Thank You, KngaBlu!!

Here is KngaBlu, in all her glory, parked in Virginia last autumn. I couldn't have dreamed up the exceptional 15 months we lived and traveled in our motorhome. She is a 38' 2008 Fleetwood Bounder diesel pusher with 3 slides, a fully decked out kitchen, two recliners, a loveseat, a most comfortable queen size bed, TWO bathrooms (!), and loads of storage space - a perfect size for the two of us traveling the circumference of the USA with a venture or three into Canada. It is bittersweet she is now available for purchase! Here are a few images from our 15 months on the road. I could write a book but here's a post for starters. 

Note: If you're merely interested in learning more about KngaBlu and motorhome life firsthand, let me know. You might just want to do what we've done. AND, we have a beaut' motorhome that could be the answer. It's on a lot "for sale" in Skagit County, Washington.  Here is a look on the inside and more about details: See KngaBlu's Comfortable Living

ONE of the MANY RV PARKS KNGABLU ENJOYED This was well into our motorhome adventure but it's one of my favorite visuals of KngaBlu. Here she sits nestled by autumn leaves in Virginia late October / early November last year. One of the lovely things about motorhome life, is the changing view from day to day or week to week or month to month. We got to decide when it was time to change it. KngaBlu, we have truly loved our time aboard you -- living and traveling.

ONE of the MANY RV PARKS KNGABLU ENJOYED

This was well into our motorhome adventure but it's one of my favorite visuals of KngaBlu. Here she sits nestled by autumn leaves in Virginia late October / early November last year.

One of the lovely things about motorhome life, is the changing view from day to day or week to week or month to month. We got to decide when it was time to change it. KngaBlu, we have truly loved our time aboard you -- living and traveling.

ON THE ROAD UNTIL...

When we left Mt. Shasta, California in June, 2016, we were carefree and open ended regarding how long we would live and travel in KngaBlu. Since 1982, we had lived in several homes but in only one county in Northern California. Our sons have lived long distances away for years. This was a chance to see more of North America. Maybe we'd fall in love with another place and decide to put down roots there? We didn't know but we wanted to find out. We were curious and felt kid-like again, I think. What a cool feeling!

One gal I shared our BHAG with (big-hairy-audacious-goal) said, "Do it while you have this window of time. Health can change things on a dime."

Having worked as an RN for years (plus just plain living life) I often saw health mysteriously go downhill shortly after retirement. Why is that? Mark and I both figured it would help if we had something to look forward to. We both love travel and hadn't seen enough of North America. Here was an opportunity to change that. 

It was time to start sorting, tossing, and purging the accumulation of 34 years of stuff we'd collected since marrying. It scared me to think of anyone else having to do this for me if the day came I couldn't do it for myself. I'm more of a packrat than Mark so had more to deal with. Hard to get started but, once in the mode, I got pretty good at it. We donated carloads to organizations who could sell the gently used items and make money, sold more precious things we didn't want any longer via an online auction company (ask me about that, if interested), and stored what we weren't quite ready to let go. I wonder how many storage units there are in the United States alone? 

We listed our house the first Friday in March, 2016. By Monday, we pulled it off the market because we had received 3 solid offers. The couple who loved our house and was most tuned into our 5 miniature donkeys is now living in the home we loved so much. We closed in a month and rented back for six weeks. Then? We drove away in KngaBlu with KngaToo in tow.

HEADING EAST on NORTH CASCADES HWY We spent a month in Washington State last summer. When we finally turned East, this is what we saw on Highway 20, the North Cascades Highway. Sitting up high in KngaBlu and looking out the huge front window, there was never a shortage of breathtaking views of North America! 

HEADING EAST on NORTH CASCADES HWY

We spent a month in Washington State last summer. When we finally turned East, this is what we saw on Highway 20, the North Cascades Highway. Sitting up high in KngaBlu and looking out the huge front window, there was never a shortage of breathtaking views of North America! 

MAJOR LEAGUE ROAD TRIP and LIFESTYLE CHANGE

As we got more comfortable driving, riding and living in KngaBlu, we were pretty pleased with ourselves having taken this bold step. We were on an adventure in retirement. Woot! Trips to anywhere in North America had basically been business trips or vacations with time limited.

Our motorhome provided us a pretty awesome lifestyle. It took us awhile to realize we didn't have to be anywhere on any given Monday -- unless it was of our choosing. And we could pick our route according to how the wind was blowing on any given day.

National Parks. State Parks. Blue Highways. Local diners for the berry-pie-dujour. Small town celebrations. Lakes. Rivers. Waterfalls. Mountains. Kayaking. Hiking. Meeting the locals. Oh, and the rail trails for biking!

GLACIER LAKE - GLACIER NP It was our first time at Glacier National Park. We stayed in an RV Park in Columbia Falls, MT and drove our tow vehicle (Honda CRV) through the NP. Look at the water in Glacier Lake. It was absolutely pristine! (A funny thing happened in Columbia Falls. We randomly ran into Rotary friends from Redding, CA - Chet and Sandy - who are traveling fulltime in their 5th wheel. Chet was out walking his dog as we were headed out of the RV park to go somewhere. What's wilder? We've randomly run into them in Texas and Washington since!

GLACIER LAKE - GLACIER NP

It was our first time at Glacier National Park. We stayed in an RV Park in Columbia Falls, MT and drove our tow vehicle (Honda CRV) through the NP. Look at the water in Glacier Lake. It was absolutely pristine! (A funny thing happened in Columbia Falls. We randomly ran into Rotary friends from Redding, CA - Chet and Sandy - who are traveling fulltime in their 5th wheel. Chet was out walking his dog as we were headed out of the RV park to go somewhere. What's wilder? We've randomly run into them in Texas and Washington since!

WINDOW with a VIEW One of the grandest things about motorhome travel is that view. Sitting high up in a comfortable captain's chair sipping a fresh cup of coffee and taking in the surrounds is pretty mighty. Did I mention the engine is in the rear in a "diesel pusher" which makes for a quiet ride?

WINDOW with a VIEW

One of the grandest things about motorhome travel is that view. Sitting high up in a comfortable captain's chair sipping a fresh cup of coffee and taking in the surrounds is pretty mighty. Did I mention the engine is in the rear in a "diesel pusher" which makes for a quiet ride?

MT. RUSHMORE via CAR Have you been to Mt. Rushmore? We were actually staying at a campground outside Lead, South Dakota and traveled to Mt. Rushmore via our tow vehicle early in the morning to beat the crowds. Our tow vehicle (a 2008 Honda CRV) was key to taking side trips when we were parked for a few days or more.

MT. RUSHMORE via CAR

Have you been to Mt. Rushmore? We were actually staying at a campground outside Lead, South Dakota and traveled to Mt. Rushmore via our tow vehicle early in the morning to beat the crowds. Our tow vehicle (a 2008 Honda CRV) was key to taking side trips when we were parked for a few days or more.

HAVE YOU HEARD of KENNETH, MINNESOTA? As a kid, I use to visit Kenneth, Minnesota with my parents. My aunt and uncle lived on the 2nd floor of this building over my uncle's welding shop. The tiny town sits in the middle of corn fields. As a kid, I had a hard time realizing there was much going on in the area. At this point in life, I know there's more going on than meets the eye. (Well, maybe not Kenneth itself but let's say the area in general...) And I love rural much more now than then! Being there, I could faintly hear my uncle and his barbershop quartet singing. THAT's the sort of thing that goes on in Small Town America!

HAVE YOU HEARD of KENNETH, MINNESOTA?

As a kid, I use to visit Kenneth, Minnesota with my parents. My aunt and uncle lived on the 2nd floor of this building over my uncle's welding shop. The tiny town sits in the middle of corn fields. As a kid, I had a hard time realizing there was much going on in the area. At this point in life, I know there's more going on than meets the eye. (Well, maybe not Kenneth itself but let's say the area in general...) And I love rural much more now than then! Being there, I could faintly hear my uncle and his barbershop quartet singing. THAT's the sort of thing that goes on in Small Town America!

KNGABLU in MY HOMETOWN - WILLMAR, MN We parked on the side street so I could jump out to get this photo of KngaBlu in the neighborhood where I lived until I was 18. What a splendid place it was. Loads of kids to hang out with, safe until after dark to be out playing games, riding bikes, whatever. We could catch fireflies and sell lemonade in our front yards. My first childhood friend lived two doors away and we're still very connected, like the Sister neither of us ever had. How quirky to introduce our motorhome to my first house in life! 

KNGABLU in MY HOMETOWN - WILLMAR, MN

We parked on the side street so I could jump out to get this photo of KngaBlu in the neighborhood where I lived until I was 18. What a splendid place it was. Loads of kids to hang out with, safe until after dark to be out playing games, riding bikes, whatever. We could catch fireflies and sell lemonade in our front yards. My first childhood friend lived two doors away and we're still very connected, like the Sister neither of us ever had. How quirky to introduce our motorhome to my first house in life! 

SILVER ISLET near THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO From my hometown in Minnesota, we headed north and had a grand night in Duluth (what a cool town!) prior to visiting my brother, sister-in-law, and niece in Thunder Bay, Ontario on Lake Superior. An afternoon jaunt to Silver Islet brought us to this beautiful spot. I kind of thought I'd died and gone to heaven. It was such a lovely community of cottages owned for eons by the same families - handed down through generations. It wouldn't have been complete without a picnic, on flat rocks draping down to Superior, including smoked fish, cheese, and tasty bread. 

SILVER ISLET near THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO

From my hometown in Minnesota, we headed north and had a grand night in Duluth (what a cool town!) prior to visiting my brother, sister-in-law, and niece in Thunder Bay, Ontario on Lake Superior.

An afternoon jaunt to Silver Islet brought us to this beautiful spot. I kind of thought I'd died and gone to heaven. It was such a lovely community of cottages owned for eons by the same families - handed down through generations. It wouldn't have been complete without a picnic, on flat rocks draping down to Superior, including smoked fish, cheese, and tasty bread. 

MARQUETTE, MI - GOOD WALKABILITY There's something about cold that draws both my brothers. Are we really of the same DNA? One lives in Thunder Bay, Ontario and the other in Marquette. Michigan. KngaBlu did the Circle Tour of Lake Superior making our way to Marquette. It has grown up a lot since I was last there, maturing beautifully. Here's a peek at Marquette's downtown where we enjoyed a restaurant or two and were able to walk to our destinations --> good walkability factor. Oh, and a big lake to watch my sister-in-law and her rowing crew early in the morning. Go, Zhong! (If interested, read about our Lake Superior Circle Tour: Part 1 // Part 2

MARQUETTE, MI - GOOD WALKABILITY

There's something about cold that draws both my brothers. Are we really of the same DNA? One lives in Thunder Bay, Ontario and the other in Marquette. Michigan. KngaBlu did the Circle Tour of Lake Superior making our way to Marquette. It has grown up a lot since I was last there, maturing beautifully.

Here's a peek at Marquette's downtown where we enjoyed a restaurant or two and were able to walk to our destinations --> good walkability factor. Oh, and a big lake to watch my sister-in-law and her rowing crew early in the morning. Go, Zhong! (If interested, read about our Lake Superior Circle Tour: Part 1 // Part 2

ST. GEORGES RIVER - THOMASTON, MAINE There are 1000's upon 1000's of images I took along the way so I could be here forever just trying to convey how wonderful it was traveling via KNGABLU. We spent the month of September in Thomaston, Maine (<-- my story about falling in love with Maine - again) which was a central location to so much along the Midcoast. We can highly recommend! There's something about this area that grabs hold. It definitely made our list of possibilities of areas to relocate.

ST. GEORGES RIVER - THOMASTON, MAINE

There are 1000's upon 1000's of images I took along the way so I could be here forever just trying to convey how wonderful it was traveling via KNGABLU. We spent the month of September in Thomaston, Maine (<-- my story about falling in love with Maine - again) which was a central location to so much along the Midcoast. We can highly recommend! There's something about this area that grabs hold. It definitely made our list of possibilities of areas to relocate.

KNGATOO LOADED in GULF SHORES, ALABAMA We had made it to the Deep South by election night last November. One of the things appreciated hugely was it was easy to ignore daily news during this election year! Here we were and we had cable so we tuned in. Gulf Shores is a good place to enjoy a "shark attack" or two. Election night begged for two, pretty sure! Still not knowing where we were going to stay for the winter, Gulf Shores had a spot for us for a few nights so we enjoyed some Cajun food and kayaking. KngaToo, our trusty tow vehicle, was loaded down with two kayaks and two bikes. It had a job to do! Kayaking in Gulf Shores was fun. They have multiple waterways to enjoy. We were warned to beware of alligators. Was it a joke? Not sure but we were on the look out! The other thing that surprised me here was a nest of fire ants tackling my lower leg. Yikes! A few days later and voila! Blisters galore.

KNGATOO LOADED in GULF SHORES, ALABAMA

We had made it to the Deep South by election night last November. One of the things appreciated hugely was it was easy to ignore daily news during this election year! Here we were and we had cable so we tuned in. Gulf Shores is a good place to enjoy a "shark attack" or two. Election night begged for two, pretty sure!

Still not knowing where we were going to stay for the winter, Gulf Shores had a spot for us for a few nights so we enjoyed some Cajun food and kayaking. KngaToo, our trusty tow vehicle, was loaded down with two kayaks and two bikes. It had a job to do!

Kayaking in Gulf Shores was fun. They have multiple waterways to enjoy. We were warned to beware of alligators. Was it a joke? Not sure but we were on the look out! The other thing that surprised me here was a nest of fire ants tackling my lower leg. Yikes! A few days later and voila! Blisters galore.

FIRST TEXAS FERRY RIDE for KNGABLU We had NO idea ferry rides were in our future! We hit Texas and, after unhitching KngaToo, we boarded this ferry separately. Mark drove the motorhome and I drove the car. No cost. FREE! And it cut many miles off our journey from A to B. We were skeptical at first. This was our HOUSE boarding this little ferry. It worked and we didn't hesitate thereafter when we found it was just what you did in Texas.

FIRST TEXAS FERRY RIDE for KNGABLU

We had NO idea ferry rides were in our future! We hit Texas and, after unhitching KngaToo, we boarded this ferry separately. Mark drove the motorhome and I drove the car. No cost. FREE! And it cut many miles off our journey from A to B. We were skeptical at first. This was our HOUSE boarding this little ferry. It worked and we didn't hesitate thereafter when we found it was just what you did in Texas.

A MOST IMPORTANT CIRCLE of FRIENDS - PORT A, TEXAS This circle of people represents the most important new friends made during our 15 months on the road. We had no idea when we arrived in Port Aransas, Texas what was about to eventuate. Port A is located on Mustang Island on the Texas Gulf Coast and is where many of these fine folks have been going winter after winter for years. Lucky for us they were open to welcoming us into their circle. It was at 4pm each day we would gather round with our beverage of choice to catch up on what everyone had been doing during the day. Be it biking, kayaking, fishing, carving, birding, yoga, painting, knitting... These were the fine folks who showed us the ins and outs of the Texas Gulf Coast. Before a Coast Guardsman from Texas who we'd met in Maine suggested the area to us, we hadn't given it consideration. It was a most serendipitous meeting in Rockland, Maine. Sadly, Port A was hit directly by Hurricane Harvey and they will be re-building for a long time to come. Some of this group is returning to assist in the effort. Others are headed to Florida, Alabama, other destinations in Texas, and Arizona. We will always cherish our winter in Port A, Texas.

A MOST IMPORTANT CIRCLE of FRIENDS - PORT A, TEXAS

This circle of people represents the most important new friends made during our 15 months on the road. We had no idea when we arrived in Port Aransas, Texas what was about to eventuate.

Port A is located on Mustang Island on the Texas Gulf Coast and is where many of these fine folks have been going winter after winter for years. Lucky for us they were open to welcoming us into their circle. It was at 4pm each day we would gather round with our beverage of choice to catch up on what everyone had been doing during the day. Be it biking, kayaking, fishing, carving, birding, yoga, painting, knitting... These were the fine folks who showed us the ins and outs of the Texas Gulf Coast. Before a Coast Guardsman from Texas who we'd met in Maine suggested the area to us, we hadn't given it consideration. It was a most serendipitous meeting in Rockland, Maine.

Sadly, Port A was hit directly by Hurricane Harvey and they will be re-building for a long time to come. Some of this group is returning to assist in the effort. Others are headed to Florida, Alabama, other destinations in Texas, and Arizona. We will always cherish our winter in Port A, Texas.

THE VENTURE - WE BOUGHT a HOME, KNGABLU is FOR SALE

The stories, they do go on. I'm basically ending this saga in mid-March 2017 with months more to go.

The more I write, the more that comes to mind. I've got a winter ahead to collect my thoughts and get a gazillion photos and stories in order. Wish me luck!

One of the goals in this motorhome venture around the USA was to see where we might want to settle down again. Would one place or a few places stand out?  We had a checklist. One of them was we were looking for "not to hot, not too cold" and preferably in one of the Western States. We found it! And now KngaBlu is on the market. We don't want her to sit idle but for someone to buy it and have the fun and adventures we had. It's 15 months we will never regret.

                                                ______________________________

MORE PHOTOS OF KNGABLU

If you missed the link above to look on the INSIDE OF KNGABLU, click here. I have also postedmore photos on Instagram under BoomerEye.