Hi there! Long time no see!!
And a warm welcome all of our new subscribers — we’re so glad you’re here!
I took a blogging vacation starting in early November, and over the winter it morphed into a full fledged Blogging Sabbatical.
Holy smokes! I had no idea when I signed off on my last post about vacationing in Hawaii that it would be June before I got back to my keyboard to put together a new blog post for you.
Many people have contacted me to find out if we had fallen off the planet and to ask if we were okay.
I can’t thank you all enough for the incredible warmth, affection and concern expressed in those emails and messages.
We were both blown away by how much this blog has meant to some of you, how much it has inspired you and how much you missed it.
The funny thing is I think the personality on our blog that everyone missed the most was Buddy.
He continues to be a true delight every single day, and one of the most common phrases we say to each other is, “What an amazing dog!”
While I relaxed and recharged and enjoyed my blogging vacation, I suspect Buddy missed his celebrity status. He kept nudging me when a really great photo of him turned up on our cameras. “Write something!” he’d say.
Actually, Mark began saying that a few months ago too. “You could write about this,” he’d say. Or “Your readers would love to hear about that,” or “Just write something short so they know we haven’t perished out here!”
He even threatened to start his own blog at one point. But blogging is a ton of work and he was having way too much fun processing his many beautiful photos (which takes many hours too!).
Every photo in this post is his, by the way, because I let my cameras gather dust while I took many long deep breaths and waited for inspiration to strike.
We met some interesting folks during our time off. They came from all walks of life. And some walked on all fours.
We also did some fun sightseeing.
But mostly we laid around and relaxed.
We have been in various parts of Arizona since late October, and we’ve moved with the seasons as it got colder at first and then got warmer as the months rolled by.
On May 22nd we celebrated 13 years of traveling full-time. Wow! What a spectacular life and magnificent opportunity it has been!!
Arizona is a very diverse state with several different major ecosystems ranging from low desert studded with saguaro cactus to high desert filled with ponderosa pine trees. And over the last eight months we’ve seen a lot of it.
When the pandemic hit and everyone stayed home for a month or two, we did too.
Fortunately, Arizona was one of the least restrictive states. Employees were laid off or had to work from home, and all but “essential” businesses were shuttered for a month or so, but we weren’t prevented from going outside and no one was forced to wear a mask or risk a fine if they didn’t, as was the case in other places.
Life for us didn’t really change, and we lived pretty much as we always do.
The major change we experienced was the shortage of goods at the store and the shock of seeing places like downtown Mesa completely devoid of people and all the storefronts closed.
However, once we got home to our trailer after running errands, life was the same as always.
I gave Mark a macro lens for Christmas, and when the wildflowers began to bloom and the bees started to do their thing, he had a ball taking flower and insect shots with it. What fabulous photos he took of dew on the flower petals and pollen caked onto bees’ legs.
I’ve seen many thoughts expressed online about RVing as it relates to pandemics and situations where you want to keep a little distance from your friends and neighbors for a while.
One couple who had been RVing full-time for three years decided that now was the time to buy some land rather than be forced to rely on campgrounds or dispersed campsites that might close. At one point Campendium.com had a notice on their home page that 42% of the RV campsites they have listed on their website were closed.
Other folks trapped at home seemed to feel that traveling in an RV would be the ideal way to have some fun while practicing social distancing. They seemed to long for a life on wheels.
The leaders of the RV industry at Thor and Camping World have been reporting that they are seeing the RV market exploding lately.
How exciting that RV sales are up!
For those that are curious about what we’ve witnessed as full-time boondockers living through a pandemic and an accompanying economic shutdown, our experience over the last few months falls somewhere in between “RVing is ideal for pandemics” and “An RV is not at all the place to be during a pandemic situation.”
Getting away from it all on public land was a little harder than normal because once all the RV parks and public campgrounds had closed, everyone who wanted to run off in an RV for a while ended up boondocking.
Boondocking campsites that might ordinarily support 3 RVs suddenly had 12.
People who ordinarily would have been going to work while their kids were in school suddenly took off in their RV to “work from home” with their kids and dogs in tow, and they headed out to the boondocks because that’s all that was available.
What a fabulous idea and great way to bond as a family.
However, it was not the isolated experience people usually think of with RV boondicking. At one point we were surrounded by a big group of families and friends from Gunnison, Colorado, as they escaped the more severe outbreak of the disease in Colorado to spend a few weeks in Arizona where there were far fewer cases.
Also, since an RV has limited holding tank capacity and boondockers have to to remain on the move (there are 14 day stay limits in most places), we had to make periodic trips to some very busy RV dump stations. What a shock it was to find that some RV dump stations were closed!
In addition, in a world where other people’s bodily fluids had suddenly become absolutely terrifying, RV dump stations took on a whole new look.
But as I said, in most respects our lives over the last few months have been pretty much the same as they always have been. And when Spring arrived it was beautiful.
In one campsite we had a cardinal as a neighbor. He sang and sang, and even though he never attracted a mate during our stay, he did develop quite a relationship with his reflection in our truck mirror. For hours on end we would see him hanging on for dear life with his toes as he pecked away at the mirror.
Buddy worked on his hunting skills and blossomed from the last phases of puppyhood into A Very Responsible Adult Dog. Hunting lizards is now his all-day-long passion. He even catches one every so often!
In between hunting exploits, he guards our little rolling casa with the utmost vigilance.
I hope you have stayed well and have navigated these recent months with spirit. As I’ve always said, there’s a beautiful world out there, and it is still beautiful and it is still out there today.
2020 has been epic for the entire world so far, and along with everyone else, our little family has had some extraordinary, life affirming and life altering experiences that I will write about someday.
In the meantime, enjoy your travels and keep dreaming great dreams!
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Blog posts on living the full-time travel dream:
- 10 Years of Full-time RVing and Sailing!! – The Early Years… 05/24/17
- 10 Years of Life on the Road by RV and Sailboat – The 2nd Half! 05/28/17
- 9th Anniversary of Full-time Travel by RV and Sailboat – Reflections! 05/22/16
- Camping World Video Shoot — RVing is for Everyone! 04/06/18
- Full-time RV Pioneer & Escapees RV Club Co-Founder: Kay Peterson 06/13/17
- Lessons Learned in the Full-time RV Lifestyle – Tips & Ideas! 05/25/18
- Living, Loving and Perfecting “The Dream” 06/29/13
- Merry Christmas and Thank You for a Great Year! 12/22/18
- On the Road to your Dreams, Stay the Course! 10/14/13
- Polaris RZR 900 XC – A New Ride and A New Chapter in our Travels! 01/11/19
- What Does It Take to Live The Dream? 01/02/16
- What Is Your Dream? 12/31/14
- What’s It Like to RV Full-time? – A Snapshot of Pure Joy (as the banking world collapsed) 01/03/09
- Why Do It? – Why We Left Home to Live in an RV! 07/21/08
Our most recent posts:
- 2005 Arctic Fox 860 Truck Camper – Grand Tour! 07/16/21
- Greetings! Long Time No See!! 06/25/21
- A Hawaii Vacation! 11/01/19
- Williams, Arizona – Home of the Grand Canyon Railway! 10/25/19
- Drag Boat Races in AZ – Top Speed FUN on the Colorado River! 10/18/19
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