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!
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.
As we finished up our stint at Ft Peck, we decided to celebrate our 45th wedding anniversary by taking the Amtrak from Glasgow to Glacier National Park. We stayed a couple days, rented a car and saw the sights near Whitefish and Kallispell driving in from east Glacier, around Flathead Lake and up to West Glacier.
After returning from Glacier we said goodbye to our new friends and drove on over to North Dakota where we visited the little town of Medora and Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
We then headed down I-85 to our next “home” (for 3 months) at D.C. Booth National Historic Fish Hatchery in Spearfish South Dakota where we served as tour guides doing interpretive work.
While in Spearfish at the hatchery, we were able to see MANY sites that the Black Hills has to offer including visiting the Cities of Deadwood and Lead, Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse Memorial, the Sturgis Bike Rally, Badlands National Park, the 1880 Train ride that runs from Keystone to Hill City SD and much more thanks to our VIP pass that got us into all the attractions and museums in the Black Hills. We even went ATV’ing (on a crappy rainy day) for the first time in our lives!
A really special treat we had while in the Black Hills area was our day trip over to Sioux City Iowa and Watertown South Dakota. At Watertown, we visited with our granddaughter Madison, her fiance’ Brandon, and our new Great-Granddaughter Kallie! At Sioux City we met up with our very dear friends Mike and Kim .. then the four of us hit up Blue Bonnie Headquarters for an ICE CREAM!
At the end of our 3 month volunteer commitment at D.C. Booth, we said goodbye to our new friends and headed out for a slow route toward Arizona for the winter.
Our first stop was Yellowstone National Park. We visited the park for a little over a week, had beautiful fall weather (and colors) and had some nasty weather too. My blog post with more on this trip with pictures can be seen by following this link.
After Yellowstone we moved on south to Grand Teton National Park and the National Elk Refuge at Jackson (Hole) Wyoming. On the refuge we volunteered with Historicorps.org to restore the historic Miller Barn on the refuge. You can learn more about our experiences there by following this link.
We left Jackson WY and headed across Nevada on what is known as “The Loneliest Road In America” (US Route 50) through Ely NV and on to Reno, Carson City, and Virginia City – both old gold mining towns.
We then moved on a little further south and visited Lake Tahoe,
After Yosemite we visited the SKP Park of the Sierras at Coarsegold CA for a couple days before heading on to a one night stay at the Elks Lodge in Bakersfield CA and then 3 nights at Jojobo Hills SKP park near Temecula CA.
While in southern California staying at Joboho Hills, we visited with Kathy’s cousin Judy and her husband Bob at their home in Encinitas CA. We had a wonderful brunch and a great visit. Thanks Judy and Bob!
The final stop on our journey back home to Rover’s Roost was our visit to the Escapee “KOFA” RV park in Yuma AZ. We stayed two nights, enjoyed the warm weather and the swimming pool and then finally headed back “home”.
Once back we enjoy getting together with our friends (old and new) and working on a few projects on the site and the rig. Kathy and I have joined Planet Fitness in an attempt to get rid of some of the pounds we took on over the last few months.
All told, we drove the coach (pulling the car) 5,273 miles between April 1st and our return on October 15th. We drove the car 9,904 miles during that same time.
We only paid for 30 nights camping because in other cases we were volunteering and received our site and utilities as compensation (no W2 or 1099)
As I’ve said before we are very blessed to have this opportunity to live this lifestyle allowing us to see so much of the United States and to be able to meet all sorts of fascinating and wonderful people.
We’ve had a great year and we sincerely wish you and your family the very best of the holiday season with a “Merry Christmas” and a “Happy New Year” from Herb & Kathy.
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