It’s hard to believe but I made another trip around the sun. And harder yet to believe were are starting out a brand-new year, and the fact that I will be turning 65 in October of this year 2017. How did I get this old? Even though I’m turning 65 mentally I don’t feel any different than I did when I was in my 40s. But there are many days that my body lets me know I’m not a kid anymore. Well enough of that for now. I hope you all had a great Christmas and will be starting this New Year off with a bang. I was looking back on the last 18 months since I retired from my job. I sure have accomplished a lot and been a lot of places. It all started out in July 15 of 2015 when I retired from my 20 year position at Cardinal Glass Industries. In in the past year and a half, I bounce back and forth to Wisconsin numerous times, as I worked on selling my house finally accomplishing that in May 2016. My adventure started out on the afternoon of July 15, 2015 as I headed westward to renew friendships with longtime friends in Cody Wyoming. As my traveling has evolved so has this journal, looking back at the old posts they were quite simple and uninformative but I hope this has evolved in something that you enjoy following. After spending several weeks in Wyoming I work my way northward to Montana to meet up with my sister and niece, to explore Glacier National Park and other delightful areas along the way. In August and September I worked my way back to Wisconsin to take care of responsibilities on the house, and to do the annual fishing trip with my buddies in late September. And then as you might remember in the first part of October, my good friend Dick and I headed to Georgia for a couple months to do some dog training. Boy I sure had a great time there, exploring the area and relaxing. And then due to circumstances we both headed back to Wisconsin for December and part of January to be with friends and family. But after being home for about six weeks I needed to get away from the cold and snow. So I headed out to Arizona to spend a month each in Quartzsite and Phoenix. The plan originally was that I would go right from Arizona, head up to Colorado to spend time with my niece and do some remodeling. But as circumstances would have it in March I got a good offer on my house back in Wisconsin. So as things came together my plans changed, and I had to head back to Wisconsin the first part of April the finalize that. I spent the next several weeks closing on the house and finishing liquidating and moving my personal property. And as of the first week of May, I was truly homeless (no longer having a stick and brick house) and truly became a full-time “RVer”. At that point once again I headed westward to spend several weeks in Vail, Colorado, helping my niece with her remodeling projects. Then again making my way eastward to Minnesota to start my first Camp Host position at Sandy Lake Recreation Area for the last week of June and the month of July. This was the first of what at this point, has been the fourth host positions I have been able to do. I spent five weeks in northern Minnesota enjoying the beautiful area and making new and hopefully long-term friendship with people that I met there. And then it was off to southern Minnesota for another five weeks enjoying the beautiful Mississippi River area at Great River Bluffs State Park. Once again getting to know the beautiful area and making new friends. After that it was back to Wisconsin to put my rig in the storage for a few weeks. So that me and my sister Bonnie could head over to Great Britain for a wonderful adventure there. After a whirlwind vacation for two and half weeks in Great Britain, it was back to Wisconsin for the month of October, to do my third host position at Blue Mound State Park. Once again exploring the area spending lots of time with my daughter’s and other relatives, and making more new friends along the way. From there I spent a couple weeks updating my new rig, before heading south to Texas on my way to where I’m presently at here in Potrero California, “at beautiful Potrero County Park”. And that brings us to the present day and a brand-new year. “WOW” I sure have done a lot in the last year and a half haven’t I. Well that is what my plan has been all along, to do and see as much as I can while I still have my health and ability to do it all. That’s the main reason I chose this lifestyle and like anything it has its ups and downs. But the ups sure seem to outweigh the downs.
Will here’s a quick update of what I’ve been doing since my last post. Over Christmas I took a trip to Phoenix, Arizona to spend time with my good friends Joe and Murlane. I got up early on Saturday morning Christmas Eve day to heavy rain, which was forecast for all day. As I headed east into higher elevations I got the experience driving in the snow again. So no matter where I go I can’t seem to get away from that stuff. I do like the looks of a little snow 🙂 if I do not have to drive in it.Thank goodness it only lasted for about 15 miles before I started descending to lower elevations and warmer temperatures, but it was a little touch and go, because my little convertible is not built for snowy roads, as you can see in this photo.It rained off and on the whole trip to Phoenix which because of the weather took me about 6 ½ hours. I arrived midafternoon to hugs and welcomes. The plan was to spend two nights staying at Joe and Murlane, enjoying their company playing cards and celebrating Christmas with others at the recreation center. We enjoyed each other’s company the rest of the day and called it an early evening. We awoke to a cool and sunny Christmas morning. After breakfast Joe and I played numerous games of cribbage which is always a good time. I think Joe had this big smile because he beat me at more games than I did him.Here’s a photo of Joe and Murlane together just before we set down to enjoy our Christmas dinner with others.As you might remember I spent the month of March, here in Phoenix at the same park last year. And during that time I got to meet a lot of the people that come here year after year, so it was a great time renewing friendships even if it was only for a few days. On Monday, December 26 it was another sunny day and about midmorning I started heading back to Potrero. On the trip home I stopped in Quartzsite to pick up some glass beads to try a beading project I’ve been thinking about for a long time now. Last year I had stopped in several beadwork shops in Quartzsite and were familiar with where they were at and what they had to offer. You see I’ve been wanting to make some beaded headbands for quite some time now, and I figured this is a good time to start one. So I picked up the basic supplies I needed and in the last week I made myself a loom to string the beads on. I also designed the pattern that I want to start with. Here’s a photo of the loom I made and the beading supplies to do this first project. I worked out a simple pattern in Excel on my computer and then printed out a working graft.I got several books from the library and watched a lot of videos online and now I think I’m ready to take on this project. As you can see in this photo the strings and beads are pretty small, so we’ll have to see how good my eyes are for this kind of project. As this develops a put more updates and my future posts.Along with my regular routine here at the park, with all the rain and winds we’ve had numerous trees come down. Unfortunately there are quite a few dead trees from the Oak Beatle in the long-lasting drought that is killing them out here in the west. It’s always sad to see these beautiful old trees come to their demise. Because you know most of these are hundred or more years old. Here’s a photo of one of the dead ones (this one died this past summer) that toppled from the rain softening the ground and the winds blowing hard.Here’s another dead one that still standing but who knows how long.Unfortunately we lost this beautiful tree that was still alive from the same effects, plus the ground squirrels and undermined the root system a lot on this tree.Also the laundry room is just about done I got all the wiring in the lighting finished inside. George the park manager found a nice washing machine on Craigslist, so all we need is a dryer to complete the project.On the outside, I got the eaves all enclosed in, a new concrete approach poured and some patch work done on a few holes that were in the sidewalls. And everything cleaned around the outside, so all it needs is a new paint job on the outside which I hope to get done this week. As a lot of you might already know painting is my least favorite of all the construction type projects, so if I can avoid it I do. But it looks like if I want this painting done (which I do) I will have to do it myself LOL.That’s it for now, I hope you all have a great 2017 and I’m looking forward to seeing more of you down the road. Wishing you all a Happy New Year and Safe Travels, Rick