except for eating out which is like 4 times over.  We are getting better, but still have a long way to go.

Number 2 challenge for me has been the pace.  We have done a whole lot in these 2 months.  For me, sometimes, too much.  For me there is a difference between being on vacation and living in an RV.  I used to say that Beth on vacation covered more ground than the space shuttle.  She would have 5,6,7 things planned for 1 day.  It is hard to keep that up.  I think we are doing much better now and most days the pace feels good.  I also know it is hard for Beth to pick which things we CAN”T see.  There is just too much.

(Another thing that is a huge downside is being away from family and friends.  I can’t say enough about that.  Using technology helps a little, but there is no fix for not being around the ones we love.  Can’t talk too much about this one.)

So eating better and finding a good balance for our time are 2 areas that I think we can still work on.

Over all, Exploring with Beth has been a lot of fun and gets better as time goes by. We worked hard for a long time planning and preparing and it seems to be paying off.   Some times I think my RV part is too easy and there will have to be problems.  We’ll just have to deal with them as they come.

We both feel very lucky to be able to travel together like this and are thankful for every day.

So, I hope this was a little interesting.  I am really curious as to what Beth will say.  She works hard on her blogging and will struggle with this one for hours I am sure.  We really appreciate all you that connect with us by reading and especially by leaving comments.  Please let us know how we might make this interesting and any questions or topics you might have.

Thanks.

Beth is pretty trustworthy and so I will go ahead and post this with her promise not to look until she has posted hers.  Should be fun.

Planning Our Route and Finding the Best Places to Stay

When Mark and I decided to sell our house and travel full time, we decided he would be in charge of the truck and trailer and be the driver.  He describes himself as the “Driver and Baggage Handler.”  My strengths are not in the realm of RV maintenance or set up.  I am the trip planner – where to go, how long to stay and what to see.  I love researching travel possibilities.  I read anything I can find on the places we are planning to go.  For me, deciding where to stay is probably the hardest part of traveling.

When we left California I had a general idea of the route I wanted us to take across the United States.  Our plan was to travel to the Midwest and explore through the states of South Dakota, Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas.  In November I wanted to head south into Louisiana for the month and then travel into Mississippi.  By early December, I hoped to reach Alabama and Florida so we could be in the warmer gulf states for the winter.   So far our time frame is working out fairly well although I can see how easy it is to get distracted when I want to stay longer in the states we travel through.  I find myself often thinking how nice it would be to take a different direction from our route, or spend more time checking out other towns and nearby cities.   In a way, it is helpful to have upcoming colder weather keeping us on schedule as we don’t want to experience a snowy winter in the trailer!

I don’t make camping reservations way ahead of time, because I want the flexibility to change our itinerary.  Booking too far in advance would make the trip rigid and limit our possibilities. I usually make reservations several days to a week in advance for the next stop and rarely go beyond that.  Only once did I make a reservation for the same day and that was for a quick overnight stop.  We have never showed up at an RV park with the hope that they have a vacancy.  That would make the trip too stressful.

I am so thankful to live in the internet age.   I can’t imagine traveling without all the information that is available.  The ability to look up potential places with my IPhone wherever I may be is priceless.   It is so much easier to compare the different RV parks and decide which looks better for us.   I always rely on reviews from other travelers with Trip Advisor my favorite resource.  I am a big fan of Trip Advisor and really appreciate being able to read what other people have experienced.  I also check reviews on the Good Sam site as well as Yahoo or Yelp if Trip Advisor does not have many reviews.   In addition I check the websites of the parks to see what they offer as far as locations and amenities.  Photos are very helpful, both on Trip Advisor and park websites.  We also use google maps for aerial views of the park and surrounding area.  You Tube can be a great resource as a number of parks have videos by the owners or by visitors and they give a good idea of how the park is laid out and amenities.   Below is a picture of the clubhouse at the lovely park we stayed at in Sparks/Reno area.  Clubhouses are great for a place to hang out away from the trailer,  but only a few places we have stayed at have had them.

If an RV park does not have a helpful website and there are few informative reviews, then I probably won’t book a stay there.  It is a little intimidating for me to call and book a park that I know very little about.  Only one time while traveling through Nevada did we book a site by phone for one night and when we got to the site just couldn’t stay there.  The rest of the parks where we have stayed have been good and met our needs.

The first impression upon entering a park can be meaningful.  Some parks seem great right away but a few have not.  One example is a KOA park in Petaluma, California where we stayed a year ago.  Although the park was very highly rated, I didn’t have a good feeling shortly after driving in.  That feeling stayed with me the whole weekend.  Below is a picture of a park in Carthage, Missouri that I really liked from the moment we drove in.

When I read reviews, I know that the experiences of some RVers are not necessarily important to us.  For example, one common complaint is that the Wifi was poor or non-existent.  We have our own hot spot so as long as there is phone reception we have internet connection. (Yeah to Matt for the suggestion!).  Only one time have we not had phone reception or internet connection.  We have decided that if at times we do not have good connections we will just make do, either without the reception or by driving into town where there is a connection.  Another complaint is the poor state of the bathrooms including shower facilities.  As we are fully self contained this is not a concern for us.  Poor customer service at parks annoys some reviewers and I agree that can be a let down.  We experienced that once in our travels and it did make our stay not as pleasant.

My first concern in choosing a park is location as I want us to be fairly close to the attractions and sights where we plan to spend time.  The second consideration is does the park have full hookups (power, water and sewer).  So far we have always stayed at full hook up parks.  Some day we plan to boondock at a spot without hookups, maybe even braving a Walmart parking lot. Lastly, I think about the size of the sites.  If people complain about how small and close the sites are, that is a concern for us.  Being jammed up close to another RV is not comfortable and takes away from the camping experience.   This happened to us the very first time we took our first trailer out.  We camped in the historic gold rush  town of Columbia, California.  Our site was so small that we had three RV’s closely surrounding us, almost close enough to touch.  Luckily everyone was pretty quiet and polite.  The picture below is from Kansas.  This park had the largest amount of space between RV’s of any place we have stayed.  As a bonus there was lots of green grass.  What a great place!

One of my pet peeves –  RV parks are often near major highways or roads.   I get tired of listening to the noise and want to be in a more secluded location.  Unfortunately that is where most parks are located so I am learning to deal with it.  Another noise issue for some can be trains.   Luckily Mark and I love trains so while many of our sites lately have been within earshot of trains, we don’t mind and even enjoy hearing them pass by.  The track below ran right by our site in Independence.

One of the fun things about full time RVing is the anticipation of what the next place will be like and that keeps it fresh.  All in all, there is something good about every park we have stayed at.  If nothing else, they are the means for us to be able to explore and learn about a new area.  I realize that our traveling is not about the RV parks but the experiences that we have wherever we land.  Making a decision about which park to stay might be difficult, but once we arrive and unhook that trailer, there are new things for us to see and I am excited for the opportunity!

Thanks for reading and commenting!  In my next post I hope to write about finishing up Nebraska and heading to Kansas.

8 Weeks!

I’ll say it again…hard to believe!  Its been 8 weeks.  The picture above was taken in the Walmart parking lot in Modesto just minutes after we left the house.  We had been literally just stuffing things in the trailer to get out in time.  We drove over to Walmart to park and to at least make sure nothing was getting tossed around in the trailer.  We then drove to Santa Nella to spend the night and begin our explorations.

It has gone by fast. 8 weeks.  Over 3,000 miles pulling the trailer.  17 campsites.

It has been fun!  We both feel very lucky and blessed to have the chance to do this.  It has been great writing the blog (or watching Beth write).  Thanks to all who are following.

Adventure is out there and we are having great fun finding it!

One Month!

A month on the road!  Another hard to believe but we passed one month on the road.  It has flown by.  During the month we stayed in 5 states and pulled the trailer about 2250 miles.  For our map we decided to only count states we spent at least one night and did some type of site seeing.  That means Utah didn’t make it as we stayed just west of it then drove through without staying the night.  For our mileage I only counted the miles pulling the trailer, not site seeing we did while camped in one spot.  We stayed in 12 different spots during the month.  Shortest stay was one night and the longest was six.  I didn’t keep the best records but we spent about $1250 on campgrounds and about $700 on gas.  Campgrounds was right at what I predicted and should go down a little as California campgrounds are pretty pricy.  Gas should also go down as gas is cheaper outside California and we will be driving less.  I love numbers and will probably throw some out when I can.  People are curious too about what living like this costs.

Our new home! As I mentioned one of the reasons we came to South Dakota was to set up a new residency and this is it.  Not too fancy but should serve our purpose.  Our physical address is here and all our mail comes here.  It is then scanned and we can look it up on our phone and decide what to do with it.  You may not believe it but hundreds of people call that building home.

We also re-registered  the truck and trailer in South Dakota.  We took care of it in Rapid City and it went pretty smoothly.  We had everything done by noon.  We had a good time in Rapid City.  You can read about it in Beth’s post (if you have a couple hours).

So, from here on out it will be wherever Beth wants to explore.  I still have things to do for our mobile life getting all our affairs to move with us, but it is going well.  Transitioning to small living has not been bad.  Some interesting things we may talk about as time goes by but I am really glad we have taken this path.  Exploring with Beth is a lot of fun.

As we travel it becomes apparent quickly that all the USA is not California.  An example.  During our stay in Valentine, Nebraska I didn’t see a single other long hair.  From the looks I often got it seemed they had not seen one for a while either!  That and my Hawaiian shirts made me stick out pretty bad.  I think when people saw me and then the truck and SD plates they were probably sure I stole it!

Thanks a lot for reading and I hope this was a little helpful.

Love the Open Road!

On Tuesday we left the Sparks/Reno area for our trek across Nevada, Utah and into Wyoming.  For some people, the drive across northern Nevada with all the isolation, the unending wide open spaces and little change in topography might be boring.   This explorer was entranced through the whole drive.  The sky was amazing with a bright blue color and big puffy clouds every where I looked!   I am reminded on trips such as this that California just doesn’t have the beautiful sky and cloud formations like other parts of the west.  The sky in California was especially dismal this past few months since we haven’t had any rain and the air has been brown and filled with smoke from a number of Northern California fires.  There are few things that boost the spirits while traveling like a beautiful sky!

I love a road trip with wide open spaces and nothing to block the view.  It is refreshing to have an uncluttered landscape with the road stretching out for miles ahead.  The land and sky seem so much bigger here.  Although I have driven this highway (Interstate 80) multiple times the route still seems fresh and alluring, the open road beckoning to new destinations.

While we have been living in our trailer for several weeks it seems only now that we are truly nomads.  The first few weeks we were still in California staying in places that were familiar to us.  Putting a number of miles between us and Modesto has added to the feeling that we are on the road heading to destinations unknown.  There will be challenges ahead like finding the best places to spend the night, deciding how long to stay and how to spend our time while there.   We also have to keep our trailer stocked with food and provisions so we can have some sort of normalcy.   I have to remember, as Mark often points out to me that we are not on vacation.  This is now our life and every day we can’t go from morning to evening sightseeing.  Of course, I am always tempted to do that as there is so much every where to see!

After a brief night stay for one night in Wells, Nevada on Tuesday night, we continued with our beautiful skies and wide open spaces into Utah.  Our first stop was the Bonneville Salt Flats.   Of course I had to walk on the salt and stare at the expanse of white underneath the bright blue sky.  I have been on the salt flats before, but it is always great to see them.

We drove past Salt Lake City and over a mountain pass through more beautiful country.  Not as many wide open spaces now with the mountains and trees, but still that beautiful sky!   We missed taking a picture of the welcome to Utah sign but managed to get the Wyoming sign outside the car window.  Shortly after entering Wyoming we arrived at the small town of Evanston, for a two night stay.   A new town to explore with history and a scenic state park.  Even driving days can provide opportunities to enjoy and explore.

Driving – Explorers will explore

I had a post all ready last night and the computer ate it.  I’ll try again.

The last couple of days (Tue and Wed) have been driving days.  We drove about 600 miles.  A little over 300 miles one day then a little under the next.  We average about 50 miles an hour on a day with stops and so we are on the road about 6 hours.  With the time needed to pack up in the morning and set up when we arrive that makes a long enough day for me.  Two days in a row is also enough. This is retirement.

We left Sparks and soon crossed out of Nevada in to Utah.  We have passed through the salt flats several times but they are always interesting.  We faithfully stop at the Bonneville Salt Flats rest stop for a look.  Our poor trailer looks so small among its peers.  While at the stop…well Explorers will explore.

Beth was out there exploring, taking pics for a while so I’ll let her expand.  We drove through Utah with only a short stop for lunch and crossed into Wyoming.  We had just got unhooked and the Explorer wanted to head over to a state park right near our RV spot.  The park had some interesting wild life.  Beth wanted a close up of a bison.  I’m thinking she got her pic but again I’ll let her write about it.

The park had some nice walking trails around and across the Bear River.  It is a very pretty area and the clouds were spectacular.

Thursday we are going to look around Evanston and see the sights.  We will also head to Walmart to resupply.  Friday we plan to take a scenic route drive to Casper where we will spend about three days.

Thanks to everyone for reading and the nice comments!   I’m going to try and get this posted without it being eaten.

Headed East, Sparks Nevada

I know I keep saying this but hard to believe!  We are now out of California and headed east.  We stayed today in Sparks, Nevada, just east of Reno to rest a little and get ready to start toward Rapid City, South Dakota.  It will probably take 5 or 6 days to get there with a couple of short stops on the way.  More on why Rapid City later.

We had a lot of fun last week visiting with our daughter, son in law and grand kids.  We drove over from our spot in Plymouth a couple of times during the week, then all went camping for two days.  We stayed at a nice campground in Olema, CA near Point Reyes.

Pictured above is a hotly contested game of Boggle by lantern light.  Beth says she was the clear winner and I don’t doubt it with her vast knowledge of obscure, useless 3 letter words.  We also had a fun time of making artisan s’mores.  A favorite seemed to be the Reese’s Cup version, but salted chocolate was also popular.

Hiking was popular and this picture was taken on the Earth Quake Trail at the visitor center.  We also went to the Point Reyes Light House and Drake’s Beach.  The boys actually did the 308 steps down and back to the lighthouse!  I really wanted to do that also, but felt it was important that someone stay up top to take pictures of the event.  Sometimes we just have to make sacrifices.  Beth has lots of pictures of these so I’ll leave those for her.

It feels really strange to be doing this.  The reality will probably take a while to sink in.  I will have to get used to the different culture also.  At the Trader Joe’s the cashier thought I was a little off letting him know we would need bags.  In Nevada you don’t have to buy bags so everyone uses them.

Ok.  Enough.  We will be driving the next couple of days.  More culture shock there also.  Beth has a spot we may use tomorrow…$15.  We have been paying in the $60-75 range in CA.

Take care and as always thanks for reading!  Thanks also to everyone who has subscribed.  Beth likes to look at the count.  Double digits!!!