Hiking in Zion National Park, Utah. April 2015.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Galetta (Ottawa), Ontario.

Where are they going next? We have flights booked to London, England in October.

Friday, September 25, 2020

I will not be buying eyeglasses here in Canada

So, yesterday morning we drove into Ottawa again. We had an 11:45am get together with my mom and sister, and I figured that we would stop at an optician ahead of that. But when I looked them up, they don't open until 11:00am, and I figured that might not give us enough time.

So we met with my mom and sister and had a good visit, then went to the Hakim Optical store in the Carlingwood Shopping Center.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Broken glasses!

I was outside yesterday pressure washing the siding on the house. The beige colored siding hadn't been cleaned in probably 15 years, and it was starting to turn green in some areas. Of course a lot of the water comes splashing back at you at times, and my glasses were getting pretty wet.

I took them off to give them a wipe, and one of the arms broke right off!

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Just an update...

We're having a stretch of really nice fall weather here in south eastern Ontario. It's supposed to continue on through the weekend, so that's good news for my annual get together with the guys. Maybe a chance of some rain on Sunday, but that's still a few days away.

In the meantime... we'll take it!

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

What a frustrating job that turned out to be!

Busy day yesterday as we went in to Ottawa again. 

When we had picked up grandson Cameron the other day, we stopped in at Lowes and bought some new drawer slides for the six large drawers in the kitchen here at Ruth's dad's house. The old ones were simply worn out. Rather than replace them with cheap ones, I made the decision to get the pricey nice ones that have that fancy "soft close" mechanism.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Wir sind Kevin und Ruth

We are Kevin and Ruth.. in German!

We have several regular readers here that have German backgrounds. And in fact, Ruth and I both have some German background, but it goes back a couple of generations and unfortunately the language was never passed down.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

The property where we are staying

The property where we are staying has belonged to Ruth's father Tony since they bought it in 1966. 

So he lived here for over fifty years. Ruth was only four years old when they moved in, and she lived here until she left for Ottawa at age nineteen.

When I met Ruth in 1983, her parents were actually living in the house next door which they had also purchased, and they lived there while adding a major addition to this house. They moved back into this house when the addition was completed in 1985.

Friday, September 18, 2020

It's Friday again? Already??

I had thought that maybe the next month would go by slowly because the stuff we are doing here at the house is starting to feel like work. But, I honestly can't believe that it's Friday again already!

And next Friday, it is my annual guys weekend away and I am really looking forward to seeing my friends.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Exploring caves with the grandkids, and some lucky good news!

 Hmm. Do we tell you about our day out exploring first, or do we tell you about our good luck first?

I think we'll save the good luck news for the end of the post. Keep reading!

Yesterday, we made arrangements to meet daughter Lindsey and the grandkids in the parking lot at Lac Philippe in Gatineau Park on the other side of the river in the province of Quebec.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

If you want to travel internationally these days, you had better be prepared to be flexible with your plans

Our original Westjet flight booking was Ottawa to London's Gatwick airport with a connection through Halifax, Nova Scotia. That got changed a few weeks ago with a connection in Toronto instead, and of course different flight times.

We had also booked an onward flight with easyJet from London to Berlin that departed three hours after we landed in London.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

It looks like we bought a brand new motorhome!

So, after going back and forth with a few last minute questions with our dealer contact in Germany, it looks like we have bought a new motorhome.

The final paperwork isn't completed yet, but the sales contract is in process. In an unexpected twist, we are not even required to place a deposit yet, and we don't make final payment until we pick it up...  which likely won't be until the end of March 2021.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Nice visit with our family. And Larry the spider!

We had a mostly rain day yesterday until mid afternoon when the clouds started to break up a bit. And we had visitors coming over... our daughter Lindsey and her family, and our son Alex and his girlfriend CJ. We haven't seen Alex and CJ since last fall, so we were looking forward to getting caught up with them.

But, CJ's parents are in a high risk group and so we did our best to maintain distancing measures. We had been planning on spending most of the visit out on the back deck, but because of the rain, we set up plan B.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

We love our Tilley hats!

Tilley makes good quality stuff. Of course the company is most famous for their popular hats, but they also have a line of clothing that is both durable and practical.

We both have Tilley hats, backed by their famous lifetime guarantee. We got them at the same time in 2013, but they were slightly different models. Mine was made out of nylon and polyester, while Ruth's was made out of organic cotton.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Our choices for Worldwide Medical Insurance

We plan to be away from Canada for at least two years. Part of the plan includes eventually applying for German resident permits, which state that you have to have your own private medical insurance. But even if we obtain German resident permits, we would want to be doing quite a lot of travel outside of Germany as well.

So we have been shopping for worldwide medical insurance that would include coverage for when we return to Canada for family visits.

Friday, September 11, 2020

We think it is safe to fly

We took a rare blogging day off yesterday! The morning just seemed to disappear, and I simply never got to it.

But, we are back on schedule today.

I was asked the other day if we thought it was safe to fly. Of course, if we are to be in Europe next month to look at and buy a motorhome, we have to somehow get there right? And the only way to get there from Canada is by airplane.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Yesterday, we went to see a numismatist

"A numismatist?" you say. "What is that? Some kind of doctor?"

Nope. A numismatist is an expert who deals in coins and banknotes.

I mentioned the other day that we had found a box of old coins in the basement. I did some research and found out that Alliance Coin and Banknote in the nearby town of Almonte is the best place to go in the area to get an appraisal. So I made an appointment and we went for a drive over there yesterday morning.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Here's the spec sheet for the motorhome we're looking at

There is a big RV show going on right now in Dusseldorf, Germany and of course all of the European manufacturers are there, although in a reduced capacity to deal with Covid distancing restrictions.

And the RV dealer that I am currently speaking with has some of their people at the show checking out the new models. One of which is the 2021 Adria Matrix Access 520 ST that we are interested in.

Monday, September 7, 2020

Another nice European motorhome

I've been in contact with an RV dealer in Germany that was recommended to us. This is one of the largest dealerships in Europe, and the guy says they are extremely busy. I told him what we were looking for... a 2017 or 2018 model with under 40,000 kms (24,000 miles) as well as our list of specifics... he said that it was highly unlikely that we would find exactly what we were looking for in a used model.

However, he has a new 2021 that is already on pre-order with an expected December - January delivery.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Bike ride to the pretty little village of Pakenham

It's been a little windy this past week and so we haven't been out on the bikes. But yesterday, the wind had calmed down a bit and so we got out early on the bikes for a ride down to the village of Pakenham.

We had to bike on the highway for about half the trip, but on the second half we got onto a rail trail. Not that scenic, and pretty much flat. But we knew that in advance, and it was the destination that makes it worth it.

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Well, we knew this time would come

When we are out traveling, we are typically good for maximum one month in the same spot. And that's if we really like the spot! It's usually time to move on after two weeks.

So we had a good idea that staying here in Galetta for over two and a half months was going to be too long, but we didn't know exactly when the feeling would hit.

Friday, September 4, 2020

Back to where it all began

We were back in Ottawa again yesterday, first for a morning visit with my mom and older sister. After that, we were supposed to meet up with a guy to sell a little 12V Bosch drill that we used to travel with in the motorhome. But stupid me, we got half way to Ottawa when I realized that I hadn't put it in the car! Dummy. I hate when I do things like that.

So I managed to contact the guy and we are dropping it off on Saturday since we have to go back into Ottawa again anyhow to renew the little red car rental contract after the first month.

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Feel like we didn't get much done yesterday

It was supposed to rain on and off, but it never did until we got a thunderstorm around 4:30pm. Actually, I did manage to get outside for an hour and a half and I put back together what I could of the old wood splitter. It's pretty much good to go now, at least the mechanical part of it.

I bought a used battery for it for $50, and tinkered with things enough that you turn the key and it fires right up, whether the engine is hot or cold. Not bad, considering it sat for close to ten years.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Bought some more flight tickets...

We already have tickets to fly from Ottawa to London, England (Gatwick) on October 12th, less than six weeks from now. The original booking called for us to fly Ottawa to Halifax, Nova Scotia, then connect to London.

I received notice last week that they changed the routing so that we now fly Ottawa to Toronto, then connect to London. And I'm not surprised. There probably wasn't enough demand for the flight from Halifax to London.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

September is the best month to be in Canada.

Or perhaps more accurately, it's the best month to be in the Ottawa area.

I joke (sort of) that Ottawa really only has one good month of the year, and that is September. After all, we have a brutal winter that lasts from November through March. Both October and April can be iffy though, and I would certainly not count on getting any half decent weather in either of those months. Out of the twelve months of the year, those seven can be scratched.

Monday, August 31, 2020

August Expenses

Well, here we are at the end of August. Not a bad month from an expenses perspective, although if we are spending this kind of money we should be seeing more than we are. We gotta get back on the road!

We spent a total of $1,433 CAD ($1,100 USD)... only $6 less than we spent last month. But we sure saw a lot more last month than we did in August.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Chester the Rottweiler

Friday morning, our daughter Lindsey dropped of their dog Chester, the 135 lb Rottweiler for a weekend visit with Grandma and Grandpa while the family went canoe camping.

Chester is almost 4 years old, but he's still just a big puppy. And he loves me, and won't leave me alone!

Friday, August 28, 2020

What's the point of holding onto something if you never realize the appreciated value?

Going through the basement here, I came across an old cigar box full of old coins. I almost wish I hadn't though because it only means more work. At some point someone will have to go through them and see what is worth money, and what isn't.

Obviously the silver coins are worth their value in silver. But the other ones, even though they are old, are not worth much more than face value.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Interesting things that we find

So I'm going through some more stuff in the basement, and there's a bin with a bunch of old clothes in it. Looked like some of it belonged to Ruth's mother at some point. And there's an old purse. So of course before you send the stuff off to the op shop, you check the pockets and the purse to make sure that nobody inadvertently left a wad of hundred dollar bills in there.

And of course there was no money. But there was something interesting!

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

We'd rather be out hiking or exploring

Well, we're still puttering away at the work around the house. Ruth is probably 3/4 done the gardening... she only has one bad section left to do.

I started cleaning the exterior siding on the house. The beige colored vinyl siding is turning green. It probably hasn't been cleaned in over 15 years. I started with the worst part first... the hardest to get to area at the top of the back of the house.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Our preference is to die while still in good condition!

I hesitated to write this article because I don't want to come across as preaching. After all, we are far from perfect. But, I had an email from someone yesterday who said that this blog had motivated them to exercise more... and that's a good thing!

It's pretty common knowledge that exercise is good for you. And yet statistics say that most parts of the world don't treat exercise as the medical wonder drug that it is.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Are we rich? No, but perhaps we are wealthy...

Of course it's easy to think that the two words are interchangeable. The dictionary definitions are certainly similar... essentially both words mean "the abundance of valuable financial assets or physical possessions which can be converted into a form that can be used for transactions."

But I read about a new book coming out next month called "The Psychology of Money" where the author makes a definite distinction between the two. I've only read previews of the book of course, but it seems that one can be rich... without being wealthy. And the other way around.

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Four weeks

Hard to believe we've been back here in the Ottawa area for four weeks already. Two of those weeks we were under house arrest, and even then they went by fast enough, but the last two weeks went by much faster!

And we feel like we've got a lot accomplished already, but when we look around there is still sooo much to do. And we're only here for another 7 weeks. Not rushing things by any means, but it will be October before we know it!

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Before and after

Ruth's mother was an avid gardener. In fact, when she looked after the property years ago, it was suitable for Better Homes and Gardens magazine. And in fact, she won local awards for her garden.

 I don't have many electronic photos of what it used to look like, but I can give you an idea...

Friday, August 21, 2020

Busy day, with Black Forest cupcakes!

Busy day yesterday as we once again headed into the city. It was our daughter Lindsey's 34th birthday and we were headed in to visit with my mother. My sisters were going to be there too, so it only made sense for us all to visit at the same time.

Lindsey brought Cameron and Sadie with her. The kids hadn't seen their great-grandmother since Christmas!

Thursday, August 20, 2020

We are shopping for a European motorhome to use in Europe

Our original plan was to be traveling Europe in a European motorhome by next April/May time frame. However, we plan on being in Germany by the end of October... at least temporarily. This will be a kind of a scouting trip, however we may end up buying and traveling then and there... or we may end up buying and storing something for a few months, or we may end up ordering something brand new, for use the following spring!

I never ever thought I would consider buying a new motorhome. In North America, I just don't see it as a good value proposition. There are a ton of much cheaper used options available, and new ones lose 20% as soon as you drive them off the lot. Of course not everything has to be a financial decision... if you have lots of cash, then it may not matter to you.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Lots of fun with the grandkids, but it's good to get back to our own schedule too

Once again, Ruth took the grandkids over across the road to the river yesterday morning to look for critters. They sure do love doing that!

Then we had an early lunch and hopped in the little red car to take them back home. It was great fun for 2 days, but it's also nice to be able to give them back to their parents!

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

If they're going to hang around with us...

They had better like to be outdoors and do some hiking! Day two with grandkids Cameron and Sadie and what a busy day we had! Poking around looking for snakes and other critters, then hiking and more critters, then some time at the beach!

By 8:30am, they were ready to go across the road to look for more bugs and things. I was still doing some computer work, so Ruth took them over there.

Monday, August 17, 2020

More time with the grandkids

We went for a bike ride fairly early yesterday morning. They were calling for some showers, so we figured we had better get out while the getting was good. Plus, our son-in-law Justin was dropping of grandkids Cameron and Sadie after lunch for a two night stay with Grandma and Grandpa!

There are lots of back roads that we can ride on in this area... mostly gravel country roads, although some of them are paved.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Where do we keep our "stuff"?

Comedian George Carlin once did a funny piece about where you keep your "stuff", and how owning a house is really only because you need a place to keep all of your stuff. In fact, I'll look it up for you.

Here it is...

George Carlin - stuff

When we sold our house in 2007, we no longer had a place to keep our stuff. Of course we sold most of it, but there were a few things we wanted to keep. So for a few years, we had some of our stuff stored in the basement of my sister's house.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Goodbye Sherman... it was a great run!

Yesterday, we drove an hour and a half away to drop off Sherman to his new owners. The drive was fine, and he didn't let us down on his very last day with us. Rather than being sad, all I could think about while driving was "please don't break down now, buddy!"

And we are not sad. The time had come, and we knew it. But, we sure do have lots of memories... and photos! In fact, if I go into our photos file and search for "Sherman", 1,400 photos are displayed. Sherman has to be the most photographed motorhome on the internet!

Friday, August 14, 2020

We are off to deliver Sherman

We are heading across the border this morning to deliver Sherman in the province of Quebec. Sherman will have to learn how to speak French, because he's about to become a Quebec resident. I hope he does alright with the road signs... they are all in French as well.

Yesterday we sorted through what is going with Sherman and what is staying. Of course we now have all of our "stuff" to get rid of. It almost feels like when we sold the house back in 2007.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Turtles on top of turtles!

Ruth's brother Colin is a retired machinist, but he enjoys his new work life as a part time (closer to full time at this time of year!) bicycle repair technician. Ruth had asked him if he would take a look at our bikes and do some adjustments, and sure enough he took them away last week.

He brought them back on Monday... and wow! They looked like they were brand new! Being a machinist in his past life, he's pretty good with attention to detail. So with everything now operating within their designed specifications, the bikes are a pleasure to ride. They were even before this, but now they are like new!

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Good news and sad news

Which do you want first? The good news, or the sad news?

Well, it doesn't matter... because they are both the same thing.

Sherman is sold!

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Fun visit with our daughter and grandkids!

Yesterday, we were looking forward to seeing our daughter and grandkids... and the visit did not disappoint!

We haven't seen them since the beginning of last November. Grandkids sure do grow a lot in nine months!

Monday, August 10, 2020

Into the city again, and an update on Sherman

We were in the little red car at 9:45am yesterday and headed back into the city of Ottawa to visit with my mother and sisters.

I had mentioned yesterday that there was a problem with the left rear tire and that I had topped up the air pressure on Saturday night, and when I check it on Sunday morning it was still perfect.

So we got on the highway, and headed out. About 20 minutes into the 40 minute drive, another "low tire pressure" warning came on!

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Into the big city of Ottawa to pick up the little red car!

Our car rental was booked for pickup at 12 noon yesterday, but the rental location was on the other side of the city so it was a 50 minute drive to get there from Ruth's dad's house. Ruth's nephew lives next door, and he drove us into the city using his car.

Of course there are lots of other car rentals closer, but they were also quite a bit more expensive. And when you're renting by the month and you're not getting a fantastic deal to begin with, it made sense to go with the cheapest one despite the bit of an extra drive to get there.

Saturday, August 8, 2020

We're free!

Yes, our 14 day quarantine is over! We've been stuck on Ruth's father's property since we arrived here, but now we are free as a bird! Well, as free as anybody else around here, anyhow.

And what is the first thing we did with our freedom? We went for our 5 km (3 mile) power walk at 6:30 am this morning. And it felt GREAT!

Friday, August 7, 2020

Our most memorable hiking experiences Part 3

I didn't set out to have this become a 3 part series! But once I got into it, I realized just how many fantastic hikes we have done. So this is the last of it. Then on Saturday, we can get back to some normal posting because... we will be free!

In February of 2016 we were just outside of Guanajuato, Mexico waiting for the Mexico RV caravan to show up. The day before they did, we went for a hike in the hills opposite the RV park.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Our most memorable hiking experiences Part 2

When Ruth went over yesterday's blog post, she reminded me that I forgot one important hike! And I'm not surprised... there were really too many good ones to remember them all. But this one really should not have been forgotten!

In July of 2011, we hiked up Mount Washington. This is the highest point in North America east of the Rocky Mountains.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Our most memorable hiking experiences Part 1

Our regular readers know that we love to go hiking. After all, hiking is great exercise, you see things that you would not otherwise see, and it's normally free!

We haven't always been as avid about hiking as we are now, but even when we had young children we took them on some good hikes. In fact our first really big day hike was when our son had just turned 6 and our daughter was almost 8.

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Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Quarantine day 10

Nice day yesterday as the sun came out to dry things off, and the temperature was a comfortable 24C (75F).

I did some more weed pulling and then tackled a more enjoyable job.

This house used to be entirely heated by wood. There was a wood furnace in the basement, a fireplace in the living room, and a wood cookstove in the kitchen. Ruth's father had a 90 acre wood lot where he would cut all his firewood for the winter and bring it back to the house.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Just rambling...

When you live and travel in a motorhome for extended periods of time, you get conditioned to doing things a certain way. And especially when you are boondockers and you have to conserve your resources for days at a time.

The three main limiting factors when we are traveling in a motorhome are water, electricity, and holding tank capacity. So when we get back to a "normal" place to live, we find ourselves still trying to limit these things. Which is of course a good thing anyhow, but it sure makes you think about how much is wasted by people living in houses.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

When one job leads to another

Yesterday, I went to do some serious vacuuming of the family room here at Ruth's dad's house. This is the one room that gets used the most here, and it's been ages (years??) since furniture has been moved to be able to do the job properly. I even vacuumed the lamp shades!

Anyhow, when I first started the job, I noticed that the central vac system didn't have as much suction as it should. Hmm.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Quarantine Day 7

We are half way through! And yes, it does seem to be going by quickly. Once again, the only thing that really bothers us is not being able to go for our 45 minute power walk. It will be the first thing we do when we wake up next Saturday morning!

It's a real shame we can't get out and do things though because the weather has been just about perfect. Highs of about 27C (81F) and mostly sunny. Today should be warmer though with a high of 30C (86F), and then rain tomorrow.

Friday, July 31, 2020

The lowest month we've had since September 2017!

Finally, we had a reasonable month with no unexpected expenses! Let the bells ring out, and the banners fly!

Considering we started the month in Red Lodge, Montana and drove all the way to Galetta, we didn't incur many expenses along the way... except for fuel, of course.

We spent a total of $1,439 CAD ($1,071 USD) for the month. The lowest month we've had since September 2017!

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Passing time

But at least there is no shortage of things to do.

I cut the lawn yesterday. That's a half an hour's worth of light exercise right there. And, I've been slowly picking weeds. I'm not great with gardening... it's just not my thing. But I can handle a few minutes at a time of cleaning up some of the overgrowth to make things look better. 

The whole time though, I was being watched.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Quarantine Day 4

We will be free as of 6:30am on Saturday August 8th.

So, 10 days to go. And so far, we're totally fine. The only thing we miss is our daily 45 minute 5 km (3 mile) power walk that we normally do when we're staying here.

There is lots for us to do here though. And, it's a pleasant change for us to have an unlimited source of internet like most people normally do.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Sherman is for sale

Yesterday's blog title was "The final drive", and it may well have been.

Sherman the motorhome has taken us to many fabulous places, but it's time for him to move on. We think he's best suited to become a "cottage" at a rural property somewhere, but if someone wanted to fix him up enough to continue driving him, well that could happen too. And he is priced according to both possibilities.

Monday, July 27, 2020

The final drive...

We were on the road at sunrise on Sunday morning in order to beat the weekend traffic. We still had 300 kms (185 miles) to do, so we planned on stopping for breakfast and then another break later on in the morning, and arrive at Galetta well before lunch.

But with so little traffic, and a bit of a tail wind, we kept going until well past the half way point and ended up stopping for breakfast in Deep River, Ontario.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Back in Canada!

We had the alarm set for 5:30am Saturday morning with a plan to get across the border by 6:00am. We didn't quite make it! It turns out that sunrise is at 6:10am, so we waited at least wait until there was a little bit of light outside.

From the downtown area of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan it is only a 5 minute drive to the International bridge that crosses over to Saul Ste. Marie, Ontario.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Getting ready for our long drive

By the time most of you read this, we will already be across the bridge into Canada and on our way to Ruth's father's house in the little village of Galetta, Ontario.

From Sault Ste Marie, Michigan, it is a 740 km (463 mile) drive that we are prepared to do in one day. Depending on what we are told when we cross, we may be able to do it in two days. We will see.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Beautiful scenery at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

And, it was just an all round beautiful day.

The only downside was too many people. But of course, we were some of them! We tried our best to go to the less popular areas though, including an 8 mile (13 km) hike that we did where we hardly saw anybody else.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

If you don't ask, you don't know!

Woke up to rain and drizzle Wednesday morning. First, they said it would stop around noon... then they said, well maybe it will stop around 2:00pm. But it was actually closer to 4:00pm!

We drove closer to Marquette. I was planning on stopping at the Lowe's to wait out the rain with some decent free WiFi, but as we passed through the town of Negaunee, I saw a sign at a propane place advertising 99 cent a gallon propane.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Knock, knock, knock... again!

Tuesday was a bit of a rain day. It actually started off overcast, and when we woke up at 6:30am the rain hadn't started yet. It was coming from the west, and we were heading east so we figured we could outrun it a little. So, we did some driving right away.

We got in 79 miles (127 kms) before breakfast, and pulled into the town of Hurley right before the Michigan border.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

That was a fun bike ride!

We had a really nice day, but it's a good thing we're not really on any kind of a schedule because we sure didn't drive very far.

We got up and did some driving first thing... even before tea and coffee! We find that there are a lot of benefits driving at 6:30am... very little wind, and very few cars on the road. And, then you can get parked up early and enjoy the rest of the day.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Well, that was a fun hour!

On Sunday, we did a fairly long (for us!) drive from Foley, Minnesota to Minong, Wisconsin. We had a really strong tail wind for most of the drive, so we figured we might as well take advantage of it. Pretty sure that Sherman must have got at least 12 mpg... felt like I hardly had to touch the gas pedal at all to keep him at 55 mph.

But, there sure was a lot of traffic. Fortunately, most of it was in the opposite direction. Still, you really have to watch out for people who are in such a rush that they want to pass at what might not be exactly the right time!

Sunday, July 19, 2020

More quarantine confusion, and a visit from the police

Saturday morning, we drove into the small city of Saint Cloud (pop 68,000). No ambition to hang out at all... we were only there because it was directly along our route and there was a Walmart at which we could do our weekly grocery shopping.

A couple of interesting things we noticed. A much higher population of Muslim residents shopping in that particular store. In fact, I doubt we have seen that many obvious recent immigrants in total over the last three and a half months as we saw at that one Walmart yesterday. Might be because we are so close to the big city of Minneapolis.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Finally got the kayak out!

We've been doing lots of biking and walking... but it was time to mix things up a bit. We did the short drive from Spicer to Paynesville and used the free RV dump station there, then headed over to the shores of Lake Koronis.

We've been taking a page out of the Tioga George playbook. Anybody who followed Tioga George knows that his way was to find a great place to hang out with his RV during the day... and then around dusk go to his "Night Camp" that he would have already scoped out during the day.

Friday, July 17, 2020

Oh well... it's only water

As some readers have mentioned, there are a lot of bike paths in this part of Minnesota. Yesterday morning, we drove back to the park in Willmar where we got the bikes off and tackled a pathway that leads about 40 miles (65 kms) up towards Paynesville.

We didn't do the whole thing... but we did pretty well!

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Hello Minnesota!

When we crossed the border yesterday into Minnesota, both Ruth and I thought "we haven't been to Minnesota for a long time". But then we thought again... we were actually here last summer! When we returned from Australia, our oddball flight routing took us from Hawaii to LA to Minneapolis to Saskatoon. So, we were actually in Minnesota last August 23rd!

And when we crossed into Minnesota, we also remembered that it's not as easy to find free overnight spots as we get into the eastern area of the U.S.. Minnesota State Parks are expensive, and even county and municipal parks we are seeing some at upwards of $30 USD ($40 CAD) per night.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Long bike ride!

Well, yesterday's blog post was an interesting diversion. Even if you disagreed with me, the many comments give you an indication of what other people think about the situation as well. I found it an worthwhile commentary. But today, we are back to our regularly scheduled programming!

On Monday we drove from Tulare to Redfield, only a distance of about 10 miles (16 kms)! It was supposed to be a fairly windy cross wind day and Sherman doesn't like driving in the wind. We are in no rush, so we sat in the motorhome by the library, and got some work done.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

My thoughts on Covid-19...

We don't normally comment on world events, or our health, or politics or religion because opinions are almost always too divisive. And sure, of course we have an opinion on all of those things. But this blog is about our life and travels, so those things mentioned above are usually just noise and so we consider them unrelated.

But of course Covid and the reactions to it has affected almost everybody's life, including our own.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Our little buddy

Not much in the way of scenery to show you today. We drove from Pierre to Tulare, South Dakota and it was pretty much flat and farmland. We ended up in the town of Tulare because I had read of a town park that offered three RV sites with electric hookups, and I thought maybe we could waste today there because it's supposed to be too windy to drive.

And I thought maybe with only three sites we might not get a spot, but when we arrived there was nobody there... except for our little buddy who was quick to greet us.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Fresh air and exercise

Saturday was a beautiful day here in Pierre, South Dakota. High of about 86F (30C) with blue sky and sunshine. Only downside was a bit of wind.

We took the bikes out in the morning and went across the causeway to the trails on the island. We planned on doing the other trails in town as well, but found it too windy. Maybe things would calm down later.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Detour!

It was a bit of a late start from the town of Faith as we didn't head out until almost 10:30am. And as we were leaving town, we saw that there was some kind of horse event going on at the arena. So we stopped in to see what was happening.

But we had to walk across a field to get to the side of the fence to get a better view. We really didn't want to walk around to the actual entrance, and we're not big horse people so it's not like we were going to pay to go in. We just wanted to see what was going on.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Looking forward to tomorrow!

Why?

No particular reason. It occurred to me last night that I always look forward to tomorrow! What's the point of living if you don't have anything to look forward to?!

But, tomorrow hasn't happened yet, so let's talk about yesterday. We left our spot by the lake and made our way into the town of Newell where we used their free library WiFi to get caught up on things.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Nice quiet spot by the lake

The sun comes up at about 5:20am in this part of the world right now, so we like to get up early and do some driving. There is hardly anybody on the road, and there's very little wind, if any at all.

So Wednesday morning, we were on the road by about 6:15am and headed further east. The only problem with getting up at that hour and heading east is that the sun is shining right in your eyes!

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Nice visit to Devil's Tower, Wyoming

Woke up Tuesday to a windy morning in Moorcroft, Wyoming. It looked like we were going to have a heavy crosswind for our drive up to Devil's Tower, but once we got on the road we were pleasantly surprised to find that we had a nice tailwind helping us along.

Devil's Tower is located kind of in the middle of nowhere. Arriving at the entrance, we found ourselves in tourist land. A big KOA campground on one side, and a tourist trinket shop on the other side.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

We found a local park with a big tree...

The eastern part of Wyoming (and Montana for that matter) is not very exciting. The mountain scenery that we so enjoyed for the month of June is gone.

And so it wasn't a very photogenic day yesterday as we made our way further east towards South Dakota.

Monday, July 6, 2020

More beautiful Wyoming scenery, and some nice bike paths...

We were on the road at 6:30am Sunday morning in order to do the steep climb into Bighorn National Forest. At that hour, temperatures are much lower and Sherman would have less risk of overheating.

In fact, now that we've done it I have little doubt that we would NOT have made it had we tried to do it on Saturday afternoon. Sherman had to work hard for a solid 8 miles (13 kms) while he climbed another 3,000'and there was very little opportunity to pull over and let him rest.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Well, that was a pretty good day!

We set off at about 10:00am Saturday morning. Used the nice clean dump station at the free Lovell municipal campground before we left and filled our fresh water tank with the available potable water.

Thanks Lovell!

And then we headed up to the Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area. I had never heard of this place before, which is kind of surprising. When you see the photos, you'll understand why we are surprised that it's not more popular.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Happy 4th of July!

We wandered over to the local grocery store here in Lovell, Wyoming to pick up a few things. Things are typically a bit more expensive at these independent stores, but they have sales too, so you never know what you're going to find.

First stop in the produce aisle, we saw iceberg lettuce at $1.69 USD ($2.29 CAD). A bit pricey, but you have to eat! We hummed and hawed between that and the romaine, but eventually grabbed an iceberg.

Friday, July 3, 2020

The strange people you meet in a laundromat

So I was looking at the map the other day, planning our route east. I saw that Lovell, Wyoming has a free campground in town with a 3 day stay limit and I figured that might be a good spot to ride out the American 4th of July long weekend.

With that in mind, I started to look for things to do in the area. We had been through these parts back in April of 2016 but we were on a mission at the time and so we didn't stop to see anything along the way. This time, we are in no real rush.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Red Lodge, Montana is a nice little town

We woke up on the ridge above the town and the forecast was for mostly sunny skies with a high around 70F (21C). So we decided to stay one more day in the area around Red Lodge, Montana.

We were doing some internet work first thing, and I got a text message from Telcel (we still have a Mexico SIM card in our phone) saying that our data had run out, and so had our balance. I'm usually pretty good at keeping an eye on it and recharging it the day before it runs out... but I missed it this time. And normally a screen comes up asking how you want to recharge, but this time I couldn't get it to do that.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

June Expenses

Well, it was a pretty good month other than the fact that Sherman needed a water pump and a battery at the beginning of the month. That's 3 expensive months in a row, averaging $2,845 CAD per month. Good thing the first 3 months of the year were fairly reasonable while we were in Mexico. (They averaged $1,715 per month.)

We spent a total of $2,785 CAD ($2,047 USD) for the month of June.

Blizzard at the end of June

Well, yesterday was officially the day we begin the trek east to Ontario. And did we ever start it off with a bang! We knew the scenery heading east through the northern part of Yellowstone park would be spectacular, but the weather forecast was far from great.

It turned out that overall it was a little better than expected... until we got to the top of the Beartooth Pass where we encountered near blizzard conditions!

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Lots of wildlife around Gardiner, MT

We spent the morning waiting for the rain to let up. Fortunately, we have a fast free WiFi connection from where we are parked opposite the Gardiner Library. We used some of that time to do a bit of research on our upcoming drive across Wyoming, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan during the month of July.

Then, I spent 45 minutes on hold waiting for a live person at Saskatchewan Government Insurance. When I got connected, I was number 43 in the queue. Usually, they are really fast so I don't know what happened yesterday. I renewed the motorhome for another month.

I also tried to fix our oven. That didn't go so well.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Bought some more flight tickets!

Back in April, we were scheduled to fly with Delta Airlines from Kansas City to Ottawa. Of course that flight was cancelled by Delta, and eventually Delta gave us a total refund when the U.S. Department of Transportation Aviation Consumer Protection Division mandated that they had no choice in the matter.

Unfortunately, not the same story here in Canada where the government stands behind big business instead of the consumer.

We also had purchased Westjet tickets for our daughter and grandchildren to come visit us at Cabri Park at the beginning of June.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Looks like we're in for some bad weather

The main reason that we are heading south east instead of directly east is because we wanted to drive the Beartooth Highway. It's supposed to be one of the most scenic drives in the Unites States. It only opened on June 1st and we thought about doing it back then, but the weather was not great at the time.

Well it turns out that the weather might be even worse now!

Saturday, June 27, 2020

You can actually rent this fire tower...

On Friday, we drove down from Whitefish down to Seeley Lake. A scenic drive, but a little too much traffic at times for our liking. Even though Montana has a low population for the size of the state, it's all very concentrated and if you're in one of the busy areas it can seem quite populated!

We're headed southeast now, back to Yellowstone Park. The eastern part of Montana is not as scenic to us, so we're going back to Yellowstone to head east through the park and exit on the Beartooth Highway.

Friday, June 26, 2020

This is why we came to Montana!

We woke up to blue skies and sunshine and it was forecast to stay that way all day.

There are a ton of great hiking trails in Glacier National Park. We wanted to do one that was away from the crowds and offered spectacular views. Hard to find one like that because the really good hikes are often also very crowded. And some are not even accessible for use yet. Ruth did some research and came across the Scalplock Mountain Lookout Trail.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Our first visit to Glacier National Park

One of our favorite Canadian National Park is Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta. It borders Montana and actually is part of the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park which is the union of Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada and Glacier National Park in the United States.

So it stands to reason that we would like Glacier as much as Waterton.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Even in town, you have to slow down for the deer

We left our spot near the Canadian border, and headed down to the town of Eureka (pop 1,100) where we wandered around a little outdoor museum and used a free dump station and filled our fresh water holding tank.

From there, we drove southeast on highway 93 towards Whitefish. Along the way were some National Forest Campgrounds. And also a lot of National Forest service roads, but it was tough to find somewhere to stay for the night without knowing for sure how far in there might be a suitable spot.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

We had a great day... until right at the end...

Woke up to blue sky and sunshine. What a treat compared to the overcast on again off again rain that we've been having for the last week or more. Blue sky always makes photos turn out so much better, as you will see below!

There were only two other RVs parked in our area, and one of them had a small generator running on Sunday evening until about 8pm, but it was pretty quiet. Could hardly hear it when we closed the window on that side.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Camped only 3 miles from Canada

Pouring rain Sunday morning in Libby, Montana. When it finally let up around 10:00am, we said goodbye to Bob and Denise again. But we will probably see them in August or September in Ontario!

We went for a walk around "dowtown" Libby just to stretch our legs before driving to our next spot. Not much to see in downtown, but then again it was a Sunday so things were pretty quiet.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

First day of summer!

Yesterday was the first day of summer. I remember when that used to mean a lot, but not so much any more. It used to be that summer holidays were coming up, and you could pretty much bet on shorts and t-shirts weather.

But now, we do our utmost to stay year round in climates where it is shorts and t-shirts weather! So the only thing that means much to us about the first day of summer now is that the days are so long in this part of the world.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

You are in bear country!

We had a really nice day yesterday at our almost perfect campsite. Around 10:00am we set off on a hike through the forest, despite the fact that there were some ominous looking clouds. But hey, the weather forecast called for ZERO percent chance of rain, so who are we to argue with the experts?

At the trailhead, there are lots of signs warning about bear activity. We have experience hiking in bear country and so we were well prepared with both air horn and bear spray.

Friday, June 19, 2020

What is your perfect campsite?

Yesterday, I mentioned that unless we find a great overnight spot that ticks all the boxes, we'll be moving a little bit every day. Well, it ended up that we pretty much ticked all the boxes with our spot last night!

We realize that our overnight choices are not what everyone prefers, and it's a good thing. If everybody liked what we like, we'd have a tough time finding these sorts of places! But then it got us wondering... what is your "perfect" campsite?

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Back to the boondocks

The word "boondocks" means rough, remote, isolated countryside. And the phrase "out in the boonies" came from the original word boondocks. And so the word "boondocking" came to mean RV camping out in the middle of nowhere.

Yesterday, after three nights spent in the small city of Missoula, we were due for some rough, remote, isolated countryside!

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

3 Days in Missoula, but it's time to move on...

Well, it's been a cheap 3 days in the city of Missoula, Montana but we really didn't want to stay here this long. The weather is still overcast with showers, although it looks like that will finally be clearing up tomorrow.

We are moving on today one way or the other. We filled up with cheapest ever propane at $0.99 a gallon. Sherman has a big 20 gallon propane tank, but it's a shame we only needed 11 gallons to top it up!

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Brand new and it's already junk

We didn't originally plan on staying in Missoula this long, but the weather is not the best. Overcast and with a 50% chance of rain all day, it's tough to plan a couple of hours of outdoor activity. And it's now supposed to be like this through Thursday!

But, we got lucky yesterday late morning when we took the bikes off to go for a ride. We were out for about an hour and a half and did about 10 miles (16 kms) and it was only when we got back to the motorhome that it started spitting with rain.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Researching European motorhomes

We left our free camping spot in the hills early again, doing our driving right when we got up. We didn't really encounter any wind to speak of, which is what we've been trying to avoid. However, we did get some rain.

We haven't had many rain days since we arrived in the United States in early April. And in fact, yesterday wasn't really too bad either, but it was a mixed bag, and so once we arrived in Missoula it became a bit of a lazy day.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Odd art around Lincoln, Montana

We headed out from the city of Great Falls before the wind picked up. We were on the road at 8:30am. Nice drive through rolling hills, but not much vegetation... and not many vehicles either!

We made it to the town of Lincoln (pop 1,100) where we stopped at the Forest Service office where there was a grizzly bear display, but unfortunately it was closed.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Bike ride in Great Falls, Montana

We left our overnight spot in the Lewis and Clark National Forest at 6:30am. It's now light out by 5:30am, so we like to get our driving done while there is no wind and hardly anybody on the roads.

From the time we got on the highway, it was downhill pretty much the whole way. In fact, there was one section where I didn't touch the gas pedal for over 20 miles (33 kms)! Amazing. Sure, at one point we were down to 35 mph, but with nobody on the roads there was no need to speed up.

Friday, June 12, 2020

A visit to "the castle"...

We said goodbye to Bob and Denise at 7:30am, but we will likely see them again over the next couple of weeks. We headed over to the library to do some more free internet and then drove up to "the castle"...

There are a couple of interesting attractions in the town of White Sulphur Springs (population around 1,000). One of course is the hot springs themselves that are part of a small motel complex. You don't have to be a guest to use the springs... they cost $7 USD for a soak.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

What footprint is this?

We set out with Bob and Denise at 8:30am yesterday morning. The trail we were doing is actually 15 miles (24 kms) round trip, and I don't think we were quite that ambitious but we didn't have an actual plan.

The skies were mixed, with a little bit of sunshine coming and going but the temperature was nice for hiking at around 60F (15C).

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Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Warning. Contents may have shifted.

Tuesday morning, we left Gardiner at about 6:15am. We were surprised at the number of people up and about at that hour, but of course it gets light out so early right now.

Most of the traffic was heading in the opposite direction though. Hardly any cars in our lane going north.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

We hung around Gardiner

Which turned out to be not a bad thing. We kind of like the town and the area. Reminds us a little bit of Dawson City, Yukon!

But, had we known that the weather wasn't going to be nearly as bad as they forecast, we probably would have done things differently. Oh well!

Monday, June 8, 2020

So far, they have been totally wrong

We knew they had been forecasting this stretch of bad weather, with Monday (today) being the worst of it. But we woke up this morning expecting to see a dusting of snow on the ground... or at least some rain. But nothing. No precipitation at all so far.

We made a point of going out for a long hike yesterday because we kind of figured we would be stuck inside all day today. But that may not be the case now. We'll see.

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Drive through Yellowstone National Park

Once again, we got up early and started driving right away. There's some bad weather coming this way, and we wanted to get into Montana. Our route would take us right through Yellowstone National Park, and all of the campgrounds in the park are still closed.

And, it was a bit of a drive with lots to see along the way. In fact, we took almost 125 pictures. I whittled them down to about 50, so prepare yourself for quite a few photos in this blog post!

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Camped with a view?

We were on the road by 6:30am on Friday morning. We're not having any problem getting up early now that we're approaching the longest day of the year. Even now, the sun doesn't set until after 9:00pm, and it is light again by 5:30am!

And, it looked like another nice day although once again they were calling for the winds to pick up after lunch.

Friday, June 5, 2020

Camped beside the river

We got all our driving done in the morning, well before the afternoon winds picked up. Sooo much nicer driving when it's calm. Stopped in Pinedale to have breakfast and use the internet, then headed a bit further north.

We pulled in to the Warren Bridge BLM area. There are nine different free camping locations spread along the Green River over a distance of about 8 miles (13 kms).

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Back on the road

We got a bit of a late start Wednesday morning. We had left the mechanic shop before they opened and headed to Walmart to do a bit of stocking up. When we left there, Sherman's volt meter was reading low. I figured maybe there was a bad connection related to what the mechanic had done since they had the alternator removed as part of the job changing the water pump.

So we headed back to the mechanic shop.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Motorhome repair and maintenance costs... and Sherman's future

We are back on the road this morning after spending another $798 USD ($1076 CAD) on repairs, this time to Sherman's water pump. But, we not only got a new water pump, we also got a new fan clutch, a new serpentine belt and a new thermostat. The labor and the parts were split pretty much half and half.

Rock Springs Auto Repair looked after us really well, They gave us an accurate estimate before starting the job, they ordered the parts right away, and they got to the job as soon as the parts showed up. They were also very fair on the labor costs, charging a total of 2.5 hours when I know the guy spent close to 4. I would not hesitate to recommend these guys if you need something done while in the area.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Stuck in Rock Springs, Wyoming

But, it shouldn't be for too long!

We left the Flaming Gorge Reservoir early. We didn't have any internet access from there, so we got up at 6:30am and drove into the town of Green River and found some unsecured free WiFi. We spent some time there, but we needed a laundromat and I wanted to do some driving before the wind picked up again so we continued on to Rock Springs.

Monday, June 1, 2020

May Expenses

Well, here we are in the month of June already!

May expenses have been tallied, and here are the final numbers... we spent a total of $2,116 CAD ($1,560 USD at today's exchange rates). Not bad, considering we bought a bunch of "stuff" including a new phone.

Hello Wyoming!

Yesterday, we met up with Bob and Denise again just before the entrance to the Flaming Gorge Reservoir.

We crossed into Wyoming, and then set about to find a place to camp for the night. There are some beautiful free campsites on the shores of the reservoir, but some of them require a 4 wheel drive to get to. Still, we managed to find a great parking spot with a beautiful view.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

How are we able to be out of Canada for so long?

We had a question yesterday from someone on our Facebook page...

"I'm curious how you are able to be out of Canada for so long."

And we've had similar questions from other people over the past several weeks that we've been in the Unites States. Prior to this virus thing, we were originally supposed to return to Canada in April for 10 days, and then again starting May 1st for most of the following six months.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

National forest boondocking

We left Duchesne, Utah at around 9:30am and headed for the town of Vernal where there is a free RV dump station and water fill. Got that done, and then went looking for some drinking water to fill our 5 gallon jug. Usually, we can find self serve purified water places, and they are quite common in Texas and New Mexico but not so much here in Utah. Or at least not in the towns we have been in.

Ended up buying two single gallon jugs of spring water (on sale at $0.79 per gallon) to get us by until we can find somewhere to fill the big jug.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Seemed like business as usual...

We got on the road at about 9:00am. Finally, a day with very low winds, but warm... the high was about 86F (30C) with an overnight low about 60F (15C).

Had to do a few miles on the Interstate highway... speed limit is 80 mph (128 km/h) but of course Sherman toddles along at only 60 mph (102 km/h) on these types of roads.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

A scenic drive, a quick visit to Moab, and another great campsite

We left the Devil's Canyon Campground as soon as we got up and headed in to the town of Monticello. Our first stop was the visitor's center where we figured they would have free WiFi. But they didn't. The visitors center was closed due to Covid, as we expected, but if they ever had free WiFi, they must have shut it down.

We carried on to the library where we sat and used that free WiFi and had some breakfast.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

What a great day we had

We left Bob and Denise at about 7:00am and drove into the town of Blanding. There is not good cell service in much of these out of the way places in Utah, so we have been moving every day, but stopping at small towns to use the free WiFi at the libraries.

Yes, the libraries are closed but so far they have left their WiFi on.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Happy hour with Bob and Denise

We left Bluff, Utah and headed north to the town of Blanding. Just a short drive, and we sat at the library there and used the free WiFi while we waited for friends Bob and Denise who were coming south from Moab.

After they arrived, we had some lunch and then backtracked a little bit to a free campsite in a valley west of Blanding.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Hello Utah!

Heading west from Farmington, New Mexico is the town of Shiprock. There had been some discussion in the comments section here a a couple of days ago about things to see and do in and around Shiprock, but in our opinion, it's not a very nice town, and really not a very nice area.

The only thing worth seeing is the "shiprock"... a huge piece of volcanic rock jutting out of the ground.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

In hindsight, we did the right thing

The other day, one of our readers made a comment that we had made the right decision to continue traveling the way we are during this pandemic. Now that things are starting to "open up", I've been reflecting on that.

And we agree, for us it was the right decision. But it's only in hindsight that we can say that. At the time, thinking back to two months ago, we certainly didn't know for sure that this was going to be the right decision.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Not happy with Verizon

We had loosely planned on making it into Utah in time for the long weekend here in the United States, but it just didn't work out that way.

We got up and did some driving right away and ended up in the town of Bloomfield, New Mexico where we had breakfast and did some computer work.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Another great boondocking spot...

We had no problem finding another great boondocking spot for last night, but it will likely be more difficult for the next three nights of the U.S. Memorial Day weekend.

In fact, as we were parked up near the beginning of a forest service road, we saw at least 4 different RVs heading further into the interior. And this was on a Thursday afternoon of the upcoming long weekend. People trying to get a head start I bet.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

New Mexico scenery and another great overnight spot

We said goodbye to friends Dave and Bonnie in Santa Fe around 9:00am and hit the road northwest towards Espanola. What a great visit we had...thanks again for the hospitality!

They own a motorhome currently stored in Germany, so we were going over some details of how they do that and get around the 3 month Schengen visa restriction. We plan to buy a motorhome in Europe next spring, depending of course on what is going on in the world.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Glad we stayed another day

We waited for the bike shop to open at 10:00am and then phoned them to make sure they had the tire and tube I needed. We were going to walk over there, but David offered me the use of his bicycle, so Ruth and I rode over there.

In the plaza near the bike shop is a Trader Joe's grocery store, so we stopped in to pick up a few things. There were about 10 people in line (spaced 6 feet apart), and we almost didn't bother but the line moved quickly.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

A very loud POP

Just a lazy day yesterday.

It wasn't planned that way... I got the bikes off the back and we planned on going for a bike ride. The rear tire on my bike has had a slow leak, but not bad enough that I couldn't top it up and it would last for a few hours.

So, I hooked up the compressor and got it pumping up. I heard the tire making noise...creaking, almost... and I knew something wasn't right. I stopped the compressor and started unscrewing the compressor from the valve when... POP!

Monday, May 18, 2020

Walk to downtown Santa Fe

David and Bonnie planned us a walking route to downtown and we set off just after lunch. Hardly any traffic, and although there were a few people downtown with a few businesses starting to open up it was nowhere near as busy as what it would have been on a normal beautiful Sunday afternoon.

But, it was a good walk and we enjoyed the interesting architecture here in Santa Fe.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Beautiful drive, but too many people

We enjoyed our three night boondocking spot in Santa Fe National Forest, but it was time to move on. We were actually headed to visit friends in Sante Fe, but decided to take a round about route to get there.

Highway 4 from Los Alamos to San Isidro looked like a really nice drive, and one of our readers had suggested we go see the Gilman Tunnels. Plus, when you can fill up with gas at $1.30, you don't mind doing some touring!

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Forest fire hike

Another beautiful day.

We are parked up at the edge of Santa Fe National Forest near Los Alamos, New Mexico. Across the road is more recreational land, but it's called Bandalier National Monument.

Vacant government land comes under a lot of different jurisdictions here in the United States.

Friday, May 15, 2020

And this is why I love Amazon...

Pretty nice spot we have here in Santa Fe National Forest. The temperature is perfect with highs around 75F (24C) with blue skies and sunshine, and comfortable overnight lows of around 55F (12C).

Oh, and there are no bugs.

Perfect.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Beautiful boondocking spot in the hills

Well, we are now traveling on our own once again, pretty much for the first time in six months. We enjoyed our time spent leading the Mexico RV Caravan Group, and also with Bob and Denise over the last month and a half.

But yesterday it was time to say goodbye.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Hike up to 9,300' and big horned sheep!

We had a 9:00am start for a planned 4 mile (6.5 km) hike up an old forest service road to Cabresto Lake at 9,300'. There is actually a dispersed camping area at the lake, but the road up is 4WD only... not suitable for the motorhomes!

Too bad, because it was a beautiful spot.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

"You have to do your research, you know..."

Had a great sleep Sunday night at the Taos airport. Temperature never got that cold, and it was still about 57F (13C) inside the motorhome when we woke up. Got our internet work done using the free airport WiFi and then headed down to the Rio Grande bridge where our friends Bob and Denise had been overnighting at the rest area beside the bridge.

We walked across part of the bridge, with the deck located about 800' above the river. I think I remember reading that this is the 10th highest bridge in the United States.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Into the mountains

We love fresh air and mountain scenery, so we've been looking forward to getting into that type of environment.

Yesterday, we drove through some beautiful mountain passes almost as high as 10,000'. Because it was a Sunday, there were a few other people out and about... but still not what you would call busy.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Capulin Volcano Hike and Maxwell National Wildlife Refuge

Woke up early again yesterday morning after another restless sleep due to the high winds overnight. We had already decided that we would get on the road right away and do enough driving to let Sherman's engine warm things up a little bit.

It was only a few miles to the Capulin Volcano where the entrance road was open as far as the visitors center, but the center itself was closed as was the road up to the top of the volcano.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

In to New Mexico

We've been in "old" Mexico many times, but we really haven't spent much time in "New" Mexico. Mostly because much of the more interesting parts of New Mexico are at elevation and so of course it's just too cold in the winter. And normally, we would be back in Canada by this time of year.

So, this is giving us a good opportunity to spend some decent weather months in this part of the world.

Friday, May 8, 2020

3 states at the same time!

Beautiful morning for a bike ride.

Denise and Bob don't have bicycles with them (yet!) so they decided to do the 9 mile (15 km) return walk to the "3 corners" where Oklahoma, Colorado, and New Mexico meet. Ruth and I left after they did because we were doing it by bicycle... with a plan to get there about the same time.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Hike to the highest point in Oklahoma... and another change of plans!

(Just getting caught up after a day without internet access. This is the second post today. You may have missed the one posted earlier at https://www.travelwithkevinandruth.com/2020/05/in-to-oklahoma.html)

We got up at sunrise around 7:00am Wednesday morning, and hit the Black Mesa trail a few minutes after 8:00am.

We are in the far northwest corner of Oklahoma, only a couple of miles from both Colorado and New Mexico. The trail leads up to the highest point in Oklahoma, which is located only a few hundred yards from the New Mexico border.

In to Oklahoma

We left Dumas, Texas at 9:00am Tueday morning. We were headed for the Black Mesa Nature Preserve in Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma panhandle is a narrow strip of land in the middle of nowhere. We honestly weren't expecting much from our destination, and in actual fact it was a bit of a detour from our planned route going up through Kansas and Nebraska. But sometimes things happen for a reason.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Back on the road!

It felt great to get back on the road again. Sherman was raring to go, and we headed out of the ranch right at 9:00am yesterday morning.

Big thanks to Joy, Tracy, Arin and the family for letting us stay there! We look forward to a return visit in the future.

Monday, May 4, 2020

Yesterday at happy hour we had a guest...

We enjoyed our 11 night stay at the ranch, but even when we like a place there comes a time when you have to leave. We are now headed up into the Oklahoma panhandle, and then Kansas.

We celebrated on Saturday night. Not sure what we were celebrating, but who needs a reason? We had bought some nice rib eye steaks, and the four of us used the dining room table to have a nice dinner!

Sunday, May 3, 2020

April Expenses

Well, looking at our expenses for the month of April... it's obvious that we're not in Mexico anymore!

But really, if it weren't for the fairly big repair bill, we would have had not a bad month. Given that things are pretty expensive here (compared to Mexico), and we have to add on approximately 40% to everything we buy here because of the weak Canadian dollar.

We spent $1,597 CAD ($1,133 USD) plus the repair bill. For a total of $3,649 CAD ($2,590 USD).

Saturday, May 2, 2020

"But it's a dry heat" they said...

This part of Texas is having a bit of a heat wave. The forecast high yesterday was 99F (37C), and I think it pretty much got there. Kinda strange when it was only about three weeks ago they were below freezing with snow flurries!

"But it's a dry heat" they said. And that's true. But it's still frickin' hot!

Friday, May 1, 2020

Heading for Kansas

We are still at the ranch here in Texas, and will be for a couple more days. Our plan was to wait things out until May 1st (today) and re-evaluate, given that many of the individual states are coming out with varied plans for reopening things like state park campgrounds.

Texas state park campgrounds remain closed, however the parks have re-opened for day use. Interestingly, the two states directly above us, Oklahoma and Kansas, have never closed their state park camping areas.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

I've been looking at Sri Lanka as a possible destination

Yesterday, I mentioned that we would like to travel somewhere different next winter. Despite the current world situation, I'm still optimistic that will happen. I've been looking at Sri Lanka as a possible destination.

Sri Lanka is an island nation in the Indian Ocean, southeast of India. Population of around 22 million. It had a growing tourism business up until 2019 when terrorists scared everyone away and tourism was only just starting to pick up as things had returned to normal again over the last year.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Mexico next winter?

Just a lazy day here at the ranch yesterday. I spent some time getting my new phone set up and figuring out how everything works. Not that much different from the 3 year old Samsung, but certainly a few new bells and whistles.

It was too hot and windy to do any painting, but it has cooled off a bit today so we should be able to get back at it again.

How to Plan Your First Cruise

Going on a cruise is an exciting adventure enjoyed by everyone from honeymooners to families and retirees. More and more millennials are discovering the joys of cruising as the Cruise Travel Report indicated in 2018 - the percentage of this generation that stated they "definitely will" book a cruise for their next trip increased from 63 to 70 percent over the previous year.

For those who'd like to try cruising for the first time, planning can be a challenge, simply because there are so many options to choose from, like where do you want to sail, which cruise line should you travel on, which room to choose, and so on. There's a lot you need to know in order to make the best decisions, but these tips can help you plan the trip of your dreams.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

Ruth and I went out for a bike ride before it got too hot or too windy. We ended up doing the same route we had done the other day, but in reverse. Again, only about 6.5 miles (10.5 kms) but enough to get some exercise. As we are now trying to get out on the bikes more regularly we will up the distance.

It's been pretty warm the last few days though, and windy. Highs around 86F (30C) and it's supposed to get even warmer than that later on this week.

Staying Healthy and Strong on Long Trips

While you likely aren’t heading out on a long trip right at this moment, it doesn’t mean you can’t start planning ahead and prepare for when things do get back to normal and travel is once again possible. While long trips can be lots of fun, giving yourself extra time to really explore and get to know the destination at the same time can be tough on your body. The last thing you want to be dealing with is getting sick while on vacation, or suffering from aches and pains that prevent you from doing all the touring and exploring you had planned on.

With that in mind, there are simple tips and bits of advice that you can follow that will help you to stay healthy and strong even on a long trip. So, let’s take a closer look.

Monday, April 27, 2020

This is rattlesnake territory...

We set off for a windy hike yesterday morning. When you've got a few thousand acres to explore, it's not difficult to put on a few miles and not even get close to seeing everything there is to see.

We had been told to watch where you are putting your feet... it's rattlesnake season and the prairie rattlesnake is fairly common in these parts.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Change of plans

Much of the world has had a change of plans over the last 6 weeks, and we are no different.

Originally, we were supposed to head up to Kansas City, Missouri where we were to hop on a plane and go visit family in Ottawa, Ontario for 10 days. Then fly back to Kansas City and drive the motorhome up to Cabri, Saskatchewan where we were going to spend three months working at Cabri Regional Park.

But all of that went out the window.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Another day on the ranch

We woke up to a strong north wind yesterday and the wind got stronger as the day went on. Fortunately, it was a clear blue sky. But even with the high of around 68F (20C) it felt cool all day.

We did get out for a short hike. I didn't measure it, but it was probably about 3.5 miles (5 kms). Oh, but before that there were chores to do. First up was to bottle feed a calf!

Friday, April 24, 2020

Home on the range... for the next week or more...

A few years ago while in Mexico, we met our friend Tracy. She was living in Puerto Escondido at the time, and we spent quite a bit of time together. We met her and her mother Joy when we got together in Puerto Vallarta a couple of years later.

Tracy had mentioned at some point that her family owns a ranch near Amarillo, and that we would be welcome to park there if we were ever headed that way. Yesterday, we took them up on that offer!

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Sherman's repairs are complete!

You haven't heard from us for a couple of days because there hasn't been much to say. We had been parked up for three days and two nights in the mechanical garage parking lot. Well, we were actually parked inside the garage during the day... and outside at night.

Once again, S&L Auto Repairs in Amarillo looked after us well. Head mechanic Ismail did the repairs along with his assistant Isaac. The bill was not cheap, but it was about what I expected.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Stuck in Amarillo

But not for long.

We had some major repair work done at S&L Auto Repair here in Amarillo exactly two years ago. We were happy with the work and the guys who did it, so we purposely took a little bit of a detour to return here and have some more things looked at.

Since the last work was completed, we have done more than 20,000 miles of driving, some of it on very rough roads. Sherman has actually held up quite well, all things considered!

Monday, April 20, 2020

Airport camping

We said goodbye to Guthrie, Texas and headed further north. Not much to stop and see along the way in this part of Texas, but it's still interesting nonetheless.

This time, we had a pretty strong headwind... good thing, because it would make more room in the tank for some upcoming cheap gasoline! Ha... there is a bright side to everything!

Sunday, April 19, 2020

A visit from the local Sheriff...

Had a quiet Friday night in Hamlin's sports park. We planned to set off at around 10:00am, and before we did so I checked the pressure in that one tire that we had repaired a few days ago. To my surprise it was zero. Yes, a big fat ZERO!

Bob came over to give me a hand and brought his bigger compressor. We figured we might be able to hear where it's leaking if we put some air in it. But as we took the wheel cover off, we quickly realized where it was coming from.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Lots of free overnight spots in Texas

Our original plan was to overnight in quite a few of the Texas State Parks, but since they closed we have had no problem finding good free overnight spots.

Oh, and speaking of Texas State Parks, they are re-opening their day use areas as of Monday! Great news for those of us who like to get some exercise and fresh air.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Fortunately, this kind of thing doesn't happen very often

Went for a 5.5 mile (9 km) power walk before leaving Santa Anna, Texas. Not the most scenic area, so didn't take any photos. But at least we got some exercise in.

We woke up to a strong south wind that was forecast to get stronger as the day went on. We don't normally like driving Sherman on a windy day, but when it's a tailwind, we will take the extra gas mileage!

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Good guys at Flores Tire and Auto in Brady, Texas!

We continued slowly north today. We stopped in at Lake Brady Park just west of Brady, Texas but there weren't a lot of areas to walk so it didn't look like a suitable place for us to overnight. While we were there, I checked Sherman's tire pressures.

The left rear inner tire has had a slow leak ever since we plugged it four months ago in Mexico. I've been keeping an eye on it, and I've had to top it up once a week or so. But lately, the slow leak has become a fast leak!

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Heading further north

It seems the worst of the cold weather front is over as of today, so we are slowly heading further north.

Yesterday, we walked around the town of Llano (pop 3,200). Nice little place. Then, we drove up towards Brady (pop 5,300) and found a nice little highway rest area for the night.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

A beautiful Texas scenic drive...

We took the bikes out for another ride yesterday morning before we left the beautiful Stonewall area. It was a bit cool... I even had my winter hat and gloves on! But it turned out to be a beautiful blue sky day with a high of about 62F (16C).

We went out for an hour and did 9 miles (14.5 kms), but that including stopping along the way to take a couple of photos.

Monday, April 13, 2020

We needed to switch things up a little bit

We've probably power walked 60 miles (100 kms) in the last ten days. And while that's good for the aerobics, it's also good to get some different types of exercise. Yesterday, we got the bikes off. We needed to switch things up a little bit, and there are lots of places to bike around here.

This is such a beautiful area of Texas. And there are so many back roads that have hardly any traffic on them.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Snake! In a split second I backed away.

We went out for our daily 6 mile (10 km) power walk yesterday morning. Despite the fact that the state and national parks are closed, there are still a lot of places to walk in this area.

We are right beside the Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site, and on the other side of the river is the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Site.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Luxury Riverside Boondocking

With most public facilities closed, we are left to find places to overnight on our own. We're pretty good at that, but we also use the iOverlander app to get some ideas. It tends to list a lot of Walmarts and private RV parks and they are definitely a last resort for us, so we have to filter through the listings quite a bit.

But occasionally we come across something worthwhile. In this case, the listing was titled "Luxury Riverside Boondocking". So we drove over there yesterday.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Our pet butterfly

We always make an effort to get out for some exercise. Every day. It's at least a 4 mile hike of some kind and that's the minimum. In fact the last few days have probably averaged 6 miles (10 kms) per day.

And of course the terrain makes a difference. Some places we are trekking through the brush, and other places we are power walking on a paved pathway.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

We do have a plan...

Yesterday morning we received notification by email that Texas State Parks were all being closed to the public by 5:00pm that day.

We went out for our morning hike and discussed what that meant for us. We had planned on using some of the Texas State Parks while making our way north. The only time it looked like it was going to be a problem was the upcoming Easter long weekend.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Sherman needs some minor repair

A few days ago, Sherman began acting up. Nothing serious, and I recognized the symptoms right away. The idle seemed high and erratic. And, the "Service Engine Soon" light had come on.

I checked the error code, and sure enough it was exactly what I figured. Sherman needed a new idle control module.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Sherman's 10 year old batteries are still doing fine

This last few days of dry camping have been a test of Sherman's now 10 year old Trojan batteries. It was in March of 2010 that we bought our new T-105 6 volt batteries. I knew they had a good reputation, but never expected them to last ten years.

I'm sure there has been some deterioration, but they are still doing fine!

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Rain rain, go away...

Rain is in the forecast on and off for the next several days but we still get out for some daily exercise. We set out with Bob and Denise just before 10am to do another few miles of trails.

Although it spit with rain a few times, we were actually pretty lucky.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Could be a bread baking day tomorrow!

Some states have taken the drastic measures of totally closing all of their state parks.

Here in Texas, they have taken a more logical approach. Each state park has their own rules as to how they limit the number of people coming into the park. We are at Hill Country State Natural Area where they have very few campsites to begin with, and they are really well spaced apart. Campers with reservations are allowed into the park, and then they limit the number of day users and when that limit is reached that's it.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Finding places to overnight

We stayed our first night in Texas at the rest area on the I-35. The tourist office there was closed, but they gave a 1-800 number if you needed any info. And the bathroom building was open because truckers stop in as well and use the facilities. And they left the WiFi on.

On Tuesday, we filled up with gas at $1.70 USD per gallon ($0.64 CAD per liter). Sherman is happily full of cheap fuel!

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

March Expenses

Not a bad month, mostly because we sat at the Las Palmas Midway Inn for the last ten days of the month. That kept our entertainment expenses low, and because of the coronavirus we didn't eat out very much.

But, we did do some stocking up for the trip north. Mostly because we wanted to spend as little time as possible doing any grocery shopping, so Ruth had made a bunch of meals and froze them... in fact, the freezer is totally full. We also stocked up the liquor cabinet because most things are quite a bit cheaper in Mexico.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Adios, Mexico

I don't enjoy long driving days, but sometimes it makes sense. In this situation, none of the attractions we wanted to see along the way were open, and so we enjoyed one last day at the Las Palmas Midway Inn in Matehuala. Hard to believe we were there for 10 nights!

We hit the road at just after 7:00am. First thing we did was to fill up with some very cheap fuel.

Monday, March 30, 2020

The things that went wrong...

Eight motorhomes and 14 people touring Mexico together for four months and doing 7,000 kms (4,500 miles) worth of sometimes rough Mexican roads.

What could go wrong?

Well, as we explained to the group at the beginning of the trip, a lot can go wrong. It's not a matter of if there will be a problem... only when.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Highlights of a fantastic four months touring Mexico... part 2

Okay... if you missed part 1, you really want to go back and check that out first.

https://www.travelwithkevinandruth.com/2020/03/highlights-of-fantastic-four-months.html

Many people think of Mexico as "beaches". But there is so much more to Mexico, and we think the vast majority of the good stuff is actually in the interior.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Highlights of a fantastic four months touring Mexico... part 1

Not much going on here at the Las Palmas Hotel and RV Park where we have been holed up for the past week. No point in just writing about the same things day after day, so I thought we might review what has been a fantastic four months touring Mexico.

We crossed into Mexico at Presidio, Texas and into the state of Chihuahua.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

We don't seem to have any problem keeping busy

Yesterday, I cleaned Sherman's awning. It was way overdue... probably because it's a pain in the butt to clean! When I worked at the RV dealership parts department back ten years or so ago, they had a thick liquid product that you spray on both sides of the awning, roll it up, leave it for a few hours, and then rinse it off.

But of course I don't have any of that... so I used Spray 9 and a scrub broom!

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Margaritas by the pool

Well, we continue to wait things out at the Las Palmas Midway Inn here in Matehuala, San Luis Potosi, Mexico.

Yesterday, I got up on Sherman's roof and gave it a bath. Some regular readers will remember when I re-coated the roof back in September 2015. Considering that was almost five years ago, it was a good thing to do and it has held up well.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Nothing better than fresh air

We are of the opinion that the best place to be right now is outside and away from people who are not part of our group. Some readers even think that we shouldn't be associating with members of our group... but we think there is no logic there. Our group have been together every day for the last four months. If one of us were sick, we would all be sick.

So we stay outside, or inside the motorhome with all the windows open.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Will we stay, or will we go...?

Well, another day another decision.

As I said before, we are playing this thing one day at a time. Many of you have your own opinions of what we should or shouldn't be doing and one of the problems with putting our life out there the way we do is that people want to make their opinion known if they think they know what we should be doing. And while we appreciate the concern, Ruth said it best...

Sunday, March 22, 2020

One day at a time

Nice to have some down time here in Matehuala. The rest of the group are keeping busy puttering around their rigs, getting some laundry done, and generally relaxing.

We walked with Bob and Denise over to the Walmart. Bob was looking for some oil do do an oil change on his rig, but we thought that the Autozone would have a better selection so we left Ruth and Denise in the Walmart and the two of us walked another km down the road to the Autozone.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Change of plans

Woke up yesterday morning at the run down El Banito Restaurant Balneario RV Park just south of Ciudad Valles. We wanted to visit some waterfalls in the area, but didn't want to base ourselves out of that particular RV park. I didn't even take any photos there!

Anyhow, online I found what looked like a decent parking area at the Micos waterfalls and I had read that they have a swimming area as well. And it was hot... calling for a high of 33C (91F). Nice to be somewhere to cool off in the water.

Friday, March 20, 2020

The odd surrealist sculpture garden of Edward James

We have known about this place for quite a long time and have never made the effort to visit. It's one of the reasons we came to this area besides the fact that we simply had never been here before and there is a lot of other stuff to see as well.

It was only a 25 km (15 mile) drive from where we had stayed Wednesday night at Club Palma Solas. So we headed out at 9:00am to try and beat any buses to the parking lot I had read about.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

The most beautiful drive in Mexico?

Monday night we had been parked overnight at the Pemex gas station just south of the town of Jacala. When we got up Tuesday morning, several of us went for a walk in the countryside before heading out.

Even with a 10:00am start to the driving day, we should still arrive at our destination of Matlapa by 2:00pm.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

And then there were five...

We started off this trip with 8 rigs. We had high hopes of finishing the trip with 8 rigs but then this Coronavirus (now apparently being called Covid-19?!) thing happened and people's plans change.

Larry and Martha decided their best option was to be back in the United States and they set off a week ago. Then a couple of days ago, Sue and Roy decided their best option was to be anywhere but the Unites States and they chose Valle de Juarez, Mexico (we were there at Christmas)... and Garth decided he didn't want to be in the Unites States either so he was going to visit his sister in Puerto Vallarta, but would go with Sue and Roy along the way.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Busy day with hot springs, caves, and waterfalls!

The tour buses began arriving at 7:00am. This is a popular spot, and especially so on holidays and long weekends. And they kept coming, all day long.

First thing we did was that I drove Sue and Roy's van down to the lower parking area before it got too busy down there. Roy would have had a tough time doing the climb up to the parking area where the rest of us are, and their vehicle can fit into a normal parking spot.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Yet another adventure for the group!

First off, let me address the craziness going on in the world. We do not talk about politics, our health, or the news unless it affects our travels. So far, what is happening in the world has not affected our travels. In fact, if it weren't for the internet we wouldn't even know about it.

And so that's all I have to say about it for now. If that changes, I will be the first to let you know! But for now, it is business as usual here at Travel with Kevin and Ruth.

Back to our regularly scheduled programming...

Friday, March 13, 2020

One of the prettiest campsites in Mexico

We were happy at the place we had stayed Wednesday night, and would have been prepared to stay another night. But Ruth and I had found a better spot just a couple of kms down the road. The sign at the entrance had said it was a community campground and it was 50 pesos per person to camp overnight. But there was nobody around and the gate was wide open. We had paid 200 pesos per rig where we were, so not only was the place down the road better... it was also cheaper.

We set off at 9:00am for what would be a very short driving day!

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Yet another beautiful campsite in the mountains

We left the little ejido village of Tuliman right at 9:00am. Our host Josue insisted on leading us out of the area and up to the main road. Really nice people.

We were headed up to Mineral del Chico National Park.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

An adventurous hike with waterfalls!

We hired Josue to take us for a hike into the canyon. He brought along Carlos, one of the local boys to bring up the rear so nobody got left behind.

Ten of us set off at 9:00am. We first went to the ridge of the canyon, and then walked the road down to the park entrance.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

This is why we come to Mexico

9:30am start for the group yesterday after a great week in the Cholula/Puebla city area. But, it's time to get back into the countryside.

As I mentioned yesterday, the next couple of weeks are going to be interesting. Not many RV'ers to Mexico visit the region through which we are headed. As such, there aren't many official RV camping areas and we kind of have to wing it.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Not every day you see something like this. Especially here in Mexico!

Sundays are a great day to explore downtown Puebla... there is so much going on!

So yesterday morning at 10:30am, we ordered some Uber taxis and took the group downtown to central Puebla.

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Bike ride in Puebla, and new dinette cushions for Sherman

(I posted February's expenses last night... you can read about it here... February Expenses.)

Eight of us set off at 9:00am yesterday for a bike ride into Puebla.

Puebla is a modern city of about 3 million people. It is located at an elevation of 7,000'. It's also one of the cleanest cities in Mexico... very little graffiti, and lots of green space. We purposely didn't go into the historical area itself since we are taking the group in there today. Plus, the "cyclopista" doesn't go into the central area.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

February Expenses

Not a bad month, pretty much exactly as expected at $1,900 CAD ($1,415 USD).

We started the month in Cuernavaca and drove all the way to Ocozocoautla and back to Oaxaca so we actually did a fair bit of driving in February. So of course gasoline took up a fair chunk of our February expenses!

Steak for dinner!

It just occurred to me that I never published out February expense report... and I don't have time to do it now. We are headed out to do some cycling around Puebla this morning and we are leaving in 40 minutes... so this will be a quick post.

I'll get to the expenses later today.

Friday, March 6, 2020

We had to go to plan B

We had a van coming to pick us up at 9:00am to take us on a planned hike in the national park located between the two volcanoes.

The town of Cholula where the campground is located is at 7,000' altitude. The park where we were going is around 12,000' altitude, so it's a bit of climb by vehicle just to get to the trails.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

This town doesn't get many tourists!

Great day for a hike.

But, it was a great day for other things as well because some of the group chose to go bike riding, and some took the Cholula trolley tour.

We set off with Bob and Denise at around 9:30am.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

A great first day in Cholula

We really like this area. There is so much to see and do, and the weather is absolutely perfect in our opinion.

First thing we did was to walk the 2.5 kms or so to the Great Pyramid of Cholula. This is the largest pyramid in the world, built over a period of more than 1,000 years between 300 BC to 900 AD. When the Spanish came, they built a church on top of it, and they may not have even known it was a pyramid.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Mexico RV Caravan Travel Day - Oaxaca to Cholula

Long driving day yesterday as we made our way from Oaxaca city to the Puebla suburb of Cholula.

It's a distance of 369 kms (229 miles), and we had thought about taking the free road and breaking it into a two day drive, but due to a variety of reasons we chose to take the toll road and do it all in one shot.

Monday, March 2, 2020

Market day in Tlacalula

The Tlacalula market just east of Oaxaca city is a huge Sunday market that has been operating since before the Spanish arrived. Many of the indigenous people from the surrounding hills come here on Sundays to sell their goods and socialize.

A group of us hopped on the local bus at 9:00am to do the drive out to the town of Tlacalula.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Alebrijes and Cactus... more touring around Oaxaca City

Yesterday was another great day out touring for the group. We once again booked a van for the excursion and driver Omar showed up right on time for our 9:00am departure.

We headed directly to the alebrijes studio of Jacobo y María Ángeles located south of the city of Oaxaca in the town of San Martín Tilcajete.

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Into the city of Oaxaca

There is so much to see and do around the city of Oaxaca that we haven't spent much time in the city itself. Ruth and I were here at the beginning of March 2013 when we spent a week or so in the city, but otherwise it has only been the surrounding area.

Friday, we went with some of the group into the city.

Hierve el Agua and Mitla Ruins

There is a lot to see and do around the Oaxaca city area, but a prime attraction is Hierve el Agua... that's why we keep returning there to show it off to some of the new people in the group. Also, Ruth and I have been there 4 times now and we never get tired of it... the scenery is simply beautiful.

We headed out with the group at 9:00am Thursday morning.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

I wonder how many people are getting taken advantage of?

Just a few things to talk about today.

Yesterday was a day off... nothing planned for the group and everybody just did their own thing. Aron and Owenita got new rear shocks shipped to the campground so they were waiting for them when we arrived. And Mona and Roger got a new toilet! So they both had projects on the go yesterday.

The rest of us just puttered about. We took some laundry down with a few others. Ruth went for a long morning walk with Denise and Bob and Scarlett the dog.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Mexico RV Caravan Travel Day - Ojo de Agua to Oaxaca city

Up early and on the road for an 8:00am start. It was baking hot overnight. The temperature inside the motorhome was 26C (79F) when we got up in the morning at 6:30am. Too hot, and too many bugs.

Once again, we are reminded how much happier we are away from the coast.

5 Awesome Things to Do on a Countryside Getaway

 Sometimes we need a break from our busy lives, and a great way to do this is an action-packed, countryside getaway. Perhaps you live in the city and are dying to connect with nature, or maybe you spent lots of time in nature as a child and want to relive those memories.

Whatever the reason, a vacation in the countryside is a great way to destress and have fun. If you’re planning your getaway and need some ideas of what to do in the middle of nowhere, here are five awesome activities to keep you busy!

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Mexico RV Caravan Travel Day - Ocozocoautla to Ojo De Agua Balneario

Well, Monday began the final leg of our four and a half month Mexico RV trip. Don't get me wrong, there will still be lots of adventures over the next five weeks, but Monday turned a corner as we started our return trip towards the U.S. border.

We set out from the orphanage at 8:00am. We had to retrace our route back through the wind tunnel corridor of La Ventosa where we exited the toll road towards the balneario (water park).

Monday, February 24, 2020

Carnaval in Ocozocoautla, and thanks from the kids!

It's that time of year when carnaval is going on in many countries. Here in Ocozocoautla, they have been celebrating for over 500 years and the annual event has become quite famous in the area. It's one of the reasons that we hung around a few extra days!

We had been told that you want to get there early... so a bunch of us set out at 8:30am Sunday morning...

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Shopping day 2 at the orphanage and lots of work going on!

Busy day for the group yesterday here at the orphanage! Those who wanted to, met up at the main hall to do some painting work at 8:30am. Ruth and I were headed out shopping again at 9:00am, while three of the men were tasked with helping with the pump installation and associated electrical wiring.

Oh, and right at 9:00am the new living room furniture set showed up for the older boys residence...

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Shopping day for the orphanage

You might have missed last night's blog post... go there first!

https://www.travelwithkevinandruth.com/2020/02/sumidero-canyon-photos-and-fundraising.html

So, we had a total of 64,000 pesos (($4,482 CAD, $3,380 USD) to spend.

We sat down with Lily, the director and her husband Juan to discuss what their priorities were. The first thing they brought up was a new water pump. The old one is well... old! And it's not strong enough to begin with. And it keeps breaking down every couple of months and they need to send it out to be repaired and it costs 3,000 or 4,000 pesos every time, and then of course the residence buildings are without water during the downtime.

The proper replacement pump is almost 20,000 pesos.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Sumidero Canyon photos and fundraising total

First things first... our caravan group and a few readers of this blog raised a total of 64,000 pesos ($4,482 CAD, $3,380 USD) for the Hogar Infantil orphanage.

To those of you who contributed, thank you sooo much!

Today (Friday) will be shopping day. Looking forward to showing you what we purchase for the kids.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

The indigenous town of San Juan Chamula

First things first... fundraising update!

As of this morning, we are at $4,281... well surpassing our original goal. Can we make it to $5,000? Maybe, or maybe not.... I like to hope that perhaps some of you are waiting until the last minute to surprise us with a big donation!

Today is in fact the last day to donate through our channels... we have to provide a cut off date in order to know what we can buy with the proceeds because Friday is shopping day!

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Trip to San Cristobal and fundraising update

Lets get to the important stuff first!

We have broken through the $3,000 goal and are now headed for $4,000 with two days to go. As of this morning, our total for the orphanage stands at $3,541 CAD!

If you can afford twenty bucks (most of you wouldn't even miss it!) this is a great cause where your money goes directly to help the kids.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Some photos of the orphanage

When we arrived here, it was on Sunday. So there were quite a few visitors about, spending some time with the kids. There are somewhere around 70 children who live here, but not all of them are orphans. Some simply come from dysfunctional families who can no longer care for them properly, and so Sunday is family day.

But Sunday is also family day for the employees and caregivers here. So the directors and the people we need to coordinate with were not here either... they were spending time with their own families.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Mexico RV Caravan Travel Day - Salina Cruz to Ocozocuatla. And, donation update!

Lets get to the donation stuff first, because it is the most important!

Our group has arrived at the Hogar Infantil Orphanage in Ocozocuatla, Chiapas, Mexico. Ruth and I have been here before, and we have learned about the care that goes towards the kids who call this place home. If you haven't done so already, please take the time to read the following..

https://www.travelwithkevinandruth.com/2020/02/ruth-and-i-will-start-things-off.html

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Mexico RV Caravan Travel Day - Huatulco to Playa Brasil

We hit the road at 9:00am Saturday for a planned 130 km (81 mile) drive. We are actually headed for the Hogar Infantil orphange in Ocozocuatla, however to do it in one day would be too much, so I had found a possible overnight spot at Playa Azul (Playa Brasil) just west of Salina Cruz.

Sure enough, it all worked out as planned... in fact, if you take into consideration the delicious food at the little beach hut restaurant, it turned our far better than planned!

Saturday, February 15, 2020

The donations are rolling in...

Yesterday was a relax day with nothing planned for the group. Roger went scuba diving and Larry went snorkeling along with him. They went out in a boat to a couple of different dive sites.

The diving was not the highlight though... while they were out there a big humpback whale put on a show for them that lasted about 45 minutes, including coming right out of the water and doing spins and flips and everything. They got some video footage so I'll try to post it another day for you.