Start Of Our Fourth Year Full-Timing

After being stationary for five months in Florida there were mixed emotions about packing up and being on the road again.  Excited, yes (It was too long for Gene not to be behind the wheel) but I also became really comfortable where we were.  We had a great time with a lot of our friends that have moved to Florida over the course of the year so it seems like we were picking up in the South where we left off in the North.  Who would have guessed 5 couples would relocate near each other.

So, Tuesday, April 4th was Moving Day. We weren’t going far just two hours north to Thousand Trails RV Resort in Clermont, FL. Spending a couple of days in Disney World with our friends Tom and Barb. since we haven’t moved our house in five months, so I was a little apprehensive that everything would function like it was supposed to. I completed all of the maintenance that needed to be done; changed the oil, oil filter, air filter, Checked the batteries with a hydrometer topped off the batteries where needed, cleaned and lubricated the Roadmaster hitch, cleaned and lubricated the jack rods and check the tires. The tires lost about 2 psi per tire, not much but I aired up anyways. I replaced the oil pan plug with a Fumoto Valve, which will make changing the 7 quarts of oil much easier. I also ran the generator under load for a couple of hours every month and ran the engine at a fast idle a couple of times for about 30 minutes. (I’m not sure that did anything except make me feel better) Everything went smooth, the 3 slides came in without any problems, the jacks retracted smoother than they ever did, and the engine started right up. The only problem we had was trouble bringing in our awning. Last problem I wanted. We had the awning motor replaced in Virginia last September and I thought we were done with that. Well it was a simple fix. Each awning arm has a locking knob and I forgot to loosen them. Problem solved. Add that to the checklist.

Last year we traveled about 10,000 miles in our coach, Made 33 stops including stops in between our major stops, of which there were twelve. We traveled west, north, east and south and spent the winter in Nokomis, FL.

This year we are traveling in the complete opposite direction. Reason being we need to end up in New Mexico for the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in October and didn’t want to crisscross the US adding about six thousand miles to our trip (Thanks Kelly!). We also want to see the Oregon Coast. The mileage for 2017 will be the about the same 10k, but we will make 47 stops including thirteen major stops. WHAT?!!! (that’s me, Eileen, reading this)

2016 map
2016 Map

April 4th and 5th

We arrived in Clermont about 2 pm and it was pouring rain. That scuttled our plans for a trip to Disney that night. Wednesday was a beautiful day! We put Max in Day Care (love that place.  It’s like a country club with doggie pools) at Disney and met Tom and Barb at Epcot around 10 am.

Tom and Barb!

First ride we went on was Space Ship Earth and it was a 30 minute wait. Nice relaxing ride to start our day. Disney takes your picture at the beginning of the ride and make up a story about you and show it to you on the way out.  How silly.  See what our would-be grandchildren are missing?


We were at Disney in time for the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.


Eileen and Barb flying on wings of butterflies!


After a lunch of Fish & chips in England and Brats in Germany we took a boat over to Hollywood Studios for Muppet Vision 3D. Probably one of the best 3D movies I’ve seen and it was the Muppet’s, very funny!

IMG_5764FullSizeRender (2)

We took the boat back to Epcot Mexico for a beer and see Frozen, but Frozen was shut down indefinitely.  From what I hear from friends, it’s been going on for a while.  Sad for the people with kids that have one opportunity.  Lots of little girls dressed up waiting in line.  We picked up Max after that and called it a day.  We had season passes this year and saw that for three days in the parks it would cost us the same for a years pass, plus free parking (a $20 savings).  Crazy!  Sometimes it’s good to be a senior.

Next stop Fayetteville, NC to see family.


Winnebago Grand National Rally and a visit to The Blabaum RV Resort July 2016

This was our second time at the Winnebago Rally in Forest City, Iowa.  We met our good RV friends, Kim and Denise Blabaum there and then headed to their house in Wisconsin for a few days before making the trek back to the East Coast.  Also, had a chance to meet some new friends that are heading to the same FL. area as we are.  I guess since this was our second time at the rally, it was a little less hectic and we had a chance look around and hit more specific seminars that met our needs.  We also had a chance to get some work done on the rig at the Winnebago factory while there.

Long line to get into the Winnebago GNR.
We are first in line.
Kim and I were able to park next to each other.
Does my ass make this golf cart look small?
Watching the entertainment.
Blabaum RV Resort.  What a great parking spot!
One of the amenities of the Blabaum’s RV Resort is the owners take you out on the lake with their leisure boat.
Cocktails are served!
What a life!
Put the baby down and step away!


Another one of the amenities the owner will wash your motor home.
Cheap labor!


Perfect ending to our stay at The Blabaum RV Resort.
Our last night visiting our friends, Kim and Denise we lit some lanterns and sent them up…until next year!



On route I-80 East we found our doppelganger!
We both had just come from Wisconsin.
We’ll take the one that’s cleaner.

The Stanley Hotel (Aka The Shining Hotel) July 2016

OMG…we can’t seem to get out of the state of Colorado, we enjoy it so much.  We took a ride to Estes Park where The Stanley Hotel,  a 420-room Colonial Revival hotel is located.  Approximately five miles from the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park, the Stanley offers panoramic views of Lake Estes, the Rockies and especially Long’s Peak. It was built by Freelan Oscar Stanley of Stanley Steamer fame and opened on July 4, 1909, catering to the American upper class at the turn of the century. The hotel and its surrounding structures are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Stanley Hotel also hosted the horror novelist Stephen King, serving as inspiration for the Overlook Hotel in his 1977 bestseller The Shining and location for the 1997 miniseries. Today, it includes a restaurant, spa, and bed-and-breakfast and provides guided tours which feature the history and alleged paranormal activity of the site. (From Wikipedia).  The story of the Stanley brothers is one worth reading.  The hotel has a number of rooms open to the public to stay and for business and wedding functions. I’d love to stay there but probably wouldn’t get much sleep.

The walk up to The Stanley Hotel.




Front lobby.

Stanley Steamer An interesting read.


Conference room.

Staircase to the bedrooms.
Hallway to room 217.
Room 217 where the most notorious  paranormal activity took place. This is also the room that was the inspiration for Stephen Kings novel “The Shining”. It’s also the room Jim Carey stayed in while filming “Dumb and Dumber. He stayed about two hours before running out of the hotel like a crazy person. He moved to another hotel.
I took this selfie and nothing appeared in the mirror except me.
Eileen took this selfie and she is NOT in the picture and there appears to be a wedding dress in the hallway. Same mirror. Spooky!  The hotel guide requested it to be forwarded to her.


Basement where the staff worked.  The guests never saw the staff.  They traveled back and forth in these tunnels.




Hike to Horsetooth Falls and white water rafting on the Poudre River July 2016

A 4th of July hike  located in Horsetooth Mountain Park west of Fort Collins.  The hike to the falls is a pleasant hike through meadows and a rocky canyon to a diminutive but high cascade.

Horsetooth Falls tumble through a steep, narrow rock chute separating the Horsetooth Falls and Spring Creektrails. While the falls are subjectively impressive, families and runners will enjoy mild grades, open space and active wildlife on the short trip: look for deer, fox, coyote, snakes and rabbit in tall grass and along the forest fringe.

Eileen and Mark lead the way.


It was more up than down. Both ways!  How can that be?!
Horsetooth Falls! Wasn’t really much of a falls, just a trickle of water due to drought conditions.


Base of the falls.
Top of the falls.
Looking back the at way we came.



Starting our decent.


Looking out to the reservoir and marina.



Another geocache!


Mark and Eileen went white water rafting for the day.  Stopped for lunch at a restaurant located on the river.  Can’t wait to do it again this year.

2016 “Cache La Poudre” River – “Stash The Powder” – Rafting class 3+4 rapids…epic adventure! @rockymountainadventures Great guides, entertainment on the shuttle and on the river….class A act they are…those guides really love what they do and you can see/feel it! What a perfect day!






Michael comes to Ft. Collins – Greeley Stampede Rodeo June 2016

Talk about a delay!  We are delayed about 6 months  on our whereabouts, through our own fault.  Every time we talk about putting something up we get distracted and find something else to do or some place to go .  Anyone that asks “won’t you be bored in retirement” has no idea how time is flying by even when you don’t set alarms anymore.

We are now enjoying this so much that the kids have suggested they come and visit us wherever we are.  Only the exciting spots though.  To continue our blog about Colorado, we were here for two months staying near Mark when Michael called and wanted to visit.  The kids are so geographically separated that we try and travel to visit each during the year but it’s nice when they suggest visiting us.  We’re usually in a spot they would not get to with active things to do so this was a treat, plus he could stay with Mark.  So,  out comes Michael for some great times.  Lots of hiking,  Snow in June (with a smack of an altitude headache)…and yummy food.  He loved it so much that he’s going back to stay with Mark in February.

Hike to Horsetooth Reservoir One of our favorite places!
Overlooking Horsetooth Reservoir


Hunting for a geocache
Mark found it.
They used an ammo can as the container.




Someone was hungry. Got soup?

The Mayor of Old Town is one of the many local breweries in Old Town and had 100 beers on tap. No Shock Top though. When I asked for Shock Top the waitress told me they only serve local beers. Shock Top was born and raised in Fort Collins. Nice bar we had a good time here.
Trail Ridge Road


Looking down from the road that climbs up to the Trail Ridge Road.


Eileen and Michael playing the xylophone along Estes Park River Walk.
Just chillin.
Another geocache. Eileen’s found this in a roundabout near our campground.

The Greeley Stampede. Can’t remember the last time I’d been to a rodeo.



Bull Riding
Calf Roping
Bronco Riding


Hooter’s yes we were there for the food!

Colorado, Part One

If you’ve been following us recently, you know we have been in a major catch-up mode with our travels and as a result try to remember where we left off and actually what day it is.  With that said, I think we left off when we were in LV.  At any rate…to recap somewhat…we spent a month in Las Vegas visiting Matt and Julie and learned Matt had gotten a promotion and would be moving to DC for a year.  I spent a few weeks with them helping to pack up their home while Gene had to take an unscheduled trip to FL.  We had planned to visit Utah before arriving in Colorado at  Mark’s…but, sometimes unexpected life challenges arise and we ran out of time as we were committed to a campground in mid May.  We will be back to that part of the country next time.  The KOA in Ft. Collins is where we called home for the last two months.

I have to say, the number of parks in this town and Loveland area are amazing.  They are dog friendly, beautifully maintained and organize numerous concerts, activities, festivals, etc. during the summer.  You are never bored and sometimes have a hard choice of which to choose from.  And…all are free!  When we first arrived as usual in past years, we had rain almost every day but then it turned dry.  I can see why they fear fires.  It seemed like almost overnight the grass turned brown and the risk of wildfire was closely monitored each day.  There is also never a bad view no matter where you look.  One of the interesting things was, as you sat outside with an adult beverage, you could actually follow the rain and watch a storm coming over the mountains, almost all the time passing just beyond where you are.  We love this part of the country and every time we stay here we wind up extending our stay longer and longer.

We had Gene’s son, Michael come out for a visit and although we had a fantastic time, it was way too short for all.  That part is coming up in Part Two!  Stay tuned for more summer reading.  We promise to be more diligent!


This is a really nice spot. Lots of room with a brick patio, grill, furniture and fire pit.

Our neighborhood has a one-mile walking path around a small lake. On one of our first walks we discovered that the campground is inhabited with bears and zebras. These zebras can climb trees! Must have learned it from the bears.




We were prepared for anything after seeing the zebra in a tree, so we thought we would try our luck with The Devil’s Backbone and hike up to the Keyhole. This is a pretty easy 5 mile round trip hike, unless you start at high noon on a 95 degree day. ( I know two people and a dog that won’t do that again!)






Success, The Keyhole!


We eventually had to turn around, because the heat was too much for Max.

Matt and Julie stopped at Mark’s for a few days on their way to Washington, DC. It was great to finally have both boys together.  That doesn’t happen too often and for Matt to have his bike with him was a special treat for Mark to ride with him in this weekend fundraiser. The ride and rally was for Realities Ride for Children. This is well attended every year. Approximately 3,000 bikers attended.



Eileen and Julie with the Law Tiger.
Bacon Chocolate Funnel Cake! Amazing!
I always smile when I make new friends!
Time to say good bye.  Why don’t we have a bike?  


After Matt and Julie left on their way to DC , our friends Kim and Denise from Wisconsin stopped by for a few days.

Lunch at The Wild Rose in Estes Park.

We took a ride to Estes Park  at 7,500 ft and Trail Ridge Road at 12,000.

Elk at the beginning of our climb to the 12,000 ft Trail Ridge Road.
Selfie practice !
Yes, I’m wearing Crocs…what was I thinking!  And yes, that is a wall of snow! 
Kim, Denise, Ei and me.
Max found his spot.



There is a foot-trail to the top of the mountain but closed because of snow. This trail started at 11,796 ft.


This is the winding road around the mountain.  Not too many guard rails. ( I like coming up because your on the inside)!






Trying to capture a picture of the marmot  living in the rocks





Selfie success!
12,000 feet!
Campfire at Kim & Denise’s coach with Mark.
Oh,we’re getting good at these