Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Because you asked....

Today's blog is to answer a lot of questions I have been asked about this trip--the who, what, when, why and where of living on the road. First of all, after 8 months I am still a novice at it.  Other travelers, who have been at it far longer than I have,  clue me in on what they have learned and I certainly welcome any advice from friends, family and acquaintances as I go.

First I want to start with a brag.  I am not sure how it compares to other bloggers out there, but I suspect this is a pretty puny number if put up against the biggies but this morning my blog  passed the 10,000 mark--the tally of how many times it has been accessed by you folks out there. I am stunned and it tells me why I do it--I would never communicate with that many emails, phone calls, or smoke signals telling you what I am up to.

Secondly, the blog is fun to do.  It is my log of the trip and I hope it is fun for others to read.  It is also at times biased, opinionated, superficial and boring...sorry but I never claimed to be a Steinbeck.

Thirdly,  it's free!  Any of you can start your own blog--it's in google as blogger.com.

When I am on the road I can access the internet with this little gadget from Verizon called a MiFi.  Sometimes it works but I spend so much time away from the big cities that I don't always pick up a strong signal.  That's when you can hear me cussing as I fight to get on line. It also has a very limited battery so I often am 1/2 through a blog and it will shut down--causing me to have to start all over again.  GRRR! But I have learned I can charge the battery with my car-phone charger so I no longer have to rely on electricity for that little chore.

Lynda, you and several others have asked about the camera.  I have never considered myself to be a photographer.  But this little camera has really been forgiving and covers up a huge number of my mistakes.  (sorry about the reverse image--I couldn't figure out how to fix that)  The camera was a gift from my kids and certainly one of the best cameras I have ever owned.  It is very small as you can see hence I am always losing it.  Why don't they put a beeper on it so I can find it easier?
It is a Canon Powershot SD 1400 IS  digital ELPH.   I have hardly learned all the things it will do--I always leave it on 'automatic' and change only the zoom part.  Any real photographer has just smacked his forehead and muttered something rude.
I do not use photoshop--don't know how.
I download all my photos into Picasso where I can do a few things--lighten, darken, enlarge, etc. but that's it.
Anyway, thank you for the nice comments on the photography--and watch me get better as I go.

This book is one of my favorite ways to plan my trips.  It was a gift from Brittania's grandmother who did a similar trip some years back.

So what does this trip cost?
 I have started to track my nightly RV park costs and here are the last 3 months totals:  
That figures out to 6.50 to 7.20 per night.  I am hoping to hold that number for the rest of the journey but it will depend on where I am or how many relatives I meet when I can park for a few nights.  I have become a pretty good boondocker (someone who parks free for the night) and the following are my places of choice in the order I prefer:
*Cracker Barrel Restaurants (usually have nice surroundings and are very welcoming.  Besides I am crazy about their veggie plate.)
*Hospital parking lots (I always wait until after visiting hours are over and I always leave before the crowds arrive in the morning.  And if I have another heart attack I am in the right place.)
*Any upscale neighborhood street with on-street parking--preferably by a church unless it is Saturday night. (This is the beauty of being as small as I am--I do not stand out from the regulars)
*Federal government lands that are not posted as 'no overnight parking'.  (I do not like being the only one there so I have usually used these only for daytime napping)
*Small town library parking lots after the library closes for the day.

The drawback of boondocking is no electricity, no showers (I have to use the RV's), and no dumping (which I have to do every 4 days)

The above books really help me to find inexpensive camp sites.  I have the Golden Age pass which gives free entry to the parks and corps of engineers campgrounds with 1/2 price on the camping.  If you are 62 or older you must get this pass.  I have had mine 8 years now and my $12 investment has saved me hundreds of dollars.

Finally, my gas expenditures...UGH!
As the price goes up my traveling goes down.  I now limit myself to no more the $50 in gas every 3 days.   I try to do even less than that if possible.  If I use that up in one or two days then I just find a place to sit for a while.  And there have been some lovely places along the way to sit.
If you read through all of this and still have questions then please let me know.  I also need the feedback so keep posting in comments.
And 'thank you all for the 10,000 mark!'


  1. Great info. I have not tried boondocking, yet. I am working now until October, so maybe after that I will try it.

  2. great information...

  3. Thanks for the comments. June, I've been thinking about you--hope you're playing lots of Skip-bo....Toni