Tuesday, August 17, 2010





It was about 11 o'clock this morning when I noticed the first positive change in my miserable ongoing 'virus' condition.  It was as if someone had finally turned off the chainsaw in my throat & for the first time in over 4 days I was able to swallow without it feeling like my throat was being torn out.  I still have about half a dump truck load of gravel in my lungs but at least the painful throat problem has finally eased off.  I have no idea how long it will take for the lungs to clear themselves so I'm still hacking up a lot of gravel.  Head & nose still stuffed, but one thing at a time.  Have had very little sleep during this whole ordeal but feel confidant that if I can get a few solid hours of back to back sleep time under my belt I'll be well on my way to recovering from whatever it was that has wrestled me to the ground these past few days.  As I said before, it's rare for me to get sick & I certainly do not want to have to go through this again.  These past 4 & half days have totally knocked the stuffing's out of me.  I have a continuous sinus drainage problem which I'm sure made things worse & that should really be fixed some day but the thoughts of somebody getting up my nose with crowbar & a garden hose has prevented me from having that looked after & corrected. 


So, is it time for me to re-considered my mobility van job & the hazardous places it takes me?  As much as I like this part time job I will be giving this some very serious thought over the next few days.


JERRY had a good post in this morning as he & Suzy face some difficult 'end of days' RV decisions.  Is it time to hang up the RV keys?  We see many posts & read articles from & about people starting out in the RV Lifestyle but very few posts about people coming in off the road.  When starting out excitement builds as retirements are planned, futures are discussed, houses are put on the market & belongings are sold.  Excitement really begins to peak when folks are actually out looking at new & used rigs as future homes.  Travel Trailers, Class C's, Motor Homes or 5th Wheels.  A flurry of life altering decisions can be made in mere moments or after years of careful planning as the anticipation & excitement of 'hitting the road' finally begins to take shape turning people's long held dreams into reality.  It is, 'the beginning of RV days' & little thought is ever given at the time to the other end of that spectrum....'the end of RV days.'



I have seen very few articles or posts written about the twilight RV years when people face the inevitable realities of their wondrous lifestyle coming to an end.  Just as the topic of aging & death are often skirted around in the busy excitement of life, so is the topic amongst RV'ers regarding when they will be faced with, 'hanging up the keys.'  We all have an entrance plan of sorts but I think few of us have a solid exit plan. 


Four years ago Kelly & I were very gung-ho on fulltiming.  Especially me & I still am, but with some mellowing.  We laid down a bit of groundwork for fulltiming but of course being a couple of, 'sometimes too logical,' people we kept coming up with nagging questions for ourselves.  The stock market ker-fuffle back in 08/09 knocked us for a loop of course & we began to take a harder look at an RV exit strategy if we were to go full time.  I think most RV folks plan to permanently settle in an RV Park one day when they come off the road.  The ESCAPEE CLUB has Parks specially designed for this purpose.  An excellent exit strategy for the majority of RV people.  However, the key word there is 'majority.'  Neither Kelly or I are 'people' people so that puts us into a minority think mode & our decisions & conclusions are generally arrived at from a slightly different angle than most folks.  Come to think of it, we are in the minority mode for a lot of life's popularly held beliefs........but, that's another whole can of worms for another kind of day.


Now, back to the topic at hand......Kelly & realized right from the start that we are not in the majority & someday retiring off the road to an RV Park would never work for us.  So, what were the alternatives?  To buy another house some day is not financially realistic & moving into an apartment wasn't going to work for us either.  We are not as flexible as other RV'ers when it comes to making concessions, living by rules, or having to interact with neighbors & social functions.  It was something we really didn't want to consider in the excitement of our beginning RV days, but consider it we had to. 


We are very fortunate to live in the country we do & have the things we have.  Yes, I would much sooner have a little place out in the countryside but for us right now we have got it pretty darn nice spot right where we are.  We did come close to selling our place 3 years ago but in hindsight now I guess I am kinda glad we didn't.  By staying here we do not have to worry about an RV exit plan some day or being forced into an RV Park or some small apartment somewhere.  Canada has excellent medical coverage & in our area we have all the amenities anyone could ever ask for.  Our lot gives us privacy & hiking trails through pine & maple forests just footsteps away.  No major cities & no major traffic.  Yes, it bugs me to no end having to sit here for 6 or 7 months of the year but I'm hoping we can make some changes to that some day soon.



So, in conclusion I would have to say that we are not only living our RV entrance plan but we are already living our RV exit plan as well.  Our 'end of days' is already established.  I am still 'bugged' about not being on the road fulltime but am finally managing to gather together more days of being content with where we are & our lifestyle just the way it is.  The thoughts of having to live out our final days in an RV Park was just not an option for either one of us so I guess we will just stay right where we are for now & continue our Snow Birding for as long as we can.  Besides, it took me a long time to get our 'outside jungle' grown up all around us so we may as well enjoy the privacy of that while we can. That's our plan anyway & I'll stick to that just as long as Kelly lets me.......10-4



And thanks to our newest blog follower Brenda for climbing aboard & riding along with, The Bayfield Bunch:))



GROANER'S CORNER:((  Everyone has a photographic memory.  Some. . . like me . . . just don't have any film.

Tourists see the world, travelers experience it.


OUR BLOGGER WEBSITE http://thebayfieldbunch.com/

OUR PHOTO ALBUMS http://picasaweb.google.com/stargeezerguy/

AL'S SMUG MUG PHOTO GALLERY http://stargeezer.smugmug.com/ (a work in progress)

The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now...... AL.


  1. I think your enter/exit plan is wonderful - each to their own, but we are about to do the same thing. We have the lot with a park model planned and can travel in winter or shoulder seasons. Work, or not work as wanted/needed. I think the health coverage is a huge factor for Canadian " full time" rv'ers. You are both very fortunate.

  2. Sounds like a sound plan :) Glad to hear you're on the upswing. At least being sick hasn't diminished your sense of humor!

  3. Beautiful Inn, and beautiful words.

  4. You have hit the nail directly on the head, as to why Loyce and I are anytimers and not fulltimers. We have worked hard for our possessions, and we have carefully decided what should remain with us over the years.
    We are aware that we will never be able to replace all the things we enjoy, should we divest ourselves in order to fulltime.
    So for now into the foreseeable future, we will partime when ever we get the urge. And since neither of us have a job, that can be almost anytime.
    This is a little more expensive alternative as we have property taxes and utilities on our home place, but then we never have the problem of no home state or address. That's the reason that the Escapee's exist in the first place.
    So our exit strategy is to go home and sell the RV. And that seems rather simple to us.

  5. Being content is no small thing. Many people are never content, no matter what or how much they have. I was like that long ago and then got slapped upside the head with what is really important in life and I instantly became content. Your entry/exit plan is already in place, as you wrote. Who wouldn't be content with that?

    Nice post. (see: I didn't say the A word)

  6. For "newbies" like us this is good information to re-think. We decided that caring for our house and land consumed our "off" time together, thus full-timing seems perfect. We saved some land as backup in case we should ever be forced to drop anchor permanently again. Great discussion, really made me think.
    Hope you feel better soon.K

  7. Excellent post, Al. Dave and I feel much the same as you and Kelly do. I have more of the full-timing leanings than he does, but we both know that we couldn't full-time forever, so why not try and have the best of both worlds, a house AND a RV. Sure it's more expensive, but it may be cheaper in the long run when we have a house to come back to.

  8. Al,

    Good points. Seems such an easy and practical decision. Gee you seem much smarter when your ill!

  9. First great night photos of those Inns - the lighting in the shots is terrific.

    We're pretty much what Rod described - anytimer's! Whenever we want to go RV'ing, we just do it. Like you said, our exit plan is pretty simple too, keep our home, keep traveling and snowbirding and when the time comes to hang up the keys - it won't be the keys to our house!!

    Having said that, I do admire and respect the decision by many to go fulltime. Folks like Margie and Bruce have thought this out and enjoy their lifestyle ever bit as much as we like ours. That's the beauty of this whole thing, isn't it?

    Lot's of different stories, plans and approaches for sure - as long as it works, then it's the right one!

  10. Hope you feel better soon, Al, the whole nine yards, or six feet...

    And between the in and out plans, another summer is coming to an end and another winter in the southwest is coming..

    Hope to meet you guys sometime again this year.

    Motty and Patti

  11. I hear ya on this subject. I realize I could never retire to an RV park, so I'm going back out on the road next year if I can, and hope I don't last past my "sell by" date. Then I won't have to worry about it. I could easily live in some of the park models I've seen, but to have close neighbors you can't get away from? That's what I hate about apartment living. You and Kelly are fortunate!

  12. Not a people person? I say humbug to that! You are maybe not a group dynamics person, but I think you are a people person on an individual basis. Why else would you drive that van or help out Belle (I think that's her name) on her ranch?

    I think right now that you have a semi-annual exit plan. You exit to the Southwest in the fall, and exit to Bayfield in the spring. There's nothing wrong with that, and good for you! But I think you'll always find a way to be involved with people one person at a time! :)

    My humble opinion is to think carefully about giving up that van job that makes a difference to you and your passengers. L)

  13. Sounds like a great entry/exit plan to me and I guess we have adopted the same plan. we enjoy being home for awhile and being with our two children and their families. We wouldn't trade being able to watch/attend the grandkids ball games and other activities.

    Glad you are a step closer to feeling better sounds like a few more days and you will be back to your old self.

  14. I'm glad to hear you are feeling a little better.

    I think you have a very good exit plan and one that will work for you. People with animals have to think a little bit differently than people without animals. You always have to consider the animals.

  15. Great post Al and very timely for us. We have been thinking about and discussing the subject for the past few weeks. Haven't made any definite decisions yet but are leaning towards the "anytimers" route.

  16. Glad you are feeling better Al. Great post, really enjoyed it! We too could never replace what we have here in Montana so we will continue to part time RV. We could never settle down in an RV park for the duration, either. Thanks for those confirming words today!

  17. As Canadians we also have to remember that when a serious medical condition arises we cannot get additional medical insurance for the USA which means overwintering in Canada. I would not want to do that in an RV. The weather here is not suitable.You certainly have the best of 2 worlds. Glad you are feeling better.

  18. Al, thanks for the link! Your plan looks great for you. If we had kept our house, we could never have afforded to buy the motorhome in the first place. Now we are in the second place, I guess, and it's going to work for us, as long as we are able to take care of ourselves and each other. And I guess we have become "anytimers" also, although we are really living in an RV -- one that doesn't go on the road but could if it had to. And yes, we enjoyed your night-lighted pictures!

  19. Very truthful post....I am the one who thinks I want to full-time...Den could never be without a yard, garden and a home...Just when I think I CERTAINLY could do it...wait a minute, you mean I can't take my chandelier?..my real fireplace?...all my Native American paintings?? My head spins like the exorsist, and I realize that most of my talk of full-timing is just bravado. (I would like to be gone in the summer sometime, though).

  20. Yes, having clear entrance and exit plans are wonderful, but also a mid-plan for repairs, disasters, medical emergencies etc. is smart too.

    We know of many folks where the wife won't even attempt to drive their rig, and what would they do in an emergency or long term health problem?

    And you would have the funds set aside to rent temp housing in the event of a long rehabilitation?

    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

  21. Great discussion of the lifestyle subject. If we had family where we last lived, I doubt if we would have gone full time.

    When we are finished with the full time thing, we will return to a conventional house and get a smaller RV for anytime travel or maybe go back into the boating lifestyle.

    The trick, as you note, is finding what works for you and understanding from the git go that nothing lasts forever.

    As we say in the Coast Guard-Semper Paratus