April 24, 2015

ON THE ROAD AGAIN


“On the road again
Goin’ places that I’ve never been
Seein’ things that I may never see again,
And I can’t wait to get on the road again.” 

Song lyrics from “On the Road Again” by Willie Nelson

CAROL WRITES:  Welcome back readers of my blog who encouraged me so much during our European road trip!  It was just a little over 13 months ago that Al and I arrived back home from our European adventure.  We enjoyed a wonderful Colorado ‘super summer’ in 2014





that wound up at the South Dakota Buffalo Roundup in late September.  I will never forget the iconic sight of the massive buffalo herd as it crested the hill and charged down into the ravine leading into the corrals. 




 After the roundup, we spent a delightful 10 days in our Pleasure-Way RV doing a little fishing, visiting the Badlands,




Mt. Rushmore,



Crazy Horse Memorial,


Fort Robinson (Nebraska), Cave of the Winds, and Scotts Bluff.




I guess that is what got us to thinking…

By the time November rolled around, we had decided we were going to start the process of committing to a full-time life on the road.  That meant selling our Colorado home of 25 years, buying a new and bigger RV, and selling most of our household possessions so as to minimize the size of our long-term storage unit.  Oh, and we found it quite beneficial to give up our Colorado residency and become South Dakota residents.  

Even on the road, we have to have an address somewhere…but that is the subject of another blog post.

After a thorough search for the ideal Class A RV that would fit a full-time lifestyle on the road, we settled on an Entegra Anthem, which explains the “anthem” theme in both of our new Gmail addresses, in case you are wondering.



As for selling our home…the lightning speed at which that occurred still has us shaking our heads.  Little did we know that here in the Springs, it had become a seller’s market.  After the for-sale sign had been posted out front, we had 11 showings and 2 offers in the first four days!  Closing was 6 weeks later and, fortunately, in the interim our new RV had arrived from the factory.  (We had always thought it was a good game plan to have our new RV to live in case the house sold faster than anticipated.)  We moved into the RV on March 9, the day we took possession, and scooted on down to the Air Force Academy Family Campground



two days later, where we have been staying for the past 2 months as we tidy up all our affairs, meet with medical providers for our yearly checkups, and bid a fond farewell to some of our very dear friends.

We have found that there are a lot of good things to say about a simpler RV lifestyle.  It is still surprising to us how few “possessions” we actually need for day-to-day living!  We sold approximately 80% of our household possessions with 70-plus sales on Craigslist, and I can honestly say that I will not miss, and I will not replace any of the items in my first 30-or-so sales.  As I remember it, the day we sold our bedroom furniture was the real point of no-return.

Conducting over 70 Craigslist sales involved hundreds of phone calls, texts, and emails.  At times, I was sorely disappointed at how rude and inconsiderate some strangers could be on Craigslist.  And the scammers, spammers, and cheats were rampant!  About the time I would mutter to myself that I couldn’t wait to be done with Craigslist posts, a wonderful ‘stranger encounter’ would occur, and faith in my fellow human beings would be restored. 

Among my many customers, there was the woman who had just come back from a very emotional 3-year missionary trip to Kabul, Afghanistan; the woman who had lost everything in the Black Forest Fire; the two Iraqi interpreters who had been granted asylum in our country for their interpretive services to the US Army; the young Olympic hopeful who needed a treadmill; the thankful college student who was in great need of basic living room furniture; and, finally, the true clock lover who purchased my father’s beloved grandfather clock, promised to take good care of it, and then, with his children, named it “Ralph” in honor of my father.  These are the stories I will remember, not the misfits who stood me up at a sale.

Our to-do list is down to a few phone calls.  Our departure from the Springs is tentatively set for Monday, April 27th.  We will have nicely rounded out the chapter on 25 years of life in Colorado, and we will have turned to the first page of Chapter 3 on the road.  First, we plan to head slowly to Clovis, New Mexico, for some quality time with our daughter.  By the end of May, we will probably head east, maybe all the way to Boston, but that’s another story...  For now, that’s life on the road…picking a direction, heading out, and not burning daylight.  In the words of Lemony Snicket:


“If we wait until we’re ready, we’ll be waiting for the rest of our lives.”