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A New Journey After Fifty

This blog will document the events of this journey, good or bad.

Here we sit, stunned and confused.  No work…not again.  No freight to transport, no money to be made.  This is not the first time work has dried up for this couple.  It happened about seven years ago during the housing crises.  It was a time for change then and once again, time for change now.  We drove as OTR “Over the Road” truck drivers in the expedite trucking world.  Over the road for five years delivering “just in time” freight.  All kinds of freight.  You name it, we hauled it.

It was a sort of a precursor for what we are to embark on this go around.  Life on the road.  This time will be different.  We wont be sharing an 8×8 sleeper.  Not that it was all that bad.  Although cramped, it had all the comforts of a small camper a refrigerator, microwave, TV and can’t forget the Xbox.  We’ve done this before.  This time we’ll gain regular sleep and an eating schedule on our terms.  This time it will be a camper’s life on our schedule.

After three weeks of fighting off anxiety and mild depression we came out of our stupor like a waking giant.  It was time to make a plan.  How did we wish to live.  It was our choice this time.  What was our dreams and ideas the last time this happened.  We muddled with the idea of Workampers before.  Before the job offer of OTR trucking.  How would we make it work, what would be our income?  It took many, many hours of online research to make the decision a reality.  We could do this.

So here we are, selling our home, pick up, the straight truck and anything that we can.  There are many people who have given us courage and well wishes.  Even those that wished they could do the same.

This blog will document the events of this journey, good or bad.  All truth and nothing but the truth.  There are many other fellow travelers who only tell the happy end of the story.  We are real people with real encounters.  We will tell it like it is.  Hope you will join us, cheer us on and leave us constructive comments as we “do this one more time”.

Crash of the Titan

That eventful day started off like any other day, with a kiss good-bye and a “be careful”, he was a carpenter after all.

Our marriage started out pretty much as most newly wedded couples do with the exception of a horde of children.  Busy days of working, cleaning cooking, paying the bills.  My husband career choice was building houses, it was his passion.  It paid the bills and he enjoyed working with wood.  This was in the early 2000’s and we were in our early thirties.  Not thinking much about the future only living for the day and feeding hungry children.

That eventful day started off like any other day, with a kiss good-bye and a “be careful”, he was a carpenter after all.   I went about my daily routine of cooking and cleaning until… the phone rang.  It was his business partner, Bobby.  I knew something was wrong by the sound of his voice.  It was quaking, he sounded like he was going to cry.  Then he told me, “The building collapsed, Bill is hurt!”.  I think that’s what he said, I blanked out at that point.  All I knew was my newly wed husband was being air lifted to the nearest trauma unit in Atlanta.

 

What Happened??

Bobby tried to explain the best he could, “The storm from the previous night torqued the building’s frame out of position”, “We were trying to straighten the frame and the trusses (roofing frame) broke from under Bill’s feet.  He fell 16 feet to the concrete and the rest of the build fell on top of him”.  “I thought I killed him!”

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As soon as Bobby could get to the house, we drove to Atlanta.  Bill was is pretty bad shape.  Eleven broken ribs, broken collar-bone, twelve stitches to the head.  I never once thought how I was going to take care of him, only how I was to get him home.  I thought I would have a day or two to figure that one out, but silly me, this is Bill we are talking about.

As Bobby and I were driving to Atlanta, Bill and the Doctor had made an agreement.  Bill wanted to go home and the Doctor wanted him to stay.  The Doctor told Bill if he could walk to the counter and check himself out he could go home.  Well…that’s exactly what he did.  After bumming a cigarette from the nurse on duty,  having a brief smoke, he dragged his butt back into the hospital.  The orderlies  poured him back into the bed.  That’s my husband.  Is he a Titan?  I think he would have made a good one.

Clash of the Titans
Struggle of the Titan

Juiced up on more morphine then most people could possibly handle, he waited for us to bring him home.  I was utterly surprised when the hospital released him.  I had no clue how I was going to take care of 6 foot 3 inch, 225 lb man with a  ba-gillion broken bones.  This was the start of our new life together.  This was our first challenge.  Could we handle it, would our marriage make it?  I had to make sure he would survive his injuries now and those to come.

 

 

Honeymoon at Belle Acres Resort

I researched secluded camp grounds in North Georgia and there I found, Belle Acres Resort, a camping resort for nudists!

Our First Experience Camping…Going Nude.

In my last post A Start to a Healthy Relastionship I ended my memories with possible ideas for a honeymoon spot.  We were both married before and we were looking for a new experience, something totally different.  We both liked the idea of a mountain retreat and camping.  How could we create an exceptional memory that was unique, memories we would never forget.

I researched secluded camp grounds in North Georgia and there it was, Belle Acres Resort, a camping resort for nudist!  Ok, this piqued my curiosity.  How many people did I know could say they spent their honeymoon with nudists?  I loved the idea. However, it took a little more effort to convince my husband to forgo his clothes and enjoy the forest, naked.

We had all sorts of misconceptions of what we would find when we got there.  Would people stare, would we feel awkward or would there be unwanted attention?  None of those things happened.  I will admit it took a six-pack on the drive up ( I drove) for my husband to calm his nerves before we checked in.  We were greeted with the most gracious hospitality we could have expected.  The owners made us feel so welcome and at ease.  They were tickled that we chose their piece of heaven to spend our honeymoon.  They nick-named us the “honeymooners”.

It took me no time at all to strip my clothes and enjoy all that camp grounds had to offer.  Bill, well…he took his time.  I will never forget the image of my husband dressed only in flip-flops, a towel around his neck and a cooler in hand.  Or course there was a six-pack of ever calming liquid hidden in that box.  We were making our way to the community pool.

This is where all our preconceived notions of what we would find became unwarranted.  We were greeted by other camp guest with warm welcomes and the utmost respect.  Never once did we feel uncomfortable in the presence of other nudists.  No one starred or gawked at us.  Holding a conversation, there was direct eye contact, no wandering over body parts, it was not what I expected.  We were both pleasantly surprised.  How many people can say they played pool naked?

If you’re wondering about the facilities,  well it was almost 18 years ago.  At that time there was a huge community pool, activity center ( with pool table), and the largest hot tub I have ever seen.  While preparing to write this post, I went back to Belle Acres Resort’s web site and was pleasantly surprised that the owners have made many great upgrades to the grounds.  It looks great, makes me wanna go back and experience my memories all over again.

So would I do it again, yes.  Would I recommend others to try the nudist lifestyle, sure. Don’t be timid or shy.  It’s totally natural and invigorating. An experience I wouldn’t trade for anything in this world.

Guide to Successful Boondocking

This is our top 10 boondocking tip for the inexpirenced boondocker. This guide helped us have a safe and enjoyable stay where ever we parked.

10 Boondocking Tips for the Inexperienced Boondocker

This is our top 10 boondocking  tips we recommend for the inexperienced boondocker,  We used these tips on our 2600 mile journey this past Spring, on our road-trip to Georgia and back to Michigan.  Not once were we asked to leave our parking spot.

Here is our list:

1:     Ask permission – Just don’t assume it is legal for you on park in any public parking lot.  Ask the management of the anchor store if they would allow you to park over night.  Many times they will agree and direct you to the best area in the parking lot to park.

2:     Don’t lie about why you are there – Be honest about your need to park.  We were never told no, even when it was posted “no over night camping”.  We were just honest about it.

3:     Never set up camp in the parking lot – We have seen campers take advantage of the kindness of store manager and their parking rules.  Don’t pull out your grills and chairs as you would if you were at a campsite.  It’s rude and just plan tacky.

Rude

4:     Never over stay your welcome – One or two days stay at best.  You don’t want to attract attention to yourself and ruin other traveler’s chances to boondock at the same location.  Share the love.

5:      Spend a little money  – Even if it just a gallon of water or a bag of ice.  Patron the store will make the manager more willing to let you stay longer.  It’s also being considerate of the situation.

pitch in trash image

6:     Keep it clean – Pick up your trash and clean up your surrounding.  It’s very sad to see full trash bag and tons of liter surrounding the parking lots.  Be a good guest and pick up after yourself.  It will make management happy too.

7:     Be quiet – This is not a time to have a party.  Keep your noise level down, again don’t attract attention, it’s rude and you may get a visit from the police.

8:     Vehicle Presentation – You don’t have to have a new camper to be overlooked while boondocking.  Keep your rig clean and in good working order.  It draws less suspicion.

Traveler, Motor Home, Travel Journal, Bonndocking

9:     Consideration parking habits – Plan your parking on the outskirts of the parking lot.  Don’t park up front and take up multiple spaces.  You’ll only make management and customers angry.  Be considerate of the space your rig will use.

10:    No major repairs while parking – Many store have a policy that states no repairing of vehicles in parking lot. If you have major repairs in the future, plan accordingly and drive your rig where you can repair it or have it repaired without harrassment.

Live by the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have done to you” (Luke 6:31) and you should have no problems boondocking on your travels.  You can also save money on the way too.

Being different

Such a nice post on being different. Don’t judge. Just enjoy.

April's Gypsy Life Part2

IMG_7320It’s never right to judge People. You don’t know what People are going through, so it’s always best to be kind. If people choose to be different and or live differently don’t judge or make fun of them. Everyone is going to see life differently, there’s no wrong way to live. There are just different ways to live. For example: My Parents and I travel across America and Canada and we don’t plan anything, we just go wherever we feel in that moment. Some find this odd while others say it’s extraordinary that we are choosing to Live this way. It’s still hurtful when People say  it’s silly to Live the way we choose. We choose to be different because this is what makes US happy.

So instead of making fun or using hurtful words to look down on how someone who chooses to live differently….just acknowledge that there are…

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Could this be a panacea for the stresses of today’s world

Great descriptive article by “BoondockBob” on reducing stress with nature. Nice to know someone else pays attention to the wilderness. It’s still out there.

BoondockBob's blog

camper_streamA recent study indicates that the current unsettled political climate, the threat of radical Islamic terrorism, and a rise in worldwide nationalism threatening the collapse of the European Union are stressing out people everywhere. The result of this tumultuous state of affairs is leading people to stress-induced eating and weight gain.

A poll by the American Psychological Association asked whether the current political climate is stressing them out, and more than half of respondents said yes. One writer for NPR suggested an antidote for stress-eating is to step away from the headlines. I think I can add to that antidote by adding my own solution:

Go Boondocking!

Think about it. Using the purist definition of boondocking – “camping without hookups or amenities away from civilization” – such as on America’s public lands managed by the Forest Service, BLM, Fish & Wildlife Service, and others will likely put you out of…

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Challenges of Boondocking

These are real concerns that will put a crimp in your travels…

Travel Obstacles While on the Road

When you read about boondocking you’ll frequently hear how wonderful life is living free on the road.  Well, I am here to tell you not every day is peaches-n-cream.  There are plenty of obstacles you’ll face and many changes you will make.  This post is about a few of those challenges we have faced along our 2600 mile journey.

Over the course of two months on the road I’ve watched many You Tube videos, read many posts and blogs concerning the RV lifestyle.  The majority of information that I have found lead me to believe that the RV life is an all carefree style with limited stress.  I’m here to tell you life in general is stressful.  It doesn’t matter if you live in a house or on the road, problems will arise and have to be dealt with.

The first big issue we faced while being on the road was high-speed internet access.

4G-internet-phone-serviceNow if you are working from your laptop as your main source of income you will be hard pressed to find a steady fast connection.  Yes, you can give it your best shot at the local McDonald’s or Starbucks, but driving your rig to find these locations will get tire-some.  Depending how big your rig is you may not be able to find parking close enough to connect for long.  There also will be days when you wont be able to connect at all. We use Verizon with a Jetpack and still have trouble with a steady signal.  Verizon has dead spots too.  This is just food for thought for those planning on an on-line income.  You may want to rethink your plan.

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Power usage is another biggie to think about.  Are you the kind of person who can’t live without your t.v. shows or video games?  I can tell you even if you have batteries and solar panels the power generated will be limited.  The power that’s  been stored during your travels would be better used to power a refrigerator, an air conditioner, fans or keeping your cell phone charged.  There will be a lot of quite time.  Can you handle the quite? “Silence is golden” as the saying goes only to those who enjoy it.

Storm+warning

Weather conditions are a must to keep track of during your travels, rain storms, high winds and hot temperatures.  These conditions can all be a day breaker for the boondocker.  Keep a daily check on your local weather channel to make sure you are not in arms way.  Hot temperatures are the most of my worries living in a RV.  See this post on how we deal with the heat. Spending for a full hookup campsite for power can take a toll on your finances if you are on a limited income.

bathing with a bucket (500x629)

Lastly, get use to limiting your bathing time.  There will be days when you will not bathe.  I know you have probably heard of full-timers that purchase time at a gym to use their showers facilities.  Once again, driving around in a big RV in a heavily populated area to find your shower access will get old.  It’s also expensive, remember you have to pay per person.  You would be better off locating a truck stop and share the shower stall if you’re traveling as a couple.  We’ve used a bucket with water or baby wipes to wash down if a shower wasn’t available.  Change your clothes regularly and don’t forget the deodorant. This will stretch the bathing considerably.

These four issues are not often discussed or are sugar-coated in the camping, boondocking world.  They are real concerns that will put a crimp in your travels if you’re not prepared to deal with them.  Think it through, be realistic, prepare and enjoy the ride.

Savannah Eats

Savannah is a fun place to visit – there is something there for everyone’s taste – come hungry and leave satisfied knowing Savannah Eats.

On our visit to Savannah, Ga. to see a close family friend we decided to partake in the local cuisine.  It’s always a good time trying out local food and engaging in new cultural experiences.  Here’s a list of where we went and what we ate along the way.

First stop was “The Chromatic Dragon located at 514 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.  A unique pub and eatery that has captured the interests of its clientele, the 21st Century video gamers.  The establishment is a gamers paradise with food, drinks, big screen tv’s, games galore and a bar.  Pick your seat, select your controller and order from a hearty menu.  Everything from drinks, appetizers, lunches and entrees.  The list of video games is long, long enough to keep you and your friends entertained and satisfied for the evening.

The gamers theme extends through out the eatery including wall decor, friendly staff members and right down to the menu.  You will get a kick out of reading the many food options “The Chromatic Dragon” offers.  All item descriptions are geared toward favorite video games, past and present.  Oh, did it bring back the memories.

Our choices from the menu included:

Nachos of Doom – Fresh traditional nachos with a spicy twists.  Simply delicious.

Starfox Barrell Rolls – Corned beef, swiss cheese and sauerkraut rolled into a spring roll and deep-fried. Who ever thought of such a combination.  What a game changer.

Our entrees were “The Castlevania” a classic corned beef sandwich with sauerkraut. The “1 Up Burger” a large mushroom and swiss and “The Tractor Bean” sliders made with black beans.  All sandwiches were equally good and served with piping hot steak fries on the side.

All this delicious food makes this a must see and unique experience for the visitors of Historic Savannah.

Next we ventured out to an up scale English pub and restaurant called “Churchill’s Gastropub & Taphouse“.  Located on 13 West Bay St., Savannah, Ga.  Nestled in the historic area of downtown, just two blocks from River Street, this little pub was a wonderful food experience.  A refurbished two storey authentic English pub right down to the mahogany bar that was shipped to Savannah straight from the United Kingdom.

Churchill’s offers a large selection of imported beers to choose from.  Choose your seat from the first level of traditional English pub scenery or venture up stairs to partake in the open terrace overlooking historic Savannah.

The menu has a large selection of English and American favorites.  We ordered the Giant Bavarian Pretzel.  I have never seen such a deliciously, huge, soft, yummy pretzel in my life.  It was served with two different spicy mustard dipping sauces. You could make a meal out of just one of these pretzels.

Our entrees were as follows:

Paella – A rice and seafood dish with added Chorizo in a red sauce. Not too heavy and very flavorful.

Banger’s & Mash –   Pork sausage marinated in beer severed with mashed potatoes   and onion gravy.  Hubby seemed to enjoy his meal as there was nothing left with no complaining.  🙂

Rosemary Biscuits – House made fresh biscuits with home-made jam and honey butter. These were tasty little treat which went well with Churchill’s full  flavored fresh brewed coffee.

Enjoying the whole experience, I would give Churchill’s a two thumbs up for a relaxing adult dinning experience you wouldn’t want to miss.  *Side Note* Churchill’s opens at 5:00 pm till 1:00 a.m. for dinner meals only.

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Probably my favorite evening meal was prepared from the Tangerine Fusion & Sushi Bar located at 11215 Abercorn St., Savannah, Ga.  Tangerine is on the south side of Savannah and was rated one of the best sushi bars in the area.  I was able to experience why.  The food and atmosphere perked up the senses and taste buds as soon as you walked in the door.  The owners have created an atmosphere of Pan-Asian and Thai style with grace.  Warm, bright colors splashed the walls mixed with traditional Asian flowers and decor make for a relaxing adult dinning expirence.

Food choices are numerous as the menu leans toward seafood and chicken, however they do offer pork and beef dishes.  I was not disappointed with the quality or quantity of the portions.

We were not able to dine in as we arrived very late in the evening, but the staff were more than willing to prepare us a take out selection.  I would highly recommend giving  Tangerine Fusion & Sushi Bar a try if you’re a lover of Asian Cuisine.  We hope to be able to dine in next time.  *Side note*  I ate the leftovers for lunch the next day, they were just as delicious.

Savannah is a fun place to visit not only for it’s historical value but also for it’s food selections.  There is something there for everyone’s taste buds and pocket book.  Come hungry and leave satisfied knowing that Savannah Eats.