Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

Odometer. 37748
Trip Miles 0

January 1st 2014

In yesterday's blog I ended by saying that for Joan and for me, 2013 was a very good year.
New years day 2013 found us in Copano Bay RV Park in Rockport, TX.  Both of us retired, and full- timing in our motorhome.  Our goal was (and is still) to travel the USA by the roads less traveled and see this great country of ours.

By late January we departed Rockport where we had been visited by old friends and made many new friends.  We traveled up to Galveston,

 through Louisana at Superbowl/ Mardi Gras time, spent some time in the Gulfport area of Mississippi, 

visited Avery Island and the Mc Ilhenny Tabasco factory, Biloxi, Pascagoula, and on to Gulf Shores, Alabama. 

On February 9th we received the news of the birth of our Grandnephew Tayvin Springstead, born in Salem Oregon to our niece Karon and her husband Todd. 

In February the Gulf climate was not what we would call tropical- or even warm, which kept us moving towards Florida.  By mid February we were in the Big Bend area of Florida, still wearing winter jackets, and seeking manatees at Crystal Springs. 

Still moving and heading south now, we arrived at Fort Meyers, Florida on the 20th of February and met up with tropical climates!

We spent two weeks in Ft Meyers and then headed for the Keys on March 1st- Ohio Key to be exact-
This was to be our biggest indulgence of the year, paying nearly $2000 space rent for a month of pure bliss.  Tropical skies, Tropical temperatures, and swiming in Tropical waters- in the middle of winter!
In April we somehow we tore ourselves away from the Keys and headed north in Florida stopping at Lake Okeechobee, Titusville, and on to St Augustine. 

 From St. Augustine Florida to Charleston, South Carolina we enjoyed visiting the hitoric seaports of the earliest occupation of this continent by persons of European descent.  

For two westerners like Joan and me, buildings dating back to 1565 are astonishing.  Incorporated cities west of the Rocky Mountains were first established in the 1840's- almost 300 years later.  We were enthralled by the history and visual splendor.
In late April Jeff went to Camp Freightliner in Gaffney, SC to learn more about our rolling home.  We arrived in Maryland on April 23rd to stay a week and tour the monuments and the museums of Washington DC.
Believing that it was Spring in the northlands, we naievely headed north and west through Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan.  We spent a delightful several days in Wheatly, Ontario, Canada with our good friends George and Shona, catching up to them as they returned from Rockport, TX.  

We had our motorhome serviced in Kalamazoo by the excellent Freightliner shop there.  We froze our tookus going even further north in mid May, visiting South Haven, Luddington, Mackinaw City, Mackinac Island,

 Whitefish Point, Sault St. Marie, Musining and the Pictured Rocks.  

By late May we'd had enough cold- we turned the bus south and fled south through Wisconsin to Forest ciy, Iowa- the home of our Winnebago.  We toured the factory and set our sites on the West.  We blew through Minnesota and South Dakota,with rain and cold winds at our heels, not stopping until we got to Mt Rushmore, and Crazy Horse.

We visited with Joan's brother Roger and his wife, Marcia in West Yellowstone.  

Crossed Wyoming and Idaho and entered Oregon again after a 7 month absence.
We still had not decided where we would buy a place that would become our homeport for our travels.  We looked at Medford, and then at Port Orford.  

Port Orford won hands down, and we bought a small house with lake access that we set out to update- a project that would last 3-1/2 months and bring us much satisfaction.
By late November it was time to head south.  We closed up the house, loaded up the bus, and headed first to Salem to see family, and celebrate Thanksgiving.
On the 3rd of December we raised the anchor and sailed south with a cold front right on top of us.  Medford, Corning, Coalinga,

Barstow, Ft Mohave, and finally, here in Ajo.  We didn't break the icy grip of winter until we arrived in Ft Mohave.  After a day of rest in Ft. Mohave we headed south to our favorite place in Arizona- the little  town of Ajo.  This little town refused to die when the Phelps- Dodge copper mine ceased operation in 1987.  Today approximately 3000 people call this home.

Our fellow RVers here at Shadow Ridge RV Park invited us to a New Years Eve bonfire and weiner roast at a nearby desert camp.

The afternoon was lovely until the sun set, and then as you can see, we put on jackets and huddled next to the fire.

Reflections on the year 2013.

Your Traveling Friends

Joan and Jeff

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