First Day in Michigan @ Proud Lake Recreation Area

Our “home” parked in front of the bunkhouse

We left Mount Gilead on Monday morning May 1st.  We had parked in the driveway for the month of April, were able to see our doctors, get our taxes done, attend worship at our church, and have plenty of time to visit with family and good friends.

While we were “home”, we took advantage of the time available to us to sell a lot of what we had left behind when we started this new full-time RV’ing lifestyle last September.

Sara & Stu

Since our daughter and son-in-law were renting the house from us in our absence, it made our departure much easier as we had literally left nearly everything behind.

But now that we have confirmed that this full-time thing is for us (at least for the next few years), we want to sell the house so that we can be totally debt-free.  Selling the house will free up money that will allow us to pay off what little debt we have.  Craigslist and Facebook allowed us to sell thousands of dollars worth of household and yard/garden tools & equipment in very short order.  I sold Dewalt drills, a Mastertow Tow Dolly, Agrifab lawn sweeper, Cushman golf cart, and a whole lot more.  It was amazing how quickly things sold.

We’re not worried about where we might live when the time comes to hang up our keys to the coach.  We still own four rental units in Mount Gilead with great renters in each, but if push comes to shove we could ask any of the tenants to leave and we could take their place.

Another alternative is for us to take advantage of the life-time RV Lot lease program at any of the Escapee’s Co-Op Parks around the south, southwest, and northwest parts of the country.  Depending on the park and the amenities, lifetime leases are available for anywhere from about $7000 to $25,000 (one time payment).  Once the lease is paid, the only on-going costs are electricity and an annual Operating & Maintenance fee that usually runs $600-$1200 yearly.  And the really great part is that when we are “done” with the lot, whether it be 1 year later or 20 years down the road, we turn it back over to the Co-Op and get 100% of our lease money invested back!

But that’s on down the road a bit.  Right now our plan now is to spend a week here in Southeast Michigan where we can visit friends and family that we’ve known for 40 years or more and then we’ll move on up the road at the end of the week to the Grand Rapids and Holland, Michigan areas to see more “old” friends and then up to Baldwin, Michigan (near Ludington) to start our summer workamping job by May 15th.

We are camped at Proud Lake Recreation Area just off Wixom Road in Commerce Twp, MI.  This is just north of I-96 about 5 miles.  There’s about 4700 acres of wooded wilderness here with miles of trails and the campground offers 130 (electric) sites along with a small beach and boat launch.  The shower house was built new in 2016 and offers very attractive and comfortable private bath and shower rooms.  Here’s a slide show of a few pictures of the campground facilities.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Today (Tuesday May 2nd) we spent a few hours (and lunch at a great Mexican Restaurant) with Jeff & Sandy (Overmeyer) Houghton.  Sandy is the cute little girl with blond curls on the left in the first row (our 2nd grade class picture)

Mrs. Fosmoe’s 2nd grade class, Bulman Elementary

Jeff, Sandy, Kathy, and I all were in High School together and graduated in 1972.

We’ve got more planned for the rest of the week and we’ll fill that in as we go along.

Kathy, Herb, Sandy, & Jeff


Sorry, No Photos …. yet

Well, we’re having a great time at the 56th Escapade, this time it’s in the Champlain Valley area of northern Vermont, just about 100 miles south of the Canadian border.

I’d like to share some photos with you of our stay, but the “free” WiFi here at the fairgrounds is virtually non-existent and I done want to use up all my “gigs” on my Verizon MiFi before my month is up.

So I’ll just have to upload them at some point when I’m able to connect to a real WiFi signal.

There’s just about 800 RV’ers here in all ages, shapes, and sizes and the rigs they drive or pull behind them are all ages, shapes, and sizes as well.  As we walk through the aisles on our way to the seminars and social events each day, Kathy and I often comment to each other “Wow – Look at that one over there!” sometimes because it’s just a plain beautiful RV (kind of like looking at a classic car or sharp motorcycle), or sometimes because they’ve got some goofy thing in the windshield or hanging from their patio awning.

Some have brought the kids with them, many have brought their dogs or cats along, but most are either couples or singles.  Some are still working (from their rigs) and most are full-time RV’ers having sold their sticks-n-bricks homes and hit the road looking to see the country.  While some are “newbies”, many have enjoyed this lifestyle for 10 or more years, traveling from state to state as they see fit when the mood strikes them to move on.

Attending the seminars, we’ve learned about subjects like; fire safety, tire safety, RV gadgets, supplemental braking systems (for the toad) and there are still 3-1/2 more days to come.2016-07-21 12.44.19

The Escapade is characterized as an educational experience disguised as fun.  Along with the seminars, there’s lots of social time, happy hours, music, dances and such along with a vendor fair displaying all the latest and greatest “must-haves” for RV’ers and a dealer from California brought in about 30 new coaches for everyone to tour through and dream about.  (Kathy made me leave our checkbook at home)

To find out more about the Escapee’s RV Club, follow this link