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

Henry David Thoreau

The Rest of the Story of Our 2014

January 1, 2015
Oscar Scherer State Park
Osprey Florida



Map 2 2014 Travels

Due to my chronic blabberfingers, I had to break up the story of our 2014 Review into two posts.  The first of those posts got into a real mix up and I had to use a pointer post for it to show up in blog rolls. 

If you missed the first part of this review, January through June, and it wasn’t intentional, you can find it here.

We traveled 4943 miles on our first leg and 5572 total on the leg back to Virginia in October and on to Florida in December.  That’s a ridiculous total of 10511 miles in one year.  And we went into our 5th year of full timing this year so you’d think we’d know better.   I guess time just feels short to the both of us for obvious reasons. 

This map shows our travels from Fort Wilkins State Park in the uppermost tip of the UP in Copper Harbor Michigan, through Virginia and back down to Oscar Scherer State Park in Osprey Florida where we rang in both 2014 and 2015.




Our 2014 July began with a move to Apostle Islands Area Campground where we stayed for a week which again wasn’t long enough for all the great things to see and do in the area.

There was plenty to do in the cute little town of Bayfield Wisconsin with its great little book store and wonderful ice cream shop.  We had a terrific time at the Red Cliff Ojibwe Indian Nation’s 36th Annual Pow Wow and took a fantastic sea kayak trip to see the sea caves along the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore coastline. Actually we booked the sea kayak after walking the  Sea Caves Trail above the caves.  Very muddy because of all the rain but wow what a hike.  We could tell that we really had to get down on the water.  We don’t have sea kayaks so we were a bit concerned about going out on our own.  As it turned out we could have done it easily on that particular day as Lake Superior was feeling calmly generous.  But you never know.  We spent a very fine 4th of July on a boat tour around the 21 Apostle Islands where we saw two lighthouses.  




Real Life intervened and a coolant leak David had been watching got to crisis stage as we headed out toward Itasca State Park in Minnesota.  Thanks to the generosity of several people we were able to be only a day late for our reservations at Minnesota’s first state park. Some years ago the 3 of us did an extended tent camping trip up through the Great Lakes and to multiple Minnesota State Parks.  This one was our favorite and it did not disappoint two decades later.  It was amazing what we remembered.  We do a lot of great hiking here where it is still spring and the lady slippers are still in bloom.  SWEET!  We enjoyed the very old log buildings including breakfast at the lodge. We had some fantastic paddles on the lakes in the park.  Lots of  wildflowers in bloom and wildlife including great looks at bald eagles.  Loons on every body of water.  We had to dodge the seemingly never ending rain that has followed us from Florida but we did all this AND managed to walk across the mighty Mississippi at its headwaters here in the park. 



One of the big highlights of being in Itasca was our day trip to Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge to spend the day with Judy Bell.  We’ve been trying to meet up with her for years and the timing never works out but this time it did.  We took her public tour where she knew just where to go for us to see trumpeter swans, sandhill cranes, a Native American burial site, Prairie flowers including the Prairie Lily, an osprey on her nest and a painted turtle.  She stops the van to carry him safely across the road.  After a picnic lunch,  she gave us a private tour to a lake where we had all hoped we might kayak but the day proved too windy but we got some great wildlife pictures including mating damselflies.  We met the very well behaved while we were there Miss Emma and we had dinner with Judy and her fellow volunteers John and Bridget.  Can’t thank them all enough for showing us such a wonderful time.  She may be sorry since we are trying to figure out how to get out to see her at her next assignment.





Our next stop was Jamestown North Dakota where we did see the world’s largest buffalo and the living white buffalo but the RV park was a real disappointment. 




From there we spent two weeks in Theodore Roosevelt National Park.  One week in each campground.  They are 20 miles apart.  We were totally surprised at how beautiful this park is.  It is one of the highlights of our summer.  The rains didn’t leave us but the temperatures did rise quite a bit from the Great Lakes and I was wearing sleeveless whenever I could.

LOTS of buffalo from the large herds stopped cars on the park drive.  Great fun to be surrounded by them as they decide whether they want to let you travel on or not.

Even in two weeks we were not able to do all the hikes or see the entire park.  It is huge and gorgeous.  Nothing like your image of North Dakota.

Unfortunately in the middle of this boondocking our Fridge quit cooling and we had to move into Red Trail RV Park in Medora for two days while the situation got diagnosed and attended to.  Then back to the park and close up views of the wild horses and antelope, walks through the prairie and on the Petrified Forest Trail.  Who knew TRNP has the 3rd most important petrified wood site in the country.  Even a petrified tree stump needs a hug.


We move up to the North Unit for the final days of our stay.  It is even quieter and more remote.  We see more amazing geologic marvels on the Caprock Coolee Trail where we also saw a herd of Big Horn Sheep.  TRNP is absolutely our kind of place.




We closed our July in TRNP.  Our time is up, we have to move on.  We thought we’d stay near Dead Horse SD but little did we know, this is the week before Sturgis.  So we drive over 300 miles to get far enough away to find a campsite.  But it’s a lucky one since we end up in Hot Springs, S.D. which happens to be the home of the Mammoth Site which we had never heard of and what a great stop this was.  They’ve built a building around an enormous Mammoth site and you can watch them excavate huge bones.  Just amazing.


The temperatures have climbed into the mid 90’s so having Wind Cave National park close by to visit was also serendipity.  I love it when things like this happen and lemons turn into fabulous lemonade.





We are on our way to Colorado to visit my brother, sister in law and 93 year old father.  I’ve picked a couple of state parks along the way to break up the too long trip from TRNP.  

The first of those is Fort Robinson  in Nebraska and what a pleasant surprise this is.  It’s a really wonderful complex set within the Cheyenne Buttes a beautiful natural area but the thing that most moved me was that it is the site of the murder of Chief Crazy Horse September 5, 1877.   I learned a lot of history here including the details of the Cheyenne Outbreak from the fort.   In addition to the history here, there is excellent hiking and a small herd of Long Horn cattle.  I’ve never seen them before so that was fun.   Days in the mid 90’s meant that we were very glad not to be boondocking.  We went out early, came in mid day and went out in the late afternoon.  More wild buffalo, antelope and burros.  All easy to find.


One more stop before Colorado at Scott’s Bluff National Monument.  It’s a spot on the Oregon Trail, a bluff out in the flat flat prairie and a beacon for those coming west on the trail.  We hiked to the top one day and see accurate reproductions of the wagons which came west as we walk a section of the actual Oregon Trail the next.  Great stop.




We make it to Colorado where we visit my family in Brighton.  We see my father’s new apartment.  We have lunches and dinners and visit Dave and Cindy’s home for pizza and a movie in Dave’s absolute state of the art movie theater.  We’ve never had a better movie experience.  We even get our propane heater quick connected to the tank.







From there we head to Rocky Mountain National Park for two weeks where we don’t even make a dent in all there is to see and do.  Hike till you drop.  Beautiful mountain lakes and streams. Elk everywhere.  Gorgeous waterfalls.  Big Horn Sheep.  Arctic Tundra. The Continental Divide. Wildflowers galore. The American Dipper and MOOSE.  Rock Mountain has it all.  You’d need to spend an entire summer here to even put a dent in all there is to see and do.  Including take seriously over 1000 pictures in two weeks.   It is here in Estes Park that David has the blood draw which will figure heavily in our short term future.





David and Winnona have the roundabout mishap on the way to Colorado National Monument which turns out to be another in the series of pleasant surprises on this trip.  I had no idea Colorado had such a gorgeous canyon.  Their campground is boondocking as are nearly all national parks and monuments in the west.  We’re really glad we have the fridge working well, the solar working well and the propane heater working well.   I get a lot of good use from my Fort Robinson bonnet in the blinding sunlight here.





We wrap up August in the Fruita Campground at Capitol Reef National Park.  It’s here that we get the bad news on David’s treatment failure and have to abruptly shorten our stay in this glorious place and head straight back to doctors in the east.  We’re feeling pretty sad at this point in this place that has really captured our hearts with its scenic campground, wonderful fresh peach pie from the bakery you can walk to, its pick your own fruit, fabulous hikes, lovely river and interesting history.










We had planned to spend all of September and October in the west before heading back east but things change.  Rather than cancel all our plans including Arches, Canyonlands and the other places on our dream list, we do a whirl wind tour and, what is for us, a race back.

With the increase in the heat to approaching 100 degrees, we elect not to stay in the Arches National Park boondocking campground and instead find a spot for a few days in Moab.   In the park, the arches are definitely center stage but the beautiful Salt Valley was very impressive.





Our hiking is limited to mornings and late afternoons by the upper 90’s temperatures here in Moab. Thank goodness the days are still long though Fall Equinox approaches. Landscape arch actually looked the most “delicate” to us.  We are so glad we got to see it before it breaks away as the elements make it thinner and thinner.


We take a one day trip from here to Canyonlands where we had originally planned to spend a week.   It’s a long day as we try to see as much as we can.

One of the highlights of our Canyonlands day was climbing up to see the Ancient One’s hidden grain stores and then getting back down on the ‘no real trail’ hike.






Our last day at Arches was spent traveling around to the various rock art sites and marveling at both how long they have lasted and how inconsiderate vandals can be.




From there our speed train headed for a quick stop at Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Monument, yet another geologic wonder.  Before it was dammed the Gunnison River cut this marvelous canyon.  We look down into the canyon at the river on our many hikes.  One day we drive down, and I do mean down at grades too steep for any RV, to visit the river.  I am sad that it is no longer wild and free and can no longer cut the beautiful canyon and continue its evolution.  The river has been totally tamed, no more rushing and raging.








Next quick stop was also in Colorado at Great Sand Dunes National Park.  Right out in what seems like the most unlikely place, huge sand dunes.  The story of how they came to be is really amazing. 

We stayed in the park’s campground and could walk to everything. Boondocking again. Getting at least some of our solar and propane heater money back

Again we hiked up to the top of the big dune and this time we went at dawn to avoid the heat of the day.  The joke was on us, it was so cold in the morning we  nearly froze waiting for the sun to reach us.  We lay down in a low spot in the dune to keep warm but finally the fog lifts and we get a look at the miles of dunes behind us.  Worth every step and shiver.  The dunes change color in the light and shadow.  They are just mesmerizing.









Time to leave Colorado and really head east.  We drive two long days so we can stop for sadly only one afternoon at the Tall Grass Prairie National Preserve in Emporia, Kansas. Winnona waits for us in the parking lot.  The prairie is a place where you have to slow down and look closely.  The number of grasses here is really something and there are still wildflowers in bloom.  It’s really a shame that we don’t have more than one day to study this prairie and learn more about it at the excellent visitor’s center.







We drive straight from Kansas to Kentucky stopping only over night along the way. Long PDD days of 340 miles.  More miles in one day than we’ve ever driven before.  This is really not our style at all and we are very tired by the time we arrive at the campground at Mammoth Cave where we can rest a bit and take all the cave tours that aren’t full up.  

Every tour is different even if it goes through some of the same sections on its way to some where else.  The place is amazing.  Above ground and under ground, Mammoth Cave is a place that deserves at least the 5 days we spend here including celebrating the Fall Equinox.  A great place to welcome the fall.











And then it’s the straight haul back to Virginia where we arrive 23 days after leaving Capitol Reef.   David goes immediately to the hospital for blood tests and then we wait for the results, consult with doctors and he begins the infusions of the new treatment.  

We spend the longest period of time in Virginia since we left in 2010, 54 days.  We had to go through a month of infusions and then the blood test to see if they were working which took another week.  This infusion combination  stopped the progression but did not push the myeloma back as the original but different one  had done in 2012.



We also did some fun things while we were here.  Among them for me were  weekly hikes with my good friend Lynda, mostly into the close by Shenandoah National Park.  Because of our more than a month early return, we were able to see the beautiful fall colors in Virginia.

Carrie and Matthew came late in the month and we celebrated an early Thanksgiving and hike around the arm.   David’s brother Roger visited and helped David get rid of Winnona’s huge old analog TV finally and replace a section of fence.  Thanks again Roger.






We had intended to be back in Virginia for 2 weeks at the beginning of November for dental, optical, annual physical etc visits so our last two weeks were spent doing that.  The doctors wanted to give the infusions more time so we continued on to Florida for the winter.



The Rest of NOVEMBER


We stop in the same 3 places as always on our way down and spend 2 weeks at Fort Clinch State Park where we’re right on the beach – HOO RAY -  but it isn’t as warm as we were hoping.   Our friends Nancy and Bill are already here so we get to spend time with them which is always a joy.  We four spend an afternoon in the cute town of Fernandina checking out the waterfront, the historic buildings, the gorgeous houses and the cemetery.  Gotta find those geocaches don’t cha know.




We get rain and wind which makes the ocean exciting – from the shore. It’s really great being this close so we can go out in just a short walk to see what’s up.  






We spent two weeks here unwinding and relaxing.  We hiked and biked, paddled and just sat on the beach reading and napping.  It was good for our souls.  Fort Clinch has it all.  This is the first time we’ve been here but it for sure won’t be the last.











We spent the first few days of December in Salt Springs National Recreation Area.  We cut our stay short here in order to add in a trip to Disneyworld for my birthday.  We are in need of some serious play time.

Salt Springs has FHUs and a discount for old foggies.  It also has great kayaking and wonderful hiking in addition to the beautiful spring.  On one morning hike, I had a close encounter with a barred owl which was thrilling.  On another morning we had great fun kayaking with manatee.  Those following might remember it’s the day I unintentionally scared them.




We arrive at Disney World on my birthday and my best gift was to spend time watching the beautiful Tiger in the Animal Kingdom. 

Although it’s an expensive few days, we both just love staying in Fort Wilderness and being able to go everywhere by boat or bus.  No car needed.

The weather is pretty iffy so we find some things to do inside like the fabulous Grand Floridian.  The TV crews have taken over Main Street but I still get to see this year’s Captain Sparrow,  visit Winnie the Pooh and see more parades in 4 days than most people see in 4 years. As always, we have a great time and on our Epcot day I get my No Way Jose ice cream treat. Some of the party even came home with us.








Too soon it’s time to give up our camp site and move along but luckily it’s much less painful since we are going to one of my very favorite Florida state parks, Gamble Rogers and our site is right on the Atlantic.  Whoopee!

Unfortunately the kind folks with whom we shared Disney World have given David some sort of bug and he generously gives it to me.  But, if you have to be sick, Gamble Rogers is a top notch place to recuperate.   Sunrises right out the front window, naps on the ocean front within a few steps and sunsets a five minute walk away.   Farmer’s Market is within biking distance.











After 11 days we move across the state to Oscar Scherer State Park and we’ve come full circle. We’re back to where we began this year.  This time we deck out for the holidays, celebrate the Winter Solstice by picking Carrie up for a great visit of trips to the beach, a day of gifting, a 24 mile bike ride, games, the Solstice Cake and other great eating adventures like breakfast at Millies. 









It is here that we find out that the infusions are not working, the myeloma numbers are climbing again and yet another new treatment must be found.  The doctor does have more ideas thankfully so our fun continues and we pass out of 2014 and into 2015

2014 has been a busy year.  We’ve had too many treatment failures and driven too many miles so to have fewer of both of those are our resolutions for 2015. 



Thank you all coming along with us.  Few things are more fun for us than reading your comments. If you are a lurker, of which there are apparently many judging by the stats, please come out in the open and let me know you are there so we can get to know you too.  The more friends the merrier!   

All the best to all of you where ever you are in 2015!  
Hope to see you often right here in the comments section.


  1. Spectacular, breathtaking shots. I started following your blog, I believe, in late summer, so some of these are familiar to me.

    I've not been in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, but I'd love to see it for myself!

  2. Such a year! You might be like me and find that as the years go by, you are happy to have your blog to remind you of all the wonderful travels and people that have been part of your life. Great recap.

  3. You did cover a lot of miles this year and I'm glad I got to follow along. Here's hoping for health and happiness in the best year ever, 2015.

  4. Love it...what a live you two lead, hope your travels last for years to come. --Dave

  5. Could you possibly be coming to Oregon next summer? Cool beans! I'm already thinking of planning a NY Spiedi cookout. I'll be staying in Harris Beach State Park, and maybe Sue and Mo could join us. What a time that would be! ;)

  6. You had quite a year! Hope 2015 brings good news in the health department. Cute picture of the three of you!

  7. A very busy year! Some of those places our still on our to do list. In the almost six years we full timed we averaged just over 10K a year as well. We are also doing about 10K a year with the Winnie view, but of course since we do not tow, it does all the work

  8. Truely you two have experienced incredible highs and lows this year. I love that your are ready to embrace the coming year and adventures with such gusto. With a wedding to look forward to and new adventures to plan it should be an exciting year. Happy New Year!

  9. I made my first comment on your blog in September 2010, but have been mostly silent since then. I am not moving as quickly toward my goals as I had thought I would in 2010. I still enjoy reading, but may not comment too often. I will be re-reading the Florida posts when I finally get free to visit all the FL state parks!

  10. I don't remember the photo from the original blog post this year, but I see a striking resemblance of you and your Dad.

    I think I drove about 12,000+ miles on my trip 2 years ago and it would have been more if the Government hadn't shut down the parks. It was almost too much driving for one person, and especially without a dog to talk to. I miss Lady on my travels.

  11. What's there to say...we certainly do live an unbelievable life style. You and David had a wonderful year:)

  12. What tremendous travel destinations, great photos, fun narrative. Despite the many miles and set backs, you and David maintain an aura that is inspirational. Thank you!

  13. You had an amazing year...glad we got to share a few adventures:o)) Can't pick a favorite...so many and each had so much to offer. I believe Rocky Mountain NP has moved up my todos list!! Love the 2015 Boyd Family Beach photo:o))

  14. OOPS...that should read 2014 Boyd Family Beach photo... I really am rushing things;o))

  15. Wonderful all over again! For me it was the surprise of Fort Robinson and Gunnison National Monument that stand out in this six months - and the deer who honored you at so many stops. Nebraska was one of those states that we had said "Maybe a night or two just to mark it off the list.....", and now it is on the must-experience list. The power of that huge canyon at Gunnison is like a big magnet and I have to go see what pulls me. Bill will geek-out over all the geology and teach me things I don't know now. I appreciate having the recap to bookmark as a great reference!

  16. I still can't believe how much you Packed into one Year. You guys have certainly seen a lot in that time, more than our 5 years on the road. An amazing set of experiences, especially with the difficulties in treatment that you've gone through. I hope all your wishes for 2015 come through, both in slower pace and easier treatments. Love and hugs to you both!

  17. What a grand adventure! Such beautiful places, hence so many beautiful pictures! I hope the treatments start working better again. Happy new year 2015! All our love. Lynne

  18. What a wonderful journey and gorgeous photos! It's amazing to realize how many places you've been and how much you've done in the past year. As I read along as you post throughout the year, it always seems that you're traveling at a relaxed pace (except for that heroic push back home starting in September). Even then, you both continued to live every day to the fullest. May this new year bring successful treatments for David so that you can continue in the direction of your dreams. xoxo Laurel & Eric

  19. It was a great year of adventure indeed despite some health challenges. But as your excellent recap have proven, you were living the life no matter what the bad news is.
    Wishing all your 2015 hopes will be fulfilled especially for David.
    Kansas and the Dakotas are in our route this year, your year end review will surely be very handy when we planned our activities.

  20. A hearty thanks for all those good wishes! I consider myself VERY LUCKY to be feeling well enough to keep up this lifestyle which I could never do were it not for my dearest wife. Of all the fabulous pictures I like the one of Carrie relaxing at the beach. What a fabulous year!!


Your comments are the best part of this blog for me.
I LOVE hearing from you!