October 04, 2019

North to Alaska . . . Not!

I was going to title this post, “The Year of the Cancelled Vacations,” a phrase that Alan and I had each come up with independently of each other over the past week or so.  But it was so darn depressing that I couldn’t do it, no matter how accurate a title it was.

Right after the first of the year, I cancelled all the reservations we had for our spring trip to the southern states because we found out that our son’s long-time girlfriend would be graduating with her Master’s degree on one of the Saturdays in May we had planned to be away.  That’s one of the pitfalls of travel planning more than a year in advance.  (We ended up swapping our 2019 scheduled trip for one we were hoping to take in 2020 and it worked out just fine - more on that at another time.)  Then, in June when we had returned to our #1 favorite campground (Northampton Beach on Great Lake Sacandaga in central New York), and watched the rain come down day after day after day, we decided to cancel our fall camping plans at another State Park so that we could come back and (with good-weather luck!) have a chance at enjoying our favorite lake one last time before our camping season ended.  In my last post about the Outdoors RV Owners East Coast Rally, I noted that we almost had to cancel that trip a couple of weeks ago due to a malfunctioning trailer brake system.  All of those situations were minor bumps in the road compared to the major pothole we hit as our 40th wedding anniversary drew near.

September 25, 2019

The 2019 Outdoors RV Owners East Coast Rally - An Excellent Adventure!

In March of 2017, Alan and I purchased our second travel trailer – a Creek Side 26RLS made by Outdoors RV Manufacturing (ORV) in La Grande, Oregon.  If you’re interested in the why and how of that whole complicated story, you can find the details in the post from March of 2018 called "Today is Our 1st Anniversary! (link HERE)  At the time we were researching our purchase, it became apparent that there was a strong sense of customer loyalty among the owners of ORV travel trailers and fifth wheels, and that this small company worked hard to remain connected with its customers. 

Every year in June, ORV hosts a get-together for the owners of its rigs at an RV Park in Eastern Oregon’s Wallowa Mountains near the ORV manufacturing facility.  While I have to admit that the setting is, indeed, beautiful, I also have to say that a round trip of more than 5,000 miles to attend a three day owners’ rally is a bit far to travel.  However, since the majority of ORV customers reside in the states of the Pacific Northwest and the provinces of western Canada, it certainly makes sense to hold the gathering out there.  But what about those of us in the eastern part of the United States who enjoy our rigs just as much as our counterparts in the west, and who would love to get together with other ORV owners to trade stories about our RVs and our travels?  Granted, there are far fewer of us in the east than in the west.  But, thanks to an ORV owner in Ohio, the Outdoors RV East Coast Rally debuted in 2018.  Sadly, Alan and I missed that inaugural event due to the ongoing construction project at a rental property.  But, with the construction project behind us, we decided we weren’t going to let 2019 slip by without making a valiant effort to attend this one!

September 15, 2019

It Was 40 Years Ago Today . . .

On September 15, 1979, two young kids said “I do” with absolutely no idea as to what really lay ahead.  Since that day, Alan and I did a lot of growing up together, made some big plans and saw them through to fruition, lost all four of our parents and brought up two amazing kids.  In between all that, we traveled a lot of miles together.  A lot.  Indeed, we’re both road trippers at heart.

August 31, 2019

National Parks Traveler - A New Addition to My List of Favorite Places!

I’m pretty sure I’ve made it obvious to readers of this blog that, while Alan and I are passionate about traveling in general, we’re particularly fond of the State and National Parks scattered throughout our beautiful country.  So I was absolutely delighted when I recently ran across National Parks Traveler, an organization dedicated to providing news about our National Parks and an extensive collection of ways to enjoy them and other public lands.

August 22, 2019

Mesa Verde National Park - A Step Back in Time (National Parks Trip #2)

This post represents another installment in the series detailing the second of our three cross country National Parks camping trips with travel trailer in tow.  At the time of this trip in 2010, our son, Ryan, was 16 and our daughter, Kyra, was 11.

When one or both parents are working, it can be difficult to build the vacation you really want to take around a limited number of days off.  It’s very true that Alan, I and our two kids could have flown to our various destinations, rented a car and booked a hotel - and there are certainly countless families that do that and have absolutely wonderful vacations.  For us, however, camping is the adventure and having all the comforts and conveniences of home tagging along behind us is just how we prefer to roll.

Luckily, by the time our second National Parks trip was in the planning stage, Alan had six weeks of vacation to work with.  (That grammatical error was just for you, Mike!)  I was working part time in the local school district, so my summers (and the kids’, of course) were free.  Once Alan’s approval came through for a four week block of time, we had a major decision to make – the same one we faced every time we started to plan a vacation.  Do we limit the stops and immerse ourselves in each one?  Or do we try to fit more in, but make the visits to each National Park shorter?  It was never an easy choice and, honestly, we would have had a great time no matter which option we chose.

August 14, 2019

Blog, Blog, Blog

The miscellaneous photos in this post are from some of the many places we’ve been to but I haven’t had the chance to document yet – and there will be plenty more to come, “Good Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise.”

I did it again.  When I looked back to the prior installment in the series on our second cross country National Parks camping trip, I found that it has been more than five months since my last post.  Yikes!  My intent was to document that trip on a much more regular basis but, alas, it seems like there’s always something more pressing at the top of my mind and the tip of my tongue.

August 04, 2019

"My List"

Within the past week or so, two things occurred that have given me so much food for thought that this post practically wrote itself.  First, Alan and I got into a Bucket List discussion which happens occasionally around our house.  Then, I heard an old Toby Keith song called “My List” written by Tim James and Antonina Armato that hasn’t been on the airwaves in a while.  In 2007, our kids, Ryan and Kyra, traveled on their first cross country National Parks camping trip with us.  Ryan was 13 and Kyra was 8.  When we returned, I created a DVD of photos and videos from that trip set to the music of “My List.”  (You’ll find some of them below.)  To this day, I can’t listen to that song without that DVD playing in my mind.  Memories of the trip and talk about our Bucket Lists started tumbling around in my head.  Here’s what I shook out . . .