Sunday, February 27, 2011

If Only We Had The Balls.............

Please share this post with everyone you know because we would like as much feedback as possible.

First of all, let me thank all the new followers for following. I have lost track of who has jump aboard the train but I do appreciate comments, especially since they let me know someone is reading.

In the past two or three days, both my wife and I have made the statement, "If only we had the balls". I currently have two years before I can retire with my full social security while she has another four years to go before she is eligible to get full benefits. Both of us would like to travel and I can see how I could put the two years between my retirement and hers to good use, getting the trailer (if we keep this trailer) outfitted, planning in detail the trips and any other things that need to get done before we leave.

Then we both said, "If only we had the balls". To sell everything and go full timing. There are security issues (we feel better having a place to come to) and we wonder what will happen when we are too old to drive or if we end up with a medical issue. Both of us have longevity in our families so we could conceivable live a good long time.

So I am curious...those of you who are full timing. What is your plan down the road? Did you consider the future when you left? We would greatly appreciate hearing your comments with regard to overcoming the obstacles that we seem to place in our way.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Not Getting Lost

My son gave me a really neat GPS by Garmin for Christmas this past year. While I shared that fact with the blog community I had never had the opportunity to test it, until yesterday.
As I stated yesterday, we were going to make a trip up to see my stepmom in Mt Vernon, Washington, around 80 miles from our home. Since we would be driving through Seattle my wife wanted me to see if we could find a couple of addresses that she needs for future reference. I input the addresses in the Garmin and we set out on our trip. I found the Garmin to be very helpful, giving ample time to find and make the appropriate turns. We ended up finding both destinations with very little effort. In fact, the wife comment that with a GPS our brains may go soft from lack of use...very funny.

We arrived in sunny Mt. Vernon but there was 13" of snow on the ground. A very beautiful site as you can see from the pictures. My son and his wife were on their way to Canada and saw my post about going to Mt Vernon on Facebook. He called as we passed the Smokey Point Rest Area. Seems he was at the rest area as we drove by. He met us at my stepmoms and we had a wonderful visit.
Hope this finds you well and happy....
Be careful out there...

Friday, February 25, 2011

A Day Off

I have a day off and plan to spend it with my lovely wife, visiting my step mom about 80 miles north of here. It has snowed throughout the region and this morning is very, very cold for our area. The low so far this morning at my home is 23. It was 9 degrees in the state capitol this morning. Can't remember the last time I saw numbers this low.
Have a great day....

Saturday, February 19, 2011

While We Wait

While the wife and I wait out the next two to four years we have found a place within an hour and a half drive from our home that gives us a great feeling being away and camping. It is called Gold Bar Nature Trails and no, it has nothing to do with nudists.

We found it seveal years ago and it is a private campground that is for the use of its paid members. While the politics can get into the way sometimes, we mostly enjoy the experience of parking our trailer on our lot and living the dream. We can take our trailer up in the early spring and leave it there all summer or winterize it and leave it there all year round.

There are many ammenities that go with the campground membership including two pools, play areas, clubhouse, security, and a vast network of private roads to walk or bike.

See the Gold Bar Tour Photos under the Photos Tab. The membership sales tab lists those for sale by the park, others are available on craigs list. You can see photos of the lot by clicking on the lot/site number.

We love it....until we can really get on the road.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Seattle RV Show

Very disappointed with the RV show. We saw some nice new trailers that we would have loved to have but the money they want to upgrade to a newer, larger unit is crazy.

There was only one accessory store in the entire show. I really wanted to compare some prices on some items between different stores.

It wasn't a wasted day because I was with my lovely wife and we made it a good time...

Be safe out there...

Ramblings, Comparison

I read with great interest a blog by Gypsy-GMAS: Life on the Road. Now all I have to do is try not to be too boring.

In the mid 1800's with the discovery of gold in California (1848) and the Homestead Act (1862) many enterprising folks left the safe haven of the east to head 2000 miles to the west and into the unknown. A covered wagon pulled by oxen or horse was the chosen method to cross the country. They sold their homes and most of their possessions and stuck out in a small wagon that was often made from the same wagon they took to church, with very few reminders of their former history. Most of these travelers walked all the way to their destination.

While carrying all of the families possessions (those they could take) these wagons were light, durable, metal reinforced and provided some privacy with the covered portion that tied front and back. They were light enough to be drawn by two oxen or a couple of draft horses. Supplies for the trip took precedence over everything. Easing the burden on the animals they packed a Dutch Oven, three-legged skillet and coffee pot. Food had to be dried, smoked, canned or preserved in order to make the long trip. Bedding and a minimal amount of clothing would be taken. Firearms for personal protection and hunting. First aid kits with all the old liniments, bandages were also taken along. Candle molds, lanterns, sewing supplies were included. China, furniture and jewelry were considered unnecessary.

While the wife and I will be striking out in a much smaller version of many of the motor homes and trailers that are currently available, we can't help but wonder what is was like for ancestors who crossed America less than 200 years ago. We won't take many clothes or personal possessions but we will have a stove, propane, batteries, lights, a comfortable bed, a heater, an air conditioner, a refrigerator, and lots of stuff to cook with and fresh food to eat.

We will travel 200 miles a day compared to walking miles a day and taking 4 - 6 months. Imagine what it must have been like to set up camp for the night after walking that far and most likely sometime after sunset. Looking for firewood and getting the fire going so you could cook dinner. Getting up before sunrise, eating and putting everything away so you can walk another 15 miles, getting closer to your destination.

And then you have to wonder what the future will hold. How will our kids, grandkids travel about the country forty or sixty years from now. I'll be looking into the next wave of RV later today as we visit the Seattle RV show.
So.....more to come.
Be careful out there......

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Trail Sport TS24BH

A couple of years ago we decided to start looking at new travel trailers. At the time we knew that we would be taking a trip with it after our retirement. After looking at a lot of different trailers and floor plans we decided that we want something economical, light, without slide outs but with a queen size walk around bed. Since we have grand kids we also were considering a bunkhouse model.

At the time RVision was in bankruptcy and a small RV store in the local area had several of the TrailSport models from sale at bargain basement prices. We are meager and very conservative and while the units had no warranty due to the bankruptcy we decided to take a look at them.

We visited the RV store and found the TS24BH was exactly what we had in mind.

As you can see it is a small and compact trailer. The front bedroom with walk around queen size bed is wonderful compared to the gaucho couch we had in our very first RV many years ago.

We thought the smaller, lighter and more compact trailer made sense for us as we wanted ease of set up and the ability to go without much hassle. At the time no slide outs and less room made sense.

At first we towed this trailer with a Chevy Trail Blazer however we have since opted to purchase a new Chevy Silverado 2wheel drive, crew cab pickup. As I read the blogs about the full time and traveling life I am beginning to wonder if we might have erred in our decision. I see all these larger units with much more space and wonder if we would not have been better off to get something a little bigger. Then I think about the use and the economy of the whole plan and I decide I will live with what I have and make some modifications to the unit before we get ready to leave on our trips....

Hope I haven't bored you to death..
Be safe out there..

Super Bowl Sunday

Yesterday an electrician came to our condo and installed a really nice wall heater in our kitchen sitting area. It wasn't easy.

As preparation for installing a wall unit in our kitchen seating area we had to remove a baseboard heater. After doing that we decided to install a wall heater to allow us to have heat. Unfortunately the wiring for the baseboard heater would not stretch to the new location of the wall heater. Now, I could have put in a junction box but I wanted to move an outlet that was going to be behind one of the upright units. After looking at the situation our electrician decided that we should leave the outlet where it was and install a junction box as a part of that outlet to add a length of wire to the new heater.

She installed a new box that had an open junction area. It was inserted in behind the wallboard. When she opened the outlet, it became apparent why she didn't wish to move it. It was a spaghetti nightmare, obviously the joining place for several circuits. She wired everything together and ran the extension wire around the studs in wall. She was working on a wall that is actually a dual wall between two condo units and there is a slight gap between the two walls. Rather than drill holes in the studs, she worked the wire through the gap and into the box housing the heater element and fan unit. I merely have to fill a hole and move the bookcases into place.

And once again, Ken learned why it is good to pay a professional to do a professional installation...

So as I sit here this morning, the country spare ribs that I tenderly rubbed with a sweet dry rub this morning are in the crock pot at 200 degrees for a long day of slow cooking. Add some baked beans and potato salad and I will be ready for the big game this afternoon. I have a feeling the commercials may be better than the game.

Be safe out there....

Friday, February 4, 2011

Two More Years

As I turn 64 today I look forward to the next two years blowing bye so I can finally take the time to head out across this great country of ours. There is so much to see and do and I am overwelmed each time I receive another travel brochure from one of the states of this union.

As I slept last night, my lovely wife made me a cake. As I am an early riser, she knew I would be down into the kitchen way before she even begins to think about getting up. So I come down and find this waiting for me. Of course, because of my age, candles have been left off the cake. The card mentions something about heat and fire but I think it has more to do with the size of the cake. 64 candles...where do you put all of them?
Be safe and warm out there..