Tag Archive: rv


Well, let’s see, where did we leave off?

It has been a long time since our last blog entry. On one hand a lot has happened to us, and on the other, we are right back where we started.

The end of our season cutting rumble strips on the side of the highway ended very strangely leaving us only three days to leave the job just north of Indianapolis, run back to Minneapolis to retrieve the motor home (we lived in hotels while working), and make it back to southern West Virginia by Thanksgiving.

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With record cold temperatures, fuel and air systems acted up on the RV, but it was nothing we couldn’t handle (sure did make the trip interesting though). We pulled into Pipestem, WV at Mark’s parents house just in time to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with the family.

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We stayed an extra week in southern WV to help Mark’s dad cut some firewood for the winter, then we were chased further south by snow and cold temperatures. We went back to our hometown of Lucia, NC where our long-time friends Mike and Susan showed us warmth and hospitality by insisting that we set up camp in their driveway.

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It was a nice visit with family and friends, but the cold temperatures and the dreary rainy conditions inspired us to build a motorcycle rack, get the bike out of storage, load up , and head further south.

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Florida was the only reasonable destination. With the high price of all campgrounds in the area (being peak season) we did little more than break even at our second adventure of working the three big Daytona events.

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The 24 hour Rolex, Daytona 500(speed week), and Bike Week. Second verse, same as the first…a wild 24 hour race, another rain delayed Daytona 500(complete with tornado warning), and a fun-filled bike week.

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The brutal winter of 2013/2014 didn’t completely spare Florida but is was a lot nicer than most of the rest of the country, and it did inspire Mike and Susan to travel down to the Sunshine State to enjoy some of the nicer weather for a week. Having the motorcycle with us made it nice for us to travel around and see family. We enjoyed a trip to Jacksonville to see Mark’s cousin and family, then to Ponce de Leon springs to eat pancakes with Tracy’s Aunt and Uncle then to Plant City to see Mark’s other cousin and check out the Strawberry Festival, back through Orlando to visit again with Tracy’s Aunt and Uncle, we even got to see Tracy’s sister while she and Steve were in town. So glad we got to, as we recently lost Steve to cancer.

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The motorcycle rack on the motor home did not make for comfortable travel, so when the weather broke, it was back north to the Carolina’s to trade out “the rack” for the trailer. Mark got a couple of weeks work in with a construction company, which earned us just enough money to pay for fuel back west.

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We had a couple of job offers that didn’t really pan out, but Lake Powell/Aramark made us good concrete offers that we could act on. We never heard a peep from the rumble strip company over the off-season but maybe they will contact us soon. In the mean time, we have enjoyed Mark’s parents coming to North Carolina to see us off, and have enjoyed visits with all of the family and friends, but the west is calling our name, so away we go again…

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We survived the 11 day shutdown of the National Parks and then got a few more work days in, then – Wham! – a job offer too intriguing to turn down. It has been our “sort of” plans to head back east toward family and friends in North Carolina and West Virginia with a short visit in Arkansas along the way, but changing plans and not knowing what’s around the next corner is one of the things we enjoy about our new lifestyle.

After over staying our work contract with Aramark by a month or so, they were very understanding when we found out Tuesday that we needed to be in Minnesota, some 1900 miles away, by Monday. Luckily, with the indecision of the federal government of whether or not to let the National Parks function, we had already prepared ourselves and our motor home for a move.

So its say our goodbyes, head south out of Page, AZ, leaving Lake Powell in our “wake”. Back through the heart of the Navajo Nation, crossing the Hopi Indian Reservation, through Window Rock, AZ, next thing we know we are back on I-40 in New Mexico. Crossing a new state line puts into perspective how much we have experienced in our time on the Arizona-Utah border.

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So we find ourselves on the 16th of October heading to – of all places – Minneapolis/St. US mapPaul, Minnesota (actually a suburb called Rogers). Of course, in our journey we like to take the interesting routes. So we exit I-40 and head Northeast, which after traveling through the northern panhandle of Texas and the western panhandle of Oklahoma, we find ourselves in Dodge City, Kansas. It was time for a break, so we took in the sights and then set up “camp” in the Wal-Mart parking lot.

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After a restful nights sleep, we arose to the sight of more than two inches of snow with more falling by the minute! So we decide it was time to “get the heck out of Dodge”.

Proceeding North and East offered little relief as far as snowfall and, of course, in the middle of it all, we had a minor break down which required climbing under the motor home. Shortly after moving again, we were rear-ended. No significant damage done, but still an inconvenience.

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Crossing diagonally across Kansas we end up in much better weather in the beautiful farmlands of Nebraska. Reaching I-80 in the Omaha area we begin to notice that we get to enjoy some fall foliage. Take our word for it, America’s heartland has a lot to offer the nomadic sightseer.

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Anyway, more about our job offer, an old friend that Mark helped get into the heavy equipment/trucking business years ago, had been telling us of a job opportunity that involves traveling to various states installing the rumble strips on the sides of the highways (apparently a very lucrative business). The company is located in Rogers, Minnesota hence our hurried cross-country journey.

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The official job offer has been accepted and after two days in Rogers, we are on the road again with a tractor-trailer (the trailer is “The Machine”) and a brand new Ford F-450 service truck with our old friend Zane showing us the ropes. A few days into it, and we are up and running and pretty sure that after the winter shutdown – next year – we will have a career that will allow us to continue traveling and earn a pretty handsome income as well. For now, we will continue to learn the trade and enjoy our travels in the Upper Midwest.

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We think we’re gonna re-route our trip.

We wonder if anyone’d think we flipped.

If we went to Charlotte via Omaha?

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Week 4

Ahhhh, another successful RV living/work camp living/family visiting/race track working/scooter riding/dirt track racing relaxing week.

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Newly Updated

Week 3

What a pleasant week. Being out of the rat race is fine with us. Simple living and simple pleasures like watching dolphins swim while dining with friends, picking up seashells with your grandchildren, and enjoying  the powdery white beaches of Sarasota. Moving classic car shows through Old Town in Kissimmee, the hospitality of new friends, and some of our oldest and dearest friends coming to visit are just some of the things we’ve enjoyed this past week.

Week 2

What a surprise! Daffney (our oldest daughter) and Matt(her boyfriend)  brought our two grandsons up Wednesday evening. We kept JT and Camron until Sunday.

We took the kids down to Daytona Beach, then took a picnic lunch over to the speedway to watch the race cars. They are such a joy!

On Friday, we took the kids back to the beach. This time, we took a picnic lunch and spent all day. Saturday we all decided to hang out together at the motor home. We played catch, rode the scooter, JT actually braved the pool. What a wonderful weekend with the boys.

Sunday, we took all day to take them home. After we dropped them off with their Mom and visiting with her, we drove to Davenport, FL. Jen and Wayne invited us to come see the Superbowl with them and spend the night. They have a nice place in a small community. We’ve enjoyed our time staying with them. They took us to a HUGE flea market in Webster. I’ve never seen one that big.

As of now, we are still hanging out at Jen and Wayne’s house. We’re making plans for the trip. We accepted a job in Colorado working at Garden of the Gods campground for the summer. Its gonna be a cool trip.

Preparations

OK, so we have our first job, check. We’ve packed the house up and moved the majority into storage, check. Tracy has given notice at work, check.  What are we forgetting?

Mark now has the radiator out of the coach. It needed replacing. After 25 years, it was amazing the coach was still running. Now in two weeks, he has to get the new one in (it has to be shipped here first), he’s replacing all belts and hoses and the water pump while he’s at it. Then get it all put back together so we can make it to Daytona, FL by the 25th.  Talk about last-minute.  We’d rather do it here than on the road. We would hate to be broke down out in the middle of nowhereville.

We’ve had the dream to travel in the RV for years. We always said we would do it. Now we get to find out whether we really can.