Sunday, December 19, 2010
I got to thinking a little more about Paul and some of the other major biblical figures and you know what, none of them appear to have stayed in one place much. Paul seems always to have been on a journey, unless, he was in prison. (For some of us sitting in one place too long kind of equates to prison on some level.) Some estimates say that Jesus spent almost three years of his life on the road. David definitely got around while being chased by King Saul and Moses, well, we all know about his 40 years wondering in the desert. These were all ‘go-to guys’ for the Big Guy and none of these guys were nesters. They all had what I would call ‘nomadic tendencies’. I had a well meaning friend tell me that I needed to rebuke the ‘gypsy spirit’ in my life and that God’s will was that I stay in one place and settle down. Really!? Paul wrote most of the New Testament and I don’t think he ever had what many would consider a ‘real’ home. In fact, I can’t recall any scriptures that say ‘stay in one place your entire life”. I think Jesus said, “GO and make disciples of all men”. The key word of course being “GO”. Genesis says Jehovah told Abraham to ‘hit the road’.
So why is it that people think of us modern day nomads , out roaming the highways and heading south before winter, as odd ducks? I am thinking we are the ones getting it right! Ecclesiastes says “There is nothing new under the sun” and indeed people have been nomadic throughout history. I am convinced that if they had RV’s back in Biblical times that Paul would have been in a motorhome, Moses would have had a Toy Hauler, so he could haul those tablets around and I peg Jesus as a Roadtrek kind of guy. RV dealers back in the day would have made a mint off all the ‘gypsy’ Jehovah lovers. So to my road loving friends I say, don’t be swayed by the nesting naysayers in your life, remember all God’s go-to folks were Nomads too! Keep those wheels turning!
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Working on the Road
When I realized I might be doing this a bit longer & may need to work on balancing some income with the outflow, I tried my hand at Work Kamping, which a lot of full-timers do to help with expenses. Most Work Kamp positions involve staying a season at a campground and working 15 - 20 hours a week. Some work in the office, some park RV's, clean bathrooms or whatever needs to be done. In return you get your campsite & usually your electric free. No cash exchanges hands. I spent a summer working in Yellowstone National Park which isn't a traditional Work Kamp job since I received a hourly wage and did have to pay for my site. This has been my only 'Work Kamper' experience, it wasn't the best of stints for me because I had to work more hours than I wanted and I didn't have input as to the scheduling (I guess that kind of makes it a 'real' job :) ), although I loved being in Yellowstone for 5 months. I also did a short stint working in my field and now I still work in my field but as a part-time consultant. I can set my own hours and work from where ever I am. It means that I am limited to staying where I can get wifi but I am okay with that. This summer I also picked up a flexible part-time job in a tourist town close to the RV park I wanted to spend the summer at. There are lots of seasonal opportunities in tourist areas if you are not particular about what it is that you do. One of the benefits I find by working, besides the income, is that it helps you to connect to the area better. I learned a lot by connecting with the rangers and other workers in Yellowstone and did the same this summer. So even though I had visited the same area in Colorado for many years, I learned all kinds of information that I didn't know just from talking with my employer and co-workers, who were locals. So working can have benefits besides just putting gas in the tank.
In addition to working part time, I also try and watch my costs. I rarely ever stay in an RV park for a night unless it is a park that accepts Passport America, Camp Club or has another discount program. Daily RV rates are always the highest. I figure if I am only gonna be there a night I can just as easily stay at Walmart, a Truck Stop, Rest Area or where ever. I usually do a weekly or a monthly rental. The per day rate is then a lot less. It's nice not trying to cram every area highlight into a two days period. If I think I want to be in an area for a bit and haven't stayed in an RV park there before, then I will pay for a night before paying for the month, just to be sure there are no trains, planes or other major noise makers that aren't readily apparent upon check in. I avoid KOA's if at all possible because their rates run on the high side. I lean to parks that offer Passport America or another discount program because their monthly rates are usually lower. The highest rate I have paid for a month is $625. I try and stick with parks that aren't more than $500 a month. When I started you could find nice parks for $250 a month, times have changed. I just can't seem to justify the $600 plus a month parks too much. You could pay a house payment at that amount and I am bringing my own house with me. You can also find vacation rentals in a lot of areas that are fully furnished for around $600 a month, so why pay much more than that to park your RV? The more park prices increase the more that I lean too changing my set-up to boondock more. Boondocking which is staying free on public lands or other places is another option that many people choose. I like the conveniences of the electric, water and sewer and meeting people in parks.
I have found that by making good choices on where I stay, staying longer and working part-time I can cover my expenses and enjoy exploring whatever area I am in until I am ready for a new adventure in a new area. Everybody does it differently, but if you don't have that nice pension payment or social security check coming in .. know there are still options if being a full-time road warrior is what you want to do.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
So what happens at 55? Am I going to be more 'grown up' than I am at 46??? Less active? More active? Does my money become greener? Do I enter a special club?? I have stayed in many "55 and over" parks without a problem. I never tried beat the older folks at shuffle board or anything like that. I did play in the '55 and over' Softball league, (on the Rec team) and that did end up to be a problem. I blew out my knee and had to have the over 55 guys carry me off the field and then had to go to India to get it fixed, but that's another story.
I have been full-time Rving since I was 40 years old. In some areas the majority of the parks have been "55 and over" or Adult Communities but thankfully I have always been welcomed with open arms. Most say they have to allow a percentage of people in who are not 55. Apparently, Rancho Casa Blanca in Indio does not. I am not questioning the legality of their decision. Their rules are their rules. I do question the wisdom of their decision.
Most parks just want to keep it quiet and not have kids bouncing their baseballs off the sides of folks rigs. I get that. I am old too and don't want a ball through my windshield or a kid playing hide and seek under my rig. I get the point of Adult Communities. I don't get not allowing a single 46 year old and her sometimes resident 68 year old mother a spot for the winter. More and more people are retiring younger and traveling. More too, with the advent of the internet, are just taking their jobs with them as they travel. The result is that there are more and more 40 somethings, with money to spend, that are heading to places like Yuma, the Rio Grande Valley and Palm Springs, the places that have traditionally catered to the over 55 crowd during the winter months. I have a couple full-time RV friends younger than me and many more that are between 50 and 55. We need places to stay too. We might prefer 50's music over the 40's Country and Line Dancing to Square Dancing, but I have met a whole lot of over 55's that do to!
The bottom line is that at 46, it doesn't feel really good to be denied a site because you are too young. An adult is an adult. I had spent couple weeks pouring through sites at Rancho Casa Blanca park, contacting owners with lots for rent, working deals for a seasonal rentals and so on. I was quite disappointed to be turned away but as so many things go, I think that it has all worked out for the best. I found a welcoming 55 and over park. The people have been very friendly. I had a concierge come check on me the first two days to make sure I was comfortable and finding my way around. I have found several other 40 somethings here as well. The first dance here had a guy playing 50's, 60's and 70's music. I knew all the words! I don't know if I will still be RVing when I am 55 or not, but I do know that I won't be staying at parks that turned me away at 40 something.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Left the Computer alone for just a minute. Came back to find Dog had joined Facebook and Twitter!! Just what I need _another_ Crackberry in the rig!
All fun aside Golda, aka Dog, has leap into the 21st century social networking waters to offer some light hearted humor and tips to the world from a four legged perspective. Not necessarily just for the fun of it but because I have penned a couple of Children's books about her Adventures that I hope to have published. If you, like Dog, have succumbed to the social networking craze and are on Facebook or Twitter please give Dog a Like or a Follow. We both would appreciate your support!
On Facebook, you can find her at http://www.facebook.com/GoldatheAdventureDog
On Twitter, you can follow her at @GoldasAdventure
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
People do drive their RV’s on this road, most that I have talked to only did it because it looked like the best route between Durango and Ouray and they didn’t know any better. I followed a 5th Wheel on one drive that kept dropping its wheels off the road on the sharp curves and came within an inch of scraping his rig on the rock walls.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Friday, October 8, 2010
On this clear, cool, crisp Colorado morning our pilot pulls the handle above us and the large flame fills our balloon with hot air to lift us off the ground. We head straight for a tree! I ask our pilot, Gary, how long he has been flying these things, as we grab leaves off the top of the tree. He looks at his watch and responds, “Oh, about 1 minute 45 seconds” .. he stalls .. “And 20 years”, he says with a smile. Our pilot, the owner of San Juan Balloon Adventures, is certainly a charming fellow with lots of stories to tell. As we rise higher over the town of Ridgeway and gain sweeping views of the Sneffels range of the San Juan Mountains, Gary points out some of the individual peaks and shares some of the history of the the town of Ridgeway.
My basket mates today are a young couple from Denver. He had just proposed and then surprised his bride-to-be with a Balloon ride. They are as wide - eyed as I. Our flight is an hour long but seemed to only take 15 minutes. The views of the mountains and the Ridgeway valley are fabulous. When the balloon isn’t being filled with more hot air, the silence is grand.
Apparently flying the balloon is NOT the hard part. The hard part is finding a suitable place to land. In our case, finding a friendly landowner, a suitable place and getting the wind to cooperate are the challenges. We find a friendly landowner and avoid landing in the back of a pickup with a little help from the landowner and a rope. We avoid their barn and land safely in their field. What a RUSH!
After packing up the balloon and heading back to our launch spot, we celebrate with a Balloonist prayer and champagne toast. We enjoy some snacks as Gary gives us the history of ballooning and more information about the local area.
I am not much of a morning person and our adventure started at 6:45 am, but I would certainly do this again. Great views, great trip, great pilot .. well except for that first tree thing!
My trip was booked by Switzerland of America Jeep Tours in Ouray, Colorado.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Saturday, June 12, 2010
I have rafted several rivers in Colorado. This wasn’t the clearest or the most scenic but with the spring run-off in high gear this river certainly didn’t disappoint. It did have the ‘thrill factor’ going on and left us all with smiles on our faces and wanting more. A great trip for the young and old alike.
My trip was arranged by Switzerland of America Jeep Tours. They are a one stop shop for all your adventure needs in this area.
Monday, June 7, 2010
We had lunch at Pepe’s Top of the World Restaurant. They had a limited menu but it was good. All of the supplies in Barrow have to be flown in or shipped in once the ice has melted in the summer and a barge can get there. In the winter when the permafrost is frozen they can snow mobile something like 80 miles to the nearest town. In the summer they use small planes because there are no roads to neighboring towns. The plane we flew in on was half a cargo plane and half passenger plane. I have never been on any other plane like this. When we landed it was 38 degrees and very dreary but the sun came out and it warmed up to the mid 40‘s. This IS July and it has been in the 90’s in Fairbanks!
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Sunday, May 16, 2010
When we reach the safety of the Juniper's, I turn around to see that part of the herd has now moved through the gate and back into the pasture. Fear rushes through my mind, "Oh crap, I didn't think about getting back!" Dog and I trudge forward, my mind running a thousand miles an hour when I start to notice it is getting a little hard to breath. Man, I am not used to this altitude, I am not sure I _can_ make it to the top of the ridge! Better sit down under this tree and contemplate my options. Dog is happily pawing at lizards in the scrub brush. A hummingbird keeps zipping around her.. wait that hummer is buzzing her!! I think it thinks her bandana is a flower. Back to the cows, .... man this is a nice view here. The mountains are so pretty, exhale .. take a moment .......... oh yeah .. I am suppose to be 'figuring' here. Focus! The cows that went back into the pasture have moved away from the gate and the ones on the range are still a bit away from the gate so this could be a window of opportunity!