Friday, September 30, 2011

What a Summer!

Wow! What a great summer we've had! Different in some ways from what we had planned, but what is  it we say about plans in Jell-O?

The main events went exactly as planned. We attended daughter Kathie's graduation from University of Nevada, Reno, at the young age of 46. And we got to see her receive the remarkable Senior Scholar award for the College of Journalism (senior in GPA, not in age, although that too).

Kathie with husband Shawn -- two tired but proud and happy people!
The second big event was daughter Deb's 50th birthday celebration. She had rented a large home outside of Fiddletown, CA, for the event, and just about the whole family was there. That's only a dozen of us; we're a small family. GeeGee (that's Great Grandma Suzy) played the piano for a singalong, there were group meals. games on the lanai, and excellent wine.
Deb had a visit from Father Time
Deb baked some greaseless donuts
And we sang
Cousin Carol in a Minute to Win It minute
Along with all of that, we had several days visiting Yosemite National Park, with the greatest water display in 50 years.

We spent a day at the epitome of ghost towns, Bodie, CA.

We spent a few nights at the splendid Oh Ridge National Forest campground near Lee Vining, CA, including two nights in the snow!

We spent two nights boondocked at Harmony Wynelands Vineyard in the Harvest Hosts Program, meeting the winemaker and his mother, and ending up with two cases of wine to carry home (still have most of it, too!).

As kind of a surprise, we were invited to stay at daughter Deb's house for the July 4 holiday (which we enjoyed immensely).
Deb and her pal Albert with us at dinner.
And another surprise, daughter Kathie had back surgery which we stuck around for in Carson City, trying to offer help wherever we could (no pictures of that time!).

Of course, there was plenty of time spent with great grandson Darren!

Some folks like statistics, so here they are. We left Benson April 17, and arrived back in Benson September 30, a total of 166 nights out, 35 of which didn't cost us a penny.  We stayed in 17 places we've never stayed before, and overall spent an average of $13.87 per night (or $17.57 per night for the nights we paid for). How far did we drive? 2,663 miles in the motorhome, and however much more in the car. We bought 456 gallons of gas for the motorhome, at a total cost of $1,687.45, or $3.70 average per gallon. Highest priced gas was in Bishop, CA at the Von's Supermarket (after a 10 cents per gallon discount) at $4.17 per gallon, lowest prices at Travel America in Tonopah, AZ, at $3.41 / gallon. Miles per gallon overall? A measly 5.8. but we have to remember that we were towing a heavy car most of the time, did a lot of mountain driving, and part of the time had the generator running (for heat at Oh Ridge, for A/C going down the highway).

Now we are home. Now we get ready for Chapter 21 activities, and the Board of Directors has an executive meeting Monday, Now we hear Gene Autrey's theme "Back in the Saddle Again," as we resume the day to day part of ... Our Life on Wheels!


  1. Thanks for the nice recap! You certainly had an interesting 166 days. Glad you made it home safe and sound. Don't let those bored..ooops...I mean board meetings get to you! Being on a board can be a lot of work and I don't think I ever want to do that again. Maybe it's more fun to be on an Escapees board than the boards I served on, I hope so anyway!

  2. Sounds like a great summer to me. Happy to hear you're back safe.

  3. I enjoyed reading about your spring and summer trip, and I enjoyed the recap. You had a nice mixture of time with family and time sightseeing. It's always interesting to hear about gas prices and milage, and all that jazz.

  4. Time flies when your having fun, or while you read about other people traveling! This summer just wizzed by.

  5. Nicely done. The summer. The post. The pictures. (well, the one with that "white stuff" was a little horrifying.)

    So, Kathie graduated, and needed back surgery? Gah! That sounds to me like there needs to be some more details. Outcome? Is she OK? Is she pursuing a career in journalism? Was it from lugging all those books?

    Just wondering.

    Once upon a time, when we had our motorhome, I'd get the odd comment like, "It sure must get poor gas mileage?" to which I simply replied that it got fabulous mileage....for a house. That would usually shut them up. Besides, if you can't afford the fuel, you need to stay home. (but I would reserve that one for anyone that I maybe wanted to be a little snippy with.)

    I mean really, isn't hitch-hiking the absolute cheapest form of travel?
    It just depends on what "comfort level" you desire to have.

    And now that I think of it, I once had a 1972 Olds Cutlass Supreme that got about SEVEN miles to the gallon. (350 with a Holley four barrel carb. Oh ya!) It was sure fun to drive! Well, sort of "point" and hold on.

    So, since driving the motorhome was fun too, does that mean, "more fun" = "poorer fuel economy".


  6. Welcome back home ... you had a fun summer traveling ... now for a fun fall at home.

  7. Thanks for the re-cap...What a great trip..By the way, how's the Mummy Clock??

  8. Nice recap. I enjoy revisiting places in my memory. :)

  9. Great pictures! Sounds like you were pretty busy!

  10. Great recap of a great summer with lots of terrific photo memories!

  11. Nice to finish up a vacation complete with photo and written records of all the great memories. Aging minds have a habit of forgetting so many things but with a blog and photo album those memories are instantly and easily rememorable. The record keeping and stats are always interesting to look back upon as well. And, you sure did have a pleasantly memorable trip.

  12. Daughter Kathie sent this email:

    So glad you made it home safely...and thank you for being here for so much of what is important to us. We love you!

  13. Please tell Kathie CONGRATULATIONS! What a great achievement. You two must be very proud parents!
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Deb...she sure doesn't look 50!
    What a wonderful, exciting summer you two had!
    Love the pictures. We may be out your way in the spring. It would be wonderful to meet you two!

  14. I'm exhausted already.. but I sure did enjoy your road trips and all the beauty they entailed along the way.
    Thanks for letting me tag along :D

    My music, go to the bottom of my blog and click on Youtube in the video.

  15. I just found your interesting post. It sounds like you had a great time on the road. I was interested to see you winter in Benson. I know it well - I graduated from high school there many years ago.

  16. Daughter Deb sent this email:

    Hooray! I'm glad you're home safe and sound.
    Thank you SO very much for being here this summer with us - we all loved having you celebrate with us and just be.
    Love you,

  17. When I suggested Buckskin Mt SP I wasn't thinking about hot weather. It was cool here, however when we stayed there it was late October and beautiful. We also stopped there for 2 weeks in May, 2010 and it was unbelievably hot that time. We like the water and didn't notice the humidity so much.

    We will be spending the winter at Cactus Country RV resort in Tucson this winter starting Dec 1. It is just off exit 275 on I-10. Stop by on one of your runs to Costco when you are in the area if you have time.

  18. Super Recap. How can you decide which pics to use . . . looks like they are all great!

  19. I really enjoyed each day of your travels. You went many places that I too would love to visit. Thanks for pointing them out.

    Thanks also for the great time at the Chapter 21 Rally. It was a great rally. Looking forward to seeing you at the winter rally also.


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