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
Life's About The Journey (August 27, 2012 to July 8, 2013)
July 8 2013
Drove up Lookout Mountain Road (west of Golden, Co) to Buffalo Bill’s Grave. A beautiful drive.
July 6, 2013
Another wonderful evening campfire program at the campground amphitheater. “Wild Wings” featuring several of Colorado’s birds of prey. These programs are all free, interactive, and fun for everyone.
June 29, 2013
I finished making my sixth custom knife – three folders and three fixed blades with sheaths. Lots of interest from people wanting me to make them a custom knife but right now it’s just a hobby and I’m having fun experimenting with various techniques and styling concepts. Was taught knife making principles by our friend Helmut Lehner at Mesa Regal eight months ago – now learning by doing.
June 28, 2013
We sat outside under our canopy and enjoyed an awesome thunderstorm. Lightning was flashing all around us followed by intense cracks of thunder that vibrated in our chest. You could hear the thunder miles to the north of us roll up the canyon, bouncing off mountain walls, and rumbling for up to 15 seconds (never heard anything like this before). The air turned cool and it started raining with thunder boom, boom, booming around us. Then, instantly the rain turned to a dense pea size hail and the ground around us looked like popcorn was popping everywhere. Later that night we were asleep and a rat-a-tat-tat sound woke both of us up as marble sized hail peppered the roof of the RV. When we open the curtains to see what was going on we saw lighting flashing wildly around the sky. An amazing evening and an amazing experience.
June 25, 2013
Brad had a layover in Denver and invited us to dinner before he had to fly out that evening. He took us to a nice downtown restaurant on 16th – renovated since we were in that part of the city last and trendy nice. We really enjoyed the visit with Brad and being able to see pictures of the kids and their new house they’ll be moving to in Anchorage later this summer.
June 17, 2013
Today we went to Georgetown, an old frontier mining town. When Joan was seven years old, her mom and dad would drive from Denver to Georgetown on the weekends and do melodramas. We found the theater where they performed – McClellan Hall – which was bought and divided into three stores. Also, found a wonderful German restraint where we ate lunch – pork schnitzel and goulash with red cabbage.
June 16, 2013
We swam at the community center pool after lunch today - following our volunteer activities. Lap pool was 83 degrees (perfect temperature) and the activity pool was 89 degrees. Swam laps then relaxed and played in the activity pool. We felt like a million dollars afterwards. Still can’t believe how nice this facility is for being in a sparsely populated high mountain setting. What a find.
June 15, 2013
Wow. We just found out about a rural community center about 4 miles from Reverend Ridge camp ground where we’re stay for the summer. The center has an Olympic sized lap pool, an activity pool with a water slide, cardio and weight equipment, climbing wall, game room, indoor track and basketball courts, classes (Tae Kwon Do, Self Defense, Spanish, Photography, Knitting, Gymnastics, Arts and crafts, etc.), various leagues sports, and Aquatics. An amazing facility and it only costs us each $13 a month for a membership (no minimum time requirement). A lot nicer then the Alaska club where our membership was $130 a month with a one year minimum commitment. We were worried we wouldn’t be able to swim all summer – now we’re excited about daily swims!
June 12, 2013
Joan’s brother, Bob, composed a Latin Jazz Mambo piece and it was being performed by a professional jazz group in Denver at the Dazzle Jazz and Super Club (one of the world’s top 100 jazz clubs). This evening we went to downtown Denver to meet with Bob and his wife Glenda, their son Justin and his wife Chus hand their daughter Magdalena, and Jenny – a family friend. On the way down the mountain we saw a den of 4 baby coyotes – sooo cute. The dinner at the club was unreal, Bob’s piece was the best of the night (not a biased opinion on our part), and the evening of jazz and conversation was stimulating, smooth, and splifficating. It was a great evening.
June 8, 2013
Went to an all-day training at the Golden Gate Canyon visitor’s center to learn about everything the Colorado Parks and Wildlife does. Very interesting session. The pond outside the visitor’s center has a pond full of huge rainbow trout – range 1 to 2 feet long. No fishing is allowed at that pond but there are other ponds in the park stocked with rainbow trout where fishing is permitted.
June 5, 2013
Stacking rocks outside our RV. Going to make a small rock tower forest between now and the time we leave. Always brings wonder and awe to small kids and seems to fascinate adults as well.
June 4, 2013
We had a family celebration of Joan’s birthday today. After opening cards/presents Joan’s mom took us all out for lunch at a favorite neighborhood restaurant. It’s a blessing to be able to share special events with family.
June 3, 2013
A gift from a young camper thanking us for our volunteer campground activities – sweet. Now sitting on a rock outside our RV front door.
June 2, 2013
The electric Camp Hostmobile that we drive, our office (the forest), and some of the dozen plus people we work with at Reverends Ridge Campground. A great bunch of people.
May 29, 2013
Woke up this morning to a high country snow storm – short lived.
May 27, 2013
Took a hike on one of the many trials in Golden Gate Canyon State Park. The 3.4 mile Raccoon Trail loop. In the middle of the loop is Panorama Point where you have a view of the snow covered peaks along the continental divide. A nice place to take a break and enjoy the scenery.
May 26, 2013
We celebrated Joan’s mom’s 90th birthday today. All ten of us went to mom’s favorite restaurant – the Lone Star Steakhouse! Afterwards we went to mom’s house and opened presents and had a DQ ice cream cake – Mmmmm. She thoroughly enjoyed the day being spoiled and had a wonderful 90th birthday celebration.
May 25, 2013
Reverends Ridge Campground has weekend campfires in the outdoor amphitheater about wild animals, plants, wilderness camping, frontier history, etc. This evening was a campfire with Possum the mountain man – a colorful local resident. He talked about early frontier living and history about the early west. Everyone loved it – adults and kids alike. Next week the programs are: Native American Stories and Flute Music, Scavenger Hike, Cone Critters, Wolves, and Skins and Skulls. Every week the programs are new and exciting.
May 16, 2013
Arrived at the Reverends Ridge Campground where we’ll be volunteers for the summer. This campground is at 9200 feet in the high mountains of Colorado but is also only an hour and ten minutes from Joan’s mom (turning 90), her brothers, and nephew – so we’ll be able to spend time with family during the summer and our home for the summer is the Colorado wilderness. Here’s where we’ll be living for the next 4 months (note the cool Camp Hostmobile we’ll have to run around the campground). We’ve seen elk herds, deer, wild turkeys, golden eagles, and coyotes (adults and cubs). There’s also moose, black bear, and cougars in the area but haven’t seen any of these animals yet – hopeful though.
May 7-15, 2013
Arrived at the Dakota Ridge RV Park in Golden, Colorado. Spent time relaxing and visiting with family. Took Joan’s Mom to church on Mother’s Day (12th) and spent the day with her – a wonderful day with mom.
May 6, 2013
In Albuquerque, NM, we stayed in an RV park that was a stopping spot on the original Route 66 – Enchanted Trails RV Park and Trading Post. We were there during a vintage Airstream convention – probably 50 to 75 Airstreams. The most interesting camper in the park was a 1954 Vakashunette trailer pulled by a 1950 Hudson Commodore (in the background is a Silver Streak!). We would have loved to look inside.
May 3, 2013
We went to the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National park in north-eastern Arizona and spent the day hiking, exploring, and enjoying the views.
The RV Park where we stayed in Holbrook, Arizona. The two hundred million year old petrified log was next to the place where we had an outdoor camp breakfast before leaving for the nearby national park.
Some views of the Painted Desert.
Part of the original route 66 runs through the center of the park. As you can see, last traffic down this section of road was a long time ago.
Lots of interesting petroglyphs. The second picture below shows a small part of Newspaper Rock with thousands of petroglyphs – it really does look like an ancient newspaper.
One of the hikes we went on was the beautiful Blue Mesa Trail.
One of the many hiking trails in the petrified forests in the park is the Crystal Forest Trail - amazing.
May 2, 2013
We visited a Meteor Crater near Winslow, Arizona. This is one of the best persevered meteor craters and is where the astronauts had some training prior their famous moon walk. Had an interesting guided tour along the crater rim.
April 2-17, 2013
Went to Vancouver, Washington to help our youngest daughter after having her third baby (our sixth grandchild). Random pictures of family, fun, and new baby faces.
Saying good-bye to our sixth grandchild, Ashlynn (and mommy, and daddy, and brothers), and heading back to Mesa, Arizona.
We had a wonderful visit with our youngest daughter’s family and their new addition – it was a blessing.
March 4-5, 2013
Spent two days in and around Sedona, Arizona. The town is very Yuppie but the scenery is wonderful and there are fun hikes in the area.
December 25, 2012
We had a Christmas Party with a lot of our friends at Mesa Regal – pot luck, gift exchanges, music, and games. A good time for all.
December 22, 2012
Played volley ball outdoors in the pool. Really!
December 18, 2012
Phoenix Zoo and Zoo lights. We were there all afternoon and evening.
December 17, 2012
Participated in a fund raiser – “Minute to Win it” for Alzheimer research.
November 24, 2012
We celebrated our 45th anniversary today. We renewed our vows with the same pasture that baptized me last year. Also, our friends Terry and Helmut renewed their vows after 10 years of marriage. Spent the evening with friends that came to share this time with us – eating, dancing, visiting.
November 18, 2012
My friend Helmut has been teaching me to make knives. Finished two now. Have materials ordered for a third knife. Very fun.
November 14, 2012
We did a fund raiser for Alzheimer research today. Raised $462.00 dollars. The hall where we held the event was donated by Cal-Am and the supplies had a minimal cost – plastic glasses, plastic balls, balloons, nuts and bolts, cards, poker chips, etc. – donated by the fund raiser organizer. Had eighteen different “Minute-To-Win-It” games. Everyone had a great time and raved about the event. We’re planning to do this monthly and perhaps do it at other locations. Phenomenal!
November 4, 2012
Joan and I are supporting an Alzheimer's fund raiser. It's a Minute-To-Win it game night. Looks like it's going to be lots of fun and hopefully we help raise lots of money for the Alzheimer organization. This will be a monthly event during the winter.
November 1, 2012
My friend Helmut starting teaching me how to make custom knives – he's very skilled in the art knife making.
October 20, 2012
Absentee voted today. This is an important election that will fundamentally affect the future direction of the United States of America (adhering to the principles that have made this nation great vs. traveling further down a road implementing principles that have failed every time they've been tried around the world). The choice is clear. Hope everyone gets out and exercises their right, and obligation, to vote.
October 14, 2012
Back spending, almost daily, time in the pool sunning, swimming and playing volleyball.
October 12, 2012
Celebrated my birthday with good friends at Organ Stop Pizza. Joan and Terry laughed so hard during the evening that their sides hurt; Helmut and I enjoyed both the performance on stage and across the table from us. Had a wonderful day.
October 11, 2012
Arrived at Mesa Regal RV Resort where we'll be spending the winter again this year. Diesel was $3.99/gal, regular gas was $3.52/gal – about what it was when we left in the spring!
We were greeted by friends and a beautiful Arizona sunset.
October 7, 2012
Spent the day hiking and picnicking in Zion National Park. Hiked a total of about 6 miles - from the Grotto up the Kayenta Trail and on to all three of the Emerald Pools down to Zion Lodge (picnicked at the upper Emerald Pool), to the Weeping Rock, from the Temple of Sinawava up the Virgin River into The Narrows, and then at Big Bend where we watched cliff climbers scale thousand foot high sheer cliffs.What a magnificent day. Ended the day with dinner and a glass of wine. Perfect.
Grotto – Kayenta Trail – Emerald Pools – Zion Lodge
Temple of Sinawava up the Virgin River Narrows
October 5, 2012
Spent the morning to early afternoon picnic and hiking in the Escalante Petrified Forest State Park. The trail had huge petrified logs along the path atop an arid plateau. There were several interpretive displays that explained how the Petrified Forest was formed.
After leaving the Petrified Forest we drove the most scenic part of Utah's scenic byway 12, from the town of Escalante to Bolder.
October 4, 2012
Woke up this morning to a herd of deer (bucks, does, and fawns) passing through the RV park directly in front of us.Magnificent. What a wonderful way to start out the day.
Went on a hike of Mossy Cove and waterfall.
Spent the rest of the day at Kodachrome Basin State Park.Kodachrome Basin is like a forest of sandstone chimneys and vertical sand pipes (petrified springs). One walk had plaques with interesting information about the plants in the area and how the Indians and settles used the plants for food, medicine, and clothes.
October 3, 2012
Took the bus into Bryce National Park. The FREE bus runs every 15 minutes so you can get off, explore, hike, picnic, or take photos and when you want to continue you just get onto the next bus. Our first stop was the visitors center where we got maps, talked to some of the rangers about the various hikes, watched a movie about the park history and how it was formed, and went through the museum.
We walked and took photo's at Bryce point, Inspiration Point, Sunset Point (had a picnic lunch here), and Sunrise Point.
At Sunrise Point we took a hike that included the Sunset, Queens gardens, and Navajo trails. The hike was 2.4 miles that dramatically dropped 600 feet into the canyon that surround us by intricate spires, Hoodoo's, and sheer rock walls hundreds of feet high. Awesome.Scenic. A pleasant hike and a good workout.
October 2, 2012
Arrived at Bryce Canyon City and stayed at Ruby's RV Park located near the entrance of the Bryce Canyon National Park – huge trees, large sites, gigantic indoor swimming pool in the lodge, the famous Ruby's Inn, and the Bryce Canyon National Park bus stopped every 15 minutes right in front of the RV Park and Campground!
September 9 to September 30, 2012
Stayed in Golden, Colorado at the Dakota Ridge RV Park – facilities include a heated pool and a hot-tub – we love it there. Went almost every day to visit Joan's mom in Englewood (about a 20 minute drive from our place). Also, got to spend time with Joan's two brothers Bob and Mike – bob's wife Glenda, their son Justin, his wife Chus, and their daughter Magdalena. We enjoyed our three weeks of visiting with family, swimming, and barbequing.
A very sad moment in our life. On September 22, 2012 at 2:30 a.m., we lost our sweet Border Collie, Tilly, at 15 ½ years old. She was a friend, a protector, an exerciser, a playmate, and a gentle companion. Tilly fully lived every moment of her life and she is missed.
September 5, 2012
Stayed at the Village of Trees RV Resort, in Declo Idaho, located on the Snake River. This was a jewel – large trees, well groomed grassy sites, pleasant grassy picnic areas, boat launch, and walking trails down to/along the Snake River.
September 4, 2012
Stayed in a nice little, family owned RV park in Caldwell, Idaho (Country Corners).The owners, Scott and Carla, greeted us when we arrived, made sure everything was OK with our site, and brought us fresh picked corn-on-the-cob, tomatoes, and green peppers from a wonderful garden on the property. When we offered to pay for the vegetables Scott refused anything saying that, "this is just something we do to ensure your stay here is enjoyable." A unique and country homey feeling.
August 27 to September 3, 2012
Stopped by Walla Walla, Washington to visit family (Beth, Joe, and family). Beth was out of town helping Charity get their new home ready to move into, so we were not going to be able to visit with my sister before heading south. Then, we found a leak in our Jeep's rear wheel seal.This meant we had to change plans and stay over the Labor day weekend. That was great because we got to spend time with both Joe and my sister Beth, go to the Frontier Days parade with them, and spend an afternoon at the fair. Amazing the way things work out.
Below is a picture of Joe with his motorcycle – painted by son Tyler – and a picture of Beth walking their dogs (pic borrowed from their Facebook page).
Tilly (15 ½ years old), enjoying an evening with us outside on the grass.