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Thanks for following along with us as we travel North America in our motorhome, enjoying the RV lifestyle. Your comments are always welcomed.

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Saturday, August 2, 2014

BACK ON THE ROAD … FINALLY!

When I committed to writing a blog back in 2011 I fully intended it to be a TRAVEL BLOG.  So, what happens to a TRAVEL BLOG when you are not traveling?  Well, it sits dormant and, in my case, our family and travel updates have defaulted to Facebook.
While most of my blog readers also do Facebook, I am well-aware that I have readers who stay away from “social media” and just want to know where we are and what we are doing. They follow our travels vicariously through these blogs, often telling us they wish they could do what we do.  Our advice is always to DO IT!  Don’t wait until your health tells you it is time to hang up the keys!
WINTER TRIP ENDED IN APRIL
My last blog update was published on April 16, 2014 and can be read by clicking the Blog Archive tab on the far right panel on the right side of the screen.  Those 19 posts from January to April 2014 chronicled our typical winter travels through Southern California and Arizona.  Later trips are also listed by years.  I am pleased that these pages have been been viewed at least 68,115+ times since the blog started in 2011.
We started our extended RV travels when I retired in 2004, and we continue to basically define our trips by the seasons:  Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall.  Some trips are 3-4 months long but others have been as long 7 months. Since 2004 I have also kept detailed log sheets using Excel spreadsheets and I can tell you where we stayed by city and overnight location by GPS location, what we paid and did we use club discounts, did we have wi-fi service, and how many miles we traveled each day.  There is also a section for all our fuel and propane expenses for each of our outings.  Yes, I am anal about keeping these travel logs up-to-date both on the computer and in a tabbed binder for quick reference.
TRAVEL SUMMARY
RVing by the numbers:  Luke keeps all of our expenses detailed in Quicken while I keep the travel logistics.  The bottom travel line, current up to today, shows we have traveled 101,810,1 miles in four different RVs (Itasca 22’ Spirit Class C, 24’ Holiday Rambler Atlantis Class C, 34’ Monaco Monarch gas Class A, and our current 40’ Itasca Horizon Class A diesel I call our “rolling condo”. We have also traveled another 36,801 touring in the 2006 Honda CR-V we have towed behind two of our larger Class A motorhomes.  The first two years we had smaller Class C RVs and did not tow.
TIME BETWEEN TRIPS
We got back to our “stick house” in Cool, CA on April 17th and our only travel since then has been to Pleasanton, CA to where our daughter and her family live.  Later in this blog series I will include some photos from those mini-trips.  During those outings we travel the 238 miles with the motorhome towing the car from Cool and staying at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton, conveniently just a few blocks from their home.
CURRENT ITINERARY
This “2014 Summer-Fall” trip began July 22 and will ultimately have us on the road for about four months.  We plan to get back to Cool in early November, 2014!
TRIP PLANNING – “SHAKING THE JELL-O”
RVers often say traveling is not about the destination, but the journey.  For us we start our trip planning by looking at a calendar and posting events we want to attend or people and places we want to see within our timeframe or along certain routes. 
This “2014 Summer-Fall Trip” schedule has been about getting back on the road and meandering about the West until we have to be in Albuquerque, New Mexico the first two weeks in October to host an RV rally for the ABQ International Balloon Fiesta.  So, during the next 100+ days we have penciled-in a few specific stops:  scenic Lake Tahoe, Sparks/Reno, Nevada for “Hot August Nights” classic car show, La Pine, Oregon to visit family, Redmond, Oregon for the international Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) RV rally, Washington State to visit various friends, and then working our way back to ABQ via Idaho, Colorado, Utah and an area known as the “4 Corners” to meet friends from PA who will be in the area.  We will get to Albuquerque the last week in September and prepare for our 9th “Balloons and Boomers” rally.  We are expecting 40 RVs and all the participants will be encouraged to crew for a hot air balloon team.  A great time is always had during the two weeks we are together.  From there we will meander our way back to Cool in Northern California.
Earlier I mentioned “shaking the Jell-O”.  That is what RVers say after they start their trip planning and “stuff” happens before the plans are firm.  We all shake those itinerary lists and get excited to just be on the road enjoying the RV-lifestyle. 
RECAPPING OUR SPRING
So, what did we do from April until last week?  We dealt with a lot of health, home, and mechanical issues that kept our calendars full of appointments.  Happily, we also included a number of family activities that made our time at home fulfilling. 
This blog will not go into much detail.  It was intended to explain why there have not been any blogs since April.  Now that I am back in my writing mode, I will start to fill in the calendared events with photos.  For now I will just mention we are parked in Sparks, Nevada and attending the Hot August Nights classic car show until Monday when our wheels will start rolling towards La Pine, Oregon.
NEXT:  SPRING IN COOL
I try to end each blog with a preview of what will be included in the next blog.  Over the next few days I will re-cap what has kept us busy.   Please, feel free to leave comments after each published blog.  Feedback is encouraged.  See you soon.