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 email@example.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.
Dinner out with Ron & Judy who we had met at the ABQ Balloon Fiesta 2018 Enjoying a prime rib dinner in the desert The chef cooked 25 prime roasts Another shot of the Big Tent RV Show and surrounding area in Quartzsite
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.
Evening Entertainment One of the many classes Rigs of all kinds at this rally Enjoying the free Happy Hour Hospitality area, take a load off and meet other club members Cool old transit bus Sunset at Escapade Escapade from the air
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.
A rattlesnake slithering by our camp chairs Outside Mission San Xavior Del Bac Inside the mission A Titan missile engine Looking down into the silo at the missile Launch control room Saguaro National Forest Raptor Demonstration WHOO is this? Sunset from our campsite at Gilbert Ray Campground in the Saguaro National Forest
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).
Looking across Lake Mead Hoover (Boulder) Dam from the highway bridge From the dam looking out to Lake Mead Upstream side (inlet) to the dam One of the powerhouses inside The bridge over the Colorado River From the pedestrian bridge looking down to the powerhouse, the dam, and beyond to Lake Mead
We visited both Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks along with a short visit to Best Friends Animal Santuary in Kanab, Utah.
Our camp site at Bryce Best Friends Animal Sanctuary Zion Zion Chilly at Bryce Looking down on the Hoodoo’s April at Bryce Canyon Who dis?
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!
The snow that made us get off the road Flaming Gorge Rec Area Flaming Gorge Dam View of the Green River We met other RV’ers Mike & Judy staying at the fairgrounds We got to watch a pool tournament Judy’s first taste of snow! We attended a kids rodeo! Our rig parked next to one of the many horse trailers Beautiful snow-capped pine trees
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.
Our camp site The only restaurant within 30 miles Looking over the lake Replacing signs at the sites Time to cut some firewood The Interpretive Center The Powerhouses Lonely road to Glasgow MT The road over the 4 mile long dam Kathy at work @ Interp Ctr Kathy working the school field trip Map of Ft Peck Lake (135 miles long w/ 1500 miles of shoreline)
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.
Lots of Prairie Dogs What’s this? Bison EVERYWHERE
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.
Arrival celebration dinner with our good friends Matt, Sherry, Jack & Nina The museum (original hatchery) The fish Transport rail car The Booth (Superintendents) House Offices and national fish culture archives Relaxing around the nightly community fire One of our many pot luck dinners with our fellow volunteers
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!
Everybody has to go to Wall Drug at least once, right? ATV off-roading in the cold rain Fort Meade Mount Moriah Cemetary, Deadwood Mt. Moriah Mt. Moriah Norwegian Stave Church
Chapel In The Hills
The Reptile Gardens Sturgis Bike Week Almost got lost in the crowd!
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.
Up in the boom with Daniel Finishing up the barn Daniel cooking our breakfast Kathy painting some trim boards Relaxing with our “buds” after each days work Oh yeah, and the view of the Tetons in the morning as the sun comes over mountains to the east
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.
Downtown Virginia City The old high school, now a museum A classroom in the museum Looking over the hillside of Virginia City Gold mine rail yard The train station
We then moved on a little further south and visited Lake Tahoe,
The General Store at Bodie We renewed our wedding vows! Our camp site near Yosemite Pretty big tree, eh?
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”.
Our site at KOFA Park, Yuma The pool felt Sooooo good! Back home on site 11 @ Rover’s
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.
Breakfast with Susan & David, Mark & Kathy Kathy & the 30 minute workout Gee this treadmill is fun (not) Getting solar installed on our rig More work on the solar Check out the rainbow over our site! Sunset at the roost We painted our shed
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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