Ron & I (Barb) along with Grant (our designated wagon master) & Nancy Joy headed out to the state park on Monday afternoon (January 12) so we could be there when the earliest arrivals came. We were so thankful that the weather promised to be good for the whole event. We had one quarter of a cord of wood for campfires in the evenings because it gets cold at night and campfires are part of the camping experience.
For our 4 o'clock meeting I had prepared a large list with some secrets about those I knew would be attending and every one had to ask questions and mingle to get their list filled in. Here are a few of the questions which were on the list. Find someone: Who worked for a telephone company; Who crunched their RV the first time they parked it; Who owns a lot at Happy Trails; Who used to work for the postal service; Who retired within the last six months; Whose picture was on the cover of a Blue Cross Blue Shield magazine; Whose daughter's poem about retirement was recently printed in Movin' On; Who is a licensed pilot but now flies model airplanes; Who met Barb in a campground shower 8 1/2 years ago; Who worked as volunteers at Ozark National Forest; Who could be called a handyman; Who has been to Alaska in an RV; Who has a computer in their RV; etc. There were 35 such questions and everyone jumped in with enthusiasm. At the end of 45 minutes, they didn't want to quit and everyone knew a little about everyone else.
We broke for dinner and returned to the campfire as the sun was setting.
Everyone made a large circle and shared a little about themselves
and what their favorite place was. The consensus seemed to be that we all
loved every place and that is why we keep wheels on our house. Those who
were still preparing to full-time said that after hearing of all those
wonderful places they were even more anxious to hit the road. One said
that he can hardly wait to get to the point where when a place is mentioned,
he can say, "Yes, we have been there."
around the camp fire or ate breakfast in their houses. Some took off on tours to Tortilla Flat or Goldfield, while a couple searched out the Wal Mart in Apache Junction.
Our day visitors started arriving during the late morning and after a short introduction mingled well with the campers. Those visiting for the day were: Richard & Bonnie Dahl; Harry & Pat Bolt; Marilyn & Bill Outzen; Mary & Terry Van Duzee; Tom & Flo Edwards; Steve & Pat O'Dell; Bea & Bill Schurweghs; Bob & Judy Hunt; Gordon & Dena Duncan. They brought a guest (Rusty White) whose house is on a firm foundation. She was fascinated with all of us nomads. Also attending for the day were: Paul & Carol Gillespie; Chuck & Alice Hughes; Terry & Margaret Moore and Pat & Bill Wright.
After gathering in a large circle again, everyone introduced themselves, told where they were from and what stage of RVing they were in then added how long they had been a member of the Movin' On family.
When it was time to eat, we all chowed down on wonderful salads and casserole type dishes which were set on two long picnic tables. Ben & Gay had fixed huge amounts of chicken legs and wings which were a real treat to go with everything else.
Thursday morning Grant led another of his hikes up toward the base of the Superstition Mountains while his wife Nancy, led a mild walk. Others were packing up to leave. After the hike, we joined those who were going on to other things too. The Maywalds, Rohlfs and someone else were going to stay on one more night.
It was a wonderful three days and we all felt like one big family. Full-timers and other RVers are the friendliest bunch of people around.
One thing we were surprised at was how many dogs attended our rally. Because we are not dog owners, we forget about that. Nearly every one had a small dog or two. The Wrights full-time with two dogs---a little one and a German shepard. The Maywalds are cat owners. Lois said that they stayed inside because of all the dogs.
Our thanks to every one who helped make our camp out such a huge success.
We loved every minute of it. The park was beautiful, weather perfect, but
best of all were the great new friendships which were made.
(Remember that this report was written many years ago and the restaurants may or may not be in business or as they were.)
Matta's Restaurant, 932 East Main Street is a delightful Mexican restaurant with a charming atmosphere. We went with friends, Judy & Cec and got there at 3 p.m., on a Sunday. By the time we were leaving the place was crowded and many were waiting in line. Judy had Enchiladas and said they were very good (they looked wonderful). Cec had Chile Verde Dinner, which is described as chunk pork prepared with Spanish sauce, served with beans, rice and tortilla. It came with a choice of albondiga soup or green salad for $7.95. Ron had a combination plate ($7.00) which he said was very good. I had Chile Rellenos ($7.95) that were delicious. As in most Mexican restaurants the portions were more than ample. They had a lot of interesting items on the menu and we would like to go back and try some more of the House Specialties. Every Friday and Saturday evening you will be treated to Mariachis while dining.
The Mining Camp Restaurant, off of route 88 (follow the signs) south of Goldfield and Lost Dutchman State Park. Go hungry. As was the case in the old camps, the Mining Camp serves "all you can eat" from heaping platters of roast chicken and dressing, roast beef sirloin, and Bar-B-Q beef ribs. Everything from the cole slaw which was excellent to the delicious baked beans, sourdough rolls, homemade raisin bread, and coffee are served family style. Seating is reminiscent of mining camps---long tables and benches and not real comfortable, but the experience is wonderful and the ribs are the best ever. They are only open from Oct 1 through June, 4-9 on Monday through Saturday and Sunday from noon to 9 p.m. There is only one price---$12.95 for seniors ($13.95 for all other adults) and it is well worth it.
2006 Editor's note: Both restaurants are still
alive and well. Prices will have changed but they are both great.
Take a break. Get a cup of coffee and let's chat.
Here's a horror story we can all learn from. It was sent to us by new full-timers, Terry & Ruth Hager, from Michigan.
...From Indio we moved to Palm Springs, enjoying the mountains with their frosted peaks gleaming in the sunlight. We drove past acres and acres of windmills generating power from the ample winds in this area. We are camped in an older mobilehome park that has some spaces for RVs. The park is somewhat rundown with several older mobiles that aren't well kept up and several are unoccupied. There are lots of trees, however, and it has a nice pool and Jacuzzi. It is nestled right up against the mountain. Our site was a pretty tight back-up, but with the help of Ruth and the park manager, I got it in. Our first evening here, after enjoying the Jacuzzi, we returned to the trailer to find that the TV didn't work. Neither did the one in the bedroom. We checked the power box to find that the circuit breaker for the converter had flipped. The converter converts the AC power to DC for all the stuff in the trailer that uses DC. When I flipped the breaker on, it "popped" and there was a burning smell, so I immediately flipped it off again. I then switched the cord outside from the 50 amp outlet to the 30 amp outlet which succeeded in blowing out the microwave. The upshot was that the electrician had wired the post we were plugged into improperly which blew the converter out and microwave. We're awaiting the RV person to come out and check things out so we can order a new converter and see what appliances may need to be replaced or fixed. The good thing in all of this is that the electrician took full responsibility for his employee's screw-up on the electrical box and says he will write us a check for whatever it costs. The electrical post has been re-wired correctly so we have the coffee maker working, a couple of outlets and the furnace fan. The battery operates the lights and propane operates the furnace, refrigerator, and hot water heater, so we just need to conserve. We can live without TV easily enough. Not being able to use the microwave, however, may test our survival skills! We spend evenings at the clubhouse where we read, watch TV and I (barely) beat Ruth at pool. A day exploring downtown Palm Springs was most enjoyable. On the way into town, I suggested that all these problems with the trailer were just speed bumps on the road of life, an analogy that came readily to mind because of all the speed bumps in the parks we stay in. This brought a look of disgust from Ruth... exposing [a] thumb down. Sometimes my optimism drives her a little bonkers. We brought the little TV into town to have it checked. Unfortunately we left the remote in the trailer and the TV place needed it. When Ruth wanted to take it along "just in case," I poo-pooed the idea. So I blamed Ruth for listening to me, and we returned to the trailer to get it. While there, we righteously prepared a salad for lunch. When we returned to downtown Palm Springs, we treated ourselves to the largest and best cinnamon roll we've ever had---guilt-free after the salad. We happen to be here at the time of their international film festival, so we picked up a couple of tickets for films. We had supper at a wonderful Mexican restaurant: marguerites and free hors d'oeuvres. Then we took advantage of Palm Springs' regular Thursday night street fair with its food booths, arts and crafts and produce stands. Six blocks (Ruth says, I say 3) of the main highway through town were blocked off and lots of people walked the street. We sipped good coffee, enjoyed the sights and smells, bought baklava and some wonderful produce. One of the best days of our retirement....
Terry and Ruth
A post Script from a letter they sent about a week later.
...we have a new converter and all the electrical outlets are again
usable. On Monday, Louie, the RV repairman will return to do some more
work and install a new microwave. This RV repair place makes house calls
so we can stay put in our campsite which eases our lives considerably....
This unit was pulled by a 3/4 ton Dodge Cummins 250 engine and Jan told us she did most of the driving. We found this unit in Idaho a few years ago and hope that they have purchased a bigger truck to pull it by now.
All of these were built because of wanting to carry a boat or other large equipment with the RV. Where there is a will; there will be a way.
And just like those who live in a house on a firm foundation, we enjoy taking vacations from our lifestyle. So where does one go to take a vacation from a vacation? We may leave our house and fly somewhere or take our house to some place totally different from the areas we normally visit.
Twice in our eight and one half years of full-timing we packed our bicycle panniers (saddle bags) and bicycles and headed to England for a month each time. Once we biked across England, Wales and Ireland stopping at bed and breakfasts along the way. The second time we only biked in the East Anglia region (eastern part of England). These are vacations we will remember forever and we really enjoyed getting back home to our motorhome when the vacation was over. We had parked it in a well-guarded storage facility.
One full-timing couple we know spends summers workamping to earn extra money for exotic vacations. They have been to Australia, China and Russia most recently. Others we know enjoy taking a cruise now and then.
How about putting your RV on a barge and spending a week floating down some of our large rivers like the Mississippi? We hear that this is a wonderful trip and you get to have your own bed and don't have to pack a suitcase. Similar vacations with the RV are the many caravans that go both north (Canada and Alaska) and south (Mexico). There are also overseas caravans that include the rental of RVs more suited to that country. It is fun to travel with a group and a wonderful way to explore a foreign country.
So although this lifestyle is a lot like a vacation, it is fun to plan other vacations both with and without your home on wheels.
When we were planning for the full-timing lifestyle we were prepared for all of the good-byes in Michigan. Besides a mother and children we had a brother, seven sisters and some close friends to bid farewell to. Although we told everyone that we would be back, it was still difficult to part. I wondered how the pioneers felt knowing that they might never see their loved ones again.
We mistakenly thought that those good-byes would be the last for a long while; we didn't think about all of the new friends we would meet on the road and how sad all of those partings would be.
We thought that the people we would meet on the road would just be casual acquaintances; we'd be like ships passing in the night. We were so wrong. RVers are by nature outgoing and friendly people and we knew that; just walk up and down the rows in any campground and one can start up a dozen light conversations. But we discovered early on that those we meet on the road have not put up the traditional barriers. Because we may never meet again, we all have the freedom to open up. After all, if we don't like our neighbor, we never have to see them again. Life stories are shared with perfect strangers and the strange phenomenon is that fast friendships are made. We honestly have many more close friends (most of them wanderers too) than we ever had when we lived in a house on a foundation.
We all keep in touch by way of letters and voice mail and we make plans to meet again and again when we are in the same parts of the country. But after we have been together for a while it is time for one or the other to part and we must say good-bye again. Even though I know we will still keep in touch and see each other again, I miss being able to take my coffee cup over to their RV in the morning to see what their plans are for the day and talking with them after they have visited some store or attraction to get their insight.
I know there will be new friends to meet and more good-byes to say. We are collecting friends like jeweler's collect precious gems. And all of our friends are just that. They are more special than we could have ever imagined.
More Sadness in Movin� On family
Thankfully both our sons were able to come to San Diego and be with their Dad for a couple of days before he died and were with me at his bedside when he passed on.... Now I am just trying to get it together so I can get on the road again. I have to get the Susuki Sidekick we bought fixed up to tow behind the RV. That will be a new experience for me---one I find I'm dreading. But I'll learn to do it. I don't want to give up full-timing.
Editor's Note: Ellie has written to us dozens of times and most of our readers who have been with us for three or more years are very familiar with Ellie's letters. They have been getting our newsletter since December of 1992. We admired the fact that they full-timed in such a little motorhome, loved dry camping on the BLM lands in Arizona, and volunteered at remote locations. As you might have guessed from her letter, Bob was a sail maker. When we were in Denver in 1994, we met Bob and Ellie and got to see their little house. That's when we took the above picture. We cried when we got her letter and send our deepest sympathy.
Moving the date up three years
If you look back to a letter I sent, of which you published Jan '97 volume 8 number 1, I said we were planning on full-timing in about 4 years. NOT! The time has come. Mom passed away Oct. 7th so my responsibility of care giving is over. I really did expect her to go on another 3 years but God had other plans. Funny how that happens. It was a blessing and taught me about living one day at a time. You gave us the bug and it just kept nibbling at us. We would get the RV Trader every other week and go off on Sundays for up to 8 hours all over the state of Florida looking at pre-owned trucks and 5th wheels. We wanted a package. Well we found Andre's dream (a little different than your DREAM) a Cabriolet 87 with 33,000 miles along with a 38 ft 5th wheel Canadian made En Route. Both are a matched pair and neither look like they have been used. There is of course some decorating to be done. We have a very serious buyer for our home and even if we didn't we are taking off OCT. 1st. Three years earlier than expected. I just quit working this week and I don't know how I'm going to have enough time to do everything that is needed to get it together. Andre will still be working so we have been getting the Workamper News and will go that route for part of the year. He will not have any problem as he is a master carpenter and excellent at his trade and not afraid to work. [He is] French Canadian raised on a dairy farm youngest of 13. Just wanted to let you now what was happening in our part of the world. I feel like I know you and needed to share our happiness with a friend....
Beverly and Andre
Attacked the wardrobe this weekend; thought it would be simple, as we have limited closets, and buy very little... Ruthlessly, I discarded handfuls---to charity, to trash, emptying out every closet, cupboard & drawer. Even (sob) my wedding dress went on its way. Finally, the black plastic bags were full, and the closets were empty. I was only left with: 8 dresses, 12 pairs of slacks, 20 shirts and blouses, 3 slips, 4 blazers, 3 "party frocks(?!)", 9 pair of shoes, 2 coats, 6 sweaters... (moannnnn!) Well, it's a start. Fred did better; 7 shirts, 3 pair of jeans, 2 pair of slacks, 2 sweaters, one sport coat, 2 ties, 3 pair of shoes, 8 sets of socks & underwear, and a coat. GOOD THING! I'll surely need most of his closet space for my stuff! Now, where do I put my conditioner, hair dryer, curling iron, jewelry ... (I will go to my grave, not knowing how you started out in that 24' class C.) Good news/bad news: It's not that I need all that, but that it's all "perfectly good stuff" and I can't bear to toss it! A Promise: we WILL NOT leave Denver overweight.
Pam & Fred Handy
Looking for company at Acadia
Just some information for what it is worth. During the open season of
the Seawall Campground, Acadia National
Jeannine & Jim Paterson
Gasoline in Canada same as U.S.
...One comment on the article by Dick Stewart [vol 8 #9], gasoline in Canada is the same price as in the United States if you...use your credit card. It's converted to our money when you get your bill. This applies to diesel also. The only thing about the credit card use is that the gasoline companies take about two months to catch up with you... Credit cards are the only way to get cash when in Canada, also. You get Canadian money but repay in U.S. funds. It gives you more to play with up there....
June & Levi Kimbel
Ron goofed in article on Dick
I am sure that Dick Stewart will be surprised to read that his Foretravel has a Cummins engine. The last time I looked he had a Detroit Series 60 with an Allison 4 speed transmission.
Lou & Donna Rice
Never heard of full-timers before
...Before I read your book, I had never heard of anyone living in a trailer or motorhome for more than a few weeks at a time. Now I hope someday we'll be able to try it.
Austin & Louise Brown
Parents are at Valle del Oro
...My folks really enjoy the Mesa area too and that's why they keep coming back. Hope we can get there some day soon to check it out, too. We are adjusting to our motorhome---it is a bit different than our 5th wheel, but love it. We appreciate the input on adjusting to being together all the time! [Keeping the Romance Alive Vol 9 #1] Bruce does a lot of golf, me sometimes, but I do my letter writing, e-mailing and general running around while he is out with the "dew-sweepers"!...
Pat and Bruce Kronlein
Enjoyed the camp out
...Just a short e-mail to let you both know that we had a great time at your Movin� On campout. It took a long time to have our paths meet, but we finally got to meet both of you. We really enjoyed your warm hospitality. What an exciting group of people and all of the different stories. ...
Gene & Mary Benson
Can relate to Joycene
...I really relate to Joycene Stallcup and her brave new lone traveling. We're even the same age. I've been alone a lot longer, but I agree the struggles are worth it. I really hated not having a companion to yell to last summer when I sighted a cougar running at full-speed after its lunch! I had to wait until I could call my 11 year old grandson, who shares my excitement over seeing wild life on the loose.
Thanks for telling us ahead where you think you'll be next summer.... Sometimes the planning for a long trek is as much an adventure as the actual driving. I reached a family member's home Dallas (in November) after 9,000 miles and five months of a trip which started in Kansas City in late June. I had several goals: as much of the Lewis-Clark route as I could do, with visits to some very special national parks, and my first mountain driving. The mountains I tackled first were the Canadian Rockies and were a breeze! I think one long slope must have been a 15% grade and I prayed a lot...
Heard about the end of Movin� On
Tears are falling on the e-mail! Received your letter today, and we are really sorry you have decided to give up publishing the Movin' On. We can understand you want more time to play---can only but suggest if it would be possible to do one every 3 months. We have been getting it for a year now and always look forward to getting them in the mail. So many people will be sorry too. So wonder if you would be able to have time to publish something through the year albeit now and then. If not we'll understand, but thought it worth asking.
Ken and Pamela Ward
Sad about the end
We were truly sorry to receive your notice that you will no longer publish Movin' On. Especially since we had just signed up! However, I honestly agree with your decision. Full-timing is supposed to be about doing what you want to when you want to and enjoying it. Those of us who are not out there yet, will be a little sadder at not being able to share the RV experience through you. Thank you for the copy of the fall Movin' On and we look forward to the last one. Your readers who have been long time subscribers are going to feel like they are losing a friend. I have just received your book and have read it cover to cover. It is great. You present a good balanced picture of what full-timing is like and the planning steps necessary to get into the lifestyle. It was worth every penny. Now it is Cheryl's turn to read it. I am looking forward to your new book this summer. Will you keep up your web page? Best of luck on the road.
Bruce & Cheryl Griffin
I assume that you have read page nine already. I am not going to say "good-bye" or make any "speeches." But I did want to say that it has been fun. I actually love putting the newsletter together. I love working on the computer so I suppose I will find some other such project to do from time to time.
I plan to keep the web site going so all of you who are not yet on line, might want to check into that. It is really fun and is the technology of the ages.
In case you are wondering how some found out about the end of Movin� On ahead of time and why we have two letters on page seven about that, it is because from about the middle of January we began sending back renewal checks. We just didn't feel right about cashing them only to have to refund them later. All totaled about 60 knew ahead of this newsletter, and the ones I got responses from did so by email.
We were originally going to say something about the end of Movin� On to everyone at the Camp-out, but didn't have the heart. I would have cried and it would have put a damper on such a good time.
Remember the cook book? I have decided not to finish that either. It just wouldn't be the same without the newsletter, but thanks for all the great recipes you have sent in. When we meet along the way, I will share them, if you like.
We are still going to be presenting our seminar on full-timing at the Coast to Coast Rally in Tucson, March 13, 14 and 15. We had already committed so will definitely be there. We decided not to go to the Escapade in Victorville though since we had not committed for that yet.
Ron had another check up at the Mayo Clinic and his PSA is very low. In fact, he is fine. We are so fortunate.
We have just heard from some of our readers who are in need or our prayers. Max Berry, Pat Feight, and Dick Goodman are all suffering from cancer. Please help us pray for them. We had just heard from these three then got Ellie's note about Bob's dying and realized again how short life is.
We intend to do some serious biking and hiking in the coming months. We need to get in shape for our trek up to Calgary and Lake Louise this coming summer. Oh and we need to get in shape for our grandsons, Richard and Ryan. We will be taking them on many hikes in Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, and Zion national parks in Utah.
These months here in Mesa have just flown by. Where does the time go? At least the sun has been shining and the rain seems to have gone away at least for now. It has been beautiful here.
We are not sure where we will go next fall or winter. My son Robert
who is in the Coast Guard and has been living in Washington state is being
transferred to Miami. What a switch. We still would like to spend more
time in Washington and Oregon and Idaho and California and wow!! So much
to see; so little time. We'd better get Movin� On.
Someone did not get their newsletter last month
Was it you? One of the newsletters came back to us without a label on
it. It must have fallen off. We have no clue as to who it was intended
for. If you are the one we missed, please accept our apologies. As
soon as you let us know who you are we will send you the January issue.
Especially since this is our last issue, we need to know if we owe you
a newsletter or a refund. Please call us at 602-373-6547. This happened
once before and no one came forward; but several months later someone realized
that the number of issues left didn't match what they had. They were the
ones who had missed the issue, but hadn't read the Help message.
The newsletter, even if only done every other month, is a lot of work and I will admit to making it even more work. I enjoyed your letters and had to answer them. Mail day became a two day affair. Even when there were no letters accompanying the checks, it still was a big job to post the checks and concentrate so I didn't make mistakes (which I often did).
We got so we planed our trips so I could "write about it." Ron said, "The tail was wagging the dog." We worried about going somewhere we had been before; what would I write about? If I didn't do a newsletter every month, I had such a huge stack of mail to sort through (looking for letters for the next issue) that it felt like a mountain. Because the letters were a big part of the newsletter I wanted to pick them carefully.
Taking care of back issue orders, book orders and book business along with writing the newsletter and taking care of that business took 65 percent of our time. One day not too long ago, we looked at each other and said, "Everyone is having the kind of fun we used to have; now we have such a big business that we have little time to play." Something had to change.
We tried cutting down the work, but not responding to a change of address card (to Livingston, Texas) and congratulating our reader on finally hitting the road, was like tying my hands behind my back. I had to drop them a card and let them know how happy we were for them---glad we were neighbors etc. We even joked that if I had a secretary who would open the mail and take care of it, life would be easier. Wouldn't that make eyes pop? Ron, his wife, and secretary in the motorhome.
Here's how we intend to finish up our business. We will start writing refund checks on March 1. The reason we want to wait a few weeks is so you will have a chance to look at the number on this mailing label and make sure we agree. I do make mistakes and we want to give you back what you have, in good faith, sent to us for future newsletters. There is another option: If you would rather not have a check sent to you we will donate your refund to the Escapees CARE program. It is a very worthwhile charity and it would save Ron from writing so many individual checks. We would send one check to CARE for everyone that wants this done and we will submit your individual names and amounts so that you are given credit for donating. Even if you are not an Escapee, you can donate.
Some of you purchased your issues at the old price and others subscribed at the new price. We have all those records so you don't need to look that up. We will note how many issues you have paid for and multiply that by the rate paid.
We will keep our back issues for just a couple of months. We have all nine of 1997's issues available but have only one issue from 1996 (April). We also have five issues from 1995. If you are interested and would like the list of issues available send a stamped self addressed envelope and I will send you the list.
We are still in the book business and hopefully we will now find time
to finish the second book. We would like for it to be ready by summer and
will notify you by mail when it is ready. If you are going to be moving
in the near future, please let us know of your new address so we can keep
Ritz Crackers with Dates recipe first debuted in this issue. I have linked it to the
recipe section where all of our newsletter recipes are posted.
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