Saturday, September 30, 2017




It was under clear blue skies with a biting cold north wind that Pheebs and I headed off over to the Hullett Marsh this morning.  Had intended on a walk until we stopped and I heard the shotguns going off.  Unfortunately for Pheebs and I plus all the pheasants in the Marsh it was hunting season for those types of people who seem to like that sort of thing.



We ambled around the back roads for a couple hours stopping here and there for a few leg stretches.  Bush lines are still green so I think our Autumn colors are going to be late this year. 

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Back home by 11:30 and totally energized by this much healthier cooler air I wasn’t long in setting to work on my long ‘to do’ list.  Our second shed is now cleaned up, weeds took another whacking, Jeep is vacuumed, took Pheebs for a walk, and continued working away at organizing the Motorhome’s storage bins.  If this energy inducing weather stays like this I think I might just slip on over there to Tibet and jog myself up Mount Everest:))


I was asked if my Nikon D5000 would be my main camera now and the answer to that is ‘no’.  My main carry camera is my D7200 with a Nikon 18-300mm lens.  The D5000 will be my back-up camera and I currently have a 35mm standard lens strapped to it.  By the way both photos of Kelly and Pheebs Friday at the Groomers were taken with my Sony RX100-3.  Today’s photos are from my D7200.

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Holy Smokes here we are at the last day of September already.  Normally by this time we would be starting to carry things out to the Motorhome in preparation for leaving for the Southwest usually about the third Sunday in October.  But not so much this year.  We’ll see how things go next week before we start making any plans.  Monday Kelly goes to London’s University Hospital for her scan.  Tuesday morning she goes to the Goderich Hospital for a ‘stress test’ on her heart.  Tuesday morning at the same time I will be across the street at the Maitland Medical Center for an appointment with my Nurse Practitioner then on the 10th I see my Specialist Doctor.  If we clear all those hurdles we will then put our heads together and figure out when we want to leave. 



For the past 5 years we had our house in Congress to head for and we really enjoyed the first three years of doing that but for the remaining two years we found ourselves getting restless and tired of just basically ‘sitting around the house’ too much.  We have no regrets about selling the house last December 19th and we did enjoy getting back on the road again but have to admit we were sure glad to get back to our house again here in Bayfield last March.

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So now here is our dilemma.  Snow Birding can be much harder on folks than Full-Timing and I think we have become good examples of why that is.  It is much easier to live a single lifestyle rather than two.  For Full-Timers their rig and their travels are their sole way of life.  It’s what they do every day and they are well experienced in their routines.  What makes it work so well for them is the fact they don’t move into more comfy, convenient, and spacious stationary quarters every 6 months or so.  In other words they don’t flip their lifestyles.  Snow Birds on the other hand go through this lifestyle change twice a year and although I still to some degree look forward to that change it gets harder each time as we get spoiled with all our sticks and bricks conveniences each time.  And although I hate to keep bringing up the age thing I have to because for us it is a simple reality.  And that reality is exactly what Kelly and I are experiencing these past few years.  We get too cozily settled in to our comfy spacious lifestyle here at home.  Full-timers don’t have that option so basically they don’t miss it but Snow Birders do and that is what spoils the heck out of many of us over the summer months.  And that definitely includes Kelly and I now……dammit anyway:((



The first years of RVing I never wanted to come home in the Spring and these last few years I couldn’t seem to wait to get home.  For the most part Kelly has felt that way as well and I have to admit we are not looking forward to spending 5 or 6 months in the RV as we once did.  And if we still had our Congress house we would not be looking forward to going there as much as we did the first few years either.  So you can see we have a bit of a dilemma going on now in our 11th RVing year.  Still want to go to the Southwest but for not as long as other years.  So how are we going to do that?   Do we leave later or do we come home earlier??  Coming home earlier is seldom a good idea simply because of the freezing cold weather and treacherous road conditions one may well encounter.  Ideally the best time to arrive back home is early to mid April so it looks like it may not be until November sometime before we leave this year.  Of course I would like to leave next week and head straight away for Utah to catch the last of the good weather and all the magnificent scenery we haven’t seen out there yet but of course that’s not gonna happen.  So the bottom line is I don’t know when we are going to head out this year but one thing is always for certain, I will want to leave sooner and Kelly will want to leave later.  And that’s the way it always is……………..


GROANER’S CORNER:(( A  fire fighter is working on the engine outside the station when he notices a little boy next door in a little red wagon with a tiny ladders hung off the side and a garden hose tightly coiled in the middle. The boy is wearing a fire fighter's helmet and has the wagon tied to a dog and a cat. The fire fighter walks over to take a closer look. "That sure is a nice fire truck," the fire fighter says with admiration.  "Thanks," says the little boy. As the fire fighter looks a little closer, he notices the boy has tied the wagon to the dog's collar and to the cat's testicles.  "Little partner," the fire fighter says, "I don't want to tell you how to run your fire truck, but if you were to tie that rope around the cat's collar, I think you could go faster."  The little boy says, "You're probably right, but then I wouldn't have a siren."


Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Canoe who?
Canoe help me with my homework?



  1. Well of course I'm rooting for you to go south so I can drool over all your SW pictures, but I sure understand the dilemma. Everything in life is a phase, and we just have to take it as it comes. In any case I hope you both get perfect health scores in the upcoming tests, no matter what you decide to do after.


  2. Sure understand your feelings as I get older the "stay at home" urge becomes stronger with maybe short trips just to rejuevnate myself.

  3. It appears that I'll be spending time in those London hospitals too. The frustrations of aging.

  4. Al, you describe exactly the dilemma we faced after 11 years of leaving Texas every year to spend 3 months in Minnesota. We got bored with the same old same old. Less and less enthusiasm about the trip. People told us to "enjoy your vacation". It is not a vacation when you are changing your home base twice a year. For us it was work. At least YOU do have some options as to where you go, but just being away from home gets tiresome after awhile. As you age, the business of fitting into service stations, finding dump sites, hooking up and unhooking the toad, all get to be challenges. You do want to go as long as you are able, though. Because once you are stuck at home, that's pretty much it. It's been five years since we sold our RV. Wonderful memories. I have many photos and videos
    that let us relive our happy times. You will certainly be able to do that, too!

  5. I really do understand how you feel hauling things in and out of your rig when getting ready to leave and coming home. It is very tiring. We were Snowbirds but decided we would try full-timing.
    We were so elated when we decided to go fulltime. It was truly a very magical time. It was an adventure we had never taken before and we were ready to dive right in.
    We were not as young as some of those that started full timing we are seniors well past 65 yrs old.
    This is going on our 2nd year full timing and so far it has been very busy both years. We have enjoyed our trip South West but the stress and pressure of unforeseen events such as problems with our rig which are still pending and moving out of our permanent residences hauling and moving things around and just the moving itself has taken a toll on both of us but especially me as I have health issues and the stress really wears me down.
    I am a fighter and don’t give up very easily! My Doctor gets upset with me sometimes but I am very consistent. If I feel I can do something I do it! I feel life is too short enough as it is and I don’t want to just sit around and wait till I die. I enjoy travel as well as seeing and doing things that are different and beautiful. I don’t want to stop that and I try hard to make sure that I remain strong and do the things that I can and want to do.
    So anyone who feels that traveling is too much work; don’t give up entirely keep on doing what you can and enjoy this life that will be gone before we know it. Have fun and Happy Travels!

    Kathy Rousseau
    It’s about time.

  6. We'd love you guys to be Arizonans! Our summers aren't as bad as your winters. ;) That said, we understand how hard your decision is. If you do get back down here, you had better let us know.

    Pat and Nancy

  7. Have you ever thought of storing your RV somewhere in Arizona and then fly to and from that place. That way you could come and go without icy roads etc. I met several people who do that. It works for them.
    Hope all goes well.

  8. We will be flying south on November 20 this year. Four nights in our Cabana and then off on a long trip. Get back in time for Christmas and then off on another trip. We get six weeks in the Cabana and then fly back to Alaska for a snow fix. After that we spend ten nights in our old camper on the beach in Oceanside California and then fly back to the cabana for a longer time before the Africa trip and then ten nights to get ready to leave the Cabana and fly home on the fifth of May. That is not boring Snow Birding to me. Not thinking about leaving yet as there are many more events to do here and a week in Vegas. We start year seven of this tomorrow.

  9. Good luck with all your tests and hope you get a green light to head to head to the southwest. As you know we are in our 12th year full timing and still love the lifestyle, no packing or unpacking, just hookup and go for as long as our health will allow us. Someday that will change but we do our best to keep on going, always looking to check out new places.

  10. Yes, we haven’t even begun our first trip south yet and it was derailed by a Dr appt Graham had last week which resulted in a needed glaucoma operation. Sometimes these age annoyances can grab at ya early! Here’s to an easy result for both of us!

  11. Best of luck to both of you on the doctor visits, Kelly and Al. Hopefully you get South before those big fluffy lake-effect snowflakes come in off of Lake Huron.

  12. As you know our travels have been constrained by permanent illness but we carry on as best we can. When it's over, it's really over so we're putting it off as best we can. Hoping you both get full green lights from the doctor, that will give you a lot more freedom to choose. Very thoughtful post Al. Sorry about those gun folks.

  13. I guess I would have to say that I get too restless...both at home in Lovely Ouray, and on the road, too. Change is good, even if it gets harder. It stirs new "juices," and gives me something to look forward too...which I seem to need. So 7 months at home in the Rocky Mountains, then off to Utah for to extend fall, back home for Xmas holidays and to get a "snow fix," (we store the rv in St George, Utah) then drive back mid January, pick up again on our travels to southern Arizona till March, and move slowly north as it get too hot.
    Don't you think your writing and photography would lack for inspiration if you quit the rv life too soon? Of course Bayfield is a much longer trip.... you just can't pop back home as easily as we can. And that could be the biggest hurdle to overcome.
    Good luck, and hang in as long as you can even if it is getting harder. "Juices" need to be stirred a couple times a year or else all the good stuff settles to the bottom...
    My two cents :)
    Box Canyon Mark

  14. Good luck with your test results. We know you will do what is best for you, Kelly and Pheebs. Everyone is different and age differently. We are thinking of you and know you will be fine with your decisions once they are made.

  15. I do understand what you are saying. Even fulltimers get those same feelings moving to the next stop. We get settled in and get to know an area after a month stay and that makes it harder to pack up and move on. All the planning always get to me since we stay in parks. But we haven't found our settling spot yet so the wheels keep turning. Hope to see you somewhere in the southwest this winter. Meantime, good luck with your doctor appointments.

  16. Al, your comparison of Snowbirding and Fulltiming is right on! We've been fulltiming for over 5 years now, and not ready to look at any alternatives, but know that day will come at some point. We were both over 65 when we started also, but just want to enjoy this lifestyle as long as we can. Don't think owning property or a house is in our future no matter what...just don't enjoy the work involved with those options! Good luck in whatever you decide.

  17. I know what you mean! A decade ago I couldn't wait to leave that house we had and go on the road!! We sold that house and never looked back at it. It was an expensive albatross to maintain and pay taxes, mortgage and insurance on. It would have put us under if we had to live on Steve's pension at retirement time. When it sold, it was so FREEING. But he didn't want to retire. Instead he took a job transfer to a better place. We were only full time in our rig for 5 months or so. Time to look for another house before Wisconsin winter set in. This time we found a much more reasonable priced house, one we can afford and still travel. It is the house of my dreams with old world charm and gorgeous woodwork and much more easy on the taxes etc. It really fits our needs much better than the last house. Sooooo four years in, now he finally retires. Can we travel more? Well.... he made it only 5 whole weeks of being retired before taking on a part time job driving handicapped folks for the county! Oh well, I am much more happy and settled in this house, as well as able to comfortably afford it on his pension. The little part time driving job is our *mad money*. We just got back from a 2 week jaunt to Canada in our rig. Although it was fun, I honestly was happy to get back HOME. Never felt that way at the last house. This one is different and I don't feel like I have to "get away" like I did before. Perhaps as we age and face all our health issues, it was best for us to get this house when we did. And still have the motorhome when we want to take vacation time?

  18. A thoughtful post Al, one that certainly struck a note with many :-))) We're both glad we chose fulltiming over snowbirding for many reasons, but eventually having a home base will become a necessity, and then we hope we'll be able to take several trips during the year. You and Kelly have made some big decisions over the years, and seem to have managed your happiness very well. Your home being in such a brutal winter location is certainly a factor, even if you didn't love the southwest!! Best of luck in hitting the road when you really want to.

  19. Good Luck. Way too many decisions. Been there, still there.

  20. Hope yours and Kelly's appointments end up on the positive side. RunNRose said it best. We noticed that as we got older, we were traveling from Point A to Point B. Then my health tanked. We were also observant during our 13.5 years of full-timing and noticed that once people reached their 70's, issues settled in. Not with all but with enough to peak our awareness. We now travel short distances when we get an itch. We are enjoying the heck out of our house. We scored big when we found a home fully furnished--owners walked out with their food and clothes. You can lease a lot of places for what the motorhome costs you and you can still enjoy the South.

  21. Good luck with all the medical stuff. It's one thing you can't really control. I've followed you for some time now and seen you go through many changes. Rigs came and went, the Congress house bought and sold. I'm sure the next phase will work out for yo as well. You both seem to know how to give and take.

    This is the end of our fourth summer as full timers. Last year we bought into Jojoba Hills, and I was excited to spend the winter there. This year not so much. Your ability to change your course has given me the example that we can do the same. We will hang in for Jojoba again this winter, but who knows, we may sell and try something different. Mexico?

  22. Good luck to Kelly and you with your medical tests this week. Hope you both get good news.

  23. As we start our RV journey we are thankful that you have chosen to share your thoughts and experience with the world. We love the photos and the commentary and the learning we gain from your posts. Strange how our minds change along with our bodies as we pass the years.

  24. Hope all goes well with the doctor visits this fall. I have all the same misgivings about traveling this winter too. Our travels only go from January to the end of March which seems to be plenty of time for us, but I'm not sure if I want to go alone if Dolly chooses to stay home again this time. Hopefully, everything works out for the best this winter and we have a great time again.

  25. Al, hubby and I both retired in 2016 (me in May and he in August). We find ourselves now just enjoying staying at home. We hardly drive anywhere these days, and, if we do, it is to see the kids and grandkids. I have hardly taken ANY photos recently, as you probably noticed! We just don't go anywhere. I have my crafting to do at home and hubby sits and watches the news all day. Plus, we can't stay overnight if we don't take the dog with us, so that adds to our confusion. We did spend 4 nights in Arizona in August (took the dog with us to a pet friendly Air B&B). We enjoyed that, but I was worn out from the drive! We hate to admit it, but we ARE getting older!