First Week in the RV without Lee

Lee has been working all week, leaving before light and coming home after dark, and for the first extended period I have been alone in the rig.  I say alone which is odd because I am surrounded by friends, but as a self-reliant person I do feel alone.  Everyone has been incredibly nice and have gone above and beyond to help, but it’s just not the same without my best friend to share things with.  I am not lonely exactly, or sad, but it’s just not as fun without him.  That’s strange because over the years we both traveled extensively for work and often left each other for as much as two weeks at a time, but this is different.  Around every corner there are things I want to share with my best friend and it kind of bums me out when I can’t do that.  I am walking away from this experience with a much greater appreciation for what solos do and huge respect for what my husband has quietly taken care of this last year.  While I was working my corporate job last year, Lee took care of all kinds of things and they were largely under the radar.  This week I have emptied and filled tanks (thanks so much Red for the loan of your truck hugely appreciated), done laundry at the laundromat, rolled cigarettes, changed propane tanks, and kept an eye on everything rig related.  There is a lot of work there.  I always thought Lee’s constant need to be busy was personality related, but between the chores and social activities I have been constantly on the go.  As a matter of fact I am writing this at 5am, partly for a strong cell signal, and partly because as soon as the sun comes up it’s hard to squeeze in the time.  Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the social interactions very much, but I am surprised by how quickly a day is filled up.

And I miss the writing.  I was spending quite a bit of time on posts that I just haven’t had this week.  Which leads me to one other thing I want to talk about before jumping into the pictures.  I have gotten to meet a few readers of my blog this week and one of them said, “You have to be committed to read your blog.”  I always appreciate feedback and this particular comment really stuck with me, so I talked to Kelly and Cori about it and they didn’t disagree.  I know these posts can be a bit dense and certainly they are very long, but truly I am trying to write the blog I wish I could have read before becoming a full timer.  It’s not really a travel log, although there is certainly some of that, but hopefully a resource that people who are considering full timing can use to help them make their decision.  So the detail I provide is with an eye towards someone who knows nothing about Rving or full-timing.  For those who are experienced or really just want to know what we are up to I am sure that can be a bit tedious, but honestly that is my favorite part. There are many wonderful travel blogs out there and many folks who do it way better than me, but I hope that where this blog stands out a little bit is when I write about the emotional aspects of the lifestyle. But I get it, not everyone has 15-20 minutes to devote to one blog post, so I will try to do a better job of having the pictures and their captions tell the travel story as a stand-a-lone.  That way you can always skip the text and just look at the pictures. See what happens when Lee is away, I get all in my head about stuff and oh I am having to edit my own blog posts too this week.  He really deserves big kisses when he comes back.

Jodee and Bill (Founders of the Dreamers Class of 2015) stopped by to say hi

Jodee and Bill (Founders of the Dreamers Class of 2015) stopped by to say hi and brought yummy pastries

With their beautiful dog Tessa. Hobie had a little crush

With their beautiful dog Tessa. Hobie had a little crush

I made homemade dog biscuits (recipe below), with mixed results. Hurley and Hobie liked them, Daisy not so much

I made homemade dog biscuits (recipe below), with mixed results. Hurley and Hobie liked them, Daisy not so much.  It was fun, kind of like making Christmas cookies

Red sponsored a Dreamers Fish Fry and he fed over 26 people wonderful fish

Red sponsored a Dreamers Fish Fry and he fed over 26 people.  Steve made hush puppies

I made onion rings for the first time and it was a ton of fun

I made onion rings for the first time and it was a ton of fun.  Pam was our “runner”

Everyone really had a good tim

Everyone really had a good time

Dreamers..West coast style

Dreamers..Desert style

Hiking to the big Q

Hiking to the big Q

I loved how much plant life there was along the way

I loved how much plant life there was along the way

And an old copper mine

And an old copper mine

Pam and Deb geocahced along the way which gave me plenty of time to take pictures

Pam and Deb geocached along the way which gave me plenty of time to take pictures

They let me find it

They got me close and then let me find it

And I got my first trackable prize, so I can go to its website and log it then take it to another location

And I got my first trackable prize, so I can go to its website and log it then take it to another location

Deb and Pam reading the history and filling out the log

Deb and Pam reading the history and filling out the log

The rail was loose and steep but I did ok

The rail was loose and steep but I did ok

And we made it to the top!

And we made it to the top!

The 360 view was very cool

The 360 view was very cool

So many RV's

So many RV’s

The big tent of the RV show

The big tent of the RV show

The mine from above

The mine from above

A very old height marker which Deb told us we all had to touch as it was tradition

A very old height marker which Deb told us we all had to touch as it was tradition

At the top was this sweet kid Red who was all by himself and playing guitar and singing. Sweet guy

At the top was this sweet kid Red who was all by himself and playing guitar and singing. Sorry about the spots I have got to clean my lens again

I love how life finds a way

I love how life finds a way

Not sure what these are but they are soft and very pretty

Not sure what these are but they are soft and very pretty

Coming down we got a closer view of the big Q. You can climb that way, but I don't recommend it. Go on the back side

Coming down we got a closer view of the big Q. You can climb straight up through it, but I don’t recommend it. Go up on the back side.

Walking back to the truck we had a really hard time finding it. Almost flagged one of these guys down, but thankfully Pam had her handheld GPS and we finally found it

Walking back to the truck we had a really hard time finding it. Almost flagged one of these guys down, but thankfully Pam had her handheld GPS and we finally found it

 

So it’s been packed week and it’s only Thursday!  On Friday I am crossing the border into Mexico with Mario and Ellen, which I have never done before so that should be fun.  I also wanted to leave you with a picture of this very cool thing we keep seeing.  A guy has what looks like a dune buggy with a para-sail and he is flying through the camping area.  He gets really high and it looks like a blast, but way to scary for me.  Neat though.

YDune Buggy

 

Recipes

Doggie Treats 

  • 3 TBL peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup of chicken broth (you can substitute water for vegetarian if you want)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1-1/2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1-1/.2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  1. Combine peanut butter, oil, eggs, broth, and vanilla in a bowl and whisk very well
  2. Combine dry ingredients in a second bowl and blend
  3. Pour wet ingredients into dry bowl and beat by hand or with a mixture until a dough forms
  4. Roll dough to 1/4″ thickness then cut using dog bone cookie cutters
  5. Place biscuits on greased cookie sheet and cook for 20 minutes
  6. Remove, allow to cool, and store in an airtight bag

I made homemade dog biscuits (recipe below), with mixed results. Hurley and Hobie liked them, Daisy not so much

 

 

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33 thoughts on “First Week in the RV without Lee

  1. I appreciate all that you post. We are older then you guys and we have never been in an RV. I’ve have been following RV Dreamers for about 4 years waiting to retire and trying to decide to do the RV life style as full timers or just get a bigger car and rent places for a month at a time. So thank you again and keep writing.

    • Thanks Betty. It’s not a bad idea to rent an RV and do a test week or month before deciding. We stayed in our RV in a seasonal site for several months before taking the final plunge and it really helped us determine whether we could handle the space together.

  2. Wow, Trace….I’ve never thought your posts to be too long. Sure, they are longer than some and have more words than pictures (most the time), but that is what makes it your blog. It’s so interesting to see your take on the emotional aspects of this lifestyle. Pictures wouldn’t or couldn’t show that part of it, although pictures show your surroundings. Write from your soul…that is all that matters. But yes….clean your camera lens. 🙂

    Our blog is meant to be a journal of our take on what we see in our travels, with a little history thrown in. For example…in our Sea Turtle post, when we went to the Archie Carr NWR, we wanted to find out who Archie Carr was. Also, we like cool and unusual facts, similar to what we threw in at the Space Center. That’s our thing, and that’s what we hope to accomplish.

    • I love the history you put into yours. Keeps me interested…and I appreciate the kind words. But I am sure I could stand with being a little more succinct and still get my point across 🙂

      • We all have room for improvement…even best selling authors! Oh, and now that you know how to dump the tanks, tell Lee he needs to get back to his comments. They are a hoot!

        Thanks for the props. 🙂

  3. I love seeing new posts from Camper Chronicles in my email and I really enjoy the details of those posts. We are discussing the pros and cons of FT life so hearing from others on all the aspects of what may be involved is very helpful.
    For this blog I especially was interested in your comments about all Lee does and now that you have been doing them on your own how much more appreciation you have for his role in your RV life.
    It made me realize how much I take for granted. When we begin our 2016 travels in March I am committed to learn all the various things that must be done”outside” so I not only have a better understanding but to build an even stronger partnership between us.
    Thanks for all the firsts and really good information.

  4. I agree with the above – and your comments. We are in the position of needing and wanting to read about FT before we do it and that is exactly why I read your blog. I grow quickly bored with – and stop reading – FT blogs that are “fluff” (‘today we got up at 10, walked around the park, had lunch, took a nap, etc. etc etc).
    Thanks and keep it up.
    Dave

  5. Tracy, when I first started reading your post I thought maybe they were to long, but of course I was trying to go back and read all that you had written about in the past so I had a lot to catch up on. Now I can’t wait for a new post to pop up. I think they are the perfect size. I don’t think I would get as much out of it if it was just the pictures. I like the combination of the pictures and writing. I think you do a great job of telling it all and how it really is. Not just the best parts but all the parts. We are going to go full time in 4 years, we both can’t wait and I have learned so much for your post and Kelly’s post. Just like your last post about learning to do everything as well. I really didn’t think about that part till then. So I know that is something that I need to do as well. Going full time is something we both really want to do and talk about it everyday. I know it will not be perfect each and everyday but I like that we are both on the same page regarding everything about it. I really appreciate you taking the time to write everything you do write about from your adventures, to daily life, to your budget. Please don’t stop.

    I wish we could be there now. They are calling for 2 feet of snow to come in tomorrow through the weekend, I so wish I was somewhere warm. 🙂

  6. Tracy, I’ve been a lurking reader almost since you started. We are retired in our 50s and in the position to keep our house and travel in our 24′ trailer (set up for solar) as much as we feel like. Currently this trip we’ve been on the road since November and don’t think we’ll head home until end of April. I’m chiming in because I’ve enjoyed reading your blog, no matter how many words are in it! You guys, at this point, have led a really different traveling life than my husband and I, and I think you do an excellent job of describing it in your writing. Your experiences have certainly entertained me! Keep up the good work!

  7. You are unique and your blog is written at a deeper level…please don’t try to conform to the “blog norm”….it’s your insight, and willingless to share the emotional details that IMHO makes your blog special….and if a reader doesnt want to dedicate 15-20 minutes to read it, thats fine…there are LOTS of others who do! But more importantly, continue to write from your heart FOR YOU…..an analogy is with writers….now James Michner books are all super long and detailed, not for everyone,but his fan base is loyal and love him precisely because of his attention to detail!

  8. As a dreamer, I agree with all the comments above. You’ve given me some things to think about that I hadn’t previously. Don’t change a thing for the people with attention spans of gnats – LOL!

  9. I agree with all the above and think you’re doing a great job on your blog Tracy. I enjoy everyone else’s take on many of the same things we are experiencing. Especially all you newbies to the Quartzsite experience. 😜

  10. I love your blog just the way it is. Personally, I prefer more written content and fewer images. Thanks for all the great info – Esther

  11. Please don’t change your style; I LOVE that you talk about the good, the bad and the ugly and how it makes you FEEL. My husband and I are considering this lifestyle in the near future, and dealing with the emotional aspects of it is a real concern for me. Of course I love the photos and reading about the fun adventures, but the fun will take care of itself if we actually go through with it AND manage to not strangle each other before we get anywhere!

  12. I whole heartily agree with the above comments. We are 4 to 5 years from retirement, and are considering what comes next. Reading your blogs is always a wonderful experience, and a glimpse into your full time life style. I really hope you don’t change your writing to fit someone else’s image of what your blog should be like, unless your are concerned about the size of your audience and feel the need to do so. Judging by the number of comments you’ve received just today, your do have quite a loyal following. I believe we all like your writings because they comes from your heart, and it is alway a wonderful read. Those of us out here feel like we have made a new friend.

    • I really didn’t want to change it for more readers.. I just didn’t want people to have to slog through it. I am totally overwhelmed by all the nice comments…and really appreciate the feedback. A lot of who I am goes into these posts and it truly matters that it touches people. Thank you …the highest praise you. Old give me was to say you felt like you had met a friend. 😊

  13. Tracy… This is YOUR blog and should reflect you and what you are thinking. Your intent is to assist others. How could that require any adjustment?!?!??? Stay the course and write YOUR blog.

    Now, I have a very important question!!! Where in the world did Red get enough fish in the desert to feed 26 people??? He must be quite the fisherman;o)))

  14. Thank you for the comment on being so busy that your day is full. Many whom are not retired may not realize that fact of life about after they retire. Have you found ten items or more that are your stock up items for the kitchen pantry? Please explain how your kitchen functions as it is a major part of camp life. Very much enjoy your blog.

    • Interesting question. Because they can be hard to get I stock up on Plochmans mustard and Olive Garden croutons. Because I hate to run our I stock up on rice, ketchup, toilet paper, paper towels, instant potatoes, and paper plates. To take advantage of sales I stock up on soda and chicken. As far as cooking, I actually cook more. It’s more European in that we menu plan and shop for the week to minimize as much food waste as possible. We don’t have the room for packaged foods plus they can be more expensive so I try to cook, with enough for leftovers, most days.

  15. I very much enjoy your Blog Tracey, I may not get it all read in one sitting, but I love that you share so much information!

  16. Great job doing your tanks the other day! Had a great time at the fish fry the other night, thanks for the onion rings. Give Daisy another try at the biscuits, maybe she just was not hungry.

  17. Hey Lady!
    When I agreed that you have to be commited – it wasn’t meant as a negative – sorry if you took it that way. I LOVE your blog and do not change a thing! When I read it I feel like I’m listening to you explain something sitting across the table or campfire from me and since I can’t be with you all the time – it’s the next best thing. Got it?
    Also – I am so proud of you putting on your big girl panties and taking care of business all by yourself – you go girl! I have not done that yet – I’m a big chicken wimp so far! I’ll have to have you explain it all again in person when I get there!
    Love you!

    • Love you too sweetie. Yes I misquoted both you and Cori and she is demanding a full retraction !!! You guys are my weather vanes and I totally didn’t take it as a negative. I think because I talk to both of you all the time anyways a lot of it is redundant for you 🙂

  18. Tracy love your blog just the way it is. You are an inspiration.
    We started living in our 5th wheel in Sept and I retire March 4th and we head north for our 1st workamping gig in my home state of Massachusetts.

    Keep up the great job girlfriend!

  19. What I noticed that might be an issue is the long paragraphs. It they could be broken up some, I think they would make for a quicker read. It is hard when you get older to follow longer paragraphs and any distractions where you lose your place in the paragraph, so I tend to avoid them. So, it might not be the amount of information shared but the appearance may be overwhelming. I hope I communicated this in the right way. It is the “visual”. Glad to see you are still on the road and doing well.

  20. Pingback: First Time in Seward – Camper Chronicles

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