“You’re Going To Do What??”

I thought it appropriate that I should give you an update on how we are doing since we left Ohio back on Labor Day 2016.

We didn’t really “sneak” out of town, but we didn’t talk a lot about our leaving beforehand either.  Since I was then in a business partnership with Carol, I didn’t want tomorrowhometeamlogosmaller talk a lot around town about my retirement and have it affect the business for Carol immediately before or after I left.  The business had nothing to do with why I retired when I did.
In fact, the business relationship with Carol was wonderful and made the decision all that much harder. But in the end, I/we had to do what we felt was best for us.

I’ve been posting our experiences regularly on this blog as we’ve traveled along.  Some posts have been about things we’ve done and places we’ve been to, while others have detailed some of the technical or mechanical issues we’ve had along the way.

Many have asked our intentions….

After we bought the coach last fall, we decided to take a cross-country trip this past April to visit Kathy’s cousin Judy and her husband Bob who live in Encinitas, California near San Diego.

The purpose of the trip was two-fold.  Not only to visit Judy & Bob, who we hadn’t seen in probably 10 years or so, but also to see how we might like to change our lifestyle … that is, to retire from our “jobsdsc_0037“, selling or giving away most of our possessions, and hit the road to become full-time nomads / rv’ers / workampers.  We also wanted to get a sampling of how it might be for the two of us to live together in such small quarters – about 300 square feet!

While some thought we were crazy for “chucking it all” and hitting the road, many more wished they could join us and wished us well on this new phase in our life journey.

I’ve wanted to travel in an RV and go “camping” for years, but Kathy wanted nothing to do with it, as she felt that living even part-time in a small metal can with two young children would not be her idea of living in paradise, but rather some form of hell on wheels. But that was the past, the “kids” are now adults and have their own lives and dreams.

Our decision to change our lifestyle was not so much predicated on wanting to retire (stop working) but more to be able to enjoy each other with the time we have left in this world.  We have come to realize, as a result of my heart attack back in 2003 and Kathy’s bought with cancer in 2013, that life is short …. and it’s getting shorter every day.

After some careful consideration and crunching the numbers, we realized that a change in our lifestyle was possible, so we decided to pull the plug as of the first of September, 2016.

But we also knew that if we were to just travel from place to place and see the sights, we could very probably go broke in short order between the cost of diesel fuel (@ 10 miles / gallon) and the average cost for an overnight stay in an RV park at about $35-$40/night.  We studied sites online that talked about living on the road and how people do it and we became intrigued by this lifestyle called “Workamping”.

There are literally thousands of workamping or hosting positions out there that typically trade 10-15 hours per week of your work in exchange for your RV site, propane, electric, wifi, laundry and other perks.  Some parks pay a small hourly wage for any hours worked over the minimum required to cover the cost of the site while others pay better wages and then charge for the site.

So you can get a better idea of the sorts of positions out there, check out some of these popular web sites that advertise for workamping and hosting positions.

We wrote our resume and posted it on some of these sites and “bang” right away got our first workamping position here at Rancho Verde RV Park at Camp Verde, AZ.  Camp Verde, as it turns out is a great location, geographically about half way between Flagstaff to the north and Phoenix to the south.  Not too cold in the winter (currently about 60 degrees) and not too hot in the summer.

Kathy and I have had four months now to “soak it in” and we’ve determined that we are very pleased with our new lifestyle.  We are comfortable in our new 36′ home, we have great neighbors in our fellow workampers here and the residents, and the money part is working out too.

We work two days each week in exchange for our site and the other amenities, so we have plenty of time to make day trips to see much of what Arizona has to offer, and come March 15th our commitment here will be finished and we’ll move on down the road.

We’ll pull out and take probably about two weeks to meander back to Ohio to stop and visit family and friends, staying there a couple of weeks and then head on to southeastern Michigan where we’ll camp for another couple of weeks while we visit family and old friends we grew up with (we’re making a list of who to see) and then after that time we will move on up further north and west in Michigan to start our summer workamping job near Ludington.

Kathy and I have a lot of great memories of our time spent in northern Michigan back while we were dating, spending our honeymoon there, and then making many return trips after we had moved to Ohio back to see family and good friends.

I know this post is longer than most I have written, I know as a reader I get bored of the longer posts and often move on before the end, so I try to keep my own posts generally shorter and more to the point.  I hope you’ll forgive me for rambling on.

But it’s rainy here today (New Years Day) and so we’re taking advantage of this time inside.  We did however get out for our morning walk in between rain showers.

We are looking forward to a great 2017 filled with many new places and meeting many new friends.  We wish all of you only the best in the new year and who knows, maybe we’ll be able to meet around a campfire somewhere and enjoy each other’s company.  We’re looking forward to it!

We’d really appreciate it if you would do us the favor of helping us continue to publish this RV / Travel / Workamping blog. Do you purchase any products from Amazon? If you do, it would be great if you’d use the link in the sidebar or one of the links below to get to Amazon … after that you can change your search. By making your Amazon purchases from our site, we will receive from Amazon a small percentage of your purchase and it doesn’t cost you any more. We’d really appreciate your help. Thank you, Herb & Kathy

Merry Christmas from Herb & Kathy

Here’s a little video to bring a smile to your face and wish you a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous and Happy New Year.

We’d really appreciate it if you would do us the favor of helping us continue to publish this RV / Travel / Workamping blog. Do you purchase any products from Amazon? If you do, it would be great if you’d use the link in the sidebar or one of the links below to get to Amazon … after that you can change your search. By making your Amazon purchases from our site, we will receive from Amazon a small percentage of your purchase and it doesn’t cost you any more. We’d really appreciate your help. Thank you, Herb & Kathy

Oil Creek Family Campground

We have had a great time at the 56th Escapade, meeting many new friends, learning a lot about RV’ing, and spending a few bucks at the commercial vendors booths in the market area.

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Commercial Vendors at the Market

We left the Expo Center Thursday morning before the closing ceremonies, but waited until the Shade Pro guys came back to install our newly purchased window shades.  These shades work well to keep out the hot sun from the inside of the coach, yet still allow us to see what’s going on outside.  We ordered them late Tuesday night (about 8:30) and they came in Thursday morning and Skylar came about 10:00 am to do the installation.2016-07-28 10.22.56

After heading out, we motored back to Port Byron, NY (not far off the I-90) where we spent another night at Hejamada RV Park.  We had stayed here on our way to the Escapade and found it to be a nice park and in the right location for us, so we spent a 2nd night there.  Kathy took a dip in the pool after we checked in, I made our dinner, Kathy did a load of laundry in the morning before we headed out to our next stop.

So Friday afternoon we arrived at Oil Creek Family Campground at Titusville, PA.  We have been looking forward to camping here because it is owned by Kathy’s cousin Penny and her husband David.  We got in about 3pm or so and a gentle on-and-off rain has been going throughout the night and morning.  We took a walk around the campground Saturday morning with our hats on just to keep the raindrops off our eyeglasses.  The campground is designed with families and children in mind with lots of planned activities, playground equipment, a rec hall with ping-pong and pool tables, and a small but well stocked camp store where Mom & Dad can buy food and the kids can buy that ever important candy.

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Engineer David treats all the little ones to rides around the park (video).  This is really cool, it even has a train whistle and blows smoke (bubbles) out the stack!

We had a great time, really enjoying our travels seeing new parts of the country, renewing old friendships with family, and making new friends along the way.

We’d really appreciate it if you would do us the favor of helping us continue to publish this RV / Travel / Workamping blog. Do you purchase any products from Amazon? If you do, it would be great if you’d use the link in the sidebar or one of the links below to get to Amazon … after that you can change your search. By making your Amazon purchases from our site, we will receive from Amazon a small percentage of your purchase and it doesn’t cost you any more. We’d really appreciate your help. Thank you, Herb & Kathy

Super Windy at Judy & Bob’s !!!!!

So after we got back from some of our sightseeing on Saturday, we just sat on the back patio and Judy and Bob’s.  They have a beautiful home with an even more beautiful back yard.

Judy served us fresh-made iced tea and we sat under the patio umbrella and talked and shared family photos with each other.  It was an absolute gorgeous afternoon, about 80 degrees, but with a healthy “Breeze”.

After a few hours, we decided to step inside for a bit before heading back to the RV park for the night.  Just as we got inside we heard a large “Clunk-Clunk” on the roof.  We ran outside to see “what was the clatter” and, …. well, you’ll just have to check out the pictures to see for yourself.

Do you see what I’m talking about?  Fortunately, they had a young man neighbor next door who was willing to get up on the roof for us!

We’d really appreciate it if you would do us the favor of helping us continue to publish this RV / Travel / Workamping blog. Do you purchase any products from Amazon? If you do, it would be great if you’d use the link in the sidebar or one of the links below to get to Amazon … after that you can change your search. By making your Amazon purchases from our site, we will receive from Amazon a small percentage of your purchase and it doesn’t cost you any more. We’d really appreciate your help. Thank you, Herb & Kathy

A Beautiful Day in San Diego

So we arrived in Vista, CA at Olive Avenue RV Resort on Friday afternoon about 3pm and we got the rig set up and in order while we waited for Kathy’s cousin Judy and husband Bob to come by to visit.

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Our site at Olive Ave RV Park, Vista, CA

They came about 4pm, we had a nice visit at the RV, then they took us back to their home where we visited a bit more and later they took us out to dinner at a local Mexican restaurant.  Great authentic Mexican food and entertainment by a Mariachi band too!

On Saturday, we drove on down to Judy & Bobs and the four of us did some local sight-seeing to the beaches, some beautiful religious temple gardens, and more. (I can’t remember the names of these places, but impressive nonetheless)

I’ve put together a little slide show so you can scroll through to see all the beauty that we had an opportunity to see.  The temps were in the high 70’s – low 80’s and the breeze all day long was wonderful.  It was a beautiful day in the San Diego area and we enjoyed great company, told a lot of stories about the family(s), looked through some old picture albums and had loads of laughs, which are always healthy.

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We’d really appreciate it if you would do us the favor of helping us continue to publish this RV / Travel / Workamping blog. Do you purchase any products from Amazon? If you do, it would be great if you’d use the link in the sidebar or one of the links below to get to Amazon … after that you can change your search. By making your Amazon purchases from our site, we will receive from Amazon a small percentage of your purchase and it doesn’t cost you any more. We’d really appreciate your help. Thank you, Herb & Kathy

Baldwin Family Niagara Falls Trip August, 2012

Here’s some pix of our Baldwin Family trip to Niagara Falls in August of 2012. Some pix are better than others.

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We’d really appreciate it if you would do us the favor of helping us continue to publish this RV / Travel / Workamping blog. Do you purchase any products from Amazon? If you do, it would be great if you’d use the link in the sidebar or one of the links below to get to Amazon … after that you can change your search. By making your Amazon purchases from our site, we will receive from Amazon a small percentage of your purchase and it doesn’t cost you any more. We’d really appreciate your help. Thank you, Herb & Kathy

Garett’s Sword Fight

We’d really appreciate it if you would do us the favor of helping us continue to publish this RV / Travel / Workamping blog. Do you purchase any products from Amazon? If you do, it would be great if you’d use the link in the sidebar or one of the links below to get to Amazon … after that you can change your search. By making your Amazon purchases from our site, we will receive from Amazon a small percentage of your purchase and it doesn’t cost you any more. We’d really appreciate your help. Thank you, Herb & Kathy

ThanksMisGiving

So here we are just a couple days before the Thanksgiving holiday and getting just a little stressed out. It really shouldn’t be this way, this should be the official beginning of a happier time where all is well and we are content with our lives and our surroundings.

But there are so many events that evoke emotions deep within us and, unfortunately cause us stress and anxiety, sometimes to the point that we just want to “shut it all off and just go back to work”. Sometimes over the years I’ve said to myself … “Let me go back to work so I can get some rest!” and the pressures of the holidays can be the impetus for feeling this way.

If you don’t sometimes feel this way, you are fortunate to be of the nature and make-up that outside influences don’t effect you, at least not to the point that you become non-productive and anti-social

Thinking about the upcoming holidays, I’m already starting to stress and thought I might list possible reasons for this. Maybe if I verbalize it, if I “make a list”, then this will be theraputic for me and all will be well this holiday season – (yeah, fat chance).  But here goes anyway.

I wondered what other people find unnerving about big holidays and thought I’d take a little poll. What (if anything) about the holidays stresses you out?  Let me know your thoughts …. I really am curious.

We’d really appreciate it if you would do us the favor of helping us continue to publish this RV / Travel / Workamping blog. Do you purchase any products from Amazon? If you do, it would be great if you’d use the link in the sidebar or one of the links below to get to Amazon … after that you can change your search. By making your Amazon purchases from our site, we will receive from Amazon a small percentage of your purchase and it doesn’t cost you any more. We’d really appreciate your help. Thank you, Herb & Kathy

94th Annual Gymanfu Ganu @ Homer, Ohio

Kathy, David, and I had the pleasure of attending the 94th Annual Gymanfu Ganu in Gomer, Ohio on Sunday evening, October 2nd, 2011. Gomer is a Welsh settlement founded in 1833 by Mr.’s Watkins, Roberts, and Nicholas. Click on the arrow in the center of the YouTube video below:

The Welsh Congregational Church, founded in 1873, in Gomer hosted the songfest and we had an oppotunity to visit the Welsh Heritage Museum across the street from the church.

Here is a slideshow of some of the pix I took before and during the Gymanfu Ganu (songfest). Just click on the picture and then you’ll be taken to an online Picasa photo album. You can then click on individual pictures or on “slide show”

Gymanfu Ganu, 94th Annual
We’d really appreciate it if you would do us the favor of helping us continue to publish this RV / Travel / Workamping blog. Do you purchase any products from Amazon? If you do, it would be great if you’d use the link in the sidebar or one of the links below to get to Amazon … after that you can change your search. By making your Amazon purchases from our site, we will receive from Amazon a small percentage of your purchase and it doesn’t cost you any more. We’d really appreciate your help. Thank you, Herb & Kathy

Poor Quincy

Well, we think maybe our dear Walker Tree Hound, Quincy, …. may have had a stroke yesterday afternoon.  He seems to have very little control when he’s walking … as if he’s drunk.

He’s had a hard life (up until when we adopted him last year), based on how he acts, we believe he’s spent most of his life outside tied to a tree or doghouse.  He’s mostly deaf, blind in one eye, and to make matters worse, we had him neutered when we adopted him from the Humane Society — Poor Boy ..

It’s sad to watch him, he knows there’s a problem and he just can’t seem to figure things out, he’s stopped eating and that’s not good.  Our veterinarian is closed on Monday but Kathy will call tomorrow to see what we should do, if anything.

Keep us in your prayers, we might be in for a rough ride.

Quincy’s got it made now
We’d really appreciate it if you would do us the favor of helping us continue to publish this RV / Travel / Workamping blog. Do you purchase any products from Amazon? If you do, it would be great if you’d use the link in the sidebar or one of the links below to get to Amazon … after that you can change your search. By making your Amazon purchases from our site, we will receive from Amazon a small percentage of your purchase and it doesn’t cost you any more. We’d really appreciate your help. Thank you, Herb & Kathy
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