February 29, 2020 = 19 Months as Full-Time RVers!

Say it isn’t so? And, especially on this Leap Day! Now where have those 19 months of full-time RVing gone? Certainly they are full of countless stories, of traveling highways and byways,  of spending nearly 24/7 time together, of experiencing sunny days and cloudy days, of soaking up time with family and friends along our Speed of Sanity travels, of visiting a different laundromat every 10-14 days, of relying on coffee shops, public libraries, or our Verizon Hot-Spot for Wi-Fi, of frustrating times with little to no cellphone service, of sharing silly moments, and of hugging away tearful grief when we’ve lost dear ones.

One of the dozens of laundromats! Wash N’ Fluff in Globe, Arizona has been one of the cleanest!

More than anything, we continue feeling deeply grateful for this time of our life when we can travel as we do. No, we don’t have the many comforts of a stick and brick home, yet we take extraordinary comfort in coming home to our little mobile abode after a day of adventuring or tending to the many tasks that full-time RVing requires of us. This IS home.

A priceless morning, million-dollar view just 60 feet from our campsite of Roosevelt Lake in Tonto National Forest, Arizona, on February 29, 2020. (FYI: the campsite fee is $12.50/night thanks to our Lifetime Senior National Park Pass & 50% discount).

Part of our full-time RV lifestyle permits flexibility that we appreciate having. Yesterday we arrived at Tonto National Monument to hike up to the cliff dwelling only to find that two chartered busloads of enthusiastic 4th graders pulled into the parking lot behind us, were also taking the hike. Sensing that space in the cliff dwelling was limited, we opted to head back to our abode and then head back to Tonto NM a few hours later. When we returned to the park, we had the cliff dwelling to ourselves and one ranger! (Admittedly, we sure miss seeing kiddos after years of teaching and working with children. It would have been fun to join their field trip!)

Hiking to the Lower Cliff Dwelling at Tonto National Monument near Roosevelt, Arizona on February 28, 2020

Thank you to our family, friends, and many acquaintances made along our journey for your love and encouragement!

Here’s to many more “Happy Trails” to everyone!

 

One Year Anniversary, Speed of Sanity: July 29, 2019

Time did it again! The seconds, minutes, hours, days, months zipped and zoomed past over the past 365 days! Our trip around the sun here on Earth also had us on the move around the country. “Tranquility”, our 2018 Nash 26N trailer by Northwood Manufacturing has not disappointed us. As Steve recently remarked, “I am amazed. You build a house and every week or each time we move to the  next location, we put the house through an earthquake and it survives quite well.” Steve refers to the oft times bumpy ride where we seemingly shake, rattle, and roll along rough roads or with gusty winds. Indeed it is quite remarkable that despite a few small issues, our abode has remained solid.

Our 2011 Ford F-250 diesel pick-up has been an absolute workhorse. We have climbed many mountain passes, which “Bessie” the truck tackles with confidence. This also is quite reassuring to us as the drivers pulling the trailer to have a turbo-diesel engine ready to “get ‘er done!”

We have reviewed the year from various angles and decided to put it into a list of statistics. An expense that we still need to calculate is the cost of our campground stays. We will update the list below when we have that figure.

Year One Statistics

  • 220 square feet of living space in the 2018 Nash 26N
  • 33 storage spaces in the trailer
  • 1 large storage space in the pickup bed (it’s a bit like a garage on wheels)
    • Bicycling gear, snowshoeing gear, hiking gear, tent camping gear, step ladder, 2 recycling camp chairs, solar panel, portable/foldable grill, car/trailer washing/detailing “stuff”, and miscellaneous 
  • 3 bicycles (1 tandem and 2 singles) on trailer hitch
  • 18,000 pounds, combined weight of truck, trailer, and contents.
  • 53′ combined length of truck, trailer, and bike rack.
  • 32,759 miles Bessie the Truck drove
  • 17,000 miles Tranquility the Trailer followed safely hitched onto Bessie
  • 15,759 miles additional truck miles driven to meet up with family and friends, make day trips to visit national or state parks, various cities, and a roundtrip truck trip from Tucson-Denver-Tucson in January.
  • 89 locations where we stayed including campgrounds, RV parks, parking lots, budget hotels, homes of family or friends
  • 94 degrees Fahrenheit, highest outdoor temperature, Denver, Colorado, 9/13/2018
  • 19 degrees Fahrenheit, lowest outdoor temperature, White Rock, New Mexico, 12/20/2018
  • 9,700 feet above sea level, highest campsite, Rio Grande National Forest, Colorado along National Forest Road 390 near Tucker’s Pond
  • 196 feet below sea level, lowest campsite, Furnace Creek Campground, Death Valley National Park, California
  • $2.439/gallon, lowest diesel price, Shell, Centennial, Colorado, 1/26/2019
  • $5.049/gallon, highest diesel price, Furnace Creek Gas Station, Furnace Creek, California (Death Valley National Park)
  • 2,721.009 gallons of diesel fuel have been consumed by Bessie the truck over 365 days
  • $8,533.04 USD has been spent on diesel fuel.
  • 12.04 is our average miles per gallon
  • 325+ family members or friends visited
  • 29 states in which we stayed or through which we traveled (some more than once)
  • 21 State Parks visited and/or in which we camped
  • 9 National Parks, Monuments, Preserves, Recreation Areas, Lakeshore, Seashore, Wildlife Refuge visited and/or camped (The government shut-down diverted our plans, so we switched to enjoying many state parks).
  • 22 National Forests through which we traveled or in which we camped
  • 6 truck service appointments (oil change, tire rotation, scheduled service)
  • 3 trailer service appointments (inspection, wheel bearing service)
  • 8 haircuts for Diane in 5 different states (Colorado, Oregon, Texas, Montana, Utah) this has been a supreme challenge for Diane after years with only a few stylists. Diane visits Aveda Institutes in Denver and Lakewood, Colorado and usually Ulta Salon’s elsewhere. One barber in Oregon when desperate!
  • 0 haircuts for Steve at a barber or salon. He’s been cutting his own for years! Diane is a bit envious, but keep those clippers away, buddy!
  • 32 laundromats, campground laundry facilities, family or friends laundry rooms
  • 8 public libraries in Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, Texas, Washington
  • 1 University library: Washington State University, Pullman, Washington
  • 1 Research library: Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah
Dinner out on Day 365 of Year One in Grand Junction, Colorado!
We conclude Year One with a drive on the Grand Mesa Scenic Byway, which took us over Grand Mesa, Colorado.

We Have Signed Up for Year Two!

The best news is that we love this lifestyle! In fact, we have signed up for Year Two because we are living life to the fullest in our little abode on wheels! The two room layout of our floorplan really fits our needs. Having a large attached awning creates a relaxing patio space.  If we have room on our campsite and especially if we are in a buggy environment, we setup our screened gazebo. Two zero-gravity chairs make sitting outside and reading books or from our Kindles very relaxing.

We Begin Year Two with a Stay at Ruedi Reservoir, White River National Forest, Colorado.

We have no desire to settle down in one place for the foreseeable future. Of course this type of living is possible for a long as our health remains with us.

The even better news is that despite being together nearly 24/7, we still like each other quite a bit. Yes, we don’t always agree, but we work through our differences. 

We Begin Year Two with Palisade Peaches from Palisade, Colorado!

For our second year, we anticipate visiting family and friends along our travels. Spending additional time in National Parks remains towards the top of our list. And, trying to lower our diesel fuel expenses needs to be a budget priority. We have applied for a short-stint as campground hosts for a month next summer. Time will tell how that transpires.

44 years after our 1975 backpacking trip to the Maroon Bells near Aspen, Colorado, we return for an evening hike.

Thank you for hanging with us as we keep you updated. Many of the updates actually take place on Instagram. You can follow us there as @speedofsanity.

Attempting to Live “Life at the Speed of Sanity!”

Diane & Steve