A Lookback at 2018

Good morning. It is going to be a pleasant day here in the Rio Grand Valley; sunny with a high of around 70º. I’m sure I will find something to do outside.

I was looking back at our first full calendar year as full-timers and thought I would share some of what we did.

As full-timers we spent all 365 days in our motorhome. Although while we were at my daughter Melissa’s, we did sleep 4 nights in her home while our motorhome was parked in front of her house. So technically we spent 361 nights in the motorhome.

Here is a breakdown of our year:

We spent 222 nights in State Parks.

  • 103 in Michigan. 71 at Brighton Recreation Area and 21 at Proud Lake State Park
  • 21 in Ohio at Caesar Creek State Park
  • 10 in Florida. 2 at Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center and 8 at Ochlockonee River State Park
  • 45 in Alabama at Gulf Shores State Park
  • 4 in Missouri. 3 at Lake Wappapello State Park and 1 at Wakonda State Park
  • 40 in Illinois at Jubilee College State Park

We spent 28 nights in a County Park (Cameron County) on South Padre Island. Isla Blanca Park.

28 nights were spent in Corps of Engineering parks.

  • 14 at Lake Lavon, Lavonia Campground in Texas
  • 14 at Waco Lake, Airport Park Campground in Texas

45 nights were in private campgrounds. 9 of those nights were in a KOA.

And, lastly we were able to enjoy 41 nights free.

  •  6 were Walmart parking lots
  • 1 was a Flying J
  • 1 was at General RV while we were getting repairs done
  • 33 were at or because of family members. Thank you for your kind and generous hospitality.

We spent $7,752.75 on Camping Fees. That breaks down to $21.24 per night. Which is down $2.00 per night from the year before. I would like to see it come down even further this year.

We drove a total of 6,213 miles and spent $2,078 on gas for the motorhome. We also spent $488.19 on propane. If you add the camping fees, gas and propane together we spent $10,318.94 total which comes out to $28.27 per night or $859.91 per month. We are going to try very hard to bring that total down considerably this next year.

We had some nights with full hook-ups, some with electric only and some with no amenities. We enjoyed the wilderness, lakes, ocean and RV parks. We have seen everything from Motorhomes decked out with everything imaginable to bikers sleeping in a hammock tented. Everyone has been kind and friendly.  We had a good year.

I hope this information is helpful for those of you considering our lifestyle. I know we have talked to many of you throughout the year who were either considering it or just curious.

Loving our lifestyle.

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Catching Up

Good evening friends and family,

It’s been way too long since I’ve updated you on our travels. I could make lots of excuses, but mostly we’ve been having too much fun. Another excuse I’ll give is that I am having computer problems. I have to use it like a tablet and do not have access to the keyboard which makes typing so much slower. A trip to Best Buy is on my “to do” list. Enough with the excuses, let’s catch you up.

Last time I wrote we were heading to our daughter Karen’s in Berea, Kentucky. While there, we stayed at a small RV/mobile home park right off the expressway. There are two parks to choose from right across the road from each other. Both parks are very convenient for those just needing an overnight stop and those who want to visit the area.

As with our stays in Peoria, Illinois and Lebanon, Ohio, we enjoyed not only visiting our family, but also going sightseeing around the areas. What I enjoy most (2nd to visiting with those I love) is seeing and doing what they enjoy most. Each of them took us to their favorite places. The hard part is time goes by too quickly and we have to say goodbye.

We left Berea on the 6th and spent that night in Forsyth, Georgia in the Walmart parking lot. We arrived much later than we had intended. Traffic going through Atlanta was worse than we’ve experienced going through any other large town. Even Chicago! The best part of the drive was seeing the beautiful fall colors. What a perfect time of year to travel. It was a very nice Walmart with a huge parking lot. We were able to park next to an island so we could extend the bedroom slideout.

From there we went into Florida and spent 2 days at Stephen Foster State Park in White Springs. We loved the park and the area.

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Today we arrived in Sopchoppy where we will spend the next 8 days in Ochlochonee State Park. We are looking forward to checking out the area. We have already seen wildlife. We saw our first white squirrel and a small doe.

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I will post more pictures tomorrow.

Loving our lifestyle.

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

 

 

Caesar Creek State Park

Good morning. Time is flying by. I can’t believe we’ve been here, in Ohio, 3 weeks. I realize I’ve been very neglectful in writing. I’ve just been having too good of a time.

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We have been staying in Caesar Creek State Park in Waynesville, Ohio. It is a beautiful park with nice large grassy sites. We are in loop A which is a first come loop (no reservations). Each site has a picnic table and fire ring. Electric is 30 amp which was fine when the park was fairly empty, but when we filled up on the weekends our power went off and on. The bathrooms are old but doable. As for wildlife, we have seen many deer. Always a plus for us nature lovers.

With our daughter living between Dayton and Cincinnati there has been plenty to see and do. Our weather has cooperated too (always a plus). I will have a hard time saying goodbye once again, but I am looking forward to seeing our daughter Karen and her family.

Tomorrow is a travel day. We head out and go further south to Berea, Kentucky. We will be there 3 weeks also. It is only about 3 hours from here, which will make it a nice easy travel day.

Loving our lifestyle.

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

Off to Ohio

Good morning. It is a comfortably warm sunny morning which is always nice for a travel day. Our time here in Peoria is over. It sure went by quickly. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; we never seem to have enough time anywhere we go. I hate saying goodbye. We always have such a nice time with those we love.

Today we are on the road heading to see our daughter Melissa in Ohio. We will be staying in a state park we have not been to before. There is a KOA very close to her home but they want an arm and a leg camping fee which is not in our budget. Besides, we like state parks much better. Caesar Creek State Park is only about 20 minutes from her home, which isn’t bad. We have always had to travel that far for shopping anyway, so we are used to it.

The weather is nice now, but looking ahead I see rain.  Some rain is ok, I just hope we don’t run into high winds and bad storms. Maybe we will get lucky.

Loving our lifestyle.

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

Circle Complete

Good morning. A chilly one too. It looks like it isn’t supposed to warm up much either, as our high today is only 50º. To make it even gloomier, the forecast is calling for rain starting late this afternoon and all day tomorrow. What a way to start our summer in Michigan.

Day 172. This was our final day of our first adventure in Winnie as full-timers. We traveled from the Lebanon/Cincinnati NE KOA in Ohio to the Proud Lake Recreation Area, a Michigan State Park in Wixom, Michigan without incident. This is where it all began last November when we left Michigan to become “snowbirds”. The circle is complete.

We left the cold Michigan winter to find warm sunshine in the south. That was a laugh. Everywhere we went people said “this is the coldest winter we’ve had in years”. Many said we brought the cold weather with us. Just kidding I hope. Even though the temperatures were colder than normal down south, it was still warmer than what our family was getting back home in the north.

We were able to visit family and friends, see places we had never been before and experience life in a new way. We had a few glitches along the way, but nothing major. Even those were far and few between. I would call them learning experiences. Next week we start the summer out with doctor visits. Not much fun, but necessary.

We have been full-time RV’ers, with no other home than our Winnebago Itasca Suncruiser, for 238 days. Next week it will be 8 months of living in a very small home on wheels. No regrets. I love our lifestyle.

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

Camping Season is Beginning

Good morning. You can tell camping season is beginning and that more of us “snowbirds” are making our way north. Instead of us being the only campers in the campgrounds as we venture north, or sharing it with one or two others, we now see a steady flow of campers coming in and out. Most RV’ers stay only one night and continue on their way. Over the weekend this campground filled with families taking time to enjoy a couple of days of family time together. There was even a tent camper in the tent area of the campground. By Sunday evening the campground was back to about a half-dozen RV’ers.

This is our last day in Ohio. Tomorrow is a travel day. We will be ending our winter adventure and be back where we started. Time sure has flown by quickly. It is hard to believe we have been full-time RV’ers for 236 days.

Loving our lifestyle. Have a great day.

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

 

Lebanon/Cincinnati NE KOA

Good morning. It looks like today is going to be a perfect sunny day with a high in the low 70’s. I plan on being outside as much as possible.

Day 168. I’ve been trying very hard to get back in shape. Or should I say back into condition, as there is nothing wrong with my shape. My daughter Melissa bought me a Fitbit which helps me keep track of my steps and my heart rate.

This day we decided to get our steps in walking around the campground. Melissa came over early and we walked while Clyde cooked breakfast. Although the trail we walked the day before was relaxing and pleasant, I got a more vigorous workout walking around the campground. We had more inclines to go up and down. We also walked a brisker pace. It feels good to get your heart rate up and feel your muscles tighten a bit.

While walking around the campground we were able to checkout the different sites and amenities the campground has to offer. We walked by a small enclosed dog park area with a double gate which is always nice. Two small dogs were enjoying the area.

In the back of the campground is an area where you can get your motorhome filled with propane. It didn’t appear to have an area that you could pull through easily. It looked more like you had to pull in and back out. I could be wrong though. I will have to take a closer look at that area.

The campground also has a nice grassy electric only area for tents. Smaller campers would also fit, but I believe they have designated the area for tents only. The park has a small pool and a nice playground area.

The restrooms, showers and laundry area are all in the same building as the office and camp store. We did not check those areas out yet, sorry.

As for the campground itself, you can see they are working hard making improvements to the sites. The pads are gravel with a gravel patio. Each site has a new picnic table and a fire pit. Grass has been seeded and is trying to grow. Cable TV and free Wi-Fi are also included.

Now for the not-so-good. When we checked in we were told they only had only one premium site available. That means 50 amp and full hook-ups. Which is great. But, with us being at Melissa’s most of the time it isn’t necessary and why pay extra for something you don’t need. Melissa was busy checking online to see what was available and found that wasn’t true. After some hassle, we were able to obtain a 30 amp electric and water only site. We were told that was the only one available for that long of a time period. We can see that isn’t so either after being here a while.

The prices are ridiculous. We are paying $45 a night and that is with their KOA discount card that cost us $30 for the year. The pool isn’t open yet and they have no activities going on at this time. You would hope they would have an off-season rate, but they apparently don’t.

We have never paid this much before, even when we were on the ocean and had full hookups. But, as they are the only campground around and can get away with it, they do. Unfortunately we do not have a choice. On the plus side, we are less than a mile from our daughter.

Loving our lifestyle. Have a great day.

Until next time,

Kathryn