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View From the Trail to Mount Colvin

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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Getting Our RV Mojo Back

20180530_144502Although we weren’t really trying to rush, we got ourselves going, hooked up and on the road basically right on the dot at 9 am.

I am finding it SO easy to get the inside area travel-ready now. What a nice change!


We traveled until almost noon, and found a Pilot truck stop where we could fuel up. I used a great new app that I downloaded recently called Trucker Path. You can put in your destination, and it plots a good route, and then shows you all the truck stops, rest areas etc. along your travel route. 33923535_10217380512091534_3471229221878104064_nAnd sometimes you can even find out how busy it is at the truck stop, although that depends on people reporting in, so it’s not always an up to date report. But we used it to find our fuel up stop, as well as a rest area where we had lunch. It worked really well.

There was almost no one in the camper/truck part of the rest area.


We arrived at the Fort Mill/Charlotte KOA right around 3 pm, and after checking in, we settled into our site for the next three days. We stayed here last year, but now it is even more convenient because Harry’s son and daughter-in-law bought a house only a few miles away.

33786472_10217380443809827_370848302633058304_nNormally I might not unpack so much just for a few days, but being our first real stop, I wanted to get everything out and figure out how I was going to set up for the summer. I have to say, I love love LOVE the set up now that we have taken the table out.

We used to have both chairs over in the slide to the left, but I moved mine out and now we really have a living room space.


I put the basket and tote under the window to make a little spot for the cats to rest in the sun and look out the window on this side.

I will have to move this stuff when the boys are with us, but the rest of the time this is how it will be set up.


Here is the kitchen from the other direction.


And the bedroom….

(The blanket over the pillows is to keep cat hair off, because that is one of their favorite spots to sleep.)


Now that we are actually on the road, we are getting back in the RV frame of mind. The travel days went smoothly, as did hitching and unhitching. The cats have settled in without any complaining at all. Our summer season is off to a great start!


PS Ariel discovered the spot under the window about an hour after I first published this blog post….

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

First Day Back Under Our Belt


The weekend went so quickly, with packing and moving things over to the rig in between waves of rain. We were really pretty lucky though, because we by no means had constant rain. Just off and on showers. A few hard rains but even they didn’t last very long.


This morning we were awake pretty early, so we got up and got the last minute items moved over. Harry checked the pressure on the tires (all good!) and then we hooked back up for departure. It all seemed quite familiar, and beyond a few, “oh yeah forgot that”s, everything proceeded as if we had just been traveling a few weeks ago.


The bug guy arrived right on time, and got the spraying done to cover our place for the summer.

And then we were off!


Despite the cloudy skies as we were hooking up, by the time we got on the road we had blue skies and even sunshine!



It was a beautiful, rain and traffic free day to travel!


We arrived here at Pecan Park in Jacksonville, and unhooked for the night.


It was clouding up with a storm system moving through after we got settled, and as I write this it has been raining. But we are thankful that it stayed dry while we were on the road!

Tomorrow we move on to the Charlotte, NC area for a few days. We’ll be visiting with Harry’s son Andrew and his wife Amanda. We are looking forward to seeing them!

Monday, May 28, 2018

T Minus One – It’s a Mental Thing


We are down to our last day before departure. We are pretty set to go. We probably could have gotten going today easily. But tomorrow worked out well. The bug guy is coming first thing in the morning to spray our house one more time before we leave.


Moving our things into the fiver has gone very smoothly. We’ve gotten everything moved over that we don’t use on a daily basis. We picked up a couple frozen dinners when we were at the store the other day so I won’t be doing any cooking today.


The hardest prep has been the mental part. I’m looking forward to seeing family, but beyond that both of us are really ambivalent about the thought of leaving. I guess that’s a good thing, that we both love our little home here. But it makes it harder to rustle up excitement about the coming trip.

I think, and hope, that once we actually pull out and get our sights focused on our upcoming stops, start our family visits and get our place set up and comfortable, that we’ll just enjoy our summer. After all, it’s going to go by fast, like it always does, and all too soon we’ll be heading in the other direction again.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Lucking Out With Packing and Making a Decision

When we picked our rig up on Thursday, we felt like we were under a time crunch due to the weather forecast. The subtropical storm coming up was forecast to bring a lot of rain to Florida over the weekend. But so far we have been really lucky. The storm has not only not brought tons of rain to our area, at least yet, but it has kept us cloudy. I don’t think we saw any sun at all yesterday, and our high was only in the 70s. That worked out great considering we aren’t using our a/c.

We have made a lot of progress! In fact, I think we have almost everything moved in that we can do at this point.

We are going to have so much room! I will do better pictures when we are set up at our first stop, but just to give you an idea…


You may remember that over by the window to the right is where we had put the table. We removed that altogether. (It is just sitting in our living room for the summer.) We moved the cat tree over in the corner of this slide.


Over here is where the cat tree used to be. This is going to become the boys’ sleeping area for a month this summer. That box contains a portable camping bunkbed set-up. We are going to set those up in that space.


My pantry is just about put together also. It’s really spacious because I was able to put all my dry goods in another overhead cabinet, since so many of our cabinets are empty now.

And now the big decision portion of the blog…for the past few months, we have been talking about whether we want to keep this big rig. Now that we have moved our things in, we have really seen that we just don’t need a 40 foot fifth wheel anymore. We still want to travel, but we would like to have something smaller and more suited to our current lifestyle.

This is our plan as it stands now. We left a lot of things that we didn’t need in my sister’s basement, like the extra chairs to the table, the sink covers and the covers for the stove. We’re going to get all that stuff when we are up in NY. When we get back here in the fall, we’re going to put everything back where it was when we first got it. Well, as much as we can. Of course, we got rid of the couch so there’s not much we can do about that. Then during the winter season, we’re going to start doing some shopping for our next rv. Right now, we’re leaning toward a bunkroom travel trailer in the 32 ft. range. That’s going to be fun next winter!

But first, we’re going to enjoy one more summer season in the one where it all began. Two days left until we hit the road again.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Transition Time and Solving Problems

33426030_10217337903986358_652779538014535680_nSince my last post, I’ve had my last few days of work at Home Depot. I am excited about a few months of vacation (who wouldn’t be?) but at the same time, it was bittersweet to be saying good-bye to my co-workers. The guys I work with on the delivery team are just so great. These are most of the delivery team workers…from left to right…Damon, me, Chris and Brad. There is one other woman on deliveries, Miriam, but she works evenings so she wasn’t there to be in the picture.


Damon bought this cake for my last day.

By October 1st I’ll be ready to get back to work!


Yesterday we went and picked up the rig at the storage lot. It went pretty well. Harry checked the pressure on the tires and then we hooked up.


We traveled the short trip over to our place, and pulled up in front of our house.


In perfect position for bringing all our stuff out! (Today I racked up 4 miles on my Garmin just walking to and from the rig from the house.)

33596794_10217337907026434_6054854936087232512_nIn the midst of all that, I took Ariel to the pet groomer’s to get her nails clipped one last time before we leave. She is so calm for everyone else, but horrible for us when we try to clip her nails. So we take her over there about once a month while we’re here. It becomes a little more hit and miss when we’re on the road because it’s not always easy to find groomers who work with cats.

So that was yesterday. Today has seemed like a bit of a problem day, especially for Harry. He has had a multitude of problems to solve….fixing a slide topper that wouldn’t go in correctly, leaky valve stem on the inside dually that necessitated putting the truck up and taking a tire off, a random bolt that fell out of the bottom of the slide when we were bringing it in…and the biggest issue…finding a NAIL in one of our rig tires. That was a bit of a panic moment, being that today was the Friday of Memorial Day weekend. But shout out to Laye’s Tire in Avon Park, who took Harry right in after their lunch hour and fixed our tire in about 15 minutes. Phew!

As Harry has been in problem solving mode, I have been steadily hiking back and forth with the STUFF we will need. At this point I’ve not been doing a ton of organizing, just dropping it somewhere inside the rig, because our weather forecast for the weekend is for rain, rain and more RAIN. So hopefully we can just spend some time inside getting things put together and ready for heading out on Tuesday.

And if all goes well, no more problems!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Sorting Out

32556551_10217261185628447_2592656604503474176_nWhen we arrived here last August, to save on expenses we basically emptied out the fifth wheel. We didn’t want to have to buy everything new for the house. We had quite a few piles of STUFF all over the place!

Now 32620857_10217261185308439_2480848903457472512_nthat we are getting ready to go back into the fifth wheel, we are being quite a bit more selective about what we bring back.

So I’ve started sorting through the kitchen to figure out what I really use on a day to day basis. It will be nice to be able to leave stuff behind. Like the roaster oven that we used to cook our turkey or ham on holidays. I’m going to whittle my baking pans down to what I use the most often. While we are up at our seasonal site, we will only be 20 minutes from my mother’s house, so if there is anything I am missing I can borrow it from her anyway.

We will also be going through the rig before we start moving back in. Anything left in there will seriously be on the “do we really need this?” list. I am anticipating that we will have a lot of extra room in the rig. 32372847_10217237451275103_3135129700045684736_nWe won’t be bringing knick knacks, boxes of pictures which I carried around for almost five years, our printer or keurig coffee maker. We are leaving behind our rug, the side tables that we used in the bedroom and living room. Just for the summer, we are also taking out the table which we never use. (You can see it in the pic above over to the left by the window.) We will just be storing that in the house until we get back. I think we are going to be so light that the truck won’t even know it’s pulling anything!

I have today off and then I go back to work tomorrow to start my last few days before the start of summer vacation.

Thirteen days until we hit the road!

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Winding Down

32418615_10217237500476333_1252402288736075776_nBy the middle of April, most of the snowbird portion of our park had headed north for the summer. Since we aren’t leaving until the end of May, we were the goodbye committee each time. The streets have gotten so quiet. I’ve been doing my morning runs pretty early because once the sun comes up it gets hot. Other than being too hot to run after 8:30 or 9 am, I really haven’t minded the weather too much. It’s so different since we aren’t in the rig. The a/c keeps it really comfortable, and it’s so quiet, we don’t even know it’s on most of the time.


On one of my runs recently, I saw the sandhill cranes taking advantage of the open yard to look for their breakfast.


32385431_10217237472675638_7822498926333788160_nOur friends Jim and Dee, (who used to be our neighbors but bought a place in Auburndale a couple years ago), met us at Brewpop Brewery in Auburndale a couple weeks ago. We used a groupon  we had purchased for a tasting. It was a fun time but I didn’t like their brews as much as I enjoyed a tasting we did earlier this winter at Keel and Curley Winery.



Right before the last of our friends left, we had one last get-together at our house. We played a rousing game of Pegs and Jokers – men vs women. We had a lot of laughs and enjoyed each other’s company for the afternoon.

32350146_10217237449475058_894714715085733888_nWe’ve been doing lots of odds and ends over the past couple of weeks. We were thinking about the rig sitting in storage all winter, and that we didn’t want to bring any hitchhikers north with us. So we met the guy who sprays our property, and he sprayed the inside of our rig and in the basement. Don’t want to see any of those palmetto bugs running around!

32372847_10217237451275103_3135129700045684736_nWhile we had it open, we checked around inside. It looks really good. No calling cards from any visitors that I could see, and it smelled really fresh inside. We are going to make some pretty big changes when we get it over here. The boys will be staying with us for a month while we are up north, so we are going to make some configuration changes and take out some furniture that we don’t use. I’m excited to see what it looks like.


We were walking last week at the end of one of our few cloudy days, and I noticed that it was clearing on the horizon. It cleared just enough that the sun going down just lit up the whole sky. It was so beautiful!

I am down to my last week and a half to work at Home Depot. I’m looking forward to a few months off, and heading off on our extended vacation. But I’m going to miss my co-workers also. I’ve been so lucky to have gotten a job that I am enjoying so much.

Fifteen days left until we hit the road!