Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The pictures have arrived!!!

Finally!  I have some pictures to share...
Van-Go popped up and plugged in

Who said I can't hang out with the big rigs

Snow-capped Rockies 

A "deer" friend of mine at Mountaindale RV Resort in CO

Too funny...at entrance to
 KIVA RV Park in Tucumcari, NM

Also at KIVA

Tucumcari mural at RV Park

Other side of mural

Colorado Springs, CO Foot of the Rockies RV Park
A couple of my traveling companions

Monday, April 28, 2014

What a Difference a Day Makes

   I arrived in 'heaven'...Mountaindale Cabins & RV Resort...about 2 hours ago!  The first order of business was a long hot shower and it was amazing!  I immediately met a couple that has been full-timing it for 5 years...Jan and Phil!  We hit it off right away.  I invited them into Van-Go for a visit and they LOVED her....after all, what's not to love!!!  We plan to get together later and chat some more!
   I just got back from a stroll through the beautiful wilderness that permeates this area.  To my astonishment, I was not alone in thinking that relaxing quietly by a tree was a good idea.  About 200' from my spot, there laid by another tree, looking right at me, a beautiful doe with ears perked up toward the blue sky!  I do believe she smiled!
1- At breakfast earlier this morning, I was talking to a beautiful young mom, Cassy, after she brought me my food.  I asked her if she had any good news to share.  At first, she didn't think so, then suddenly her face lit up!  She told me that her son, Ethan, age 5, had recently learned to ride his 2-wheeler...WITHOUT TRAINING WHEELS!!!  Well, I say to THAT...Hooray for Ethan!  What a terrific accomplishment!  And to Cassy, I would like to say thank you for taking a moment to chat.  I could see how proud of Ethan you are!!!
2- While in Office Max, a young man offered to show me where the item was that I wanted.  For the life of me, I can't remember just how our incredible conversation got started, but we talked about life, priorities, dreams, self improvement, transformation, etc.  WOW!  What a treat to meet a young man who truly loves life and is making it better for himself!  His name is Matthew and his dream is to create a micro home in Montana that is completely sustainable and potentially "off the grid"!  Hats off to you, Matthew,
for being the change you wish to see in the world!!!  Keep your eye on the goal and your heart on the process.
***I'm thinking that Van-Go is quite the trend setter...on wheels!  Google micro homes...incredible, the genius out there!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Weather Wonderland & Technology Trouble

 Part 1- except for some moderately strong winds from Tucumcari, NM to Colorado Springs, CO...the weather cooperated for the duration of my 7 hour drive that should have only been 5!!!   My Garmin couldn't locate my destination, so I used Google Maps on my phone, then my signal went out on the phone in the middle of nowhere!  You think THAT'S funny...well, I had glanced ahead a bit on the phone screen and what I thought said 419 as my next juncture was actually 412............so a mere 120 miles later in a less than time efficient direction, I was able to hook up with a major interstate!!!  Dare I say, even more amusing, there was a map laying right next to me that remained unused!   I haven't traveled like this in such a long time, I forgot about my "old school" yet extremely helpful resource!!!   Lesson well learned!
   Part 2- It was late and windy and I was very tired, so when I reached my site and parked, I decided to wait until morning to connect to the electricity source.  I popped the top and prepped my bed and went to sleep...about 3:00 am, the winds were so strong, I decided to put the top back down and sleep on the couch.  At 6:00 am, it was raining like crazy.  I was cold and without electricity!!!  After a half hour, I bit the bullet and became the "traveling warrior" that I knew I was...went out into the elements, covered my cable as I plugged it in and ran back inside.  Then, I put the heater on, warmed up my chai and had a piece of toast!
Life is good!
***pics coming soon...having some technical difficulties and a bit of operator error...lol***

Friday, April 25, 2014

First Day on the Road

   Well, here I am in Tucumcari, NM at a campsite that has Betty Boop at the entrance!!!   Gotta love it!
It has been a very eventful first night!  I have neighbors that are 17 year veterans at full-timing it.  Dutch and Sherri.  They have a HUGE Ford E350 truck that is hauling a 41 foot rig with 3 slides and a 10 foot GARAGE attached...housing their motorcycles!!!  Van-Go looks like a thumbnail in comparison...lol
   Oh, and I almost blew up my water tank this evening.  The gadget that I thought was the water pressure gauge was nothing more than a filter.  After about 15 minutes of chatting with the neighbors, I got into the van and noticed that my sofa was elevated!!!  I pulled it up further to find that my water tank was BULGING!!!  I quickly turned off the valve that allows site water in.  Then I went to the source and began to unscrew the hose...I GOT SOAKED!!!  I forgot to turn the spigot off...omg!  With flashlight in hand, I headed for the office!  The wonderful security man followed me back and saved me...good thing my self esteem was in tact prior to this 'near disaster'!
BRIGHT SPOT - At the diner (Rockin' Y's Roadhouse) where I got a salad before entering the RV park, I was able to discover my first bit of traveling good news.  One of the women that owns the restaurant also works at Mesalands Community College here in town and was extremely proud to share several facts about it.
1-world class wind energy technology
2-only CC in the nation with its own turbine
3-has a bronze foundry
4-only paleontology program where Freshman and Sophomores are allowed to do their own digging
5-AND they have a Dinosaur Museum on the campus housing all student-found bones

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Delayed a Day

   The best laid plans....as they say!  Due to several unexpected turn of events, I did NOT depart today on my adventure, but all is well!!!
   I have an appointment at the van dealership...for sure..at 9:30 AM tomorrow to flush my water tank and fill 'er up, I pick up my new Rx shades and....I'M OFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Words cannot possibly describe my current state of mind!  Ecstatic...curious...hopeful...delirious...joyous...GRATEFUL........are few that pale in comparison to what is stirring within me!  I can't help but wonder if and when going on this magnificent journey will cease to seem ...surreal!  I'm fixin' to find out...LOL
   Tucumcari, NM....here I come...to marvel at your murals!

Monday, April 21, 2014

The Home Stretch

   WOW!  Three days and counting!!!  So, "No" I haven't started without you!!  LOL  I took a few days off...well, sorta!
   The water flushing event hasn't happened yet!  I find myself resisting the process...not quite sure what THAT'S all about.  Nonetheless, I'll be calling my pals at the place where I bought Van-Go to help me out!
   I have been reworking my route back East.  I learned of the "Tornado Alley", a group of states where tornadoes occur frequently and often without notice especially this time of year.  Of course, my original route was going to take me right smack through the middle of it!!!   I'll now head directly north through NM and CO, then east through Nebraska and onto the Great Lakes and across!
   The second adjustment necessary was how I packed Van-Go.  It seemed that there was too much weight in the rear.  So, I carefully, and creatively, I must say, redistributed the cargo.  I visited a weigh station for the first time to get a sense of what I was carrying actually weighed.  Not including me, I've managed to put 300 lbs. of necessities into my new home!  Amazing!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Countdown Continues...

   Yesterday I sorted through my many many CDs!  A few faves survived the cut and will be loaded onto my PC for future download onto an iPod.  There's no CD player in Van-Go and a girl's gotta jam on the road!       Also, I took some 8mm film and a few cassettes to be transferred to DVD/CD.  That's something
I've wanted to do for 25 years!!!!  Can't wait to get them back so my kids can see and hear themselves from when they were little tykes!
   Finally, I found a bike that FOLDS UP!!!  Camping World didn't have one on display but they're gonna get one out and I'll go see how it fits (me and the van) later this week...woo! hoo!
   Today...the final loading and organizing of my new home.  It is amazing how few things you can live with when the priorities are needing to be placed into a small quarters!  This entire process of "letting go" has been far more exhilarating than I can describe!
   Tomorrow...gonna learn how to flush the water system...oh boy!!!

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Countdown Begins

Today, April 14, 2014...10 days before "Van-Go" and I hit the road!
Continued preparation is at hand.  Today, the old laptop lets go of all the non-essentials...pics, documents, downloads, etc.
Tomorrow?...stay tuned...

Monday, April 7, 2014

Closer and Closer

   Before I get started, I must clear up one thing...yet a second name for my new home on wheels has bitten the dust. It seems that she had a name in mind all along and I just wasn't paying attention.  I had been seeing and thinking about the famous painting, "Starry Starry Night" beyond normal frequency!  Then on my way to get gas one afternoon, it hit me...her name...her permanent name...would be 'Van-Go'!  How perfect, I thought!  So let it be recorded...permanent name for my new home...'Van-Go'.
   Tentative date to officially begin my journey is April 24, 2014.  I'm currently in Maryland visiting family and friends for a couple more days.  I have acquired a new 10.1" HP touchscreen with a fabulous funky carry case and Garmin to accompany me on my adventure...thanks to a very dear longtime friend!
   Tomorrow my son will help me to consolidate all electronics, back everything up and whatever else is needed to lighten and organize my travels...thanks to him big time!
   A sketchy route from ABQ to Baltimore from April to June has been planned!  That will be the first leg for me as several celebrations will be taking place in my family during the month of June!  So, I'll hang out there for 3 weeks!
   The app, LIFE 360, has been installed on family phones.  That will enable us to keep track of each other while I'm on the road....ACTUALLY it is so my kids will not worry about me!  I have informed them that I may turn it off once in awhile if I don't WANT to be located!!!  We all got a good belly laugh over that!!!
   Still to be done:
1-flush out tanks and fill
2-get a back up sensor
3-put all music on an iPod
4-read manual to find the height of my van
5-learn how to keep ceertain things from 'moving' inside the van when I'm driving
And a few other little details, of course.  Why do I feel as if there will always be a few other little details!
   Well, gonna go take care of a few of those details...be back soon!