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Old 11-02-2014, 09:37 PM   #1
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Notes from the first 19 days...

It's been 19 days since we gave our apartment landlord the keys and said good-bye to our friends and families in Orange County, California for a life of full-timing. It took 17 of those to get things dialed in to the point where we actually went out for a hike in Snow Canyon. Today finds us in the third campground we've found in the area surrounding St. George, Utah - Quail Creek. Of course those 17 days were 17 of the most fun days of our adult lives - all filled with a sense of freedom... free from watching the clock but rather noting the sun's position, free from phone calls, free from crowded streets and freeways, free from city noise, and free from the many ills of the world. We learned something new each day but at a comfortable pace - no stressful deadlines. Here are some observations:

We've already met several travelers seeking and living similar lives on the road in RVs and SOBs. I've noted these travelers are friendly, fit, adventurous, generous, and content.

At the risk of generalizing, there is a distinct difference between RV parks in towns and campgrounds found in state parks and BLM territory, and I'm not talking about cost.

At the risk of coming across as an AS snob after only 19 days of experience, we have received almost a compliment per day on our AS. People have either shared their interest, admiration, or desire for an AS. It is with great pride and a sense of good fortune that a purchase of something nine years old can bring so much satisfaction - it's a rare thing in my life to possess something that others consider both iconic and unique.

The Toyota Tundra 5.7L so far has been a very good tow vehicle.

Today we encountered our first setback - a truck flat tire hissing just as I stepped out of it after parking our AS in our campsite. Both unlucky and very fortunate.

According to my limited experience, Airstreams are pretty sound proof - that is, when we fire up the TV monitor and close the windows, there isn't much to hear from the outside.

So far the single Honda EU2000i has performed wonderfully while charging our two six-volt batteries and all our tech gadgets, and providing juice for our TV monitor, shop vac, and ceramic heater. We'll see about next summer about a companion gennie.

When all previously owned nine-year old appliances (fridge, freezer, fans, air conditioner, furnace, water heater, water pump, toilet, and shower) fire up as they should right off the lot, life is very, very good.

The 28-foot International appears to be in the sweet spot for us: small enough for a noobie like me to navigate through shopping center parking lots, gas stations suitable for trailers, and most campground sites; big enough to have room to customize the living quarters with additional hooks, mementos, a TV monitor, and his and her ends of the trailer when space is needed (i.e., doghouse for me).

That reminds me of a noob mistake. Once we got to St. George, the wife wanted to grab something to eat. I absent-mindedly drove into a shopping center and dropped her off a burger diner and began to turn up a parking aisle when I looked ahead and saw all the parked cars would prevent me from making the exit turn. Fortunately nobody was behind me and I was able to back out the 10 feet of the aisle and sheepishly made my way out of the parking lot and did a circle around the block before entering the lot's main driveway, picking up the wife, and safely heading back out to the great wide open. When a lot of you posted one can quickly forget he or she is towing an aerodynamically superior Airstream, you weren't kidding!!!

Don't forget to close the vent covers if there's even a slight chance of rain. Last night, I forgot...

Since we've left the rat race, more than ever there is not enough time in the day, and the weeks just fly by. When every day feels like a Saturday, well... it's easy to lose track. Heck, I don't even know who's playing on Sundays anymore.

I'm actually reading A BOOK!!! A thick one too.

There are no words to describe the feeling I get when I open the door in the morning and take a breath of fresh air, a good look around at my new surroundings, and hear the wind in the trees and the birds... and no traffic.

I'll leave you with this: life is all about the angles you take. The wife and I have lived in rented apartments all our adult lives. A couple years ago, we heard of a woman who had moved into our complex after losing her luxurious house. She complained to the maintenance people the quality of the paint job and the carpeting and the way cabinet doors didn't close flush. Welcome to the world of rentals. This past summer the wife and I bought a very nice REI Base Camp 4 tent. Even though there were only two of us camping in it in the Sierras, there was still only room enough for two sleeping bags and our boots... STILL, we thought it was great, really great! But then we moved into a 28' trailer and we couldn't be happier. Four years ago, I persuaded my dad to buy a 32" flat screen after my mom died, and it was a battle to get him to get 32 inches - it looked small in his big house. After he passed away, I inherited that same flat screen and now it looks huge in our Airstream after replacing the older 26" monitor. When you've grown up in an area where trees are planted according to a landscaper's design, the ubiquitous street lights disable your ability to see the stars, and the pathways are littered with sparkling broken glass and faded litter, life in an Airstream and the great outdoors is... well, a dream come true.
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Old 11-02-2014, 10:00 PM   #2
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Awesome! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and travels.
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Old 11-02-2014, 11:06 PM   #3
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Far out!!!!! Thanks for taking time to share these precious days!!
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Old 11-02-2014, 11:29 PM   #4
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Interesting post....
I will be looking forward to your future observations
Cheers
Doug
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Old 11-03-2014, 06:51 AM   #5
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Yep, you're experiencing the exhiliration of life on the road. Like a little kid at Christmas.....every day.

It's such a privilege, isn't it?

It's also addictive, but in a good way.

Keep us posted.


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Old 11-03-2014, 07:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westcoastas View Post
the most fun days of our adult lives - all filled with a sense of freedom... and a sense of good fortune ......there is not enough time in the day, and the weeks just fly by.......life in an Airstream and the great outdoors is... well, a dream come true.
You nailed it! Enjoy!
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Old 11-03-2014, 10:04 AM   #7
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Great post Westcoastas, hope to run into you and your wife one day on the road. What a great area to visit at first too. We love Utah.

Quote:
Originally Posted by westcoastas View Post
Since we've left the rat race, more than ever there is not enough time in the day, and the weeks just fly by. When every day feels like a Saturday, well... it's easy to lose track. Heck, I don't even know who's playing on Sundays anymore.
Every time someone tells me time fly's by as you get older, I tell them that Time is Relative. It never changes unless you're moving faster. That being said, most folks are living for the weekend, time fly's because all they are thinking about is getting thru the week.
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Old 11-03-2014, 10:13 AM   #8
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Westcostas: Congratulations on your adventure. My wife retired in 2013 and I retired in February, although not full timers, she refuses to give up the house where our kids grew up, we do travel about 4-6 months a year. It's great.

If you are in St Georges and IF you like animals take a run over to Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, UT. There are campgrounds around, they have two sites themselves but I think they close up November 1. It is the largest no kill animal shelter in the US and they offer free tours, it's a wonderful place. We spent a week there in September and I volunteered, a great experience.

Safe Travels
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Old 11-03-2014, 10:15 AM   #9
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I did the same in August and have enjoyed it ever since....it is a great life...
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Old 11-03-2014, 10:44 AM   #10
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First 244 days in a 1958 FC

We started our Full Time adventure the end of February when I retired from a Dept. of Defense contract. Left Lincoln City Oregon and a 10 x 10 storage unit. Traveled down the Oregon and California coast, then to Mulege Baja, then to AZ, NM, CO, NV, CA and back to Oregon. That trip was over 8500 miles.

We spent a couple months living in OR State parks and Chinook Winds Casino parking in Lincoln City. Sold our artwork and more possessions from storage. Now we are in Yuma AZ participating in some art venues before heading back to Baja.

We have our own place to park in Mulege but hurricane Odile hit us hard. Waiting for water and electricity to be restored in our neighborhood before we go.

Our 1958 Flying Cloud has been the best adventure for us. Good luck on yours too.
Dick and Judy
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Old 11-03-2014, 12:15 PM   #11
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Absolutely phenomenal.
Congrats to you and your wife on an awesome dream come true.
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Old 11-03-2014, 01:04 PM   #12
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What a wonderful message. We have a friend that says 'everyday is Christmas'. AS life is the best!
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Old 11-03-2014, 01:17 PM   #13
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We spent from July to October in our AS in the Northwest.
BLM campgrounds in Idaho are GREAT! Mackay, Orofino Pink House, McKay's Bend and Huckleberry on the St. Joe river all have lights and water and 1/2 price for senior pass. 14 day limit at each place but they are all first come first serve and within a day's drive of each other.
There is also a BLM camp in Pilar NM --- Rio Bravo --- just south of Taos.

We decided we like the older small parks instead of the 700 space parking lots.

Bass Pro Shops and CAbella's welcome overnighters and not as scary as parking in a walmart.

Once, years ago, my wife, an RN, worked the night shift. Our 13 year daughter and I drove her to work one night adn then we went to walmart to do some shopping.

As we were walking through the aisles I told Sara that were a bunch of scary looking people shopping in walmart at 2 am...... she said, "Dad, we're here." LOL!~
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Old 11-03-2014, 01:27 PM   #14
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Happy travels.
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