Five Years on the Road

On August 30, 2013, I drove out of Phoenix to start a full time RV adventure. My first real destination, back when I thought that destinations and stops where different, was Trinidad, California, in the redwood coast of Northern California.

After five years on the road, I’m back where I started.

Trinidad, from 2013

I’m back in the area again to close out 5 years on the road, this time a few miles south in Eureka, but Jenna and I spent the day in Trinidad.

Trinidad 2018

Highlights for Year 5

  • Arches National Park, Utah – spectacular rock formations
  • Elephant Butte State Park, New Mexico – fantastic camping at the largest lake in New Mexico
  • Bainbridge Island / Seattle, Washington – visiting Kylee and Jeffrey while staying at an island in Puget Sound
  • Lake Osakis, Minnesota – hanging out with old friends
  • Custer State Park, South Dakota – up close with buffalo and other wildlife in a spectacular setting
  • Sierra Vista / Bisbee, Arizona – Bisbee, Copper Queen Mine, Kartchner Caverns
  • Pierre, South Dakota – Capital of my new home state, camping on the banks of the Missouri River
  • Sturgis / Deadwood, South Dakota – scenic and historic Deadwood – origin of the “dead man’s hand”
  • Holtville, California – hot springs and hanging with friends

Lowlights for Year 5

  • Smoke – fires in BC, Washington and Oregon clouded the air on and off in Seattle and Oregon, even set off my smoke detector in Eugene.
  • Paint – On I-5, en route to Bainbridge Island, I drove through a spill of 50+ gallons of white latex paint covering much of the truck and 5th wheel.  Four weeks later I’m still removing it.
  • Taxes – Arizona piles on by billing me $700 city sales tax on a Truck I purchased in Oregon, after the federal tax fiasco.
  • The big truck cluster t**ck.

What Now?

I’ll be in Eureka for a couple of weeks, then a short trip to Bend, Oregon for an RV repair I haven’t addressed since July 2017.  After that, who knows. Maybe this will be the year I get to Banff and Maine.

By the Numbers

  • 102 blog posts
  • 762 published pictures
  • 335 stops
  • 3 motorcycle trailers
  • 2 scooters
  • 2 RVs
  • 1 dog

Three Years on the Road

Just over three years ago, on August 30, 2013, I set off to see the country living full time in my motorhome. On the journey I’ve covered 35,000+ miles, visited 210 places in 37 states and three Canadian provinces, and yet …

In this post
Off track and weary
The wait
Top of the 210
Up Next
Almost all the Stops – map
Almost all the Stops – list
States and Provinces Visited

Off Track and Weary

I had a coffee mug that said “Not all that wander are lost.” Sometime in June I lost the mug, probably left it behind somewhere in North Dakota. I have to say that since then I’ve felt like this wanderer is lost. Stops that are repeats or have no purpose.

There’s also been way to many stops this whole year. I’ve been to 57 places just in 2016 and it’s only the beginning of September. When I started this journey I thought most places I’d visit for 2-4 weeks. Going into 2016 I’d planned to hold the number of sites to 50 the year. Yet, 57 in September. Not working.

I’ve also had an aversion to planning more than the next location. That’s more or less fine, except in the summer. Summer vacationers and booked up camping locations have made it clear that I’ll need to plan the summer months well in advance.

Ready to quit? No, no, no. I definitely have to get my head in the game though.

The Wait

No, I mean “the weight.” From April 2015 through May 2016 I lost over 70 lbs. (and maintained that since). Besides feeling much better, I no longer have to take blood pressure or cholesterol medication (so no meds at all).

Top of the 210

Top spots on the journey, so far:

If I was trying to pick a place to live year round, I couldn’t do it. The best I could say now would be maybe Ashland, Gold Beach or South Haven in the summer, maybe Madeira Beach in the winter.

Up Next

As I write this I’m in Nebraska, just outside Omaha. Next week I’ll head out on a 1,500 mile journey back to Phoenix, arriving in the first half of November. I’ll find myself in Oklahoma City, Santa Fe and Flagstaff along the way. After that I’ll want to stay within about four or five hundred miles through May when Kylee graduates from NAU.

Almost all the Stops

I know I’ve missed a few, but this map has nearly all the overnight stops on the RoamwardBound journey, so far.

[ Map of places visited is not shown on this browser ]

[ List of places visited is not shown on this browser ]

States Visited

The states I’ve visited on the Roamward Bound journey – just those with an overnight stay.

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[ Map of states visited is not shown on this browser ]

First 100 Days

Well, it’s actually 105 days, but still it seems like a good time to take a look at the start of the journey.

What’s Working

Fun. I’m having a great time, and I’ve really enjoyed most of the places I’ve been. The northern California and Oregon coast stops are my favorites so far. Even in San Antonio, where I landed during freezing rain, froze my water hose and ran out of propane, I still managed a visit to the Alamo and the River Walk.

Space. I’ll admit I was a little concerned that I’d start to feel claustrophobic living in the RV full time, but I don’t feel that way at all. In fact, when it’s time to get a new motorhome I’m sure I’ll opt for something smaller and more nimble.

Communications. Verizon 4gLTE rocks and has had me covered everywhere. I’m using a MiFi device from Millenicom with a 20gb/month limit that I haven’t gotten close to yet. When I want to watch TV I’ve got Dish network.

Motorcycle. The late SOA and now my BMW C650GT add a lot of fun to just getting around town. The only time I’ve really needed a car, I already had one (I’d rented a car to shop for a new bike).

Needs Improvement

Dog. Keira’s behavior when I leave her in the RV has been discussed several times. It looks like we’re at $1,900 in damages so far. The latest is breaking my backup monitor which she broke off the dash mount last night. That does not count anything I’ve spent on calming or training.

Repairs. I’ve spent more on repairs than I’ve budgeted. The $590 fuse put me over the top for the quarter. Since then I’ve also replaced the chassis (starter) batteries, and have either a bad slide out controller, bad house batteries or both that need to be addressed.  None of this counts the as yet unrepaired dog related damages.

Budget. Even taking out repair cost, I’m over budget by 15%. I’ve spent more on fuel than expected and I neglected to budget for propane. There’s also the amortized cost of buying a new motorcycle.

Trailer. Trailer number 2, a Kendon SRL, is ideal for someone who uses the trailer occasionally and needs to store it in as little space as possible.  That’s not me. 80% of the time it takes to set up after arrival or prepare for departure is trailer. It has eBay or Craig’s List in its immediate future.