After sheltering in place for 3 full months due to COVID-19 issues beyond our control, many states have reopened and this now allows us to resume travel. I have to say that while I understand how many older RVers like to do the whole snowbirding thing where they head to warmer climates for 3-6 months and park their rig in one place, I have found out during this shutdown that I am not one of them. At least not yet.
Maybe when this lifestyle isn't so new. Maybe when we're older and want to slow down a bit. But that particular type of RVing is not for me. I find sitting in one place for 2 weeks is enough to get me climbing the proverbial walls and looking for our next destination. Three months? Nope.
We originally headed back here to Georgia to get a grandson fix. We had been traveling from Texas to Arizona and finally New Mexico for the first 3 months of 2020, and Barbara was in her “I can't wait to see Jace” mode after a couple of months on the road. Added to that was that we didn't exactly enjoy some of the destinations during that trip for various reasons, and we were ready to settle down in one place for a bit in order to rest, recharge and spoil our grandson.
But it was only supposed to last for about a month at the most. Like the old joke goes, “Other than that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?”
A planned trip to Utah with friends was canceled. Then a hoped-for trip to New England to visit my 90 year-old Dad and some life-long friends bit the dust. A short trip to Florida to visit family never materialized. Even when things started getting better, many states on the way to our hoped-for destinations were still closed, so even if we had a place to park this thing, we couldn't get from here to there. I get that we didn't know enough about this virus to make sound decisions at first, but once we knew what we were dealing with, previously bad decisions were being compounded by reopening delays; and in our case, ignorance of the RV lifestyle.
And being sheltered in place took away any excuses I might have had to avoid getting things done around the RV. I've been blessed in our 35 years of marriage that Barbara never developed the need to put together “Honey-do” lists for me. In that regard I'm usually the one to give me chores to do, and in an RV (as most of you readers know), there is a lot of little – but important – ongoing maintenance to keep these rolling earthquakes in road-worthy shape.
So in the past month or so, we've been able to accomplish the following things:
Now, most of you wives out there are looking at this list and saying, “Except for the Relectix, my hubby could knock most of that list out in a single day”. And you'd be right.
But I'm retired.
And sheltered in place.
With four OTA TV stations to watch.
So I eased my way through this list in about the last 5 weeks. But hey, it all got done, right? And now we're ready for road again.
This next trip is going to be kind of strange. A short 3-day trip to Pigeon Forge, TN to visit a friend I used to work for, then a speed run up to Rapid City, SD to do some paperwork in our home state. Need to apply for passports in hopes that the Canadian border will be open next year. We plan to do Alaska in late summer of 2021, and possibly some of the Maritime Provinces earlier in the year. For this trip, we might spend about 3-4 weeks in various locations in South Dakota depending on what interests us.
After that, we'll make our way slowly through the corn and wheat states, seeing what they have to offer and basically biding our time until Liquidspring might be ready to launch their front-end CLASS system to compliment the rear end system we already have installed. If all goes well we'll be in Indiana for late July or early August and finished in time to head back to the Mothership – Red Bay, AL – in mid August to have the last of our warranty issues taken care of before our first year runs out. Not a lot of things, and nothing major at all except for a paint issue and a slide adjustment, so we hope the trip will be a short one, because New England beckons in September and October.
Normally, we follow the suggested routes our CoPilot RV system gives to us, but with a summer of potential unrest staring America in the face right now, we're going to be a lot more careful planning our travel around cities in the coming months. Usually we have no problem driving through small to mid-sized cities if the route looks good, and taking beltways around the bigger ones. This year will mean extended use of state road detours well outside of metropolitan areas, which will mean extra travel days and miles. It is what it is.
This will also be Grover's first extended trip in his new moveable home, so we'll see how he handles 5-6 hour drive days and a different nights in different places.
Either way, we're primed and ready for liftoff!
We're Dave and Barbara Richard, and we're planning the ultimate retirement experience - travel the U.S. and Canada in style in a Tiffin Open Road 36LA Class A motor home, play golf and stop at every weird and wacky roadside attraction we can find.