About Us

Chris and Dennis are traveling around the country seeing the sights and occasionally volunteering at select locations. We avoid the interstate as much as we can and tend to stop for squirrels and shiny objects.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Our first rally

IMG_20160619_080533562_HDRIt wasn't so long ago I wrote about community. Oh how little I knew then and how much I've learned since. (This begs one to wonder what I have missed that will jump up and bite me later.)

Just outside Newport Oregon is the Thousand Trails Whaler's Rest RV Resort; the site for this month's gathering of the (hang on, its a mouth full) Lewis & Clark Thousand Trails (TT, not to be confused with travel trailer) chapter of the Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA). The group consists of folks who are members of FMCA and TT who also enjoy or live in the Pacific Northwest. Chris and I have been members of Thousand Trails and the FMCA since we started RV'ing and since we've always enjoyed the ocean coasts of Washington and Oregon it was pretty much a no brainer we would end up with this group. I must say, after spending just a few days with these folks I do wonder why it took us so long.

IMG_20160618_180952693Talking to Roger, the rally host, I learned attendance was lighter than normal this month as several members are in caravan to Alaska and there is a big FMCA rally in Albany Oregon next week. Still, all things considered there are 17 of us in this group swapping travel stories, enjoying good food and pummeling each other over board games. I don't know about you but I can say I'm conflicted. After years of in the trenches competition of one type or another I find it very sobering how a sweet, soft spoken lady can look you straight in eye with a gentle smile that makes you feel all warm and cozy while stripping you of your hard earned points and sending you back to start.

All without a shred of decency or mercy.

Multiple times.

What's the phrase about age and experience over youthful enthusiasm?

Up until now Chris and I have traveled solo and once setup at a park or site have been pretty much left to ourselves (except when camp hosting). It has been a welcome change to arrive at a park and to be on the lookout for fellow members knowing we'll have something in common to break the ice. Because this rally has been small, there are a whole bunch of friends out there that we just haven't met yet.


This morning the rally broke up and folks began heading their separate directions. For the majority it will be a short trip up the road to Albany and the big FMCA get together. For Chris and I, we'll hang out here in the park one more day then we'll be heading to Seaside Oregon. We visited there just last year but it was in the fall with all the rain. What a difference it has been with days of glorious sunshine!

I think I'll even go fly a kite.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016


pathFirst the really bad news. Back in April we had a buyer for our house. Our closing date was set for June 10th and we were under the impression we had no worries since the buyer had indicated he was pre-approved for the loan. Such was not to be. Just 4 days from our closing date, the loan was denied by the bank and there was no recourse other than for us to put the house back on the market and begin the process all over. Not much of a silver lining to this cloud other than we were able to spend more time with the family – and do some people watching at the park.

We've returned to the Thousand Trails resort outside Leavenworth Washington. If you have been following our blog, this is the park I wrote about last year repleat with new campers and the wonderful shows they provide. That brings us to the sort of bad news that actually came out to the good.

There was nobody here! I'll admit we checked in at the first of the week but shouldn't we expect a few people like minded who were camping out? Nope. We basically got our pick of the camp sites and after two months as camp hosts in a busy park, the place was a blissful ghost town in comparison. meadowAbout the only time we saw other campers was when we drove through the park on our way to town. That is until...

The weekend! Oh yes, with the weather predicted to be sunny and temps up in the mid 80's, urbanites from the wetter, west side of the mountains once again made the journey to provide us with some sorely needed entertainment. Or so we thought. What we had not calculated was the time of the year. This early in the season and with school still in session, our weekenders tended to be of the more experienced variety and could be lumped into two groups: young families with toddlers and empty nesters. Pretty easy to tell the difference, just look at what sort of critter they kept on the end of the leash.

All of this seemed to occur in a matter of minutes on Friday. We were sitting in the morning sun sipping our coffee and between one cup and the next we had become surrounded. Twin boys bound and determined to inflict severe injuries on each other by any means available on our left and four ankle biting, yipping things that were more akin to rats on a bad hair day on our right. Any movement by the boys or us brought on such a racket that I now know the true meaning to cacophony.

So, rather than watching the ritual of hooking up the black tank or the follow-on banging of the head on the slide we spent our time warding off the tossed rocks, balls, sticks and occasional brother into our site all while trying to talk over the barking of the pack. It got to be a routine; hear the trailer door expect high pitched voices threatening death and destruction. Move around, open a window or touch our door and expect the hounds of hell to alert the world. Fortunately all will end shortly as we'll be heading out after the weekend to go to our very first RV rally.

IMG_20160605_083220649_HDR[1]Our destination? Newport, Oregon for the Lewis & Clark Thousand Trails chapter of the FMCA rally. From description of the group it is a friendly collection of folks who enjoy the northwest, are members of Thousand Trails and also the Family Motor Coach Association. Since Newport is one of our favorite towns, it is sure to be a win win situation.

Have to hurry to leave the park, looking back in the rear view mirror I see the twins have discovered long pointy sticks and are preparing to joust in the road...

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Coming full circle

geese2Wrapping up our hosting gig at Lincoln Rock State Park I'll be the first to admit our blog entries have been rather slim. This is not due to a heavy workload but rather, a heavy life load. When we arrived we changed realtors and in one week had a buyer on the house. Closing should happen in about a week so we were quite busy finalizing the little things. Two months have slipped past repleat with a welcome routine that allowed us to “just be”.

Now, we are back at the Thousand Trails park outside Leavenworth where last year I chronicled my observations of park life along with the trials of one new camper. Not much has really changed though I must admit my volcabulary has increased expotentially as we've visited other parks. I'm sure I've contributed my share to some other unknown's choice word phrases as I have dealt with erupting shower drains and burping sinks. (These stories I'm afraid were just too long to be shared in the blog entries and if were fully accurate would not have been suitable for all readers.)

One year ago we had made the decision to live in our RV full time so we could travel and see the country. One year ago we had never hosted at a campground, worked at a visitor center or been members of an RV'ing group. One year ago we knew next to nothing about the lifestyle and understood even less.
Funny how things change in a year. We've been camp hosts at three different state parks in two different states and we've worked in a visitor center for a national recreation area. In just a couple of weeks we'll be attending our first RV rally. We still know next to nothing and yes, what we do know we’re still not quite sure we understand it all.
As we look back at what has been a wonderful, challenging, superb, yucky, happy year it is really difficult to single out an event or place that exemplifies the lifestyle. No matter where we've been or what we've been doing, full time RV'ing is simply life in a different venue and at a different pace, albeit with some unique ups and downs.
I wonder where this leads.

Some stats:
Miles traveled: 18,643
Average mpg: 10.2
Average fuel cost: $2.69/gal (DEF and car gas factored in)
States visited: 11
Time spent volunteering: 6 months