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RV Days, Issue #21– Back in the Saddle
June 12, 2009
Here is our latest issue of RV Days, an update on what we have been up to in our RV lifestyle.
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Issue 21 of RV Days is Now Available
Back to Basics:
We recently went tent camping, something we hadn’t done in over 20 years. We wanted to be able to travel by motorcycle rather than taking the motorhome — partly to save a few bucks on gas and partly so we could just head out on the bike on our days off. Since we wanted to avoid expensive hotel bills, we decided to tent camp.
Our first foray was to the Madison Campground in Yellowstone National Park. By spending a few nights, we were able to spend our consecutive days off hiking and seeing the sights in the Park without having to make the 50-mile trip back and forth to Cody each day and evening.
Since we were on the bike, we didn’t bother carting food and cooking gear. Instead we ate in the Yellowstone dining facilities and in West Yellowstone just outside the west gate. We enjoyed our three day adventure and look forward to another trip to Grand Teton National Park and some motorcycling events.
Since we had long ago given up our old canvas tent, we had to do some shopping for compact gear we could carry on the bike – namely, a tent, sleeping bags and pads. In the course of shopping around, we came across a great online merchant, Moosejaw. They have competitive prices, great customer service, a neat website and a fun sense of humor. Definitely worth checking out.
Back in the Saddle:
Well not literally, but we are back in Cowboy Country in Cody Wyoming as workampers. We enjoyed our time in this friendly western town last summer and decided to return.
And Yellowstone National Park is in our backyard (relatively speaking for the wide open spaces that reign out here in the West). The Grand Tetons are not much further away.
Jose is a member of the local ABATE of Cody motorcycle club, so like last year we’ll go on most of the motorcycle poker runs during the summer. And beyond biking, there seems to be something going on most weekends. All in all – for outdoor activities, nightlife, dining and summer fun, it is a great location.
As an update since our appearance on Oprah, we spent the winter in Florida visiting family and then made our way back west. Along the way, we were glad to visit a few friends and see some sights in this great country.
In the Texas Hill Country, Fredericksburg was a cute town with lots of great shops to browse. We had some German food, walked the historic district and got over to dance at the famous Dance Hall in Luckenbach Texas. There is nothing in Luckenbach – it is just a dance hall, bar, little store. Never heard of it? Maybe you’ve heard the song lyrics made famous by Waylon Jennings.
On the way from Texas to Arizona, we went to Carlsbad Caverns and White Sand National Monument, both in New Mexico. If you happen to be passing that way, these are both sights worth seeing. On the other hand, don’t go out of your way to see Roswell, New Mexico.
In Arizona, we spent a few weeks in Apache Junction. We had been here before and are very impressed with the area and all there is to do.
Then we made a brief stop in Death Valley National Park. We drove the scenic drives and saw the 20-mule train used to cart out Borax from the valley (remember the Borax ads?). We were pleasantly surprised by the dramatic landscape of the park. It is huge! Definitely worth a visit – but not in the heat of summer. Try Spring or Fall.
We also spent some time in Carson City and Virginia City in Nevada. We made the scenic drive around Lake Tahoe with a few walks and a stop to see Squaw Valley Ski area.
We also spent some time in Reno. We are hardly gamblers. We have now moved down from our typical $25 on quarter slots to playing penny slots so we don’t go through our meager casino allowance as fast. But we did take advantage of the discounts/freebies we could find by signing up for players cards. And we enjoyed a few casino buffets and the all-you-can-eat sushi that seems to abound in Reno. We suggest Hiroba; sit at the sushi bar if you can.
Back to Normal?:
Who knows what normal is anymore? But at least things seem to be looking a bit better for the RV industry and we suspect there are some great deals out there. If you are shopping, be sure to take advantage of these tips on RV buying.
If you are pondering the RV lifestyle, enjoy the planning and research phase. It is all part of the fun. We hope the thoughts and resources we share on our website are helpful. We definitely recommend reading and learning all you can.
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And if you are on the road, Put a Smile in Every Mile!
Jose and Jill
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