Berlin, OH - July 10, 2014
We started our eighth year of full-time travel at a repair garage southeast of Cleveland. We had to have the throttle body actuator on the engine of the motor home replaced when the motor home unexpectedly went into reduced power mode on I-77 after leaving Amish Country in Berlin, OH last summer.
After a one-day delay to get the motor home repaired, we hit the road for a tour of New York and New England. Except for a few business trips for Paul, neither one of us had been to New England before.
The first stop on our year 8 summer travels was a visit to Niagara Falls. Paul hadn't been there since he was a kid, and Margery had never been there.
From Niagara Falls, we traveled to New England. We went through the Green Mountains of Vermont and the White Mountains of New Hampshire, then we dipped down to visit Lowell, MA and the area to the north of Boston.
From Boston, we headed north again to Bar Harbor, ME. By far, the Bar Harbor area and Acadia National Park were the highlight of our summer. We loved the rocky Maine coast and the way it changed appearance depending on the time of day and the level of the tide.
After reluctantly leaving Bar Harbor, we headed south with stops in Topsham, Maine; Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts; Newport, Rhode Island; Cape Cod, Massachusetts; and Mystic Seaport, Connecticut.
New England was the last major U.S. geographic area we had to visit. With the addition of the 6 New England states plus New York, we have explored 46 of the 48 contiguous states since we started in 2006. Depending on the hurricane season, we're hoping to visit the last two, New Jersey and Delaware, on our way south this fall. We are not planning to go to Alaska with the motor home, but we may take a cruise there someday. We obviously won't be going to Hawaii with the motor home; and because of the great distance and expense, we won't be probably be going there without it either.
America is an absolutely beautiful country with a wide variety of landscapes, flora and fauna that are breathtakingly exquisite and delightful. The uniqueness of each area is fascinating and beautiful in its own right. You never know what you'll find around the next bend in the road. We are so grateful for the opportunity to travel, see, hear, and learn of God's creation.
After touring New England, we spent a couple of weeks in Pittsburgh for visits with family and friends and for our annual doctor appointments. From there, we made our way south for a month in Lower Alabama before heading to our snowbird roost at Blueberry Hill RV Park in Bushnell, FL.
We traveled about 4,300 miles in year 8 - not nearly as far as the 15,200 miles we went in our first year, but more than the 2,600 miles we went in year 7. In our eighth year, we made 29 stops with an average length of stay of about 12½ days per stop. In year 7, which was a slow-down year, we made 25 stops for an average of about two weeks at each stop. Even though we went a longer distance in year 8, our travel style was still somewhat leisurely.
During our stay in Florida, we decided to take advantage of a special offer by the owners of the RV park and commit to two years at the "6 & 6" rate in exchange for having pavement and landscaping added to our site and for getting a storage shed. The "6 & 6" rate means we can use the site for up to 6 months a year and store our RV on the site for the other 6 months. Even though we probably won't stay for the full 6 months most years and we definitely won't be storing our RV on the site, the price for "6 & 6" is only a little higher than what we would pay for staying 5 months at the regular rate. We usually stay 4 months, but we plan to increase the length of future stays to around 5 months. We decided the small increase in cost was worth it for the convenience of having pavement and so Paul could do a little gardening and also have a shed where he could keep a small workbench and some tools.
We left Florida late this spring and stopped in Alabama. Our stay there was shorter than usual because of the fact we hung around Florida much longer than usual in order to see our paving and landscape get completed. We then headed north with stops in Memphis, Nashville and Crossville, Tennessee. From Crossville, we ended up back in Ohio's Amish Country again.
Even with our 9th year promising to be an even more leisurely travel year than year 7 or year 8, and with our commitment to the "6 & 6" rate at Blueberry Hill and the resulting likelihood we will stay in Florida longer than before, we're still not ready to give up RVing in the foreseeable future. We plan to keep rollin' down the road.