Friday, October 23, 2009

October 23, 2009 Post

What's New With Us - On The Road

Greetings from Crossville, Tennessee

We are on our way back to California. Next stop is Little Rock AR to visit friends for a few days. Then we will look at the weather map to decide whether we continue west on I-40 or travel south-west on I-30, I-20 and I-10. We are in no rush to get home but we have observed that, like a horse heading for the barn, we seem to move faster going west.

When we planned our trip to see New England’s fall colors we didn’t realize that one of the colors would be white… as in snow! We enjoyed a scenic and colorful journey through Ohio, New York and Vermont. Our timing couldn’t have been better to see the fall foliage at its peak. The daytime temperatures were warm in the sun and brisk at night. Then we arrived in New Hampshire. It was October 12, ColumbusDay, historically the day the colors peak in that area of the world. And they were spectacular! We meandered along Highway 302, drove the scenic Bear Notch Road and experienced the glorious Kancamagus Highway. Brilliant reds, oranges, yellows and greens appeared to glow in the warm sunshine. Our long journey was rewarded by this one day!

That was October 12th. On October 13th we awoke to a winter wonderland. A totally unexpected fall color… white! A light blanket of snow covered everything. Beautiful but cold. It rained on and off for the next five days and temperatures never exceeded 40 degrees during the day and fell into the 20s at night. According to the newscasters we were experiencing the coldest fall in the last 30 years. Weren’t we lucky.

We spent four of those days dry-camping next to my cousin’s horse pasture while we visited relatives. No electrical hookup meant no electric heater. We relied upon our propane fueled forced-air furnace to keep us warm. It did a great job but the furnace fan was kept busy day and night and drew a fair share of our available battery power. That would have been an opportune time to observe how well our new solar panels would replenish our batteries. But, with overcast skies, the panels had very little sunlight to work with. We were forced to run our generator a couple hours each morning to recharge our batteries. Maybe when we are in Yuma…

For those of you who plan on being leaf-peepers next year… a few things to consider. Campground reservations might be advisable, especially around Columbus Day. Be prepared for huge crowds at attractions like the Norman Rockwell Museum, Shelburne Museum and Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory. And, of course, those two-lane highways will be lined up with tourists… and, like you, they won't be looking where they are going either. But then, viewing New England’s fall foliage when they are peaking is an experience you will never forget.

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

October 7, 2009 Post

What’s New With Us:
Fall Colors, Gypsy Gathering Rally, No More Seminars, Molly Update.


Fall Foilage. We are on our way to New England to experience the fall colors. This photo was taken near Binghamton in upper New York State. The colors in New England traditionally reach their peak around Columbus Day (October 12). Looks like we are going to arrive just in time.

It’s Over! The Eastern Gypsy Gathering Rally is over. And it was a good one. Great location, informative seminars, relaxed, friendly atmosphere. Vicki and I presented two seminars – “Alaska, The Ultimate RV Adventure” and “RV Travel and Camping Tips”. We had great, responsive audiences at both of them.

Nick and Terry Russell know what it takes to put together a successful rally. They have experienced rallies as attendees, vendors and seminar presenters. So now, as rally producers, they understand the expectations, needs and interests of rally participants. Their Western Gypsy Gathering Rally takes place in Yuma, Arizona at the Yuma County Fairgrounds, March 8 – 12, 2010. The weather and temperature is pleasant in Yuma at that time of year and the $110.00 per rig rally fee includes four nights of camping. You can’t go wrong by attending.

It’s Over! Our days of traveling from one event to another and presenting seminars are over. We have been presenting RV lifestyle seminars at RV shows, rallies and educational events since 1989. For years now that has involved making two annual coast-to-coast speaking circuits. It wasn’t unusual for us to drive our motorhome 20,000 miles a year to participate in 15-20 events. We met a lot of wonderful people, made some great friends, and had uncountable adventures. We loved it!

Along the way we discovered a number of places we wanted to explore but our work schedule forced us to move on. We promised ourselves that some day we would return. That day has arrived.

Our future RV travels, instead of taking us from one speaking venue to the next, will focus more on places to go, people to see and things to see and do. We hope to share our RV adventures and observations in our future columns. We’re not ruling out presenting seminars altogether. If the circumstances are right we may find ourselves on an occasional platform. But we are not going to actively pursue any speaking opportunities.

The Inevitable. It seems that every time we take a long trip we end up with our motorhome in a repair shop. Its not a matter of if but when the inevitable will occur. The front suspension on our motorhome experienced a boo-boo. That resulted in both front tires needing replacement in addition to an eight-hour repair job. We lucked out. The folks at Mainline Truck and Trailer in Bedford, Ohio had the facilities and the skills to do the job.

Molly Update. Molly has adapted very well to being an RVing dog. She is quite comfortable whether in the motorhome, a campground or roadside rest area. I, however, am still adjusting to owning an RVing dog. At least to an RVing dog that has a rigid morning routine. No matter what time zone we are in, Molly wakes up at 6:50 am and insists on visiting the powder room. NOW! And since going potty involves my half of the dog, I am the one Molly awakens at 6:52 am. It begins with me feeling her staring at me. Of course I ignore that annoyance. Then Molly proceeds to make a mumbling noise that can only be described as muttering. If or when muttering isn’t successful, I feel a cold nose nuzzle my neck and it isn’t Vicki. That usually does the trick (Molly emits a sharp bark if it doesn’t). I get out of bed, stumble into some clothes and take her into the brisk outside morning air. Molly attends to business, returns to the motorhome, goes into the bedroom, curls up on the floor and goes back to sleep. By now I am wide awake. This dog is going to outlive me. I am doomed to getting up at 7:00 am every morning for the rest of my life!

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