A Pause On Our Adventure (May 15 – …)

2016-05-10 14.23.52 Mullinville KS

Artistic creations in Mullinsville, KS

The past three years have been a marvelous experience, meeting super people, enjoying places in the United States that some people will never see, and growing stronger in our love for each other. This whole adventure started as God wanting us out of the ruts we were in. He orchestrated amazing things to make it happen. Every season ends. And it appears this season has wrapped up for a while.

2016-05-06 19.29.09 Niece Kathy and Bob

Niece Kathy with Bob

We were in a remote area of Texas, with virtually no cell phone reception, and received a voice message that the Government would like to hire Bob to work in Kansas. We found cell reception (amazingly, and very briefly), made a few phone calls, and decided to go for it. The start date gave us just enough time to travel thru Oklahoma, visit nephew Mike and family, plus niece Kathy and her daughter, before arriving in a small town in Kansas.

2016-05-15 15.02.05 Memorial

The town is small, but their Honor is HUGE.

We now have an entirely new adventure of Bob learning a new job, Sherry getting her massage business rolling, housing (Do we upgrade to a fifth wheel or get a house? Rent? Buy? Oh my!), learning the town, meeting the people, and getting involved in the local community…  The traveling part of our adventure is on pause for now. The past three years were an amazing time. We thank everyone for following along with us. Someday we will launch out again, having gained considerable knowledge in how to live full time on the road. But for now, we are back in the mainstream. It’s been great getting feedback from you along the way. Life itself is an adventure. The traveling part of On Our Adventure is on hold, but we are embracing this new season with excitement and anticipation. It’s been fabulous! Please stay in touch.

2016-05-22 13.54.14 Sherry by train in Garden City zoo

Sherry stands by “Ol’ Two Bits” at the Garden City Zoo.

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Life On Our Adventure: What’s it like?

Recently a friend emailed to us asking questions like: What has life been like living on the road? Challenges, surprises, inconveniences. By the time I finished typing the reply, I chuckled, realizing it’s an entire blog! I hope it’s not too long for you, but more importantly, that you enjoy reading it. So here goes… 

2016-01-04 15.24.26 Dave and his head

Dave and his “head”

 What has life been like living on the road? Better than we ever expected. Admittedly, we entered into this with very few expectations. Originally just taking a break, getting out of the circles of life we had created, breaking free to start fresh.

Many people ask if we are enjoying retirement. We reply, quite honestly, that we are not retired: We are just taking a break. A break that has lasted three years. It’s been an absolutely fabulous adventure.

The people we meet are so fun, outgoing, thoughtful, helpful, and generous. The subculture of “full-timers” (as we are called because we do this life-style full-time) are a terrific group of people.

2016-01 Bob Sherry Sue laughing at Bashfords

Bob, Sherry, and Sue having a good time.

Attitudes of full-timers is quite different from vacationers. We remember when we were vacationers: The idea was to cram as much as possible into a very short time period, drive incessantly long hours to “get there”, and be worn out when we returned. But we are not on vacation. This is our lifestyle. It takes a few years to learn to slow down, smell the roses along the way. Now we go out of our way to just “see what’s over there”,  walk up to a total stranger and start a conversation, or see a young mother watching her child while they did laundry in a public laundromat and be so moved by her attentiveness and thread-bare clothing as to pay for her day’s laundry. We now see life from a different perspective.

2016-01-22 13.22.03 Ada Johnson edited

Ada brings a smile to everyone!

 Adjustments: Without a doubt. But difficult? When we first started we both had differing, yet unspoken expectations of how we should hook up the trailer to the car while working as a team, where we should drive, how to use a map, figuring out a GPS that takes us on wild goose chases, how far to drive, where we should stay that night. The decisions were not always made in calm conversation. So yes, there were adjustments we made.

Living together in close quarters for the past three years, we learned to work as a team. We learned to relax. We learned to truly honor the unique differences in each other.

2016-01-23 09.14.45 Darlene and Joe

Darlene and Joe, eh?

Our trailer is small enough that a television did not fit when we were originally loading everything. Being the American television addicts that we were, having no television seemed like it would be the end of the world to me, at first. A person has to fill the time, or become really bored. Being bored is… boring, (duh), and we hate to be bored. So we started talking, and playing cards. I play guitar, singing to Sherry. She reads to me. I get the pleasure of watching her suddenly laugh out loud while reading. Life is the small things.

2016-01-22 17.02.12 Gordo and Lorain edited

Gordo and Lorain – happy new homeowners

She cooks in this tiny little kitchen that has maybe two square feet of counter space. She has never complained about the tiny kitchen. There is no room for an oven, and the three burner range is propane. I joke that I finally got her the gas range she always wanted! She is a fabulous cook, becoming even better in this tiny environment. Her interest in making sure we are well-fed, eating delicious food, has accelerated. I do the dishes. She cooks, I wash. Seems fair. She asked me once if I mind doing the dishes. My reply? Washing dishes is a small thing to do in return for the excellent meals she prepares. And besides, it helps fill a niche of time that I would otherwise have to figure out something to do so I’m not bored. Remember, I hate being bored? <grin>

2016-04-19 13.52.38 Gene wearing father Petes hat

Gene wearing his dad Pete’s hat.

Showering was an adjustment. We have a tub and shower combo in the trailer. It’s the size of a short phone booth, but everything works really well in it. No leaks. Hot and cold water work really well. The shower-head has a switch to turn off the water when we are not rinsing so we don’t fill up our holding tanks needlessly. Notice I didn’t say waste water? Yes, it keeps us from wasting water, but more important is… don’t ever let the holding tanks overfill.

2016-03-12 14.45.16 Ellery Rose

Ellery, master musician and entertainer

If we are not hooked up to sewer, then we look for “dump stations” to drain the tanks when we are getting ready to travel. Sometimes, though, we stay long enough not hooked to sewer that we use a “honey pot” (aka either a simple five gallon bucket or a fancy enclosed bucket on wheels) to drain the tanks and carry or wheel the honey pot to a dumping location. Never drain holding tanks onto the ground! Black water (toilet) is obvious. Some people think draining gray water (sinks) onto the ground is OK. We prefer not to. Grey water contains a lot of food particles, toothpaste, soap, and stuff that take longer to decay than just a few hours when the next person pulls into the spot you just vacated.

2016-01-22 16.39.21 Steve and Val

Steve and Val

 Challenges: Challenges is a much better word than problems. It’s all a mindset. Challenges are a positive mindset. Problems are a negative mindset. We have plenty of challenges. The good news is: Somebody before us already experienced the challenge and solved it! Often times, we simply need to find out how somebody else solved the challenge.

For example, how do we get our mail? This is one of the top questions. There are many solutions, and everyone seems happy with the solution they use. Some people use companies that scan the mail, emailing the good stuff, and discarding the rest. Other people have a friend or relative periodically box up all the mail, good or junk, then re-mail it all to wherever the travelers happen to be at the time. It’s very doable.

2016-04-25 11.19.09 Rhonda and Keith at Caprock State Park TX

Rhonda and Keith at Caprock State Park, Texas

 Surprises: How easy this adventure has been. But it was easy because of a lot of people helping! Including  friends who have lots of experience living in fifth-wheels who showed us many small things about our trailer, hooking up, using checklists, and other full-timers who willingly share tidbits when we struggle with something.

2016-02-24 14.05.15 Sherry Bob Diana Graig in Tucson edited

Sherry, Bob, Diana, and Greg together in Tucson, AZ.

 Inconveniences: Routine medical and dental care that need to have appointments made months in advance. Planning where we will be months in advance is sort of the opposite of the purpose of this lifestyle. But we deal with it.

 Experiences of life on the road: How many hours do you have for us to share? The experiences are absolutely fabulous, wouldn’t trade them for anything.

2016-05-05_174245 Bob and Sherry in Tulsa OK

Bob and Sherry in Broken Arrow, OK

We really enjoy getting your emails and feedback. If you have any other questions, let us know while we are On Our Adventure!

Bob and Sherry

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2016-01-27 16.56.56 Louie and Honey in Tucson edited

Louie and Honey in Tucson

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Arizona, Colorado, Little Grand Canyon of Texas: April 3-30, 2016

2016-04-04 07.56.57 Bev Sherry Gene at Tucson Airport

Sherry helping her parents prepare for flight

Winter in Tucson was fun and relaxing, then the whirlwind of travel began. Visit with cousins Mike and Belinda a few days.

2016-04-02 16.48.34 Katy Belinda Dawn Adam Cel Bill Sherry Jennica Chris Mike

Family dinner

Plan to visit cousins on Peg’s side of the family, but wildfires and a family funeral send us scurrying quickly to Colorado.

2016-04-02 13.51.29 Cactus and flowers

Cactus in bloom

Along the way, we see lush green forests from mountain tops in Arizona. Beautiful Roosevelt Reservoir brings life to an otherwise dry Tonto Basin. The area preserves a history of people living in cliff dwellings on the sides of mountains, plenty of saguaro cactus, and, being springtime, plenty of bees collecting nectar from the cactus flowers.

Arrive in Colorado just in time for a spring snowstorm.

2016-04-16 11.50.26 Bob shoveling snow in Broomfield CO

Typical stance for Bob in snow

Want to visit our Colorado friends and church, but the snowstorm prevents it. After the funeral, we hop onto US Hwy 287 south, which meanders into Texas.

2016-04-21 09.16.19 Louie and Sherry in Lamar CO

Sherry helps Louie on his first pony ride

We prefer two lane US highways. Generally stay off Interstates as much as possible. We overnight in Lamar, Colorado, arrive in Texas the next day.

2016-04-21 17.25.31 Palo Dura State Park TX

Palo Duro State Park Texas

Palo Duro State Park in Texas is like a miniature Grand Canyon. Very popular.

Miles and miles of wind turbine farms throughout the panhandle of Texas.

Watch a coyote foraging for food in our campsite in Caprock Canyons State Park in Quitaque, Texas. Herds of Bison graze and roam everywhere thru this Texas State Park, and are officially given priority over us campers. Love it!

2016-04-26 08.20.53 Bison at Caprock State Park TX edited

Bison roam freely

Cell phone service is typically non-existent in Caprock Canyons. It’s an hour drive to laundromat, but clothes need cleaned! Free concert one evening by Cecile Whyte on guitar and John Walker on keyboard. Excellent musicians.

Rains heavily in central Texas. Several of our selected camping parks are flooded, so we continue to Bridgeport north of Dallas. Visit nephew Mike and Pam and their family.

Sherry’s father is in the hospital due to a variety of issues, and he is recovering. Thank you all for praying for his recovery.

2016-04-29 15.11.21 Sherry making healthy drinks in her new NutriBullet

Sherry in her kitchen with the new NutriBullet

Write a book about our travels? A number of people have suggested the idea. There is already plenty of information on the subject. No sense writing yet another one, unless we can write something others haven’t touched upon. We would like to get your input regarding what you think about the idea. Is there some aspect of this adventure lifestyle that you would like to read from our perspective that isn’t already available elsewhere? If there is sufficient variety and interest, a project might get started.

 

2016-04-14 15.11.49 Sherry and Bob at Route 66 Albuquerque NM

Sherry and Bob on Route 66

Our days and nights are relaxing. We seem to be getting much better at ping pong. Visit travelers from other countries and states. Play guitar. Read. Play cards. Visit. Sight see. We always look forward to meeting the next people we might become good friends with! God bless, and thank you for visiting with us On Our Adventure!

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Relaxing in Tucson for the Winter: Jan 24-Apr 2, 2016

 

Larakeets Love Sherry!

Larakeets Love Sherry!

Sherry overseeing the tow.

Sherry overseeing the tow.

You may recall from the last blog, we stayed a couple months in Southern California near the Salton Sea, then traveled to Tucson for the remainder of the winter. “Settled in.” Watched the Super Bowl. Found musicians to jam with.  Gave and received massages. Located a great fitness center. Victory Worship Center is our favorite church in Tucson. Plenty of great praise and worship, followed by excellent teachings every week. Volunteered to help with the Easter Egg hunt. 300 volunteers. 2,000 children. Plenty of grins while watching children of all ages hunt for Easter eggs.

Joe presents Bev's 86th birthday cake.

Joe presents Bev’s 86th birthday cake.

We celebrated Bev’s 86th birthday. Happy Birthday Bev! Joe flew in from Colorado to join in the festivities. Always great seeing Joe. He helped Sherry turn one large ostrich egg into enough scrambled eggs to feed thirteen of us. Ostrich eggs taste a bit creamier and lighter than chicken eggs.

Bob and Sherry at Easter Egg hunt

Bob and Sherry at Easter Egg hunt

Evenings usually fill with Bev, Sherry, and Bob playing card games. Sometimes we watch a movie together, like “Jersey Boys”, “Monsters, Inc.”, or “Mama Mia”. Fun shows. One evening, a Tucson magician kept us entertained as we kept wondering “How’d he do that?”

Changing to daylight savings time while in Arizona drives us crazy. Not because Arizona doesn’t change their time, (well, maybe that’s part of it), but because when we awake on the first day of daylight savings time, every clock is different, and we have to remember where we are at, whether daylight savings time changed where we are at, and then figure out which clock has the right time! I’m sure we never got it right, because now we’re always late! <grin>

Bev after foot surgery

Bev after foot surgery

Our Adventure these last three years started with taking a break, and it’s been great. Now Bob is doing his best to qualify for a Cyber Security position with the Federal Government. He has a few certifications to acquire, and some schooling to complete to get it done, but that’s what he would like to do to wrap up his final working years before retirement.  Wish him luck! But until a hiring happens, we will continue our “gypsy lifestyle” while On Our Adventure!

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Bob jammin' at the Chicago Bar in Tucson

Bob jammin’ at the Chicago Bar in Tucson

Celebrating Terry's 66th birthday. All these birthday!

Celebrating Terry’s 66th birthday. All these birthday!

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Gene harvesting grapefruit.

Gene harvesting grapefruit.

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Is there a Bigger Problem here?

Is there a Bigger Problem here?

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Bashford, Angel Tree, and Horseshoes: Nov 23 – Jan 23, 2016

2016-01 Sherry and Bob Dancing at Bashfords edited

Sherry and Bob at Bashford Saturday night dance

There’s a quaint RV park called Bashford’s Hot Mineral Spa, located an hour southeast of Palm Springs, near the Salton Sea. The people that gravitate to this out of the way spot are crazy fun. Laughter continually, soaking in the hot pots, dances, karaoke, New Year’s Eve bash, plenty of quality local musicians sharing their tunes,  happy hours, ATV rides through the desert, Taco Tuesday night at the American Legion, dinner specials at the Ski Inn Bombay Beach, evening card games, …

 

2015-12-23 16.52.49 Christmas Caroling at Bashford Hot Mineral Spa

Christmas caroling at Bashford Hot Mineral Spa

Christmas caroling on the hay wagon, with frequent stops to receive “tidings of good cheer” (aka warm alcoholic beverages). Songs became a bit more slurred the longer we caroled. Golf carts and riders decorated in festive Christmas attire cruised the park.

2016-01-09 Sherry Jeanie Bob at Bashfords Bar 2 edited

Sherry Jeanne and Bob celebrating New Years at Bashfords

New Year’s Eve at Bashford. Plenty of people, all dressed up, ready to party, band playing the tunes. Sherry and I, the youngsters here, retire early. The rest of the partiers lasted into the wee hours, I’m sure.

2015-12-24 12.45.36 Louie dressed for Christmas at Bashford Hot Mineral Spa edited

“Santa’s Helper” Louie

2015-12-03 18.26.37 Bob enjoying Sherrys birthday goodies from Brenna

Bob finishes Sherry’s birthday treats

Niece Brenna mailed her extra special cookies for Sherry’s birthday. Brenna is such a sweetheart!

Helped at the Angel Tree auction to raise funds to buy gifts for children who have a parent in prison.

2015-12-11 20.53.45 Sherry and Louie singing Karaoke

Sherry and Louie sing karaoke

Sherry is singing now at karaoke! Way to go Sherry! We also sang a duet together, “It Takes Two”.

2016-01 Bob and Alvin playing guitar at Bashford

Bob joins Alvin and his band for a night of fun

Joe and Darlene taught Bob to finger pick guitar, which he is really enjoying. Other people have been helping Bob SING LOUDER, and he seems to be catching on!

2015-12-09 11.21.52 Sherry at Salvation Mountain edited

Sherry at Salvation Mountain near Salton Sea, CA

2015-12-18 08.55.45 Sherry and George at Bashford RV Park edited

Sherry and George (with Peanut just out of sight)

A must in this area is visiting Slab City and Salvation Mountain near Niland. Slab City is free camping on BLM land, complete with people staying there months at a time. Salvation Mountain is a tribute to Leonard Knight’s faith in Jesus. Leonard passed away in 2014, but his legacy lives on.

2015-12-30 16.22.21 George and Peter at Bashford

George and “flat tires” Peter at Bashfords

Sweet Georgie next door helped Peter, a bicyclist that had used all of his spare tires fixing flats. Peter enjoyed an evening here at Bashford, then continued on his way.

2015-12-19 20.09.49 Eagles Tribute Band at 29 Casino in Indio CA

Eagles Tribute Band at 29 Casino near Indio, CA

Tribute Eagles band concert at 29 Casino in Indio. Great songs. Fun time.

2016-01-20 12.07.46 Franz pitching horseshoes

Franz throwing horseshoe – and gets a ringer!

Franz and Sue, from Germany, became special friends to us. Franz and I played his first game of horseshoes – and he got a ringer! Very talented photo journalists, they shared their adventures of the United States with all of us via very entertaining slide shows – complete with snappy music that we sang to. Thank you Franz and Sue!

2016-01 Sue and Sherry at Bashfords

Sue and Sherry enjoy good times at Bashford dance

Many other friends here we could share wonderful stories about, too.

2016-01-18 10.21.30 Sherry in Los Algodones Mexico

Sherry in Los Algodones, Mexico

The people here are fun beyond words. Many will remain until March when it gets plenty warm in this area. We, on the other hand, depart in two days, heading to Arizona to celebrate birthdays with relatives, and kick back for much of the rest of the winter with them.

See you next time…   On Our Adventure!

2016-01-21 17.21.50 Sunset at Bashfords

Sunset at Bashfords

 

 

 

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Burros Rule! Kitchen Chemistry, Cowboy Church… (Oct 18 – Nov 22, 2015)

This gallery contains 13 photos.

The weather changed dramatically after the warm, sunny days bicycling in Utah. Returning to Moab, we now view lightning storms at night, followed by rain for days. Nevertheless, Arches National Park, rain or shine, is quite the sight to see. … Continue reading

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Bicycling with Friends thru Utah (Oct 9 – 17, 2015)

Bob in Zion National Park, Utah

Bob in Zion National Park, Utah

Cooler Tour enjoying sunset at Canyonlands National Park, Utah

Cooler Tour enjoying sunset at Canyonlands National Park, Utah

Every few years we gather with friends to bicycle together for a week somewhere. This year we explored some beautiful areas of Utah. Ellen and her husband Tim usually do the planning and logistics to coordinate bike routes, motels, restaurants, U-Haul trailer rental, support vehicles, and more. Who did the trek this year? Tim and Ellen, Brick and Nena, Chuck and Lisa, Jerry, and Sherry and me. Friends Mike and Kristy hosted an opening night BBQ and overnight lodging for everyone as we gathered together to head into Utah.

Sunrise in Zion National Park, Utah

Sunrise in Zion National Park, Utah

The first morning bicycling was in southwest Utah at Zion National Park. We normally start by 9:00, but this morning I needed to finish early to help Sherry move our trailer to the next location. I arose at 6:00 to start bicycling by sunrise at 7:30. Temperature 62 degrees, and breezy. Glad I wore a windbreaker. Riding with almost no one else around at this early hour, I sang songs to God, prayed, expressed my awe and wonder at what a mighty God we serve that creates such amazing beauty, and provides us with eyes to see it, ears to hear it, skin to feel it. An absolutely fabulous start to a wonderful week.

Chuck, Ellen, Lisa, Bob

Chuck, Ellen, Lisa, Bob

Sherry in Zion National Park, Utah

Sherry in Zion National Park, Utah

Ellen and Bob at Bryce Amphitheater, Bryce Point, Utah

Ellen and Bob at Bryce Amphitheater, Bryce Point, Utah

Sherry and Bob overlooking Canyonlands National Parks, Utah

Sherry and Bob overlooking Canyonlands National Parks, Utah

The beauty continued as we bicycled our way northeast thru Bryce Canyon, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, backroads toward Moab, and along the Colorado River beyond Moab.

How far do we ride each day? Some ride 70 to 75 miles nearly every day. I tend to ride 30 to 35 miles most days. The group agrees everybody rides at their own pace, on the days they want to ride, stop when they want, and primarily just have a good time.

Louie and his new buddy Lil Bear had a great time together

Louie and his new buddy Lil Bear had a great time together

One day we drove the U-Haul containing the bicycles to the starting point, then decided it was far too windy to ride. Wanting to enjoy the scenery, we continued driving up the mountain, not realizing the trailer door wasn’t latched securely and had come open. Gear rolled out the back of the trailer for miles before anyone noticed. We immediately started a scavenger hunt, finding almost all the stuff except for 2 coolers and 1 bicycle shoe. Found one of the bicycle pumps being used by a cyclist to inflate his tire. An answer to prayer?

A wonderful week with friends coming to an end.

A wonderful week with friends coming to an end.

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The final evening we all enjoyed a wonderful spread of cheese, crackers, and wine overlooking a sunset of gorgeous Canyonlands. A wonderful week with friends and fun comes to an end.

Thank you for again joining us … On Our Adventure!

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