Thursday, March 31, 2011




Before I get into today’s post let me once again thank everyone for hanging in there with the Bayfield Bunch over this past winter’s travels.  I see we have had some folks with us since 2006 & am encouraged by the comments & emails from old as well as all the new folks who have recently come across our blog.  It is you the readers who keep this blog going & as I said before, I will continue the blog through the summer just as in other years with many varied topics & keeping folks up to date with the happenings of our fellow RVing friends & fellow bloggers:))

We have noticed a big improvement in Max since arriving home.  I think the steep steps in the Motor Home were becoming too much for his weakening rear legs.  We can tell he is happy to be home & he has been enjoying exploring around outside in our fenced in back yard.  He is navigating the snow alright & going up & down the deck steps by himself.  Also noticed Checkers & the Motormouse seem happier as well & are in more playful moods.  I think that has a lot to do with the fact we have a lot more room to play here in the house:))  This last week of traveling was hard on the whole crew & life on the road does have a few extra sets of travel stress levels for sure.

Priority this morning was to get the Motor Home back in it’s proper place so that meant tackling the mound of hard frozen snow & ice where the front of the rig goes.  A steel shovel, ice chopper &  pick-axe were my weapons of choice as I not only did battle with that chunk of ice & snow but also the mess that had slid off our roof partially blocking the sidewalk leading to the front porch.  All & all it took me about 40 minutes of chopping & shoveling with one coffee break & a power snooze thrown in for good measure.


We have most of the Motor Home mess moved into the house now so we’ve been busy putting away clothes, food, gadgets of all kinds, dishes, shoes, etc. etc.  Amazing the amount of clothes I took & never wore once!!  I make that same mistake every year.  Always amazes me how much stuff we end up squirreling away in the rig over the winter months too.  And, we haven’t even got to the bins yet.  Took me awhile just to clear out the back of the Jeep.  Lawn chairs, satellite dish, bags of dog food & the list goes on.

We are above freezing today so things are still slowly melting despite a damp afternoon cloud cover.  Sunny days for Friday, Saturday & Sunday with highs near 50F.  Am hoping all that sunshine is going to pump up my energy levels to soaring great heights.  Both Kelly & I are sun people:))

There is definitely a lot to be said about Snow Birding if you can afford it.  Essentially a person is maintaining two separate lifestyles plus residences & that can be very costly, as we have found out.   But, it is the only practical RV option between Fulltiming & sitting at home for the winter.  With the ever increasing rise in fuel prices & vehicle maintenance fees it is putting a lot of additional financial pressure on many RV folks.  When you have to drive over 2,000 miles just to reach your preferred winter destination it causes one to stop & think about better or alternative ways of doing things.  But, thinking about it is something I do a lot of & will be blogging about those thoughts now that we are home.  Guess it looks like I have already started..........

Much easier for American folks to select a full time lifestyle on the road than it is for we Canadians.  Health insurance benefits is the biggy & having to return to Canada every 6 months is a sticky point when it comes to travel plans.  As much as we have considered the Fulltime route we still feel it wise to have a home base if possible.  Worse case scenarios have to be considered in decisions like that.  If we were to suffer a serious injury or illness while in the Southwest during the winter months that required long term medical care or recovery & had to return to Canada for hospital treatment.....where do we stay for a few weeks or likely months.  Relatives, no way!!  A Motel, not likely.  Our Motorhome...nope, not unless we wanted to freeze to death in the bone chilling Ontario winter!!  Just one of many things to realistically consider at our age & just one of the things we are trying to figure out & plan for.

Have had some questions from readers & Roger asks if the Tim Hortons in Michigan is the same as in Canada.  We have only stopped a couple times at Timmys in Michigan & the coffee was the same as I recall.  Store looked the same too but Kelly has seen some Tim Horton’s near Rochester NY that look entirely different from our Canadian stores.  Glad to see Timmies gaining a strong foothold in the States. 

CONNIE,BARRIE has joined us as Blog Followers 256.  Nice to have you along folks & thanks so much for your separate email.  Very much appreciated & I thank you for your kind words.  Sounds like you have done a lot of traveling across the country.  What a great life this is eh:))

Yes, we did get on the base at Fort Huachuca in Arizona because of Kelly’s dual citizenship but I do recall a short ker-fuffle over something but can’t remember what it was.  Also want to add that Fort Huachuca is an active military base & is governed by military policy regardless of what State it is in.  Refusal of entry to the base for a fellow RV Canadian couple recently had absolutely nothing to do with the great State of Arizona as suggested by a comment I read regarding that matter. 

And who would have ever thought a stop in the dry west Texas town of San Angelo could result in such a beautiful display of....well, check GUMO'S blog & see for yourself:))

In  Wednesday’s blog I accidentally positioned the following paragraph in the wrong place at the very end of the post so some people may have missed it.  Here it is again……Have you ever been faced with the dilemma of making decisions regarding what to do about friends, family, grandkids etc if you decide to spend time traveling in your RV.  And then there is the question of age!!   The folks over at TRAVELS IN THERAPY are pondering those very questions at the moment & having some doubts about their future travel plans.  I have some thoughts about the subject & will do a post on that shortly.

I must have used up my entire daily quota of energy units chopping up that ice this morning because by this afternoon I was drained & spent a fair bit of time dozing in my recliner.  Guess the past week’s travels kind of caught up with me as well.  Probably going to take a few days to get my sticks & bricks legs under me & adjust to some new routines. 

Some may remember a few months ago when our furnace here in Bayfield failed to light because of weakened batteries in our thermostat.  That resulted in the house temps plummeting before being discovered.  Plumbing & everything is OK but we did lose the majority of our house plants.  One Schefflera plant was a personal favorite of mine & I had carried that plant with me over many moves from way back in the late 70's:((

GROANER’S CORNER:((  Murphy's wife borrowed his car and parked in the supermarket car park. Just as she came out laden with shopping, she saw a young lad break into the car, hot wire it and drive off.  Naturally she reported the matter to the police.' What did he look like?, the sergeant asked.  'I don't know she replied, but I got the license plate'.
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. Glad you made it home safely. Thank you for sharing your adventures with your followers.

    Selene, NC

  2. I am sooooooo glad that Max and all your fur kids are feeling better. I know it's the same with ours, especially Mags. It's like she breathes a sign of relief when she walks through the front door. WE'RE HOME I'm sure she's thinking.
    Welcome home guys. We'll be heading back in about 2 weeks.

  3. I don't know which feels better: leaving home on an extended RV trip or pulling into my drive after an extended trip! They are both great an I am afraid I would miss out on those feelings without a sticks & bricks home.

  4. I'm thinking that pickaxe business would have taken me a lot longer than 40 minutes to accomplish!

    It's too bad our four legged friends age so much faster than we do. :(

  5. My dog would really rather be at home than anywhere else. She doesn't want to get left behind though, so will pretend she's enjoying climbing in and out of a camper, getting burrs stuck in her paws, and without any soft green grass to roll around in.

  6. Wish I could send you some of our very HOT weather up there to melt your snow and ice. Our Scooter has been having a few problems with the steps in the motor home but they are small enough we can just lift them in and out. We've talked about what we're going to do when we can't full time any more but haven't done anything about it yet.

  7. Max might appreciate a ramp of some sort for home, and for the RV net winter.

  8. Al, you continue to amaze me! You tackled all of that ice and snow and did it in less than an hour! You deserve a long nap, and then a BIG cup of coffee after that.

    Sorry about your favorite plant. I appreciate the sentiment. I rescued a plant from a garbage can at work one time, and it was with me for years. In fact, I think we still have it here in the living room, and it's getting bigger every year! Good thing I keep trimming it back.

    Glad to hear Max is doing better now that he's home. The fur faced kids always have a hard time being on the road for any length of time, it seems. We just took our two to the groomers today. Rusty always hates that, and now he shakes all over with nervous tension when we take him there. After we leave, she says he gets better, but since I'm not there, I'm not sure about that.

    Take some time to relax now and let your body catch up. It does take a lot out of a person doing all that driving! Glad you're home safe and getting things squared away.

    Will look forward to your further thoughts and musings. You might toss in something about the night skies and how they might look a bit different in Ontario compared to in Arizona. That would be interesting to me, anyway.

    Thanks again for sharing.

  9. there's no place like home!!..glad to hear that the 'fur kids' are happy to be back in Bayfield!!
    And we agree they don't make it easy for Canadians to be fulltimers especially if you want to travel south for a 'spell'!!..dang six month rule or rather 180 days exactly!!

  10. Glad Max is feeling better, our dogs were glad to be home too. I think you guys are on the wrong side of Canada, don't like that ice at all.

  11. Don't wear yourself out with that pickaxe! Glad to hear your doggers are feeling better. Ours are 13 and 14 and I'm wondering how they will hold up on a long trip. Love those little fur faced friends.

    Will be anxiously awaiting your thoughts about our dilemna - a common one it seems.

  12. You Canadians are a hearty bunch! I can't ever remember needing or using a pick ax on the snow piles down here in the Midwest. Ice chopper, yes but never a pick.

    Sorry about your house plants, but these things happen, and I'm sure you will have a bunch of new ones in the near future.

  13. I think Jean and Skip may have touched a chord..Why don't you two relocate around Vancouver??Better weather, and a short distance to the great American Southwest!! You may even find a driving job and Kelly could find any number of resorts to work at in the winters...Just sayin'...
    I think animals just know when they are HOME...

  14. Hi Al & Kelly
    Your thoughts on rving are the same thoughts going through most Canadian Rver's minds. Rick and I (Kathy) have been discussing this delimma for the past year. We have come to a conclusion. We decided to sell the house and move to a two bedroom apartment. We cut our work and expenses by more than half. We did not want to lose our health and OAP for being out of Ontario (it is the province and not just the country) longer than 6 months. I hate this rule it is like having a tether around our necks and takes away our freedom of choice. But rules are rules and we have to find ways around them. We never added up all the little maintenance stuff we do or things we buy to use around the house; that was an eye opener when we started keeping track of the money we spent. Recycle bags, washers, gas & oil for lawnmowers and the list goes on; not to mention property taxes,house insurance and major expenses like replacing a roof or plumbing leaks. Our goal was to travel the entire 6 months and save as much money as we could to do just that and owning a home is very expensive and time consuming job; but we needed a base; the apartment idea to save money and have more time for ourselves works just fine for us and gives us the base we need. We are in the process of selling our home and proceeding with our plan. Our decision has been made and I wish you and Kelly all the best in your decision. May it make you both very "Happy Campers".
    Hope to meet you guys soon.
    All the best
    Kathy & Rick Windsor.

  15. Al, have your ever done a breakout of your expenses to show others who are contimplating this lifestyle how much it cost? I know each couple is different but it would be helpful information to know. You and Kelly are the BOMB!!! Love your photos!

  16. Welcome Home... Bayfield Bunch !!

    You have given us another great season of entertainment. And yes, we love your summer writing as well.

    We know what you mean, about fulltiming for Canadians. Don't get me wrong, we look very forward to snowbirding, but, what happens when we want to see some of the Northern US sites ( Grand Canyon, Zion, Glacier ) and you can't really visit them in the shoulder seasons ??

    Yep, I want my cake, and eat it too !!

    Take care, Trent and Teresa

  17. Wow, that snow & ice!!!! Al & Kelly, Arizona is absolutly incredible right now, I could not image (except for your pics) snow & ice.
    But as others have said, Al slow down, let your body & mind catch up, and Kelly that goes for you too :)
    I will look forward to your spring pics of Canada.

  18. Al,
    Glad you made it home safe and sound. That chipping ice and shoveling snow look like so much fun. Here in SE AZ we are just tipping the thermometer at 86 degrees and that IS NOT AN APRIL's FOOL JOKE.

    If ya find any extra sunscreen how about shipping it to us.