Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Long Time No Post

May 16 to 27, 2017                                                                                 Most Recent Posts:
Charlottesville, Virginia                                                              Happy First Birthday Celila Claire
                                                                                     A Hot Saturday in D.C. – The People’s Climate March


I’ve had a couple of people contact me to see if we are OK since it’s been so long since I’ve posted.  That was so sweet and warmed my heart that you missed me.  It has been nearly 3 weeks since my last post, pretty unusual for me.   Part of my lapse has been my increasing wonder if I really want to keep this up.  I enjoy doing it but the unfairness of giving out to 200 people and having a 10th or less give back so I can see who they are and know they are out there reading is affecting my desire to continue. 

Also, as  most of you know, Charlottesville Virginia is our home town. I’ve written about it in great detail in previous years and if you are interested in knowing all about this cute town and what there is to do here including the hiking, just type “Charlottesville” in the search box on the top left and many posts will show up one after the other.  When we visit here we always have lots of things to do. 

  So other than happily celebrating Celia’s First Birthday and marching on behalf of the climate to which Trump was obviously paying no attention, what else have we been doing in Virginia?


IMG_3178There are  always doctor appointments, this year for the 4 of us.

I have my annual check up coming up tomorrow. Hope there’s nothing more to say about that.

In addition to his regular trips to the cancer center, David had cataract surgery on both eyes and only had one eye bruise.  I didn’t take a picture of the second eye patch which was black. He looked much more like a pirate in it. 

I had mine done last year or the year before, hard to remember which since time flies when you hit 60.  In looking at his eye bruises, he gets the twofer award.  I only had one eye bruise but it was so bad it looked like someone had slugged me.   Purple up down and all around.



I also didn’t take any pictures of Ruby getting a new timing belt and other parts of her 120,000 mile doctor visit. She was feeling much better especially after I gave her a through cleaning both inside and out.  But now she’s started having some sluggish problems we think may be due to some questionable gasoline. STP gas and injector treatment is the prescription.  Sure hope it works.  I do have to say that we have owned Honda Accords for over 30 years and Ruby, as a 2002 just isn’t as totally trouble free as the models from the 80’s and 90’s.  We love her anyway.  She’s very forgiving of our using her as a garage to haul around the boats and the bikes and all their gear.  Still I’m not sure what’s happened to Honda as the perfect car it used to be.  We’ve had Hondas for over 20 years and over 300,000 miles with not much more than routine maintenance necessary.



Winnona is the only one who really didn’t go to the doctor. But she did get new shoes and a serious body wash and wax.

The shoes were a real chore. This is SO not an RV town or even a big truck town.

I began looking for tires locally the day after we arrived here and it took a month to locate them, the best price for them and where to have them put on. Thank goodness we only have to do this every 6 or 7 years.

We wanted to keep the same Michelin XRV tires on her that she’s had since birth.  We have never had any problem at all with them but they are expensive.   Well 6 of any RV tire is going to be expensive.



The best deal was with the FMCA Michelin discount through an authorized Michelin dealer who deals directly with Michelin not with a warehouse.  It was a bit complicated the first time but definitely worth the time and trouble for the savings of nearly $700. 

The final price with tires, excise taxes, Virginia tire tax, Virginia sales taxes, mounting, balancing and tire disposal fee was nearly $2800.   I advertised our tires on Craig’s list as Karen Lueck did with success.  She got $500 for her set I think.  Boy that would have been sweet but I had no takers.  But she lives in Tampa which has way more possibilities for who might want them.   It’s all about location.  We’d have to go nearly 15 miles out of town to find the first truck stop and miles more to find the next one.


The pollen this year in Charlottesville and all around I’ve heard has been extraordinarily horrible.  Winnona was covered and filthy after weeks of just hanging around.  So we set to work washing and waxing.  First I got up on the roof to get at least the first layer of dirt off with just washing compound and water. I sure wish I’d taken pictures of it before I started but you can sort of see how dirty it was by the section behind the solar panel.  The far right is the original dirt, the left is after the first cleaning and all the rest is after the third cleaning with a mix of awesome, bleach and comet.  It was SERIOUSLY dirty.

Somehow the front was way dirtier than the back.  This is the back before David did any work on it.  Dirty and in serious need of cleaning but not absolutely filthy like the front.   I wonder if it’s time to give Winnona a paint job in some color other than white.



IMG_3192Usually I show pictures of David doing the work since I have the camera but this time it’s my turn to be on the blog.

How does yellow pollen turn dirt brown?  The awning the slide toppers, the sides.  It all had to be cleaned but the roof was the absolute worst.







Our time here hasn’t all been work.  We have had some fun.  Lunches and dinners with friends.  Or Brews in David’s case.  And hiking out and about.

David has his friends Marty and Joel out to the farm for what he calls brews and views. Although the picture he gave me doesn’t show the views of the Blue Ridge Mountains just off to their right.


This photo taken by his friend Marty, in the gray shirt,  is actually what they were looking at.

GMF drive Marty


The hikes included one at Ivy Creek Natural Area with my friend Pam. 

 03-IMG_9950 I’m so out of the habit of taking my camera that I forgot it and all of these pictures are from Pam and my Droid phone whose camera I detest.  It handles light terribly and many of my shots were out of focus. 

If you know of an app I should try for the Samsung Galaxy 5 camera let me know although the phone already runs so slowly I could have lunch while it brings up my mail even after cleaning off everything that it would let me remove which wasn’t much.

I think I’m going to have to break down and fork out the ridiculous cost of an iphone next time.  Either that or someone is going to have to sing some praises for my Samsung Galaxy 5 and tell me why they love it and I should too.   After kevetching to Pam, she asked me how I really felt about the phone and took the picture on the right.


It’s a lovely bright day and we enjoy not only the stream Martin’s Branch but sections of the Rivanna Reservoir. So wonderful to be by the water.  My favorite place.  Some people are desert people, some are mountain people.  I’m a water person.




A great egret enjoys an inlet of the Reservoir Trail.


So do the mallards.



We’ve picked a wonderful time to hike the here and wander in, under, around and through the blooming Mountain Laurel.













What a beautiful hike!



The natural area was once the home place of former slave Hugh Carr who though born into slavery eventually put together a 200 acre farm after the civil war.  He farmed here until his death in 1914 after which his daughter Mary and her husband Conley Greer farmed the land.  These lovely stone walls are reminders of their presence on the land.














Spring in Virginia is hard to beat. I sure wish we had gotten out to hike more often and earlier to see the spring wildflowers. We always seem to have so many chores to take care of when we are here.



  1. Beautiful area you live in. So glad the appts.are going well for you all. As hard as you work and hike your appt.will be fine too. I have no doubt.

  2. How long do you expect to be ther this summer?

  3. Thanks for the update. Your house really is in a beautiful area, especially in the spring and fall. Have fun on your summer travels!

  4. I've staggered the replacement on my Michelin XRV tires, I had the fronts replaced after 3 years due to excessive sidewall cracking, the rears went a full 7 years with no cracking. My fronts are beginning to show signs of cracking again, so when I replace them, it will be with a different brand. Toyos and Hankooks come highly recommended. No cracks in the rears, though. After what Michelins cost, you'd think they wouldn't have sidewall cracking issues. And yes, I cover the times and use 303 protectant on them. Go figure!

    Lotsa work keeping an RV looking spiffy. It's harder when you rarely have a place to wash it. :c(

  5. I was getting worried, too. I get your blog on email and have always enjoyed reading about your adventures. I need to open my computer once in a while--I'm more apt to leave comments there since I see better plus half the time comments don't go through on my iPhone. Glad all is well. No good news here, but on the cusp of a decision. Hey to David! He's a handsome pirate! Happy Birthday to the little one--time really does fly!

  6. I feel your "comment pain," have expressed it a few times...but it always falls off again. Why bother...
    Box Canyon

    1. I read your blog. I blog when the mood hits, but I blog for myself not for the comments. It's nice to look back to see what was happening on a certain date. I also do it for my kids. It will be when I am gone that they will most appreciate it.

  7. Glad to see you are getting all the appointments and chore done....there are mountains to hike soon:o)) We just left Shenandoah River SP. The Mountain Laurel and Wildflowers were blooming on The Skyline Drive...spectacular!! Oh...we saw a Momma Bear and her Cub up there also:o)) We are in PA and will head north on Sunday!!!

  8. Your farm is in one of the prettiest areas of Virginia, a beautiful state to begin with.

    Don't be so hard on readers who don't respond to every post. You can see in blogger statistics how many people read the post, and if a person reads very many a day it can be a real chore to come up with a meaningful comment for each and every post. Some readers might be bedridden, or otherwise find it difficult to comment.

    David looks like a dangerous pirate with the patch! And finally, I congratulate you on your energy in all the RV cleaning. I couldn't do it when I had an RV, and I certainly couldn't now. I just didn't use my head though - my son borrowed my SUV last week and brought it back to me clean and shining! Wonder if he'd do the same with a big old RV.

  9. was glad to see your blog post I read every one you make even if I don't always make a comment... and I love your beautiful pictures it's not always the camera it's mostly the eye behind the camera that gets the beautiful picture and you sure do that well... I do hope you continue to blog ...I'm going to be able to be traveling soon ...as my dad's estate will soon be settled and the house has been sold so I plan on doing more blogging also maybe I'll find some interesting things to see and blog about.... hope to see more of your blog... have a great day

  10. Honestly, I hate to wash my car. I can't imagine what it took to wash Winnona. I admire you and laughed at your comment about all of the "working" pictures being of David. So true! Loved the pictures of the hike. It makes me realize that my mountain laurel is kinda' sad. Must be the location. Thanks for sharing! I am so glad that I got to see y'all. Safe travels.

  11. Hey! I'm famous! I'm in your blog! That was a nice hike. David did get the black eyes- worth it so that he can see well again. Washing Winnona is major work! I'm sure I'd slide off the roof in the midst of cleaning it. She should be very happy to have new shoes and be all fresh and clean! Happy trails to you!

  12. Great post - so good to see you working ;) & enjoying a hike with Pam in the mountain laurel! Boy am I looking forward to hitting the road! Enough of this work, work, work already. Hello Maine & Bill & Nancy!! Yee-haw - only two more days!

    1. YEE_HAW it is...with those new eyes, we won't miss seeing anything on the trails!!! See you soon:o)))

  13. It's certainly been an ambitious three weeks since the last post. I am terrible about cleaning anything. My blue truck is looking yellow from all the pine pollen. The 5th-wheel I've never washed on the outside and it certainly shows. I'd rather be out playing, hiking and taking photos. Even though I've recently lacked ambition for those also. You put much work into your posts, as I feel I do as well, so I understand the disappointment when many view and few comment. Just know that the faithful do care and would miss you in the cyberworld very much. Big hugs.

  14. Glad to here everything is OK. I was wondering, and it's been difficult keeping track because we so seldom have any signal up her on the Alcan.

  15. I had a Samsung 4 or 5 and it took terrible pictures. I bought a Nexus 5X and it takes beautiful pictures. It has HDR (high dynamic range) which helps it take great pictures in any light, esp low light. It takes better pics than my Canon camera. It only cost $289. I ended using it most of the time in Spain b/c the pics were so good.

  16. I'm always amazed how many people read, and don't comment on ours too. Isn't funny the spikes in readership depending on the title too? Kudos to you guys for getting Winnona all scrubbed up. I wish we could afford to pay for a wash and wax job every so often instead of doing it ourselves.

  17. I know what you mean about writing a blog and then few comments. When we full-timed before we got lots of comments but this time it's slim. I know we've had medical issues that have changed our travel but....
    Your pictures are, once again, so pretty. Even if you used your phone. Virginia is indeed beautiful. Love that hike through such lush greenery!!

  18. Boy those are some black eyes. I didn't have that with my eyes.
    You sure have a beautiful place out there so green.

  19. Sherry, I confess to being one of those recently who reads but doesn't comment, and I apologize. I know how rewarding it is to receive comments on posts and I look forward to the interaction with readers. Truth is, I've just been too lazy to log out of my work email and log in to my Blogger email. ... sigh ... My blogging has taken a back seat to Life these days. Leaving the RV life one reason. My work has become much more "brain oriented" so that by the time I get around to reading blogs - or even considering a post of my own - it's late in the evening (like now) and I don't have much creative force left. Seems, too, like I used to have more to "say," even if it wasn't about our RV adventures. I do so enjoy your posts and appreciate the time and effort that goes into them. I know! I do think of you and David, with hopes that you're enjoying yourselves and all is well. Warm regards always ...

  20. I too love reading your blog and apologize for not commenting. One word of caution. I had a tick bite while camping at a state park in Alabama. Eight days later I became very ill from the bite and required medical attention. Ticks seem to be very bad this year. Please check yourself after all outside activities. We are currently in Minnesota and there are signs here in the park warning of ticks and tick borne illnesses. Keep writing. I would miss you if you didn't!

  21. Nice to hear from you and good to see all is going well at "home." Cleaning the MH is such a huge job. Looks like a very nice hike with your friend. Enjoy your northern travels!! Hope you find some cooler weather:)

  22. So, I'm wondering....how do you really feel about your Samsung phone? :-)))) Love that hilarious photo! It must feel good to be getting all of those life necessities taken care of so that you can get back on the road. You've certainly been dealing with a lot -- cataract surgery for David, ridiculously expensive tires, medical appointments, and last but not least, major cleaning for Winnona. This has been a bumper year for pollen in Oregon, too. We washed the truck two days ago and it's covered again in thick yellow dust. Ah-chooo!!! I'm looking forward to your summer travels! Hugs to you both.

  23. I have a Galaxy s5 and I'm really happy with the pictures.

  24. I'm sorry I don't comment however I really do enjoy your blogs and travels. My husband and I both love camping with our RV and have had many health issues in the past 4 years that prevented us from going. You and David have really kept our dream alive seeing how you both persevere. We just returned from a 2 week trip in the Smokey Mountains (Elkmont) loving ever moment of it. I read your blog of your stay there and it inspired us to go. Love those river trails. Please keep writing and giving us hope that we can all enjoy this great big blue planet.

  25. Good to see what you two (four) have been up to! I had good intentions of washing our home ourselves, but it has yet to happen. We really aren't ladder people :-))) The mountain laurel looks similar to the rhododendrons we're enjoying in Oregon - so beautiful!! Your farm is such a beautiful spot, I love the peaceful views.

  26. I was thinking about you two and wondering where you've been. My blog is seriously so far behind that it's not funny any longer! Oh well, we are busy working, playing, and making memories. If writing has to suffer, so be it. I'm glad to see you are well and look forward to where you head this summer.

  27. My grandfather had cataract surgery when he was in his late 90's which was in the late 70's early 80's he afterwards wished he'd done it earlier. Lots of pollen around here too, the truck has a layer of yellow on it. We loved our Honda's when we had them, Dave almost cried when we sold his 2006 Ridgeline, after 150K miles it was just starting to get broken in, he hopes to one day have another one.

  28. You've been exceedingly busy since we last saw you. There are some beautiful areas to hike in your neck of the woods.

  29. I enjoy getting comments on the blog. It is nice to know that someone is looking at it. I also have a small fraction of comments compared to what google says are the hit numbers. I have thought about giving up the blog, but not because of lack of comments. Just thinking sometimes enough is enough. It has been 11 years now. I keep going becasue I think it is a great record of our travels and other events that make it into the blog. So, I expect it will go on as long as we travel. If I was not writing for myself, I would have been done a long time ago.

  30. I join the ranks of not commenting. Sorry, I so enjoy your blog posts and would miss it terribly. I will try to post more often.

  31. I am so sorry about being a non commentor. I do always read your posts and love looking at your pictures. I will try to do a better job.

  32. It think that staying put in your hometown requires a rest from blogging. Look at you and David! a busy bee with all your maintenance schedule for you and David and there's Winona and Ruby. The good news is aside from David's cataract surgery everyone seems fine and ready for summer travel.

  33. Well deserved respite from the blog! Great pictures here, especially of your hike with Pam! Speaking of walks, Celia wants to go outside, I think. Off I go! I may be slow in reading, but I always leave a comment :)

  34. Ohhhhhhh!!!! I would so miss your posts if you stopped. 😟 I have three blogs; my travel blog (although I am not full time or even a part time RV traveler) does not have nearly 200 readers; I average 20-30. I never get ANY comments. You have more comments on this page then I have my entire three years blogging. I so enjoy reading your posts. PLEASE KEEP POSTING!!! My blog is wendystriplog@blogspot.com. I'd love you to come visit!!!

  35. Here I am!! Seven months later I read this post, as you discovered on my blog the other day I have just been too tired after work to read any blogs at all and when I haven't been working I have too much to do around the house and with Cory. Going back to work full time at the (almost)age of 50 is hard! I will have no trouble retiring in 2 years and 10 months, as you see we are already counting down. Like Jack commented I blog for myself mostly so I can go back and review what we have seen and done. Especially when it feels like I am not traveling it can be a comfort to remind myself of all I did which is how I felt at the end of 2016. Sometimes I go back to look up the name of a park or trail or whether I have already written about something and end up reading my own blog for an hour! Glad you both are well, and while it is probably too late to comment on your phone issue, my mother and daughter both have the iphone 7 and the camera is far superior to the one on my iphone 6. My son and Wayne have the Galaxy 7 and theirs is even better!


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