Friday, September 2, 2011

A Long Overdue Update

Current Location: Valley of the Rogue State Park, OR

Hello! Is anyone still out there?? I know it's been a long time...too long. I won't be at all surprised if all my faithful followers have gone elsewhere, but in the event that at least one of you is still lurking, I thought I'd post an update.

So just a quick recap of the last several months. As planned, we did spend the summer in Portland. Tracy was able to extend her accounting contract until mid-August. Pretty good, considering it started out as a 6 week contract! They even asked her to stay permanently, and she went as far to inquire about it even though we agreed that it would have to be a pretty amazing offer to entice her to stay. It wasn't amazing enough, although she still stayed on several weeks after that to train her replacement.

My job at the RV park ended on Wednesday, August 31. Although I had originally planned to work through Labor Day, it turned out that a completion at the end of a pay period was preferable, so we agreed on the end of the month, which suited me just fine. I was more than ready, having hit that wall about mid-month. My role changed throughout the summer. I was originally hired for the front office, but it was clear from day 1 that they were overstaffed. I hoped that as summer arrived, it would be busy enough to keep us all entertained, but that was not to be. And I am not one that likes to be bored so I asked if there was any grounds work that I could help with. I started working one day a week outside, as weather permitted, helping with minor landscaping chores. That quickly grew to the point where I was asked if I wanted to move to grounds permanently and that's what I ended up doing most of the summer, with the occasional day in the office to fill an absence. Overall, I preferred the physical activity and fresh air. Most of my time was spent pushing a mower...4-5 days a week, 8 hours a day got pretty monotonous by the end of the season. Add to that some difficult attitudes and an ex-Marine boss ('nuf said) and I was glad to see the end.

We did finally experience the good weather of the Northwest. We had a great summer, with lots of sun and only a few days topping 90 degrees. We certainly had it better than a lot of the country, so no complaints here.

We stayed very busy through the summer, experiencing as much of Portland and the surroundings as we could fit in. Although we didn't do everything we wanted to (do you ever?), we were ready to leave. Ultimately, we still believe we made the right decision staying in Portland. We had some great experiences and we learned a lot. Will we return? Probably not, and that's ok. We still like the culture of Portland and for a city, it would be near the top of our list. And there's so much we like about Oregon, but we would certainly pick our dates differently!

Our hitch itch was getting strong, so we left Portland yesterday, September 1. Yep, less than 24 hours after my last shift, but with Tracy not working, she was able to prepare everything. Because we hadn't planned to leave this early until just a couple of weeks ago, our options for Labor Day weekend were somewhat limited. We were adamant that we wanted to camp (after spending so much time in RV parks) and pretty much focused on the Oregon State Parks, which we have come to love. We really wanted to head to the coast but getting reservations out there was not to be. So we headed south to a beautiful state park just south of Grants Pass, Valley of the Rogue. It sits right along the Rogue River and we have a beautiful, large site overlooking a huge meadow. The sites are spacious and although there are RVs nearby, we are on a corner lot so all we see from our front door is the meadow. We are back in our element...again! :)

We will stay here until mid next week, waiting until the holiday crowds are well gone. And then we're not sure where we'll go. Since we really wanted to spend some time on the beach, we may back track a little bit and head that direction. Or we may continue eastward toward Crater Lake, another must-stop destination on our list. Ultimately, we are making a slow trek back to Colorado for a while, planning to take about a month to get there.

So that's a quick, or maybe not so quick, update of the last several months. But I also wanted to share a little about why I quit writing and more or less dropped out of the blogging world for awhile. As many of you know, we were dealing with some emotional turmoil when I last wrote. To some extent that continued throughout the summer. I felt that my last several posts were all on the depressing side, and although I always want to write true to my heart, I didn't want to continue to be a downer. Sometimes, there comes a point where you just have to regress and work things out on your own and I think I was reaching that point. In addition, it was difficult to find inspiration to write so I just walked away. For those who were loyal followers, I'm sorry if it seemed abrupt. I appreciate the several of you who reached out to me directly to make sure I was ok. And for all of you I followed, I apologize for lapsing in my support. I hope to get back in the swing of blogging now that we are RVing once again!

Our long term plans are unknown at this time. We have questioned whether we will continue full-timing. We love it when we can live the lifestyle we dreamed of. But we continue to struggle with finding the balance of where we want to be with where we feel that we need to be in order support ourselves financially. We don't want to simply live in an RV in order to claim that we're full-timing. I think that you would all agree that there are certain sacrifices we make when living in an RV and most of those are well-worth what you get in return, namely the ability to travel. If we're not able to get the return we're seeking, then is the investment worth it? We do not yet have that answer, but we continue to seek it daily. We accept that our pace will be slower than most, but then again we're younger than most so perhaps that's ok. If we can only travel a couple months out of the year, like we are doing now, then is that enough? I don't know.

Upon returning to Colorado, we plan to settle for awhile and regroup. I have some dental issues which need to be attended to and could result in some lengthy recovery, so we want to stay nearby. We also feel that Denver offers us one of the better possibilities for jobs since we have a strong network there. We don't know how long we'll stay, but it will mostly depend on our employment situation. At this point, we're considering all our options and will make the necessary decisions as the times come. Although we're not seeking to settle back down permanently, if circumstances are such that that appears to be our best option, then we are willing to consider that. We realize that we don't have to make any long-term decisions today and we are just trying to let fate run its course. I do believe that if we're meant to stay, we'll know it; and likewise, we'll also know if we're meant to continue on.

But for now, we're just going to enjoy being back in our element and take full advantage of the next several weeks. Whether it is the end of our full-time journey, or just the start of our next phase, we'll find out soon enough! Until then, thanks for listening to me ramble once again! It feels good to be back! :)


  1. Hey, howdy. So good to see you up and running again. Nice that you're out and about.

  2. Of course we're still here. I was thinking of you two just the other day and wondering how your life was going.

    Sounds like you have some thinking to do and decisions to make. I trust you will find the answers that are right for you.

    In the meantime, enjoy your journey, wherever it leads you and happy travels to you.

  3. I had wondered what happened to you all, and actually debated today whether to take you off of my list or not. Glad I didn't. Only the two of you can decide what's best for you.

    I don't know your financial circumstances, and don't care to, but have you thought about working for that agency that provides those information sheets when you arrive at a private campground? Some people have supported themselves by doing that on the road.

    Whatever the case, it was nice to hear from you again. :)

  4. the economy is a factor in how long we stay in an area. Last summer we traveled the west coast and this summer we're in Florida....all summer and it's way to hot! Finances will keep us in the Rio Grande Valley all winter, Jim is work camping. we're not sure after that! we all have to do what's necessary to enjoy full timing. Colorado isn't a bad place to hang for awhile!

  5. It's always great to hear from blogger friends, no matter how long they've been away...we're still here! And interested in how your life is going....

  6. Glad to hear that things are going well! Have a great weekend while you enjoy the break from the routine of the past months. :)

  7. I was just thinking about you 2 the other day and hoped things were working out for you. Life can sometimes get in the way of dreams. You have to do what is best for you. Whatever you decide, I hope you'll share it with us when you're ready. No pressure :)

    Nice to hear from you again!

  8. Sure is good to read your blog again! I know you guys have been doing a lot of soul searching and trying to sort things out. I agree with the "let it come" as time goes on. It will become more clear whatever you decide. At that time you will have peace with it either way. Please know you are in our thoughts but we know you need your space to make your decisions as best for you.
    For right now, just enjoy the time you are taking to get back to Colorado.
    Take care to both of you!
    Remember when a man was asked to eat an elephant, he couldn't look at the whole beast, but started with the ear and took it bite at a time.

  9. Connie,

    Good to see the two of you are OK. I was on the verge of sending an e-mail to check up on you since you hadn't posted in a while.

    Colorado won't be a bad thing. We'll be there near Colorado Springs about mid-October on vacation for about a week. I'm hoping the fall colors are right.

    Oh, and I imagine most of us have faithfully checked your blog every day. At least I did.

    We got our house sold in May and are now "static" full-timers in OKC in our Mobile Suites.

    Good luck on all you decisions. Oh, Grant's Pass and Crater Lake are both good, as well as the coast. I used to have relatives in Grant's Pass.


  10. So good to hear from you. I was a little worried knowing you'd had your share of challenges last year. this trip and your time in Colorado may help you sort all these things out. Just know your RV friends are still out there and want to be supportive no matter what you choose to do.
    I hear you met a friend of our Tom, he is quite a character. enjoy your travels!

  11. We loved getting to get to know you guys! What fun we had. All it took was a little food and drink!!! And Mr. Hunter the wonder dog! We plan to stay in touch and see you again real soon. Travel safe and have fun! Tom and Donna

  12. Great questions. I am sure you'll find the balance and what is right for you guys. In the mean time, glad to hear from you again and we'll be following along!

  13. I'm glad you're back, we've missed you! Sometimes we have to reconsider and regroup, and I think the fact that you are both younger and not yet retired like a lot of full-timers makes things a bit different. You'll find your groove. If not, you'll know it and take another road. Good luck, and in the meantime, have fun. :)