September 30, 2014

A Sampling From The Trip

There is no particular order for these photos, just some that caught my eye as I started to review the thousands Betty took on the RV trip. We would like to put together a few "coffee table" books for our home based on different subjects, like sunsets, mountains and monuments, beautiful campgrounds, and oddities on the road. It is also time to freshen some of the photos printed on canvas that adorn our walls.

All in all, we have enough photo projects to keep us busy until next year's trip to Oregon and the Pacific Northwest.

Enjoy.



































Look at that smile on Betty's face.....even after 6 weeks together in an RV

Time together we will always treasure

One conclusion we have reached is that long, 5,000+ mile RV trips like this one, are probably not going to be part of our future. Why? The cost of gas. The time we spent together, the experiences, and places we saw were exceptional. But, at 6 miles to the gallon an RV just doesn't make sense for us financially. Plus, upon our return I spent over $1,700 in repairs and on-going maintenance. 

Next year we are going to Palm Springs for a film festival in January, three or four long weekend jaunts to the mountains of Arizona, and a trip to Portland in the summer. All of that is 25% fewer miles than this year's 2 month excursion, or almost $1,000 less in gas (at today's prices). If prices drop to well below $3.00 a gallon we may change our minds. But, for now, the drives to New Orleans, Key West, or New England are not likely. San Diego, California wine country, and Oregon are looking better and better!


35 comments:

  1. Gorgeous photos! I especially like the one of you and Betty at Mt. Rushmore!! We have been looking and reading up on RV's and for now, still just driving places and using airbnb to get inexpensive places to stay.We pack a cooler with easy lunches and snacks, and run into the grocery store for some of our meals! Eating outside under a tree at a picnic table is always fun. We have also started tent camping again (Never say never!) I actually enjoyed a rustic 2 nights in Jerome this summer! Well, life is a real adventure, and in retirement, there is time to explore and revisit some activities we didn't have time for a few years ago.I always learn a lot from your posts.. glad you ,Betty and Bailey are home safe! Planning the shorter trips is sure to keep you busy this winter season...

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    1. We'll even make it to the Payson-Pine-Strawberry area!

      Tent camping? That is one form of outdoors experiences that I won't repeat. I had my fill in the Army.

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  2. Great pics, Bob. You and Betty experienced on this one trip more than many will in a lifetime. I am sure the others you take, whether shorter in distance or not, will be just as enlightening. And you two will certainly get your "money's worth" from the RV when it is time to hang it up, hopefully far down the road.

    Have neighbors that drive their RV to FL for three months and park it, to escape the TN winter (I still get a kick out of people that think our winters are tough. Decades in Upstate NY, as you know, will cause one to chuckle at such comments.) That is one way to escape the high gas prices, but only if are enamored with one particular area. Take care and enjoy.

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    1. Staying in one place is the plan for the Portland area next summer. We will park for a month and use our car to get around. That will cut our gasoline expenses substantially.

      In addition to our trips our daughter's family borrows the RV once or twice a year for one or two night trips. The grandkids (and parents) love the experience together. So, yes, the RV will be a wise investment in terms of experiences and memories.

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  3. But but that manure spreader, JD - A, was old when we were young.

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    1. I gather you are referring to one of the pictures of the farm implement. It made for a dramatic picture.

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    2. I loved that one a lot...it takes a special eye to see beauty in a farm implement.

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  4. These will make fabulous coffee table books! Something to share with the family for generations to come. Maybe a road trip East with hotel stops would be a cheaper way to get to the right coast? And, there's always air travel.
    b

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    1. Next summer we may be flying to Pittsburgh and then renting a car for a drive into West Virginia for a short family reunion with Betty's family. Taking the RV for the 3-4 day event would be silly, so flying it will be.

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  5. Wonderful eye, Betty!

    It's great to have at least one grand adventure. Sounds like your trip was just that.

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    1. We are planning on a European river cruise and trip to Paris for our 40th anniversary in 2016. That will be quite an adventure, too.

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  6. Gorgeous pictures and it must have been a memorable and fun trip. Your plans for next year sound like lots of fun too.

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    1. I try to live more in the moment, but the trip 10 months from now is on my mind!

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  7. Gorgeous pictures!

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    1. Thanks, Beth. I'll pass along your comment to Betty.

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  8. When it comes to RV travel I think you have learned a truth that goes largely unsaid. RV travel is a great experience for a lot of reasons but travelling inexpensively isn't one of them.

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    1. So true. RV trips can be very special, but don't come under the heading of budget travel.

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  9. What a treat! Thanks for sharing those pictures -- I said "wow" more than a few times as i was flipping through them

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    1. There were so many extraordinary pictures from this trip I could do a post like this once every two weeks and not run in a year. I'm glad you enjoyed the handful presented here.

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  10. Photos are gorgeous! Thank you both for sharing them. I especially like the Mt Rushmore photos & the ones that look like Utah/Colorado.

    Thank you for sharing information about RV travel; it has been useful for me to make a decision about getting one or not. We will look forward to seeing you in wine country next summer!!!

    pam

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    1. Some were from Black Canyon National Park in Colorado, others from the Badlands and Custer State Park in South Dakota, Casper in Wyoming, Sioux Falls, Omaha, near Minocqua in Wisconsin, Iowa, and of course Mt. Rushmore and Devil's Tower.

      Yes, Paso Robles should be on our route.

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  11. You made me realize how lucky we were to have been able to take that adventure when we could afford it. But you and I both know that in the end it really is all about money and sacrifice. You will never regret it and now you can give those folks looking to do what you did some wonderful advice.

    Tell Betty the pictures are glorious. Thank you.

    b+

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    1. I will pass on your words to Betty. Hopefully we will see you and Earl this winter in Tucson and next summer in Portland.

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  12. Cari in North TexasTue Sep 30, 06:35:00 PM MST

    Along with the others, I think your photos are breathtaking. I enjoyed the ones showing small town life, as well as the magnificent natural wonders of this grand country of ours. Thank you for sharing!

    I'm not nagging, but before your trip (maybe during) you said you would probably do a post at some point about what you did with/to your house before you left. I'm still interested to see what you do when planning to be gone for an extended period of time.

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    1. You are right...I will write something about our house prep within the next few weeks.

      The picture of the small town with the flags was taken in a community we really enjoyed: McGregor, Iowa, population 871. We attended a church service there, visited an excellent art center, had a few very good meals, and shopped in an old style general store.

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  13. Bob, Betty's photographs are outstanding! Simply amazing. Very inspiring.
    It's sad that your RV travels must be curtailed due to gas prices. As a long time RVer, we've downsized our rig to curtail our fuel usage. There are many, many light and featherweight trailers coming out on the market specifically addressing this problem. Our new RV, though light, is small (17 ft) and a bit tight. But we can tow it with a regular SUV and happily we get 20 miles per gallon. Another thing we do to keep costs down (which you agree) is staying at each location a bit longer. Two weeks, one month and three months at a time have become the new normal.
    Happy trails to you and Betty. Thank you for sharing your RV adventures. Makes me think about new places to visit and explore!

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    1. Staying in one place will be very helpful. But, one of the realities of living in Phoenix is it takes the better part of a week just to get out of the desert and "brown" if we want to head east or northeast.

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  14. Beautiful pictures! Glad you made it to Devil's Tower - did you watch the movie when there?

    We'll soon be off on a cross country RV trip. Rather than heading straight back to AZ from MN like we often do, we'll first go east to CT to visit grandkids (and their parents). Then we'll detour down the Shenandoah Parkway, Blue Ridge Parkway, and Natchez Trace. A last minute change of plans, but looking forward to it. Maybe you inspired us.

    BTW, heading to Temecula in November for a wine run. Let's get together when we get back and share a bottle or two. -- Daryl



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    1. We stayed at the KOA campground right at the entrance to the park. Yes, they still show Close Encounters of the Third Kind every single night, with Devil's Tower visible right behind the screen. We did stay at a few of the campgrounds you had recommended...thanks!

      The area around Temecula is beautiful and has several really good wineries. Yes, a meeting over wine sounds good, Daryl.

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    2. Daryl, I'm doing that same wine run . . . small world! I'm expecting it be somewhat small since it's the inaugural race so perhaps we'll bump into each other. I'll be in the 2:10 chute. :-)

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  15. I took a week-long photography class this summer, and based on my newfound expertise, I can say with some authority ... these are great photos!

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  16. Isn't it aggravating to see the price of gas come down now that the RV's are put away from summer travels?!?

    As you know, we came in under budget on two recent RV trips 10,000+ miles combined, primarily because I overbudgeted at $4.00 a gallon, and because we got better mileage than anticipated by keeping our speed at around 55 mph. Which comes with it's own set of challenges by the way - very disconcerting to be passed by big rigs going 75 mph to our 55 mph!

    Anyhow, like you two we learned our endurance threshold, which in our case pertained to our appetite for being in very desolate areas for hundreds of miles at a time in order to get from point A to point B. Most memorable stretch was a flat two lane highway between Medora, ND and Great Falls, MT that went on for over 300 miles. Somewhere around mile 75 a warning light went on in our Jeep, alerting us to a low tire. We had to drive on for another 40 miles, holding our breath the entire way, before we found a tiny little in-the-middle-of-nowhere station that had a tire inflator.

    And yet, here I sit just two weeks after returning from our most recent trip sad that our RV will go unused for the next couple of months. We really do love and relish life on the road, and it appears I only need a couple of weeks at home between adventures to refresh and renew.

    So, while in no way have we lost our zeal for RV'ing, we have probably lost our zeal for tackling many thousands of miles per trip, and we will likely stay well west of the Plains states going forward. Like you two, we have a particular affinity for our beautiful Pacific Northwest, and plan to spend next summer slowly RV'ing down the exquisite Oregon and N. California coastlines.

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    1. Gas prices always go up for the summer season but that's when we want to be away from the heat, so we are stuck. Yes, I am paying $3.10 now, not the $3.89 or $4.05 on some legs of the trip.

      We are going to have the RV professionally washed and waxed in a few weeks. It has been completely cleaned inside but the outside needs some attention and protection against the Arizona sun and the rigors of the road. It should look good in Palm Springs in January.

      Originally I was thinking we'd go to Oregon via Las Vegas, Salt Lake, and up through Idaho and Montana. But, now I am thinking up and back through California. It is quicker, prettier, and less mountainous. We have never spent time along the Northern California coast in places like Eureka and Humboldt, so that is now part of the plan.

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    2. Oh Bob, you know I'll have many thoughts and suggestions about where to stay during your CA legs, which I'm sure we'll chat about come January!

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