Only a Couple Hiccups

We’ll, after a few 400+ mile days we finally made it to our destination of Holt, Florida. We left Casa Grande AZ Monday about noon after my medical appointment and wanted to get to Holt by Friday morning since my friend Dave has every other Friday off work.

We got settled in to a great little State Park just west of Holt, Florida and only about 25 miles from Dave and Robyn’s house.

Our site at Blackwater River State Park

Once we got settled in we drove on over to Crestview and spent the rest of the day with our good friends who we hadn’t seen in just about two years.

Dave and I left the girls at the house and ran over to the local hardware to get some cable and clamps to replace one of the broken safety cables on our tow bar. I must’ve not connected it fully when we left Arizona and it dragged on the highway 1700 miles and just chewed off the end. Imagine that!

So we started back to the house and something just didn’t feel right. It felt as though the car was sluggish. I had to give it more gas to go and it didn’t want to coast when I took my foot off the accelerator. I suspected one of the brake calipers had locked up .. unfortunately I was correct.

But Dave knew a shop just down the street and we drove it right over.

Our little Saturn up on the rack

Within an hour he had the rotor and all the front brake pads replaced. Great service!

We went back and picked up the girls and went to a great little fresh seafood restaurant right around the corner from their house. We had eaten here two years ago with Dave and Robyn and got free meals from a total stranger that night. We were kinda hoping for the same this year,😁 but it didn’t work that way. But nonetheless we had great meals with great friends.

Emerald Isle Seafood @ Crestview FL

Today they came to the campground and picked us up and we all visited a great little Arts & Music Festival in the river town of Milton west of Crestview heading toward Pensacola. We enjoyed the sunshine, the ice cream, and our time together.

They’re having a duck race on the river to raise money for some good cause (I don’t remember what)
Kathy thought they were cute .. she bought a Zebra Duck

Kathy bought a 🦆 for $5 .. she could win $1500! We won’t know until the race happens on July 4th. They have our phone number to call when we win.

After dinner, Dave and Robyn dropped us off back at the campground. We had just walked into the coach and taken our jackets off and there was a knock at the door. Kathy answered and the fella outside introduced himself as Dave Butzky who we went to high school with back in the early 70’s!!!!!

We invited them in and had a great time together. Thanks to Facebook (we have been FB Friends for about a year now) Dave saw that we were close by so they drive over for a visit!

Dave and Pam

Dave and Pam have been full-timing for about two years now and so we have a lot in common and enjoyed our time together. We look forward to the next time we can meet up!

Lots more to come. We’ll be in Florida for the next two weeks and there’s a lot more to see and do, so we’ll be sharing that as the days roll on.

See ya’ next time! Till then .. be good to yourself and those around you.

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

Giving Back to Our Hosts

NOTE: This post was started about a week earlier but I ran out of data on my Mexican (Telcel) phone and so I no longer had a hot spot for wifi to my computer, so I’m finishing up this post while we are back at Rover’s Roost in Casa Grande Arizona where my Visible phone service and hot spot (with no data cap) is working great.

Now, back to the story …

Yes, we’re really enjoying our visit to the Baja with our new Escapee friends. Although we’ve been members of the club about 5 years now, there’s no way you can get to know everybody as there are currently (I think) over 50,000 members nationwide.

The main entrance to La Jolla Beach Camp

To find out more about Chapter 8, visit their web site at this link. And here is the link to the Chapter 8 Facebook page.

And although Chapter 8 has been coming to Mexico for 37 years, the people that travel with them change from year to year. Some have been coming for years while others (like us) have made this their first trip with the chapter and very likely the first trip to Mexico. They don’t always travel to this side of the Baja. Sometimes it’s San Felipe, Rocky Pointe, or even Mexico City.

We’ve been given the opportunity to give back to the communities in which we stay. At our stay at the zoo in Guadalupe Valley we were offered reduced camping fees and free admittance to the zoo (even when they were closed to the public) and in return we helped the keepers in the care and feeding of the animals and their habitats.

We learned that the zoo was founded by Mr. Jiminez and his wife Perla as a service to the forgotten and abandoned animals and the children of the community. They wanted a place that all families could come and enjoy wholesome family time together not only to learn a little about the wildlife kingdom but also to enjoy some recreation together.

The Jiminez family also owned the Jersey Dairy and for many years the dairy supported the zoo financially. Recently the dairy was sold to another corporation and the zoo is now a stand-alone non-profit zoo. It still has Perla (Mrs.) Jiminez as Director and the family is still involved in the management and operation, but the funding is FAR below where it was just a few years ago.

As a result they are struggling to feed and care for the animals. A lot of their “residents” are brought to the zoo by the government that has confiscated these illegally owned animals at ports of entry. Although the government delivers the animals to the zoo to be cared for, they provide NO financial assistance for their care and can come and remove these same animals at any time. That’s a real frustration for the keepers.

We (Chapter 8) members will also help the zoo by ordering items from their Amazon Wish List and some of us brought items down and hand delivered these things to the keepers while we were there. The keepers here are much like our teachers back in the states in that they buy a lot of their own supplies to care for their “flock”. Many of the 13 employees at the zoo are single and are so attached that they think of the animals in their care as their “family”.

In case you are interested in seeing what sorts of things the keepers need – and maybe you’re even moved to help as well, you can check out the Amazon Wish List link here.

When we arrived here at La Jolla Beach Camp, our hosts the Pabloff Family introduced us to the need at a local “Grandparents House” about 10 miles away from our camp. Our Wagon-master and Charity Committee had previously arranged to have us form a work party and provide them with about 200 man hours work to insulate one of their new living units.

When we arrived on site we were introduced to the husband and wife team, Angelica and Nicholas (both pastors) who started this mission along with the help of Justin who’s family is doing mission work both at this home and another one a few miles down the road.

We arrive at the site about 10am and greet some of the residents who were waiting to meet us outside.
Justin gives us an overview of the home and the history of the Pastors and their work

It’s really a pretty remarkable story. Mrs. Pastor fourteen years ago found an old woman sitting on her front lawn. The lady looked to be alone and unfortunate so Angelica invited her into her home for lunch. They chatted and got to know each other. At the end of the lunch, Angelica told the lady she was welcome to return for lunch again the next day. The lady thanked her and asked if she could possibly bring a friend …. and so the beginning.

One friend led to another and another and another. Pretty soon Angelica was feeding 20 homeless old people on buckets and tree stumps in her front yard.

In Mexico there is very little money for programs like we have in the states and further these people that Angelica was meeting were mostly forgotten. They have no family that will admit to being related to them, they have little or no education, they have no way to travel, and they have not the knowledge or experience of how to ask for help. They are typically migrant farm workers who historically have lived the nomadic lifestyle traveling from farm to farm working in the fields and living on what little meager existence they can eek out with the wages their farmer pays.

Angelica knew there must be some public assistance available for these poor souls. She took one of them into a government office and introduced her as her grandmother. The agreed that Grandma qualified for a pension of $25 every other month. She then took another and introduced him as Grandfather. Then another and then another. You know what happened next … by the 5th time they knew something was up. She told the government agents the truth. They told Angelica that they were going to make a surprise visit to see for themselves.

When they arrived and saw what she was doing – unfortunately they couldn’t help financially with anything more than the $25 per person every other month. But the COULD provide her with a building close by where she could prepare and serve the meals. Soon after and still today, she and her volunteer helpers are serving meals to about 200 forgotten souls on a daily basis.

But she knew there was still more to be done. These people needed homes. They were living under sheets of cardboard under trees. The more fortunate ones had acquired plastic tarps to live under and were begging on the streets. These are sick and aged people in their 70’s and 80’s who could no longer do manual labor.

That’s where our new friend Miguel Pabloff comes in. Mike helped them obtain the land on which to start a small community of nice clean stick-built homes for these people. All the work and all the materials have been donated. Angelica and her husband Nickolas receive no government funding except the $25 previously mentioned.

We will be insulating the orange building. The purple and green buildings are completed and occupied with 5 residents in each building – each with their own room

Currently there are 15 residents and the Pastors do all the cooking, cleaning, bathing, activities and more. The do get volunteer help as well. The day we were there two student nurses came to check on all the residents and will be coming weekly for the next six months while they are still in school. Other volunteers come (unsolicited) from churches and neighborhoods in the area to help because they’ve heard of the unselfish work that Nicholas and Angelica are doing and want to help.

One of the 5 resident rooms in each of the finished buildings. Each resident has a bed, a chair, a toilet, sink, a small table, and a clothes closet

Although the resident rooms are very plain, we were told that to these folks, it’s a castle. Most of them had been living on the streets.

The rooms are spartan and very clean. There is one very large shower (to accommodate a wheelchair) in each building. When the residents want community or meals, they need to get over to the community dining room. Some are ambulatory with the help of canes or walkers while others need to be pushed along in wheelchairs.

The dining hall / community room where we ate beef quesadillas for lunch
The new kitchen under construction – currently Angelica prepares ALL the meals for the 15 residents and her own family on-site in her home

Remember, clicking on any of the thumbnail photo will open a larger picture so you can see more detail.

Our own Malcolm Russ entertained the residents with his violin and beautiful singing voice

The pictures in the gallery below show tables filled with donation items (food and clothing) for the Grandparents home and also to distribute to some of the less fortunate out in the country.

We collected (from ourselves) the donations and then on Saturday night we had an auction where we got lubed up with $2 Margaritas beforehand and then bid on items given by ourselves to our “other” selves. We raised about $4000 in the auction. This is just part of the monies that Chapter 8 will be giving back to four different Service Projects (charities) here in Baja California before we leave.

Thanks for riding along … More to come in our next post.

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

Holiday Greetings From Herb & Kathy On The Road

Here’s our annual Jib-Jab Christmas greeting to you. We hope the link works for you. If you have any trouble viewing it, please email me at herbsells@gmail.com and I’ll send you your very own copy! Click here to see the short video

And for those of you that might have any interest (and ample time) to see what we’ve been up to in 2019 …. You are welcome to read on. If you make it to the end, we congratulate you!

We’ve just finished our third full year on the road and want to wish you and all our family and friends (old and new) the very best Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Although we miss being with our children and grandchildren along with our very dear friends back in Mount Gilead, this last three years on the road has been a wonderful learning and growth experience for us. We’ve been to so many places, made so many new friends that we continue to stay in touch with and meet up with, and learned so much through new experiences and interacting with new people and as a result we are so thankful and consider ourselves very blessed to be able to experience this full-time RV’ing lifestyle.

When (and if) it comes time for us to come off the road, we’ll have tons of great memories (and thousands of pictures) to remind us of the good times that have also brought Kathy and I closer together – remember – we live in a 300 square foot rolling house so it’s mighty easy to stay “close”!

It’s about 45 degrees out and so foggy I can’t even see down to the clubhouse.

But most of our days here at Rover’s Roost in Casa Grande Arizona are bright sun in the high 60’s or 70’s.

We want this post to serve as another way to not only wish you the best in this holiday season, but also to bring you up to date on what we’ve been up to in 2019.

It’s a cold, damp, and dreary day as I sit here writing this post at my “computer desk” that sits on the steering wheel of our rig.

We know some of you are already subscribed to this blog and see our posts as they are published while others see our occasional Facebook posts, and yet others only connect with us through email or on the phone or through texting.

I’ve been remiss in not posting very much the last few months because we’ve been severely limited with available low-cost wifi. That should change now that we’ve discovered a $25 per month truly UNLIMITED plan that will allow us to publish photos and videos along with streaming some of our favorite Netflix shows without having to worry about a speed or data cap. But more on that later …

January 2019 started with us still at our lease lot at the Escapees RV Club “Rovers Roost” in Casa Grande, AZ. We arrived in mid-October and immediately became involved in the functions of the club. This is a co-op park so everyone is expected to take an active role in some way for the betterment of the park and the enjoyment of all. We have 119 RV sites and only 2 full time employees. This keeps the costs low. Kathy and I ran the weekly Card Bingo, the monthly Birthday/Anniversary Ice Cream Social, organized and put on the Christmas Eve Party at the clubhouse, helped with others to spread gravel on some of the sites that needed it, and participated in as many social functions as we could. This was a great way to get to know the others and develop some meaningful and close friendships.

We started off the year with a 10 day trip to Quartzsite AZ to work at “The Big Tent” RV Show for the Escapees RV Club where we worked with 4 other couples selling club memberships.

As always, clicking on any of the small thumbnail pictures will open them in a larger viewing window so you can see better.

In February we took our home on wheels down to Tucson where we joined a couple thousand other Escapees at the annual Escapade for fun, forums, food, and entertainment.

On our way back to Rovers Roost after Escapade we visited; Mission San Xavier Del Bac, Titan Missile Museum, Sonoran Desert Museum (with the Raptor display), and the Saguaro National Forest where we camped for 3 days at Gilbert Ray Campground.

We pulled out of Casa Grande on April 1st so we could get up to our spring camp hosting job at Fort Peck Montana by around April 15th. We were to serve as camp hosts at the Army Corp of Engineers Downstream Campground during the “shoulder season” up to and including Memorial Day weekend. After that we were free to move on (or stay as we liked)

Along the way we visited a lot of places on our bucket list and I’ll include a few pictures here in photo galleries (with captions so you know where it is).

We visited both Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks along with a short visit to Best Friends Animal Santuary in Kanab, Utah.

After leaving Bryce, we continued our venture north and stayed at our new friends (whom we hadn’t met yet) at Hinkley, Utah. They had purchased the once-upon-a-time Latter Day Saints Millard Academy. This family acts as a host family on boondockerswelcome.com They took us on a tour of their home and we enjoyed a quiet night with one other RV couple camping in the staff parking lot next to the gymnasium.

We visited Flaming Gorge Dam while we spent a few nights at the Rock Springs Wyoming Fairgrounds to get off the road during the first winter storm of the season. It was an extra treat because we met other RV’ers Mike and Judy (who we will see again in the spring in Alabama) along with attending a pool tournament and a special rodeo for the young’ns!

Up the road a piece we stopped for the night at Kaycee Wyoming. Kaycee is the home of world famous professional bronc rider and country singer songwriter Chris LeDoux. We learned about the “Hole In The Wall Gang” and got to watch a bronc riding school for the young boys and girls. Turns out they attend school only four days a week with Fridays off school so that they can practice their bronc riding skills. They don’t have a high school football team … they ride horses instead!

We arrived at Downstream Campground at Fort Peck where, unknown to us beforehand, due to some construction in the area, there was no electricity. That’s OK as we have an on-board diesel generator that we ran for a few hours each day to charge our house batteries.