Thank you for all your support this past year!! Or if you are new to our blog, WELCOME!!!!
We cannot believe we have written 52 blogs and posted over 30 YouTube Videos. It’s hard to believe that we have been on the road for exactly 1 year! What the heck?? Seriously, where has the time gone?
It all started on June 30th, 2021, driving from Utah to Sacramento, where Joe Nason, the most talented carpenter I know, customized our RV. If you haven’t seen all that Joe did, please check out the tour video!
Before we hit the road we parked our rig at Joe’s house (in the record 112 degree weather). We stayed at my brother-in-law and sister’s house while Joe worked his magic. Nick and Jaynee entertained, fed us, and quizzed us about the great adventure we were embarking upon. We were even able to borrow one of their vehicles to drive back and forth to Joe’s house! Talk about hospitality! Thank goodness for my family! We loved every minute of it!
25,000 miles on Hunky, 21 states, 2 Harvest Hosts (companies all over the country who let you park in their business, usually with no hookups), 5 Elks Clubs (yes, we are members!), 1 AutoZone parking lot, two fairgrounds with no hook ups in Driggs, Idaho for a Grand Teton Rally, Albuquerque, NM for the Balloon Fiesta, and the rest in RV campgrounds with full hookups (power, water, and sewer)
We learned early that our adventure is a logistical nightmare! Susan is the Queen of planning!! Susan books reservations along the route we travel. Without her organizational skills we would not know where we are going to park each night! We have experienced Zero problems at every resort we have stayed at (well, except in West Virginia with all the trains and traffic noise). Susan is the concierge, travel agent, chief planner, chef, tour guide and so much more. We would not and could not live the life we are living without Susan’s skills!
What does Jerry do? Jerry gets to drive Hunky and Madge (almost 30,000 lbs) on horrible interstate highways. We watch hundreds of freight haulers rolling down roads as they push the limit to get to their destination, unload and pick up another load. We prefer stops at truck stops for fuel and DEF because there is more room and the prices are more competitive.
What has the price of fuel done to us? Glad you asked! Fuel is our number one expense! Since we started a year ago, diesel has gone up over $3.00 a gallon. When we started this journey, we took pictures of fuel prices all over to send to our friends in California. We actually fueled up for $2.59 a gallon. Now, as we all know, it’s over $6.00 and in many states over $7.00.
We are trying to stay as long as we can at locations to reduce driving. Driving Madge for 4-6 hours is exhausting physically and mentally. Our safety is number one. And it saves us a lot of money on fuel if we can stay several days at an RV resort. Also, if you stay a month or longer, there are discounts.
My favorite place we have stayed at is Darby, Montana, a beautiful little town in the bitterroot valley. The television series Yellowstone is filmed there. Susan joined me fly fishing! Yes, Susan is a fly fishing person now! Who would have thought? We were fishing on the west fork of the Bitterroot river in a deep canyon! Being in an incredible canyon fly fishing is great but the scenery takes your breath away! I am a lucky man to have a wife to fish with!
America is a beautiful country! Driving through golden wheat fields as far as you can see in East Idaho was stunning! We were driving to Driggs Idaho fairgrounds to dry camp (no hook ups) with a group to see the Eastern side of the Grand Tetons! The Tetons are spectacular!
Another beautiful place we stayed for a few days was on the Mississippi river in Arkansas, across from Memphis Tennessee. There were huge tugboats pushing huge barges either upstream or downstream at all hours of the day! I was like a little kid when a tugboat captain blew his air horn for me!!! The only downside was the tugboats that pushed their barges upstream at 2am! The tugboat is fighting the current while running massive engines at full throttle moving barges at a couple of miles per hour! That means no sleep until the tugboat is out of range which averaged about 30 minutes for the tugs to disappear! Susan slept through this as she wears ear plugs! We also went to Graceland for the Elvis tour. That was a hoot!
The endless forests in West Virginia, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Upper New York are awesome! Green as far as you can see! We were so shocked that driving in these states on the highways you couldn’t see buildings or businesses, just green!! We loved driving through these states!
Our year-long adventure hasn’t been all rainbows and unicorns! We have been to Elkhorn, Indianna twice to get Madge repaired. Other than Susan having to change our reservations we were treated well by the Grand Design service department! The repairs went quickly and we were put up in a great hotel. With one year under our belt we know things will happen! Unfortunately that is just part of the experience of full time RVing!
One of the best things we have experienced is meeting people! There are alot of full time RVers and weekend warriors! When we meet people we have an instant connection. We talk about the roads, our rigs, places we have been, where we are going, and experiences good or bad!
THE NOT SO GOOD! Missing family and friends! There is no doubt being away from family and friends SUCKS! We knew it was going to be hard but not as hard as we have experienced! Our blog, videos help keep our peeps up to date! But there is nothing like being with your family!
Before hitting the road last year my son and I had a father son outing at a sporting clays club. After we left each other I broke down. I knew our times together would be fewer and farther apart! We won’t be back in the bay area for Christmas until 2023! This will be our first holiday that we will not be with our families. We will be in St. Augustine, FL for the winter.
Another city we really enjoyed was Austin. Of course we loved visiting with our niece, Katie. We had a blast. Austin is a hip and groovy city! Great food, entertainment, and people! While there we drove to Houston and visited with my Aunt Kathy, Uncle John, and their family! We visited with my Aunt Ann and uncle Jack in a little town and got to go to a Friday night football game! It was like watching the movie Friday Night Lights! Highschool football is big in Texas!
Another highlight (especially for Susan) was I bought hearing aids from Costco in Austin. Now I can really hear what Susan has to say when she’s navigating! I use Costco for prescriptions, hearing aids, and prescription glasses! Thank goodness for Costco! Except there are no Costcos in the New England area! We had to join Sam’s Club.
We have joined all the different grocery store reward programs across the nation. Along with having to purchase a toll road transponder for the East Coast. Man, not cheap to drive on the East Coast!!!
Reflecting upon last night’s live celebration show and watching our Q&A video. I am humbled to realize Susan and I have been through an amazing adventure! Are we done learning or exploring? Not at all! We have many things to experience! We haven’t visited many national parks due to the challenge of getting in and the crowds! Maybe going forward things will return to normal! Lets face it Covid changed our lives and as much as we try to live as if Covid is behind us we know Covid will be an integral part of our lives going forward! It has been very interesting visiting so many different states during this time. We never know when we will need masks! But, we are always ready and safe!
We thank you for being part of our first year! If you want to meet up, reach out to us and we will see what we can do.
Just One More Year!
Absolutely well written, Jerry! You and Susan jumped right into the RV lifestyle and succeeded living together 24/7 in a “breadbox” with love and a sense of humor.
I hope to see you both in Maine. 🥰
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Very cool. What a great experience and can’t wait to see what’s ahead for you two.
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Interesting to read and so impressive. So man states, so many miles, so many sights and new people. Just amazing!
Thanks for sharing.
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Thanks for reading!! ❤️