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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
Wow .. it’s been a year. How time flies. After having been on the road as RV Nomads for 4+ years, we finally came back to Ohio last March (2020) because of the Covid 19 virus.
And now a year later, were ready to move on – well, almost.
When we decided to go rv’ing full time in 2016 we sold our home in Ohio to our daughter Sara and son-in-law Stu.
When covid hit us all February of 2020 we were on our way to North Carolina to work in a campground for 3 months. At that point we didn’t know what was going to happen as many of the roadside truck stops and even highway rest areas were closing.
Restaurants were closing and some governors were even talking about closing the state lines. We were concerned that we were less and less safe with every passing day and every passing mile. Would we be able to move on if we felt unsafe in any particular location? We decided to head home to Ohio while we still could and where we knew what to expect.
We have been blessed in that the kids (Sara and Stu) have an apartment up above the garage so Kathy and I have been able to live there the last year.
I haven’t written much the last year as it’s been pretty uneventful … trips to the grocery store were sometimes the highlight of the week!
I eventually took a part-time job working for the county transportation agency. This kept me busy about 30 hours a week while Kathy had taken on the responsibility of dog-sitting Stu & Sara’s 3 dogs, helping out with their laundry and keeping us all fed each evening.
Occasionally we’ve been meeting our small “group of eight” dear friends that we’ve known for years. We are “Brothers (and sisters) from another mother). We’d meet at one of our homes for a wonderful home cooked meal or, once we’ve felt more adventurous, met at a restaurant (mid-day when it’s less crowded)
We actually all went camping together last fall where we could enjoy our extended family while still being safe.
I got my Covid test last week in preparation for my shoulder surgery Tuesday. Ohio Health has an easy drive-up testing site.
Now that I’m well on my way to a complete recovery, we decided to pull the coach out of storage, test all the systems to make sure all is well, and head on out to our camp hosting job in Kentucky.
After that, we’ll come back up to Ohio for a week or so to visit our doctors and get new prescriptions for the next year along with picking up anything we might have forgot to load into the motorhome this week.
Mid-July will find us heading up to Michigan where we will visit friends and relatives for a few days before moving on up into the Upper Peninsula then on into Wisconsin and continuing to the west coast and on down into Arizona for the winter.
Thanks for following along and I’ll start posting more often now that we’re satisfying our “hitch-itch” and moving along.
Until next time, only our best wishes to you and yours for a warm and wonderful summer.
We are closing in on finishing up our 3rd year of living the full-time RV lifestyle.
The road has been a good one to us. Not that it’s been all fun, frolic, and laughs but it has brought us closer together – not only physically but emotionally as well.
Kathy and I just celebrated our 45th wedding anniversary with an Amtrak trip to Glacier National Park. During our lifetime together, a lot of that time was “alone” time. In one of my early career positions I was gone “on the road” nearly every weekday, sleeping in motels Sunday through Thursday nights somewhere in my multi-state territory.
Even when I was at home, my time was consumed with working on the “work” business from home involved in conference calls and drafting of sales proposal letters along with being active in the only real hobby I ever had … local ham radio clubs and events.
Kathy had a handful of different jobs over the years (most importantly raising the kids and keeping the house together) with most of the time working in the school system so she could be off work and at home when the kids were at home. We were fortunate because with her job schedule we didn’t need to hire child care.
But now our lives are a polar opposite of that earlier time. We are together ALL THE TIME. We travel side by side, we share meals, we do the mundane tasks of grocery shopping, house cleaning and laundry together, and we sleep next to each other. I think we have both come to appreciate each other far more than earlier in our marriage. We’ve always had a lot of mutual love and respect for each other – rarely raising our voices to the other. But before … we had other things to occupy our time. If we felt the urge for some “space”, we could easily separate ourselves from the other. Now on the other hand – it’s not so easy. After all, we live in a 300 sf box with a little bit of green space around us.
Our three years together in our “Green Machine” Airstream motorhome has given us the luxury at this stage in our lives of … in a way … becoming one.
When we started this lifestyle three years ago, we realized that in order to travel from place to place and enjoy the local life, we needed to have some assistance with the household budget. We sold our house, paid off what little remaining debt we had and decided we would live off our social security income and a small pension Kathy had from working at the school system. We decided we would keep the retirement nest egg (IRA’s, investments) alone for future use when (if) we get off the road. Oh sure, it’ll happen sometime. We will either run out of good health or run out of our love for the road, but by leaving our investments alone so they can continue to grow, at least we won’t HAVE to come off the road because we’ve run out of money.
Although I had no employer monthly pension income (I was self employed the last 20 years) we had purchased an annuity years ago that could now provide a supplement to our Social Security along with Kathy’s small pension.
Yes we could “make it” on those income sources alone, it was going to be tight. We’d have to always be scrutinizing the budget each month and we’d have little room if any for any emergency expense or extravagance.
Somewhere, somehow … we discovered Workamping/Hosting/Volunteering and the opportunities it can provide. These experiences have given us the opportunity to travel and have rent-free sites and utilities. In addition, these opportunities have given us something else that we never really expected … new and lasting friendships.
Workamping/Camp Hosting/Volunteering opportunities are generally long-term commitments. What I mean by that is that most often (but not always) your “employer” would like to have their “staff” on board for the season or even year-round.
Starting out, our first gig was 6 months long – the winter season in Arizona.
Although our owner/managers (George & Sigrid) were wonderful to us, treated us so well – like family … we ultimately decided when making arrangements for future opportunities we would look for more “short term” commitments. We’ve since been working one-month to 3-month gigs.
This way we can continue to travel around the country and have more new experiences and make more new and lasting friendships. If we worked for 6 months in each location, we’d be 130 years old and still not have completed our Bucket List!
Here’s a U.S. map showing where we’ve AT LEAST stayed overnight in the last three years. You can see we’ve still got a long way to go … we need to spend more time along both the east and west coasts.
Oh yeah, earlier I mentioned this part about friendships but then I got off track – excuse me. We have discovered that working (volunteering) as we travel allows us to meet, get to know, and build lasting relationships with lots of wonderful people from all over the country.
There are 10 couples here, all living in our rigs side-by-side in Volunteer Village at the Spearfish City Campground right across the street from the hatchery.
We work side-by-side, share most nights of the week around the campfire cooking smores and enjoying each other’s stories and even have monthly pot luck meals along with weekly free music festivals in the city park just a few hundred feet away.
When we have to say goodbye and hit the road again, we stay in touch with our new friends as we travel using both Facebook (groups) and a Facebook-like app made just for RV’ers called RVillage.com. Both of these are great resources to keep up with our buddies and see what their next adventure is and maybe where we might apply to work/volunteer in the future.
We’ve already had at least a dozen experiences over the last three years where we have volunteered with folks in say, Livingston Texas and met up with them again in Burlington Vermont or Ludington Michigan (or somewhere like that). Sometimes it’s planned, but more often it’s serendipitous!
But what about our family and “old” friends? Do we miss our kids and grandchildren? You bet! It would be great if we could do what we are doing AND fly back home to Ohio at least once or twice a year to spend time with the family. But, fact is we just can’t afford to that. Life is often about sacrifices (and opportunities!)
It really depends on where we are working and how long the commitment is and where the next commitment will be. We don’t plan our work locations based on traveling back home once or twice each year. We plan our work locations on where we have NOT been, what we might like to see, and how appealing the location and job description/compensation package is.
We were last in Ohio April of 2018 for a month and we will be back there summer of 2020 so we’ll have plenty of time to catch up. The photos below of the kids, grand-kids, in-laws and old neighbors might be a couple or a few years old, but they’re some of our favorites.
And of course, we post LOTS of info and pictures on Facebook, videos on You Tube and posts here on the blog for family and friends to see what we’re up to.
So yes, it’s great to travel the country and see all the great exciting new places, but we’ve found that the wonderful personal relationships we’ve developed with all our new friends as we travel and volunteer are the larger perk of the RV lifestyle that we embrace.
If you are interested in finding out more about our Workamping and volunteering experiences, just scroll on up to the top right hand side of this post and enter either “volunteer” or “workamp” in the search box and hit “enter”.
If you’re not already subscribed to this blog, you can easily do so by scrolling up to the top of any page and entering your email address in the block on the right side.
You can also subscribe to our YouTube channel (herbnkathyrv) on You Tube.
If you’re curious (at any time) to know where we are at that moment then click the button at the top right of this page labeled “See Where We Are Now“.
We’d love to hear from you. If you scroll all the way down to the bottom of this page, you can send us a note. Again, thanks for riding along. ’til next time – safe travels.
We met Rob & Michelle when we were working up in Michigan last summer at Pere Marquette Oaks RV Park. They were pretty new to the full-time RV lifestyle themselves having retired from work, selling their home and buying the truck and the 5th wheel to live in as they traveled the country.
We were glad to find that Rob & Michelle had made their way from Michigan to Arizona and were staying at an RV park near Tucson for the month of December.
We reached out to them through Facebook and then spent the day together driving up to Mt. Lemmon (about 9000′). It was a beautiful day with temps down in Tucson at about 70+ degrees and the sun was shining brightly. We knew the temperature up on the mountain would be 20-30 degrees cooler.
Mt. Lemmon has a summit at 9159′ and is located in the Santa Catalina Mountain Range of the Coronado National Forest. The Catalina Highway is a two lane paved road that heads north from Tucson and winds it’s way on up to Mt. Lemmon Ski Valley and the little town of Summerhaven that sports a couple restaurants, a general store, and a few other small businesses.
Summerhaven, although home to a few full-time residents, is mostly inhabited by folks who come up from the hot desert climate to escape from the heat of the summers.
We stopped at most every wide spot in the road to be able to get out and marvel at the sites as we looked at the oddly shaped rock formations and the view of the expanse of Tucson down below.
Remember, you can click on any of the thumbnails below to see an enlarged view and then you can scroll right or left to see the next picture.
One of the really cool things we found before heading out on our trip was an app called “Mt. Lemon Science Tour“. This app can be downloaded from your device app store (free) and it is an approximately 1 hour narrated tour of the ride to the top. It tells you when to pull over, pause the app and goes on to explain what you’re looking at! It’s a really great idea … but we ended up having too much fun talking about what we’ve all been up to since the last time we were together. Kathy and I decided we’ll go back up sometime and use the app to learn more about what we’re seeing.
As we pulled over at one of the larger roadside parking areas we noticed about a half dozen U.S. Border Patrol vehicles. It seemed odd that they would be chasing after some bad guys all the way up here.
But as we moved closer to the overlook at the wall we could then see what all the activity was about. They were practicing their rescue techniques having installed hardware to perform a repelling operation. They actually had one of their members in a basket and were preparing to lower him over the edge into about a 100 foot drop to safety. We stayed and watched a while before we moved on.
All in all, it was another beautiful day in paradise and it was especially great that we were able to share it with two of our full-time RV buddies Rob and Michelle.
We look forward to maybe hooking up with Rob & Michelle (and many others) when we’re at the Big Tent RV Show in Quartzite the last week of January.
Thanks for coming along and be sure to sign up to get our future blog posts automatically by entering your email address in the little box on the left side where it says “Sign Up To Follow Our Blog”.
You can check out all our RV full-time travel videos at herbnkathyrv on You Tube and click SUBSCRIBE down in the lower right corner of any of our videos.
While we worked at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta (AIBF) in the fall of 2018, we were able to take some time to see some of the local sights.
We took a drive up to Sandia Crest (that we could see from where our coach was parked).
The drive along the winding curvy road along the edge of the mountain to the peak (crest) at 10,760 feet came to a dead end where there was ample parking area, a coffee and gift shop, and a forest of cell and radio towers.
Now the trip to the peak and the view from the top was great … ooh I forgot to mention … we were there with our new good friends from Wild Rose, Wisconsin … Bill and Jackie. We really enjoyed their company and their friendship while in ABQ and we look forward to seeing them again yet this winter in Arizona – perhaps while we are in Quartzite for the “Big Tent” RV Show.
On our way back down from the peak, we were told by others that we just had to stop and check out Tinkertown. And are we glad we did. You can drive right by it if you’re not careful. There’s one small hand painted sign along the road side “Tinkertown 500′ ahead” and if you’re not really looking for it, you’ll zip on by.
Tinkertown is one of those places that some like to call “eclectic with a touch of whimsy” – I think it’s really eclectic with a boatload of whimsy.
So what is Tinkertown? Well, this clip from their web site says it best;
“It took Ross Ward over 40 years to carve, collect, and lovingly construct what is now Tinkertown Museum. His miniature wood-carved figures were first part of a traveling exhibit, driven to county fairs and carnivals in the 1960s and ’70s. Today over 50,000 glass bottles form rambling walls that surround a 22-room museum. Wagon wheels, old fashioned store fronts, and wacky western memorabilia make Tinkertown’s exterior as much as a museum as the wonders within.
Inside, the magic of animation takes over. The inhabitants of a raucous little western town animate to hilarious life. Under the big top, diminutive circus performers challenge tigers and defy gravity while the Fat Lady fans herself and a polar bear teeters and totters.
Throughout, eccentric collections of Americana (wedding cake couples, antique tools, bullet pencils and much, much more) fill Tinkertown’s winding hallways. Otto the one-man-band and Esmerelda, the Fortune Teller, need only a quarter to play a tune or predict your future. Through a doorway and across a ramp waits a big-sized surprise: a 35′ antique wooden sailboat that braved a 10 year voyage around the world.”
Here are some pictures that I took as we traveled through the “museum” constantly fascinated by not only the craftsmanship of Ross Ward, but the imagination he must’ve had to come up with all this. Absolutely amazing. Read on.
As always, you can click on any of the individual pictures to see a larger image. And be sure to click on the images of the sailboat the “Theodora R” and the map on the wall of the 10,000 mile voyage – fascinating.
To learn more about this fascinating museum and the fascinating man who had the vision and the talent, visit their web site at http://tinkertown.com/
Just one more example of all the interesting places to see in this great country of ours.
Thanks for riding along .. until later .. take care of yourselves
herbnkathy – Currently wintering at Rover’s Roost RV Park in Casa Grande, AZ
The reason (or so we thought) that we embarked on our full-time RV lifestyle on Labor Day of 2016 was to fulfill our desire to travel and see as much of this beautiful country of ours that we could.
We’ve seen a lot of sites since then, but there’s still so much more to go and we could spend a lot more time in any specific area to allow us to explore more deeply, so it’s very likely we’ll be going back again to many places in future years to do so.
A HIDDEN BENEFIT
But what has really turned out to be a wonderful benefit of traveling and not being on a “vacation” type schedule (running from place to place) is that we’ve been able to meet up with and spend time with family and “old” friends (not to say they are OLD by any means!).
This blog post features some pictures of those we’ve met up with along the way. Some are “NEW” friends and some are our “OLD” friends.
Unfortunately, although I had every intention of taking a “selfie” of us altogether at every meetup, we occasionally parted company without remembering to shoot a pix, so I’m listing those folks as well. If I’ve missed you in this post, I apologize. If you’re reading this and you can send me a picture of yourself, I’d really appreciate it. My email address is email@example.com
I know many of you won’t know any of these folks, but I also know it’ll be fun for those that are in the pictures to see some of the others and remember times past along with the brief time we spent together in the last year or so.
I’m going to post the pictures into a collage, you will be able to click on any individual photo to enlarge that particular picture to see a “zoomed in” view. The zoomed-in view will also let you see a brief description of who they are and our relationship.
Known Sandy since 2nd grade, Jeff since high school, saw them at Wixom MI May ’17
Frank and Lora, an old neighbor (late 70’s) we saw at Brooklyn, MI May of ’17
Eric & Nancy, (Jaycees) since 1972 we saw at Wixom, MI May ’17
Tim, (Jaycees) since 1971 met at his flower shop at Ypsilant MI May of ’17
Mike (high school), Linda (Kathy’s sister) & their youngins Eric and Lindsey – May of ’17
Brian (High School) and his wife Connie at Spring Lake, MI May ’17
Mike and Kim, best friends in Mt Gilead (since 1984) came to visit us at Baldwin, MI July ’17
Norm & Alice (worked @ Xerox w/ Norm) friends since 1973 we visited @ Ludington State Park Aug ’17
Donna & William, just met at Baldwin, MI summer of ’17
Charlie & Mary, fish-fry experts (Baldwin, MI) summer of ’17
Today was another special day here at Pere Marquette Oaks RV Park. It’s the Fourth of July holiday weekend and all our regular residents are here along with all the rental lots taken with first-time and return visitors. Many of the guests are relatives of some of our full time residents. Lots of little ones having tons of fun.
The day started out with our 2nd Annual 4th of July Bicycle and Golf Cart Parade. Children started decorating their bikes last night, while Grandmas and Grandpas decorated their golf carts, scooters and such with all kinds of red, white, and blue banners, flags and other regalia. We even had marching music blaring to keep the ranks in file.
We paraded throughout the park while throngs of on-lookers waved and cheered (and smiled) at the clever decorations. Awards were given for the best entries in each class.
After the parade, all the participants and spectators gathered around the new flagpole for the dedication of the plaques honoring our Veterans. Both the flagpole and these plaques were donated by Bill VanDeVusse and Lee Presley and we all thank them for their generosity.
And after the dedication, we all gathered in the pavilion for cookies, cake, punch, and Popsicles. It was a wonderful cap to a great early afternoon. I have to apologize for not getting any pictures of everyone during refreshments in the pavilion … I guess I was to busy stuffing my face with all the delicious goodies to think about picking up the camera, (duh!)
After the refreshments, many of the residents and visitors enjoyed some basking in the sun, playing in the pool, or relaxing in the hot tub.
A special shout out of THANKS goes to Chris for organizing the parade, Marianne and Mike for installing the plaques and the recognition of our Veterans, and finally Jean, Marianne, Sally, and Sue for getting all the goodies donated and the hall set up and serving everyone.
It’s always good when friends come together … can’t wait for the next opportunity!
We left our “old” home in Mount Gilead, OH on May 1st and headed north to Wixom, MI area where we stayed at Proud Lake Recreation Area State Park for the week. Our intent was to relax and enjoy the spring weather and see some long-time friends while we were there. I wrote this earlier post with some pictures of the park. It was COLD and RAINY nearly all week, but we had a great time nonetheless because we were able to hook up with friends from WAY BACK.
We had wonderful visits with old friends. Some of these folks we haven’t seen in 30 or 40+ years. Thanks to Facebook, we’ve been able to reconnect to lost friendships. It’s so easy as we get busy with our; jobs/kids/school/sports/hobbies/parents/ etc. to lose touch with those we once considered “very good” if not “best” friends.
We left Proud Lake on Sunday May 7th and had two more visits on our agenda as we continued our travel north to Baldwin, MI for our summer workamping job.
Who’s in Delton you ask? Thanks to Facebook, I was able to find George Williston. I hadn’t seen or even talked to George since 1960 when my family moved from Detroit out to Redford Township. I had attended Kindergarten and first grade in Detroit, where I met George. I lived with my folks and two older sisters on Monte Vista and George lived with his family on Pinehurst, next street over on the other side of the alley. George and I used the alley as the shortcut from his house to mine.
It’s a shame to see what the house and the neighborhood have become. I have some great memories of that home, our neighbors (the McGraw family) where there’s now just an empty lot, and my time playing (and causing a little trouble I’m sure) with my best friend George Williston.
Kathy and I met George and his wonderful wife Kelly where we enjoyed a light lunch in their beautiful home nestled in the woods. In addition to having been a Wood Shop Industrial Arts teacher, George is also an accomplished writer. You can order his book “This Tribe of Mine” on Amazon.
After our lunch and a nice walk around the property, we said goodbye to George and Kelly and headed further west and north to Spring Lake, Michigan where we met up with Brian Barker and his wife Connie. Kathy and I went to Junior High and High School with Brian and we had a lot of great memories to talk about. I had seen Brian and Connie when they lived in the Cincinnati area back a while but it’s been at least 20 years. Kathy had never met Connie and hadn’t seen Brian in at least 35 years.
Brian and Connie live in a beautiful home just across from Spring Lake. Great view and it’s easy to carry their kayaks over for an afternoon cruise.
Again, it was great to spend time with old friends and catch up on some mutual memories.
My next post will be an introduction to Baldwin, MI and Pere Marquette Oaks RV Resort.