Thursday, September 8, 2011


Thank you to our readers who were so receptive to Chapter One of our book! And thank you, and welcome, to our newest Followers, Jeff Simmons who, with his lady Shirley, runs scooters On the Road with Bloomers and Drawers; Ellie Great, an author from New Zealand; and Jeff Simmons. We hope you guys find something you'll like in our blog. You might also want to take a look at our other blog, One Shot Leads to Another, on which we display one picture every other day.

While we are here in Carson City, we're mostly visiting with daughter Kathie, who had back surgery last week, and daughter Deb, who came up to spend a week with her sister. So we aren't out and about much. Instead, we offer you, along with a few pictures of our motorhome in some neat places, our book's Chapter Two -- "Are You Out of Your Minds?"
Rosie at Randlett City Park, Anadarko, Oklahoma
We were ready to retire in 2002. Actually, we were READY a lot earlier than that, but not PREPARED.
Rosie at Tenkiller Lake, a COE campground in Oklahoma.
Our financial advisor had told us we were going to be comfortable in retirement, but only if we got out of California. That helped convince us to move into a motorhome and go full-time. Our daughters, Deb and Kathie, were puzzled but supportive. Some of our friends, however, weren’t so sure. They asked all the usual questions:
·        “How will you get your mail?”
·        “How will you do your banking?”
·        “How will you handle medical care?”
·        “Won’t you get tired of camping all the time?”
·        “When will you come home?”
The biggest question we heard was, “Are you out of your minds?”
Rusty's RV Resort, Rodeo, NM
The first questions were the easiest to answer:
·        Mail comes through a mailing service on a regular basis.
·        We’ll bank on-line using our computer.
·        There are doctors all over the country (more about that later.)
·        We won’t be “camping,” we’ll be living in our home on wheels, with all the facilities we need.
·        We will be “home” all the time; maybe we’ll come and visit you where you live some time.
The last question, "Are you out of your minds?" was tougher to answer.  We had often been accused of being a little crazy, but we didn’t think so this time. We had good reasons for going full-time in an RV: it’s the best and easiest way to see the country; we’d been RVing in one form or another for years, and we knew what it was about. Most important was what our financial advisor told us: we had plenty of retirement income … as long as we got out of California! 
On Cousin Kevin's driveway in Washington State
The time came to sell the house and, like so many others in that time period, we found it sold a lot faster than we had expected. We had to close in thirty days! And we had a house full of STUFF! Kathie and Deb initially didn’t want to take the stuff: they told us they would feel like vultures, and we weren’t even dead yet! We told them, “Take it or it goes to the dump.”
They took a lot, storing some of it so that, if and when we came to our senses, we could have it back. Our adult grandchildren took some, and we sold our leather sofa and easy chair to nephew Andy.
Construction zone, Alaska Highway, sitting on thawing permafrost.
Then we had a major yard sale, virtually giving away a lot. Next, we contacted St. Vincent de Paul, Salvation Army, and Goodwill. They took what they could. Finally we contacted “Bob,” who would take the rest of the stuff to the dump.
After “Bob” left, we swept the driveway and drove away from what had been Jerry’s family home for over fifty years, and our own home for the previous fourteen years. We’ve never looked back, never regretted our decision.
County park at Lime Springs, Iowa
It had been Suzy’s dream, when the motorhome sat in front of the family homestead, to load her up, put it all away, and drive into a totally new life. Alas, it was not to be.
That first day on the road, September 5, 2002, we drove 17 miles to the local Elks Lodge to spend a few nights. Daughter Deb came and took one look at the piles of clothing, the stacked boxes of goodies we had brought with us. She rolled up her sleeves and said “C’mon, Mom, let’s get to work.” With her help we cleaned out a lot more STUFF, and were able to be on our way for real.
City of Rocks State Park, New Mexico
Now, nine years later, we still wonder if maybe we’re out of our minds. We had to handle a lot of problems long-distance in the first year: a bank refused to believe we had paid off our loan on the motorhome; health insurance got cancelled; Suzy’s Mom (living in our motorhome with us at age 95) became seriously ill and needed to go into a nursing facility; our cell phone service had been sold to us under false pretenses and we had three $300 monthly bills in a row.
Rosie serving as grandson Jason's bride Crystal's dressing room near Coeur d'Alene Lake in Idaho.
We weathered those storms, solved those problems. But every once in a while some other silly situation pops up that requires all of Suzy’s problem-solving skills over the phone with customer service representatives. Computers develop serious cases of hiccups or “I don’t wanna work no more,” and Jerry is on the phone with someone in Turkey or Pakistan trying to get some help.
But we realize that these same problems used to occur when we lived in our house in California, and it still took the same kind of persistence and creativity to get them solved. We’d have been out of our minds there too, but we wouldn’t be having the fun of RVing full-time while we were at it.
Are we out of our minds? Decidedly not!
Mile Zero, Alaska Highway, Dawson Creek, British Columbia
Nope, we are not our of our minds. Our Rosie has carried us some 56,000 miles, to 31 states, Mexico and two provinces of Canada, who knows how many campgrounds and RV parks. She was our only home for seven years, and we love her just as she is, and she loves us! And we love ... Our Life on Wheels.


  1. Had to go back and catch up on the book. Suzy is a better woman than I am. Tent camping at 8 months pregnant - definitely not in my world. And ain't being out of your mind just the best thing ever!!

  2. Great story...I would be happy to just close our stix and bricks for one year and live in the Hiker...McGuyver says he needs a land based house...afraid to even leave it for a year.. not me...I'd be gone tomorrow..What's the worst that can happen?? You don't like it, and buy another home somewhere...HELLLLLO!!!

  3. WOW! What a post. And what a life. Such an inspiration.

  4. Chapter 2 was great. We went through a lot of what you did and our friends still think we are crazy as they sit at home and we hit the open road. To each his own.

    Looking forward to Chapter 3.

    I liked the photos interspersed and the one of Lime Spring, IA was s surprise. A good friend of ours lived near Lime Springs and we stopped there one afternoon. Wish I would have know about the campsite at that time.

  5. LOVE IT...such wonderful memories you have made and still making! What a great life!

  6. WONDERFUL post! Life is exciting and as adventurous as you want to make it. Good for you guys for doing what YOU want to do. It's fine to be out of your minds as long as you still have your marbles!!

  7. GREAT GREAT GREAT story ~ I can't say it enough. Loved the pictures too! It sure does let people see how we live and deal with everyday problems too... The only difference is we can change neighborhoods really easy!
    Have fun & Travel safe

  8. WOW...that was great! It would have taken me 23 pages to say what you did in this short blog...great job! We got the same questions that you did and answered them in about the same way. I love the pictures. You two have stayed in some amazing places! One last comment...You are NOT out of your are just experiencing life different than the norm. Enjoy the ride.

  9. I would say if you managed to get out of CA, your are clearly NOT out of your minds. We trust that you will continue to have a great time!

  10. Loved Chapter 2. You make it hard for me to be satisfied as a part-timer rather than a full-timer, but I guess I will just be thankful and not complain too much. ;-)

  11. I wanted to sell the house in 2002, but we were not ready yet. We are still not ready, and the market is such that nothing is selling, so when Craig retires in December we will split our time between house repair and RV trips.

    Can't wait until California Home ownership is a thing in the past!

  12. We have really enjoyed both chapters. Like many others, we also have a couple of stories similar to chapter one, camping in less than favorable conditions. As for chapter two, you are not out of your minds. I think you have accomplished what many of us only think about. The photos and the text were perfect, very inspiring!!!


  13. I always like to read posts by adventurous people willing to take a few chances with their lifestyle and shake things up a bit. Love those kinds of folks like yourself who are open minded enough to think outside the box, get off their duffs, take a chance and get out to see and experience the country. And, I like your type of Nomad wanderings. Not rigidley structured and not repetitive. Wander where you will, wander where you want and wander when you can. Now, that is my idea of true RVing. Good for you guys:))

  14. Another great chapter. And no, you're not out of your minds. But only like-minded people would understand. We've gone on some adventures that had people raising their eyebrows. And I know that many can't grasp what we plan to do when we retire. I guess when they ask why, I'll just use the same answer I did when people asked, why Antarctica ... "Pourquoi Pas?" ... why not?

  15. Like the previous commenters have all said - great story. A lot of wonderful memories to look back on for sure.

  16. Great story and gives us ideas on what to do. We live in Southern California and the housing market is what is keeping us from starting our own adventure. Looking forward to putting our Condo on wheels in motion away from California and in search of new adventures.
    Jerry and Sylvia, Murrieta, CA


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