I'm the author of the book "A Passion for the Edge: Living Your Dreams Now." It's about a 6,500 mile motorcycle trip across Alaska, The Yukon Territories, British Columbia, and the Pacific Northwest - and about how to live your dreams. This blog is about another dream - selling our house, putting everything we need for a two year adventure into an RV, and spending time with family and friends; and being saturated by the people and places of America. You're invited to share this adventure with us. We have no firm plans, just each day as it comes and an idea for our tomorrows. Hope you enjoy the story as it unfolds.
Blog Log - Joan and Tim: On the Road and RVing in America
Drove up the coast of northern California and the southern half of the Oregon coast on Hwy 101. Redwood trees amazing and Oregon coast awesome. Lots of hiking opportunities and small towns to explore. Would like to do this trip during the summer and enjoy spending time (several weeks) along the way.
December 7, 2011
When we were in Anchorage there was a news story about farmers in California that were losing their crops because irrigation water was being denied due to environmentalist concerns about a minnow that might be harmed by diverting water for irrigation. At the time I thought this was affecting a small area of California. While driving on I-5 from 50 miles south of Bakersfield to over 150 miles north of Bakersfield we saw vineyards, citrus trees, and apple trees that were dead from lack of water (thousands of square miles). All along the highway were signs that read, "Stop the Congress Caused Dust Bowl." "Farm Water Cuts = Higher Food Costs," "Water = Jobs," "Where Water Flows Food Grows," etc. There were areas we drove through that I almost cried seeing this government created devastation. I think everyone in America should see this. Total insanity - California.
We heard on the news California is now considering legislation to shut down all nuclear power plants in the state which would leave millions of people without power – starve in the dark, idiots.
December 6, 2011
As we drove from Indio through the Palm Springs area we drove through a valley with over 3 thousands windmills. We'd never seen anything like this before. Two things stuck us – the number and the fact that very few of the windmills were actually working – California???
December 5, 2011
Headed out to spend Christmas with Cristi, Brad, Caleb, and Elias. We crossed the Colorado River from Arizona into California and were met by a border crossing like you'd see at the Mexico or Canada border. When we got to the guard I opened the window and the border guard asked, "Where are you coming from." I was confused by the question and made the obvious answer, "We're coming from Arizona. "He said, "OK" and waived us through. What? I was amazed. Laughed for five minutes as I drove off. We just crossed the Arizona-California border. Where are you coming from???? Comedic. But then again this is California.
December 4, 2011
Terry and Helmut gave us a going away party. We met out on the pool patio around a propane fire pit. Everyone brought food and drinks and we enjoyed talking into the night. A pleasant evening. What a great bunch of people.
See you soon Arizona.
December 3, 2011
Soaked in the outside therapy pool (90 degrees) from 6:30 to 8:00 pm with Terry and Helmut. Something entirely different. Very relaxing.
December 2, 2011
Another steak fry. Great food and we met two couples that were full time RV'ers from Canada. Live music, dancing, singing, and a nice evening.
November 30, 2011
Had a farewell party for a friend of ours (and Terry and Helmut) Jerry who is going back to Washington. There were a dozen people there to wish him safe travel.A happy and sad time.
November 29, 2011
When we were at Freightliner getting some RV service work done we met another fulltime RV'er who mentioned a tire monitor system he had on his RV and tow vehicle tires. Makes a lot of sense to have a tire pressure monitoring system. Did some research and talked with other full time RV'ers and determined that the best and most reliable system is made by Tiretraker. I ordered this system and installed it today. A great system that gives continuous tire pressure and temperature and gives alarms for any abnormal conditions. Easy to install the tire sensors and I installed the monitor on the control panel of our RV. Great for peace of mind and safety.
NOVEMBER 28, 2011
Went with 3 other couples to the Organ Stop Pizza for dinner. What an experience. The highlight was live organ music on a Wurlitzer organ, built for the Denver Theater in 1927 and used for music at theaters during the silent movie era. As of 2011 the organ has nearly 6,000 pipes. It has 78 ranks, 17 tuned percussions and innumerable traps and effects and is the largest Wurlitzer in the world. The music was awesome and we were there for three hours eating pizza and enjoying the world class organ music. The organist took requests and played all the pieces without music.
November 26, 2011
Toured with our friends Terry, Helmut, and Jerry.First we went to Goldfield, a restored mining ghost town at the base of the Superstition Mountains. It was great to wonder through a town from the early western days complete with a gun fight on Main Street, a brothel, saloon, jail house, mine, reptile museum, old steam locomotive, and many shops. Next we went to Dolly Canyon Lake (beautiful) and a smaller ghost town at Tortilla Flats. Finished up the day at a Chinese restaurant called the Wok Inn. A fantastic day!
November 24, 2011
It's our 44th anniversary. Went lap swimming - we had the whole lap pool to ourselves. That evening we bar-b-qued steaks. After dinner our good friends Terry and Helmut came over with an excellent bottle of French Champaign and celebrated with us. Very sweet.
November 23, 2011
Mesa Regal had a Thanksgiving dinner. This worked great for us as Joan didn't have to cook for two people and as Thanksgiving day was our anniversary this year we could celebrate it on that day.
November 22, 2011
My friend Helmut invited me to try lapidary. I've never done this before but lots of helpful people showed me how to use the equipment and I made a cross out of a rock with a beautiful wood grain look to it.
November 20-21, 2011
Took our RV to a Freightliner service center (had our 6 month Freightliner chassis and Cummings diesel engine serviced). Left the night before because our appointment was at 7am the next day. Freightliner allowed us to park overnight in their service lot and hook up to a power outlet. Camping in an industrial area was different. The next day our RV was finished by 1:30pm and we went back to Mesa Regal and set back up.
November 16, 2011
We met a couple, Terry and Helmut, and have become close friends. Terry asked Joan if she wanted to go skydiving with her. Joan was excited about doing it but found due to her implant she couldn't – she was disappointed. When we were talking about it at the pool a man that just turned 90 said that he'd love to skydive for his 90th birthday. Joan and I went with them and got some pictures. Terry (54) and Pat (90) jumped out of the plane together at 14,000 feet (10,000 feet free fall and 4,000 feet with the parachute open). WOW! Both Terry and Pat haven't stopped smiling since. Crazy fun!!!
November 15, 2011
Caught while socializing at the pool patio after water volley ball and some hot tub time. We've met some wonderful people here, some of who we call good friends – plan on keeping in touch so we can meet up again on the road.
November 14, 2011
Joan and I went to see my Aunt Claudia and Cousin Blaine who I haven't seen for several decades. It was great to visit with them and do some catching up.
November 13, 2011
Amy and Diedrich came to see us today. We enjoyed having lunch with them at the Olive Garden. Afterwards, they came to see our "house on wheels" and then we took a walk around the resort. Wonderful to spend the afternoon with them.
November 10, 2011
Grapefruit are starting to ripen on the trees in the resort. Here are a few we picked today - mmmmm good.
November 9, 2011
Playing in an outdoor pool on the 9th of November!!! Crazy fun. We swam 35 laps, soaked in the therapy hot pool, sunned, played pool volleyball, and went to a steak fry and dinner show.
October 17 – 31, 2011
So now we're sitting in summer for a while. We will be at the 5-star Mesa Regal RV Resort until early December. From here we go to Vancouver, Washington to spend the Christmas holidays with Cristi, Brad, Caleb, and Elias – we're excited.
The Resort is a fun place to be with over 250 planned activities a week.Facilities included heated outdoor pools (one is a lap pool), Tennis courts, wood shop, computer center, Bistro, Billiards room, Bocce courts, exercise room, ceramics, stained glass, basketball courts, golf, softball, batting cages, etc.Activities include bible study, charity events, music, dancing, crafts, games, tours, dinner shows, tournaments, Texas Hold'Em, bridge, foreign language classes, pool volleyball, aquasize, movies, geocaching, knitting, various clubs, etc. Whew!!! All facilities and activities are free to residents except the tours and dinner shows.
Here are some pictures I took during an early morning walk (our RV site with an orange tree in front and the outdoor pools before people started swimming that morning). The last picture is me enjoying an evening Arturo Fuente in a new outdoor lounger.
We connected with Joan's cousin Amy and her husband Diedrich. They invited us to their church on the 23rd. It's Christ's Church of the Valley, a church that started out in a theater and is now a huge mega church with a full campus and two locations. Even though it's a big church we were met personally at the door by the pastor who spent several minutes talking with us (he told us about a sister church they have in the bush west of Juneau). Very personal, a large church with a small church feel - probably one of the key reasons for its success. After the service Amy and Diedrich took us to a marvelous local bakery for lunch and then we went to their house to do some catching up and learning about their Christian ministry in a secular job environment. Wonderful to spend time with them (and their dog Hanna).
Joan and I have been doing lap swimming in an outdoor heated pool, we are regularly playing water volleyball, I've played Texas Hold'EM a few time, and Joan goes to a knitting group. Bridge and a Spanish classes will be starting soon and Joan and I are planning to go to both these. We also have tickets to a couple of dinner shows. We're also looking at other activities to try when we have free time – too much to do, too little time.
Meeting lots of people as we plug into the activities (interesting – people from all over the US and many are here for the winter from Canada).
Tilly is walking us every day. She seems to be enjoying all the RVing and visiting with new people and going to new places.
AN INTERESTING AMERICAN COUNTERCULTURE
During our travels we have discovered an interesting American counterculture (emphasized during our stay in Arizona). I'm not talking about a 60's style, or Punks, or Gothic, or Gay, or neo-hippie, or any of the other visible countercultures. This American counterculture is largely invisible. In contrast to mainstream society, it's a rootless society with the following characteristics.
People that spend considerable time (multiple months) in two or more homes in dramatically different geographical locations; or have a home in one location but spend a considerable time traveling (multiple months); or are completely mobile, traveling regularly, and living in RV's, trailers, fifth-wheels, or campers.
They range in age from young married couples (some with children) to people in their 80's+.
They are either retired or support themselves by working part-time in national, state, or private parks; working part-time for nonprofits or religious organizations; and/or have businesses that allow them to move freely around America like internet based businesses, consulting businesses, writing, etc.
They are largely conservative, religious, friendly, life loving, moral, and have good work ethics.
They exercise regularly, eat properly, and most are fit and not over weight.
They are people that range in wealth from multi-millionaires to people that are living from day to day.
They have close friends who they see periodically and keep contact with when separated from them.
They live most of their lives in places where mainstream society go to vacation one or two weeks a year.
If they no longer want to be where they are they go somewhere they'd rather be.
If they no longer want to do what they are doing they do something they'd rather do.
This group includes three million plus people – an invisible but significant American counterculture with a "Gypsie-like" life style.
Seems, without knowing it, we became a member of this counterculture in July of this year – fascinating, interesting, fun!!!