There’s a down side to full-time RVing most full-timers and those who support the lifestyle don’t want to talk about. It’s human nature to focus on the positive reasons you made a particular decision rather than to admit you might have made a mistake, that you probably could have done a little more research or changed course earlier. We’ll never know how many people who head into full-time RVing throw the engine into reverse, park the rig, and put a For Sale sign on it. When we started out, we were told most full-timers last about three years, but who knows? If there’s real data on it, it’s kept under lock and key somewhere.
Become a full-time RVer, that is.
We meet people all the time — at least once a week — who, when they hear about our lifestyle as full-time RVers, say, “Oh! We plan to do that” or “I’d love to do that” or some variation of those. The desire is there. The dream is alive.
I got to thinking about all of this recently while reading a discussion list thread on an RVers forum. A man and his wife are planning now for their transition into full-time RVing, which they are projecting will happen ten years or so from now. He’s gotten a lot of advice and it’s clear he’s given a lot of thought and put plenty of effort into his plan, but there’s only so much a person can plan for, in any situation, much less full-time RVing.
By my number (which could be off….!) this is my 384th post on this blog. The first entry was posted before Bob and I even hit the road, shedding our sticks-and-bricks house for our home on wheels back in May of 2009.
Counting on my fingers, that means this is our tenth summer as full-time RVers.
We’ve experienced a lot, including watching the world of RVing change right before our eyes. Continue reading
Clearly this blog is lagging pretty far behind where we are today, leaving a lot of time and miles in-between. To bridge that, I thought I’d share some glimpses into travel on the road. It’s easy to get wrapped up in destinations — where we stayed, what we saw, the restaurants we visited — while ignoring the one of the main reasons we travel via RV: to see the country (the number one reason is to avoid snow and freezing weather).
But it’s amazing what you see when you just look out the window, even on a rainy day:
Back in mid-September of 2017 we drove from Medora, ND, south to just outside Rapid City, SD. It’s not a long drive, but I managed to snap a hundred photos out the windows of the Winnebago in those few hours we were on the road…
…like this sign, which suggests what we’ve discovered are the priorities for too many fellow RVers:
It’s always fun to see things on poles, right? Continue reading
The summer of 2017 went down as another year when we seemed to be dodging Western wildfires. In September we drove east from Joseph, Oregon, through Idaho and across Montana, boondocking a few times along the way, to get to Medora, North Dakota, at the edge of the South Unit of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. We’d lost the wildfire smoke about fifty miles west of Medora, but by our fourth day there, the smoke was already closing in.
We took a day off hiking to drive to Dickinson to pick up groceries and poke around, but by the time we headed back, the sun was shrouded in smoke.
We don’t like smoke. Smoke screws up an otherwise nice photo. Most of all we hate what smoke does to our lungs, throat, eyes… But we were also determined to do all the hiking we could.
Once upon a time, if someone had said “canyon” and “North Dakota” in the same sentence, I would have told them they were nuts. Everybody knows North Dakota is a vast stretch of flat prairie.
Oops. Everybody knows that — except North Dakotans and smart people.
This past September we spent a week exploring the South Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park near Medora, North Dakota. Because I was able to hike on this visit, we walked everywhere we could.
The trail wound along the high edge of the Little Missouri River…
…leading to gorgeous views of the river: Continue reading
Back in September of 2017, we made our second visit to Theodore Roosevelt National Park in South Dakota — this time to hike (since I couldn’t manage that in 2016). And what a great place to hike!
After the three-mile Petrified Forest trek we opted for something shorter and at least as interesting — the Coal Vein Trail, just shy of a mile and stunning.
Back in 2016 we visited the Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota for the first time. We wanted to hike a few of the many trails, but I’d fallen coming out of the RV and twisted my ankle pretty badly, so hiking was out of the question.
So in September 2017, chased out of the Hell’s Canyon area by increasing wildfire smoke, we drove back to North Dakota. This time, we were determined to hike.
The Petrified Forest Trail had haunted me the most over the previous year, so we hit that one first. It wound up…
Some RVers are destination travelers: they know where they want to go, what they want to see. Some jackrabbit from one attraction to another — they want to visit all the oddball tourist attractions or follow their favorite sports team around the country, see national parks or local museums. Others are working, plying a trade, so they move from on job building roads or buildings or pipelines to another.
There’s a middle ground, where an RVer hears about something like the eclipse, then plan a travel route to be in the path of it, or maybe be in Pendleton, Oregon, when the big roundup is going on.
Some of us have favorite spots we’ve found in our journeys and we enjoy returning to them, and if something neat happens while we’re there, well, then… how cool is that?
That happened to us this past August, while we were in Joseph, Oregon. I saw something in the local newspaper about “Dragon Races” and, as it turned out, one of the managers or the RV park where we were staying was on the local racing team. We had to go! Continue reading