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by Ron

Sometimes I jokingly say that when the time comes, our kids can drive the motorhome to the retirement home and drop us off. They won't have to dispose of house or apartment furnishings and then Barb and I can set in our rocking chairs and recall all of our memories of many years on the road.

I think we are a long way from that, but after thirteen years of full-timing it's impossible not to be sharing memories with each other. It could be an age thing but I like to do it and most of the memories are very pleasant (don't we always forget the bad stuff).

Wherever we travel the conversation starts with, "do you remember when?" We fondly recall many of the early days in our 24 foot type "C" motorhome which was home for three and a half years. 

I'm writing about memories because I got lost in thought as I wheeled our motorhome across I-10 going through the desert from Mesa, Arizona, to Palm Springs, California, (we do travel the interstates when it's the only way to get through the desert). I remembered  our first trip west and how the desert fascinated us Michiganders. As we got into California and passed Desert Center we reminisced about the excitement of staying in that tiny desert community long ago. We stayed in a park there that even had a swimming pool and Barb reminded me that she had to work most of our time there as she struggled with a new publishing software program for our newsletter while I enjoyed the pool. We explored a deserted mining town and were amazed that the deserted school and movie theater were still there. We also discovered that General George Patton trained troops there during World War II and some of the old equipment is still in the desert. There is also a small Patton museum near the gas station and restaurant just off the freeway. Some people stop for fuel but hardly anyone stays there. One night we went to a little bar off the beaten track where several of the locals hung out and had a cold beer and a juicy hamburger. We felt like we were as remote as one could possibly get.

Further down the road on our recent trip along I-10, I saw a sign for 29 Palms and that brought back some more memories. How excited we were to find a new campground just completed by an Italian family with their own labor. The pool complex and the gathering center all had beautiful inlaid terrazzo tile indicative of their skills in this kind of work. The family confided to us that they were good construction people but their campground office was a mess and they needed someone to organize it; they wondered if we would  stay and help. Even though they were next to a golf course, we had to turn them down; we had places to go and things to see. Besides we were still in the beginning stages of our full-timing adventure. We did enjoy a super Thanksgiving dinner with them and the other campers. 

I could go on and on about those first memorable experiences but my lovely editor has only allowed me so much space here. Besides I'm saving most of the memories for my rocking chair days on the porch of that retirement home. 

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