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We are eagerly keeping an eye on the Weather Channel and thinking of our friends along Eastern Florida. As Floridians we have been through many hurricanes, but it is a completely different experience when you are a Full-Time RVer. In 2004, we dealt with Hurricanes Jean and Francis only weeks apart. Hurricane Jean was our first experience as RVers and we evacuated our rig and sought shelter. After experiencing shelter conditions, we rode out Hurricane Jean at the RV resort, choosing to stay in the recreation building with a handful of other RVers. We saw first-hand the power of Mother Nature. For more information on dealing with disasters while RVing, check out my book, On the Road to Disaster.
An excerpt from Our Travels…
… I had not read any of the “Twilight Saga” while we were in Washington, so I had no idea that when we visited the town of Forks that we should be looking for vampires and werewolves instead of Bigfoot. Although, looking back at my photos of the Forks Timber Museum, it is possible I saw a werewolf. Or could it have been a hairy lumberjack?
The Hoh Rainforest is one of my favorite parks. The area receives over one hundred inches of rainfall each year. An interesting thing about this region is the Bigfoot sightings. We joked about stepping in Bigfoot poo along the trail (although it was more likely from some elk we spotted) and I purchased some Bigfoot souvenirs from a shop located just outside the park.
Our next adventure took us to Cape Flattery in the northwestern most point of the Continental U.S. – located on the edge of Neah Bay. It is a beautiful day-trip through the Makah Indian Reservation. The hike along the Cape Flattery Trail can be slippery if it is raining, but well worth the effort. Tatoosh Island Lighthouse is three miles from shore and can be seen quite clearly from the end of the trail. The hardest thing is taking photos from the observation platform at the Cape. There are sea tunnels eroding away underneath you and giant waves shake the tunnels and, of course, you! An informational sign read that the area you are standing will be gone in 100 years from the constant erosion. Definitely one of the most memorable stops we had in Washington…
It was a lovely day to get in the Chevy and find some new roads…
A few days ago, while driving along the back-roads of Louisiana we came across several of these “Warning: Speed Trap Area” signs. Not sure if someone just wanted to slow down traffic for a few miles or if they were warning drivers of a potential speed trap. Whatever the case, it certainly kept traffic under the speed limit!
It also reminded us of the signs we saw while traveling through Pennsylvania a few years ago. They warned that you were traveling through an “Aggressive Driver High Crash Area”. In addition to the warning signs, some areas had dots painted on the road so that drivers would stay the proper distance from other vehicles.
Regardless of where you’re traveling, remember to slow down – you never know what you’re going to miss driving in the fast lane!
We had an interesting “visit” to the USS Orleck in Lake Charles (LA). You can read more about it in the Our Travels section.
In the summer of 2013 we planned a day-trip to Mansfield (MO) in search of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Homestead. The drive itself was rather memorable as we found ourselves alongside Amish buggies.
The farmhouse that Laura and Almanzo built still stands – frozen in time. A calendar on the wall from the 1950s is a reminder that although times have changed, somethings should remain the same for posterity. Learning about their life and struggles makes you appreciate American willpower. They crossed the country in a wagon with a hundred dollars stashed in a box and made a new life for themselves in Missouri. That very box can be viewed at the museum located on the property.
Most people have heard of the “Little House” series, either through the books and later TV show. Yet most do not realize that Laura Ingalls Wilder did not begin writing down her stories until her daughter Rose encouraged her to. A little corner nook by their bedroom contains a small writing desk where she wrote her stories on paper tablets.
Now, a few generations later, we are reading her stories on electronic tablets. 🙂
Lately, I have been busy uploading more photos to TMN and came across this photo taken at the one campground that really surprised us.
We were southbound on I-77 and decided to call it a night in Fancy Gap (VA). Daylight was fading and when we pulled into the campground we immediately thought this was not the place for a Big Rig. All I can remember from the entrance is trees – lots and lots of trees – and no RVs in sight. The friendly gal at check-in assured us they were Big Rig friendly and we found ourselves being escorted around a curve to a row of pull-thru sites in the woods. The sites in the row were tiered to conform to the mountain, yet they were spacious, level and private. We were actually camping in the woods without the hassles that comes from having a Big Rig! Considering all the ill-designed and obstacle-cluttered campgrounds we have visited over the years, this was a genuine surprise.
Now as we are prepping the rig for the next long haul, I wonder what summer adventures we will get ourselves into. After all, you never know what surprise is waiting for you just around the corner. 😉
In the first months of 2008, we found ourselves camping in Port Angeles (WA) between Olympic National Park and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. We could see the mountains of British Columbia (Canada) in the distance. Behind us was Olympic National Park. It was an amazing location with gorgeous views.
During the day the beach was active with surfers, paddle boarders and kayakers. Yes, surfers in Washington! They surf the Strait of Juan de Fuca in the colder months and aren’t afraid to don their wet suits and brave the cold for a few seconds on their boards.
As winter progressed we were very fortunate with snowfall. Just a few times and not too heavy, although the cold winds remind you that winter can be unforgiving. I did love seeing the snow fall on the beach. Close to shore it stops – about two feet above the sand/water.
It was amazing what we saw at the beach in winter. One day we saw a small octopus had washed up and three bald eagles were tearing into it! If only I had my camera at the time – what a sight! And in addition to periodic whale sightings, we also saw submarines heading out to the Pacific Ocean.
So where ever we end up each winter, I try not to complain too much about the cold weather – knowing that somewhere along the Strait there are surfers eagerly awaiting to head out into the icy water. 😉
In the Fall of 2008 we were fortunate to be exploring California’s Gold Country. One day trip had us visiting the Northstar Mine Powerhouse Museum in Grass Valley (CA). The museum had hundreds of exhibits, including a stamp mill and the largest Pelton Wheel ever constructed.
Along the self-guided tour, I remember thinking how difficult it must have been to work with the huge and often dangerous equipment during the mining process. A hazardous profession dedicated to finding a little lump of glittery color.
After an hour in the museum I was glad to be outside again and cross the bridge to the little picnic area. It was a pleasant day to just sit there and soak up the golden sun.
Today I turn on the television and see others using similar method, once again in search of a little speck of gold. Funny how we have a way of falling back into history.
We were planning on putting some major mileage in today, but Mother Nature had other plans. Flooding and severe storms in the region have us staying inside and watching the Travel Channel instead. The summer adventure will just have to wait a day… or two. 🙂
As Full-Time RVers, we are always concerned about severe weather. Although RVs can withstand moderate winds, they are not intended to be used for shelter in any type of severe storm.
And early this morning we had a wake-up call from our NOAA weather radio indicating we were in a Tornado Watch. We were sound asleep and had no clue what the weather was doing outside. Thankfully the radio’s high shrill alerted us to severe weather conditions.
All Campers should invest in a NOAA weather radio or weather alert radio. A nice handheld radio with wall adapter and back-up batteries can be purchased for around $20 and in case a storm Watch or Warning is issued, you will have the latest information. Don’t solely rely on a phone app for weather alerts.
If you are staying in an area prone to severe weather or possible flooding then you should find out where it is best to seek shelter or what evacuation route is closest. Make sure you know where to go and have a little family meeting. Even if you are just on a week vacation, discussing a plan with your family for just five minutes could end up saving your lives.
Ask the campground staff if they notify their campers about severe weather alerts and what they advise campers to do in stormy situations. Some campgrounds may recommend their restroom or recreation buildings for shelter. Many have concrete buildings that would be a solid structure to go to if there isn’t time, such as in the case of a tornado. But if you have time and know that severe weather will affect your area, make sure you seek an official shelter.
Economic conditions, rising fuel costs and environmental factors have left us and other Full-Timers wondering which road we should take – quite literally.
Our summer plans were to head westward once again and spent some time in the Pacific Northwest and then heading to Canada and Alaska.
Yet that is the benefit of the Full-Timer lifestyle. We aren’t stuck in a particular town, state or even region. We are mobile and can move on or just remain in the same area.
Sometimes we have planned to travel an area only to find we are faced with detours or just… well… find ourselves turning down a different road.
Like life, we don’t always end up where we had hoped or planned to be.
However, I truly believe that there is a reason we find ourselves on the backroads of life. Sometimes you see some amazing things and met some equally amazing people – Opportunities you wouldn’t have had travelling down the super-highway.
So we will remain on the East coast just a little while longer. I know there is another adventure to get “lost” into this summer. And who knows, it maybe the most incredible one yet! 🙂
We recently signed up for a day casino trip from Florida to Mississippi. We were with forty people on a tour bus for 4 hours (one way) heading down 1-10.
Now being full-time RVers, it was nice not to have to worry about driving for a change… or so I thought…Someone (and I won’t tattle) started counting how many semi-trucks the bus driver was passing! 😉
About two hours into the trip, I realized my legs were both numb. At the next stop I was happy to get out and stretch. Unfortuantely, that’s when I noticed my knees were hurting. Apparently they were shoved into the seat ahead of me so hard, I didn’t realize I had bruised them. After arriving at the casino, I was glad to walk around and regain the use of my limbs.
The return trip was the same and the three of us stumbled out of the bus toward our Chevy Silverado. After we climbed in, there was a moment of silence before the first “ahh” cried out. Then and there we made it official – no more traveling unless it’s in a Chevy. 😉