So here we are on our way 'home'. It didn't take Joan or I very long to figure out that the motorhome is now our home; in our heads and in our hearts. We left Vegas on Saturday 11/17 headed for what used to be home; Florida. We stopped in Alabama and Atlanta along the way to visit family for Thanksgiving. And we spent 5 weeks in Florida visiting family and friends before heading back to pick up the MH and start our next workamping gig. And as much as we love our family and thoroughly enjoyed catching up with our friends; we missed being home. When we left Vegas we thought we might spend as long as 2 months in Florida. That idea continued to 'morph' the longer we were gone. By the time we left Florida we could barely think about eating out again. And as we get closer to home we're both of the opinion that next year's visit to Florida for the holidays will be a shorter version.
Joan and I made a couple of changes while we were in Florida. The first change was to switch our cell service. We had determined that our previous carrier did not have good coverage in the mountains of Colorado where we will be working this summer; based on our research and feedback from other workampers we selected Verizon as our new carrier. The second change was to trade our car for something that would allow us to explore a little further out into the country and mountains than a standard car. We ended up buying a Jeep Grand Cherokee 4x4. We've always enjoyed taking the car for drives and while we were in Oregon last summer our attempts to explore were continually being thwarted by roads that turned from asphalt to gravel to impassable for standard vehicles. We hope to really get off the beaten track this year.
We had a great Christmas and New Years. We also had some adventure. While we were in Florida there were times when we needed additional transportation as Joan and I would be going in different directions. The week before Christmas Joan borrowed her sister's F-250 4x4. It was being underutilized and everyone thought it would be a good idea for it to be driven. Our car was parked on the street and the truck was parked in the driveway at Jim & Deb's. Deb had gone out early for breakfast with friends and when she returned Joan apologized for blocking her car in the garage. "I wasn't blocked" replied Deb. "Yes you were; I was parked behind you in the driveway" said Joan. "No, nothing was behind me" said Deb. Everyone rushed outside to discover the truck had been stolen. According to the police, that particular vehicle is the vehicle of choice for crooks needing a vehicle to 'do a job'. The truck can hold your entire crew; is easy to break into and hotwire without any alarm going off; and can pretty much go anywhere, including through doors or walls that might be hampering the crooks ability to take whatever they want. The police also stated they had probably already done their dirty deed and abandoned the truck before we realized it was gone. Sure enough, Joan's brother (retired corrections officer) made a few calls, drove around for a couple of hours and found the truck abandoned in an apartment complex parking lot. The truck had been driven less than 10 miles from where it was stolen.
One side affect....Joan has been getting all kinds of calls from different folks asking if she would be interested in driving their unwanted cars.
Just before we left Florida we met up with Al and Karen (Wish Upon an RV Star!). They had the job last summer that we will have this summer. After following their blog last year we were very interested in working in Colorado. When they announced that they would not be returning to Chalk Creek this year we immediately contacted them to ask questions. We subsequently submitted our resumes and were offered the camphost positions they vacated. We met for breakfast and ended up talking for over 2 hours. Flash forward a couple of days and as we were driving west through Texas Joan realized that Rudy and Phil (Workin' RVers) were also traveling in the same area. She called them and we determined we were only a couple of hours behind them on the interstate. We made arrangements to meet them the next day and spent 3 hours discussing workamping, Amazon and future plans. We stayed 2 nights in Phoenix and managed to meet up with some co-workers from Oregon; Larry and Jean. And we met with Dave and Maxine (Wandering Wingers). Several friends and family have asked if Joan and I get lonely being so far away from Florida and the people we've known our entire lives. We have to tell them 'No'. We have met so many new people this year that we now call friends. And being able to travel across the US and meet up with so many of them along the way reinforces with us what a good decision we made to go fulltime.
While driving through Texas we took a slight detour into New Mexico to visit Carlsbad Caverns. We had plenty of time and decided to take the walking path down into the natural entrance rather than the elevator.
The pathway into the caverns is 1 mile and drops 700 feet. Once in the caverns there is a 1.25 mile path in and around the caverns and formations. Then we took the elevator back to the surface. Needless to say we have been feeling the steepness of that hike over the last few days.
Our plan from here is to travel to Yuma where we hope to catch up with more Oregonian co-workers Don & Donna, Mel & Teri and Phyllis & Gerry before finally making it to Vegas this weekend. Once there we will catch up with our supervisor from Lake Mead Recreation area and start our volunteer position which will carry us through March.
That's about it for now. Stay Tuned. More to Come.