Leslie and Brookson at L.L. Stub Stewart State Park

Questions, they had questions

Where is the RV

On my most recent trip to Taiwan everyone had questions. What Leslie and I are doing is so out of the norm for my colleagues and friends in Taiwan. It’s even strange sounding to people in the US. I thought I’d try to formulate some answers.

Why aren’t you in the RV?

This was back in December while we were staying in Austin, Texas. It was hard to say that we had put the RV in storage. It’s not that we were giving up. We decided to make the Austin holiday trip a little easier.

If we had driven the truck & RV, I’m sure it would have taken a week or two extra both ways. Since one of the reasons for the trip was to be in Austin for both grandkids’ birthdays, that would have meant leaving Portland by November 1st and not leaving Austin until after middle of January. Even then we’d have to return over the various mountain ranges during winter.

So that’s a long way to say why the RV is in storage. We decided to wimp out on the RV trip and have more time to enjoy being in Austin with the kids.

Where is the RV?

To people that live in a huge city on an island, the whole concept of there being as much unused land as we have in the US is hard to understand. Even people in the US that live in cities think open spaces are vanishing.

But even around Portland there are vast open spaces. We stayed in McMinnville Oregon for a few weeks in October. During one of the many trips into Portland we found a set of storage places. One had new covered parking long enough for the truck and RV. One benefit is that it has enough power to run a small heater when the temperature goes under freezing. Not always necessary in Portland, but the 2016 holiday season was especially cold.

What are you doing now (as of December 2016)

We spent November 20 through January 20 in a cute little tiny house in Austin. Being within a mile of Alison, Brent, and the grandkids made it easy to visit and babysit. Brent’s family lives around Austin so the days were a strange mix of driving hours to visit and spending hours hanging out at the tiny house. A very relaxing and busy holiday. Of source, I spent a lot of my time on conference calls and working. Still it pointed out strongly that I don’t have the desire to spend 40+ hours a week on work.

What are you doing now (as of February 2017)

We returned to Portland on February 20th. Here in March 2017 it might be hard to remember what that was but we decided to spend the first night in downtown Portland. Bad decision since downtown transit was basically shut down for the Inauguration Day protests. But all-in-all it was fun to spend the night in a fancy downtown hotel.

The next day we drove to move the RV out of storage. Now we are truly living in the RV. Ah, the worry-free life of roaming around in the RV.

Oops, there are leaks in the basement. Oops, Kevin starts disassembling the basement. Oops, the connectors need to be tightened. Oops, the connectors need to be tightened again. And again.

Why are the walls wet? Condensation? Let’s cover some closet walls in cork. Ah, that seems to help. Need to cover more closet walls in cork. Hmm, maybe we have a deeper problem.

Why is the floor under the head of the bed wet? Hmm, we definitely have a bigger problem. I think I’ll go outside and try covering some of the outside window frame that doesn’t have any chalk around it. Ah, that’s better, the carpet seems to be drying out. The rains have been torrential but its clearing. Now the carpet is completely dry. Great, problem solved. It’s great to have a week of dry weather in the winter, Leslie loves it. It’s starting to rain again… the carpet is wet again… I covered a few more of the screws holding the bedroom together. The carpet seems to be drying. Ahh, the carpet IS dry again and it’s still raining.

What’s this screw head on the floor next to the head of the bed. Ah, that bracket that holds the movable wall to the frame of the RV seems to have snapped off the screw head. That doesn’t seem good. Calling the RV manufacturer confirms this is not good. Calling the local repair shop confirms they agree. And they agree to come look at it, next week. They arrive and agree. We need to take the RV to the shop but we shouldn’t be running the bedroom slide in? Can’t travel that way. Ah, they will come add a screw, in a week or so. Two weeks later they com out, put in a temporary screw, and now you can come to the shop, in a week or two… Uh, we have to leave this park by March 10th and it’s February 26… hmm, starting to run out of time and the shop is still busy. Story to be continued later.

What’s up with the storage spaces and all of the treasures in there?

When I moved us out of our house, I too careful about what I moved. There were some obvious items that were junk and I got rid of those. The rest I moved into a storage space close to the house. As I got closer to finishing, I had to rent another space to get everything out of the house.

Since we returned in January, we’ve spent a lot of the warmer dry days at the storage space cleaning out the 30+ years of stuff that we’ve accumulated of the years. Some of it was duplicates of things that were buried under the newer stuff. I remember being frustrated that I couldn’t find any scissors one year, so I bought several packs of scissors and put one pair in every room. Great idea, but nobody living in an RV needs 10 pairs of scissors. Although we did convince ourselves that we need 3 or 4 pairs.

As of Saturday February 24th, we have cleaned out the 2nd space and emptied the boxes of things that we agreed were not required. We are thinking maybe we’ll go do one more pass at clean up, then we are done.

What’s next?

Great question. We are thinking we’ll go up to Seattle to get a new mattress (remember all the leaks? Yep, the mattress got so wet it was mildewing!). Then we’ll have a few bowls of clam chowder and head south down Highway 101. We are going to keep going until we get tired of California, then we’ll turn left which means we’ll be going east.

We have plans to be in Colorado on June 10th. Nothing else is decided. If you have suggestions of things to see or do between Seattle and Colorado that involve the coast, then maybe the southwest desert, let us know. Until then, Happy Trails Y’all!

Visit us at Happy Trails, Y’all

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