Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 - A Recap of Our Full Time RV Travels (September-December)

Our full time RV lifestyle began September 5th as we pulled away from our

friend's (Bruce & Carol's) house in East Wenatchee, WA. We lived there and

house sat for them while they were taking their motorhome on a trip to Alaska.

Our first stop was at the Travel Inn RV Park in Elma, WA. We spent a few days

there while coming to grips with the fact that we had finally done it. We were

full timers and on the road!

While staying at the Travel Inn, we met up with fellow RV Dreamers, Sherry & Jesse

who were work camping just down the road.

We then took advantage of one our camping memberships by stopping and

spending the night at the Elks Lodge in Vancouver, WA.

This gave us the opportunity to visit our daughters, Candy & Kim, who live in


We left Washington State and entered Oregon. We used our Escapees membership

and stopped at the Timber Valley SKP RV Park in Sutherlin, OR. This is our

first visit to an SKP park. It was nice and clean with some very freindly


This location was perfect for a quick trip to the beautiful Oregon coast. We

also stopped in Coos Bay and visited with my cousins Butch, and Cathy and her

husband Dennis. I hadn't seen them for years. We had a great visit.

Moving further South, we entered California and stopped at a very nice Elks

Lodge in Redding, CA.

There were some great walking/biking trails here along the Sacramento River. We

broke out our bikes and we rode the trails. We crossed the famous Sundial

Bridge there. Fun, fun, fun!

Moving further South, we stopped at the Lake Of The Springs RV Park. This is a

Thousand Trails Preserve, another one of our memberships.

We stopped here because we wanted to visit Donna's brothers, Larry & Garry, who

live in Oroville, CA. Larry and his wife Barb,  invited us to move our rig to
their house. So we did. We had a wonderful visit.

Here is Larry and Garry.

Southward we head again and stopped at the Elks Lodge in Visalia, CA.

We are keeping our driving trips fairly short, and this was a great stopping 

place.... and close to Sequoia National Park. We visited the park and marveled 

at the great trees.

Then a few bumps in the road. We had truck troubles just beyond Bakersfield, 

CA. We had to stay at the Bakersfield RV Resort while our truck was worked on.

Poor ole 'Red'. The first 'fix' didn't work.

We even boondocked at the Bakersfield Camping World while ...looking at options.

Long story short.... we bought a new truck. A birthday present for me. I love 

We finally left California after our extended stay in Bakersfield. Entering 

Arizona, we headed toward Fort Mohave where Donna's brother Gene was living. We 

stayed at the RAT - Riverside Adventure Trails RV Park.

We visited Gene and his wife Cyndi. We also got to know many of their friends.

While in the area, we visited Laughlin, NV just across the river with all their 

casinos and shows and events. Lots of car shows here.

We also traveled to Lake Havasu City and checked out the 'London Bridge' 

there... cool!

Oatman is nearby too, an old cowboy/mining town along the old Route 66. We had 

to visit there and pet the roaming burros.

We moved just up the road into Bullhead City to an RPI (another of our 

membership parks) park called Ridgeview RV Resort. 

It was from here that we started our daily walks, visited some old Indian 

petroglyphs, and just started getting into Geocaching.

Another bump in the road...bang! We had just found our third geochache, and 

Donna slipped on some loose desert rocks, and broke her foot.

I parked the rig back at the RAT in Fort Mohave while she was recovering from 

her surgery. It was only an 8 mile trip.

Time to slow down for a while and heal up! Some friends from the church we go 

to here loaned her a wheel chair. How nice is that?!

Donna's brother Gene only lives about a mile from the RAT where we are staying. 

We spent Thanksgiving at Gene & Cyndi's house. And ate a lot!

We got to decorate our 5th wheel this year for Christmas. Donna did a great 


Donna got her cast off just before Christmas. 
And then we spent Christmas Day at Gene & Cyndi's house. A wonderful day here 

in sunny Arizona. 

Donna's foot is on the mend and we think we will be heading down the road early 

in January.

We are so ready.
2013 has been a good year. Looking forward to 2014.

Merry Christmas everyone!

And have a very happy New Year.............we will!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas, Cell Phones, and Insurance

This was our first Christmas as RVers. Even though we were away from our children and grandkids, and missed them a lot, we had a great Christmas. We went over to Gene & Cyndi's house, and along with 2 other couples, enjoyed a great meal and Christmas Day.

Gene made prime rib. Yummy it was!

All 8 of us are or were full time RVers, and we have lots of tales to share.

A good time was had by all.

The meal was delicious...

And later, the cameras came out.

Cell Phones......

We have made a major change in our cell phone/internet carrier. We have moved away from Verizon Wireless and now use Straight Talk.

Walmart is the one that sells Straight Talk. I converted my existing Samsung Galaxy S3 and am now using the At&T network.

I bought Donna a new Samsung Galaxy S3 and she is using the Verizon network.

We should be good now even iff we are in a Verizon or ATT limited coverage area.

Our numbers are the same, and we have unlimited talk, text, and data. We can use 2.5 g of data per month per phone till they choke down our download speeds.

I use an app on our phones to access internet on out netbooks. The app is Pdanet. Works pretty good.

Each of our phones are costing us $45.00 per month. No contracts. With Taxes, our Cell phone/internet bills are now $100.82 per month.

Health insurance...

Since I retired from Frontier Communications, I have been paying for our health insurance (and used it). For 2014, they notified me that is will go up $200.00 a month. I wasn't happy with the bill going from $696.10 to $830.00 a month, so I declined the new coverage for 2014 and started examining the new website.

After trying to use the web site since mid October, I finally got some health plans (South Dakota) chosen and finished the enrollment process.

Because I will soon be eligible for Medicare, I choose a different plan from what Donna will have.

I chose a Bronze plan for me.

The Sanford Simplicity $5000 Health Plan. $5K deductible, $6350 out of pocket max, 40% coinsurance. With our healthcare tax credits...$0.00 per month.

For Donna, a Gold plan...

Avera MyPlan $1500/20% coinsurance. $1.5K deductible, $3000 out of pocket max, 10% coinsurance. With our healthcare tax credits...$235.52 per month.

What we were wanting was free checkups/immunizations, Mail order prescriptions (Express Scripts), and acceptance of pre-existing conditions. With do-able deductibles.

We shall see how this works out. Donna's broken foot med bills totaled $59,283.18, Our share was $3,843.81 (so far). I guess we got our money's worth out of our old insurance.

Donna's cast is off and she is healing nicely.

We will walk a little more cautiously from now on.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas Eve Eve

We are just sitting tight here, waiting for Donna to heal enough to hit the road again. We are at a very reasonable RV park and close to her brother. It is all good.

Donna was given a walking shoe to use with her cast and was told to slowly begin to put weight on her foot. She will did this for 3 weeks and then another dr. visit to hopefully have the cast removed..

Mean while, we are still at Riverside Adventure Trails in Bullhead City, AZ. There are a lot of snow birds here. We make use of her wheel chair and make it out to church every Sunday, and to Safeway and Walmart. Just killing time...

We did see a cool RV the other day. A collapsable travel trailer. Pretty neat huh?

I bought a new tonneau cover for our truck. It rolls up when towing. I now have a lockable tailgate and feel pretty good about being able to store stuff in our truck now.

Finally the time came to get her cast off. The accident happened October 30th, and she had a splint for 10 days, and a cast for 6 weeks. Donna really was looking forward to this day.

The buzz saw.

Snip, snip, snip.

One happy girl.

Ugly looking spud huh?

Free at last!

We have one more appointment with her Ortho doctor Jan 24th. We still plan on moving to Quartzite on Jan 11 to the 23rd. Then back to the RAT and her last Dr appt. Then we will start heading North and toward Washington.

Here is one happy girl.

Me too!

There are lots of beautiful sunrises and sunsets here in Arizona. Here are a couple of sunrises.

Merry Christmas!