July 8, 2014

And So It Begins

The extended RV trip that prompted the summer sabbatical from the blog's regular posting schedule is underway. We are in Flagstaff, a good place just a few hours from home, to finalize the route and first week or so of the trip. Wednesday morning we are on our way to the Zion National Park area.

I would be terribly remiss in not thanking all those who left such heartfelt comments after I announced the partial suspension of this blog, with a final decision coming upon our return in September. I knew Satisfying Retirement has a loyal group of readers, but the strength of its impact and importance of what we all discuss here was brought forcefully home to me by your words. While I am not prepared to say with all certainty I will restart regular postings in a few months, you have given me some strong reasons to do so.

Back to the trip, to say Betty and I were ready to go would be an understatement. Our clothes were in the RV closets over a week before we left. The refrigerator was turned on fours days before we rolled away from home. Bailey, our cocker spaniel, knew something was up; she refused to be more than a few feet from our side whenever we went out to the motorhome. No way was she going to miss the adventure.

After a few family dinners, swimming with the grandkids, seeing a movie, and setting up the date of our first Skype conversation, we began the shutdown of the house. Maybe I will devote a future post to the specific steps we took to close up our home for a few months - something some of you fellow travelers might find useful.

Because of the summer heat in Phoenix we couldn't load the things that 100+ degrees might damage, like food stuffs, and toiletries, until just before we left. With night time temperatures remaining in the mid to upper 80's Betty was worried about all sorts of things being ruined before we could escape to cooler climes. So, early Monday was the time to load up most of the RV, hook up the car behind us, double-check all the locks and security steps, and point ourselves north.


The weather is predicted to be unsettled with thunderstorms for the next several days. Within an hour of our arrival we experienced our first rain in over four months. 30 minutes later the temperature had dropped to 62 degrees, while Phoenix was around 105. Amazing what 120 miles and 7,500 feet in evaluation can do.

We are set to play lots of games, read the two dozen books we brought, hike through the woods, picnic by some lakes, photograph everything, and explore this great country.

Off to a great start!

Again, thank you for the support and look for another update somewhere along the road.


33 comments:

  1. Bob, I have suggested it before, and I do think that this is the perfect time to create "Betty's Blog." With her photographs and your narration, we (twbr) could virtually take this trip with you two.

    So glad you are finally off and eager to explore. Take care and be well.

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    1. Ha,ha,hee....Guess you are scratching your head wondering who the heck! It's just me. I deleted my Blog (got tired of it) and created a new blog to teach my brother how to use Blogger. Didn't realize that this photo would show up in comments. Going to change it right now. xoxo Suzanne

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    2. It is a little different look for you!

      I have suggested such an idea to Betty several times but she'd rather just contribute photos as I need them. We may also team up sometime on Pinterest.

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  2. Oh, it sounds so wonderful. That freeing feeling, when you hit the road with no responsibilities, except to yourselves. Time to refresh, reconnect and enjoy each other and all that your travels will bring to you!

    The conversation about house preparation for a long trip would be a good one. We will be extending our time away to 3 months next winter. We have a Foscam for indoor security (probably overkill). Our checklist is long, but gives us (false?) peace of mind.

    Don't feel too obligated to post while you are away. We want you to be refreshed and renewed, hoping that you'll want to blog again this fall. It is obvious from all the comments that your blog has been a wonderful support and inspiration to many! And think of all the people who just read, but don't comment! I have a feeling your followers are many!

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    1. My shutdown list was about three pages long! You are right, if someone wants to break in they will. Betty and I discussed that risk and decided that it is only stuff and can't take the place of this experience. Plus, it would be sort of an enforced simplifying of our possessions! It would make for a good post.

      I still feel posting once every two weeks or so is about right during this trip, and yes, the support is very gratifying.

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  3. It just makes me smile. Bon Voyage!

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  4. Cari in North TexasTue Jul 08, 06:26:00 AM MST

    I didn't comment on your previous post, but I agree with your decision and applaud you for realizing that this is _your_ retirement, not necessarily ours. You have to look out for yourself and do what's right for you, and I'm realizing that the definition of 'right' changes over time. Happy Traveling!

    I'll be interested in reading about your adventures on the road for an extended period of time.

    I would be interested to read at some point about your shutdown procedures. I've often wondered about those who travel for months at a time and how they handle their permanent home. Housesitters? Friends? Relatives? And what about utility bills? Mowing the yard? Just things that make you go hmmm...

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    1. There is a lot to consider when you shut down a house for a several month period. A condo would be easier, but that isn't our situation. I will do a post about it this fall.

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  5. I'm envious, Bob - sounds like you and Betty are having a great trip. Wishing you the best, as well as continual safe travels. We know you will update us when you feel you have the time, so until then, enjoy the road!

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    1. Thanks, Chuck. Stormy and wet so far which is perfect for us. Tomorrow we are off for southern Utah - still rainy periods forecast but back to hotter temperatures.

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  6. How fun for the two of you! Enjoy every minute of your adventure.

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    1. We will be in Grand Junction next week and then the Denver area. Keep the weather cool for us!

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  7. I have to tell you Bob, that your decision helped change a decision that I had previously made. I think you changed my life. :)

    Have fun!

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    1. Changed your life? Wow - I hope in a good way.

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  8. Have a safe and fulfilling journey.

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    1. Thanks, Duncan. Try to not get too baked this summer in Phoenix.

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  9. So pleased you two are finally on your way! I predict that as much as you enjoy your family time in Phoenix, you will find yourself pining for the road once this trip is over and done. The stimulation and joy of being on the road and constantly changing your environment gets into your blood!

    Happy Trails!

    Tamara and Mike
    (Currently exploring South Dakota . . . )

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    1. Thunderstorm at 6400 feet in the Rockies, with an 11,000 foot elevation to tackle tomorrow!

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  10. I just returned from a several week trip. Although I thought I'd blog at least once or twice while away, I was just too busy. So, I do understand your decision. I will miss your blog, though. Maybe you could just post a few pictures along the way to inspire us to get on the road. Have a wonderful trip! And, please post your shutdown procedures. My husband and I would appreciate the pointers!

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    1. I will have a shutdown post upon our return.

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  11. Steve in Los AngelesWed Jul 09, 02:28:00 PM MST

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    1. Steve....I have no idea why your comment was removed! There was nothing wrong with it at all. If you'd like to resend one I will post it when I have decent Internet connections.

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  12. Thanks for the update! I almost didn't check your blog but so glad I did!

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    1. Look for another update the week of the 21st.

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  13. Sounds exciting! Zion National Park is on our bucket list. Enjoy!

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    1. It is a must see. I will have some of Betty's photos to post next week.

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  14. Ron and I just back from 2 weeks in Banner Elk, NC with cool temps ( highs in low 60's and most nights down to mid 40's) along with Kristine and family. We all love it up there and if we could, would stay the summer. Florida kids are so excited to be there and play outdoors in the summer- guess same with Phoenix kids! We all got to wear long pants and sweatshirts at least daily! In the summer!!!! Enjoy this time and cooler temps. Keep posting and love to see the photos and where you go next.

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    1. Knowing who this is, I know you and Ron love that area of the country...it is so different from Tampa. We are in the Rocky Mountains at the moment in a thunderstorm with temperatures in the 60s. After over a week of 90's we are so happy to be out of the heat.

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  15. it's funny I have no whim to travel for me "there is no place like home" probably why I have ruby slippers dangling from my review mirror.We are here in Rochester NY on Lake Ontario and a stones throw from the Finger Lakes.We have FOUR seasons, amazing color in the fall,outstanding universities,wonderful health care,reasonable housing, even a good place to start a business in some cases.We can be outside every day if we want even with this really cold winter totally doable.There is something special about every season to do and see.If I was to travel going the RV route would be the way to go! So I am interested to hear and see your adventures.

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    1. We will post more next week as well make our way across Nebraska.

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  16. Replies
    1. It was lovely...in fact all the parks so far have been great. We are now in the small town of Gypsum, CO on the way to the Denver area tomorrow (Thursday). I will post some fresh pictures and info sometime next week.

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