WheRVe we been? Our travels 2nd quarter 2022

Well how ’bout that? It’s not often you see my legs sticking out from under the truck (and please observe that they are crossed, so everyone knows that all those swear words are coming from a lady).

One reason is that Tim doesn’t have the same… photographic priorities?… as I do, so there just wasn’t a picture of me in said position until I asked for one.

Another is that a few years ago, he started getting wicked strong vertigo from jobs that involve lying on his back looking up at something close. Seriously. Like, he’s had to roll over and puke on the pavement, and then spend a few hours recovering from the dizziness and nausea. Not fun.

So as situations warrant, I take one for the team, scootch and wriggle my way under truck or RV, and do the best I can while Tim coaches from above. There’s typically lots of ratcheting and wrenching and volatile cursing, way more grime than I care to have touching me, and sometimes I earn bruises and busted knuckles as payment. True love.

In the photo above, I was installing the tow bar hitch thingie that makes it so we can put our bike rack on the front of the truck, instead of behind the camper, where it would block our one and only door. Having to remove the bike rack every time we need access is also not fun.

Why am I explaining this? Because it was the last thing we did in central Texas before we finally got underway in Road Island in April, and I can tell you right now, almost 3 months in, that buying the truck camper early enough to take it out for a test season before next year’s trip to Alaska?

Rather brilliant move.

By which I mean a fair amount of stuff has already broken, and we’ve fixed it. And a fair amount of stuff we’ve brought along has been deemed unnecessary (mostly kitchen items and clothing), but that’s greater than the amount of stuff we didn’t bring along but wish we had, so overall we did fairly well, and we already kind of knew there was no way we’d get it right the first time. Maybe next year.

So how about I get to the map and the whirlwind tour now?

13 states, 2864 miles — only as measured directly between overnight stops, not all of which are on the map.
We put way more miles than that on the truck, sometimes with the camper on, sometimes without, as we ran errands and visited people at each location.
(Map does not reflect actual routing.)

The really cool thing is that 4 of those 13 states completed our RVing map of the Lower 48!

Although we made stops in TX, LA, AL, and TN for quick overnights on the way, our first real destination was VA, so that’s where I’ll start.

Slide Show 1: VA-MD-DE

Slide Show 2: NJ-PA-CT

Slide Show 3: NY-RI-MA

Where to next?

I’m publishing this in New Hampshire, then we’ll spend a few days in Maine, and then we’re crossing the border to visit our Canadian neighbors, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, for a few weeks. That means we’ll celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary outside the US this year, and I’m pretty sure that hasn’t happened since 1993, when we marked our 1st anniversary in France thanks to a US Navy port call.

And there we were, married one year, posing in the hallway of our inn in Cannes.
I was 24; Tim was 27.
If you haven’t read our “how we met” story, or want a refresher, it’s here. You probably won’t need a hankie, but be warned that you might catch yourself grinning like a total sap.

The internet says that this is our Pearl Anniversary, and we’ll be staying in a waterside village in a province famed for its fresh North Atlantic seafood, so I’m thinking that wherever we eat out on July 18? I shall order the oysters.

Close enough.


We started full-timing in August of 2015, but I didn’t think to do an annual review until the end of 2016, and it was just a listing on Facebook of places we’d visited. After that, I started using a quarterly format.

WheRVe we been? Our travels, 2nd quarter 2021

I’m pretty sure you could figure out our travel path from April-June if I just tell you about the food. We went from Amish baked goods, to dairy products, to corn, to tacos, back through corn, to trail mix, to potatoes.

If you’re not as food motivated or fascinated as I am, here’s the map to help you out.

We started on the east side of this Y shape and went from IN to WI to IA to OK to TX, and then right back up through OK & KS to NE to CO (our 44th RVisited state) to UT to ID.
RV miles traveled this quarter: about 4600 
(Map does not reflect exact routing.)

Indiana

The RV spent a little over 2 weeks having yet more kinks worked out at the DRV Factory Service center in Howe (our 4th warranty visit), and the two of us spent that time in two hotels and one historic state park lodge.

They weren’t quite ready for spring yet in northern Indiana.
April 1st brought snow for us fools.
You know you’re in Amish country when there’s designated buggy parking at the Walmart…
… and mmmmmm donuts are the reward for a bicycle ride along the Pumpkinvine Trail.
When we learned that repairs to the RV would stretch into another week, we decided to switch up our accommodations. Goodbye, generic roadside stay-suites; hello historic Potawatomi Inn.
By the time we left Indiana, spring had arrived for real.
So what’d we do?
Rolled even farther north, where spring was trying hard to show up, but hadn’t quite made it yet.

Wisconsin

One of Tim’s cousins had bought some rural property just before the pandemic hit, and we were finally able to visit. Worked out well for all of us: we got free dry camping, and Cousin D got help framing living and work spaces into one end of his new pole barn.

Moochdocking on the front 40
It’s… well… there’s really no other way to put this.
It’s two white guys building a wall.
And yes, you can laugh, because sometimes a wall is just a wall, and has nothing to do with politics, and even if my sense of humor isn’t for everybody, I still think we could all stand a good chuckle.
Laugh, dammit.
It wasn’t what I’d call ice cream weather in Wisconsin in mid-April, but there was a dairy just a few miles away, and the cheese curds we bought were for lunch, so I still needed a dessert — you know, to keep my meal balanced.

Iowa

We had to start heading back to Texas for some commitments in May, and since Iowa was on the way and was still on our “need to visit” list and some good friends were already staying at an RV park there? No brainer.

We’ve known full-time RVers Andrea & Shawn of 40foothouse for a couple of years, and have deliberately crossed paths in several states since then. We have a tradition of snapping selfies in front of oversized objects, so in Iowa we went extra corny.

Texas

We’d only been away from our home base since January, but May brought family birthdays, a graduation, a wedding, a relocation, and a lot of other stuff in between. We had the time, the will, and the wheels, so we went!

First task: helping our younger son move from Austin to Bryan/College Station.
Not sure the BFT has ever towed anything that petite!
We also volunteered for a couple of days at an Escapees Co-op RV park near Hondo, after disaster struck. A night of intense wind and hail storms totaled numerous buildings and vehicles, and we felt called to assist our own.
Click here for that story.
In Texas, we eat tacos.
And if our amigos Phil & Stacy of You, Me & the RV are in town, we get a table for 4.
And we also ate cake — three in two days!
Our niece graduated from high school the same day as Emily’s mom’s birthday, and the next day a friend’s daughter got married.
Yeah, that was a lot of frosting. But who wants to celebrate a big occasion with salad?

Nebraska

We wanted to check the Cornhusker State off our list, but we were headed from Texas to Colorado, and it’s not exactly on the way. So we said screw it. There were people we wanted to see badly enough to make the detour.

Footbridge work is fun. Race ya!
If you’re interested in other work we’ve done with A Year to Volunteer, and how you can get involved too, start here.

Colorado

By visiting the Centennial State, we’ve filled in all the “big ones” in the lower 48, and now have only four little Eastern Seaboarders left (NJ, DE, RI, CT).

A funny thing happened when we decided to hit Colorado.
I asked our friends Marc & Julie of RV Love if they’d be around, and to heavily paraphrase their response, they said, “YES! Come play with us! Just keep going west over the mountains!”
So we did
(Photo: J. Bennett)
And then a funny thing happened on the way to the western slopes.
I looked out the window from our pitstop site at the Boulder County Fairgrounds, and the chillest dog in America was looking right back at me.
It took some time for me to regain my composure, and I think the only way to explain this is that you can’t spell cool without CO.
Our chips definitely knew we were at elevation.
Luckily I’ve learned a trick or two in our travels, and I remembered to loosen things like condiment lids and the flip tops to our toiletries very slowly to let the air out without a messy explosion.
Forgot about the chip bags in the pantry though, so let me be the first to advise you that Fritos make terrible confetti.
Speaking of explosions, late one night at the campground, Tim heard the unmistakable sound of water spraying.
Turns out a gasket in the kitchen sink faucet had failed, and water was shooting all over the place. Tim’s quick dash outside to shut off our city water connection saved us from major damage, and his fixit skills and tool collection saved us from a major repair bill.
And that’s why I’m going to sneak in a plug for RV Love’s new book here. It’s called “RV HACKS: 400+ Ways to Make Life on the Road Easier, Safer, and More Fun!” and we’ve both got tips published in it.
Tim’s is in the Repairs & Maintenance section, and mine’s in RV Living.
Release date is next week, and we can’t wait to get our hands on a copy!
(Not an ad. We gain nothing from your click or purchase.)
Our campground was situated within striking distance of several stunning hiking areas…
… and that’s why I chose trail mix as the designated food for this state along our path. We went through the better part of a large bag.
We closed out our visit to Colorado with day trips to two of its national parks. This is the view from Warner Point at Black Canyon of the Gunnison
And this is a view from Rim Rock Drive in Colorado National Monument.

Idaho

We arrived in Coeur d’Alene at the end of June, and we’ll stay for about 3 weeks. Tim went to high school here, and the roots still run deep. Not a day has gone by without spending time with old friends, and his parents have just arrived in town for a visit as well. I know I should be capturing all the smiles in photographs, but I’ve been trying to set my phone aside and focus more on soaking up these moments together. Plus, most of these moments involve food (including Idaho potatoes in a multitude of glorious forms), and who wants to pose while grinning dopily around a mouthful of spuds?

Where to next?

We’ll head to Washington first, to visit our older son on the Olympic Peninsula, do a little hiking, and soak up some adventure at yet another “summer camp for grownups” at the Escapees Cascade Mountains Hangout. That’s not their term; it’s one I chose to describe the program after our first Hangout, nearly two years ago in Maine. In late August, we head east to Montana for the Escapees Glacier Country Hangout.

We’ve been to both locations before, but we find it hard to resist the allure of group events for which everything is planned and organized by someone else — stuff we wouldn’t normally arrange on our own — and all we have to do is pay our money and show up. We don’t even have to find a place to stay; the campground or RV park is reserved in advance, and we know exactly what we’re getting when we roll in. Full-time RV life is not a vacation. Hangouts are!

We haven’t figured out September yet, and I’ll fill you in on October’s plans in my next quarterly update. Until then, you can check up on us on Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter for updates as we go.


We started full-timing in August of 2015, but I didn’t think to do an annual review until the end of 2016, and it was just a listing on Facebook of places we’d visited. After that, I started using a quarterly format.