Wednesday, October 17 - WOW, what a year we've had! We concluded our third year of full-timing on October 16, 2012. Here are just a few of the many memories we created during this year.
We started Year 3 in Augusta, GA, gathering pine needles for Marsha's basket hobby and visiting Paul's brother, John and family. She actually still has some remaining. From there we viewed the Blue Angels practicing in Pensacola, FL and then on to our familiar spot at the Houston Elks Lodge. Marsha had eye surgery back in Ohio, so Paul hung-out there waiting for her to fly back from Ohio.
From there we drove to the Rio Grande Valley (Mission, TX) where we renewed friendships with Winter Texans from last year and rang-in the New Year!
We pulled out of Mission, TX, on March 1, to begin our “Big Tour” of the Pacific Northwest. We spent several AWESOME nights at McDonald Observatory in Fort Davis, TX, enjoying “star gazing.” What an unforgettable experience – one we highly recommend!
We met friends, Connie and Kenny, in the Phoenix area and spent several weeks at the Cleveland Indians Spring Training baseball camp. This was one of Marsha's “bucket list” items. She even got to meet her all time favorite Indian player from the past (and current Indians TV commentator) Rick Manning.
More visits with friends, Sandie and Jim, in Apache Junction, AZ, and then Duane and Louise and Mike and Pat at the North Ranch Escapee's Park in Congress, AZ.
We spent several weeks in Boulder City, NV, enjoying the Hoover Dam and the nearby city of Las Vegas. We spent a wonderful weekend celebrating our 30th Wedding Anniversary in Vegas!
From there it was on to Death Valley, Sequoia National Park, our favorite Escapee's Park – the Park of the Sierras, Yosemite National Park, San Francisco, Wine Country, the Avenue of the Giant Redwoods, and then on to the Oregon Coast.
We arrived in Oregon on June 1 (earlier then recommended by many “experienced” visitors to the area) and suffered through many cold and rainy days of sightseeing.
We had the opportunity to meet up with our full-time friends, Sheryl and Jeff, and the famous bloggers, Donna and Russ. What a great time we had together with each couple.
We were overcome by the beauty of the coast and especially enjoyed Portland, Mount Hood, Mount St. Helens, Seaside, Cannon Beach, Tillamook, Cape Mears, Astoria, Haystack Rock, and the numerous quaint towns, light houses, and state parks along the coast.
We had a great time visiting with friends, Jeri and Terry, in the Portland area. They spent several days as our “tour guides” showing us around the area and taking us on a memorable waterfalls tour.
From there it was on to Washington where we visited Seattle, Puget Sound, the Boeing Assemble Plant, and Tacoma.
It was then up and over the coastal mountains, as we headed East. We stopped and visited good friends, Donna and Norm, at their home near one of our favorite cities in the area - Spokane, WA.
We loved Butte, MT, on our way to meet our daughter, Carrie, for a long weekend visiting Yellowstone National Park. What a wonderful time we had sharing one our favorite National Parks with our daughter – unforgettable!
After a quick visit with friends and fellow bloggers, Pam and John, outside Livingston, MT, it was on to South Dakota where we enjoyed Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse Monument, the Needles Highway, Custer State Park, the Black Hills, the Badlands, and Rapid City.
While attending the night program at Mt. Rushmore, we met up with fellow full-timers Phyllis and Len.
While visiting Mike and Pat at North Ranch, they made us promise to visit their home in Custer, SD. What a great long happy hours we had.
As we continued East, we met up with great friends, Jane and Joe, for a tour of Chicago. What a neat city! Thanks again for your great hospitality.
It was then on to Indiana to spend a couple days with Angie and Rick – another awesome couple and friends from Mission, TX.
It was near the end of July when we arrived in former hometown - Canton, Ohio, after a five month whirlwind tour of the Pacific Northwest. We settled in to visit family and friends, take care of doctor appointments, put the motor home up for sale and to our surprise – BUY A HOME! Not the way we planned on ending our third year but a delightful decision.
We are now officially SNOWBIRDS, planning on spending time at home and traveling in the North during the summer; and escaping to the South, visiting our other daughter and traveling there in the winter. The best of both traveling worlds!
What a hectic Fall! We sold our motor home and purchased a used Carriage Cameo 5th wheel trailer. (Photos to come in the next blog.) We are now looking for a used Ford 350 DRW for towing purposes. We still have hopes of getting out of NE Ohio before the snow flies!
SOME STATISTICS FROM OUR 3rd YEAR:
Starting Date: 10/17/10
Starting Location: Augusta, GA
Ending Location: Canton, OH
MH Miles Driven: 1st yr: 12,357; 2nd yr: 7,428; 3rd yr. 8,641
Car Miles Driven: 1st yr: 22,186; 2nd yr: 15,631; 3rd yr: 18,496
Number of different cities for over-night stays...40
Nights in Private campgrounds…117
Nights in Escapee campgrounds…13
Nights in Nat'l, State, City campgrounds…13
Nights in Elk Lodges…120
Nights in rental site Mission, TX…60
Nights in FREE sites...38
Our average nightly campground cost...$15.33
Longest stay in one place...60 Nights (Mission, TX)
Favorite campgrounds...Harbor Vista County Park; Florence, OR
Broken Arrow CG & Horse Camp, SD
Worst campground…Leaf Verde in Phoenix, AZ
Favorite Elks Lodge…Bolder City, NV
Number of gallons diesel fuel purchase…1038
Highest price for diesel fuel…$4.60
Lowest price for diesel fuel…$3.57
Average price for diesel fuel…$3.92
Average Miles Per Gallon (MH)... 7.31
Number of States visited for first time…10
Nevada, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Washington, South Dakota, Iowa, Wyoming, Nebraska, Illinois
Paul's 10 Favorite Sightseeing Locations:
1. Sequoia National Park – those trees are unbelievable!!! #1 Favorite of all time
2. Yellowstone NP
3. McDonald Observatory Star Gazing Party
4. Catalina Mountains-Sabino Canyon Hike-AWESOME!
5. Freemont Light & Laser Show in Vegas
6. Desert Museum (Tucson)
7. Blue Angels Practice
8. Mount Rushmore Area – especially the Harney Peak Hike
9. Cleveland Indians Spring Training
10. Titan Missile Museum (Tucson)
Marsha's 10 Favorite Sightseeing Locations:
1. Yosemite National Park – has anything your hear desires; waterfalls, glaciers, mountains, wildlife
2. Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach, OR, at low tide
3. Mount St. Helens
4. The Shrine of St. Joseph of the Mountains (Weaver Mountains) Yarnell, AZ
5. Hike in Usery Mountain
6. Cleveland Indians Spring Training
7. Scotty's Castle in Death Valley
8. Yellowstone NP
9. Titan Missile Museum (Tucson)
10. Desert Museum (Tucson)
Bella's Favorites Location:
North Ranch Escapee Park
Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y'all back real soon. Have a great day!