Sunday, March 24, 2013

And the story begins......

This is my attempt for a blog about our RV adventures.  

Let me start out at the beginning in 2008 when we went for a walk one day.  There was a small RV dealer that set up during the winter months about a mile away.  We'd walk down there and checked out the RV's.  The salesman was very patient and gave us all the pros and cons of each type.  We decided that you either pull a trailer or haul a car behind if you have a motorhome.  Not being too mechanical we decided a fifth wheel only had one motor to take care of.  We weren't sure if we'd like it, and not having much money decided we could afford something used.  Not having a truck, the salesman called one day and said they didn't really take trucks on trade but he had a nice one.  He had it brought down from Mesa for us to see.  It was a red Dodge 2500 long bed with a hitch and a auxiliary tank.  About two weeks later, Bill said to me "the truck is still there in the back of the lot".  I said "how do you know?"  Bill said he drove down to check it out.  I said I didn't know you wanted the truck and if you feel that way let's go buy it.  We offered $5,000 less and they accepted the offer.  

About a week later the salesman called and said he had a beautiful 2005 Cardinal with 3 slides he thought we'd like.  We walked over to the lot and fell in love with it.  It was one that had a big bedroom and Bill didn't feel closed in.  The only problem was the cost of the trailer.  We waited another week and the dealer had a special show at the old Walmart.  We went to the show and the trailer had been reduced $15,000.  Joe, the salesman talked with us and I said the 30 foot Cardinal was perfect but $10,000  more than we could afford.  The next thing I know he called the owner and said they hadn't sold anything yet and the owner said OK, take their offer.

The orientation appointment was at 4 pm.  We left the lot at 5 pm rush hour traffic.  We didn't know what a black or gray tank was.  We pulled out of the lot with my head hanging out the window saying "you missed that light pole."  

We parked it in front of the house and the next morning took it over to Sundance RV Resort about a mile away.  Polly and Vern Fogler had their Teton fifth wheel  and helped us park it in a site.  They spent time showing us how to operate everything and how to empty the tanks.  They presented us with some very useful housewarming gifts .We had a nice dinner and spent our first night in the 5er.  The next day we backed it into our storage site for two weeks and then went to Mexico with the Foglers and Pat and Joe Marcovecchio.  We drove back across the border a day earlier than the others as wanted to be here for my Dad's birthday.  Diesel was selling for $4.85 a gallon.  

Two weeks later we headed east.  We traveled across Texas and spent Memorial Day weekend in Oklahoma City.  There were 5 tornadoes in the area but we were comfortable in our 5th wheel.  One tornado hit a pig farm and we saw "pigs fly".  We enjoyed the Western Heritage Museum and special chuckwagon cook offs they had for the holiday.   Bill had a high school class reunion but it wasn't in Follansbee, WV where he graduated.  It was held in Weirton, WV. We also attended an all class reunion which was held in Steubenville, Ohio.   We spent time visiting our kids and grand kids in the Ohio Valley about 45 miles from Pittsburgh.  

One day, we were trying to decide what to have for dinner and I said lobster so headed for Maine.  We ended up putting 90,000 miles on that used rig and seeing every state except Alaska, Hawaii and Delaware.  We got to the border of Delaware a couple of times but couldn't think of anything we wanted to see.  

We finally decided we liked RVing and maybe it was time to trade that one in.  Roger and Sharon Hime spent a lot of time with us looking for the right rig.  August 30th we purchased a 37.6 foot 2012 Montana Mountaineer.  The dealership was giving all of his employees a day off early for the Labor Day Weekend.  We transferred everything as quickly as we could and drove it to the Gypsy Journal Rally in Celina, Ohio.  We were there two days early and it rained.  I was so happy that it rained as I spent the time putting things away and reading the manuals.  The day the rally started I felt much better that everything had a place--not that I could find anything.  I was worried about how to get out of the fairgrounds.  As noted, this trailer is 8 feet longer than the Cardinal and the fairground road was narrow with low hanging trees but Bill handled it with no problems.

We left Celina and were planning a two day trip to visit John and Karen Knoll near Chicago.  John had been very ill and we wanted to see them.  It was a cloudy day and then it turned into a downpour and there was nowhere to pull over.  Luckily the rain didn't last very long so we drove on in to the campground.

After our visit we were headed to Sedalia, MO for the Escapade.  This was our second time at a Escapade in Sedalia.  My sister, Sherry and her husband Dave meet us there.  Bill and I represented our Escapee Chapter 45 on the row.  

We left Sedalia and enjoyed a real highlight in Berryville, AR. The Saunders Museum had a wonderful collection of historic guns, one of the best we've ever seen.  We enjoyed a stop in Durant, OK at a Casino which had one of the prettiest and best priced RV parks  We spent a couple of days at the Roswell, NM Elks and then down to Deming.  Ron and Alice Schulz and Don and Kay Damkaer were at Dreamcatchers RV Park also.  We would have liked to stay longer, but needed to get back to Casa Grande for a couple of follow up doctor visits after Bill's hospital visit while in Kentucky.

We left two days early for Amado, AZ for our Chapter 45 rally.  The site was a blind side back in (did I mention that backing a trailer is the hardest part of owning and driving one?) and Bill put it in there like a professional driver.  The only problem was no one else was there to see it. No "bragging rights" here. 

We left Amado and headed out to Death Valley, CA, 49ers Rendezvous (a re-enactment of the pioneer trek West).  We spent a couple of days in Kingman, AZ and Pahrump, Nevada.

On January 3rd we went for a weekend at the Tucson fairgrounds and then on to Benson for a Chapter 21 Polar Bear Party which is a special drink of coffee liqueur, vodka and ice cream.  We took some day trips to Tombstone and also to Gammons Gulch, a movie set, while staying at the Escapees Park.  We met up with John and Karen Knoll  on our way to Parker, AZ for the Chapter 21 rally at La Paz County Park.  After Parker we drove the short distance to Quartzite (the Woodstock for Seniors) where we joined up with the Escapee friends we'd met in previous years.  Polly and Vern found us in the BLM  land and this was their first trip to Quartzite.  We never enjoyed boondocking (without hook ups) until we got a remote start generator.  

On February 12, we went to Lake Havasu City and boondocked at the steps.  The steps are BLM land which were terraced for a housing development that went belly up.  Sharon and Don Del Rosario arrived right after we pulled in and then Frank and Gloria King with their new puppy.  The pyrothenic show (a manufacturer display of all fireworks for dealers) was awesome.  Ed Allard joined us on Thursday morning. 

On St. Patrick's Day we went to Mesa Usery Park for the Chapter 44--Alberta Roamers Rally (a chapter made up of Canadian and U.S.members).  What a great group of people.  We had a lot of fun and look forward to going again.  

So that's a short synopsis of the last 5 years of our RVing.