Monday, January 1, 2018

Saying goodbye to 2017

Our time, the past two months, has been filled with family visits.
Applebee's with Mom and Dad, brother Jon and sister-in-law, Margaret 
Mom and Dad 
Monte's daughters, Jenny and Melissa 
Grandsons fishing at Lake Manatee State Park
Working at Lake Manatee State Park
 and a slow start on our plan to do some serious purging of things in our home.  Things we have been dragging around with us the last 5 ½ years on the road (some we have not used once) and things we have accumulated since becoming full time RVers. 

We also were treated to a wonderful Christmas concert by Monte’s daughter Melissa.
Michael W Smith, Amy Grant and season nine winner of The Voice, Jordan Smith
We managed to squeeze in a visit to Busch Gardens in Tampa,
 Sea World in Orlando

 and the Manatee Viewing Center in Apollo Beach. 

We celebrated our anniversary with our traditional dinner at Applebee’s
 and spent Christmas with family.

In 2017 we had our share of health issues with Monte spending a week in the hospital in Indiana with a bleeding ulcer.  I have been dealing with bone spurs on both my feet that have drastically curtailed my ability to take hikes.

We also dealt with several issues related to our RV including a ruptured gray tank and leaking hot water heater tank. 
While at MorRyde in Indiana, where we took the rig in for a routine inspection of our independent suspension system, they also discovered the rubber suspension springs had cracked and had to be replaced.

 One of my biggest fears was realized when our refrigerator stopped working.  Luckily it happened while we were near Elkhart.  The cooling system was replaced by one of the foremost RV refrigeration specialist in the nation.
  Some of the repairs were covered by our extended warranty but some were not and many of the repairs disrupted our travels. 

Repairs to our truck also caused us some unexpected disruptions and out of pocket expenses included a new brake caliper for the front passenger wheel.  We also had to be towed to a Dodge service station in Connecticut where we spent 12 days parking lot camping while waiting for a new torque converter to arrive and be installed.
Then six months later we ended up needing a brand new transmission.    
The timing couldn’t have been worse because while our truck was in the shop for 12 days our Jeep stopped working so we ended up having to rent a car.  We decided because of the age of the Jeep we would not have it repaired.

With great sorrow we had to make the decision to euthanize our beloved Annie.  She was a wonderful traveling companion and we miss her very much.

While some of the unexpected events that occurred were stressful we don’t regret our decision to live this lifestyle because it has enabled us to explore and enjoy some wonderful sights that have touched our hearts, meet some really great people and take in the beauty of our vast country. 

Some highlights included:
Columbia Canal and Riverfront Park, Columbia, SC
Congaree National Park
Mount Airy, NC
Pilot Mountain, NC
Natural Bridge State Park, VA
Skyline Drive, Shenandoah National Park, VA
Luray Caverns
Washington DC:

Bureau of Printing and Engraving

The Capitol
Supreme Court
Holocaust Museum
Library of Congress
United States Botanic Gardens
Washington Monument
Jefferson Memorial
Lincoln Memorial
Korean War Memorial
The Vietnam Wall
FDR Memorial
MLK Memorial
National Museum of African American
National Museum of Natural History
National Museum of American History
Mount Vernon

Statue of Liberty
Ellis Island
9/11 Memorial
9/11 Museum
Mohegan Sun Casino
Foxwoods Casino
Salem, MA
Portsmouth, NH

Boston, MA

Portland Head Lighthouse, Cape Elizabeth, ME
Boothbay, ME
Maine Lobster
Acadia National Park, Schoodic Woods
Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor
Schoodic Point
Tea with Eleanor at Campobello Island Park,
 New Brunswick, Canada

Albany Mt. Trail, White Mountain National Forest, ME

Cannon Aerial Tramway, Franconia NH
Flume Gorge, Franconia Notch SP, NH
Saratoga National Historical Park
Fort Stanwix National Historic Park, Rome, NY
Lockport Cave and Canal
Niagara Falls:
Maid of the Mist
Cave of the Winds
Canadian side of the falls
Sunset at Lake Erie SP, Brocton, NY
12 mile bike trail, Maurice Goddard SP, Sandy Lake, PA
Maumee Bay SP, Oregon, OH
Shipshewana, IN
Mammoth Cave National Park
The Hermitage
Stones River National Battlefield, Murfreesboro, TN
Point Park, Lookout Mountain, Chattanooga, TN
Incline Railway
Looking forward to new adventures in 2018! 

Happy New Year