THE ROAD AHEAD

I haven’t had a permanent residence since June 2016 when I retired from work and sold my Washington, D.C. home.  That summer I house sat Michelle and Duane’s beautiful Stuart, FL home.  Hurricane Mathew came roaring up the coast and I spent the night enclosed but had power, so I was able to check off riding out a hurricane from my bucket list.

That fall I bought Scout I, a 19” Airstream (AS) Flying Cloud in Houston, TX.  I drove west to Austin, Tucson, Palm Springs and up the west coast to Vallejo, CA.  Scout spent the summer of 2017 in storage in Sacramento, CA while I enjoyed my sister Robin’s Long Island home.  I found Scout II for sale in Nassau, NH.  Scout II is a 20’ AS Flying Cloud, the model I always wanted.  One foot gets a great kitchen, large shower, and a much better floor plan.  I sold the 19’ and moved into my new home – Scout II.

Since 2017 I have spent each summer at Robin’s house in Westhampton, NY.  Robin works for Disney (the Mouse) in Los Angeles and will be moving to Paris, France later this year.   I have been so grateful to have a successful and generous bi-coastal sister, with a summer house on Long Island.  Her move to France, however, makes leaving her NY home empty for winter less than desirable.  Wine vendor Mark has been living there since last October and will stay on through next winter.

This short synopsis of my life since retirement is to bring everyone up to speed on where my Road2Reinvention will take me going forward.    I will be a real “FULL-TIME RVer” for the first time since leaving my brick and wood home. 

Winter travel in Florida requires making reservations almost a year in advance.   Other places where snowbirds don’t congregate are generally easy to find camping spots – the kids are in school.  I have enjoyed my winter travels and this winter my semi-permanent place on Hutchinson Island being stationery from Christmas to end of April.  A pool and walking to the beach daily is a great life.  Also, I really like golf in FL.  The courses are green and there is no cactus.

Summer 2020 will bring new opportunities and challenges.  Challenges because I won’t be staying in Robin’s Long Island home; and, opportunities to travel in the northern states and maybe even Canada!  Spending summers on Long Island has limited my travel.  The challenges will be making camping reservations all summer, most notably finding places over weekends.   School is out and summer camping is one of my fond memories growing up.

It isn’t too difficult to find campgrounds but finding availability on weekends can be tough.  I foresee Wal-Mart Parking lots in my future.  Something I vowed never to do.  I would prefer to find campgrounds that allow stays of 10 -14 nights with full hook-ups.  Public campgrounds (National, state and county parks) prohibit stays longer than 14 nights.  But, public campgrounds rarely offer full hook-ups, no sewer connection means using public toilets and showers and very judicious use of water in the trailer for dishwashing.  I can stay just about a week before the black tank is full and requires a trip to a dump station.  If I am going to hook-up the trailer and drive to dump the black tank/wastewater tank, I might as well move along and try a new spot.

This summer there will be lots of moving, and places where I don’t know anyone.  Thank goodness Maggie is so great at introducing us to fellow travelers.  Two great apps for RVers help planning routes and stays, paper maps are a thing of the past.  AllStays and RVWizard are apps that show campgrounds, truck stops, rest areas, Wal-Marts, road elevation and grade, and low bridges.  RVWizard allows your route to be exported into an Excel spreadsheet, invaluable.

Tentatively, I have decided to head north to Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin where I have friends and family.  See a good part of the Great Lakes and Niagra Falls.  I will swing east in late August and head to Maine to visit my new golf pal Diane.  I plan to spend October to the election in North Carolina for GOTV hopefully defeating Trump, and electing Joe Biden.  Thanksgiving with Family in Chapel Hill, and then south again for winter TBD.

If you are in any of the places mentioned above beware!  More to follow and finalize, but for now, I will enjoy my FL winter and get Scout ready for 3,000+ miles of real “FULL-TIME RV” travel.  The travel will give me lots of time to write and I am certain there will be trials and tribulations to report on. 

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