Thursday, December 09, 2010



I had originally intended this blog to go with my 1000th blog post last week but at the last minute decided not to post it.  Just got a case of cold feet I guess.   Generally, it is much easier to keep things ‘light & fluffy’ but as we all know, life certainly is not always light & fluffy.  I am a realist & that side of me sometimes bubbles to the surface in my blogs & I feel compelled to share those thoughts from time to time.  I guess this is one of those times. 

A blog can be defined as a ‘frequent, chronological publication of personal thoughts’ so with that in mind I will go ahead & talk about some personal blogging thoughts today & let the cards fall where they may.

Right from the beginning, my blogs have always centered around the RV world.    Regardless of what I write about I generally always try to connect the post with RVing in some way.  I have also tried to make it more than just a Point A to Point B Travelogue or a personal diary of every waking hour in a 24 hour period.  Having now written over a thousand posts with our Sitemeter quickly approaching the 200,000 hits mark & with over a quarter million pages read I felt some folks might be interested in my thoughts about some of those posts….not anybody else’s posts this time, just mine:))

Looking back over all my blogs I ask myself some inevitable questions.   Am I happy about every post I have written?  No, of course not.   Would I go back & change anything?  Yes, there are posts I should have approached in a different manner.  My post about ‘blogging do’s & don’ts was a prime example of that.  My intentions were to help but the post stepped on sensitive blogging toes & ruffled a few feathers in our little RV blogging community.  In hindsight, I should probably have used a different approach on that subject or simply not approached the subject at all.   Incidentally, that post has turned out to be the ‘most read post' I have written to date.  I believe in my opinions but I may not always present them well enough & I know that has turned some readers away.  I was recently referred to as having an ‘attitude.’  Well, some days you are just not going to win no matter how hard you try.  Show me a person who does not have some degree of attitude about something & I will show you someone who has not yet risen from their sleep.  

I did not set out to win a popularity contest with this blog nor did I set out to intentionally offend anyone.  I may have some strong & sometimes unpopular opinions on things but I have never made it personal by leaving rude comments or personally belittling, ridiculing or been sarcastic with anyone in my blog.  

I have never been one to shy away from admitting mistakes & the blog sometimes becomes personal as my self doubts & insecurities occasionally make their way to the surface.  At other times it is my humor that takes center stage & other times it is the enjoyment I have for the RV lifestyle that shines through.  I also like to use my blog as a way to help other bloggers & especially  when I come across someone just starting out in the RV blogging world.  I remember very well how hard & discouraging it was for me in the beginning to gain a few readers & how nice it was when a few seasoned bloggers took the time & made the effort to reach back & give me a helping hand.  I have not forgot that & try to pay that forward whenever I can.  I like to think I have been instrumental in helping a number of fellow bloggers gain additional exposure for their blogs.   That is a personal ‘good feeling’ for me.  I also include others in my posts & not just write about Al every day.  And, that brings me to the ‘ego’ word.

Yes, I have been accused by a few people of being egotistical in my writings.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Yes, blogs are generally written on the basis of ‘self’ & that is the very nature of blogging, but it can be a very slippery slope for bloggers writing about their daily thoughts, feelings, opinions & activities & not be seen by some as egotistical.  My only answer to that is for those people who think of my writings as egotistical, to take a long hard look at their own insecurities!!

I have been criticized for ‘getting down on myself’ which is sometimes misinterpreted as negative thinking.  Sometimes this is true but a lot of the time it is intentional because I often use myself as a foil for my humor.  Better for me to make lite of my own mistakes, misgivings & follies rather than someone else’s. 

Referring back to the negative thinking thing.  Yes, at times it can be seen as that but more often than not it is simply realistic thinking, & by the way, those two words, ‘realistic thinking’ is one of the things that ruffles feathers out here whenever I refer to it.  It does not fit well with a lot of popularly held beliefs so I always manage to get myself into some hot water whenever I use those words in my writings.  Realistic thinking travels a very narrow path between the extremes of both positive & negative thinking.  Some will not understand or accept that statement but some folks will find hope in it.

And, by the way, some of us just hang out on different planets……..light years away:))

Since the advent of blogging I have been able to bring together my love of writing, photography & travel in a practical way that I feel benefits others.  I base that statement on the many thousands of favorable comments & countless emails I have received over the years.  I generally see the world as a very visually beautiful place & try to convey that to readers through my photography whether in regards to traveling across the country or wandering through a simple flower garden.   I know that when I do give up the blog someday, the cameras will just go back into the closet again.  I have no interest in printing & hanging my photos on walls, entering contests, or trying to market them in any way shape or form.  I love the challenge of trying to take reasonably good photos for people to enjoy on my blog site & that is good enough for me & quite often the motivation that will carry me through a ‘down day.’   

My Sitemeter numbers tell me I am managing to do a few things right with this blog despite my self doubts from time to time.   On frustrating blog days it is those numbers & all the positive comments & emails I have received the past few years that motivate me to keep the blog going.   And occasionally, Kelly has to sit me down, give me a shake & throw a pep talk into me as well:))

I have no doubt I put a lot of people off & lost some readers when I tried to drop our ‘comments’ section this past summer.  I am not great at spending long hours reading & dropping comments on everybody's blog every single day & that is one area of this blogging thing I have mixed feelings about.

One of my greatest blogging fears has always been of boring people with repetitious material so I always try to write my posts creatively & not repeat myself with the same old stuff day after day after day!!   

I’m sure some people think I post too many photos of myself or Kelly, the dogs, or our Jeep & Motorhome.  But, for lone travelers that we are, we are seldom around groups of people, RV Parks or people events.  To add perspective to some photos, I have to work with what we have, so quite often it is Kelly or I or the dogs who end up in the photos, whether it be along a mountain trail or simply lounging in a chair to convey a relaxing day around the rig.  Nothing to do with ego & everything to do with trying to convey the life & times of the Bayfield Bunch whether traveling or at home.  Not only in written form, but through photos as well. 

All & all, to wrap up this long winded & as some will probably interpret as, ‘self centered’ post, let me just say a big ‘thank you’ to all the readers out there who have taken the time out of their day to read about my thoughts & feelings over the last few years, to understand my ever changing blogging moods, to have a chuckle or two at my silly attempts at humor, to enjoy the photographs I so much love to take, & to maybe pick up a few tips on the RV traveling lifestyle we so much like, in an area of the country we so much love. 

And, while I’m at it talking about readers, let me add my apologies here to the folks who’s emails I have forgotten to answer & to the email address’s I have misplaced in our currently confusing crop of email programs.  Add to that my poor memory which continues to challenge me on a daily basis:(( 

And a special thanks to the readers who have read this far & had the patience to let me explain a little bit about myself & why I write my blogs with the thoughts, feelings & opinions I do……….. 10-4:))

GROANER’S CORNER:((  Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said to the other: ‘You stay here; I’ll go on a head.’

--------------------------------------------------------------EMAIL THE BAYFIELD BUNCH:))
Tourists see the world, travelers experience it.

The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now...... AL.


  1. Hello,

    Long-time reader here (Google Reader via RSS). I started reading when I bought a used RV without knowing a thing about RV-ing, and I figured that subscribing to a few RV-related blogs would be a good way to learn a few things that I would not pick up on the actual road. I probably had about 30 RV-related blogs in my Reader account at its peak. Today, yours is the only one left on the subscription list.

    Opinion makes for a good read. No one is going to agree with it all (and RV-ers can be a rather prickly bunch), but it makes the reader think and react, and that is the sign of a good blog.

    Many thanks for the thousand posts.

  2. Al, Life is short and a battle all the way. I'm not the deep thinker that you are, and quite some time ago I consciously decided to try to always take a positive outlook on life, so I'll just say... You Rock! Thanks, :)

  3. Congratulations on a thousand posts you old troll! That is certainly a milestone. Ever think of having them printed in book form for for posterity??... or even your own enjoyment in the 'later' years.

  4. I was reading Rving Blogs for a while before I decided it was time I became a regular reader of The Bayfield Bunch. I kept seeing links back to your Blog and lots of interesting comments. I'm sorry I didn't link in sooner.

    You are a very interesting man, nothing boring about you or your opinions. And I have never found anything you write offensive, quite the opposite. You enthuse me on many levels and your love of the picturesque, wonderful world we live in is inspiring.

    You wrote, "Since the advent of blogging I have been able to bring together my love of writing, photography & travel in a practical way that I feel benefits others."

    You have achieved this and entertained us along the way.

    In my opinion your Blog is a great success and may it go on for a long time yet.

    Blessings to you and Kelly and family.

  5. Good summary of your thoughts and feelings after 1,000 posts. After reading this, I’m just left wondering what it is that you were concerned enough about to delay posting this blog. There’s nothing in here that is very surprising to me as a regular reader of your blog. It’s nice to see the different attitudes towards blogging all brought together in post, though.

  6. Al, we love and appreciate your blog very much. Do not change a thing. We find it very uplifting and as new Rv travellers south of the border, it has been very helpful and has spurred us along our way. So, in appreciation, thanks very very much.

  7. Al,
    I always look forward to your blog EVERY night. I like your writing style. Your pictures are awesome. And your humor makes me chuckle. You also have a lot of good traveling info that I make note of. I almost never read the comments (because I don’t care what other people think), so I was unaware that you were getting criticism. President Lincoln pointed out to us a long time ago that “you can’t please all the people all of the time”. If you try to, you will only drive yourself nuts. I wouldn’t change a thing. You’re doing great. Thanks for blogging. I look forward to reading your daily blogs for years to come.

  8. I happen to blog as a frustrated writer..I have written a few "journals" of our travels on paper for our kids...and never gave a thought to putting my thoughts where people I didn't know might read them..but,when Dennis started our blog, I began to get the writing bug...I is a great outlet..I try to keep it light..but that is just me...You were my first blog contact and commenter...and I will never forget how kind and encouraging you were and are...Keep it up..all is good...

  9. Hi Al.

    I'm that guy from Wingham remember. We are going to go full time RVing next fall. You can't imagine how much I enjoy your down to earth style of writing. Your words paint such a descriptive picture and by the way that doesn't mean 'don't take anymore pics'. Keep up the good work. I don't know how you do it! You inspire me to look forward to when we can hit the road even more. Many thanks.

  10. 10-4 Al....your blog is on my daily read list..I always look forward to your pictures..and your it in the 'bear pit' or not..we are all entitled to our opinion..
    every day is journey..when I started ours it was my own personal scrapbook..and yes living in a 'real house' with no RV at the moment I find it difficult some days to stay focused..and stay on the topic of RVing..but ours is our journey to the land of Rving..each blog is different for its own reasons that is what makes reading them all so the way..I just love the photos of you and Kelly and the 'furkids'..we envy you as you sit out in the wild blue yonder..without all the entrapments of the tourist traps..!..keep blogging!..our day would not be the same with you and Kelly and your adventures!!!
    cheers to your 1000th and onward to 1000 more!!

  11. Al, its all right to add opinions, and we don't all need to agree on everything you decide to write about. Part of the fun of this blog is that we never really know what you are going to propose in the next blog.

    Also it is fun to not agree with you on some of your ideas, and even to leave a comment that explains our disagreement.

    But please do not think we are being negative just because we may not agree with how you see things on that day. In my case, it is just my nature to try and make you think about things from a different perspective.

  12. when i started blogging i had made myself a few rules and rule number 1 was that I was writing for me and that there was no way i was going to make everyone happy... after that i wasn't sure i needed any other rules...

  13. I have enjoyed reading this blog as I have those that have gone before. I personally think these blogs would be a lot less interesting without opinions and perspective.

    Honestly, I wish I had a better balance in mine. I try also not to write about mundane day to day things. I often wonder about those who mention things like coffee everyday. I do not object to that or find it offending, I just wonder why they do that. I am not even that interested in my daily routines.

    I think our only obligation to "the group" is to write what interests us and hopefully those who read it. From what I recall from the last discussion of what a blog should be- it was sort of generally agreed that we should do what we think is appropriate-all stop.

    You have obviously given this a lot of thought. I think it might be safe to say- a lot more than most of us.

    Keep them coming!

  14. Good job. You can't go wrong when you just be yourself. Keep on blogging.

  15. Al, we have been reading your blog for a long time, and enjoy every one,you and Kelly have answered our questions and shown us it was possible to travel with three dogs, and for the most part avoiding rv parks.

  16. Your blog is the highlight of each day for me. Many thanks for doing all the work required to put on this show each day. Please keep doing the same for another thousand posts.

  17. Al we too look forward to our daily dose of "The Bunch" you have nothing to apologize for, and everything to be proud of, you are like a star in the sky on the ocean and have guided many of us through blogging's uncharted waters. Thanks a bunch buddy, Eh. Sam & Donna.

  18. Rod and I love your blog. You've taken us many places with your incredible photographs and daily writings.

    The pure honesty and genuine expression of your thoughts are refreshing.

    Thank you for making 1,000 posts that are well written and continue to peak the interest of so many followers.

    My hats off to you !


  19. What kind of blog would it be with out pictures of the Bayfield Bunch. Congrats on your 1000 posts and we will be reading for many more.

    Remember if it ain't broke don't fix it.

    Brenda Brown

  20. I must say I agree with Brenda above, Mike and I have read your blog for a long time and would definitely miss it, especially the photos of all you guys. Keep writing Al, you are good at it!

  21. Al, there are some prickly folks out there who don't mind taking a potshot at other people whose ideas are different from theirs. But just watch out if you take a potshot at their ideas! You'll be really jumped on! But the great majority of us love to sit on your shoulder and live your life along with you, through your words and pictures and dusty trails. I'll tell you more when we see you later today, lucky us!

  22. Al, there is something about almost every blog I read that I don't like. Some are too wordy. Some have too many photos. Some run together without enough paragraphs. Some mention the coffee routine too often. Some are too "cute".

    BUT, they also are each a reflection of their author, and I enjoy "getting to know" them. I just ignore what I don't like (it's MY problem, not theirs!) and enjoy what I do.

    We all write (and read) for different reasons. Hooray for the internet, where we are (at least, for now) able to share what we want to, when we want to, in whatever format suits us... and, as you have seen, your blog suits many, many readers. Congratulations on your thousandth post!

  23. It's your blog! It is about you and yours! The nice thing about living in a free world is that we choose our activities and actions. Readers who disagree with you need only sign off. Keep your blog going. It is a nice daily read.

  24. I totally agree with what

    "heyduke50 said...

    when i started blogging i had made myself a few rules and rule number 1 was that I was writing for me and that there was no way i was going to make everyone happy... after that i wasn't sure i needed any other rules..."

    with one change; I was not writing with the intent of making anyone, other than me, happy much less everyone.

  25. Well Al...I love your blog as many others.

    I find your blog different and this is why it is my favorite. A blog is personnal and I think for a person to love it, they need to see themselves a little bit in that person. I know I do.

    You and Kelly are the type of person that are like my husband and I. This is one of the big reason I love so much to follow you, I can put myself in your shoes and dream of the day that I am. It is very realistic for me and that dream is sweet. It keeps me going until november of 2011 when we do hit the road and be there ourself.

    And, all of the comments on todays blog explain why we love you and want you to keep blogging.

    We love you Al, keep up the good work, it is appreciated.

    Wish to meet the Bayfield Bunch in person some day, it would be an honnor.

    Stay safe in you travels.


  26. I have lots more thoughts on this post, Al, but sitting in McDonalds in Ocala won't be the place I get to finish. But! I have to jump in as one of those somewhat new bloggers given a great deal of support and exposure directly from you. My stats show that bayfield bunch is where most of my traffic comes from. Thank you again. More later

  27. "I love you just the way you are" --- Billy Joel

  28. It's your blog. It's your prerogative what goes in your blog. You are allowed to have opinions without apologizing. We're here to read about the thoughts, feelings, opinions, mistakes (love those), and activities you and Kelly have....even what you consider mundane.

    You give lots of tips. You link to other blogs. You publicly thank people. You encourage other bloggers.

    You're doing great. I love to read your blog daily. After reading the comments here, I can see that there are a lot of others who are singing your praises, too.

    You must be doing something right. Congrats on your 1,000th blog. I'll be here for the 2,000th blog, too.

  29. Still here, still reading, still love the photos and will remain here until you stop blogging.
    I like your style of writing, you never bore me and you always have a funny groaner at the end to brighten my day.

    When I read your blog, I feel like you are actually talking to us, tell us about your day, no different than any friend would do.

    Thank you for being YOU!!!

    Keep up the great blog.

    Your friend

  30. I have been subscribed for maybe a year. What makes your blog interesting to me is the combo of peeking into your daily life, great pics and the places you visit. I LOVE Cochise Stronghold and that whole area! I've enjoyed "being there" with you :-)

    I am on my 2nd blog as my first was on AOL and they went out of the blogging business. My blog changes with me...from unschooling mom, homesteader, organic farmer, disabled person, homeless, married, divorced, traveler, gardener, etc...

    I think we all like to have folks to both feel camaraderie with and aspire to be like and to admire or commiserate with. I'd say it makes us feel less alone in the world.

    I like you folks the way you are :-)