Happy New Year
Another year passes as we travel along. Here's our paths since we began 13 years ago.
This year end we present one photo for each year of travel. The photo represents something significant or one that symbolizes our travels for that year.
In 2006 everything was new and fresh. When we landed at Outdoor Resorts in the Ozarks, we fell in love with this resort. We have since visited dozens of ownership resorts. This resort is in a natural setting with every RV site having some view of Table Rock Lake. As in all parks, the folks are friendly and hospitable. This is our favorite of all ownership parks. If only they would move it further West. Outdoor Resorts of the Ozarks
By the end of 2006 we had visited 10 U.S. states. In 2007 we took an eight month tour of 38 more states and two Canadian provinces. With 4,500 photos taken that year we chose one. This sunrise in Decatur, Michigan represents the joy we had the morning after a tornado, passed over us.
Tornado in Michigan
2008 was a year of wandering through 15 states as far east as Missouri. A highlight of the year was a visit to Weir Beach on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. We were with our good friends and Atascadero neighbors, Ben and Sid. Living next door to them for 13 years, we spoke over the fence for maybe an hour each year. They have a Monaco Diplomat, as do we, and have met them 25 times across the nation for a total of more than 80 days! While we knew them prior to travel, they are typical of the lovely people you meet on the road. Vancouver Island
Many ask us "What is your favorite place?". Our answer is always "the people". We have met thousands in the last 13 years and look forward to meeting more and hearing their stories. But, if we must designate a geographic place, it would be Alaska in 2009, the "Best trip ever". We have heard that the Canadian Maritimes are as good, but that will have to wait until we get there.
Today, we got our chip for being "Pickleball free" for 9 months. That was not the case in 2010 when we played our first PB tournament. It was the World Senior Games in St. George, Utah. There was nothing better than parking the MotherShip next to courts. You could watch the matches and when you heard your name, step out and get on the court. World Senior Games
The $10,800 blessing! The MotherShip started losing oil in 2011. Cummins Sacramento told us it would be at least $25,000 for time and materials to rebuild our diesel engine. Not gonna happen. We traveled to London, Kentucky to look at a used engine. Didn't like it. But, the Cummins in Louisville quoted us $16,000 fixed bid. We did it, and due to the mercy of Cummins, the final bill was only $10,800. The blessing is that Duck
from the Louisville Elks let us stay for free on his 40 foot, two bedroom yacht on the Ohio River. Life on the Duckmeister
With the MotherShip purring like a kitten we were ready for road trips in 2012. One great trip was to leave California, head to Colorado and pick up Aunt Glo. Glo came to live in Paso Robles for a time. Great lady, great trip. Taxi, Taxi
We were fortunate to be in Atascadero in 2013 for the Kayleen and Jared wedding. They were wed on Kayleen's parent's enormous ranch near Parkfield, California. The San Andreas fault is predicted to hit this area hard in the future. But on this day, there was nothing but peace at the best wedding we have ever been to. Janet and Brad are best friends and Jared is Janet's son. Janet asked if we could help with the wedding. Absolutely! We took the MotherShip to the ranch for two days. We helped set up and after the barn wedding, we partied and walked a few feet home to bed. Kayleen and Jared Wedding
Speaking of best friends, Paul Layman was that to both Pete and Ellen. We knew Paul since 1973 and have been close ever since. Paul would BBQ at his house and more often at ours. He vacationed with us at R-Ranch, helped us every weekend to build our fabulous pool deck, counseled us at times, worked for Pete and helped Pete with hundreds of free hours of computer expertise. Paul passed in 2014 and life has never been the same since. Best Friend
We have visited 318 parks and campgrounds, 111 Elks lodges and 154 other places. Yes, we travel a lot. But in 2015-2016 we stayed at Golden Village Palms in Hemet, California for 7 months. This is our site 711 and we were there so long, friends look for us to return. GVP is one of our favorites parks out of 318. The three pools are warm, three spas hot, pickleball is fun and people are great. We consider dozens of these folks as good friends. Home Sweet Home
Nothing is more rewarding than helping others. That reward is even greater in over 100 degree heat for 22 days. In 2016 we helped Pete's sister Donnalee build a big deck in Redding, California. We stayed at the Elks for $25 a night. Near the last day we learned from the bartender that we could save $10 day. How? By becoming an Redding Elks associate member. Ouch, that would have saved us $180. "Live and Learn". Big Sister Big Deck
Home is where your heart is. And our heart is with our family. Daughter Melissa moved into our house in 2017 and needed a photo studio for business. We stayed home for six months and completed this project and dozens of others needed from renter wear and tear. Melissa's Makeover
This January will be our 4th year in giving an FMCA seminar on traveling full time in a motorhome. Over the years we have spoken with hundreds of "wannabes" who said they were thinking about traveling like this. The first thing we tell them is "do it while you can still walk!". We are glad we didn't start this year as walking is not our best sport. Ellen is recovering from her bone spur/torn achilles operation. She is doing better each day and we appreciate continued prayers.
Our motto in 2018 was "a doctor a day keeps the apple away". Our prayer is that 2019 will bring continued healing, walking, hiking and biking. Pickleball is only a dream. "Do it while you can still walk." Still fun on one leg!
With a million memories behind us, we looking to creating thousands more in 2019. May God bless your new year and may God bless America.
"And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus."
With love, Pete, Ellen and Mandy
Photos from All Years