Sunday, March 20, 2016

The First Hundred Days

Rarely do I know what the name of a Blog post will be before I actually write it. 

Today's post is different.  When I discovered that the number of days on the road in the Trek since purchasing her last Spring was 100 days since I bought it, I knew a Blog Post was Born.

 I have never done a year in review post as I have found it impossible to cull through all the photos to come up with the best of the best.  We shall see..... if I can summarize our wonderful travels during these 100 days of travel.  Since I didn't blog on all the places that we visited many of the pictures in this blog are not recorded in other blog posts.  So this should help in preserving some of the wonderful memories.

Since my plans to full time changed when my Granddaughter came to live with me, I refer to my self as a some-timer.  It seems never enough time that I am able to be camping. A Hundred days.....nearly 1/3 a year!   I see that I was able to spend far more time doing what I love this year and that does make me happy!!

 I certainly won't repeat all the wonderful pics and stories that I shared thus far on the blog but want only to give some overall impressions of the wonder year we have had a the amazing diversity of  our journeys and experiences during our first 100 days.

We had a lot to learn about the Roadtrek and how to make it work for us so  with plans to take a cross country trip during the summer we decided on a couple of shake down trips to ensure that we had what we needed and we were familiar with all the systems. And we did find some issues to work out. I couldn't get one burner to light which I had the RV folks address and fix....I thought.  It reoccurred on the trip and we traveled most of the trip with one burner.  I also couldn't get the water pump to operate and the RB service department found right away that there was an air bubble in the line so I was able to be present as they problem solved the issues and it was a good learning experience for me.

When traveling on the road we wanted and my back needed to have minimal effort for loading, unloading and setting up each day.  It was important for that we only take what and a place to be located and not require moving to do each activity.


This is how the RT looks when going down the road.  Well sometimes it is messier, but we don't travel with 'stuff' in the center isle on on the seats.  We need to be able to get around in our little when we make stops.

Every one picks their spots to hang out.... the kitties often move around during the trip.

 No visit to Yellowstone Park is complete without seeing Old we did!

Over the years I have taken many pictures of Yellowstone Falls.  Each picture looks like an oil painting.  They need little editing,  the beauty is astounding.  We choose to stay outside the park in a US Forrest campground and drive in each day.  It was a little quieter though it required retracing some of the same roads.

We saw buffalo, elk, deer, moose....but no bears.... not until Shenandoah National Park

 There is so much to see and do near Mt Rushmore.
I need to come back and spend several weeks in the area.

                One of my favorite pictures.  Yes we drove through this tunnel......a bit spooky!!

        Crazy Horse Monument, Sculpture
 As it should look some day. I hope to see it finished but it seems to be a slow process.

Chicago Waterfront

Niagara Falls and a boat trip on our Lady of the Mist
 A spontaneous stop in Seneca Falls, New York introduced us to a hot bed of Women's History when we stumbled upon the  The Women"s Hall of Fame which became the first of many stops celebrating women's history and contributions in US History.

We visited so many places commemorating Women's moments in history.  Starting with Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, here in Seneca Falls, Harriet Tubman's home in New York, Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom's Cabin, and Louisa May  Alcott, author of Little Women.
 We also visited a statue of Sybil Ludington who at age 16, road a night ride on April 26, 1777 to alert rebel forces to the approach of the British regular forces, to later became known as the female Paul Revere.

Each of these stops proved to be empowering moments for both Hailey and I.

Hailey found a tree for Tree sitting along Lake Seneka.  She has an ongoing love affair with trees....

We spent nearly a month visiting in my daughter and her family in Connecticut and helping them move and get settles in a new house.  With side trips to New York,  Boston and Salem Massachusetts and a trip to Acadia National Park in Maine it was a Very Busy Month.

A trip to Connecticut's Brownstone Water Park made for great family memories before heading home and a couple of new Bucket List items.  Whoo Hoo!!

                  Cliff Jumping and Zip Lining

                         New York Skyline from the Ferry

Freedom Tower, World Trade Center


 Jordan's Pond in Acadia National Park

Several days in DC in the worst heat and humidity EVER were memorable just the same.  Smithsonian and Holocaust museums, The monuments, White House, and the National Cathedral

So much to little time!

But....Never again during summer heat!

 A trip through the Foggy Shenandoah produced lots of fog, rain and good times with friends David and Sherry before we headed on to glorious Nashville Tennessee and then Memphis to visit Presley's Graceland.

 Hailey caught up in the Nashville Music scene

    Graceland, Home of Elvis Presley
            We leap - frogged along the Route 66 Highway and made stops at many iconic stops.

Our next stop was one of the most memorable stops of the entire visit.  We have visited many Memorials and Museums, some with very difficult subject matter.  I choose our route partly due to my desire to visit Oklahoma City National Memorial. A very sobering monument to both tradgedy and recovery.

The more tired I got, the less I felt like blogging so the latter part of the trip has not been seen in my blogs.  I would like to finish up the blogs but who knows if it will get done.....the highlights of some of the pics are shown below.  (Boy was it hard to pick the pictures that were the best of the best!!)

Blue Water State Park in New Mexico.....
                            Where horses roam wild and people are a little more civilized.

 It was hot, hot, hot, but lake water, wild horses and electricity for air conditioning provided the needed enticement to rest a while.

Since we were still following Route 66, we made a number of stops along the Highway at landmarks.  Our favorite was the El Rancho Hotel in Gallop New Mexico.   The Hotel was a vacation site of many of the Hollywood greats, including, John Wayne, Doris Day, Kirk Douglas, Kathryn Hepburn,  Gene Autry, Betty Grable, and Ronald Reagan.   Brass markers on the doors marked the location of there rooms.  I swear you could feel them walking around and I expected to find a STAR around every corner.

      Lobby of the El Rancho Hotel
Never having been to Sedona, before we were astounded both by the the red rock beauty, and the horrible traffic. Parking was non existent in the touristy artists retreat in the town of Sedona. So we sought the quite of the red rock landscapes.

The intense heat made it nearly impossible to enjoy the beautiful landscapes....We were only able to take brief outings in the heat before retreating back into the comfort of the air conditioning.  During the extreme heat of August,  the beauty of the Red Rocks are best enjoyed with the air conditioning blasting.

We were definitely ready to head on to the Grand Canyon and decided on the North Entrance where the temperatures were often 10 degrees cooler than the South Rim.  While hot during the day, the evenings were cool in the forest where we boondocked.

Photography at the Grand Canyon was difficult due to the Forest Fires in the Northwest providing smoke that settled into the Canyon.  Additionally, from the north side of the canyon you are staring directly into the sun which adds to the haze.  Clearly it takes an expert photographer with excellent equipment to  get the kind of pictures I was hoping for.   Somehow the vastness of the canyon is lost in my pictures.

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary is where 1,900 animals call home, many in search of forever homes.

Hailey makes friends where ever she goes.

Lovely Pet cemeteries mark the animals that were able to live out their days here surrounded by love of workers and visitors.

Pink Coral Sand Dunes..... Utah State Park


On to Zion National Park 

Again the heat was stifling but when it is the only time that you have just go.  Finding a place to stay where we could run the air conditioner was imperative.  We found an RV park that was part of a hotel and they had a spot for us....with a pool to cool off in.  Kitties were happy in the air conditioner.

If I had to describe Zion in one word it would be Majestic.

  Cedar Breaks

 At a high altitude it was actually cold at night and there were beautiful wildflowers blooming.  If you can't get away from the heat.....

go... up....up....up!

 Hailey found an amazing1800 year old Bristlecone tree to hug at Cedar Breaks near Bryce Canyon

 Bryce National Park in a word... is Enchanting

It is a magical place full of our cherished memories.

The last major stop on our ten week journey was Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho.

There are many different types of lava flows and cinders cones and caves to discover and explore.

Within the surrounding stark lava fields is also peace full beauty.  

The more tired I got, the less I felt like blogging so the latter part of the trip has not been seen in blogs.
 After ten weeks of travel we were almost home.... but camping was not over yet.

A couple of meet ups with Gal-Pals before the camping session concludes.

First at friend,  Karen's Kamp 

Everything gets decorated at girl campouts!!

The Chicken Mansion  where we had breakfast


Last gathering of the year was a beautiful escape to the Prosser WA Balloon Festival

A little retail therapy and wine tasting in wine country

A tour of a wine making facility in Prosser

Night glow

We were not able to travel full time during this last year BUT
We had amazing travels and many incredible experiences during the last year. 
I think we packed in a huge amount of life in the 100 days of travel.



  1. What a great summary. I didn't do one this year for lack of energy. You guys really did a LOT of traveling in that time but it's a shame you had such problems with the heat. It is hard to love everything you see if you are sweating! Hope you have more adventures planned for this summer - maybe Montana and places cool????

    1. Still trying to decide most likely between the Oregon Coast or Western Montana. While I'd love to go to Alaska....I'm looking for an easier Drive with far less miles than last years 11,000 miles!

  2. What a wonderful 100 days of traveling fun for both you and Hailey! Your photos are beautiful!

  3. A geat 100 days of travel. There is so much to see from coast to coast. I am thinking of downsizing to a B in a couple of years, what year is your Roadtrek.

    1. My Roadtrek is a 1996 which means its 20 years old and had 77,000 miles. It has been an easy way to travel! There are pro's and con's with each decision for a traveling home. Good luck in your search for the solution that works best for you.

  4. What a fabulous year!! Glad you had a good one!

  5. I have been to all these wonderful places except Washington DC and New York. Can you suggest any reasonable priced places to stay on a tight budget or even boondocking? Love you post! Jan from Oregon

    1. Should have added places near Washington DC and New York on that question of places to stay. Sorry..

  6. Near DC....
    Greenbelt National Park - Greenbelt, Maryland. This 1100-acre park is located just 13 miles from the heart of Washington,(1.5 mile to subway) DC and has the closest campgrounds to the nation’s capital. There are 174 camps, 10 miles of hiking trails and three picnic areas. Reservations: (301) 344-3944. very low cost and I believe has the senior discount.

    Cherry Hill Park- Not an inexpensive choice but when electricity is necessary (as it is in the summer) this is close to DC and public transportation. I felt totally comfortable riding the subway in DC.
    Transportation into the city is available from the campground multiple times daily through public transportation and tour shuttles

    We did not stay in New York as we had family to stay with so we went in for Day Trips, but I did find a list with reviews of Parks on Staten Island which was the other options we considered and then taking the subway or Ferry to Manhattan.

    Here is a RV park review guide

    Be forewarned the cost and difficulty of finding parking in New Your (We payed $54 for 4 hours due to height restrictions, to go to the 9/11 museum) makes the cost of staying at expensive RV parks with easy access to transportation more acceptable. I actually considered staying at Liberty Harbor RV Park for a whopping $90 due to location, in view of Statue of Liberty and a few minute walk to the ferry and subway. No parking and then ready to go sightseeing!! New York is not cheap!! But then the hotels are not either!

  7. What a 100 days! Love your Roadie.

  8. What a fantastick trip, yes of course summer is tough but winter in some places is not fun either. But You n Haley made the best of the best. Great pictures. Any plans being made for this summer?

  9. Good on you. You both will remember these times for the rest of your life!