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Friday, December 30, 2011

December Recap - Our First Month Fulltiming

I'm not going to use those cheesy cliches, like "Where did the time go?" or "Time flies when you're having fun!"  I'm thinking more along the lines of "Hang on for your life!"

At the beginning of December, we were spending our last night in Virginia at the Bull Run Regional Park Campground.  A bittersweet night, knowing that we wouldn't be returning any time soon, after many happy weekends and a few (rare) week long stays.  December 2 found me waiting impatiently for Marti to finish her last day of work.  After breaking camp, I drove over to the parking lot at her facility and waited for 2 pm, when she was supposed to leave, but the goodbyes to her great staff kept her until after 3 pm. 

Finally breaking away, we were off to New Jersey, with an overnight stop at the Harrisburg, PA Flying J.  I guess you can call that "Flocking", with a similar meaning like "Boondocking", "Wallydocking", aka Walmart, or "Moochdocking".

The next day we arrived at out son Corey's home in NJ and set up in his driveway, moochdocking.

That weekend was the 90th birthday party for my dad, a great time.

We finished the weekend visiting Corey and DIL Amanda and on Monday, 5 December, we headed West, destination: Astoria, OR.

We didn't get too far, the alternator failed and we detoured back to a Freightliner dealer in Harrisburg, PA for three days getting the offending part replaced and the billing sorted out.  8 December found us on our way once more with a little drizzle that we soon drove out of.  Out came the sun, which we enjoyed on almost the entire 3000+ miles trip.

Originally, we intended on heading to Sioux Falls, SD to register the Journey and Element toad, but we blew that off with the loss of time in Harrisburg.  Driving across the country, we saw some areas where it had snowed, but by the time we got there, the roads were clear and dry.  If we had not had the alternator breakdown, we would have been caught in much of that snowy weather.  A problem that turned into a blessing.

We ovenighted at some Walmarts and Flying Js, taking advantage of their generosity towards RVs, which enabled us to make good time and cover big driving distances most every day.  We enjoyed some pretty cold weather in some of the states, and were very glad that our furnace was working well.

We enjoyed the scenery, all kinds of variety from flat, farmlands,

to mountains and winding roads. 

 A couple of days in the Midwest, we fought headwinds (will I ever get a tailwind?) which cut our mpg quite a bit, but didn't affect the Journey too much.  Another plus of driving a big diesel pusher motor home.  On our previous motor home, a gas engined Winnebago Adventurer, winds were always a struggle.

The night before reaching our destination, we pulled in to a KOA and regrouped, reorganized and rested.  The campground was nice and clean, reasonably priced for a KOA and was just what we needed to catch our breath.  There were quite a few long term residents there, but all the RVs were late models in nice shape, no trash and junk stacked around the RVs like seen in many long term campgrounds.  Many of these RVs had put skirting down to help insulate them.

We arrived at our son, Ryan's house on 14 December and got set up in his driveway for some extended moochdocking.

And the best part, spending time with Taylor and Kierra.

We've had a whirlwind time, with Christmas,

Taylor's sixth birthday the day after Christmas,

and son Ryan's 30th (gasp, we're really getting old!) on 27 December.

Lastly, our DIL, Amber, who has been feeding us incredible meals found out she is going to have another girl this May, which will be our sixth grandchild (Corey and Amanda are expecting a girl in March) and our fourth granddaughter.  We're excited for them.

In a couple of days, our latest mail package should get here and then we're crossing over this bridge and heading out on Route 101 down the coast.  We're looking forward to our new year on the road and interesting adventures.  Quartzsite, here we come.  Stay tuned!

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.


  1. What wonderful memories and you've only been at it one month. Just think of the memories you'll have after a full year! Life on the road .. 'tis a wonderful life.

    See you soon.

  2. Never have had a desire to go to Quartszite so will be watching your blog updates to see if there's anything we might be missing :)

    Travel safely.

  3. for some that would have been a whole year worth of adventures and you and Marti crammed it into less than 30 days!!!..
    enjoy the 101 it is a beauty!!! you know we have driven it a a few times!!!

  4. A great month and a great beginning. Enjoy the grands and your travels to come. Keep Dogpound South in mind when you get over this way.

  5. yeah for you guys...what a month its been :)...we are thinking AZ next winter...this is our first big journey out as a now bird so I was a bit worried to go too too fl it will be for this year...well for at least a month anyway..then we hope to head over to Mississippi to see our safe :)

  6. Hey! Congrats on the pending grandchild. Does this mean you'll be heading back to Oregon in May?

    Good idea - the recap. Maybe I'll do that for our travels in 2011.

  7. Wow, I believe you have done more in a month than many fulltimers do in a year ;o))

    But what a great Christmas you had!! My favorite of all the photos is Marti with the two girls...they all have the same smile :o))

    We drove through Quartzite back in 2000, but did not stay. Be interested in your take on the place.

    Safe Travels and Happy Trails....

  8. The answer to your question is usually no. It seems tailwinds only happen for people going the opposite direction than you are. :)

  9. It is a GREAT start to your Full Time Journey... We love this lifestyle and looks like it fits you both too!!! GREAT photos ☺
    Happy New Year to you both!

  10. Wow...such wonderful memories you two are making already.

    We hope to meet up with you guys in Q...we will be there around the 16th...enjoy your drive along is spectacular!

  11. Love the recap! Highway 101...was on that a lot in CA. You'll pass right by my parents neck o' the woods in central coast of CA. Have fun on your next jaunt!

  12. Whirlwind of a month, indeed! Congrats on the news of a new grandbaby. Smooth travels for 2012! :)

  13. You have such a beautiful and GROWING family. No wonder you wanted to full time so you could just go around and around from SC to NJ to OR.

    Curious to see what you thing of "Q" as they call it.


  14. My goodness you sure packed a lot into your first month!

    Before you know it, you will need a vacation from your retirement. LOL

    Looks like a wonderful time and sooo anxious to see your adventures in Quartzite~!
    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

  15. You have been totally blessed this past month. Not only have you created memories for you two, but for the grands! Enjoy the 101. It is a lovely drive. Each day as we paint, wash windows, polish cabinets etc, i think of you and your hard work to sell your house. I sure hope ours goes quickly.

  16. Next thing you know it'll be the year in review. Happy travels and hope we meet somewhere along the way.

  17. Happy New Year! It is going to be a great one:)

  18. Great adventure you have in there. Wish I have a motorhome too. :)

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