Wednesday, December 23, 2015

327 Weeks remaining....

Wow, it has been a long time since I have had a chance to blog. Remember I got that promotion at work, well that has been keeping me busy until all hours of the night.

Not much to say but we are paying off that last credit card, finished paying off a car and now to start socking the loot into the bank.

Next trip is to Desert hot Springs in the Palm Springs area for a week of vacation without a lot of driving. That last trip to Canada about killed me.

Well I have to get back to work now.. Blog soon..


Monday, September 14, 2015

341 weeks remaining....

Back to the grind. We're back at work for the next 341 weeks. Sounds like a long time but I started this blog at 432 weeks, so it does go by fast. We visited with a nice couple in Yellowstone a few weeks ago with a fabulous 5th wheel. Their set-up made it really look like we could pull off fulltiming in one.  A big shout out to the Pratts.

Since we are back at work, time really slows down. Still saving and on track. Housing prices are starting to go up again. A 900 sq ft house on my block is going for $500k. So in a few years I should be ready to sell.

I need to take the trailer in for some repairs after our 4500 mile trip. The shackles are about shot and the door to the bedroom has fallen off.  (All those rough gravel and dirt roads really take their toll on the rig!)  I also want to get our 30amp cord changed due to fraying at the edges.  I'm hoping this rig will last us for another couple of years.

Well, back to the grind!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Old habits die hard....

Woke up this morning and headed over to the cafeteria for some biscuits and gravy, once that was taken care of the dude needed a photo with me by the lake.

After breakfast we drove out the Hayden Valley then to Lamar Valley. Not much to see except about a thousand BISON! Then to Cooke City, MT for laundry day. Yes even on vacation there are chores. Then, as usual we ate lunch the Beartooth Cafe. Always great food and better cookies. On our way back to camp (3 hour drive) I took a few pictures along the way.

Me and the Dude at Soda Butte

Back in Hayden Valley getting sleepy from the drive we ran into a bear jam. A Grizzly Bear JAM! This is one of the best jams to be in.. If you have to get in one.

With a 300mm Lens he was still a ways off. Check it out. It's about as close as you wanna get. A Grizzly killed a guy 3 weeks ago near where we are camped. I always have bear spray on me while in the park  even if I think I don't need it.

This exact adventure plays out every time we are in Yellowstone. It's an old habit now. Tomorrow is a relax day, I am tired of driving and just need to chill. I hope I can resist the call of the wild.

Good night!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

and south to jellystone....

So after waking up extra early, we headed to Wyoming saw this sign and the dude had to have his picture taken with it. Can you see him?  I think Wyoming is one of the most beautiful states in the Union.

 When we arrived at the gate of the park the dude jumped out and  greeted the ranger at the gate. The dude was so happy to be in the jellystone for the first time.

Our first stop was to get water in our holding tanks, enough to last 3 days at Bridge Bay campground. Well, as it turns out we had a busted valve and all the water I put in promptly drained. So we switch plans again and stay at Fishing Bridge RV park. As you all know I don't like this park very much due to everyone being crammed in like sardines.  But at least we have water and power. After being hooked up the dude wanted to see the famous Hayden Valley. So off we went.

Here is the dude taking a selfie with some bison. He was so excited.

After all that excitement we went back to the trailer and  blogged some and got some needed rest. Good night all.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Off to Saskatchewan... But "Why?" everyone asks.

So every time we say to someone we are headed to Saskatchewan they ask why? What for? Because it's beautiful, and Washington is on fire and all the smoke is killing us. So off we go!

Driving to SK we encountered the largest Tee Pee in the world. Really! See?

The Dude is really a HAM! Damn this is huge.

The dude saw the the sign to SK so we stopped so he could get his picture taken. Can you find him?

He is just chillin' while I drive and drive and drive....

We land in Maple Creek, SK. After finding the best beef jerky in the world in Seven Persons, Alberta. Check it out here.

Then we hand dinner. Taber corn and steak. Two for me and one for Cait.  Stella might have had some too.

In the morning we head back to the States.  Don't go screwing around at the border like I did. I was so flustered I forgot to stop at the stop sign. They got pissy.  Made me dump my firewood back in Canada. So that makes two trips into Canada.

The Dude still had a good time. He likes to ride on my shoulder.

Canada 33% off, limited time only!

We arrive in Waterton Lakes Townsite campground early and as good citizens of Canada they welcome us with open arms. Canadians are great that way. The national parks in Canada are different than the ones in the States. There is a little town called "The Townsite" which is just a small village of 40-50 full time residents, which swells to hundreds during the season. They have shops, restaurants, and residences that are all within the national park.

Our first experience with my newfound buying power was at a pie joint in town where pie and coffee for 2 was almost twenty bucks! NO DISCOUNT!!! This was because I used US currency. I soon figured out that if I used a credit card, I would get $1.33 Canadian dollars worth of buying power for only one dollar US. So dinner at the Trappers Grill in the Townsite (yes that's how you say it every time) was $75, but with my credit card I only paid $54 US. Now that's a deal and the food was awesome.

We also took a boat ride to Goat Haunt, an outpost US entry station. The customs officials there were a little jerky compared to the delightful Canadians everywhere else, eh. Here are some pics.

 They cut the trees down along the entire border to make a visible line between the countries.

This is the Prince Of Wales Hotel. You can see the smoke behind it. Reminds me of Arendelle Castle from the movie Frozen.

All the smoke means we need to take this trip again! Yea!!!

Earlier in the day we went kayaking on Upper Waterton Lake in our inflatable kayak. Damn thing is so hard to use. We decided to head over to Lake Cameron and rent a hard-sided kayak on a smaller lake. Caitlin fell in love with kayaking and spent the next days searching for a used one to buy. No luck.

Here is Caitlin out on the lake by herself.

Later near dusk we drove down Red Rock Canyon looking for bears, and bears is what we found. Two of them to be exact. One so close it almost touched my truck on the passenger side. Caitlin was so excited. Though not our first bears sighting, every bear encounter is awesome.

 Crummy pics, but this is what I got.

Let's back up a little...

So I left off a few days ago with our journey to Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta, Canada. I finally found a place to purchase a memory card reader (my new laptop doesn't have one). So I wanted to import some pictures of Glacier National Park. Very hard to capture with all the smoke.

Managed to find some Mountain Goats..

That is good as it gets for this day. :-(

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Changing plans....

So we are changing plans. We are not coming back home, but will be living out our days on the road.

Glacier National Park is a little disappointing due to all the fires out west. Most of the views are obscured by smoke. This picture might be the best one of the day. :-(

Notice the mountain goats enjoying lunch!

After driving the "Going to the Sun Road" we ended up in West Glacier where we looked for a river for Stella to swim in. FOUND IT!

Some of the clearest water I have ever seen, and the coldest too! Stella didn't mind.

Well, back to the topic, plans have changed due to the fires. We will be heading from Alberta, Canada to Saskatchewan, then back to the U.S. and to Yellowstone country. Hopefully we can escape the smoke. We will be returning home after all. We need money to live. Hope I didn't scare anyone.

Just another day living the life!

Monday, August 24, 2015


After 3 days on the road I already feel the pressure of work creeping up on me. Just another 2 weeks and it's back to the grind. For now I will tell you about today.

We woke up with cows surrounding us at the Willow Creek Reservoir. What a sight. Stella could not resist herding them. This guy stared us down. But he was no match for Stella!

Also this morning I found I had ruined another stabilizer jack pulling into our boondocking site. I'm glad we are in RVing country and should be able to get a new one while on the road.

We drove on some roads that were in bad shape and our spare tire completely fell off, never to be seen or heard from again.  What a trip so far.

We arrived in St Mary campground in Glacier National Park just after 3pm and took a quick nap. We woke up and headed for a place where Stella could play and then we were off to see a bit of the park. Sadly the park is having some fires so visibility is low and trees are burned.

This picture was taken about 5pm with the sun still high in the sky. Notice all the haze. Seems like we never left the smog of LA.

Tomorrow is our first full day in the park, I hope it clears up enough to see something.


Sunday, August 23, 2015

Still driving....

Well, we're still on the road heading towards Montana. We stopped for the night in what initially looked like a run down campground near the highway. After hooking up the electric and water, we walked Stella around the small campground, where she chased two bunny rabbits. Of course she wasn't even close to catching either one. The campground is small with weeds abounding but still quaint and a little fun. Most of the occupants are highway road workers that are here only for the season, then move on to other projects.

We stopped to eat at Smitty's Pancakes and Steaks. The pancakes were great but I found that I don't really like steak for breakfast (Stella does). After that we strolled over to the Falls. Looks like a man made falls but still is a must see. I think this is the first time we stopped here in all the years driving to Yellowstone.

Most of the day today was spent driving through Utah, Idaho and Montana. Most of the time visibility was low and there was nothing to see. After getting into Montana we saw deer and pronghorn close to the road.  Now that's something you can't see in the city!

After hours and hours of our audio book we are still only on chapter 4. Still an entertaining book so far and still miles to go before we get to our next stop. See you soon.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

On our way!

Yesterday at 4, my friend Dave brought me Starbucks coffee to get this trip started off right. It hit the spot and it was exactly what I needed to stay awake until 2am this morning.

After getting new bigger and beefier tires a month ago I was afraid my fuel mileage would suffer, but it ended up not affecting anything. Speedometer seems correct and the trip is going swell.

With our first destination as Mesquite, NV we drove out of Los Angeles about 7pm and started off on a new Audible book from Amazon, "A Prayer for Owen Meany" by John Irving. This is a tradition we started years ago. This time the book is a whopping 26 hours. That should be enough for our 4,000 mile trip. We're headed to Glacier National Park, then Canada, returning home via Spokane and all points south. Let's hope the fires die down here in the west and don't bother us too much with smoke.

This is how the dude finished the first day of the trip. A hot night in Mesquite at 99 degrees, he went to bed without a shirt.

Then early this morning, heading out to somewhere in Idaho. Our yard this morning:
Bye for now!

Please let us know you are following us on this trip. Enjoy!

Bill and Caitlin

Friday, July 17, 2015

349 Weeks remaining....

Well, it's been a little bit since my last post, but I didn't want to just say we are paying off debt and waiting. So, this week's post is about paying off debt and waiting for retirement. :-)

With just about a year and a half in on planning we have paid off about 90% of the debt we have accumulated over the last 20 years. Down to the home stretch it really feels like we are accomplishing something with our lives. Being this close to being debt free feels like a load off my back. I always thought it was like carrying a ton on my back. I feel freer and lighter every day.

We have been looking at buying a membership in an Escapees park so we can have a home base near our families and a sense of community. We really love the Jojoba Hills SKP park in SoCal. They have just about everything you could ever want there. I think having this membership will also keep our expenses down when coming to L.A. area. The monthly dues are about $300. That makes it a lot cheaper than staying somewhere else for months at a time. Plus all the great people and activities.
The Next Trip

Our trip to Glacier National Park and Canada is coming up quick and we are very excited. We have a paper chain just like kids would when anticipating something big. We are just big kids now. This trip takes us through six states and two Canadian provinces. Glacier has been on our wish list for years, but Yellowstone always called to us. I hear Glacier is a mind blower and I am looking forward to my mind being blown. We will do all this in only 17 days - that's lots of driving, but for us it's about the adventure. I am also looking forward to seeing Waterton Lakes in Canada and getting our passports stamped on the lake. We're also taking the kayak and hope to hit a few lakes and reservoirs. It's fun being out on the water and seeing the land from a different perspective.

Trip Posts 

I hope to blog our trip while on the road. So stay tuned for some good times!

Monday, June 8, 2015

355 weeks remaining....

So after a year thinking, dreaming and working towards the "Dream" we have created a bucket list of places/things we want to see.

  • See bears eating salmon straight from the river in Alaska
  • Travel Route 66 the entire length
  • Visit the world’s largest ball of twine, etc.
  • Set foot in all 50 states
  • See Bigfoot and a flying saucer
  • Visit the very end of the Florida Keys and camp right on the water
  • Visit the northeast in the fall to see the leaves change colors
  • Visit all the Canadian Provinces
  • Visit all the U.S. and Canadian National Parks

I think this list might just be a start, but might just take us 20 years to complete. Why don't you reply to this post with your bucket list locations!

Until then keep on RVing....

Friday, May 29, 2015

356 Weeks remaining....

For Memorial Day weekend we decided not to boondock and went to an SKP park instead. We woke up Saturday morning, picked up the trailer from storage and headed to the Jojoba Hills SKP resort. This is the same place we visited over New Year's.

After setting up in our deluxe pull-through site at Jojoba Hills we headed in to town to stock up on food for the weekend. All day there were clouds and it was a little cool for this time of the year in Southern California. Needless to say we survived.

Saturday morning it was still overcast and cool, so most of the day we stayed in the trailer except for walking Stella. Later in the day we went to the pool for a swim and soak in the hot tub. Here is the Dude chillin' on a lounge chair.

After some rest the Dude decide to hit the pool. It was too cold for him but not for Caitlin. Notice all the clouds? Looks cold but it wasn't that bad.

After changing our clothes back at the trailer we decided some entertainment was needed. So here is the Dude playing pool. He is pretty good despite his small stature.

After I lost all my money to the Dude, he decided to head to the gym. I had to spot him while he lifted and stretched out on the exercise ball that was conveniently his size.

The next morning we walked over to the kiddie putt putt golf course for a quick round. This is where the Dude found a house just his size. This place really does have everything.

On Memorial Day we went over to the flag to remember everyone that has fallen in the hopes of keeping us free.

The Dude is a total ham! And last but not least the Dude wanted a book to read so we went to the on-site library.

Well that's the end of the trip for this weekend. Might be a while before we get out again. I just got a promotion and will be working more for a bit. July 4th we will be staying home and enjoying our nieghborhood block party.

Until then, keep on RVing.