Wednesday, October 16, 2013


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.

isler house

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.

5th wheel

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!

snow in December

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.

our group

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.

jan and dave

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.

long horn

Houston Rodeo

blake shelton

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!

Paul and brother, John.
Paul and John

Our host and hostess, John and Karen.

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.

Amelia Island

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.

Marsha was shocked that daughter, Kelly and Dave, striped all that "fruity" wallpaper off all the walls.
marsha surprise

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.

dave and kelly

Complete outside overhaul.

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.

mh and 5er

John, Pam, Marsha, Paul
wrights and us

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.

louis and duane

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!

Jan and barry

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.

Mesa Verde

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 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
Mesa Verde 

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!


  1. Great wrap up on your fourth year. Skitz and Bella both agree on that worst experience. Looking forward to your fifth year adventures.

  2. You have had a busy year! Enjoy the rest of 2013!

  3. Holy Cow. I have to take a nap now. That's a lot of information. Good for you.

  4. I like how you identify your house in Canton as your "summer base camp." It seems like it's been a very busy but satisfying year. Had to laugh at your stats. It looks like most first-year full-timers can't help themselves...lots of miles! Love your to look back and compare mileage, gas prices, locales, and favorites!

  5. Isn't it fun to review what you've done over the year? You folks have been busy but you've seen some beautiful new country. Gotta love the rv lifestyle.

  6. Another busy year has passed. Loved visiting with you in Ohio. Always good to meet up with friends to swap stories. You have inspired us to visit Utah next summer.

  7. What a tremendous review of your year! It was great to see a lot of photos I remember from your blogs too.

    With your new home and being 'anytime RVers' now I'd say you've got things pretty good right now.

  8. What an interesting blog this was. I enjoyed reading the recap of your travels this last year. Just think next year you'll be adding even more adventures.

  9. Certainly was a very busy year! Glad we could be part of your year! Hopefully, we will be able to revisit that spot in later spring as we move west!!

  10. A great summary and wonderful lifestyle, we are into our 8th year full timing and still love it!

  11. well done, continue enjoying life...

  12. Very nice recap. I, too, recognized many of the photos... especially the one that reminds me of a painting.

  13. What a great post. As a new follower, it brought me up to date. I just read your posts on Utah.....we've hit many of the same spots. Last winter we even spent the night at Goosnecks SP. We weren't able to accomplish some of the hikes in Arches due to weather, but hope to return. Again....loved the post and all the info. Happy trails, Ingrid

  14. What a great recap of year four! Reading this reminds me of the year in review shows on New Year's Eve where they flash photos or short clips of all the highlights. You seem to have struck a good balance of family time in your Ohio home and travel adventures on the road. I am guessing by our fourth year I may be ready to do the same.

  15. What a wonderful year you two have had. Here is to many more with lots of time to explore. :)

  16. I don't think you could have packed another activity into your fourth year. What fun. Now, are you going to top that in your fifth year?

  17. Now that's a wrap-up, JJ, Sandra & Tiger agree with Bella.


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