Saturday, May 19, 2012


It was a warm summer’s morn in May we had going for us today when Pheebs & I headed for Mitchell Ontario.  Kelly had to work all day & it was my Uncle Harry’s 96th Birthday.  Harry likes those solar light Butterflies that glow & change color in the night.  He had some outside his care facility window but they didn’t winter well so Pheebs & I took him some new ones today for his Birthday.  His voice sounded weaker but he had the biggest smile on  his face I have ever seen when he saw the Pheebs beside his chair.  In the last few years, Harry, with help from a friend, was able to make it up to our place for his Birthday but just not quite enough strength this year.  Maybe next year.
It was Janna’s thoughts at TIN TEEPEE/LOG CABIN this morning that gave me the idea for today’s blog. As stated in her post, their priorities are changing & their RVing lifestyle is evolving. We have always kept track of Mike & Janna because we are kind of like minded folks in many ways.

We found the first 3 years or so of our RV travels to be the most exciting because everything was so new to us. Nothing seems to compare with that ‘first time’ excitement of seeing & doing something totally new & wonderfully different. We loved all the places we went & have enjoyed returning to many of those places in these following years. But, after awhile the newness & excitement wears off a bit & it’s not quite the same as those first few discovery times somewhere. We were both becoming aware of that in our last couple years of Snow Bird travel.
Borrego Springs California is a perfect example of the change in our RVing lifestyle. One of our all time favorite places to go & hang out for awhile, we have been there every winter for the past 5 years. First 3 years were great but noticed the last couple of years the newness was wearing off & it didn’t quite hold the same charming excitement for us the first 3 years did. Borrego Springs wasn’t changing….we were.
I think it was round about the time we came across the Lazy W Ranch near Elfrida Arizona two winters ago that we began to see a slightly different RVing future shaping up for ourselves. I well remember my excitement at the thoughts of all the creative work projects I could involve myself in on this picturesque little Ranch in the shadow of the Swiss Helm mountains tucked away in the southeast corner of the State. We also began to realize the advantages of having some kind of home base somewhere in the southwest. That little 40 acre Ranch that I loved so much was financially way over our heads, but it caused us to think ahead, & the seeds of change were planted.
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Whenever we traveled to a new area one of the first things Kelly always did was to get on the computer & check out the local Real Estate listings & prices for house’s & properties. In the last couple years we found ourselves talking more & more about our RVing priorities & found ourselves driving around looking at more & more listings for sale. With the current housing market in the States we couldn’t believe how cheaply Real Estate was selling for, and this of course had a big influence on our planning & decision making.  When we came across the deal in Congress, we knew we just couldn’t pass this one up.
DSC_0035 DSC_0032
Ideally, we had been looking for a small one story Ranch house style place, with some out buildings on about 5 acres of land with no signs of any visible neighbors. That is not quite what we ended up with but we had to be realistically practical & not get ourselves into a financial situation way over our heads. We had to make a few concessions.  In the end, we simply bought a little house on 1 acre of land that we could afford. We do have neighbors & as much as I don’t care for that, there are some common sense advantages to having people close by. But, that’s a topic for another post.
Congress house
OUR CONGRESS ARIZONA DIGS…..COMPLETE WITH 3 SAGUAROS:))  (photo compliments of Gerrit)
A few years ago I was gung-ho on selling our place in Bayfield & hitting the road full time. Had we done so I’m sure we would have adapted well & would still be out there somewhere thoroughly enjoying the lifestyle. But, knowing ourselves as well as I do, I also know, that by now our minds would be once again evolving towards ‘something different. Not being a creature of ‘same old, same old’ it’s just the way I am & it’s just the way we are:))
Shortly, in a future post, I will talk about the logistic side of things & how we are now facing planning decisions on how we are going to best spend our winters mixing our south western sticks & bricks with our ongoing future travel plans.  Do we really need the large Motorhome?  Are some different vehicles & modes of travel in our future?  What about turning around & selling our ‘new to us’ Congress house & making a couple dollars?  (yes, that has come up in some conversations) Have we thought any more about selling our place here in Bayfield?  And, why did we chose Arizona & that area of Arizona to buy a house?  All food for thought & all questions I will be posting thoughts & opinions about soon.  Stay tuned:))
GROANER'S CORNER:((   I know I'm pushing the envelope on this one a bit but I did think it was kinda cute.............
Already the father of two rambunctious boys, the husband was thrilled when the doctor announced they were going to have twins this time. He told his wife that she should start thinking of names.
"Well, let's see." she said. "We already have Adolph and Rudolph. How about Getoff and Stayoff!!"
- Tourists see the world, travelers  experience it.
- Home is where your pet is:))
- The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right  now...AL.


  1. It will be interesting to read your thoughts in future posts.

  2. What a great thing to do for your Uncle Harry!! Charley's Dad is 95 and still doing pretty well, lives alone with sisters who check on him and make sure he eats well.

    Love your approach to life, do what makes you happy and content, right?

  3. I found your post today most interesting. We've been full timing for over 11 years... we've never been "go go go" kind of RVers, but we've been to 49 of the States (hard to take the rig to Hawaii), most of the Canadian Provinces and quite a few states in Mexico. We seem to be heading in a different direction... renting places in other countries... flying there and living a few months. I don't know whether we're slowing down or just changing course... but I know one thing... I don't think my "itchy feet" will ever be happy in one place for very long. You seem to have found the best in both worlds.

  4. Here's a vote in support of your groaner. I thought it was funny.

    I too think we all evolve. Life changes, we change, circumstances change. Change is the word.

    I look forward to your thoughts on all the topics. It's the thing I like most about your blog and what I wish I could incorporate more into my own. The philosophical musings and ideas which reveal so much more of who we really are than just our travelogues.


  5. Love that photo of Borrego Springs. Have it set as my background photo on laptop. Those little solar butterflies are really cute, gotta get some. So happy to see your house photos again and to hear your views on snow birding as time goes on. Your house in Congress is perfect, a find of a life time. A place to kick back, relax and enjoy family and friends.


  6. I am wondering how your medical situation will evolve and am interested to see if you will be able to obtain medical insurance for the States. Not being able to get insurance because of a medical condition has stopped us from going South in the winter. For us it was to risky to go without.

  7. We have also gone through much change and evolution from full-timing to part-timing. We struggle at times with our decision but know it was the right one...the struggle is emotional. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the upcoming topics.

  8. This hit me when I saw the photo of the green fields.
    " The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence". :))

  9. Have you ever actually slept a night in the Congress House? I thought you were sleeping in the motorhome when you were there. So you can't sell it yet, until you spend a night in it!!

  10. Very interesting post. I will be following to see how your thoughts/plans evolve. I am so grateful that we decided against selling our house. It's true that as we age our priorities and even our desires change. Nothing wrong with that!

  11. Yes. I agree with Sherry about the philosophical "musings" that make your blog----along with the fantastic pics!----so wonderful.

    We never full-timed. Spent too many years paying off the mortgage on this house in TX. After 34 years, it has the results of
    100's of those "projects" that you like; it is customized to the utmost. Irreplaceable. We drive a class C to MN every June. Stay in our trailer on Lake Superior until October. You are so right about how some of the wonder wears off with repetition. We've been doing the same thing for nine years. It's like coming "home" no matter which place we're arriving at. We did make numerous other trips in our RV in earlier years.

    I'd love to explore new places in the Northwest, but my Newfie isn't up to the rigors involved. He enjoys the MN scenery and the weather, so much like that of NFLD. And we do cross the border occasionally.

    As you said, things change. Hope things work out for you (re health, insurance, etc.)so you are able to do whatever you decide you want to do. I'm glad you and Kelly have each other. Congratulations on 10 years! Rose

  12. I found your thoughts helpful and interesting to say the least.

    Sometimes, I get caught up in "what to do." However, it feels right to summer in my Toyota Dolphin until I find something I feel I can't live without. It's not the RV, but the experience I have when I'm traveling...

    I'm also reluctant to give up my townhome in Las Cruces, NM. It's comfortable and I like it here (except when I get "hitch itch."

  13. I love that panoramic shot of Anza Borrego with the sunset lighting up the mountains to the east. I think we must be somewhere in that group!

  14. "But, knowing ourselves as well as I do, I also know, that by now our minds would be once again evolving towards towards ‘something different. Not being a creature of ‘same old, same old’ it’s just the way I am & it’s just the way we are:))"

    Is that not a contradiction to buying a house in AZ? Just curious about how you think you'll feel after a few winter trips there.

  15. Questions, questions.....very interesting topics. Curious as to how you will answer some of them.
    Peacefulness is always gratifying,
    especially as we get a few years under our belts!

  16. Al, can you get dual citizenship like Kelly so you can live down here as long as you want?

    A friend once told me to live where you want to be. For me, that's Moab. Then you can make day forays out and never tire of all the nearby country to explore. Buy a pickup with a camper and extend the reach. For the really long excursions, like Montana and Canada, rent a Class C for a few weeks or buy an older one or keep what you have. Winters here aren't that long and are really beautiful. Colorado's just over the hill for nice cool summers.

    I find the more I'm out the more I want a home base, especially after crushing a vertabrae and being pretty much helpless lately (getting better since the Rio Coffee arrived). There's nothing wrong with putting down roots and exploring when you feel like it. Heck, in my younger days when I would often camp an average of 200 out of 365 days/year, sometimes the best part of the deal was heading home. And I discovered some really cool stuff right in my own front yard.

    will be anxious to see what you guys come up with...

  17. It's wonderful that you and Kelly are on the same page with how you want to live. Ours has become more of a compromise. With Jim's health we won't be traveling as much as I would like. But we will still travel for a few more years - I hope. But I don't want a house. I am totally happy living in my fifth wheel for as long as possible.

  18. Oh wow. You DO have a spammer.


  19. I absolutely loved being on the road full time, but I didn't like being absolutely broke. I tried to survive selling at flea markets. I also missed being a Park Ranger, so hung it up for half the year to work and support my travels. Now I've evolved into wanting to travel beyond where the RV can go. Life is about adaptation, change and evolution. I look forward to finding out what directions you'll take.

  20. You make my morning with yourblog and photos as well How be the next time u are in Bayfield Pop in for a wee visit

  21. So many questions, so many options and so many answers. Always something to think about and do, enjoy the wonderful weather this weekend.

  22. Change is a natural progression, species/societies etc that do not change/evolve become stagnant and die. Sam is a naturally social person, me not as much. We live on a couple of acres and never really see out neighbors, so probably wont be a problem for you in Congress.And you love you projects. You do have many things to ponder. Just never stop your wonderful blog and pictures.


  23. We have so loved meeting RVer's such as you and Kelly during our travels--this is one of the things which concerns me (Janna) when we buy a house in AZ--losing those friendships and finding it not so easy to make friends in a new area.

    Mike would like a house out in the middle of nowhere with no neighbors such as what we have here in Montana. Janna would like something with less yard work than the one we currently have, in a small town where we can be active in a community/church/etc.

    We will see where our evolving takes us!

  24. An interesting journey you are on, Al. It will be interesting to see where you head next. Always enjoy your thought provoking blog with the fabulous photos.

  25. Change happens in life, no matter what you plan for. You are doing it right, plotting possibilities and options with widely differing scenarios. Our situation is different, but always changing as well. Loved the Groaner!

  26. Chuck would like to sell our small place in T or C NM and RV full time. I want to keep it bacause if anything happens to Chuck... I have no idea how to drive with The MotherShip attached! I had a casita when we met! So I want a home base! We are on the road alot though, generally 6 months workamping somewhere and 3 months in Florida to visit with the kids and grandkids over the holidays and another month or two just for us, going where we want to go! Reading your blog helps us make informed decisions! You and Kelly have been there and done that and you give good advice. Thank you for that. I love LOVE LOVE the winter memories photo near Desert Center CA!

  27. I think this blog is very thought provoking to many of us...Though I still would not mind spending a bit more time in the Hiker, the full time idea has ebbed as just as our health benefits...Staying closer to the family is also in the equation...While you are recouping from the stone blast, you now have some great "new" thoughts for your fingers to ponder, and provide hours of blog fodder for us, your loyal followers..

  28. Al, when you said, "I know I'm pushing the envelope on this one a bit...", I thought you were going to say something cute about envelopes, like: "Takes a licking and keeps on sticking."

  29. There's no place like home - that's been our motto - wherever home is at the time. We enjoy rving in our class B when the mood hits. We'd rather spend 8 months at home in PA enjoying our kids and grandkids. Plus 4 months at our DE home at the beach. Life is good! I enjoy reading your blog, Al, and your photos are always awesome!

  30. I think evolution in travel is a natural part of life! In my youth I thought business travel was the bees knees...exciting new countries everyday, meeting clients, travelling the world...after 10 years I was pretty tired of it. Now I think RVing is the bees knees and I know we'll be on the road many years, but will it always be like this? Definitely no!! We age, we evolve and our lifestyles evolve with us.