God is so good to us. We just arrived in Ely, Minnesota on the Boundary Waters Area between Canada and Minnesota.
It is November and we are so blessed to have a couple days of stunning Fall weather to enjoy it before winter comes in end of the week with 14 degrees!
For the past 6-7 weeks, we called Buffalo Lake, Minnesota our home which is some of the most fertile and perfect farmland in the world. I hired on as a contract semi truck driver hauling field corn, soybeans and a few sugar beets.
With this being the first time in Minnesota, first time driving a semi, and the first time seeing how these farms work, the learning curve was steep, fast and fascinating!
To give an idea of how much is produced in America’s farms, Brian Ryberg farms a slightly larger than average acreage at 6500 acres. He has 5 sugar beet trucks and 4 grain (corn/soybean) trucks running for pretty much 7 weeks in the field 7 days (off for church Sunday mornings!) for 10-16 hours a day!
In that time frame I estimate hauling 20-30 million pounds of grains with just the one truck. Now imagine that across the whole breadbasket of America. It is simply mind boggling to digest how many crops are planted and harvested in our country.
No wonder China wants to conquer us!
Watch the video to see how farming is done in Minnesota!
Our last post (did you miss us?) had us leaving beautiful but very cold Maine, and making our way to beautiful and very warm Islamorada in the Florida keys to work on a yacht for a bit.
And now the country is in turmoil, something about a pandemic and what the hell happened to our election? Interesting times for sure.
The little yacht work in Islamorada turned into an intensive 6 months of mostly 7 days a week and 10-12 hours per day managing and rebuilding a 20 room 7 acre oceanfront resort and small marina in paradise. Remember The Beach Boys song Kokomo? That is where we were. You should have visited us!
Although the work was interesting, and the location amazing, the combination of our love of travel with the rigors of managing a hotel provided huge impetus to reclaiming our traveling life.
We have trained our replacements, and hope that the open door to return offers possibilities in the future.
So we are back on the road meandering from one side of Florida to the other through friend’s houses, state parks, wineries and beaches on the way to see the boys for some holiday time.
Our loose plans are Thanksgiving in Valdosta, a few more weeks wandering around, then a trip up to North Carolina and back through Atlanta for Christmas before heading back westward again. We still have to get Shelly up through Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming country.
Enjoy the video! I highly recommend watching it full screen! We will have another update soon.
Winter is officially here in western Maine. The temperature dropped down to the 4 degrees the last two nights. Yesterday the wind was gusting over 50 mph and the wind chill was down around -15. Kinda chilly to be teaching beginners how to ski!
Be careful what you ask for!
It’s all good.
We are all settled in for the winter with a “mud room” built under the 8×20 awning and insulation everywhere I can add it inside and out. A couple of extra space heaters, a jury-rigged awning “garage” for the truck and we are snug a bear!
While I am out on the mountain teaching (Sunday River Ski Resort), Shelly is home training and doing what she does (blogging, taking training classes, helping other nonprofits).
We just wanted to put out an update and wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and hope that your holidays bring joy and happiness!
What an amazing summer! We have been very blessed to be able to move at a snail’s crawl from Pikeville, KY (where we left you last) up along the Ohio river through more of Kentucky and the Ohio River Valley as we were headed for Maine and lobsters…
Well – plans do change.
We are members of a site workampers.com that sends out a daily post with work opportunities all over the country and all kinds of jobs. From working the sugar beet harvest in North Dakota to bear watching guides in Alaska to Yellowstone and Maine and Florida and – you get the picture.
Just about the time we had Pittsburgh PA in our sights there was an ad for a couple to run the RV park for the Indianapolis State Fair for the month of August for what we thought was a lot of money. We called and they gave us the job! So we turned around, headed back through the mountains again, and meandered towards Nashville before turning north towards Michigan.
The gig in Indianapolis is in August. I imagine it will be very hot!
We are looking for a certain fifth wheel to upgrade to a bit more room. There is one outside Asheville, and one in New Carlisle, Indiana which is where we are headed now.
Isn’t is fun to be able to turn on a dime and change your whole plans? We really still want to go to Maine!
If you know of anyone who might be looking for a great fifth wheel RV we have to sell ours first. It is a little embarrassing but we have a for sale sign on the back so people on the road can see it! Since the RV campground for the fair has 240 spots and there is a fairly good turnover for the three weeks we will be there, we hope to sell it then…
Here is a compilation video of what we are seeing as we travel. Hope you enjoy it!
We are done with the boat in Seabrook Texas and back to the grind! 😉
Up with the sunlight – 530 or 6. Tea or coffee depending on your lifetime habits. Give the dog a cookie. Browse the crap on the internet and get angry wishing you could get even. Drink one of Shelly’s awesome breakfast shakes (and a piece of toast if she has made bread lately! – yum!)
One of us takes the dog for a run (or walk or bike depending on the knee that day) while the other does yoga. (I love to watch her do yoga!)
Then pack up. She is inside and I am outside. Trinkets down, clean up, cabinets latched, slides in. Outside the awning gets rolled up, chairs put away, truck backed up and hitched, electric, sewer and water lines off and stowed.
Get Goose into the truck and away we go! A couple or three hours and find a state or national park that hopefully has some surprises like great trails or something historical.
It’s routine now. Just the way we live!
First day back on the road after an extended stay is always a treat. Three weeks in Seabrook getting the 37 foot donated boat running and sold seemed a long time, but really in the scheme of things? Probably not.
We did get the boat running fairly well and we did get her sold. Not for a lot – but enough to allow The FEW to help more warriors. I know a lot more about 454 GM engines than before!
We did not get far the first day. After the morning of helping new owners of the boat with a little familiarity session, we drove about 30 miles north for a Chick Fil A lunch with Maureen and daughter Marley before rounding Galveston Bay to the north and east through Port Arthur to Sea Rim State Park. They did not have an RV spot but we could stay on the beach for $10. OK!
Here is the wild part. If you have been with us you might remember a few years back where we almost lost Goose to wild pigs on an island off the Georgia coast? Great reading story here if I say so myself. Made myself cry all over again re-reading it.
Well, here we are on this beach all by ourselves and guess what comes out of the seagrass to say hello to Goose? Yep – a wild pig bigger than he was! He barked but decided he wanted nothing to do with that pig! You have to wonder if (and what) he remembers. We certainly remember!
From Sea Rim, we wandered back roads through coastal Texas seeing old hurricane damage, very small villages still making a living from the sea, and every now and then a helicopter area providing oil rig deliveries with people and supplies.
As we passed the ports like Port Arthur, New Orleans and Mobile, the tankers, ships and tugs were everywhere. We also see this in the RV parks as many of the employees for these companies live with their families in RV’s like ours. Except they are more like mobile homes that never move. (And often a little bit trashy!)
Can you see in the mirror? I am passing a huge oil tanker in the right lane!
We did get a few hours in New Orleans and the French Quarter (which was plenty). It was different – loud, dirty, smelly, crowded (even in off season) – but still interesting. Good to visit but…
So we make our way towards Valdosta Ga and Thanksgiving with the boys. It is an event to look forward to! Then on to Florida and the Hatteras again.
Then what? We don’t know! But I’ll tell you when we find out! 😉
This is the last day of our workamper experience in South Fork, Colorado. The rv is ready to go in the morning, and although we are only planning a two hour trip to a national park in Durango, Colorado for tomorrow, it is sort of a big deal.
We haven’t been anywhere except one trip last week with the rig since we arrived in late August, so we are very excited to be on the road again.
The stay here has been fun allinall. South Fork at 8300 feet is beautiful. We have taken advantage (as we planned) to travel around southern Colorado and visit places like Ouray, Silverton, Aspen, Gunnison, Lake City, Creede and much more. We have hiked lots of trails, and around lakes at 11,000 feet. We visited hot springs, and cold water and snow covered mountains in September.
We made a difference at a new rv park doing hard physical labor with a chain saw, weed eater, and a machete I thought I would never see again after the horse farm as well as met some amazing people.
The instant gratifIcation of seeing the changes, and the stamina and physical changes from the labor and running every morning with Goose is worth much more than the minimum wage received. (And it wont hurt when I start skiing!)
Now we turn our truck and home westward for two weeks towards the Grand Canyon, the Navaho and Ute nations and all the wonders they hold. We intend to wander until a ski swap the lat weekend in October in Albuquerque, then make our way up to Red River, New Mexico to get ready for winter and skiing.
After all, that was why we came out here in the first place.
What is kinda funny is that we are already thinking about next year (although it is way too early) as opportunities are presenting themselves in places like Alaska, Minnesota, Idaho, and even Florida.
We have enjoyed an amazing summer to fall change, seen the awesome colors of the aspen and cottonwood trees, watch the Rio Grande River rise and fall and flow, and already had a good snowstorm where we had to shovel three inches of snow off the roof.
And icing on the cake we get to watch as hollywood and the nfl implode proving that karma is a bitch.
We just hope that some of the blessings we receive are visible in the video!