Monday, February 14, 2011




Where else could I be outside at 8 a.m. in the morning with pajamas on filling bird feeders & not offend neighbors or attract the attention of the local constabulary.  On a quiet peaceful Arizona ranch that’s where.



We are in such a quandary here because we love this dusty little ranch sooooo much.  Of all the places we have looked at in the southwest this one spoke to us the most lovingly.  We sent a couple emails to Glen, owner of the property today to see if we could open up some dialogue on the sale of his ranch. 



The logistics of us buying the ranch are huge.   Not only the financial commitment but the fact I am Canadian really complicates things.  Kelly has dual citizenship so that is a plus.  What to do about medical coverage is a big one we have always wrestled with & never found a clear cut answer.  What to do about our house in Bayfield?  Would we live here in Arizona for the winter & return to the Bayfield area in the summer?  With all the doom & gloom economy forecasts on the horizon is it better to just give up the Snowbird RV lifestyle & resign ourselves to stay in Canada?  Those are but a few of the many, many, questions & decisions we have been agonizing over these past few days.  We have been going back & forth, trying to decide on what the right decision is for us.  Could we actually afford to buy this ranch?  Yes we could…… if we sold our house back in Bayfield, but with the crumbling housing market in Canada it could take a very long time to sell our place.  In the meantime I’m sure this Ranch will be long gone.  Some days we just have to accept the reality of where we are in life.



Someone had commented a few blogs ago wondering if we we were losing our wanderlust & could our travels be winding down if we were to locate here to Arizona.  My answer to that is ‘no’ & here’s why.  We love the Southwest but can only be here for approximately 5 months of the year.  It is a loooooong & expensive drive to get here & back home again. (and I haven’t even mentioned gas prices yet)  Because we can’t leave Canada until late October or early November we cannot go to places like Colorado, Utah, northern Arizona, Wyoming, Oregon etc because of the cold weather & snow.  If we lived in Arizona we would be better located to see those places.  We would no longer have to put in those long trips from the northeast to get here.  We would already be here.  We really don’t have any interest in living anywhere east of New Mexico & we do not want to ever have to spend another winter in Canada!!!!.  It is the southwest where we want to be.  We like California but it is just way too expensive for us there.  Arizona or New Mexico are our two top choices with Arizona being number one.  And this would have been so perfect for us here.



With gas prices skyrocketing & especially in California, I am wondering why there has not been a backlash from consumers this time.  Nothing on the news & I have not read anything in any RV blogs about high gas prices.  Gas has gone up 30 cents a gallon in the past week here.  California is over $4 a gallon & we know we will be in the $5 dollar range this summer & now we are hearing talk of $8 a gallon.  Think it won’t happen?  Well, it is already happening!!  Most of of us know how expensive it is to fill up a Motor Home.  How many peoples travel plans are already crumbling underneath them and they aren’t even aware of it yet.   Where will a lot of us be next year at this time.  Home I suspect:((  For many of us the RV hay day's may very well be over.  I feel bad for the folks who are just on the verge of launching their RV dreams & what this is all going to mean to them.   Why is there no backlash about the gas prices…..Am I in the dark about something here!!





I must admit that at the time of tonight’s writing I have become very discouraged despite starting the day on a super high note:((

GROANER’S CORNER:((  Did you know that the shin bone is a device for finding furniture in a dark room.  A fine is a tax for doing wrong & a tax is a fine for doing well.

Tourists see the world, travelers experience it.
The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails -William Arthur Ward
The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now...... AL.


  1. We are about a year away from launching our dream. I too watch the gas prices and wonder if they will be the breaking factor. We live in our derma home, in a dream location, but I am wiling to give it up for the freedom of the Rv life.

    Now I am spending 50% of my time fixing the place up. I just don't want to do it all again in ten years.

  2. I am so sorry you feel so discouraged tonight, Al. It is an incredibly complex decision. Have you thought about perhaps doing the full-time thing? Maybe the awful gas prices wouldn't be so awful if you could sit tight a bit longer in each place. I mentioned them in my blog recently, but I don't think any of us have a clue how to protest it at all. In the face of so many foreign interests involved in those prices, and huge corporate interests, some of us feel quite helpless. I see the bottom has yet to fall in the housing market and am watching my children dealing with the awfulness of all that, here in the US, and now in Canada as well. We are planning to go to Alaska this summer because we know we may not get another chance to do that epic drive. Sorry for the long comment with no answers, but I heard your pain and wanted to just send a note letting you know we are all thinking of you. In the morning, the sun will shine on you one more day in your beloved Southwest. Maybe trust in the Universe? We are always where we are supposed to be. Really.

  3. I'm sure it will be heartbreaking if you can't make this property workout for you.

  4. Jim and I are definitely sitting in one place a lot longer than I would prefer because of the gas prices. I have a Federal retirement and Jim has social security neither of which got a cost of living raise this year. In fact my take home income went down because health insurance went up. So we too are struggling with what we are going to do. We looked at buying a piece of land here in AZ but that's not feasible right now either. So, I know kind of where you're at right now. And we don't have the Canada issue.

    Good luck with your decisions and I'll be interested to read where you go with this.

    Love the donkeys.

  5. Hi Al and Kelly, seems we might as well introduce ourselves as we seem to be covering the same paths quite often. We recently did our first boondocking with the SKP's sitting next to Laurie and Odel and then headed out to Borego Springs for more boondocking with Joann and Doug. We are currently sitting in Hickiwan Trails about to set on some they area trails with our furkids.
    Good luck with your decision. We certainly fell in love with that area of the AZ when we came through there a month ago.
    Whatever you do don't give up your blog! Your photography and writing are the best!
    Cindy and Ken

  6. I really enjoy the 4 months or so we spend in the USA each winter but I could never consider moving full time to the US as I'm a Canadian first (I'm sure Americans feel the same way about leaving the US). Giving up our Universal Health Care system would be an insurmountable and prohibitive cost factor for us anyway.

    As for gas prices, I'm not as pessimistic as you seem to be about it perhaps being the demise of RV'ing. There's probably no backlash going on because folks are used to this type of fluctuation (manipulation) in gas prices by now.

    A couple of years ago, the collapse of a lot of RV Manufacturers was trumpeted as the end of the RV lifestyle. That was proved wrong and RV's are selling well once again.

    I don't like the rising fuel prices but it won't be the deciding factor in whether we RV or not.

    Other than these few minor points, I agree with everything else you said, Al!!!

  7. dreaming is hard work!..and it is even more difficult when you have no control over the circumstances..we wish you luck with whatever you decide to do!

  8. Al, I haven't commented in a while, but I still read your blog. I hope that your dreams come true and that you can work out a lifestyle that will meet your needs.

    I just wanted to mention that we've been in California for the past few weeks, and while the price of gas is high, it's been around $3.50 or less, not $4, at least here in the Central Coast area, which is a high-priced area. Somebody mentioned that the price of gas in AZ is $3.04 near the AZ/CA border. No one likes high gas prices, but what can we do about it except travel wisely and use our voting powers to the best of our abilities?

    I wish you and Kelly the best.

  9. AL
    I am sure you have heard the saying " you are what you eat" The same goes for your future it is exactly what you believe it will be.

    My future is bright and shiny and every day I move one day closer to being back to where i want to be. Today i am exactly where I am suppose to be and grateful for every second of today.


  10. "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails -William Arthur Ward"

    Just Sayin'

    Can Kelly sponsor you?

    Maybe make an offer with the condition of selling your place in Bayfield?

    Being from S/W Ontario I know that location is pretty desirable. What have you got to lose?

    Sometimes we have to let the universe know what we want.

    Don't give up before you've even started - that's not like you.

    Sharon, from Tillsonburg

  11. Taking the other side of the coin, that wonderful home and acreage might still be there next year because homes are not selling well. Arizona is still in an economic funk just as much of the nation is, and for now every minute you stay there instead of moving around means you aren't buying gas. So while you may not get to Borrego Springs by staying there, you also aren't spending fuel dollars. Trade-offs. Then, too, if you do not end up buying, you also are escaping the worry about how secure your home/investment is while you're gone to Canada. That's a big issue.
    It will work out in the long run.


  12. "if we sold our house back in Bayfield, but with the crumbling housing market in Canada it could take a very long time to sell our place. In the meantime I’m sure this Ranch will be long gone."

    I think your being overly pessimistic about the Canadian housing market and overly optimistic about it in Arizona.

    I would be willing to bet that there are a lot of properties for sale around the Flying W. I would also bet they have been for sale for a long time.

    I had someone send me an email just recently that said:"Hang in over there Ed...". It was good advice, I pass it on!

  13. Life does have it's challenges. I hope you come to a solution that you'll be at peace with...

  14. What can I say? Gas prices do fluctuate with the RVing season, and perhaps Rick's word "manipulation" has at least some bearing on it. Back in college econ classes we learned all about "supply and demand." The price goes down when the demand goes down. SOmetimes the demand goes down when the price goes up. What else is new? Hang on to your dream, pardner!

  15. Hello Al. I sincerely wish you and Kelly only the best as you consider your future. Regarding the end of the RVing era, I think all of us have given thought to this subject. However, I believe that given time and possibly some changes in thinking (smaller RVs and staying put longer in one location) and technology (fuel efficiency), our RVing lifestyle will continue in North America. I say this with some confidence only because this has already happened in Europe where fuel prices have been much higher for years.


  16. Hi you two, I just had to say something...

    We just sold our house a month ago and of all 4 houses we sold, we where sure this one would be the longest to sell. But we where wrong! Only 2 visitors in one month and it was sold. Good part is that we got our price!

    We where supposed to go fulltiming, but we did buy a small house in the country because I found a very nice one for a very small price. This was not our plan, but we love it even better thant the first.

    So, the thing is, you may have a plan as to how thing will go, but it can change and even be better.

    I know I am a fighter and never give up and this is how I got where I am now and I am very happy and proud. I think you are just in a bad day, give it time and you will see things better and find a solution. But dont give up!

    Dont forget that gas prices in europe are 3 times the price we pay in Canada and people drive their cars all the time. When you want to do something, you rearange your life in order to do it. One of my saying is "there is always a way, and I will find it".

    Relax will find the way.


  17. I can't imagine the seller will have a lot of folks in line to buy the place out from underneath you. There are just many more people who don't like to be THAT far out! Of course, lots of us like to do be in the boonies for a while, but not necessarily buy someplace there!

    I know nothing about the Canadian real estate market, but you have a very nice place there (from the photos you've posted) -- maybe it wouldn't take as long as you think for someone to pick it up for a summer getaway.

    The other issues with being a Canadian citizen I have no knowledge of, but please continue to push on with your dream. You've already shown that you'd be a wonderful steward of the ranch; that should count for something! Best of luck!


  18. Hope things work out the way you want them to. Some tough decisions to be sure.

    Yes, gas prices will rise in the summer and go back down in the fall. They always do. I don't think it's quite as dire as you think, at least not right now. We were just in California last week and the highest diesel we paid was $3.79. (The diesel prices are comparable to premium gas. Regular is, of course, less.)

    Even with high fuel prices, it is still cheaper to live full time RVing than it was to live in a sticks 'n bricks.

    Good luck with whatever you choose.

  19. We are one of the ones just starting our dream. I understand the complexity of your decision, we went trough that before decidinig to go ahead with the purchase of the motor home. We are STILL going through it, deciding how we will use this motor home. It's scary and exciting all at the same time. Not sure where fuel prices will go and feel helpless to influence that situation. Just think about what is most important to YOU and then do your best to make it work out. That's all any of us can do. Best wishes.

  20. There are no easy answers...I think health insurance will be your biggest stumbling block.

    As to fuel, prices made big jumps in 2005 (when I toured on the bike and had to get premium unleaded) and the summer of 2008 (when Stu and I met). We just do like others, sit in one place a little longer.

    I agree with what has already been said...the ranch will most probably take a while to sell and if you decide to sell your home, it may sell more easily than you anticipate.

    Regardless of your decision, things will hopefully work out the way you want/need. Hugs to you both!!!

  21. The fuel prices...oh yea...But we have decided they will NOT keep us from our Hiker. Full time might be your answer..that way you can zip up to Canada when you want or need to...but I'm not sure how that works when you are in the US.
    Dennis and I noticed there are lots more full-timers since the economy crashed here..We live cheaper on the road than when we are home...
    and remember..."It's not where you are, but who you are with"....just sayin'..Come on,

  22. If you had the ranch, couldn't you leave the motorhome in Arizona and drive an economical car back to Bayfield? At 30mpg it would only take a hundred gallons or so.

    I'm sure that I wouldn't give up the Canadian health care system either, so you need to spend the six months and one day back up North! But that still leaves 5 months and 29 days for Arizona. Using the ranch as your base, you could strike out on trips to Borrego Springs and the like with much less of a fuel bill.

    Will the owner sell it to you on contract?

    There has to be a workable way!!


  23. I've thought about this post quite a bit in the last 24 hours. I did have one thought to contribute to the problem. Could you find an inexpensive place to store your RV in AZ and fly back and forth? It has to be less expensive than driving the RV all that way.

    Just a thought.

  24. I think everything is going up. It's even harder to maintain a house these days with the property taxes going up, the cost of natural gas, water etc... everything goes up anyway so why not gas?
    We don't intend on flying around the US fast, we will take our time spending a month here, a month there.

    I knew you were thinking of buying the ranch. You both look so at home there, and I'm sure the dogs are happy too!

    Take care. :)

  25. As fulltimers, we are in the same boat as you regarding fuel costs. My solution is to own stocks that benefit from rising crude prices. It doesn't hurt so much at the pump if the value of your oil stocks is rising steadily.