May 25, 2015


"To me old age is always fifteen years older than I am."  
Bernard Baruch

Carol writes:  For newcomers to our blog who are not familiar with our two previous experiences on the road, by way of a short summary, here is how it went…

Chapter 1 on the road was done for a year as a family after Al retired from the Navy in 1989.  As we traveled throughout much of the western United States and the two western provinces of Canada, we homeschooled our two kids for 3rd and 4th grade.  Life for a family of four in a 29-ft travel trailer with two cats was certainly adventurous for that era, whereas now, full-timers, who are usually retirees, are a very common sight in many campgrounds.  Eventually, in 1990, we settled down in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where we bought a home, raised our family, and finished out our careers for the next 25 years.

Chapter 2 on the road took place recently from March 2013 to March 2014.  It was just Al and me this time, and the adventurous part was we did our year on the road in Western Europe in our Class-B Pleasure-Way motorhome.  Many readers have told me that the archived stories in my  “Catching the Trade Winds” blog provide rather entertaining accounts of that adventure.

On April 28, 2015, we began Chapter 3 of our nomadic life on the road, but I guess you could say this time we were really serious!  Our timeline is to do this for as long as we are motivated and for as long as our treasured good health allows us.  We’re older now and we need a few more creature comforts.  I think our Entegra Anthem RV with 4 slide-outs more than meets that requirement…


The interior of our motorhome has all the bells and whistles that we could want (and some that we still don't understand):

A nice front living room space where we can relax with friends or watch a little TV.  Presently, Al has a nasty cough and cold and has already tested out the sofa overnight.  

Followed by a fully equipped kitchen...   

a big comfy bed mid-coach...not a young as we used to be...

and a great rear shower, because we have had way more experiences with sink baths and public campground showers than we would like.  The family rule is that the last one to use the shower has to use the squeegee on the walls and glass door.  Al always wants to go first...

Pretty sweet home on wheels.  We have truly traded "real estate" for "wheel estate" (not an original joke).

I will readily admit we are still rookies at this 'big rig' stuff.  Our motorhome is very high tech, and for us the learning curve is steep.  Thankfully, we have fellow campers who now and then are quite helpful, like our next door neighbor yesterday who tactfully pointed out to Al (as he emptied the tanks) that our sewer hose was going uphill on its support slinky.  

I had my own humbling experiece when that same neighbor's wife, upon hearing me say that our bed was not easy to make, suggested that I pull the mattress forward a few feet to make it easier to put on the fitted sheets.  Geez!  Worked like a charm.

We sort of figured out the U.S. Mail issue when we left home for a year on our European adventure.  The Internet has many, many mail-forwarding services to choose from.  We decided on a company named "Americas Mailbox" out of Box Elder, South Dakota. For a nominal monthly fee they forward our mail to any destination we would like, such as a campground address...or General Delivery at any post office of our choosing.  It also helps to have online bill-pay set up with electronic delivery of documents selected whenever possible.

How do we manage healthcare on the road?  We'll cross that bridge when we come to it, and I hope it is no time soon.  Routine prescriptions can be mailed, although it will be another month or so before I have tested that plan.

Why did we find it a necessity to give up our Colorado residency?  It had everything to do with TAXES! First of all, South Dakota has no state income tax. Secondly, we saved about 3% on the purchase price of the car AND the RV by being South Dakota residents rather than Colorado residents.  In addition, over the next few years, we will save thousands of dollars on yearly vehicle license plate renewals. These facts are no secret in the full-timer world, and that is why you see so many South Dakota license plates in campgrounds.  Lastly, Pennington County in South Dakota makes it really easy to become a resident--the county simply requires you have paper proof that you have been in the county for one 24-hour period.  That's what hotel receipts are for...

"The avoidance of taxes is the only pursuit that still carries any reward."  John Maynard Keynes 


  1. You are one brave, adventurous couple. Live Long and Prosper!

    Carol H.

  2. Great report and summary of the adventures to date. I love you new ride and think it is beautiful and practical. Must be nice to have more room to live in and be able to swing your arms and legs about. Can not wait for the next report. Hope you come down this way so we can visit, we will find a place to park you somewhere close by...