Life on the Road

Boys and their toys

Bikes

See the bikes in the middle left side of the picture? They are barely visible. One is a recent sport bike. There is a covered bike just past it.

Boys will be boys, they say, and the only difference between men and boys is the price of their toys.

My new toy is the Georgetown 328 sitting in front of the silver Honda in the picture above. But there was a time when the toys that I loved most had two wheels. I’m not so sure that I’ve gotten over that yet.

We recently took a short “shakedown” camping trip with our new motor home. Laura has already written an article about it….in that article she mentions that this was a “city” RV Park, with a mixture of full timers, roving temp workers, and people passing through from one place to another. It was not a “vacation destination” park. It was a great place for a shakedown trip, though.

We were enjoying our stay. We met a nice couple from Canada traveling in a 5th Wheel who were parked in the space facing the front of our rig. We didn’t meet the people on the passenger side of our rig. There was an older coach on the driver’s side. It looked like a full timer’s coach, because there was evidence that it hadn’t moved much in the recent past. There was nobody around, but I noticed a recent Kawasaki sport bike parked next to the coach, and in front of that was another bike. It was covered, but I knew it was an old timer, because it had old fashioned wire spoke wheels peeking out. I didn’t really give it much thought when I first saw it.

So later I’m sitting at the dinette in our coach…it’s approaching dusk, and I’m on my second beer. The first one was a 22 ounce IPA, so I’m buzzing a little. I’d been working on a writing project (fiction) on my laptop. I could see the coach with the bikes out the window. Then I see movement inside the coach….somebody got home. I went back to my writing, not paying too much attention. When I looked out the window again, there was an older man puttering around with the Kawasaki. He wasn’t much older than me, but he had lived a hard life….that was pretty obvious by his attire, and the way he walked with a slight limp. He had uncovered that other bike.

Holy Shit.

It’s a restored Yamaha RD 400 – the monster two stroke of the mid 1970s low end street bike scene. I haven’t seen one of those in years. They were legendary.

The Yamaha RD 400

The Yamaha RD 400

I watched this guy putter around a little more, while trying to continue writing. It was no use….now my mind was on motorcycles, and that’s sometimes really hard to shake. I want to go talk to this guy about his bike…..but I didn’t want to bother him, and I can be a little shy at times. Then I saw the man from Canada walk over to him, beer in hand. That clinched it. I got up and went outside.

The two men were talking about motorcycles…..the Kawasaki, from what I could tell. They both smiled and nodded at me as I approached.

“Is that really a RD?” I asked.

The old biker’s face lit up.

“Sure is,” he said.

We launched into a long discussion about 1970s motorcycles. All three of us were into bikes, but the guy who owned the RD was  really into them, and did a fair amount of racing back in the day. That’s why he looked so torn up….he had been injured badly a few times. He still liked to hang out at the tracks, and still did some racing, but not like the old days. He referred to his Kawasaki as his baby.

This guy was trying to sell the RD, and almost had it sold, but the deal fell through right at the last minute. He was working on finding another buyer. The bike was nicely restored…..it sure didn’t look like it was more than 40 years old. He laughed, and said he wasn’t up to starting that thing anymore. Kick start only, and sometimes it took quite a few stabs. I remember hearing that from people who owned them back in the day.

It was really fun talking to these guys about bikes. We had all grown up at about the same time, and we were interested in rival bike categories.

The old biker guy was from the “racer boy” part of the motorcycle world. I remember these guys. They loved these two strokes, and they knew how to ride better than most. Many of them were just plain nuts, and they always wanted to race you. I got challenged by them more than once.

The Canadian had the killer bike of the day….the bike that was the fastest out of the box for a few years. The bike that almost put Harley Davidson, Triumph, Norton, BSA, and others out of business. The bike that got stolen more than any other type too…..the Honda CB750.

Honda CB 750

Honda CB 750

This was the “every-man” bike of it’s time. Kind of like the Mustang or the Camaro.  Reliable, fast, easy to ride. It’s strength was stoplight to stoplight racing, and in a straight line, it could take anything but an occasional Norton 750 Combat Commando….at least until the Kawasaki 900 came out a few years later.

And my category? British bikes. I fell in love with the Triumph 650. This started when I was 14-15 years old, reading magazine articles about Steve McQueen and his Desert Sleds, and watching the Wide World of Sports coverage of the Baja 1000.

Steve McQueen loved these bikes, and did a lot of desert racing with them. He also used one in the movie “The Great Escape” to attempt a jump over some barbed wire (no, that was no BMW, folks…look at the engine).

The moment I remember on Wide World of Sports was a slow motion shot of a guy on a Triumph 650….he was going full bore over some really rough terrain, and at one point he was holding onto the handlebars, his whole body flying behind him, quite a ways above the seat! Wow.

I also got to be up close and personal with one of these bikes when I was about 14 or so. My cousin hired my brother and I to clean out her garage, and her husband of the time was into bikes. He had a desert sled….a real nice one. A Triumph 650 stripped down and punched out to 750cc. It needed a bath, so I got to push it around the corner to a coin operated steam clean place and wash it. I would done that for free. No, I wasn’t riding it, but just pushing it down the street for everyone to see was a thrill.

I never had a desert sled, but I did eventually end up with a Triumph 650 street bike – a TR6 Tiger – which was the single carb version.

My bike looked just like this one.

My bike looked just like this one.

Why did I find myself in this motorcycle category instead of in with the racer boys or the Honda 750 crowd? Mostly because of my early love of these British twins, but there were other factors.

I was about 20 when I bought the Triumph. I was a little beyond the flat out crazy part of my life by that time. That made the RDs less attractive to me. Most of the people I knew who owned RDs  were younger, more athletic, and crazier than I was. Plus, I found two cycle engines to be annoying. They were peaky and noisy with the ring ding ding sound, and you had to mix oil with the gas too, which could be a pain in the neck. They were cheap….I could have picked one up for less money than I spent on the Triumph.

And how about the Honda 750 category? Why didn’t I fit there? A few reasons.

First, the Honda 750s cost more money than I could afford at the time. New ones were way out of my price range. They were also a relatively new model, so there wasn’t a good stock of cheaper used specimens available.

Second, you had to be VERY careful where you left them, because they were getting ripped off left and right. My boss at Hughes Aircraft Company lost two of them from the company parking lot in about three months time (and in full view of the guard shack, I might add…..Hmmmmmm). My dad had a friend who got two of them ripped off, and his insurance company refused to cover a third one.

Finally, while the CB 750s were really fast in a straight line, they didn’t handle very well. My favorite part of riding was going up to PV Drive East or other twisty mountain roads. The Triumph, with it’s low weight, low end torque, and good steering geometry, excelled for that kind of riding, challenged only by smaller bikes like the RDs and other British bikes – most notably the best handler of them all…….the Norton Commando. Ducati put out bikes that would handle as well, but they were rare, pricey, and even more unreliable than Brit bikes – due to their unusual Desmo valve drive assemblies.

I picked a side, and bought the Triumph. And while I loved that bike, it was far from perfect.

Brit bikes used Lucas electrical components. An old biker joke….why do Brits like warm beer? Because they all have Lucas refrigerators. Hahaha. I have a friend who used to be a motorcycle mechanic….he used to say “Lucas, Prince of Darkness” quite a bit. Lucas stuff was junk….I got rid of most of it early on, replaced with cheaper and better components from Japan.

Then there were the oil leaks. I was working at a small company called Testo at the time I bought the Triumph, and my supervisor there already had a nice 1971 Norton Commando. Even the owner was into Brit bikes…he had a basket case Norton Atlas that he was planning to put together. One of the owner’s best friends was a Ducati fan, and he had a nice one from the early 70s. I’ll never forget when he walked into the place and saw my Triumph sitting next to my friend’s Norton. “Look, two puddles!” We all got a good laugh out of that.

The rivalry was there back in the 70s, but it was mostly all in good fun. That came out a little bit in the conversation at the campground, but in a very gentle way. Much more apparent than the old rivalry was the comfortable feeling of diving into this lost world…it was like putting on an old pair of worn-in shoes. That conversation was one of the highlights of the trip for me.

What about today. Do I still love motorcycles?

Yes, but I haven’t ridden in about 12 years. I still have a bike. No, not the Triumph. I sold that in about 1981 for $100 more than I paid for it in 1975. The bike I have now is a 1985 Honda 700cc Interceptor. I bought it for $250 and restored it. A friend of mine’s son in law had crashed it on the freeway. He walked away, but the bike looked like a pretzel.

This Honda was a lucky find for me. The bike got backed into by a UPS truck when it was almost brand new. UPS bought all new plastic fairings for the original owner. He kept the very lightly scratched original pieces for spares, and I got all of them. I had to get one new wheel, tires, a new chain, and various other parts, most of which I found at the junk yard. Total cost of the restoration was about $1500, but a big chunk of that was back-registration. It took me about three months to get this bike back into working order. I rode it a lot between about 1992 and 2002. It is now sitting in the garage, mothballed.

The Interceptor is a much better bike than the Triumph was in most ways. It handles better, it has more than twice the horsepower, and only weighs about 120 pounds more than the Triumph did. I was living out in Canyon Country when I got this bike, and it was great to blast around the winding roads out there. It was only a so-so commuter. If I could keep it moving, it did pretty well, but it would get hot sitting in traffic for very long, with it’s high performance V-4. The biggest problem with commuting was the riding stance. While it is less radical than a modern sport bike, it still has low bars and high pegs, and it forces a lot of strain on your wrists. You don’t notice it while leaning through mountain roads, but you really notice it when grinding down long straight boulevards or stretches of freeway.

Eventually I found myself with a case of Carpel Tunnel Syndrome. It wasn’t just due to the motorcycle. I was on the computer all day long at work, and using a mouse all the time really took it’s toll. I also play cello. You bow with your right arm, which of course was the arm that I was having a problem with. Riding that Interceptor just made the problem a lot worse. I had to give up something. I couldn’t stop working. I wouldn’t stop playing cello. I reluctantly gave up riding the bike. That, along with some physical therapy, solved my Carpel Tunnel problem.

I still haven’t lost the bug, though. When I see a nice bike, I always have to check it out, and it get’s my heart a fluttering. Someday I’ll start riding again, I think to myself, but only for a moment. It’s a nice moment.

Categories: Life on the Road | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shake-Down Artists Have Nothing on Curious George

So “Curious George” will be the Georgetown’s name.

I had more seriously thought of “Prince George of Redondo” in honor of the royal baby (why not?) as well as our Georgetown AND where we live.  But a fellow blogger mentioned Curious George and I thought about it and decided – “I like it!”

Bob can continue to call it “The Georgetown” but you and I will know it’s Curious George – just need the monkey decal.

Okay, on to other business.  When we last left our intrepid team of Bob, Laura and Curious George, we finished up the PDI (Pre-delivery inspection) at Mike Thompson RV.  Basically by the time we left, they’d done the few things that needed doing, opened up the goodie box and gave us a $25 gift certificate which we used to buy a much longer sewer hose (a must!) and something else – I don’t know.

(Parenthetically, as Bob is very detailed and precise, some of you have probably figured out that I, Laura, am neither.  So when it comes to the technical stuff, you can expect me to be less than forthcoming and the phrase “doohickey,” “thingamajig” or “whatsis” may be used.)

Also, our very nice salesperson, gave us a gift of a couple of bottles of California Red.  I don’t drink the stuff due to allergies, but Bob likes them.

The first trip in an RV is traditionally known as the shake-down trip.  Man, sometimes they can be brutal.  I’ve read plenty of posts in forums of all sorts of crap being discovered on the shake-down trip.  Thankfully, a lot of the stuff found is minor, but sometimes it is definitely NOT minor.

Let’s examine this, shall we?

In my not so humble opinion, some RV manufacturers expect their customers to perform the very vital function of quality assurance, or QA.  Basically, having seen some videos on the manufacturing process, it’s really true that it’s half car, half house.  Okay, so in a car, manufacturing is pretty assembly line, but as we all know, building a house is pretty much custom for each house (unless we’re talking about manufactured housing).

And as we know when you have a car, you can still have problems – so bad, that in California we have “lemon laws” that give us the ability to get rid of a car that is a continual problem.  Yeah, you have to prove that this isn’t just a one-time problem, but a pattern.  It’s not an easy process.  But at least there is a law that provides you aren’t stuck with a lemon.

It’s harder when it’s a house – you sometimes are stuck with having to sue a builder or contractor, which means hiring an attorney and a bunch of experts.

And with a motorhome, you get . . . both a car (the chassis) and a house (the actual motorhome on top of the chassis.)  This hybrid nature is often problematic – as our guy at the PDI said, “Hey, these are made by people, not machines.”  Well, kindof.  Yeah.  I suspect the chassis always has fewer problems than the house part and it’s widely known that what is going to fail will not be the engine so much as the house on top of it.

So . . . I’ve read the horror stories and so we came equipped with a 100-point punch list that Bob cribbed together from lists out there plus his items he added on his own.

The good news is that at least a fair amount of the punch list items were taken care of or addressed at the PDI.  But we still had a lot of things to do in the coach on our trip to get through the rest of the list.

Now, Mike Thompson RV kindly comped us a couple of nights at a local RV park there in beautiful Colton, California.  What?  You don’t think Colton is beautiful?  Just smoggy and . . . I don’t know, hot and smoggy?  Well, you’re right mostly, but for a couple of days it was fine.

By the way, I know there are a lot of complaints about Mike Thompson RV and we had a few.  We had a bad feeling leaving their Santa Fe Springs store – the site of the very pushy sales manager.  At the time we went there, we were not that close to buying and told this guy that, but . . . you know, sales men have to sell.  I think it’s written in their book they’re handed on their first day or something.

So after that bad taste, we had almost written off the dealership and we had definitely written off another big Southern California dealership (nameless, but anyone from SoCal will have to know who I’m talking about) due to some very bad business practices.  But what happened with Mike Thompson was – we went to their Fountain Valley store a few months back and found that those guys weren’t pushy one bit.

Then we went back this last time and met Matt Mahoney.  Actually he walked up to Bob and started chatting while I was in the bathroom.  By the time I’d left said bathroom, Matt was practically pals with Bob and started showing us a few models.  By the time we met Matt on our last go-round, we were much closer to making a buying decision and so it worked.  I mean, he worked with us versus trying to sell us and even offered to drive the motorhome that we end up buying from the Colton store to Fountain Valley.  Matt walked us through the entire buying experience and he was great.

I know salesmen can really do a great job – Matt did a great job with us.  I never felt “sold” and he was about our age and stage of life (empty nester, near retired) and it was obvious that he was having a great time in the motorhome business.  You can always tell when someone likes their job – and it makes a difference.

Okay, so where was I?

I took a detour, but I did want to say – I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Mike Thompson and definitely Matt Mahoney as a salesperson to seek out.  He’s normally working in the Colton location, in case you’re wondering.

 

Front door

Front door

 

So now we’re here at our front door at the RV park.  We pushed the slides in and out, we cooked food, including oatmeal both days, we used the toilets, and slept in the bed.  We tested out everything we could think of, including the entertainment system.  In fact, we found out that indeed, the sub-woofer works (accomplished by Bob blasting the beginning of a DVD’s sound and Laura screeching in reaction to the blasting.)

So far, everything works fine.

All important picture of stinky slinky

All important picture of stinky slinky

Naturally, we have to include a picture of the sewer hook-up as well as the other hook-ups.  All of this worked fine and we were definitely glad to have used the gift certificate from Mike Thompson to buy the longer sewer line.  Yep – always a good thing!

The only thing that didn’t work well on this was the doohickey to open the water filter – even though it was the right size (it got swapped out at the PDI), it was so tight that Bob didn’t want to break anything trying to force it.  We’ll have to figure that out.

This baby is bigger than my fridge at home!  GAH!!!

This baby is bigger than my fridge at home! GAH!!!

 

Now, I love the residential refrigerator.  It’s a Frigidaire, as is the full size microwave.  I think we’re going to be happy that we got this versus the absorption fridge that many motorhomes have, since there is a lot less issue with fires.  But the other side of the coin is we’re seriously considering solar panels if we want to do any boondocking (well, longer than a day or two) because this fridge doesn’t run on propane as an alternate, only electricity.  See, it’s always a tradeoff.  Below are a couple of pictures of the inside of the fridge – we didn’t exactly load it up on this short trip, but you’ll note that there is beer and AND a few items in the freezer.  I’m in love with the french door style of fridge and lust for one for my home.

Note the beer

Note the beer

 

 

Nice big freezer! That means . . . ice cream!

Nice big freezer! That means . . . ice cream!

 

Well, what you can’t see with the freezer is that it has two baskets – a shallow one and a big deep one, too.

I’m going to add a few more pictures because honestly, I’m almost done here.  I’m sure Bob will be able to write much more intelligently about a host of other issues, but . . . things worked fine and we had a nice time.  And got to stay in an RV park, which was a first for me.  I don’t count the short trip to Joshua Tree mainly because it wasn’t that crowded.  Okay, maybe I should count it.   Okay, so this was my second time in an RV park, and one with people in it!

A note on the park, though.  I’m hesitating naming them, but I’ve decided to start doing reviews of RV Parks.  Once I get a widget on the blog, I’ll direct you to that and you can read reviews.  Just suffice to say – this is probably a fairly typical in town type of park – a fair number of people live there semi-permanently for mostly reasons like they’re working nearby and have a house somewhere else, or they’ve relocated to the area.

The guy next to us was one of semi-permanent residents.  Bob noticed he had a cool motorcycle, a Yamaha RD-400, and it was obvious he’d been a frequent flyer from way back.  Yeah, he’d done a lot of drugs in his mis-spent youth.  But a nice guy overall.  He and Bob and one of the other “neighbors” had a longish conversation about this and that (guy stuff).  Why was he living there?  Couldn’t get an apartment due to bad credit?  Liked the idea of moving at the drop of a hat?  I don’t know his story but he had one, of that I’m sure.

We brought the Breville Keurig coffeemaker because we can't wake up without the java

We brought the Breville Keurig coffeemaker because we can’t wake up without the java

 

A big-ass beer for Bob

A big-ass beer for Bob

Dining room or workspace? Or BOTH!

Dining room or workspace? Or BOTH!

When the two days were done, we drove our baby to our new storage unit. George will be staying in a sumptuous open air but covered RV storage unit in beautiful Bloomington. Much like Colton, it’s hot and smoggy. Which is why the storage is a lot cheaper than something closer to us. Here are a few pictures of the motorhome, the car and the space – it was a bit of a challenge to get him into the space, but once we were all done and George was snug as a bug in a rug, we drove home, wishing we were on the road!

We’re scheming for the next trip which is now just about a week away – MORE TO COME.

Getting George into his storage space

Getting George into his storage space

A tight fit as we have neighbors

A tight fit as we have neighbors

Categories: Life on the Road | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments

What’s In a Name?

So we NOW have a motorhome – woo hoo to us!

And one of my first questions to Bob was, “what will we name her?” (note the use of the feminine pronoun).  He thought this was pretty silly.

So I persisted.  “You’ve had boats – what did you name them?”

“Uhhh . . . I named the Bayliner the Bayliner.”

This was not helpful.

I had drinks with my girlfriends.  I’d been thinking about a name on the way down to Orange County and had sortof arrived at “Woody”.  My reasoning in my head went like this:

We’re going to be taking her around the country to see America – Woody Guthrie sang a cool song about America called “This Land is Your Land” and that’s a rather cool name – so maybe Woody.

Of course my girlfriends liked Woody but mostly for the sexual reference.  Getting a woody.  Uhm . . . perhaps asking alcohol fueled middle aged and senior women about this wasn’t such a good idea.

I mentioned the Woody name and my head’s reasoning to Bob – and all he could think of when he hears the name Woody is the reference to . . . you know.  When I mentioned Woody Guthrie – well, let’s just say that Woody is out.

Next I thought of Bud.  My grandfather’s nickname was Bud.  Bud’s a cool name . . . except for the obvious drug reference (okay, full disclosure – my grandfather’s nickname came about during the 1920’s when he was an itinerant musician and yes, I expect that he earned the nickname.)  So Bud’s not quite out . . . but fading fast.  Unless we want to be known as the PAR-TAY motorhome.  Although I’m not opposed entirely, the idea of a bunch of stoned (or drunk) oldsters laying around MY motorhome doesn’t really appeal to me.

You may have noted that in both cases, I’ve managed to change genders from female to male.  That’s not coincidental, as the more I’ve been in the motorhome the more it feels masculine.  So I think I’m going with that.

Of course, we could just name him  “Puddin” and be done with it.  It’s a GEORGEtown after all and we all know the nursery rhyme:

Georgy Porgy ‘Puddin and Pie; Kiss the girls and made them cry.

Would love to read some better ideas than what I’ve come up so far . . . feel free to chime right in!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Life on the Road | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

The Big Lesson Learned

Travelbyvwbus

I think we learned some things from this January trip:

The biggest one – this would have been a very different trip, perhaps a longer one, were we in a motorhome.

A Bit of Background

Last November we rented a motorhome, a 34 footer, for a short trip.  We took it to an RV park right by Joshua Tree National Park and probably would have taken it into the park had we the confidence to boondock.  But as it was our first time, we felt it was important to have full hookups and a dump station.  Partly to see how it was just being in a motorhome and partly to test out our abilities to drive the beast, do the hookups and dump our tanks.

It was a great learning trip – we cooked, we cleaned; we relaxed, read books (well, I did) and watched movies; took long walks around and watched the sunsets over the desert, and generally had a lovely time.  I did a lot of writing while there and we had time to be both together and companionably apart.  Privacy is important to me, probably a holdover from being an only child.

But renting was not cheap – we knew that going in and would not have chosen to rent for a much longer trip.  We also had one mechanical issue with the coach – the levelers never worked properly even with the rental guys trying to fix this before we left.  Their last minute fixing held us up in leaving the area and we ended up arriving at the RV park at night.  We never were able to lower the levelers properly and, although it didn’t ruin anything, it was a bit odd to be listing to one side for a few days.

So before we took our road trip in January we had the experience of a trip in a motorhome with which to compare, albeit a short trip.

A Matter of Cost

In the past, I have teased Bob a bit by saying, “every time we go on vacation, no matter where we go or how we go, we spend about a grand a week”.  Yes, that’s a lot of money, although maybe not outrageous to some.  I mean, some people can easily spend a grand a DAY and others, just a grand a month.  But over the ten years we’ve been together and vacationed, we have regressed to the mean of a grand a week.  Which, to remind you, is over and above our normal expenses of mortgage, utilities, etc.  (Note:  When we went overseas early in our time together it was more, but I wasn’t keeping track of the money as well in those days.)

Most of the costs are obvious – we need to get where we’re going and when we get there, we have to pay for some sort of lodging.  Then there are costs for tickets, souvenirs, and so on.

On this trip, with the exception of the time at my dad’s house in central Florida, we paid for a relatively modest motel each night, and we ate out at least one meal a day, opting to utilize the free breakfast at the motels we stayed at.  For our lunches, we ate Clif Bars, packets of nuts, and apples or bananas.

We had expenses for the dog, too – most of the Best Westerns charged an additional fee for her (very understandable), although the La Quinta Inns did not (I’m voting for a La Quinta Inn in most cases for this reason alone).

But food costs are a bit tricky.  When we’re home, we eat rather simply and we tend to eat the same stuff over and over.  I remember reading something about how people actually eat and that’s pretty typical.  But when we’re on vacation, we spend more because we’re eating out, and we eat more because restaurant food has that novelty factor and that deliciousness factor and that “what the hell, I’m on vacation” factor working for it. (See my comments below on the “on vacation” mode of being.)

And then there’s liquor.

We keep a fairly well-stocked liquor cabinet at home because we do like our cocktails.  We also keep a fair amount of good beer around as Bob likes his IPAs.

When I buy a bottle of Bombay Sapphire Gin (yes, for martinis), I buy a big 1.75 liter bottle from Total Wine or Costco, so I get a bargain.  But when I buy a drink at a bar or restaurant when we’re on vacation, I pay a huge premium.  Now, we didn’t drink everyday when we were gone (nor do we drink every day when we’re home, either . . . just sayin), but when we did it was expensive.

So it’s obvious that in terms of cost, the cost of motorhome park fees would be less than even modest motels (and way less than the nice hotels that we have occasionally been to), fuel would be necessarily more, though, and eating in the motorhome most days would lower the food and liquor cost quite a bit and still allow for nights out on occasion.

But, I hear you saying . . . but there’s the COST of the motorhome to begin with.  That’s true.  They aren’t cheap and they don’t generally appreciate in value.

So why even consider one?

What Price Lifestyle?

I’ve been pondering this for awhile now.  And I think there are a couple of aspects to the lifestyle issue.

First, there’s the pace of life as both a journeyer and a sojourner (a sojourner is one who rests in one spot for awhile) that appeals to both of us.  We have always had that wanderlust and we found ourselves always curious about both the places and people as we traveled through an area.

In the car, the pace felt rushed, even on the trip back home which took about twice as long as the eastward trip.  It was mostly about moving through, or journeying.  In a motorhome, there is this, but often you stop for a few nights or more in one place  before moving on.   So there is that sense of the sojourn as well as the journey.

But there is another issue though that seems a bit, I don’t know . . . strange or unexpected to even me.  And that is the cozy factor of living in a motorhome.  None of them are huge, no matter how large the camera angles make them seem – certainly not as large as the home we currently live in which is about 1900 square feet.  Living sanely and with enough personal privacy in a space of 300-400 square feet (or less) seems counter intuitive, but when we did it, it quickly felt warm, cozy and homey to both Bob and I.  I was surprised and didn’t expect that experience, but it was true.

Lastly, To Be a Journeyer and Sojourner

I mentioned above that the “on vacation” mode was probably one factor in our eating out both more food and not as good food due to the novelty, the deliciousness and the “what the hell, I’m on vacation” mode of being.  I’m not sure that’s how it would be in a motorhome, though.

I posed this on an RV forum and got responses which mostly were in the vein of, “Well, we quickly realized that no matter where we are, we’re home” which I realized I felt when we were renting, too.  Even though we didn’t own that motorhome, I was making dinner in it, and washed dishes and then settled in to read a book or went outside to just enjoy the place we were in.  Yes, I was on vacation but I felt, intensely, like I was also at home.

I don’t know yet how it will be to be in our own motorhome, moving about the country for months at a time.   I think that having our own bed to sleep in nightly, not having to pack up our bags and unpack them over and over, and not having to worry much about check in and check out times will all contribute to this feeling of being home, rather than on vacation.  And having normal routines and rituals will help as well.

Ultimately, what we learned is that this new life in retirement is full of things we have yet to experience and we won’t be able to do all that we want to do or go to all the places we want to go to.  Being together and finding spaces to be apart is important, and finding meaning in our lives will be a challenge always.

I think, for us, life will be in the journeying and the sojourning wherever we are.  And in this, we will always be at home.

Categories: Home Sweet Home, Life on the Road, The Hunt for the Wild RV, Travel Plans | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: