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Category: The Road Less Traveled

Patti’s Saga of an RV Rookie: What’s Your Plan for Living in the 21st Century?

April 27, 2011 by · 4 Comments 

We want to live smaller, cleaner, leaner, easier, and freer. Do you? Perhaps  you’re in a season of life where living like that seems appealing.  Or maybe you agree that 21st century America seems quite  different from the last decades of the 20th century…and that we’re coming to a time and place where less is more?  With those things in mind, maybe you’re considering downsizing to an RV or a much smaller home or condo. We are.   Here are three reasons reducing the weight of 21st century basic living appeals to us. Maybe you’ll be able to relate to one of them: 1)      Our home is starting to feel like an obstacle rather than a source of joy. My husband and I are not who we used to be: we’re freer, funnier, wilder, lazier, and goofier. Quite often, these traits don’t support the thrills of home ownership, if you get my my drift. For us, the pride of owning a home is melting away like dirty snow on a hot spring day. It’s kind of like we’re... [Read more...]

In the Footsteps of Lewis & Clark: the Headwaters of the Missouri River–Part 1

April 24, 2011 by · 3 Comments 

In the Footsteps of Lewis & Clark: the Headwaters of the Missouri River–Part 1

A few years back we took a road trip to Montana. Along the way we encountered hot springs, geysers, fumaroles, bison, elk, both living and true ghost towns and a great deal of history. Little did we know, even more adventure awaited. Further along our adventure in Montana, while awaiting the opening of the West Yellowstone entrance to Yellowstone Park, we chanced to travel to the small town of Three Forks, Montana to investigate what it had to offer. Expecting another sleepy little town, much to our surprise we experienced a lesson in history in the process. The town was so named as it is located at the confluence of the Jefferson, Madison and Gallatin Rivers which combine to form the Missouri River to create the longest river in the United States. The confluence was discovered by Lewis and Clark in July, 1805, who named the rivers after the President of the United States and the Secretaries of the Treasury and State, having previously named rivers after the Secretaries of War and the... [Read more...]

Where Only Ghosts Reside: Nevada City, MT

April 17, 2011 by · 5 Comments 

Where Only Ghosts Reside: Nevada City, MT

Further along our drive through the Montana countryside a few years ago, after we visited the “living ghost town” of Virginia City, MT, we happened upon a true ghost town, Nevada City, MT. Similar to and at the same time as Virginia City, the settlement sprang up in response to the discovery of a large deposit of gold in Alder Gulch in the spring of 1863. Nevada City Emporium Nevada City is, in fact, an old placer mining camp approximately one and one half miles west of Virginia City. When the gold was discovered, numerous settlements established themselves along Alder Gulch, surrounding Virginia City. They were scattered up and down the gulch for some 14 miles and became known for a time as Fourteen-mile City. As the gold ran out, the population began to fall. By 1869, it had dwindled to about 100 people. By 1876, Nevada City had all but become a ghost town as miners moved on to more lucrative claims in other locations. The services that had cropped up to support the mining... [Read more...]

A Visit to a Living Ghost Town…

April 13, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

A Visit to a Living Ghost Town…

On one of our days visiting Montana, we were looking about for something to do while we were waiting for Yellowstone’s West Entrance to open and decided to take a drive around the countryside. Little did we know the unexpected adventure that awaited us. Our first indication that something was out of the ordinary was a drive past a large old log structure with a sign out front stating “Robber’s Roost.” Upon further exploration, we confirmed that the place had, indeed, been a hideout for outlaws in the distant past. Robber's Roost, Virginia City, MT We continued our drive after stopping to snap a photo of the structure and entered Virginia City, MT, home of one of the most colorful pioneer mining camps that ever existed. After a bit of research we learn that dramatic tales of the early days in this vicinity are common. The town bills itself as a living ghost town as a remarkable gold deposit was discovered in nearby Alder Gulch in the spring of 1863 leading to a stampede of gold... [Read more...]

Embracing Change…

March 6, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

Embracing Change…

In concluding my posts about traveling without children, I want to expand on this idea just a bit. Recognizing that this was coming, Terry and I have been talking at length about this transition and how we will manage it for some time now. In thinking about and preparing for our youngest child heading off to college and living away from home this fall, we have decided to sell our family home shortly after she takes this step. Our plan is to have it sold by the end of the year. Terry and Ryan relaxing on the porch of our new home in New Mexico While our city was a wonderful place to raise our children, quiet, safe and near extended family, we prefer to live in a locale that offers more to us in terms of activities and surroundings that are more stimulating to us. That is why, last year, we purchased a small home in a city in northern New Mexico that we have been visiting for more than ten years. Our little camper After our house sells, my husband will be retiring so he can invest his... [Read more...]

The Big Adjustment: Traveling Without Children

February 27, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

The Big Adjustment: Traveling Without Children

Those of you who have been following my posts know that in the past few, I have been lamenting the fact thought our children are growing up and less able to travel with us—something we have always done together as a family. The transition to traveling with no children is a significant one for any family and we are feeling it now. Always we have been able to enjoy their company. It was a chance to get to know them again; to reconnect in a way that was difficult during the school year when friends, homework, sports and technology interfered. Touring Boston on a recent RV trip When I think of this summer, I am tempted to scoop them all up and head out, taking them away from all of their busy pursuits. But, alas, I know they are doing what they need to do. They must each forge their own lives, independent of us. They know we will be here when they have the time and inclination to visit. But it will not be the same. I will miss them. Enjoying one of our easier "drive-up" high points I... [Read more...]

Camping in Blue Grass

February 16, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

Camping in Blue Grass

On the final leg of our journey to the eastern part of our country, the homeward leg, we needed a place to spend one night that was approximately half way between the Stowe, VT area and our home near Green Bay, Wisconsin. When planning the trip online, we stumbled upon the Swanton, Ohio area as our approximate midway destination and set about finding an RV park near there. As the name of our small publishing company is Blue Waters Publications, the name of Blue Grass Campground and RV Park just sort of jumped out at us. When faced with a choice of locations, we have often based our decision on that kind of intuitive, instinctual coincidence or connection and have rarely been disappointed. We pack up and leave Smuggler’s Notch Campground by 7:13 am, heading southwest. Along the way, we make two stops at Dunkin’ Donuts, a unique dining choice available in the eastern part of our country that no longer exists in the Midwest. As they have recently added bagels, wraps and sandwiches, they... [Read more...]

Where the Heck is TOAD SUCK ARKANSAS?

February 3, 2011 by · 4 Comments 

Where the Heck is TOAD SUCK ARKANSAS?

Shucks, everybody should know that Toad Suck is on the opposite side of town from Pickles Gap . That’s where I found Nancy – Conway Arkansas, not Toad Suck.  Both Toad Suck and Pickles Gap surround Conway. When I hear the name Toad Suck, it conjures up visions of people sucking toads, which brings a big smile to my face.  Actually, the name is supposedly derived from a local tavern where boatmen “sucked up whiskey like toads.” We now live in Mechanicsville Virginia.  Even that name strikes many as odd.  I am often asked if it is a good place to have your car or RV worked on. Actually, we do have our fair share of quality repair shops, but the name is said to have come from a blacksmith shop that was here back in the 1800’s.  Farmers stopped with their wagons full of produce on the way to Richmond markets  for repairs to their wagons. Living where we do often takes us into neighboring states with our RV.  Tennessee, Kentucky, Maryland, West Virginia, and North Carolina... [Read more...]

Tortilla Flat, AZ, Population 6.

January 23, 2011 by · 4 Comments 

Tortilla Flat, AZ, Population 6.

If you happen to find yourself around Apache Junction, Arizona, with time on your hands and a desire to check out the ‘scenery’, you may just want to take a drive over to Tortilla Flat.  Your drive through the Tonto National Forest will take you on a twisty, erratic (but nicely paved) road that winds through miles of rugged desert.  With interesting rock formations, lots of saguaro and barrel cactus, and a forest worth of palo verde trees, the drive is a must for those new to the Arizona desert environment.  Along the way, you will come to beautiful Canyon Lake (pic on left), which is a popular destination for water sports during the summer.  Continue on, and you will soon find yourself in the town of Tortilla Flat.  Population 6.    Tortilla Flat is an old mining town, and is a popular tourist destination.  It is known for a few unique attractions, our favorite being the Prickly Pear Ice Cream.  Prickly Pear is a type of cactus, which they have in abundance... [Read more...]

Going For The Gold in Girdwood!

January 22, 2011 by · 4 Comments 

Going For The Gold in Girdwood!

Have you ever gone gold panning? I have. It is  lots of fun! When we lived in Anchorage, Alaska, we took our children on many day trips. One of our favorite destinations was Girdwood. Located about forty miles south of Anchorage, historic Girdwood has a lot to offer. There’s the  awesome Alyeska Resort, scenic views, a great bakery and the wonderful Double Musky Inn. One weekend, we spontaneously decided to try our hand at gold panning. It was getting late in the day. We were about ready to leave Girdwood and drive  home, but I was reading a little tourist brochure while sitting in the front seat. The brochure casually mentioned the Crow Creek Gold Mine. My children and I  were  quite excited to visit this remote historic mine, so my husband immediately agreed to venture down a long dirt road in order to find it.  At the turn of the last century, Girdwood was a gold mining town and the Crow Creek Gold Mine is a historic treasure.  Nestled in the Chugach Mountains, the mine... [Read more...]

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