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The main part of our adventure completed, we arrived in the Gulf Coast of Florida in early December. We were thankful for a “breather” and some time in one spot, collecting our thoughts and planning the future.
We picked up another dog companion (Lola, a friend needed to re-home her), returned to the RV Park we enjoyed last winter season, rejoined our “Unity In The Woods Church” in Bradenton, and enjoyed some terrific sunsets at Apollo Beach & Anna Maria Island! Max & Lola are bonding and beginning to enjoy each other’s company.
Time passes much too quickly and it’s nearly April. So let’s share some plans: soon we head North to Virginia and reconnecting with our sons, Jason & Scott with their families. Following that, we will get back “home” to Rochester and this will be the tough part; our house will be FOR SALE! If we get a good price, we’ll full-time RV for a while and relocate to Florida, either renting or purchasing. Should we not get the price we want; we’ll use that home as our “hub” and continue our travels from there. The “Universe” will be our guide!
July will find us back in Virginia; Scott & Kara will enjoy our rig for a trip out West and we will run our business out of their house for a couple weeks. In August, back to Rochester and then to New Hampshire to reconnect with Chris & Adam and their families. Busy, Busy, Busy!!!
We’ll keep everyone updated; PEACE & LOVE ❤️!
The last segment of our current adventure is a prolonged stop in New Orleans, Louisiana. Sharon had visited shortly after college and I had never been.
We parked the motorhome at St. Bernard State Park; large lots, good space between sites, and water/electricity. A very rustic location, but convenient access to the city. There is a central RV resort, downtown; but we thought it overpriced and crowded.
We took the hop on/hop off tour, for a good idea of what we wanted to see. The WWII Museum was overwhelming and powerful; but after the movie, we needed a break. The French Quarter was nice, but that & the Bourbon Street region were smaller than I expected. Still, we enjoyed some good music and the casual feel of walking through the neighborhoods.
New Orleans Saints football fans are energetic and it was our misfortune to be in town when the team spanked our Buffalo Bills. I am still wondering about the “Who Dat” connection (?)!
My favorite memories were the brass band concerts at the Armstrong Park, touring the Battle of New Orleans historic site, and getting to know the parishioners at Unity of New Orleans.
Now, on to Florida; with a rush through Alabama (not wishing to spend money there, for political considerations)! We’ll be writing more about our 3/4 year on the road; stay tuned!
The note on the RV office door said, “Turtle Launch, Saturday morning, 10:00 a.m.” No further details were offered.
We were camped near Port Aransas, Texas (East of Corpus Christi), near the beach and there was ample evidence they were still repairing from the visit of Hurricane Harvey, two months previous. Our traveling with a purpose, needed an injection of spontaneity; but what was a “turtle launch”? Opportunity???
Mind you, I have lived in Ohio, where they used to motivate chickens to fly at the Bob Evans farm; using a mailbox & plunger and memories of the fictional WKRP in Cincinnati turkey drop still bring tears of laughter to my eyes!
Saturday dawned and our morning walk along the beach, found about a hundred or so people waiting near shore. There were both locals and sojourners present; including some dogs, so Max was not a problem. He befriended two young girls, who petted and fussed over him. Small world; their mother is from Canton, NY!
It turns out that this area of a Texas, is home to a rescue group that saves, treats, and returns injured sea turtles to the wild. They have staff, a veterinarian, and many volunteers. Their home base was impacted by the hurricane, but they were able to find alternative housing and saved all the turtles and numerous birds, who were located temporarily in one of the volunteer’s grandmother’s porch! Today was a day that they could release eight of their habilitated amphibious residents.
Of course there were shirts to be bought and a plea for financial support was delivered; but it was really a day to celebrate life and release. One by one, large, mature turtles were carried to the water and encouraged to swim to freedom. There was applause, hugs from the volunteers, and prayer for safe travels; as these denizens swam to who knows where.
Point of this discourse; be open to the serendipity offered by notes on the office door. Perhaps they lead to — who knows where!
We’ve talked about working while “on the road”; Sharon continues p/t as a researcher and together we share the benefits of the wellness company with people who have dreams of becoming more.
Many people we meet are retired and travel part time, others have retired, sold their homes, and RV full-time. We’ve met others, who continue to work full-time, linked to their employers via internet.
Today we met, Bill. Bill is a customer with the wellness company, and has a terrific lifesaving story! It’s a great story, but you’ll need to contact me to hear more. But, Bill also continues his RV lifestyle by work-sharing. This happens by reaching agreement with a park or similar location and exchanging some form of work or skill, for free or reduced cost parking/electric, water, and sewer. As it turns out, we’ve met many people who do this. Some even work in the Northern States during the summer and then move to another “work-stay” position during winter months! Snowbirds for hire; lol!
Sharon and I have discussed this; but for now, we prefer to not be tied down to one location, for an entire season. We really do have the potential to earn a full-time income, without a boss or time clock!
We help people live a healthy lifestyle, by switching stores: http://www.makegreengogreen.com/DavidandSharonLewis
The annual International Balloon Fiesta, has been on Sharon’s bucket list for quite a time; me, not so much.
To be fair, my thinking of the festival was based upon much smaller events; 30 or 40 balloons at most, not spectacular. On this foundation, I drove our RV from Winslow with mixed feelings, hoping the three days of our attendance might pass quickly.
We approached Albuquerque, a day early; needing to do some RV maintenance and some “boon-docking” at a local truck stop. This evening proved the worst part of our weekend (most truckers leave their generators running and the noise made a good nights sleep, difficult)!
Then came the most pleasant surprise; the balloon fiesta was AMAZING! The weather was perfect, over 500 balloons, interactive pilots & crews, and a well organized event, turned my attitude in a positive direction. I was able to make over 200 images; several that may find their way into my portfolio stock file.
The most enjoyable part, though; watching the “child in a candy shop” behavior of Sharon. Wandering amongst the balloons, not knowing where to look next, amazement as they rose to the sky, and planning what to do next, gave us a memorable experience and a high point of our ongoing adventure!
(Sharon & Max: outside the Amtrak station and storied Harvey House Restaurant & Hotel)
We’ve waved so long to our friends, Dottie & Bruce, who have returned to Upstate New York, and enjoyed beach time along the Pacific Ocean. Talk of extremes, we are now camped at Needles, California (where Nevada, Arizona, & California conjoin); known for heat, ghost towns, and the storied home of SNOOPY’S brother, SPIKE!
Turns out, there is much here to learn & enjoy. The fabled Route 66 begins in Needles: we’ve explored a bit; including Oatman (ghost mining town, turned tourist attraction). We are within driving distance of Hoover Damn, several casinos, and the original London Bridge that now spans the Colorado River in Lake Havasu City, Arizona.
Bullhead City is the “go to” place for shopping and services. While Needles has seen better times; Bullhead City’s main drag is adorned with the retail and dining franchises that we have seen at every previous 🛑 stop! I suspect this passes for progress.
A portion of our journey, so far, has been the following of the Oregon Trail to the great Northwest. We returned to the trail in July and forge our way through Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon.
Sitting now, in Northern California, it’s a good time to reflect. Those of us in the East, have little understanding of the impact and destruction caused by wildfires. Our first exposure came near Cody, Wyoming; outside Yellowstone National Park. As we traveled further, different fires 🔥 caused haze and difficult air conditions; Seattle had an ever present haze, from fires to the North, in Canada and breathing was difficult for me around Crater Lake in Oregon. These fires are far from rare occurrences in the West. Even now, a wildfire East of Los Angeles, may require a change in our travel next week.
We spent a terrific week and more, outside Portland, Oregon! Oregon City is accepted as the terminus of the Oregon Trail; it was there that we viewed the Eclipse (99%!) and toured the grounds.
We also celebrated my birthday with an evening of Irving Berlin music; featuring our talented friend, Meredith Kaye Clark. Such a rich voice; thanks to Sharon & Meredith!!!
And, of course, our Hedi flew in from Germany! Indeed; I am richly blessed! Thanks to all!!!