As 2014 looms, I’m reflecting on this past year – a wildly successful year of travel!
As I prepared for my first mega-trip in December 2012, I had owned the GDB for about 3 months. Until then, I had taken a few trips of short distances and durations, always with hook-ups. My 7-week journey to the annual Rubber Tramp Rendezvous in Quartzsite, AZ was to be my first real test.
When I departed on December 29th (exactly one year ago), I was still green as a cucumber RV-wise. For example, I had never even used the entertainment system, furnace, water pump, or the water heater. Nor had I ever camped without hook-ups.
That all changed on this epic trip. 2013 became a year of liberation!
|First WMT overnighter - Lafayette, LA|
I endured temps down into the high-teens and even some snow. Despite my inner qualms, I happily lived off-grid with the RTR tribe for 11 days.
In fact, I didn't want to leave!
In fact, I didn't want to leave!
That roadtrip was a real initiation into the Part-Timing life. Two more long trips were to follow. And the next big step came this fall as I began my career as an online nursing professor.
This year, I camped from the mountains to the prairies to the oceans white with foam. I crossed both the Eastern and Western Continental Divides. I reconnected with old friends and made new ones.
|Bob assessing solar possiblities|
|Nelda & Jerry|
Authentic people, non-conformists, freedom-lovers, nature-lovers. I engaged in very little small talk this year.
I also learned the important skill of keeping in touch on the road.
There were some glitches.
All were overcome.
My experiences this year confirmed the fact that I want to keep doing this as long as I’m physically able. It’s just too much fun to stop!
2013 by the Numbers
3 Road Trips
5 Camping Trips
116 Nights in the GDB:
66 National Park stamps
12 Fellow bloggers met
54 Generator hours
10 Propane refills
3 Oil changes
8 Repairs: galley window leak, outside compartment lock, auto battery,
house batteries, front rotor, torque converter, flat tire, 2 cabinet latches
I haven't calculated how many gallons of gas I bought, nor do I want to.
After this initiation year, I feel as though I am prepared for anything. I’ve developed a comfortable and efficient travel routine. And I’ve pared my possessions down to the absolute essentials. My home-on-wheels is simplicity itself.
I still get a kick out of pulling off the road, making coffee, and doing the crossword.
|Blue Ridge Parkway stop|
And sometimes I just gaze out the window marveling at my good fortune.
|Me and the Bison|
In 2014, I won’t put as much mileage on the GDB. I made a conscious decision to skip the RTR in order to save a bit on fuel. Likewise, I scuttled my post-holiday plans for a trip to Key West, but will still try to visit Everglades National Park. I’ll spend some of the winter on monthly week-long camping trips.
And – bonus! - it looks like Bob Wells will make an Eastern RTR happen in March. If so, I will head to South Carolina and hang with the nomads for a while.
In the meantime, I'll save my pennies for a 2014 summer on the road. I want nothing more than to escape the unbearable swamp that is summer in the Deep South. I haven’t decided whether to head north to explore the Great Lakes region or head west to join the WINS in the Pacific Northwest.
I look forward with great excitement to another joyful year on the road.
Thanks for coming along for the ride!