Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Phil - My Very Own MacGyver

One of the fun parts of living with Phil is getting to see what he comes up with. This man is a problem solver! He is also mechanically inclined and a genius.

On our southern journey Phil did his usual safety walk around the rig. He discovered that one of the mud flaps was hanging by a thread. For the short term he used a bungee. Its a heavy duty mud flat barely hanging on. It was easy enough for Phil to identify the missing bolt. Unfortunately a trip to the local auto store did not provide a matching bolt. When he got back to the RV park he quickly learned that he would need some 'washers' to make the bolt fit. No worries! ' Wa la! Nothing like a few loose pennies to save the day!
Another day... Another happy camper!

Arriving Tucson and Desert Trails RV Park

Rewind: Thursday Oct 23rd 5am ...
Driving the 5th wheel through Phoenix we leave before dawn in hopes of a clean get-by-it.

Root rooh ... traffic.... no problem really...

Do we have a rocky road ahead? What will life be in an RV park? Can we live like sardines? Will we find our spot or just a jumping off point for more exploration... How will we handle rocky roads? Unknowns? Pain-in-the-arsh headaches? With grace, patience and flexibility? Time will tell...
Desert Trails RV Park... Kind of funky, kind of fun... with the bonus of Suguaro National Park our new backyard. After exploring a number of parks last April this seemed like a good place to land for now! Time to get our landing gear down!

Ok here we go... cross your fingers...I know I'm crossing mine!

Pericles and Kyoko Wyatt are the owners of the park.
We met Pericles on our April visit and once again he was here to welcome us!

Vic and Jo were friends from our Olympia park that told us about Desert Trail
and as luck would have it they are here too!

Since neither Phil nor I have any RV driving experience we are still nervous Nellies about it.
Phil is the official driver for now and I will share driving later.
We had two monkeys on our back driving down. One was getting in and out of gas (diesal) stations and the other is 'backing up'. Turned out the gas stations are not too bad as long as one is not suckered into a bad layout... As for backing up, well here goes... thankfully Phil lucked out and he didn't have a audience.
whew... and wa la!

Whoo whoo...what a nice view from our door!

This is our second 'RV Park' ever... and our second spot that has the magic of a large state or national park behind it.
Is that good thinking or what?

~~~~ Wow~~~~
So a far so good.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Pugh Canyon Trail - Kanab Utah

"Pugh Canyon - Kanab Utah A dirt track meanders along the canyon floor beside the riparian zone, where you’ll see native willows and cottonwoods. A variety of birds frequent this area." VisitKanab.info

We decided on this local canyon walk as an alternative to spending a chunk of energy and money driving to one of the destination canyon's here in southern Utah. More and more we are shifting perspectives and moving toward embracing simplicity and creating a smaller footprint.

We found a list of local hikes on the Visit Kanab website and decided on this one...and we found magic in our own backyard! We walked from our RV camp, 1 mile to the trail head and then 1.5 miles to the 'falls'. We brought corn chips (gluten-free) and yummy apples to lunch munch on along with water and sun block.

Come join us on our walk, my heart attack,
and I'll let you in on Phil's leap of faith.

We are near the end of the canyon.
There is lots of bushes so we climb up the side wall instead to get a better view!

Here we find Phil up a steep hill looking out on the end of the canyon.
Note the space in the rocks between us.
It's a good thirty feet or so up from the canyon floor.
Must he jump over to that spot? Yes he must.

Being the adventure photographer that I am (not)
I scampered down the hillside in order to film his leap back to solid ground.
(please forgive my french)

The good news is he made it!
The bad news is I turned off the camera and
missed the best part of his 'almost' fall..
Drat I should have left it on!

It' was the classic 'no big deal'
got his blood moving anyway
It was a long way down!

Now back to heaven...

This day is much like many
- the joy of a slower pace in life
- uncovering opportunities that feed the soul
- struggling with the fear of the unknown, both financially and physically
- practicing taking things as they come and letting the worry pass me by
- making a leap of faith
- wobbly landing among dirt and dust
- more fear

- finding a sense of balance once again

(hearing the quiet voice inside...we are right where we belong)

it is hard in this world of chaos
to trust ourselves
to make each leap of faith
(...by the minute, the day, the lifetime, by the heartbeat...)
to balance when we can
and wobble as needed
to get up dust ourselves off
and do it all again

how is your leap of faith?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Early to Bed; Early to Rise

Friday 3am
I sleep like a log. Phil doesn't. It's even more true when we travel. Thankfully there is a benefit. It's easy to hit the road before dawn... why waist time and angst in mainstream traffic flows when you can zip through metro areas at dawn?...and so we do.

Our first truck stop for gas... after Phil easily drove through a gas station with no diesel pump we headed here.

East 84 up the Columbia Gorge... An energy center of America
With awesome views, major dams, and breathtaking windmills too.

Easy in, easy out...and cozy too!

Look Phil driving and Auggie making her first pass!

So much beauty to watch go by! How grateful I am to be here.

Time to look for a place to settle in for the night.
We decided on a second night 'free' as we move south and we lucked out at this great spot.
I 84 Exit 13 Sinclair Diesel... Just over the border in Idaho.

Nice neighborhood!

Turns out black top camping is working out just great for us!

Who knew we would be so happy with all the comforts of home / well most anyway.

Sweet dreams!

Let's Boogie Baby

Thursday 8am - We overslept ...

8:45 - Goodbye Deep Lake

9:30 - Arrive Uhmann's RV for Aggie's (our 2003 Alpinlite Augusta 5th Wheel) first annual check up. When we bought our rig (truck and trailer) last year Phil did a visual inspection only. While he has many McGiver qualities himself it seemed warrented to have a closer look at her internal works... like the brakes. ;)

Good news, no surprises found. We learned a few more tips on the RV. We are first time RVer's every little bit of information helped.

5pm - After driving 30 miles south to Uhlmann's we backtracked a few miles to our first Tar Camp...Walmart. Oh la la. While we are not Walmart shoppers we do appreciate their black top. Yeah for the end of our first safe day on the road!

Tar Camping Anyone? We plan to mix 'free' camping with campgrounds as we travel south. For the first two nights we will tar camp and then look for a respite/recharge spot as we move into Utah. Learning to drive this monstrosity is our first challenge. Phil for now will do the driving (he LOVES to drive). So far so good as he wove through Walmart, dodged traffic and arrived safely int this spot.

Evening time and all tucked in...
We leave our 'slides' in when tar camping and/or hooked up to the truck.
As you can see we still have the path open...while a skinny space we still
have access to all our goodies like the kitchen and bathroom. Not all 5th wheels are designed this way which was a deciding factor on this one. Yeah for a cozy night and our own refrigerator.

Happy Wandering To All!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Travel Days

Hi Bloggers!

Tomorrow we leave our nest at Deep Lake Resort. It's been a wonderful 15 months here; now it's time to learn to drive. Whoo whoo!

Stay tune for updates on our adventures in sunshine. We may not have internet access for a week or so. Please send us good tidings and angel wings to help guide the way.

Happy Travels... Marie

Friday, October 10, 2008

Financial Chaos

Sept 15th, after watching the news on AIG all weekend we both woke up and knew that it was time to get out of the market. Thankfully we did. How grateful we are that we took our head out of the sand, got scared, and went to 'protect our assets'. It is a very scary time.

--Note: In our case we are living on our savings. If we were working with a long term outlook we probably would have stayed in the market (50% or so) and continued to dollar cost average. Building up more units of stock to leverage when the market grows again.

We are buying CD's in FDIC accounts.

My smart_as_a_whip dad, who is 82 and an investor since he sold a company when he was 45, is doing the same thing. He didn't tell us to get out but when I said we did he was clearly relieved. He thinks interest rates will go up next year and suggests a 6 month CD for now. He already has his in CDs @ 4%...I have gotten ours just over 3%.

I have been challenged to get the retirement money moved into accounts that allow purchase of CD's. Talk about paper work etc... Thankfully I am not working so that allows me time work the system. I am still not done after a week of efforts.

My heart goes out to so many. Hard times are here, more to come...lets hope we can dig deep, work together and find some silver linings. Maybe it's time to transition from a consumer driven society to one focused on our core values ... like family, community, add simplicity, energy efficiency etc. It's time to move past our difference and identify and grow our common values, like George!

How are you holding up?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Training Wheels!

Marie & Phil's Extraordinary RV Driving School:

Darn, drat, damn...

That better - great clearance!
Good Job Phil Good Job Marie

Any thoughts on gas station strategies?
Advise is always welcome here!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Washington State Goodbye Serenade!

10 Days and Counting!!!
No Washington winter, no way, no how
We survived the rains and floods of 2008 here
Enough is enough
It's time to buck up and learn to drive the rig!

Did you check out nature's music in my video?
Chinese water torture anyone? Noisy, noisy, noisy...
Did I mention noisy?
No Washington winter, now way, no how

Stay tune for sunny days!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Malloy Snippets

<<<< Sister, Auntie, Cousin


Cousin Krissie

and a family snapshot: Yours Truly, Auntie Robbie, Cousin Krissie, Mom Audrey, Sister Tick.

A good time was had by all. What fun! Sunshine and relatives... my cats meow.