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volume 7                 July 1996                     number 6
INSIDE
 Michigan
•  Potpourri 
•  Campground Report
•  Good Places to Eat
•  Coffee Break
•  Letters, Letters, Letters
•  This' N That
•  A Footnote
•   I Don't Know Cake
The next issue (probably in September) will cover some little known areas of Michigan, a Labor Day tradition and a Renaissance Festival. We hope you'll be with us. 

Our campsite at Sleepy Hollow State Park
We weren't going to do another newsletter until August, but we have so much to share that we just couldn't wait. The sun finally came out, we got rid of our bugs and the first part of summer in Michigan has been wonderful! The Lansing Area of Michigan is our former home and where two of Ron's children and their families live. Michigan State University, the state capitol, museums, the Lug nuts, and more are nearby too. Our destination was Sleepy Hollow State Park  a little northeast of Lansing (about 14 miles) in Laingsburg. Farms and houses set in the middle of large acreage dot the gently rolling hillside. Sleepy Hollow is typical of most of the Michigan state parks in that the sites are wide and there is plenty of room for hiking and if a lake is included, plenty of fishing and swimming. This park has it all. The campsites have electricity, a nice asphalt pad (and most are fairly level), fire ring, picnic table, and the bath houses are nearby with private shower rooms. There are 16 miles of trails that take you through prairie grasses, hardwood forest and stands of pine trees. We were surprised to see that mountain bikes are allowed on all trails. Lake Ovid is a 410 acre lake which boasts a wide variety of fish such as tiger muskellunge, pike, largemouth bass, small-mouth bass, blue gill, sunfish, crappie, rock bass, perch, catfish and bullheads. The park also offers a year round opportunity for birding. They list over 228 species which have been sighted in the park.

We especially like Sleepy Hollow for the peace and quiet. When we arrived on a Wednesday afternoon, there were only a handful of campers in the park. By the weekend, it did fill up, but nearly everyone left again on Sunday (we remember those days). The road from the entrance to the far end is about four miles long so it was easy to get in some much needed walks. 

We chose to have Ron's littlest granddaughters spend one afternoon and evening with us. Kailee (5) and Taylor (almost 5) are cousins who live very near each other and we were close enough to their homes that we could have run them home if they got homesick. They did great. Both girls kept us busy following them as they rode their little bicycles at top speed and every time we finished the loops (around the whole campground) and were sure that they were tired, they wanted to go again. We did. They were little angels and we hope they will want to spend time with us again. 
 

Grandpa, Kailee and Taylor

Wondering what else to do when in the area? Number one on my list is strolling the Michigan State University campus in East Lansing. Founded in 1855, it became the nation's first land grant college. The large campus is very picturesque with its ivy covered buildings, large trees, a river walk, quaint bridges, bell tower, and gardens galore. In June they always have their free outdoor theater on the banks of the Red Cedar River. These first class plays run from Wednesday through Saturday and curtain time is 8 p.m.. Folks arrive early and settle in on their blankets with picnic baskets full of everything from sandwiches to gourmet meals. They run four plays a year over a four week period. Check with the university for dates etc.

There are over 20 golf courses in the area, 108 city parks, Potter Park Zoo, the capitol, a science museum, Oldsmobile (the world's largest automobile plant), Michigan Historical Center, two large malls, and just north of the city are factory outlet stores (U.S. 27 and I-69). 

The Lugnuts are a new Class A ball team and they play in a wonderful new, state of the art, $12.7 million stadium located downtown Lansing. Besides seating for over 9,000 the stadium has 26 luxury suites which accommodate 10-20 per suite. Not bad for a city of 300,000. 

Ron's daughter, Marty, and her family have season's tickets and was able to get extra tickets for us and Ron's grandchildren, Mary & Richard, who were visiting from Kansas. The night we went to the game they announced 7,400 paid attendance. We had a great time and afterwards the kids waited by the locker room door for the players to exit so they could get autographs. There are still places in America where the stadiums are cozy, the players love the fans, and strikes are only something umpires call.


Ron, Mary, Marty, Bryan,
Richard, Ryan, Kailee and Erkia at the LugNuts game.

There is much more to do in Lansing, but you must discover it on your own. Also when you visit the area you are only 89 miles from Dearborn and the famous Greenfield Village & the Henry Ford Museum. You are also only 92 miles from Holland and 76 miles from Frankenmuth and 142 miles from Mears, Silver Lake and the Silver Lake Sand Dunes. Silver Lake Sand Dunes in Mears, are one and one half  miles wide by three miles long making about 1,875 acres of rolling sand hills. It is a wonderful playground with the dunes, Silver Lake, and Lake Michigan to play in. Because Mears and the surrounding areas are tourist places you will also find bumper cars, miniature golf, arcades, shopping, and tee shirts. It was Richard and Ryan's (Ron's grandsons) turn to go camping with us for a few days and we knew there would be lots of fun things for us to do up there. Richard, (7) is from Kansas and was visiting his cousin Ryan (7) who lives in DeWitt. 

Number one on our list was a short trip to see the fabulous dunes and let the boys climb on them. These shifting dunes are constantly on the move especially when trying to climb up; you go back two steps for every forward step. They ran up with energy that I couldn't duplicate, rolled down and ran back up again. These boys don't know what it is to be tired, but I got tired watching them expend all that energy. 

Ryan running down a dune with Richard watching.

Richard and Ryan in front of a tree top of a tree
that has been buried by the dunes

It is believed that the great ice age brought tremendous continental glaciers to the area. As these glaciers (up to one mile thick) pushed across the face of Michigan and the midwest they carried large quantities of boulders, clay, sand and soil. As the glaciers melted all of the debris was deposited. The action of the water sorts the materials. The fine material is carried into the deep water where it settles out and the pebbles and sand grains  remain in the shore zone. As long as the beach remains damp the sand does not move; when the beaches become dry the exposed sand blows in the wind. Once the dune is formed it continues to grow in size. Whole houses have been buried by the sand and 50 foot trees look like little bushes.

Early the next morning we took a tour of the dunes on Mac Woods Dune Ride. These open dune buggies with bench seats hold about 36 people. The driver imparts some information about the dunes as he races up and down the big white hills and zig zags his way across to Lake Michigan. We learned that at one time this whole area was covered with a dense forest of white pines. Lumbermen in the 1800's clear cut the trees to supply the big demand for wood as towns were springing up all through the midwest and west. With nothing to hold the soil, the topsoil eroded and all that was left was the light sand which blows in any breeze. 

Richard, Ryan and Grandpa in the dune buggy
After our dune ride, we went back to the dunes and hiked all the way across to Lake Michigan. Since it was only about one and one half miles across, we went barefoot. Do not make the mistake of going without your shoes---at least carry them with you. The sand which was cool and fun in the shade as we started, got blistering hot as we trekked across. There is no shade on the sand. We couldn't wait to stand into the first little pool of water we found, but it was even hot. Remember, white absorbs heat, and the sand is nearly white. It was fun anyway and the boys never ran out of steam. The rest of the day consisted of swimming in the heated pool at the campground, pizza for dinner, miniature golf (pretty course), ice cream cones, and a campfire complete with ghost stories. What a fun day!

Ron climbing one of the dunes close to Lake Michigan
Ron and the boys tried their luck at fishing the next day, (no luck) then went back to the dunes and finished the afternoon off with several hours in the pool. It was a great trip! Tecumseh, Michigan is southeast of Lansing, towards Toledo, Ohio, and is the former home of new full-timers Pat and Bill Feight [fight]. We had never met, but had corresponded. After they heard our interview on WJR in 1992, they decided to close their going  keyboard business, sell the farm which had been Bill's grandfather's, get rid of nine rooms of precious  possessions from 22 years of living in one house, and go full-time. We admired their sense of adventure particularly since they were already 65 & 75 at the time of their decision. 

When Pat and Bill realized that we were coming back to Michigan for the summer, they inquired whether we could stop in for a visit on our way in. We couldn't make it in June, but decided to make a special visit after we dropped the boys off from the trip to Silver Lake. We had never been to Tecumseh and wanted to meet our friends. Although the house they lived in has been sold, they still own the acreage of the farm so we were able to park right next to them with water and electric hook-up too. What hosts.

Bill and Pat Feight & Ron and Barb
Notice the tail of their 5th wheel and our Bounder and the barn.
What a couple! These two love full-timing and because they are so enthusiastic about the lifestyle, Pat had asked if we minded if she tried to get us an interview on the local radio station. We agreed. Pat is one super  saleswoman; she got us two different interviews. She also asked if we minded talking about our lifestyle to some of their friends on Saturday evening. We were delighted to do so. 

Besides meeting this wonderful couple and getting to know them (what interesting lives and what talent they have), we got to explore the quaint town of Tecumseh. You probably will not find this town on any list of must see places, but it is worth visiting. Beautiful victorian homes, several blocks of well kept shops, and the surrounding area of fertile farm land with big red barns and gray silos standing guard over a large white farm houses is pure and simple America. 


The Tecumseh Train Depot

We went shopping on our own one morning and had a wonderful time. J-Bar Hobbies is a huge store full of anything you could ever want in the line of hobby stuff. I especially like the railroad paraphernalia. They had a huge selection of little trees, and houses, etc., so you could make the village for the trains to run through. They even had little bags of gravel or decorative stones and anything you could ever dream of.  Of course they had the train sets too---more than I had ever seen in one place. Ron especially liked the airplane models. "They had the real kind---ones with balsa wood," Ron said. Besides the newer plastic models they had lots of the balsa wood model kits and there was a whole section of just balsa wood and all that goes with it. It would be easy to spend hours just looking at all the kits. 

Just down the street was the Chocolate Vault Ice Cream Parlour and Candy Company. Pat & Bill had told us that it used to be a bank and was interesting inside so we went in, just to take a peek. You can easily tell that it used to be a bank and a fancy one. The marble and wood convey this. And there is, of course, the bank vault. You will be compelled to step right up to the counter and order a soda, phosphate, malt, or one of their special sundaes. We were too, but it was before lunch, so we opted for a fresh cup of coffee and a generous slice of Russian coffee cake. As we sat in the back room (former office) and listened  to the music of the 40's playing softly in the background, we were transported back in time. The pictures on the wall, the furnishings and even the glass cups and plates helped us make the journey. We passed up the opportunity to buy some of their hand dipped chocolate candies, but they looked wonderful. 

Coffee at the Vault
Ron & I both needed hair cuts so we each found our place. The most popular barber shop in town was crowded and there was a long wait so Ron went into the other one. An elderly gentleman sat in the chair waiting for customers. Ron said that he must have been in his mid-eighties. Ron's old fashioned hair cut was a trip back in time. The barber used a razor strap to sharpen a straight razor which he used to trim Ron's beard and mustache, then he put some smelly stuff on Ron's hair and brushed his neck with one of those big brushes. The hair cut also included a neck massage. The price of all of this was only $7. 

Only seven miles west of Tecumseh on route 50 is Hidden Lake Gardens which is definitely worth as much time as you would like to give it. There is plenty of room to wander in the 755 acres of property surrounding Hidden Lake. Harry Fee always wanted to own a lake so in 1926 he bought the land as a retirement project. He tried farming, but found the rockiness and hilliness made conventional farming impractical. He built a greenhouse and grew roses then built a rock garden and pond. Fee gave the land to Michigan State University in 1945 along with a trust for its upkeep. 

There is a modest fee now to enter the gardens---$1 on weekdays and $3 on week ends and holidays. Once in the gardens, there are trails to hike, a six mile picturesque, winding, one-way drive, visitor center with displays, plant conservatory, gardens and so on. We would like to go back someday and ride our bikes---taking a picnic lunch too. We noticed how very serene and beautiful it was and I couldn't help but think that one could while away a whole day and get totally refreshed. 

While visiting the Feights, we got to meet some of the family. Bill's brothers live "up the road." We visited Fred's farm and talked at length with his wife Jeanette; Fred was busy in the field. We were fascinated with the feeding and milking operation and the use of computers. These cows wear a computerized tag around their neck and as they walk up to the feeder it reads information about that cow then dispenses the exact feed that cow requires. Although Fred is considered a small farmer, it sure looked like a lot of work to us. With just the 160 cows that need milking three times a day, they need full-time employees who work around the clock. 

Besides grain for the cows, Fred also grows tomatoes and carrots which he sells to Campbell Foods. And what is most interesting is Fred's hobby. He collects rocks. Big rocks---no, huge boulders. Behind the big white farm house, he has created the most beautiful rock (boulder) gardens complete with fountains and creatures created out of old farm equipment. 

Jeanette has her own hobby. She has a large Class A Coachman motorhome which she bought used. She takes the grandchildren on vacations by herself. 

We had a wonderful time in Tecumseh and enjoyed meeting a couple of kids (Bill & Pat) who are having a ball.


Potpourri

by Ron
We are always learning. A camping neighbor suggested that I put a plastic bag over our satellite dish. It avoids the clean up of bird doo doo and does not interfere with reception. Try it.

One of our full-timing frustrations involves waiting at the pay phone while a love struck teenager ties up the phone talking to a heart throb that he/she probably left at home only a few hours ago. We have learned to relax and get comfortable while waiting.

My son-in-law Bryan is an expert mechanic and he advises me that our Toyota pick-up has at least another 100,000 miles left in it. Soooo...we will do our part in helping to cool off the economy by delaying a new car purchase.

Minor league baseball is bringing the game back to families (see Barb's story). If I lived in the Lansing area, I would attend the professional class A games often and you would rarely see me at a major league game in Detroit. In my opinion, there's not much difference in the level of play and I'm not interested in supporting the spoiled millionaires.

The 4th of July fireworks display at our home park (Smoke Rise, Davison, MI.) was awesome. Management did a super job and the display equaled that of a large city or ball park.

Tip. Don't worry about the recent slump in the stock market. The mutual funds have to invest (soon) the cash that they have been sitting on in order to show gains to their investors. They won't be satisfied with 5% in the money markets. You heard it here first. 


CAMPGROUND  UPDATE
(Please remember that this report was written many years ago and the campgrounds may or may not be in business or as they were.)

This month's report includes another Michigan state park, so it's a good time to correct a statement that we made in a previous issue. Last year Michigan changed it's policy of charging entrance fees for both motorhome and towed vehicle. Now, as long as you are towing and purchase an annual sticker, you may enter for just one fee. Three cheers for Michigan. We hope that other states will follow.

Sleepy Hollow State Park, Price Road (E of US 27), Laingsburg, MI. This beautiful 2,600 acre state park northeast of  Lansing, Michigan, has 181 paved sites. They can accommodate large rigs and the sites are wide and level. Good 30 amp electricity is available and many sites are surrounded on three sides by lush trees and other greenery that screens neighboring sites. Lake Ovid is nestled in the park and is within walking distance of the camp sites. The lake provides good fishing and a sandy swimming beach. Many hiking trails and excellent facilities add to the enjoyment. Fees are $10 per night plus $4 vehicle permit ($20 annual). We feel fortunate to have this great park so close to family in DeWitt. 

Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park, Silver Lake area, Mears, MI. We are not fans of Yogi Bear parks, but sometimes they fill a need if you have grandchildren with you. This one is in a very popular sand dune attraction area and it was comforting to be able to make reservations even at $25 per night. The sites are not too level and most are narrow, but the hookups are good and the facilities are excellent and clean. Our grandsons enjoyed the heated pool that was loaded with other kids. I watched. 

Silver Lake State Park, Mears, MI. We did not stay at this park because we weren't sure that we could get in (we could have). It's a handy park right on Silver Lake with a good bathing beach and nice level wooded sites. Early in the week  you will have a good chance of getting into this very popular park and it's close to the sand dunes that surround most of the lake. Rate for electric sites is $12 per night plus vehicle fee.


Good Places to Eat
(Remember that this report was written many years ago and the restaurants may or may not be in business or as they were.)

Michigan

Marco's Italian American Restaurant, US 27, DeWitt. This new eating place serves great pasta and several nights each week offers "all you care to eat" for under $5. After a wonderful salad and break sticks, we found the initial serving to be plenty and didn't ask for more.

Outback Steakhouse, West Saginaw, Lansing and all over the U.S. I normally don't review chains, but this is one exception. Everything from the variety in the menu to the quality of the food and the fast, friendly service is superior. If you like a rich chicken dish, try the Alice Springs Chicken---grilled chicken breast and bacon smothered in mushrooms, melted Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheeses with honey mustard sauce. Of course they are famous for their steaks, but I was most excited about their vegetables which were fresh, crisp cooked and so flavorful that they were as good as dessert. Speaking of dessert try the Cinnamon Oblivion! You will think you died and went to heaven. If you go to the one in Lansing, ask for Andrea or Ron's daughter, Susie. 

Country House Restaurant, N. Adrian Hwy, Tecumseh. This family owned restaurant has been serving  wonderful food in a friendly family atmosphere for over 30 years. Their specialty is broasted chicken, but the fish, salads, and desserts were scrumptious. Pat & Bill Feight (see cover story) have been eating here for years and know the owners. We got to meet the matriarch, Connie, and praise her for the delicious food---especially the peach cobbler that she personally made. We understand she does a terrific job with a strawberry cake too. Prices are reasonable and the menu is varied. Chains are okay, but this place reminds us of why we like to search out the local places.


Take a break. Get a cup of coffee and let's chat.

A great idea from Kathy & Joe Terian, of Tempe, Arizona. ..."With eight grandchildren, it's important for us to be a together family, even when we're away, so we've already got special stationery, stickers, etc to send them.
We'll keep a diary and hope to share copies with the older ones..."

Another idea comes from Ray & Mary Anne Balzer of Boulder, Colorado. "Like the decal. Neither of us like decals on our vehicles, so we've been working on a durable light weight plaque type thing to attach (removable) to our back ladder. May have it---still working on decals sticking really well---using a plastic used for small signs and name tags. Got the idea at a recent Good Sam Jamboree."

A question from Libby (& Bud) Frank from Littleton, Colorado."...Is it normal to feel a slight panic about selling your house & stuff? About cutting loose your ties, your friends, your [feelings of responsibility]?.... It's just that sometimes it all seems so overwhelming. I know we'll see friends again, and meet new ones, and who needs a great big house to clean anyway. I guess I am concerned too about my mom."

Barb's thoughts Of course it is. Each generation has made changes in the way retirees act and live. At one time, the old folks retired to the little house on the family farm, but that was before  pensions, early retirement etc. More recently retirees settled into condos in the southern states, but they kept that family home up north. So now we are taking it one step further and you are among the trend setters or pioneers so it's okay to feel a little panic. We've had this type of question before and didn't get any response from the readers. How about it this time? Any ideas for Libby and all the others who are going through the same thing?

A comment and a question from Judy & Joe Adams from Costa Mesa, California."...We have learned a lot from you and the input of fellow RVers...About two months ago we contacted Simon De Beer through your forwarding the info on the gutter system. He installed ours and another neighboring coach very promptly prior to his leaving our Southern California area. It is so wonderful to be without dried, dirty water streaks every day!..."

"Thanks for the emergency form...In a discussion with our full-timer sister and husband...we had a few concerns about the usage of the form. Larry suggested that if the location plus the identity of the coach were in the toad and it were broken into or stolen, the villain would have free access to the coach, knowing that you are away from it. Maybe the name of the RV park should be sufficient and the police can find the coach through the park manager/office. Also, a card sized form (including next of kin) can be carried in the driver's wallet with the Id/license, should you need medical aid or such while in a restaurant or place of business, away from your toad. If we are barking up the wrong tree, or have left out something important, please tell us. After all, everything we own is in that coach, and the security of us and ours is important to each of us!"

Barb responds Perhaps we are naive, but we have never worried about being robbed. We go to bed at night and do not lock our door. In the first place, RVs parked in secure campgrounds where people are parked a few feet apart are not vulnerable in our opinion. Thiefs look for opportunities where they won’t get caught---where they can take (in a hurry) and not be seen. Imagine that in a busy campground. And besides have you tried to get your built-in TV out in a hurry? Whatever is stolen can be replaced; they are only things. Sure it might cause an inconvenience, but that is about all. We just don't hold a high value on things. If we were boondocking on the street in the wrong side of town (stupid) then I'd worry. Another of my philosophies is: worry is wasted energy. That doesn't mean that we act irresponsibly but... 

If anyone is interested in Simon's gutter system, you may write to him at his mail forwarding address (he is a full-timer and a long time Movin' On subscriber). Simon DeBeer, .............. If you are Escapees you might want to look for his big ad in the most recent magazine. (2004 Editor's note- I left his address out on purpose not knowing if he was still at that address.)

A concern about spring weather & maintenance from Richard & Kathy Vevang of Tampa, Florida. "...In about a year we will become full-timers and as we get closer, we start thinking about things that I would not normally think about.... March 15 through June 15 is the tornado season mainly in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri. Did this worry you as you were on the road at this time? ... After all these years of doing all my own home maintenance and home improvements, do I qualify to work on my own motorhome?" 

Ron Answers  You can add Michigan to the list of states where tornados are common   in the spring. Perhaps that is why we don't worry about them; we grew up with them. Tornados are dangerous and one doesn't get much warning, but we carry a weather alert radio with us and always know the county we are in. If the skies look mean, we turn on the radio. If they said Tornado Warning, we would seek shelter even if only under the motorhome. We have endured many a Tornado Watch which means that the conditions are right for spawning tornados. But again, as Barb said earlier to put off traveling to these states just because it is tornado season would be to deny experiencing a beautiful part of the country at a pretty time of the year. About maintenance: you are way ahead of me and I would say you qualify.


LETTERS * LETTERS * LETTERS

Appreciated financial insights
I just finished reading your book... and enjoyed it very much. Being an accountant myself, I appreciated your insight into the financial aspects of full-timing. We would like to subscribe to Movin' On.... I retire in August '97 and am looking forward to joining you on the road! 

Bill & Margean Carman
Englewood, Colorado

Hope to save money with LDDS

... Just had to write and let you know our Movin' On sticker is on a '97, 40 ft Overland. One of those deals we just couldn't pass up. Our home will be up for sale soon and we will stay at Camp Kalama until we retire. Let you know when we move out there and maybe you and your readers will 
stop by....

My gosh, Ron & Barb, I never dreamed you were also collating, folding and stamping the newsletter. Please don't do it any more. We love your newsletter and $2 or more is not too much. We will sure miss your notes tho. Being one who does news letters, I know it isn't us who make the money it's the businesses like the printers and the post office who benefit. It also takes days and days to just get the type on the pages. Keep up the good work.

We joined LDDS... [Oct 1995 issue]. Hope it will save us money on in-state and Oregon telephone calls. Family calls are murder!

Terry & Margaret Moore
Kalama, Washington

Dream about traveling

Love getting your Movin' On publication. I dream about traveling in an RV, although I've never been in one on a trip---just at RV shows! Sometime in '97 we hope to purchase one. Dick says, "try it out in a small class C maybe, & then go bigger if we love it.” He already knows he loves it, from past trailering. Every place you men
tion I want to go to.... 

Thinking about leasing our home here ...and just taking off for 6 months or a year. I guess we'll know by then if we like it. I know I'll always need a home to come back to....

Doris & Dick Smith
San Diego, California

Seems good to be on the road again

We left Paradise Wednesday the 22nd and are spending Memorial weekend at a Thousand Trails park in Soledad Canyon just north of LA. What a change. It has been 100 plus degrees in Phoenix for the last 2 weeks and now the high for the day is in the 60's.... It seems good to be on the road again, doing what we set out to do 5 years ago. It's too easy to settle down in one place and forget our purpose in life. We were in Sun City much longer than we had planned.... We are not going to be in Michigan this summer. We spent the last two summers there and that is enough for a while. 

We really enjoy your newsletters and we are sorry that we couldn't meet with you in Texas this last winter.... Hope to see you down the road! We always seem to be [on] opposite ends of the country.

Barb & Chuck Bauman
Full-timers from Colorado

Newly weds are new full-timers

When your newsletter arrives, it gets read front to back before it is put down. We really enjoy hearing from so many people who are traveling full-time. And we have learned so much from the many experiences related by all your readers. 

After months of looking (sometimes in 1150 weather) we bought a '95 Dreamer 5th wheel by Western RV. We had already bought a '96 Dodge V10 pick-up to pull it with. We found that the 5th wheels give us much more space for living since we have a bedroom slide out and a living room/dining area slide out. From that point in January to now, our lives have been somewhat hectic, to say the least. After going together for five years, Ray and I got married on February 17. Then, we put the house up for lease. I quit my job (Ray was already retired after 31 years in the Air Force)... and on April 29 left Las Vegas to begin our full-time travels!

So we've been on the road nearly a month now and we are settling in quite nicely. After reading of your experiences early on in your travels, we're trying to avoid the pitfall of thinking we have to be going all the time. We are finding that we enjoy having the time to have a do-nothing day when we want one. As time goes by, the daily household chores and routines get more comfortable. We have stayed at one place thus far up to ten days. I'm sure we will stay longer at some and shorter at some....

Although I'm sure you hear this often, your positive attitude toward traveling has been a great incentive and encouragement for us. It is no secret that a positive attitude can do wonders in all situations and traveling is certainly no exception. Thank you!...

Sue & Ray Ferree
Full-timers from Nevada

Love the idea for a cat's liter box

We still find your newsletters so interesting and informative....Katherine's idea for Storm's litter box is great. If I ever have an RV with an outside compartment, that's just what I'll do. Our cat & dog are getting along fine together---she's actually easier to care for than the dog and she's now 100% an indoor cat....

Claudia & Stan Richards
Seaside, California

Living out a dream

We just finished your book...really enjoyed it and learned a lot from it. We bought it in Denver, Co., on our second full day of full-timing which was last Tuesday. We are on our way to Alaska to spend the summer and see our two oldest grandchildren. We left our beautiful brick home of 30 years (we built it) with our daughter and her 3 year old daughter.... We are so excited about our new adventure. We are living out a dream and few people get to do that....

Joyce & Ken Thompson
New full-timers from Delhart, Texas

Volunteering in Alberta Canada

...we are escaping the hot weather in Texas by coming to Canada again this year. We have joined the group of TBM (Texas Baptist Men) to return to Cochrane, Alberta, to complete the seminary building we started last summer. We traveled 2200 miles in 6 days which didn't give us much time to stop and enjoy things along the way.

Thanks for the decal. We haven't run into anyone else, yet, with the decal but we did meet someone who attended your full-timing class in Phoenix. They are on the job with us and have just completed one year of being full-timers.

.... I can't blame you for getting help with your publication. I didn't know how you could go all the places you go, take time to write about it and edit it and then get it printed, labelled and stamped---and still have time for yourselves....

Karen & Ben Cunningham
Full-timers from Temple Texas

Solar powered and ready to go

The house is sold...5/31/96!!!  We had our 5th and final yard sale the 18th of May. All the furniture is sold, most had been spoken for a year in advance. We are staying in an RV Park outside of Visalia till Judy retires....We have been going once a month when able on long 4 day weekends with a group of RV friends. We went to the Spring Escapade in March down in Imperial, California, and did our 1st real boondocking and did just fine. We had another large solar panel put on there so we are completely able to cut the umbilical cord to electricity unless we need AC and don't want to start the generator....

We hope to meet up with the two of you on the road sometime as soon as we are full-timing. You have helped us so much, with your book and your notes of encouragement. See you soon, we hope!

Cec & Judy
Visalia, California

On the road

Time to bring you up to date. As of June 1, we are officially full-timers. House sold, everything cleared out, good byes said and on the road we are. We stopped at the trailer dealer for a little work, small stuff. We are in the New York mountains and next week will head for Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, for the whole summer. A pretty relaxed schedule---but we are flexible. Just don't want to get too intense.

The last three weeks at home was stressful, but survivable. As we well know, the moving to full-timing is easier the more planning that is done ahead of time. Great hint on the USAA Federal Savings bank [Coffee Break vol 7 #1—Jan '96]. I am using it for almost everything financial. Ron will be pleased to know I am keeping a spreadsheet for expenses. It will be interesting to see the results, I hope....

Bill & Bea Scheurweghs
New full-timers from Bridgwater, Mass.

Motels and restaurant food get old

We purchased a copy of your book... from Camping World in Mesa. We enjoyed it so much that we bought a second copy for friends. We don't expect to go full-time, but found lots of helpful hints. When our children were young, we had a travel trailer and camped our way across the country. When they left home we thought it would be more economical to stay in motels. Four walls and restaurant food got to be "old" before too many trips. 

In October we purchased a small (22') Hi Lo Travel Trailer. It's been great fun and besides we can take our dog along!  Our first shake down trip was to Bisbee, AZ, for a home tour. January found us at Catalina State Park in Tucson... Cachuma Lake near Solvang, California, and then on to Hearst Castle before returning to Mesa.

April found us on the road again---this time headed toward the East coast to visit family and friends. We spent time at Gettysburg, Williamsburg, Calloway Gardens and points in between. Enjoyed FDR State Park near Warm Springs, Georgia; Lake Lurleen State Park in Tuscaloosa, Alabama; Moro Bay State Park near El Dorado, Arkansas; Eisenhower State Park on Lake Texoma, Denison Texas. But the best one of them all was Fool Hollow Lake State Park in Show Low, Arizona....

Paul took an early retirement three years ago and this year was our first opportunity to really take off.

Carol & Paul Gillespie
Mesa, Arizona

Sitting around the campfire

At last!!! Al & I retired May 15, we started living in our RV May 11. We signed the final papers for the sale of our business May 30. We have been so busy since we moved and retired with cleaning town house and etc. We are sitting around our campfire at the KOA in Maple Grove, Minn, right now enjoying a nice evening. I have to have surgery on my left knee at 8:00 tomorrow. So when that is healed and my daughter has her baby, we will head for Montana.... I have a 41st class reunion in ... Montana July 4, 5, & 6. I am real excited about seeing people I haven't seen for 20 years....

Anna & Al Nater
New full-timers from Plymouth, Minn.

New SKP of the boomer generation

I read and enjoyed your book... I'm a newly semi-retired Escapee of the boomer generation traveling solo and interested in writing about my experiences.... I plan to be at the fall Escapade. Hope to meet if you attend.

Kathleen Ferguson
New full-timer from ???

Readers: We will be attending the Escapade and will look for all of you. 



This 'N That
by Barb
As I write this our refrigerator has died. It is summer. We need a refrigerator. And to add to the problem, we have lots of company coming tomorrow for Ron's family reunion and I had promised to make lots of salads. The newsletter is due at the printer's tomorrow morning at 8:30 and Ron got an appointment to get the motorhome in for service at 10 a.m. They said they would "work us in." But family will start arriving at noon. Sounds like fun doesn't it? Meanwhile thank goodness for coolers and ice.

Ron read recently that our United States Post Office is over one billion dollars in the BLACK. So how come they always want to raise the postage rates?

Boy! My old boss is really going to town lately. Didn't I ever tell you who my old boss was? Dr. Jack Kevorkian. I was a medical technologist working at Pontiac General Hospital in the early to mid 60's and he was the assistant pathologist. In fact, because he was single he was at the hospital day and night. I worked a double shift on Friday and Saturday evenings and he was always there. We had lots of good conversations and believe it or not, I asked him to be God father to one of my boys, but he declined because he said he was agnostic.

Ron mentioned some famous name readers two months ago, then last month remembered another one. Since then we have been paying more attention and see that we also have Bill Murray, John Daly and Alan King as subscribers to Movin' On. I hope we have them all now. We will keep looking.

We presented our full-timing seminar to a large audience here at Smoke Rise Resort on Saturday, July 6. Big thanks to Eileen Gervais (Smoke Rise member and subscriber to Movin' On) who really got the word out. What a PR machine and a lovely person too. We sure have loyal readers. Eileen and her husband Ray are newlyweds. They met at another Coast to Coast park and are going full-time soon.

More publicity. The Detroit News just interviewed us and fellow Escapees, Jim & Marilyn Kimmins for a full-page feature story on full-timing. Too bad that Jim & Marilyn couldn't stay around for the photographer. She did a super job. What a pro. I can't wait to see the results. If you are in Michigan, look for the story to run sometime after July 14 (the reporter's deadline). 

For all of you who live within driving distance of Lansing, we will be presenting our seminar at the Barnes and Noble store in Okemos (just east of East Lansing) from 7 to 9:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 5. Sure would love to have you come on out so we can meet you.

On Friday, September 6 we will head to Holly State Park (see last months NL for information on the park) so that we can go to the Renaissance Festival on Saturday. Do you want to join us? The festival is held on Dixie Highway and is less than five miles from the campground. Wouldn't it be fun if a bunch of us could go? I intend to dress in old burlap, sandals and whatever so I can fit right in with the peasants.

It is almost time for us to order another printing of the book and we will revise it again. We will look for any old information that needs to be updated and replace some of the old newsletter stories with newer ones. At this point, we aren't sure if the book will grow or stay the same size. Basically the information in the book is correct and timely. Many new readers wonder if we are still "at it" since the stories in the book are from 1991 and 1992. We figure it will take a month or more to do, so we will kind of hibernate in northern Michigan for the month of August.


We were walking through the campground at Sleepy Hollow State Park when a young, bearded man came right to us with his arms outstretched. We looked behind us thinking that there was someone behind us that he was greeting. It was us. He hugged us and knowing we weren't sure who he was, he whispered "Wawona." Immediately we knew it was Jim Preston and I asked where Pam was. She died in 1992, one year after we wrote the story about them. We had tried to keep track of them after they left the park. I always felt that no news was good news. 

Jim is still traveling (full-time now) with his labrador, Eclipse, in the same 21 foot Shasta trailer pulled by the same red pick-up truck with canoe on top. He has joined the Escapees so we are mail neighbors. And we really were neighbors for a few days. It was good to be with this old friend again. We missed Pam, and we all cried a little. Jim said that she is fine now. She knew peace and the whole "meaning of life before she went to her higher
place," said Jim.

The original heartwarming story from our book can be read by following this link.


Eclipse and Jim

I don't Know Cake 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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