The first 200 day summary.
Monday June 29th 2020
Well it’s been one thousand days since we started this full timing lifestyle. So I thought it would be a good time to take a little run through some of the adventures of the first thousand days … I mean a lot of shyt has happened.
On October 3rd 2017, the day our house deal closed, one thousand days ago. We were boon-docking at the Fonthill Lions parking lot, as it was just a few blocks from our house, so it was a convenient spot. The mileage on the odometer was 123656, we had about a month to get ready before we headed south, we spent most of the month at Al and Sue Beamers, parked back by the chicken coups. We were what I now know as mooch-docking when you have hookups but they are limited hookups, like a water hose and a 15 amp power source. I can fondly remember those first days and just how little we really knew about this new lifestyle. So we crossed the American border in late October, assembled the tow dolly that I had ordered from North Carolina and had delivered to Niagara Falls, and with help from our friend Bob, who helped us out by moving the tow dolly from the warehouse to a Walmart parking lot where I assembled it and loaded my old work van on to it, which was going to be our tow vehicle at the time.
November of 2017 found us being forced south quite quickly by the cold weather, and finding our way to Panama City Beach in Florida, a very familiar area to us, before heading west toward Arizona with stops in Galveston Texas, Utopia Texas, Los Cruses New Mexico, and Tucson Arizona. Our mileage at the end of November was 126935 over 3000 miles (4500 kms) we spent close to $850 on camping, had a break down on the west bound side of I-10 in Texas, had to be towed off the road. Miss Laurie is convinced that tow trucks only come at night to show off all those flashing lights. Yes November 2017 seemed at times to have more lows than highs, but we were loving the life, the sights, the areas, it was great, with the occasional little bit of ugly thrown in for good measure.
December of 2017 was a real highlight in our education of full time RV life, Miss Laurie had found through a YouTube video a campground in Why Arizona for $220 US per month plus electric, to say our expectations were not high would have been an understatement. My theory going in to this park was that for $220 if it’s real bad we will just move on, well it turned out to be a jewel in the rough. In the thirty one days we spent there we met some of the most amazing people, people that we stay in touch with regularly, yes this was the beginning of our “RV Family”, people that have made our lives a little better for meeting them. We discovered what I refer to now as “park community” with “happy hours” pot luck dinners, and events to build life long friendships.
January of 2018 found us heading to the January phenomenon that is known as Quartzsite. In the RV world Quartzsite is a must do at some point, it is a little desert town that in July has a population on a few thousand but in January swells into the hundreds of thousands. It is a boondocker’s paradise, and as much as we had read and seen videos it really can’t prepare you for what Quartzsite actually is. Quartzsite checked off a lot of boxes of things we wanted to do and people we wanted to meet, for close to two years as we prepared for this change in our lives we had been following many people that had done the same thing on YouTube, we had learned so much from them and I’m sure they had saved us thousands in stupid mistakes, (oh we still made mistakes but I can only imagine the problem without their knowledge) so meeting some of these people in real life was kind of like meeting celebrities. Actually Quartzsite was a time of learning just how little I knew about a plethora of RVing things, yes it was truly an educational month.
February of 2018 found us moving around the desert, testing some of our newly acquired boondocking skills and enjoying some full hookups as well. The first of February has us in Las Vegas just a block off the strip with full hookups followed by a couple weeks boondocking at Craggy Wash near Lake Havasu, a week in Ehrenburg and ending with a few days in Yuma with full hookups courtesy of a coupon from the Quartzsite RV show our first experience in a 1500 plus site campground and while there were so many thing happening we found it more than a little overwhelming. That was where some drunken senior on a golf cart lost control, crashed into my newly acquired satellite dish and nearly hit the coach and after I berated him for being a drunken idiot just drove off into the darkness … like seriously you just can’t make this stuff up.
March of 2018 found us tucked back into Coyote Howls West in Why AZ for a second month of full hookups. This stop had many repairs happening as I had to replace the rear roof air conditioner, which had quit working, and we had our clam delivered, which has proven to be a good investment to protect us from the elements and the insects as well. We made a number of trips to the national monument hiking and sightseeing and we even ventured into Mexico for lunch one day. March was starting to bring on some serious heat to the desert and the new air conditioner got a few days of run time. While we had returned to this park because of the people we met in December, the park manager had changed, as had the whole park vibe, and rules seemed to be changing hour to hour almost and new rules being added daily, truly a park in a little turmoil.
April of 2018 had us heading east across America but no not heading home to the Niagara area, no we we headed for the Atlantic Ocean and little place called Hilton Head Island. Talk about a long route back to Ontario, but to explain we have timeshare and were planning on spending a week to get Laurie some beach time before heading back to spring time in Ontario. This took a little planning as our stay in Hilton Head was for the 15th of April and we needed to be back in Canada by the 25th, we needed storage for the coach while we were in Hilton Head, we needed to smuggle our cats into the timeshare and all of this while driving from Arizona to South Carolina then north to the Canadian border. Well 3152 miles (5072 kms) later we found ourselves back at fifty point campground and some spring snow flurries in Ontario.
So as a recap our first winter away, the learning curve was very steep, and as much as we had tried to learn and research it was becoming very obvious just how little we actually knew. And so many things just have to learned the hard way, by making the mistakes and learning seems to have been the only way at times. Thankfully most of these lessons have been inexpensive up till now, and we are quick learners. But as you will here there are still some learning that takes place … just saying.