Wednesday, October 16 - Our fourth year of travel began with us being “Part-Timers.” At the end of Year 3, we purchased a small home in Canton, OH. We now use it as a summer base camp for visiting family.
We also are 5th wheel trailer owners having sold our Phaeton motorhome. We still travel most of the year following the sun and avoiding the cold.
Being new to 5th wheel ownership, we've had some lessons to learn. Our second day on the road was a catastrophe for Marsha. We arrived for an overnight stop in Benton, AR. Upon entering the 5th wheel, Marsha found most of her dishes and other cupboard contents on the floor, unfortunately, some with sentimental value. We've learned to bungee cabinet doors closed while traveling.
Christmas found us flying the friendly skies back to Ohio for Christmas with family. With the holidays coming to an end and a winter storm approaching, Paul changed his flight back to Houston and escaped. Marsha was stuck for four days waiting to find a returning flight. SNOW....gotta' watch it Marsha!
We spent the winter again in Mission, TX, enjoying 80 degree temperatures, and the common occurring “Texas breeze.” We 2-stepped at weekend dances, Marsha worked on her pine needle hobby, played some Pickleball, ate way too much, drank more than enough, and just enjoyed life among old friends. And of course, Marsha started another hobby...Swedish Weaving.
With spring arriving in Texas, we left Mission on March 1 heading to Texas Hill Country. We enjoyed re-visiting this area and collecting Texas Wines for a future wine-tasting party Marsha was planning. We stopped in Bandera, Fredericksburg, Kerrville, and met up with full-timer friends Dave and Jan.
We then returned to Houston to spend time with our daughter, Carrie, and attend the Houston Rodeo. The girls loved Blake Shelton....Paul enjoyed the animals and farm machinery.
April Fool's Day found us leaving Houston with plans to enjoy the beaches of the Gulf. Mother Nature threw us a curve ball with rainy weather. So we changed plans and headed to Augusta, GA, to visit Paul's brother and attend the Masters Golf Tournament. What an exciting experience!
We still had dreams of time at the beach. Paul's brother encouraged us to spend a week at his beach house in Amelia Island, FL. Paul's arm still aches from all the twisting it endured from John encouraging us to take advantage of the beach house.
Experienced travelers say, "You'll avoid bad weather if you wait until Federal Income Tax Day (April 15) to head North. It worked for us as we pulled on to Interstate 77 heading towards Ohio. We arrived at our summer base with plans for a “working summer” around the house.
We had a summer filled with replacing windows, building an RV pad, widening the driveway, doing yard work, and remodeling a bathroom. All the joys of “home ownership.” There was plenty of time left over to share with family and friends. We especially enjoyed time with our daughter, Kelly and boyfriend Dave. What a wonderful young couple.
We had RV friends, Pam and John stop by for a visit. They were the first “testers” to use the RV parking area we installed at the end of our driveway. We only have 110 volt electric at this time, but Mother Nature cooperated and cooled things off nicely for their stay. We enjoyed showing them around Canton, Ohio, and sharing time with them.
We also met up with long-time friends and fellow RV'ers, Louise & Duane, for pizza one afternoon in Akron. They are exploring east of the Mississippi this summer and stopped by for a short visit.
Many evenings were spent at Marsha's dad's house sharing remodeling ideas (He remodeled a bathroom this summer too!) and consuming a few beers. It sure is wonderful to be able to visit our Ohio families, share time with family in Georgia and return to family in Texas as summer begins to cool.
With school back in session (Our daughter Kelly is a teacher.), September found us heading West to visit friends Jan & Barry in Indiana. We spent three enjoyable days on their farm with a full-hookup RV site. These were several fun days spent with good friends that will be long remember and talked about!
We continued our westward travels past Denver, CO, climbing the Rockies for the first time in our 5th wheel. The Ford 350 did a great job pulling the Cameo over those huge mountain passes and letting us down gently on the other side. Paul was worried about these mountains!
We did survive a tire blowout as we approached Utah. Very little damage was done, but it came as a warning....the tires on the 5th wheel needed to be replaced. We replaced two in Utah and then after some research replaced all four with Michelin light truck tires. Chinese made trailer tires just don't seem up to the job!
We spent two memorable weeks in Moab, Utah. Boy is that area an outdoor and hiker's paradise. Arches National Park, Canyonlands NP, Fisher's Tower, Corona Arch, Needles, and Morning Glory Bridge are just some of the areas we were utterly amazed by. We'll never forget hiking in this area!
We headed South to the Four Corners Region to visit Monument Valley, Valley of the Gods (Much better than Monument Valley in our humble opinion.), Goosenecks NP, Moki Dugway switchbacks, and the 4-Corners Monument.
We then spent several nights in Cortez, CO, to make a return revisit to Mesa Verde National Park We were there about 33 years ago. We enjoyed the drive and short walks to view the Indian ruins. Amazing what these people were able to do so many thousands of years ago.
From there we headed to Albuquerque, NM, to meet up with a small group of friends. They were there to work at the Balloon Fiesta. Unfortunately, we didn't plan on being there so we were unable to secure a volunteer position. We enjoyed time with Jane/Joe, Norm/Donna, Jay/Betty, Sandy/Dave, and Sandy/Tom.
We endured the LONG drive across the Great State of Texas arriving three arduous days later in Mission, Texas. We are in familiar territory, staying across the street from the site we rented last winter. We ended our fourth year of travels with great friends Angie and Rick in the heat of the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. We enjoyed socials, country dancing, food, and great weather with these wonderful friends. We also, took advantage of inexpensive dental care in nearby Progreso, Mexico.
Starting Date: 10/17/12
Starting Location: Canton, OH
Ending Location: Mission, TX
|MH MILES DRIVEN: 1st yr.||12,357|
|MH MILES DRIVEN: 2nd yr.||7,428|
|MH MILES DRIVEN: 3rd yr.||8,641|
|TRUCK MILES DRIVEN 4th yr. (Towing)||7,923|
CAR MILES DRIVEN 1st yr.
|CAR MILES DRIVEN 2nd yr.||15,631|
|CAR MILES DRIVEN 3rd yr.||18,496|
|TRUCK MILES DRIVEN 4th yr. (Non-towing/Sightseeing)||10,854|
|Number of different cities for over-night stays:||27|
|Nights in Private campgrounds||49|
|Nights in Escapee campgrounds||1|
|Nights in Elk Lodges||76|
|Nights in Rental Site Mission, TX||73|
|Nights in FREE Sites (friends, Repair Shops)||13|
|Nights staying at Walmart||11|
|Nights at Home Base||138|
|Nights at Casinos||4|
|Our average nightly campground cost||$13.52|
|Number of gallons diesel fuel purchased||687|
|Highest price for diesel fuel||$4.16|
|Lowest price for diesel fuel||$3.46|
|Average price for diesel fuel||$3.82|
|Average Miles Per Gallon||$11.54|
States visited for first time: Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Utah
Paul's 5 Favorite Sightseeing Locations:
Master's Golf Experience
Arches National Park – Moab (hiking)
Corona Arch – Hiking
Valley of the Gods, Mexican Hat, UT
Goosenecks NP; Mexican Hat, UT
Marsha's 5 Favorite Sightseeing Locations:
Houston Rodeo – Blake Shelton Concert
Arches National Park – Moab (hiking)
Master's Golf Tournament
Valley of the Gods, Mexican Hat, UT
Our Worst Experience: Blowout on 5th wheel
Bella's Favorites: White River National Forest in west Colorado (drive thru the valley)
Bella's Worst Experience: Any day traveling
Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y'all back real soon. Have a great day!