Saturday, April 28, 2012

Back in the saddle again. . .

We left Charlottesville last Sunday after Ronan's birthday party. He enjoyed turning five and especially because he had all his grandparents there. I got to spend one more visit with Aenea and the next time we see her, she will be home and enjoying life in the family. The kids have done a great job of taking care of things while spending time with the newborn in the NICU. She is doing wonderfully and is just so precious. There are no words to describe the miracle of babies and particularly the work the NICU does for these tiny preemies as they continue their growth and development. Aenea shows every sign of being a normal healthy newborn and she soon will be home in her own bed.

As we leave C-ville, our goal is always to get through West Virginia and stop in eastern Ohio. However, the weather channel was forecasting a nasty winter storm to hit the areas we intended to drive through, so we thought it would be best to drive as far west as we could before stopping for the night. We set our goal as Cincinnati, Ohio, a journey of 425 miles. We knew it would be a long day and we probably wouldn't get in before dark, but we planned to stop at the FMCA headquarters where we can camp for free. We drove 10 hours and arrived BEFORE dark which was a plus. We had no problems whatsoever and even stopped at Tamarak for a lunch break. We had a lot of rain and fog for much of the day, but it finally cleared around Charleston and it was smooth sailing from then on.

We looked at a motorhome just south of the camp in Kentucky. We are planning on going to Alaska next year and we want a smaller motorhome so we can maneuver better in tight areas. A smaller rig will give us more options for camping and pulling off the road to view landscapes. We do not intend to tow a car either, so we should be very mobile. The rig we looked at was everything we wanted except for price. We made an offer within the book value and it was rejected, so we walked. The rig was a 2002 with almost 40,000 miles on it, so it was probably good to pass it up.

We planned to leave Cincinnati on Tuesday, but stayed till Wednesday. More weather, this time wind. With a rig 12'7" tall and 40' long, we are greatly affected by wind and gusts. Since we rarely have a timetable, we can adjust our schedule to accommodate.

When we did leave on Wednesday, we drove to St. Paris, Ohio, and camped at Tab and Deanna's. These are friends we first met when we all started fulltiming. They are off the road now but we still enjoy visiting with them and try to see them a couple times a year. They have bought a house in town now and it is very, very nice. Congratulations to them!

Last year Tab and Deanna broached the subject of going to Alaska together in 2013. We have been wanting to go, as they have, and decided if we could work it out to go together, we would have a great trip and have traveling companions. We hadn't really gotten into the mood yet as we have been looking for several years for a smaller rig and had not found one yet. But after visiting with Tab and Deanna and talking about routes, time frames, etc., we all started getting excited. So we started once again in earnest to look.

While we were there, we were perusing an RV magazine and found an interesting unit in Angola, Indiana. Since we could easily go that way on our trip to Goshen, we called. Sad to say, it wasn't in Angola, but was in the company's Holland, Michigan, location. So we said we would contact them when we got to Elkhart and if they still had it, we would make the trip to see it. So yesterday we left camp at 7:30 a.m. and drove up to Holland to see it. It is probably the best used unit we have looked at. It is a 2004 R-Vision Trail-Lite B+. The fellow who owned it didn't use it much and stored it inside. It only has 8700 actual miles on it. The interior really and truly does look new. Nothing is worn, no mars in the finish, etc. The outside is in above average condition. . . a few things that are inherent with the particular materials, but overall it was very nice. We ended up making an offer and it was accepted! The dealer has a few things to fix and next Wednesday we will drive back up to Holland and bring her home! We are excited to have found a unit and will be able to make some shake-down trips to get any bugs worked out before heading to Alaska next spring.

We are getting ready to head over to the apartments. We have one to get rented and some work to do on the storage condo. Plan to get rid of even more stuff and box some stuff up to take to the new Texas Room in the valley. Also, there will be some stuff we can put in the new rig as well.

No shortage of work for us for the next few months!

Till next time. . .


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