Sunday, November 11, 2012

Our 2012 Travel Year Recap

I think this has been the most packed year that we've experienced since we retired! Very busy and a lot of miles. Hard work and incredible amount of money. Are we satisfied? Never.... Lots more to see, and lots more to do. Many many more places to explore and our life is not following directions! It's a good thing that plans are written in Jello because we've had to stir it more than once this year.

We started the year out west with warm breezes and sunshine at Yuma Arizona. It has become our winter home over the last few years. It seems more like the country we're used to because of the agriculture and farming operations there. We made several trips south of the border to Los Algodones, Mexico to shop and experience the Mexican Culture. We left Arizona in April and moved up to Pahrump Nevada where we made several trips... some into Las Vegas..... and a trip to Nebraska and back just with the suburban.

After a nice visit with family and friends, we returned to Nevada and 116 degrees. It was time to start our summer exploring and with those temps, the sooner the better. Plans to stop at Bryce and Zion National Parks in Utah were scrapped as we tried to escape the blast furnace of the desert. Plans were then stirred up again seriously when we got to Boise Idaho. We had been discussing getting a smaller coach and found one that suited our needs so all plans stopped right there and after a large depletion of funds, we moved into our new home on wheels!

 A 2013 Thor Tuscany, it has all of the options that we wanted, 4 slides making it lots wider, but 7 feet shorter! We tightened up the loop at that point and didn't make it out to the Oregon Coast as we planned, but I was not going to miss our time in Montana and we travelled up into British Columbia to visit some dear friends. They also came to Kalispell and spent the day with us, and to see our new coach.

Any time you buy a brand new motor home, you can expect issues. Mostly minor issues, and we had those, but we also had some major issues and it is very time consuming and frustrating dealing with Warranty Issues and local dealers if you haven't purchased the vehicle from them. We had a bunch of things to address, so after visiting with some other friends and touring a new and different part of Montana we took off across the country to Elkhart Indiana..the home of the Thor Corporation and the place where our Tuscany was built! We spent 13 days in the parking lot of the Factory Service Department where they took very good care of us and got most of our issues taken care of. We finally ran out of time due to a prior commitment and had to leave there, making plans to go back there next May, and those are plans that cannot be stirred or rearranged.

While in Indiana we had lots of time to explore that area, an Amish locale, we tasted the home cooked meals, sampled the bakeries and the cheese factories, drove the roads alongside the horses and buggies and learned a little about the Amish Culture. Drove around Notre Dame and spent the night in South Bend. One day we headed up the road and ended up on the shores of Lake Michigan! One of the only days that we had a little rain and the wind was blowing too hard to be a good beach day.

When we went to Indiana we had a good two week cushion before we needed to be in Colorado for Danny to attend a golf tournament with his brother and brother in law, another plan that couldn't be altered, so we did three hard days back across the countryside, dropping in at the sticks and bricks to dump off things that we couldn't haul around anymore!

Finally having the responsible stuff done for a while was a relief. They had a good time at their tourney, and I relaxed, and caught up on domestic stuff. Colorado Springs and the Majestic Pikes Peak, is also a favorite place for me. Right across the road from Fort Carson, a person is reminded of those who are fighting for our freedom, every morning at 6 am... when the sound of Revoli is heard loud and clear! I am never angry or upset with hearing that. There, Dan was able to fulfill another dream, playing golf at the Broadmoor course where he spent a week watching the Senior Open a few years back. I don't think his feet touched the ground for a week! He just had such a big smile! Onward and down we went from there, stopping off at Williams Arizona for a week, as once more the triple digit temperatures were still alive and well in Yuma. Williams is in a mountainous region and about an hour from the Grand Canyon, so we took another trip in to see the wonderful views and peeked in at Bearizona, a new wildlife park at Williams.
In wrapping up our summer, we made our way back down out of the hills, south through Lake Havasu City and Parker along the Colorado River. The desert was greener than I'd ever seen it. Water stood in some of the washes, thankfully not on the roads.

Once more, our new coach is nestled back on our lot at The Palms RV Resort.

 This post finds me at the sticks and bricks, Pot Roast in the oven and transferring our memories onto disc to make room for the next chapter. DH and KayCee Marie are in Colorado hunting pheasants. Our season here is bleak because of the serious drought, the pheasant population is down. We are looking forward to Thanksgiving with family and we are also looking forward to getting back out on the road.

We are still loving this lifestyle. Every month, every day and every year a new adventure. Stay tuned for the next Chapter!!!!!