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volume 6                      September 1995                      number 7
�  Potpourri 
�  Campground Update
�  Good Places to Eat
�  Coffee Break
�  Letters, Letters, Letter
�  This' N That
�  Signs and Things
Not So Sloppy Joes recipe
The October newsletter will highlight an area that is new to us (Western Colorado) plus some familiar places as we make tracks to Texas
As we drove south from Coeur d'Alene on U.S. 95, we were impressed with the wheat fields. Gently rolling hills of golden grain framed occasionally by sparse rows of dark green trees was all we could see. In the midst of huge sections a lone house with barns and silos seemed to oversee the tall wheat which appeared ready for harvest. As we approached one of the small towns, we discovered that what appeared to be high rise buildings from the distance were in fact grain elevators. Not just one or two, but a whole town full. And instead of having an auto dealer, they had farm machinery on lots for sale. We knew Idaho grew potatoes, but learned that Idaho produces a lot of wheat (fourth in the nation). It was a short, spectacular drive to Lewiston. 

We had heard about Hell's Gate State Park from friends and were looking forward to relaxing in a quiet setting. Commercial parks are nice, but good state parks like this one are heavenly. There was lots of green grass and the sites were spacious. For entertainment one can bike, fish, boat, swim, hike, horseback ride, take drives or shop. We biked the whole length of the wonderful Corps of Engineer's gift to the cities---a 36 mile bike path along the Snake River.

There are two downtown areas: Lewiston and just across the river is Clarkston, Washington. Both offer nice shopping typical of downtowns prior to the shopping mall era. I found a wonderful shoe store (can't remember the name) in Lewiston which had a large selection of shoes in my size (9½ AA). What a treat!  It is not a coincidence that these two towns are named after the famous explorers (Lewis & Clark). This area on the Lewis & Clark trail is where they attempted to find an inland waterway to the Pacific Ocean. Now it is the most inland port to that ocean. Barges leave Lewiston traveling along the Snake River until they reach the Columbia. The Columbia empties into the Pacific just west of Portland. And water for commercial navigation isn't the only water around. 

Biking along the river in Lewiston
Did you know that except for Alaska, Idaho has more whitewater and more wilderness than any other state? In fact there are over 3,000 miles of whitewater in Idaho. While in Lewiston we learned that the big thing to do was visit Hells Canyon. Outfitters offer day and overnight trips up 90 plus miles of the Snake River to the deepest gorge in North America. Cost for the standard canyon trip (182 miles) which includes snacks and lunch is $85.00. Because we are not fans of noisy machines (like jet boats), we started asking about rafting. There are raft trips to the canyon, but we were assured that it would be noisy with jet boats rushing by all the time. We started inquiring about other rafting trips.

The Salmon River flows through the largest wilderness area in the lower 48 states. Outside of Alaska, it is the longest free-flowing stretch of river left in the United States. This sounded good to me and I wanted to do more than a one day trip. We contacted Epley's Whitewater Adventures in Riggings (about two hours south of Lewiston) and made arrangements for a two day trip. We planned it so we arrived late in the afternoon the day before rafting. We packed what we felt we would need for the trip which wasn't much. The rafting company provides the tents, sleeping bags, keep-dry bags and all the food so all we needed were our personal items. We didn't want to carry a lot so really skimped. We figured we'd layer starting with a bathing suit and take a change of dry clothing. Not wanting to take my good camera, I bought a disposable one and made sure I had paper and pencil for note taking. We should have taken more. I didn't know we would have so much room and didn't know what to expect. We hadn't been given a list of what we should take.

Since the campground we were staying at was next door to the rafting company, it was easy to walk over with our small bags of �luggage.� Right away we were introduced to Skip Clapp, our guide. This handsome, deeply tanned young man with an impish grin and dancing blue eyes welcomed us and helped us put our clothing into our personal �dry� bags. Already in each bag was our sleeping bag and mat. We were instructed to leave out anything we might need during the trip, like camera and so on. These items were placed in water tight boxes and secured to the raft. We discovered that we were the only ones to go on this trip. Just Skip, and us.

We needed to drive to the put-in point which was just under two hours away on a narrow, rough national forest road. The road which was nearly level with the river wound along the Salmon as it made it's way through canyons and open areas. There wasn't another soul around. And even though the day was gray with a hint of rain, we were full of excitement and anticipation especially when we saw some of the famous whitewater. Indians learned early on that the river will not let you paddle back up stream thus it's nickname---The River of No Return. At the end of the road, Skip with the help of a co-worker, who would drive the van back to Riggins, put the raft in the river, loaded it with the substantial amount of supplies, then invited us to hop aboard. 

It was about 10:30 a.m., when we entered the river. We were comfortably seated in the front with a good view of the mountains, the river, and our competent guide as he worked those big oars and kept us on course. The first part of the river was very calm and quiet. There were no other rafts and it was very peaceful; This was the trip of my dreams. We had been rafting once before and had to paddle. For novices, that can be stressful. This time, Skip was our skipper and we didn't have to lift a finger. In fact as we started out, he made sure we knew that we were guests and that we were not to do anything except enjoy the whole trip. 

After about an hour on the river, Skip brought the raft to shore at a sand bank and said he wanted to show us something special. We walked and talked about the area as he took us on a path past a foundation of an old home. From early on it was obvious that someone had lived here long ago. There was a whole row of irises along what was left of a stone wall. Now completely overgrown, it seemed sad that someone had loved them once. Then came the blackberries. They too had been planted but were now overgrown. The bushes were loaded with big, bulging berries. We picked as we walked along, sometimes standing a little longer to pick a bunch more. There were millions, but the bushes were so thick that it was nearly impossible to get to them. We were having so much fun picking berries that for a while we didn't even realize we were climbing. We kept following Skip as he slowly led the way up; the river below us kept getting smaller and smaller. 

Skip eating blackberries
Near the top, was a small log building with windows and curtains. Inside was a hollowed out log into which hot spring water constantly flowed, filling the log. There was a bench for sitting and a nice wooden floor. Skip left us there to soak while he went just a little ways down the hill to another hot spring in a cave. I wish you could see the pictures I took of this little place, but there wasn't enough light for that disposable camera. Since it had begun to sprinkle a little the hot water soak was very welcome. We could have stayed forever and Skip did not rush us. 

On the way down we again feasted on the blackberries while Skip went on ahead. By the time we reached the beach, he had set up a table and had our lunch set out. For lunch we had pita bread, turkey salad, tuna salad, cheese slices, grapes, cold soda, small bags of chips and fresh chocolate chip cookies. Best of all was the turkey salad which had finely chopped celery, apples, and raisins added to the turkey and blended with Miracle Whip. It all tasted better because we didn't have to do anything. 

After lunch we continued rafting. Although the scenery was breathtaking, Skip kept us entertained with tales of different people and events in history. We later learned that most stories were made up. He is a great story teller! At about 4:30 p.m., we reached the place where we would camp for the night---a nice long, wide sandy beach. Immediately he put up our tents (ours and his) and gave us our bags so we could get out our sleeping bags and so on. While we were doing that, he set up the kitchen shelter.

The kitchen canopy was about six by eight feet and inside he had two large, solid folding tables which he placed at right angles. He also set up a small table for us to eat on. Since it really looked like it would pour any minute, he hung tarps on three sides of the shelter to protect us. From the raft he carried a huge cooler and an equally large metal box to the portable kitchen. These contained all of his kitchen gear and our food. The rain came in torrents while Skip was preparing dinner but we all stayed dry and munched on crackers and spreads left over from lunch.

Dinner was baked potatoes, steak (done perfectly), fresh salad, dinner rolls and drinks. We chose coffee because it was becoming cold and damp. We even had strawberry shortcake for dessert. All was served on real plates with real silverware. This is a first class operation. Skip wouldn't let us help with dishes or anything. When the rain let up a bit  Ron and I went for a walk. We wished we had thought to bring a book to read or a deck of cards. 

We went to bed when the sun went down and tried to get comfortable. I wished we had packed small pillows. Shortly after we got in bed, the rain really started. Loud crashes of thunder and lightening that lit up the sky continued all night. It was very scary. We stayed nice and dry, but my concern was that it would never stop. I certainly didn't want to raft in that kind of weather. I prayed hard; I said I wouldn't complain about the rain at night if it stopped by morning. Ron had a different concern. He gets up a lot at night---no fun to go outside in the pouring rain. We made a note for future reference; bring a �pee� can. 

The rain had stopped just before we got up in the morning. The river had risen a few inches due to the deluge. But Skip was in control; he was busy making breakfast and packing up. He fixed blueberry pancakes, eggs, sausage, coffee, juice, melon and grapes for breakfast and it was delicious. The sun was promising to come out by 10:30 a.m., as we headed down the river again for the most exciting part of the trip. 

Rivers are rated on a scale of one to six with six being un-navigable. We were going to go through 10 rapids which are rated three and four at this time of the year. In the spring they are rated even higher. They were as exciting as a I had dreamed. It was like a soft roller coaster ride. Skip skillfully steered us through the heart of some of the largest waves. He is good! He made sure we got real wet more than once. More people raft (day trips) on the second half of our river trip so we had more company. In fact at our lunch stop, Skip unloaded our gear and a second couple was added for the final stretch. We were glad that we had had the two days; they were as different as night and day and we loved both. 

If we ever go again, besides a pillow, and book we would take more warm clothing for early in the morning and late at night. We'd also take a second pair of shorts. We thought one would do and we'd just wear them twice. Didn't think about getting wet in rain. We can't understand why we were so stiff and tired after this raft trip; we didn't have to do anything. 

After a nice hot shower and a good night's sleep in our own bed, we moved down the road a little to Ponderosa State Park in McCall, Idaho. We had a lovely time just relaxing in this beautifully wooded setting. I swear we had the best campsite (#20); we were all by ourselves. One time I looked out and a deer was munching on the greenery just a foot outside our door. He looked in to see what we were doing then went on about his business. We started to take a few drives, but all roads leading anywhere off the main route are dirt and we just didn't feel like being jostled. 

Barb on a trail in 
Ponderosa State Park
From McCall we went straight to Boise on route 55. The stretch through the Boise National Forest was spectacular. The dense pine forests which cover the mountains are accented with the rushing Payette River. And then the mountains turned to hills and the trees were gone. The landscape reminded me of Nevada---what a difference. If all you have ever seen of Idaho is the southern part, you have missed the most scenic part of the state. 

We only spent a day in Boise and very quickly examined the downtown area including the capitol. It looks like a nice city and I couldn't help but think that only as a full-timer can we live in a beautiful ponderosa woods situated at the edge of a lake in the morning and by evening have as our backyard a city with all of its life and gourmet restaurants. The rest of our stops in Idaho were regrettably just one or two night stops. 

For something truly different spend a night at Craters of the Moon National Monument. The geology there is very interesting. They have a seven mile drive with exhibits and short walks. After taking the drive we were able to understand the phenomena which caused the earth to open up, and spew out lava over a 75 square mile area. It happened more than once and will happen again. There is no volcano, but fissure vents, volcanic cones and lava flows began erupting 15,000 years ago and as recently as 2,000 years ago. Very interesting! I couldn't help but think of the contrast from the lush forests, rivers and lakes to that desolation. You have to see all of Idaho to appreciate it. If you only cut across the corners when going into Montana or Utah, you miss a lot. Discover Idaho on your own. You'll love it!

Craters of the Moon National Park

(Please remember that this report was written many years ago and the 
campgrounds may or may not be in business or as they were.)
We are still on the move, so there's lots to report on. 

Hells Gate State Park, Lewiston, Idaho. There are 93 campsites (64 with water & elect) within 100 yards of the Snake River. Most of the RV sites are long with some pull-throughs available. Sites are shaded in a beautiful setting. Public beach, marina, picnic area and a 36 mile recreation  trail along the river make this a great place to spend a week. The $12 nightly fee includes park admission.

Riverview RV Park, Riggins, Idaho (next door to Epley's Whitewater Adventures. This one is very handy to the rafting companies. Sites are level and full hook-up is $13. They are in the process of developing some new sites along the Salmon River which should be nice. Good clean laundry and restrooms.

Ponderosa State Park, McCall, Idaho. It won't take you long to see why they named this beautiful park �Ponderosa� when you see the majestic 400 year old ponderosa trees. With 170 sites (43 are pull-throughs) you shouldn't have much trouble getting into this park. Sites are shaded and many overlook the lake (ours did). $12 for water & electricity.

Mt. View RV Park, Boise, Idaho. This immaculate modern park with its 63 pull-throughs is in a great location to visit Boise. Site width (20') is narrow but is a trade off with the excellent hook-ups and pads. $18 less 10% with Good Sam. If you plan on arriving late in the day, we suggest reservations. 

Craters of the Moon National Monument, Arco, Idaho. The 52 sites (no hook-ups) are usually available if you arrive before 3:00 p.m. Be prepared to camp on "moon gravel"---ground up black volcanic lava---easy to track into the RV. Be adventuresome.

Sunnyside Acres Park, Idaho Falls, Idaho. This park, like many urban parks, has narrow sites and is not very scenic. It was handy to Idaho Falls and very reasonable for full hook-ups ($12.15). 

KOA, Rock Springs, Wyoming. There are times when KOA's work well, particularly when you want a convenient overnight pull-through and a nice cool pool. Rock Springs KOA fills the bill with good wide level sites right off of I-80. Nightly rate is $19 less a 10% discount with a KOA card.

A.B. Camping, Inc., Cheyenne, Wyoming. Owners Bob & Jeanne will treat you very well at this popular campground. It is convenient to Cheyenne and both I-80 and I-25. The majority of the sites are pull-throughs (narrow) with good hook-ups. They offer a wide selection of current video's for your free use and the facilities.

I am really looking forward to our stay at Port Isabel, Texas, this winter. Slats and Jim are you ready for some serious surf fishing?

Have you noticed the growing trend of local micro breweries? If I owned any of the major brewery stocks I would sell them short. 

Our next year's itinerary will definitely include more state parks. After visiting Idaho state parks with their hiking trails and wooded campsites we were reminded of our earlier full-timing days. 

My partner in life keeps me young. Try two days of white water rafting and sleeping on the beach in a small tent. I will admit that these 63 year old joints were a little stiff afterwards.

You have probably heard the hype on Microsoft's Windows 95. My guess is that they really intend to sell bigger and more sophisticated computers. In fact, I think Barb already has the bug. 

It's nice to be back where gasoline is very reasonable---about $1.05 per gal in Wyoming.

Speaking of gasoline, did you know that the higher the elevation the lower your gasoline octane should be? We have been at 5,000 feet plus the last few months and have been using 85-87 octane. A friend complained that he had been losing power in the mountains and tried increasing his fuel octane to compensate. Wrong---he needed to lower it.

I like it when campgrounds have recycling bins or containers.

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

Heartland Ice Cream & Deli, McCall. This small deli is on main street with the back patio facing the lake. We stopped in for lunch and although the service was a little slow, the food was excellent. We ordered the soup and sandwich special and thoroughly enjoyed the chicken/wild rice soup. It was thick and yummy. Our half turkey sandwich was fresh and the thick bread which tasted homemade was very good. Everything being served looked good. We figured that the service was slow because everything was individually prepared and it was busy. They close early so only plan on them for lunch and snacks.

Singapore Sams, 8th Street Market,Boise. From one of those �What's happening in the City� type papers there was a nice write-up about this new restaurant and we felt like something new and adventuresome. Terry, our server, made us feel very welcome and suggested �happy hour� drinks and an appetizer. Sonoran egg rolls sounded different and they were. I'd call it a Mexican egg roll---looked like an egg roll, but it was good and spicy inside. For our entrees Ron ordered Caribbean Chicken and I choose the Bouglinese Stir Fry. Both were excellent. The only complaint we had was that the salads were served on the same plate as dinner. Hot food running over onto what should be crisp greens doesn't set well with us. You'd probably think that this is an expensive place (sounds it). The whole bill including two drinks each (happy hour prices), appetizer, entrees, and the most wonderful, sinful Autumn Cheesecake with caramel sauce for dessert (we each had our own) only came to $37.00. We need to go all out once in a blue moon and it was a scrumptious experience. 

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

Three different couples have questions about RVs that can be answered together. The Fetterlys from Texas want to know why we picked the Bounder. Marg & Bob Antrim of Washington want to know what size of a motorhome to pick, whether to choose new or used, the best length, diesel or gas, and resale value in case they don't like full-timing. Doreen & Bob McCain from Missouri would like to "know the best way to learn about the different types of RVs available, both positives & negatives." 

Ron answers the Antrim's questions: 

Your questions will get different answers from whomever you talk to, but I will give you our preference and suggestions. Remember that this is only our opinion and may not be best for you. We definitely would not go longer than 34' for ease of handling and getting into a lot of parks, including public parks. Basement models give the most storage. Our next motorhome will probably be a diesel because it will allow us more gross vehicle weight and consequently will allow us to pull a heavier car. Since our next motorhome will last us a long time, we like the projected durability of a diesel. We have changed our minds over the years about buying a used RV. We would consider one, especially in the luxury class where depreciation is such a factor. Obviously careful selection is a must, but there are some bargains out there. A surviving spouse may be left with a nearly new RV with low mileage, or a couple may decide to give up RVing after a short try. I would even consider a nearly new coach offered by a highly reputable dealer with a warranty to go with it. Talk with anyone owning an RV and consider all advice for a good decision. 

Barb comments. We picked the Bounder because it has so much storage, the flat dash for the computer, and feel that for the price, you get a whole lot of motorhome. Another factor is the Fleetwood company which really stands behind their product. If it was time to trade, right now, we would seriously consider another Bounder except we just heard that all new Bounders are going to be the wide bodies and we may have to reconsider. I wasn't crazy about them. 

Barb comments about a buyer's guide. I know that we get a guide through Coast to Coast each spring; it is quite complete. Probably the best one is available through Good Sam. Called the RV Buyers Guide, this 180 plus page book sells for only $5.95 through Good Sam (1-800-234-3450) and is also available at Camping World. We learned from many people in and around campgrounds and from those big RV shows which are usually held in the dead of winter. Just remember that just like houses or cars or dogs or anything, everyone will have their own personal preference for their choice. First you should decide what your needs are and then look in that direction. 

Joan Baker from Arizona loves traveling in an extended van, GMC. She and her husband want to buy a larger RV when he retires. She is handicapped, though and has this question. " I am wondering---if anyone has to use an electric scooter, and if it is a problem in an RV or will it even go in." 

We know that big RV dealers like Lazy Days in Tampa, Florida, customize RVs for handicappers. Can any of you help further with this? Do you or someone you know use a scooter in an RV? 

Two different people asked about Escapees. The Sullivans from Arizona didn't understand what the Escapees AT&T card was and the Fetterlys from Texas who only have our first book and started getting the newsletter after our article on the Escapees (Jan 1, 1993) had no idea what we were talking about. 

The Escapees is an organization of serious RVers and the friendliest most caring bunch of people you'll ever meet. A good majority are full-timers, I would guess. As with many RV organizations there are perks and a big newsletter (magazine). Their bright light is the mail forwarding service which is by far superior to any other. They also have a few campgrounds (12 or so primarily in the sunbelt) which are strictly for Escapees members. The benefits are too numerous to mention. But we strongly suggest that all full-timers consider belonging to SKPs. Call 1-800-9ROVERS (976-8377) and please tell them we sent you. 

The Escapee AT&T calling card is simply a corporate account with AT&T. By using their card, you will save big over a regular AT&T card, but I have news for you. Next month I will share information about a way to get a tremendous savings on phone calls. 
2002 note: Now with many inexpensive calling cards, phone cards and cell phones, this whole subject is mute, but it gives one an idea of the kind things full-timers had to deal with in the early 90s.

Claudia Richards from Seaside, California wonders about how much paper to keep like receipts, cancelled checks etc. 

Ron answers.  You probably asked the wrong person because I know that I keep more than I need. The IRS only requires 3 years and because you take the standard deduction there is really nothing to save---you don't have any deductions to document. We also take the standard deduction, therefore I only keep personal bank statements and credit card statements for one year. We only get cancelled checks on our commercial account and we keep all business documents for 3 years because we file a schedule C along with our return. 

There is an exception to the above information and that pertains to documentation involving real estate transactions. Since capital gains are often carried forward or questions arise as to equity, these documents should be retained indefinitely. 

In a previous newsletter issue, Barb featured an article about RV fires and the author suggested that a "bail out" bag be easily accessible with check books etc. We also recommend that you record all serial numbers on your costly possessions and take pictures of everything of value in your RV. This information should then be given to a friend or relative for safe keeping. It will be invaluable in case of total loss. Final word---when in doubt, save it. Paper really doesn't weigh that much. 


Going alone

... over the years, I've camped from Alaska to Maine, Florida to California...first..in tents...
...My wonderful 2nd husband Don, after a long illness, died 2 ½ years ago of lung cancer. In spite of good insurance, his illness took all of our savings, plus some. His last few months, he weakly sat in a
wheel chair with an oxygen hose, advising/watching me remodel an old, cheap 1ton van into a camper. He wanted me to have a unit where I wouldn't have to go outside, when I was alone....

I've continued to camp in the van with a 9 year old grandson. The first weekend in May, we were camping with the local Good Sam group. A fellow Good Sam couple, just bought a newer and larger motorhome. Their old 24 foot 1978 motorhome was just the right price and size for me. My sons, after going through it with a fine tooth comb, convinced me I couldn't live without it. Of course, they had camped all their life, and encourage me to continue alone.

The class C Tioga, is in great condition for its age....I put a bike rack on the back, and it was ready to roll. I've camped the last 4 weekends with style. I feel Don sent this MH to me. It has so many features that Don wanted. Driving the motorhome is as easy or easier than driving the large truck

Next year I will be 60 and hope to retire...I plan on spending the winters traveling in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arizona. The summers, I shall come back to Cheyenne to enjoy the high country....

Mary Jordan
Cheyenne, Wyoming

Wanted more

My wife and I met you folks at the Coast to Coast Rally 95 in Phoenix, Arizona. We read your book, we read your newsletter and after I finish reading it I go over it again making sure I haven't missed any thing. In fact I'm disappointed because there isn't more.... we will be full-timers Sept 1, 1998. I have to chuckle because the letters I read from the ones you print put down 50 months, 21 days, four and one half years etc. So I just have a date and that's all I need....

Moe & Roe Poloquin
Penn Valley, California

Want back issues

Please send us 12 issues of Movin'  On. Could 6 please be back issues?.... We have  your book. It's like a bible to us. We plan to become full-timers in the fall of 96 or Jan 1997. I feel as though I know you....

Joan & Everett Syphus
Rancho Santa Margarita, California

Will never be a full-timer

...We enjoy the �family feel� of our newsletter and the ability of you both to make us feel as �yours� and you as �ours.�

Marge and I have been trailerists for thirty some years and even honeymooned in a 23 ft Century. We now have a 35 ft 5th wheel that doesn't get used as much as we would like. Even though we are retired (me 12 years, Marge 6 years), I have way too much �stuff� that I am not ready to give up as yet. Marge refers to my pole barn/shop/workspace/computer area as my �hovel.� I prefer to think of it as �World Headquarters.�....

Roy Oberg
Rockford, Michigan

Going to try workamping

You certainly have an avid number of us who look forward to sitting down and reading your newsletter. I like to save it for the evening after all chores are done---my dessert. ...need to settle for a while and conserve finances. Anyway, applied for some jobs volunteering through Workamper and received application from Aransas Wildlife Refuge and got the position. I'm very excited and report Sept 14th for orientation. Feel this will be educational, interesting and a great opportunity to explore the area and make new friends. Plan to stay till April 1. They provide full hook-up and laundry facilities. Hopefully this experience will pave the way for more opportunities in other areas. Didn't tow anything before except my bike. Now have a Geo Tracker 4wd which will give me great freedom to explore on my three days off.....

Katherine Cullen & Storm (cat)
Single full-timer from Michigan

Envy the lifestyle

Sure do envy you. My husband is not at all interested in any type of camping. I am, but probably can't do it alone. Do enjoy reading about your travels.

Colleen Davis
Muskego, Wisconsin

Lazy Days is customer oriented

...Looking forward to your articles about how to manage storage in an RV. Because of your book, we actually purchased from Lazy Days even though we were living in Ohio. They really do business with the customer in mind. We bought a 92 Allegro Bay 34'. Our dream is a Bounder 34J and may still upgrade before we start our travels. 

For now, we develop our files of the states and places we want to see...

Gary & Dee Hahne
Ohio and Florida

Lifestyle sounds great

We have just finished reading your book that we sent after and can't begin to tell you how it has impressed us! Your lifestyle sounds great and it is our plan to begin in the fall of 96. Your information is incredible! It makes us want to get started earlier---but that's not possible.

We plan on getting a 96 Dodge Diesel and 96 Alpenlite 34 ft and selling our home. Getting ready seems like an insurmountable job but I guess it'll get done! I will retire from 33 years in the grocery business and my husband retired from the postal service and went to work for Eagle Hardware (like Home Depot) and will �reretire� when I do....

Bonnie & Don Maus
Lynnwood, Washington

Excitement building

Thank you so much for the Movin'  On. We want to extend our subscription for the next year.... We are planning to pull out of Seattle April 1, 1996 for the Great Lakes and points east as full-timers. We sold the family home (don't miss it and all the yard work etc.,) also got rid of most of the furniture. We only have the furniture the kids are going to inherit in February. We will be left with a small locker for the memorabilia---will see how that works for us. We think we will move into the 5th wheel (33'Snowbird) in the winter, and wait for Bob's retirement in March 1996. 

We are lucky to have friends of 35 years, the Carpenters, traveling with us and enjoying the finer side of life. Having never traveled east of Montana, (in fact I have never lived anywhere but Seattle), the excitement about our new life is building. Your book is full of super information and we will pour over it this coming winter, then for sure we will be READY, WILLING and ABLE to live wherever...

Marilyn & Bob Outzen
Seattle, Washington

Book is like great cake recipe

Our next door neighbors loaned us your book, An Alternative Lifestyle---Living, we are so thankful to them and to you! Now we need our own book to complete reading and study. So enclosed find our check and also money for 6 issues of Movin'  On. My husband and I sold our home here in N.E. Georgia in January. We kept two acres and put our 37 ft Newmar Mt., Aire (slide out) on it. My husband, Max, has just completed 30 years with Southern Bell and plans to retire in the next few months. So here we are living in our motorhome and getting a �pre-test� and loving it TOTALLY! 

Your book is like finding a great recipe for a cake even though we will probably decorate it very differently, it's so nice to have that basic formula! For over a year we have been searching for a guide to help us---thank you so much!

We hope someday we will have the pleasure of meeting you both. I'm enclosing a snap of my self and my husband, Max and our little yorkie. I did not find an extra picture of our rig or I would have sent it also. We will be pulling a 6 X 10 covered trailer with our Gold Wing motor cycle in it for alternative transportation on the road. Our yorkie, Barny, rides with us, he even has his own helmet.

Sally & Max Whidby
Lula, Georgia

Plans keep changing

... We sold our house in August (it actually sold the day we left for a two week vacation---we had 10 days to move when we got home). We moved into our 33' motorhome and stayed in Austin [Texas] until Larry left his job on November 30.... We [moved] to San Marcos, TX, in January so Larry could attend Southwest Texas State University. He decided he wanted to get his teaching certificate in case we didn't want to stay on the road full-time. Well, guess what? Now I'm in school part time (and working full-time at the local hospital). I've decided to complete my degree and go into teaching as well. We're still not sure whether we'll go on the road full-time or just during the summer months when we're both off.... 

In the midst of all this, we decided that the motorhome was much too cramped for us and we found a great deal on a 1995 5th wheel with a super slide and truck. We have decided that a 5th wheel is great if you plan to stay in one place for a long time, but a motorhome is much better for traveling in. So, early in the spring of 96, we're going to start looking for another motorhome (hence my question about the Bounder)  [see Coffee Break pg 3] and look to sell the 5th wheel. We also plan to sell the condo in Florida. I would like to buy a small house or condo in Austin, but Larry really likes the freedom of being in an RV---at least for a while. We've decided not to make any decisions until we absolutely have to. I do enjoy being in the RV, but I miss having a place to set up my sewing machine and leave it set up. Of course, if we were traveling a lot, I would n't mind not having it out. My sister calls us the �King and Queen of Change.� I guess we'll just live for today and plan for tomorrow, but if something better comes along, we'll go with the flow. One thing for sure, we really do enjoy receiving your newsletter and look forward to many more issues....

Char & Larry Fetterly
Austin & San Marcos, Texas

Too hot in the east this year

Being full-timers and following the sun (being here in August when it's almost 100 degrees) is a little bit too much. But since we can pick up and move at any time,...that is what we will do. Trying to find a cool spot on the east coast this summer has been hard. Maybe you should schedule your routes in Movin'  On so we could follow and stay cool.

We did visit the state of Michigan in June. We went to Copper Harbor. The first few days it was hot then turned cool enough to have to put on sweats and light the heater. By the time we got to southern Michigan, it was hot again and has been through Ohio, W.Va, Va, Delaware & Maryland. We're now headed back to the Midwest in hopes of finding some cool weather....

Don & Dee Mc Caleb
Full-timers from Iowa

Doing a lot of practicing 

Enclosed is our reorder for 12 issues. Thanks for all your good efforts---book & newsletter. We have enjoyed both and found them to be informative. Our time is coming and we are doing a lot of

Jeannine & Jim Paterson
Woolwich, Maine

This 'N That

Are you surprised to find this in your mailbox so early in September? Our trip through Idaho, especially the rafting, was so exciting I just had to get it in print. Besides, after our wonderfully relaxing times in Lewiston and Mc Call, I was ready to work again.

I didn't get a single letter on an obvious mistake in the last newsletter. Right on the front page I mention the �Cooley Dam.� It should be the Grand Coulee. I hate it when mistakes jump out at me after all newsletters are in the mail. 

We went to Hell's Gate State Park because Audrey & Tubby Watson (new full-timer friends of ours) said it would be a treat. It was! And on our last day there, a truck came to an abrupt halt in front of our site. It was Audrey & Tubby who recognized our motorhome. They had no idea we were there. They have been following us since we first met them in Reno and now we will follow them. They beat us to Colorado Springs. It is so much fun to keep finding old friends as we travel along the way.

While we were in Lewiston, the newspaper interviewed us for a story on full-timing and ran the story right away while we were still there. In that small community, we were treated to lots of company and met many new friends. One couple brought out fresh vegetables and herbs from their garden. Another woman brought us a beautiful African violet. All visits were great and we learned of their plans as it pertained to full-timing. They were excited to meet and talk to someone who was already experienced in the lifestyle.

Jerry & Frances were camped at Hell's Gate. These newly married, new full-timers and Escapees were eager to share and learn. They have been loving every minute of their new life. Frances, who had a liver transplant several years ago, is not at all afraid to be on the road. They are full of life and will do well. 

I didn't mention my computer monitor last month, because I wasn't sure of the out come. When we were camped in Kamiah, Idaho, with the girls, the monitor went dead just as they were really getting into learning computer stuff. After calling Compaq, I found that I could get a new monitor at Val Com Computer Services in Lewiston. It was a Friday, only several hours before closing time and we were 60 plus miles away on a two lane road. I called to confirm that they had a monitor then jumped in the car. I just made it before closing. All they had was a Samsung brand so I took it. But after getting it set up at home, I found I really wasn't happy with it---mainly because it didn't set solidly on my cpu. While in Coeur d'Alene I called Sherwood, my salesman, and explained the problem. He quickly suggested that I bring it back and he would get me a Compaq with no additional charge. That is another reason that we went to Lewiston. They were a great business to deal with and I highly recommend them if you are in their area.

We have heard about a horrible experience from good friends Chuck & Barb Bauman. They were at their cottage in northern Michigan with their motorhome when a nasty storm hit. A tree landed on the edge of the roof, rolled down the edge and landed on high tension wires while still laying on the left front side of the coach. The tree acted as a conductor against the coach and smoked and burned for one and one half  hours before the power company could turned off the power. The scary part was that for the whole time, the coach was electrified but luckily didn't burn through the metal into the insulation. Three fire trucks arrived to protect the cabin and neighbor's houses in case it caught on fire. Good thing they weren't inside when the tree hit. 

When we were getting ready for our raft trip, I mentioned to Ron that I was going to leave my jewelry, glasses and even my watch at home. I didn't want to chance losing them, because the last time I went rafting, I got tossed out into the rapids. Ron wanted to leave his watch home too, but wanted me to take one of my cheap ones (I have a few $10 ones). When I asked him why we would need a watch on the river, he answered, �I want to know when I am hungry.� 

The problem with stopping at campgrounds which attract a lot of overnighters is that these people are often in a hurry. They come in late and leave early. When you are traveling great distances and if you have to get up real early to hit the road, why not just boondock at a truck stop? It really isn't very courteous to start up your engine and let it warm up at four or five in the morning. If the noise of getting ready doesn't wake the neighbor, the exhaust fumes as they pour into the neighbor's windows will. This is especially annoying when the sites are very close. Please don't do it.

We are here in Cheyenne, Wyoming, primarily to get the newsletter done. Sadly we won't have time to get to know this city or the area. Mary Jordan (see Letters pg 6) who has been a reader for nearly three years stopped by for a visit. It was so nice to meet her. She invited us to join her and the local Good Sam chapter at their campout this weekend. Although we won't have time to actually camp with them, we will go out for one dinner. 

Our hosts here at AB Camping, Jeanne & Bob Glidewell, are super, hard working people. They have thought of everything to make everyone's stay enjoyable.

Indian proverb seen at Craters of the Moon.
�The frog does not drink up the pond it lives in.�

 Name of a used car lot  in Whorley, Idaho.
 �The Lemon Orchard�

Not so Sloppy Joes recipe first debuted in this issue. I have linked it to the recipe section 
where all of our newsletter recipes are posted.
Copyright © 2002, Movin' On with Ron & BarbTM- All Rights Reserved 

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