The first feature is more of a short film — just our travel map, a pair of puppies, and a collage of tranquil waterscapes.
Why so brief? Well, since we spent most of January, February and March in state parks doing service work with A Year to Volunteer (Y2V for short), and I’ve blogged 3/4 of those experiences already (see links below), there just wasn’t much else left to show ya.
So since my usual quarterly update coincides with the highly blogworthy wrap-up of our final Tennessee project with Y2V, I’m combining the two, which means you get a ROGO (Read One Get One). And, since we continue to host this blog without advertisements or affiliate links, it really is free!
Feature 1: WheRVe we been? Our travels, 1st quarter 2021
Our RV accommodations for the quarter included the friend’s driveway where we closed out 2020, a casino, a Harvest Hosts winery, 3 Army Corps of Engineers parks, 2 military fam camps, a 24-hour diner, 5 state parks, and our manufacturer’s service center.
Feature 2: Volunteer State, Part III
Thanks to Y2V, we spent 6 weeks volunteering in the Volunteer State, culminating with a park named for the original volunteer himself, good ol’ Davy Crockett.
The main objective for Y2V at David Crockett Birthplace State Park was to build an outdoor stage with amphitheater-style seating. Check! Our crew of 32 also constructed a bridge, cleared a trail, removed excessive riverside vegetation, painted a couple of bathrooms, beautified the park entrance, relocated a fence, and created about 80 new signs.
And by the time our stay was up?
We stood distanced, grouped by RV household, and removed our masks for the photo above. When working and socializing, we took the usual COVID precautions. All the measures we volunteers agreed to follow on our first gig were also in place for this one, with the addition of TN’s state-mandated daily temperature checks and symptom questionnaires.
We’re in a holding pattern in northern Indiana while our RV is being repaired at the DRV service center in Howe. Again. It’s complicated, and we won’t discuss what is still an ongoing process, but we’re hoping for a better fix for some of the issues we’ve been experiencing since we bought our 2018 Mobile Suites.
The repair schedule will keep us in the area for the next two weeks. After that we’re not sure, but some happy friends-and-family events in May require us to aim ourselves toward Texas, so we’ll just figure it out as we roll. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter for updates along the way — wherever it is.
To learn how we got involved with Y2V in the first place (wine), read this, and for more about their upcoming projects, visit them on
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.
There were 30 of us, all RVers, mostly couples. Most stayed the entire duration of the project (Jan. 25 – Feb. 5, 2021), and a few came and went. Some already had Y2V experience under their tool belts, and some were newbies like us.
There were retirees from a wide variety of backgrounds, a sampling of which includes military veterans, nurses, teachers, a business owner, a contractor, and even a pair of NASA engineers.
I won’t even try to calculate the combined years of home improvement, building, and fix-it experience. Tim has about 40, and he was one of the younger men on the job, so there were several lifetimes worth of skills and knowledge in play every single day.
The Honey-Do’s? Honeys Did — And Then Some
We were given 5 projects by the park. Our team completed those + 20 more, and still finished a day early! A sampling of the tasks:
Parking lot striping
New AC/exhaust system in maintenance shop
3 new camp host sites (timbers, leveling, graveling)
Sanding and painting metal cabin doors
Sanding and painting porch & walkway rails
Installing new flooring in guest cottages
Sanding and painting rocking chairs
Cleaning AC drip stains & touch-up painting in guest cottages
Replacing fire rings in campground loops
The park itself shouted out some love too.
Oh, And We Had Fun
“Have fun!” is in fact codified in Y2V’s core values, and we were nothing if not obedient. Even while we worked, we joked around and kept each other entertained, and also made lasting friendships.
But there was also ample time for campfires & cocktails, hiking & biking, wildlife spotting, boating, and more (yes, socially distanced or masked or both).
The work schedule was not strict — roughly 9-4 each weekday, with a lunch break — and we were advised to take time off as needed for things like ouchy muscles or injuries, personal errands, and especially for any symptoms of illness.
Having the weekend off allowed us time to explore the park ourselves, and also kept our tools, paint, dust, and noise from creating mayhem for park guests during peak visitation days.
UPDATE, 02/17/21: Now that the footage is live, I can divulge that yes, those were dance lessons, and here’s why we needed them! That’s me in the yellow safety vest; Tim’s behind me in the back row, wearing a red flannel shirt. If you make it all the way to the 4:30 mark, you’ll see how I live to be an embarrassment to our sons and any future generations.
Tomorrow we head to Tennessee for the next Y2V project, at Fall Creek Falls State Park. The to-do list includes building bridges, clearing and re-routing trails, and painting maintenance buildings.
Can’t wait to see some of our friends again, meet new members of the crew, and knock that list right out of the park. Hahaha! Out of the park. Get it? I crack myself up.
To learn more about A Year to Volunteer and their upcoming projects, visit them on