Changes continue

Nothing is easy anymore. Well, that’s not entirely true, but when we were younger, things got done a lot faster for sure.

Now what used to be a one day job turns into a one week job. More rest breaks, more re-tracing our steps to go back and get what we forgot we were going there for in the first place, more thinking, planning, contemplating about the completion of the project instead of just “doing”.

Our latest change in our lives is the decision to stop traveling full time while workamping and camp hosting.

The first couple of years after we sold our home in Ohio were full 12 month years of workamping and camp hosting in RV parks and campgrounds as we traveled.  It was a wonderful time being in new places and making lots of new friends.  We worked doing mostly simple light-duty jobs in campgrounds like being greeters, selling ice and firewood, sometimes being tour guides along with being an extra set of eyes for the campgrounds manager or ranger.

And our camp site and utilities were always free in exchange for 12-15 hours of work per week. It was a win-win.  No W2, no 1099, no income to claim and no taxes to pay.

But after 2 or 3 years of traveling and working, we decided we’d appreciate a break. We obtained our lot at the Escapees RV Club RV park in Casa Grande Arizona where we could come back to “rest” in between our campground gigs.  It gave us a chance to take a breath and catch up on things like car repairs and medical needs.

As time went on, we came to realize that we’d like to stop working altogether.  I mean, after all we’d done that for 40+ years and we had now come to enjoy the slower pace.

The park here at Casa Grande is a Co-Op park meaning that all of us who are lessees are co-owners of this not-for-profit corporation.  And because we all volunteer in running and maintaining the operation, it keeps everyone’s costs down.

Over the last few years Kathy and I have assumed different responsibilities at the park. We’ve chaired the Veterans Day Recognition Lunch, the annual road cleanup, the Christmas party, the Brown Bag Raffle at our annual Follies fundraiser, and now currently stock and maintain the canteen in the clubhouse in addition to serving on the Marketing committee and the Lot Wait List committee.

So being that we’ve become more involved around here, we decided to not travel full time and volunteer in campgrounds around the country but instead become snowbirds.

You might remember that in early 2022, we went back to Ohio to take care of our daughter Sara who had become seriously ill.  Since it was the dead of winter, we left the motorhome in Arizona and had to ask one of our renters back in Mt Gilead to move out so we could move in.  We spent the next few months helping Sara.

Sara and husband Stu

In September, Sara was finally well, and she and Stu moved into their own place about a half hour north of us. 

Kathy and I decided to stay in Mt Gilead for the winter and get a couple surgeries taken care of.  By the time we were fully recovered and feeling pretty good, spring ’23 had sprung.  Might as well stay in Ohio for the summer, right?

So we had the opportunity to spend time with our family and our wonderful Mt Gilead friends who we hadn’t seen for months, or in some cases years. And I went back to my part-time job as a medical transport driver for Morrow County Area Transit 3 days a week.

Ultimately fall was upon us and we climbed back in to our Airstream motorhome and headed back to our winter home in Casa Grande, Arizona.

We traveled slowly spending at least a couple days up to a week in any single location, so it took us almost a month to make the trip. We talked a lot on that trip about what changes we might make to our lifestyle and ultimately we decided that when we got to Arizona we’d sell the motorhome and look for a travel trailer or 5th wheel that we could leave on our lot and just drive the car back and forth.

The implementation of our plan moved along quickly and before we knew it (around Christmas time) we had the motorhome sold, a commitment to purchase a used 5th wheel trailer from someone here in our park, and we traded in our lot for one along the northern wall overlooking the desert to the north.

Here’s the new (old) fifth wheel trailer parked next to the motorhome while we transferred our belongings from one to the other.

We also bought a 2nd car that will stay here in Arizona while the Explorer will stay in Ohio and we will fly back and forth in the future. We discovered that Allegiant Air can fly us for as low as $56 per person one-way, (if you’re not picky about dates!)

I advertised the motorhome on the Phoenix Craigslist along with posting a You Tube video describing the rig and we had it sold in about 3 hours.

Airstream motorhome for sale video

So there you have it.  Changes in our lives lead to changes in lifestyle, but we’re OK with that.

We are so thankful to have had the opportunity to be full time RVers on the road over the last 7 or 8 years.  Not only are we grateful for being g able to visit all the places we’ve been, but more. Than that we ack owledge we’ve been blessed to meet so many wonderful people and make so many nee friends.  Lots of these friends we will stay in touch with for years to come.

As our winter season in Arizona winds down, we look forward to heading back to Ohio and spending the summer with friends and family.

Stay tuned for more …

A great trip back home

We left our new “Lighthouse friends” on Sunday and headed down U.S. 23 a couple hours to Tawas Point State Park where we camped for the next two nights alongside our long-time friends Norm and Alice.

The four of us at Tawas Point

We became good friends back in the mid 70’s when Norm and I began working for Xerox fixing copiers in downtown Detroit.  We married our (now still) sweethearts the same year, bought our first homes the same year, and each helped to bring two beautiful babies (a boy and girl each) into this world.

During our time together at Tawas, we ate, we drank, we rode our bikes to the lighthouse and we drove into town for ice cream 🍨 of course!

Don’t we look smashing?
Tawas Point lighthouse undergoing repairs

We could’ve easily spent a couple more days with Norm and Alice at Tawas, but we had to continue toward home as we needed to get our house in Ohio ready for the traveling nurse who would be renting from us starting September 1st.

A few months ago when I had written about our upcoming volunteer gig at the lighthouse in Rogers City, I got a message from one of my grade school friends.  Kevin told me that they now live on a lake at Oscoda, Michigan.  We made plans to meet up for lunch as we would be passing through on our way home.

Kevin and Colleen

Although our visit was brief, it was great to meet up and renew our friendship.  We committed to being up in their neck of the woods again and making a point of looking them up for a longer visit next  time. Thanks for reaching out to us guys!

We tried to meet up with a couple other schoolmates from the Class of ’72, Tom who was actually camping at Tawas Point the week before we got there and Diane who is now living at Hubbard Lake. Unfortunately, although we messaged each other trying to make it work, it just didn’t work out. Thanks for reaching out to us guys … hope we can try again sometime.

Although we could’ve driven straight through from Oscoda Michigan to Mt Gilead Ohio in one stretch, we decided to boondock at one of our preferred dry camping locations.

Our stop for the night at Cabelas

Cabela’s at Dundee Michigan has HUGE parking lots and the one in the back of the store by the loading docks allows us to park alongside a very large retention pond that makes for a quiet and beautiful rest spot. Although there were a few trucks parked a few hundred feet away, they never kept us from a restful night.

Since we only had about ten days to get the house ready for Tara (the traveling health professional) and we needed to pack the coach for our upcoming trip to Arizona, we were going to park it at David and Lisa’s house.  Turned out however they were having a big garage sale this weekend.  So instead we were lucky enough to snag a site at Mt Gilead State Park, for the weekend. It’s a great little heavily shaded campground with both paved full hook-up sites and gravel electric only sites.

The next few days kept us busy between me going back to work M-W-Fridays, moving our personal items out of the house and into storage in preparation for our renter, and moving other “stuff” from the house to the coach in preparation for our 6 month stay at Rovers Roost in Arizona.  The final day Kathy kept busy dusting, vacuuming, and mopping while I got a badly needed haircut, took a bunch of broken-down cardboard boxes to the recycling center, and dropped off a few things at the local Goodwill store.

After the garage sale we moved our home on wheels up to David and Lisa’s just outside of town (Mt Gilead) where up on the hill it’s always breezy and there’s a nice oak tree right outside our windshield that shades the morning sun from heating the coach too early in the day.

There’s always a little anxiety about change and moving down the road. But we make a plan and start working through it. So far things are working out nicely.

Thanks to David and Lisa’s hospitality, we’ll be here for a few weeks before heading to Arizona for the winter. We’re looking forward to a relaxing, enjoyable (and uneventful) trip west. Stayed tuned for more.

A great visit from family

I have two sisters (along with two brothers-in-law) and when we talked a few months back about our volunteer gig up here at the lighthouse, we all decided it would be a great place to get together for a couple days.

Betsy and Bob live in Owosso Michigan while Marilynn and Rick came up from Jacksonville Florida.

The lighthouse is closed on Mondays and we asked for Tuesday as our other day off this week so we had two days with all of us together.

Rick, Marilynn, Kathy, me, Betsy, and Bob

Although their visit was short, we all enjoyed our time together. Kathy and I gave them a private tour of the lighthouse, the tower, and the pilot house. Later in the day we drove on in to the beautiful town of Rogers City where we stopped at the quarry overlook at the Calcite Limestone Mine.

After that we headed back into town to give them a treat at The Painted Lady, an eclectic shop offering unique hand painted pottery, ladies sun dresses and lakeside accessories, jewelry, picture framing service, children’s toys, and my favorite Ashby’s Ice Cream and all sorts of coffee drinks.

Michigan Pot Hole

It’s always great being with family and we all look forward to the next time in the spring of ’24 in Jacksonville.

Back to Northern Michigan

Although we’ve hit a lot of our beautiful country over the last six years on the road, it seems that our hearts often lead us back to northern Michigan.

Michigan (the Detroit area) is where Kathy and I were raised, married, bought our first home, and saw our children through their early years in grade school.

Our early vacations often involved throwing the kids and the dog in the van and driving up to Kalkaska where Grandma and Grandpa Baldwin had retired to. It was a low cost trip away from work and the hectic city downstate and provided my mom and dad with a handyman (me) to take care of the list of tasks that dad kept adding to that he could no longer take care of himself.

But when we have the opportunity to revisit the memories in Michigan, we always choose to do so. We have a lot of fond memories of great times with family and friends.

You might remember that we got off the road in early 2022 to head back to Mt Gilead Ohio from Arizona to help our daughter Sara heal from her sudden serious illness.

That took us through September of ’22 when we could have returned to Arizona for the winter, but we decided we’d stay in Ohio for the winter and get our hip surgeries completed.

In October of ’22 our son in law Stu wanted to make a fishing trip to northern Michigan so we naturally tagged along in our motorhome and made a family trip of it. You can read the post on that trip here. Norm and Alice, our old friends from my Xerox days came along and camped with us. We all had a great time catching up and telling stories.

Then in December of ’22 Kathy and I both had our hip surgeries. Mine was a new total right hip with a pretty quick recovery and hers was a torn left hip tendon repair which required nearly two full months of healing and rehab taking us through February of ’23. By that time we were well into winter and decided we would stay in OH through the summer and into fall ’23 when we would head back to Arizona for the winter.

To keep from getting bored and to give me a little spending money, during our time in Ohio I work part time for the county transporting patients to medical appointments.

Mid June of ’23 we decided to get the coach out of storage and make a trip up to see my sister Betsy and brother in law Bob in Owosso, Michigan. It’s about a 5 hour trip. Since the coach had been in storage for more than a year at this point, we thought it wise to take it on a short shake-down cruise. And we’re so glad we did!

On our way back from Owosso the last 50 miles or so found us in “limp mode” barely doing 30 mph. Ugh!

So into the shop she went. We drove the car back to Mt Gilead and waited (me not so patiently). Two more shops and three weeks later we finally had a resolution. Turns out the fuel tank (95 gallons) had a lot of rust and algae in it. Both are caused by excess moisture sitting in the tank during extended periods of storage. The rust and algae plugged up not only the fuel filter but the lines as well. The solution to this problem is to always top off the tank just before placing your rig in storage.

But by mid-July and thanks to Great Lakes Truck Center in Monroeville, Ohio where we were in the shop for about four days waiting on parts. New fuel tank and associated parts. We finally got back on the road headed to Ludington Michigan.

We then moved on to Ludington to attend an RV rally sponsored by our Escapees RV Club Great Lakes Chapter. There were about 30 rigs there from all over the tri-state. We had the opportunity to meet some new friends and visit with “old” friends we’ve met across the country too.

Larry & Robyn along with their son (home from college) Caleb

After the Ludington rally we moved 4 hours over to the east side of the state. We settled in at Alpena where we could stay until Friday morning when the “weekend warriors” descend on the campground. This is a very common occurrence as most folks have only the weekends to take a break with the family and head to the local camp or lake cottage.

Our site at Campers Cove, Alpena

This was a stop to give us time to catch up on our grocery shopping (we have a small 9 cu ft fridge) and find the local laundromat. We did take a drive over to the Thunder Bay Marina and enjoyed looking at all the yachts along with a large cruise ship in the distance heading south on Lake Huron.

As we walked the downtown streets of Alpena we came across a nice little park in between a couple businesses. I wanted to share this picture of the wall mural. Note the large 3D fish in the mural! Pretty cool, eh?

We got a really special and pleasant surprise after we arrived here at Alpena. I had posted on my Facebook page that we were here and almost immediately I received a message from an “old” friend of ours when we lived in Redford Twp MI pre-1984. What a blast from the past! Tim reached out to us to let us know that he and his wife Nancy now have a home near Harrisville, MI about 40 miles south of here. We made arrangements to enjoy a beautiful evening re-kindling our friendship over a wonderful dinner at an upscale Italian restaurant in Alpena. It was great to spend time with them both and we look forward to seeing them again when we will very likely be back up here in a few years.

I’m usually pretty good about taking pictures, but we were so busy talking that I totally forgot – my bad.

We were intending to move tomorrow morning over to Emerick Park Campground at Hillman MI while we wait until we can get into our spot at the lighthouse, but I just got an email from our supervisor at the lighthouse and he has an empty spot now so we are going to head on up to 40 Mile Point Lighthouse tomorrow.

More to follow after we settle in up there.

Summer camping in Michigan with friends and family

This is a post I wrote back in late October and THOUGHT I had published, but just found it in my DRAFTS folder. Better late than never.

When our daughter Sara became seriously ill in early 2022, we made a bee-line trip back to Ohio from Arizona to help her through the recovery process.

It’s now summer and Sara is doing so much better. She’s the best and happiest we’ve seen her in 20 years.

Sara and Stu

Since Stu and Sara sold their Mt Gilead home in April, we’ve all been living together in one of our small two bedroom rental homes in the village. It’s “cozy” but it’s got a great attached garage for the guys to play in and a fenced yard for the dogs w/a concrete patio so the girls can sun themselves while keeping an eye on the little 4 legged mischief makers.

Our Mt Gilead home where the four of us lived May to September 2022

As our lives got more and more back to normal, we yearned for more “normal” activities. One of these was Stu’s desire to go fishing in northern Michigan again as he had the year before.

Sara wanted to go along, but the idea of being out on the lake all day really wasn’t her idea of fun – nor was waiting in the motel room all day for Stu to come back with the car towing the boat. Quite the conundrum.

Kathy and I proposed the idea of us tagging along and setting up camp in a local campground that could also provide a rental camper for the two of them and the dogs. We found a great little campground called Campers Cove RV Park & Canoe Livery where we got sites just a few hundred feet apart. As an added bonus Stu’s mom Barb came along as well!

Our site along the canal heading out to the lake
Location of Campers Cove near Alpena Michigan

We set our camping trip for October and when I mentioned that to a Facebook friend, another one of our “old friends” (not THAT kind of “old” really but friends we’ve been since the early 70’s) suggested they might come along since we hadn’t seen each other in a few years. Great idea!

Kathy at Stu, Sara and Barb’s camper. The little gal is Dulaney

What a great time we had camping in northern Michigan enjoying the fall colors, the cool weather, the nearly empty campground, the crackling of the campfire every day and night, along with great food provided and cooked by our friends Norm and Alice. What a treat!

Chef Norm grilling up the innards for our burrito dinner while Sara awaits

Our relationship with Norm & Alice started when Norm and I hired in at Xerox as copier service reps in 1973 (I think). We soon became fast friends as we both worked covering the downtown Detroit big office buildings servicing copiers in law firms, government offices, stock brokerages, banks, and others. Back in those days it was only Xerox, Kodak, and IBM in the copier business. It would be a few more years before the influx of the Toshibas, Minoltas, Canons and other Japanese brands into the market.

Norm, Alice, Sara, Stu, Barb, & Kathy

As our friendship grew, the four of us partied together, got married about the same time, went on some trips together, each brought our children into the world (each with a boy and a girl) about the same time. We bought our first homes the same year. They, however have done the smart thing and stayed in that home for nearly 50 years while we’ve moved in and out of nine homes before finally selling the last one and hitting the road in our motorhome in 2016.

Everybody’s favorite pastime at the fire
Ooooh … S’mores Sticky fingers

We didn’t just sit around the campfire and feed our faces for three days however. While Stu went off fishing, we made a couple day trips to see the Mackinac Bridge and visit a couple lighthouses too.

Herb, Alice, Norm, Barb, Kathy, and Sara @ The Old Mackinac Lighthouse

Kathy and I are going to be volunteering late summer of ’23 as guest lighthouse keepers at 40 Mile Point Light near Rogers City, MI. Since we were pretty darn close, we decided to swing on by and scope out the place!

Sara and Barb getting ready to head on in for their self-guided tour of the lighthouse

We couldn’t have asked for better weather. The sunny warm days faded to cooler afternoons and evenings. Time together with wonderful old friends and our family really was a special time telling stories of times past and just enjoying each other’s company.

Stu and Barb enjoying some time together playing golf

As we prepare to stay in Mt Gilead for the winter so that I can get my second hip replacement, we reminisce about our six years on the road workamping and camp hosting.

We’re so glad that we made the decision to quit working early (at 62), sell the house and hit the road. The places we’ve gone and especially the wonderful lasting friendships we’ve made along the way would never have happened if we stayed home – working or retired.

Some of the places we’ve at least spent the night along the way

But for now we will be content to stay in Ohio to get some medical issues taken care of, spend the summer of ’23 in/near here and then head to Arizona and spend next winter with our “other” family there.

Now it’s Her Turn

Now that my hip replacement surgery is over it’s Kathy’s turn next!

It’s been 13 days now since my surgery and each day continues to be better than the previous one. I’m now able to get in and out of the recliner and the bed without Kathy’s loving assistance. Although I can ambulate around the house using only a cane (I used a walker for the first 7 days) and I can take care of my own personal hygiene needs, I still need her help however in getting my socks on and off especially due to the fact that I have to wear these knee-high “TED” compression socks for another 5 weeks!

I started Physical Therapy this past week, just three visits in so far and it’s amazing how much it’s helped to stretch the muscles and relieve the stiffness. Those girls at the local hospital do a great job. This is my third “opportunity” to utilize their professional services and I’m so appreciative that we have the PT gang here at our local hospital.

It’s time now to have Kathy taken care of. Her left hip has really been bothering her the last few months since she had a fall when carrying some packages up the steps into the house. Initially we thought that she was going to need hip replacement surgery as well, but further investigation discovered that she has a torn Gluteus Medius.

Although this will be an arthroscopic surgery, we’re told that her recovery will very likely be more difficult than mine.

If you know anyone who’s had shoulder rotator cuff repair surgery, this is very similar. Since the muscle has two tears, the surgeon will install a couple of “patches” that will attach at each end of the open tear to hold and pull the muscle back together.

Our hip gets a lot of action. Rotator cuff recovery I’m guessing is easier than this will be because with the shoulder, the patient can carry the weight of the arm and hand in a sling nearly all day and night only removing the sling to shower and get dressed.

With the hip we are not so lucky. This muscle will be used and stretched every time she walks, sits, or rises from a sitting position.

I had already planned to take the month of December off work while I recuperate, but I think it’ll be well into January (or February) before I’ll feel comfortable leaving her on her own. It’s a good thing we’ve had nearly 50 years of getting used to each other, eh?

Say a little prayer for us if you will …

Gotta keep from getting bored

For those of you who know me at all, you know that I’m not one to sit still any too long. Although I don’t consider myself as one who’s “physical” (sports/walking etc.), I do have a need to do something – I can’t just sit around watching TV all day.

So when my hip surgery was finally scheduled and I made the decision to take the whole month of December off work, one of the first thoughts was “what am I going to do with myself all that time?”

I knew I’d have 2-3 days doing a lot of nothing immediately after surgery. I’d be using a walker most of the time those days making trips back and forth from the bed, to the bathroom, to the recliner, and back to bed.

But after those first few days I’d have physical therapy scheduled 2 or 3 days a week to help keep me occupied. I’m going to get PT at the local hospital. I prefer that to having the therapist coming to our home because I feel the professionals at the hospital have all the equipment at their disposal, they have to record everything on their laptop, and since there are other patients and therapists in the room (including their boss) I just think I get a better all around therapy session. Besides, the way I look at it, it’s my Social Event for the week!

But aside from the PT, since I’m a licensed Amateur Radio “Ham” Operator, I knew that I could take advantage of this time to allow me to play a little radio and work on some of my DX (distance) contact awards. It’s always fun to get a new QSL (acknowledgment) card from another country confirming our contact and conversation. Here’s one I just got from the Netherlands.

QSL card from a Belgian HAM operating portable from the Netherlands
The operating location is the island outlined in red dots

I realized pretty quickly that my Man Cave or “shack” as we hams call it gets cold during Ohio winters. It’s a small workshop which is just off the 2 car attached garage. It’s a great place to have a shack (or workshop) because it’s on the main floor (no stairs to climb) and I can make all the noise I want and not disturb the XYL (wife) but the disadvantage is that it’s not heated so the inside temp is typically only 3-5 degrees warmer than the outside temps.

Now logic says “insulate it” but my surgery is next week and I just knew I wouldn’t have time to remove all the shelving, workbench, cabinets, and drywall to install the insulation and then put everything back together again in time.

The WB8BHK radio “shack” in the workshop off the garage

So I felt the answer to my problem was NOT to install an electric heater (high utility bills) but instead install hardware and software so that I could operate the radio from my recliner in the living room. So now I have my laptop computer with me in my recliner and I can operate using a small boom mike/headset. SWEET!

Here’s the user interface on my laptop. I can work the world from my recliner!

As the month of December goes on and I feel like doing more and more, I do have some projects that could wait until spring but that I just might get started early. We’ll see …

Kathy helped out a little at a Christmas Sale this past weekend at one of the local fire halls where she came home with a few goodies. Since we’ve been on the road for the last six years, we didn’t have any Christmas decorations. She’s had fun setting up and decorating the tiny tree and she got her nativity set back out of storage at our son’s home so she got that all arranged today.

Our little tree and Kathy’s Nativity under the tree

We’re looking forward to a comfortable and cozy Christmas season. We wish you the same.

Hip Replacement Time (again)

So it’s time again for hip replacement surgery. I’ve been putting up with this discomfort/inconvenience turned to pain for far too long.

My October appt with the orthopedic surgeon set the date for December 5th. It’s now November 28th and I’m sitting in the waiting room of a cardiologist because anesthesiologist wants a “Cardiac Clearance” before I undergo surgery.

I’ve prepared and brought with me a printed history of my cardiac issues starting with my heart attack back in 2003. I hope this doc today will see clear to give my surgery next week the green light.

I’m still working as a driver for the county transportation service taking folks to and from medical appointments and I have enough sick time banked that I can take the entire month of December off with pay while I recuperate and attend physical rehab. I hope this hip (same doc/same robot) surgery and recovery goes as well as the last one.

Driving for the county transit agency

Our handman Bob is coming this week to install a new walk-in shower. It’ll be a great improvement to the house.

Our hope is to be able to get back to doing some camping this summer and then get back out to see our “other” family at Rovers Roost in Arizona next winter.

In the meantime, we’ll shiver a little while we stay in the little house in Mt Gilead.

That’s it for now … Take Care of yourself (and your loved ones)

Ooops .. almost forgot. The doc gave me a clean bill of heart health and all systems are GO for the surgery next .. WOOHOO !!!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Greetings from Herb and Kathy


To all our family and friends, we are writing to wish you the best of the holiday season.

We write this now as we are readying to depart to Mexico for a couple weeks and will not return to our Arizona winter home until the first of the New Year.

Wow what a busy year Herb and I have had! As you may be aware, we spent March of 2020 through March of 2021 in Ohio living in the bunkhouse above the garage at Sara and Stu’s home.

It was good to be off the road during the Covid outbreak and we were so fortunate to be able to spend some quality time with both our children and their families.

Herb drove a bus for the county starting in May of ’20 and finished that job this past March when he had his rotator cuff surgery. We then went on down to Dale Hollow Lake State Park in Kentucky to camp host for 3 months and he recuperated with physical therapy at the local hospital. While we were there, it was great to welcome visiting friends Mark and Cindy, Mike and Kim, Chuck and Della, and Forrest and Mary. We all spent 3 days together gathering around the campfire, eating out, and we rented a double-deck pontoon boat for a day of fun on Dale Hollow Lake too! We also enjoyed a week-long visit from Stu and Sara – they rented a camper and parked right next to us!

We finished our KY gig July 4th and came back to Ohio so that Herb could get his hip replaced July 22nd. That surgery went well too (same doc as the shoulder) and we were able to hit the road westbound on Aug 20th.

We timed our departure from Ohio so we could join my sister’s family in celebration of her daughter’s wedding. Although the wedding was a small one last year during Covid, this reception in the Groom’s parents back yard in Michigan was a fun and beautiful event. We got to sit with my cousin Kristin and her husband Ed who we hadn’t seen in probably 20 years or so and had a great time reminiscing.

After that we traveled on to Owosso Michigan where we spent a couple days with Herb’s two sisters and their husbands. Another great meetup, we always have fun together. From Owosso we made our way further west in Michigan where we visited with friends we made while working at a camp in Baldwin Michigan. We also met up with a high school classmate who we hadn’t seen (or talked to) since 1972. Another great visit!

After that we loaded the coach onto the S.S. Badger Auto Ferry at Ludington Michigan and took the 4 hour cruise across Lake Michigan. Once we arrived at Manitowoc Wisconsin we met up again for dinner with Forrest and Mary at Green Bay.

Making our way further west found us meeting with Paul and Chris at Mason City Iowa and visiting the Surf Dance Hall where Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valenz and The Big Bopper made their final show before the fatal plane crash in a nearby corn field.

We then moved on down to the Kansas City Missouri area to spend a couple days with Ron and Judy who we had worked with at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta in 2019 and we all took a tour of a private family mauseleum that our friend Carl (who we met in Mexico a couple years back) had inherited. What an interesting tour that was!

From Kansas City (now early September) we moved on to Spearfish SD so that we could reconnect with Matt and Sherry who we worked with at DC Booth Fish Hatchery in 2019. We spent a week there and during that time Jim and Brenda came by for a couple nights stay and David and Susan came up for a visit from where they were working at Custer State Park.

Since David and Susan also have a lot where we winter at Rover’s Roost in Casa Grande, Arizona we talked and decided it would be fun for the four of us to caravan together back to AZ once they were done with their gig at Custer.

We moved on just south of Custer to a two week stay at Angostura State Recreation Area while we waited for David and Susan to meet up with us October 1st. We enjoyed getting to enjoy Hot Springs SD while we were in the area.

Starting October 1st we made our way south to northwest Nebraska, then west into Wyoming and through Cheyenne, Laramie, Rock Springs and then down Route 191 through Flaming Gorge and on down across the Snowy Ridge (9114′ elev) through beautiful eastern Utah.

Nearing the middle of October got us back into northeast Arizona where we visited Winslow and Meteor Crater and ultimately down just east of Phoenix and we all four pulled into “the Roost” October 19th.

Early November we were delighted to have a visit from our Ohio friends Chuck and Della. They rented a VRBO nearby and we spent about a week together sightseeing some of the local sights. It was great to see them again and play “tour guide” a little.

Although we arrived here mid-October, it takes a couple months before everyone is back. It’s fun welcoming old friends back “home” with a big SKP hug, (but not so much today with Covid – we tend to smile and shake hands more often than before)

Our plan at this point is to be back in Ohio this summer (arriving March/April) depending on which way we go on the way back. We look forward to seeing all of you in the summer. To our RV’ing friends .. we look forward to meeting up again with you real soon. To each of you we wish you only the most wonderful Christmas celebration and a Happy and Joyous New Year to you all!

Herb and Kathy

Our Trek West (Installment One)

We left Ohio on August 20th after finishing up my hip replacement rehab. Our first stop was about 5 hours north to Romeo, Michigan to attend Kathy’s niece Lindsey’s wedding reception. The wedding was last year, but it was a small event with no reception because of Covid. The reception was a bright (and humid) Saturday late afternoon gathering under one of those huge white tents in the large back yard of her new husband’s parent’s home. There were about 100 people attending and we had the wonderful opportunity to visit with some of Kathy’s family that we hadn’t seen in years and meet some new folks as well.

We stayed 2 nights at Addison Oaks Campground, part of the Oakland County Michigan Parks and Rec.

Our camp site at Addison Oaks, about 10 miles from Lindsey’s wedding reception

When we arrived at Addison Oaks the first night we went on into Romeo for a walk up and down the main drag. This was the first night of the big annual “Dream Cruise” up and down Woodward Avenue and we got to see some of those cool classic cars from years gone by that were traveling to or from the cruise. While in Romeo we had a great meal out on the front patio at “Thee Office Pub”.

Beer Battered Cod, Mac N Cheese, and creamy Cole Slaw at “Thee Office Pub” Romeo Michigan

Sunday morning after the reception, we continued our trip west and moved on to the Shiawassee County Fairgrounds. We were able to spend a couple super quiet nights (we were one of two campers) while visiting my sisters and their husbands at Owosso, Michigan.

Betsy and Bob live on the north side of Owosso. They moved there last year after living on St. John U.S. Virgin Islands for about 10 years. Their son and only granddaughter live within about an hour and B&B are able to see her often. Sometimes she spends the night and she (Kaia) was there when we visited. Marilynn and Rick drove up from Jacksonville Florida for our time together. We had a great time sharing stories from years past and getting updates on everybody’s health and welfare.

On Monday night we said our goodbyes, went back to the fairgrounds and pulled out Tuesday morning heading for Baldwin Michigan where we would spend a couple days/nights visiting our friends at Pere Marquette Oaks RV Resort where we worked as Park Supervisors the summers of 2017 and 2018.

And that’s where the problems started … more on that in my next post.