There were more comments from the last post than any other post in quite a while. Actually, all the comments were basically the same.
“That’s cold! Not me!”
I have always found a good for every bad, an up for every down – and thought you might like to hear what we have discovered so far.
Yes it’s cold. But you sure do appreciate the warmth when you come in!
For someone who is usually busy with projects, this enforced inside time has allowed me to set up a music ‘station’ and practice – a lot! This is something I have not been able to do in the boats or the RV’s and I am very much enjoying it! In addition, by being in one place for several months I actually get to play a regular gig!
Shelly has taken up painting, and as in all things artistic, is turning out some pretty cool stuff. With the extra space in the cabin, she also has much more room for yoga and dance exercise!
It is amazingly still and quiet. There are no roads near us, no streetlights (or lights of any kind actually), and no other noise whatsoever except nature. It is wonderful! And the stars and moon on the snow at night are incredible. We are on the lookout for the Northern Lights.
When we go the 5 miles into Ely, there are never any lines in the grocery store and we now know the owner/manager who quickly gets for us anything we ask (like my favorite Tillamook ice cream!). We are known by the postmaster, mail carrier, the fed ex and the UPS drivers!
We do have to watch for the wildlife – especially the deer. They grow big deer around here!
The beauty and stillness of a sunny day after a snow storm is hard to describe to those without the experience.
When we do finally make it to a beach in the summer, we will have a much greater appreciation for that too!
So I would ask you to think about what you might have going on right now, that might seem to be a negative thing and find all the positive things that offset it.
March 22, 2021. Truth or Consequences, New Mexico Elephant Butte State Park
Shelly is working at one computer writing service dog training manuals, the puppy is sleeping ( TTL!), and I sit with an iPad on my lap wondering how to begin a blog post way overdue.
The more I put off writing the post, the more there is to write and the harder to write. In addition, with the state of the world, and our former Republic, sometimes I feel like our travels are not what I should be writing about.
But if I don’t – what will Shelly and I have to look at when we get old and feeble?
So… we are in a desert campground on a reservoir that has shrunk to 30% its size because of a 15 year drought in the SW US. We are ready to get out of the desert dust and wind and head north but there seems to be blizzards between us and Montana!
We have really enjoyed the last several months across the southern coast, through Texas and a one month stay in Tucson AZ.
The video, though long, does give a fairly good idea of what we saw and visited.
Shelly’s Christmas gift this year was a 3 month old Chocolate Labrador puppy. His name is Mo Betta as life is mo betta with a dog! Mo has obviously changed our lives dramatically as you will see in the video.
Some highlights from this part of the trip:
Visiting St George’s Island Fl. As well as having some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, I actually lived on the Island for a while as a boy and have many great memories although it is completely different 55 years later!
The coast and small towns of Louisiana. I hadn’t realized how horrific the damage from the 2020 hurricanes were on sections of the coast, especially around Lake Charles. All the way from Apalachicola FL, through Alabama, Mississippi and LA the damage received from recent storms makes you wonder at the resilience of the people who live there. Incredible.
The size and variety of Texas. We spent a couple of weeks just wandering around a small part of Texas. When you cross into Texas from Lake Charles LA to Beaumont on I 10 there is a sign that says 888 miles to El Paso on the western edge of the state. And that is if you go straight across!
There are six different geographical and terrainregionsin Texas. We went through the beaches, the hill country, and the desert/ badlands. Awesome state!
While in Tucson we decided to upgrade to a newer RV. Of course to us newer means a 2010 vs a 2007. It all happened very quickly over a week from the time we thought about it to finding what we wanted in Mobile AL. We were very fortunate to have it all work out including selling our former home (sad to see her go!) in just three days.
Tucson AZ is dry! We enjoyed hiking here but you really have to be careful of the plants. There are so many plants with thorns and spikes out here boots and jeans are a requirement. Mo learned very quickly to stay on the path or be quickly impaled. Absolutely gorgeous scenery with the mountains all around the desert.
Northern Arizona. Land of the Apache. The 380 miles through the White Mountains north from Tucson to Globe, across to Show Low and down through the Salt River Canyon into New Mexico and following the old cattle and sheep trails to Pie Town, Datil,Magdalena are some of the most amazing scenery in the US. And lonely. Everyone else takes the interstate route south through Las Cruces.
Now we are waiting for a couple of big replacement batteries and an auxiliary propane wall heater before we head north where it can get a bit chilly right into June!
That’s our story and we are sticking to it for now.
Here we are another month and another 1500 miles under the wheels with lots of memories and a huge loss.
And we finally made it to Maine! Definitely the best part of this trip – although it’s all wonderful.
We loved Maine. Booth Bay, Bar Harbor (Acadia National Park), Calais, Camden, Rockport – all of it. We could live there.
So we shall. Not on the coast though. This winter the plan is to head to Hanover, Maine (and Sunday River Ski Mountain) to teach some skiing. Why not?
But for the next two weeks, we continue westward through Pennsylvania towards Gettysburg. I can’t wait to see that historic site! Later this week we pick up our next service dog in training. I can’t believe we are adding another puppy to the household! “It’ll be fun” she says!
Yea right. We need a bigger RV!
It has been a very relaxing and enjoyable month since we left Lake Placid. We’ve put some miles under us for sure!
From Lake Placid, little, skinny, windy, hilly roads took us through Vermont, New Hampshire to Mt Washington and on into Maine,looking for a ski mountain we liked with an RV park nearby open all winter. Not in Lake Placid, nor Sugarbush but in the little town of Hanover, Maine we found an RV park we liked just a few miles from a mountain we also liked called Sunday River. Kinda cool that it is named liked Red River in New Mexico!
Here comes the hard part and one of the reasons I have not written in a while. While we were in this RV park, on our 34th anniversary, having almost decided to come back for the winter – we lost our beloved Goose. God took Goose for some reason at 8 years old at 2am. He went from perfectly healthy to not in one evening. We miss him more than tears can say. When I can, I will make an awesome video for and about him. This is going to make Shelly cry again but I have to put it in.
But life goes on and we must also.
We headed east for a lobster roll. Our long time friends Sue & Mark told us to visit BoothBay and see their buddies Tim and Liz Brown so we found a brewery that let us stay and headed that way. We spent two days and had a great time. We love the Maine coast! Both days we went to a little bitty country store next to an old drawbridge and splurged.
Lobster rolls (you would not believe how good these things are!), crab rolls, and clam chowder. We had to leave as the $60 lunches were killing us! We found the Staley’s friends and had a good time talking memories.
One night we went into town on the waterfront for cocktails and appetizers, stumbled into an open mic night, and got to play a few songs with the band. Fun!
From there we headed north along the coast through Rockport, Camden and Searsport where we stopped to check out the history museum. This area was the home of the sailing fleets of old and Searsport had more captains at sea than any other town in America.
All along the old highway 1 are the most amazing homes, barn and rock walls. We loved just driving the roads. In another example of how things seem to (almost) always work out perfect is that we originally were going to be here in mid July when we got the job at the Indiana State Fair. That pushed our timeline to arriving the day after Labor day.
We had no idea how touristy this whole area is and were super pleased to have missed July and August! Traffic was bad enough in September! The other interesting thing we found was how close everything is once you get to the coast. From Boston to Calais, Maine at the Canadian border just is not that far! But the tolls are awful. Prices are ridiculous. Produce is amazing. People are nice.
Mount Desert Island holds both Bar Harbor and Acadia National Area. If you have never been – put it on your bucket list. Especially if you like to hike. There are some absolutely stunning hikes and paths throughout Acadia.
On up to Calais after a stop at a very old state park we barely fit into, with almost no one else around and lots of hiking. The tides are starting to get closer to 25 feet so the difference between low and high is hard to imagine.
Calais, Maine is a very small town right at the tip of downeast Maine on the Canadian border and sits on the St Croix River. In the 1800s, this area boomed with river traffic and the remains of the log and mud docks are fascinating. No river traffic now though!
From Calais we turned back south towards Camden again. In 1978 I was an engineer on a 120’ private yacht from Acapulco to Southampton, England. The crew were mostly from a town in Maine and for some reason I thought it was Camden. Although I had not spoken to any of these guys since 1979, I thought it worth a try to see if they were to be found. It took me 30 minutes and two people to find Alden Cole who was the first mate. We talked about old times and old friends and headed on down the road. Pretty cool.
Our next planned stop was west of Philadelphia at our friend David’s house. We were going to crash his yard for a week, get some work done (the truck is STILL overheating on steep hills!) and Shelly has a full weekend to complete her service dog Team Facilitator certification with Atlas Service Dogs.
But first we (I) wanted to see Boston. How could we be so close and not go see where it all started? We found a place to park the RV at a really old State Park (expensive!) and drove the truck in that afternoon for a quick looksee.
First – do not take a dually truck into Boston. Just saying. There is not enough room. We could not even fit in any of the garages! We drove around Boston Commons (right by the “Cheers” bar) 7 or 8 times and finally found a parking space just big enough to squeeze in just because the guy behind us moved back! My rear wheels were on the sidewalk just to stay out of the road!
We paid for a tour and although interesting I recommend if you go, just take a map and follow the clearly laid out brick walk for the 2.5 mile real tour on your own.
Still – to be able to see the graves of the men who started it all – to see the long wharf where the shots were fired – the churches etc. It was awesome. If I had the money I would get a hotel downtown, and stay for two or three days. We stayed three hours and fought our way out of the 4pm traffic. Awful!
On the way through southern Maine, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania we stayed at several farms. These were really cool farms that reminded of us High Country Stables on a grand scale. 4th and 5th generation families who had hundreds of acres planted in all kinds of fruits (mostly apples, peaches, blueberries, raspberries etc) and facilities to sell direct to the public by making it fun. Hay wagons, bands, u-pick, country stores with fresh bakery and bbq and much more. We had a great time! Even got to play some more music.
Today we are headed for Gettysburg, then circling around back up to Maine to get set up for winter and skiing! The leaves are falling like crazy, and we seem to have missed the fall colors somewhat. Maybe in the next two weeks as the weather changes..
Why We Do What We Do…
Life is a Yume! (That’s Dream in Japanese!)
We decided a long time ago it was infinitely better for us to be doing what we love doing all the time and working when we can.
Learn how this is accomplished by scrolling through the menu. There is lots of good stuff there from years and years of writing!