Hello again, friends! It’s been awhile. We hope everyone is well and happy.
Joy Girl Update…
First, for those who don’t know, let me summarize what happened after we finished the Great Loop in March 2020. (If you know the story, skip down.) When we entered our slip at Shelter Cove Marina on Hilton Head, we hadn’t decided whether or not to keep Joy Girl. We loved her but she was frustratingly expensive, the kitties never fully took to her, and our parents were struggling with aging issues.
In mid-March, I flew home to Colorado to visit my parents. But by the time my return flight came around, Covid was rapidly exploding. Airlines were canceling thousands of flights every day and state borders were closing. In such an unprecedented emergency and not knowing what the future held, we decided I would stay home and poor Craig would pack up all our belongings and drive home solo.
Within a week, he packed everything on Joy Girl in boxes, rented a panel van, and packed up the kitties. The Disney Resort next to the marina, which gave us car access to the boat, closed due to Covid but they kindly allowed him to use their lot so he didn’t have to haul stacks of boxes for half a mile. He drove 1,745 miles in 30 hours, only taking short naps at rest stops, and crossed into Colorado the day before the border closed at the end of March.
A few weeks later, on April 17th, my Dad turned 90. Exactly one week later, on April 24, he passed on to heaven. I was so grateful to be home and help Mom through that time. We really felt the hand of God in the timing of those events. As Covid restrictions increased, we put Joy Girl on the market. Our favorite boat broker, John Kaiser, found her new owner in December 2020. Last we knew, she was headed toward Washington D.C.
One if by land, two if by sea….
Like everyone else, we hunkered down through Covid. And, like millions of other Americans, we thought an RV would be a great way to travel during a pandemic. We also hoped the kitties would be happier on land than sea. At least when we stopped waves wouldn’t continue to rock their world.
On October 3rd, 2021 (my birthday), we bought an impeccably maintained 2014 Winnebago 35G Sightseer in Colorado Springs. (If you want a peek inside, click here.) Unfortunately, Craig’s first driving experience was white knuckling it up I-25 through Denver, under major construction with sharp curves, narrowed lanes, closed shoulders, and rough pavement. Baptism by fire!
Last Fall, we took two short trips into the Rockies to learn how to handle our new land yacht. At Carter Lake Reservoir and the Poudre Canyon we learned that at the very least we need electricity so we can run the heat and lights without running a noisy generator and disturbing the quiet.
In March we set off on our first multi-week trip to Mustang Island, Texas, a barrier island off the coast of Corpus Christi. I wanted the beach! This was our test run trip to find out – did we like the RV? Would Roswell, our high anxiety kitty, be okay during the drive? Would Scully cat get carsick like she got seasick? It took us four days to drive through west Texas, much of which looks like an apocalyptic landscape of nothingness or the extreme barrenness of Saudi Arabia. Corpus Christi wasn’t much better. Beach towns in Florida can be disheveled and worn, but they have a certain ineffable charm. Corpus and to a lesser degree, Port Aransas (the main burg on Mustang Island), are just run down, dirty and trashy (literally). A former Texan looked at me sadly and summed it up, “It’s a border town.” I hear east Texas is better. I will say this – all the Texans we met were extremely friendly and helpful.
As we drove down Mustang Island toward Gulf Waters Beach Front RV Resort Craig scanned the flat, tree-less, brown landscape and said, “Is this where we’re staying? This is so ugly!” I bit my lip and wondered, What have I done? I wanted the beach, but this is awful! Ten miles down the road we finally we found our new home for the next three weeks and, voila, we drove into an oasis! The park was pristinely clean, filled with large palm trees and bushes, and had a sparkling blue pool and hot tub. They ushered us to our spot, at the end of a small lake and a five-minute walk from the beach.
Nestling our land yacht into a new spot requires a setup process not dissimilar to docking Joy Girl. Instead of gliding into a slip, determining where lines need to be placed, and jumping onto a dock to secure the vessel, now Craig waits while I scope the spot for tree branches that might scratch paint or obstruct slide outs and make sure our electric, water and sewer lines will reach the outlets. As on Joy Girl, we use headsets so we don’t have to scream at each other to be heard. After positioning is perfect, we lower the jacks to stabilize and level it, hook up the lines, and open the slide outs.
As soon as chores were done, I headed to the beach. It takes a lot for a beach to disappoint me. Give me sand and surf and I’m content. On the positive side, the sand was soft and the surf pounded. But, cars drove up and down the beach and campers could park for three nights. If I was a kid (or had young kids), I’d be all over that! But at my ripe old age, I long for the peace, solemnity and quiet that a beach offers. Unfortunately, trash marred the beauty and the wind typically blew somewhere between 10-30mph each day. But we absorbed some sunshine in the 70 degree weather. Mom flew down for a week and stayed at a nearby Airbnb.
As we settled in, we decided we love living in our new tiny home. The traveling isn’t great – the V10 engine is LOUD, the suspension is bumpy, and the interior is creaky, but once we settle down, life is good. We gave Roswell a vet-approved sedative for the drives and fearless Scully did not get carsick. We plan on a few upgrades to make the drive a more pleasant experience. If you are an RV’er and have some tips, please let us know!
We stayed in Texas for three weeks and on our way back, stopped in Fredericksburg and Palo Duro Canyon State Park. Both are great places to visit and were the highlights of our trip! We plan to return to Palo Duro for the outdoor stage play “Texas!” which uses the canyon as the set.
This Spring we plan to take a few small trips to the mountains just to get away. At the end of June we head to the Midwest to visit friends and family in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Indiana and Illinois. We are so grateful to have this opportunity to travel and keep in touch with loved ones. Hopefully, for all our sakes, Covid will stay at bay and adventures will continue.
We’ve decided to write the blog again since it’s a great way to share experiences and photos with everyone. If you aren’t interested in our RV adventures and only wanted boat updates, there should be a link at the bottom of the email to unsubscribe. We’ll catch up again later!