A review of 2006
2006 was the year to really put things in motion. Many events came together and resulted in a somewhat earlier
departure into this lifestyle than originally planned. But things came together quite nicely. In 2005, we spent from
May to October as campground hosts in our previous motorhome and learned that living in a 320 square foot
house was really possible. No one sustained any major injuries from the close living quarters! We liked it enough
to start earlier in the year in 2006. In addition to work related travels, we were again campground hosts at a
Forest Service campground, this time from May until November. Again it was a great experience for us and we had
the opportunity to work with some really great people. And we had a chance to meet and talk with some fulltimers
who passed through. Also during this time we cleared out the house and found some folks to house sit for us for a
couple of years. So we have actually been fulltiming in the motorhome since May, this year in a slightly larger unit,
and all is still well.
We started out the year at Maumelle Park (COE) in Little Rock. This is a nice park along the Arkansas river and
relatively close to the home office of the company I will be leaving after 30 years. We have been at this park since
early December. Trying to put the finishing touches on training and transferring of responsibilities at work. Then it
was time to move back to our "home" area so it was back to Devil's Den State Park where we started our year in
'06. This is one of the nicest state parks in Arkansas and there are a lot of nice parks in the state. If you like
camping along the creek and hiking in the mountains, you would have a hard time finding a better place in the
state. Only one slight blemish is the weather. Last year we started out with 60's and 70's. As I sit typing this on
January 16th, it is 23 degrees outside after a low of 16. Tonight the prediction is for single digits! Brrrr! But better
weather is on the horizon. A couple of more months of work and then we can follow the sun. We have been
accepted as volunteer campground hosts at the Butte Lake campground in Lassen Volcanic National Park. This
will keep us occupied from June through September this year. We are really looking forward to that opportunity. It
should be a real change from our previous volunteer host positions.
01/18/07. A few short hikes for a few pictures of Devil's Den in the Winter. Finally above freezing for a few hours
at least. Tomorrow it's time to roll in the slides and head a little south and back to work for a while.
Starting off February at Springhill Park COE just outside of Fort Smith. Nice park but few campers this time of
year. Mostly fulltimers with the occasional overnight stop. Still getting the winter weather though. Here are a
couple of pictures from February 1st. More snow on tap for tomorrow and early next week. Hope to be able to
head south in a week or two and find some warmer temps. Soon maybe. In the meantime, will have to thaw out the
water faucet every few days to fill the tank until we get some more reasonable temps.
Mid February found us on our way to the Freightliner factory service center in Gaffney, S.C. for the M3 service on
the motor home. This gave us a chance to travel through Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia since we took the
southern route to the factory. While in Gaffney, we had the opportunity to visit Kings Mountain and Cowpen
National Battlefields. Both were significant battles in the Revolutionary War and major victories for the Patriot
forces. On the return trip, we stopped for a couple of days along the Natchez Trace. All in all it was a good trip
although the weather was a little on the cool side for most of the trip. The visit to the factory service center was
well worth the trip along with the new territory we had the opportunity to visit. The week of February 26th will be my
final week in the office, then it's time to move south and west. Planning to be on the way by the 8th of March or so.
It's been a long time coming but it is finally SO CLOSE! Now all we have to do is survive the next couple of weeks
of springtime Arkansas thunderstorms and tornados!
March 8th and we are on the road. However, the last three or four days at
Springhill Park we had a visitor. The little guy on the left spent all day, every
day actively attacking his reflection in the wheel covers on the motorhome. It
took us a while to figure out what the tapping was on the wheel cover. Every
time we would look out, he would hear us opening the window and off he would
go into a nearby tree. We finally spotted him while returning from a walk. It was
a game after that trying to get his picture. If we leaned out one side, he would
move to the other! Kendall finally managed to get a few pictures.
After leaving the Ft. Smith area, we headed south to the Texarkana area, then
Liberal, Kansas followed by Springfield, Colorado to visit relatives. From there
it was on to Santa Fe, New Mexico. This is an area I have long wanted to visit
but never seemed to find the time. The photo on the left shows the view from
our house at Cochiti Lake Campground. This is a Corp of Engineers
campground about 30 miles or so from Sante Fe. Very nice campground and
much more room to stretch than the private campgrounds located in the city.
We had a chance to visit the Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument
and will be visiting the Los Alamos and Taos areas in the next few days. See
the 2007 Photos page for some pics from this area.
Another beautiful day in northern New Mexico. We made a trip north from
Sante Fe through Los Alamos and into Bandelier National Monument. This is
the site of several ancestral pueblo ruins. The trip continued along scenic New
Mexico Highway 4 past the Valles Caldera National Preserve and on through
the Jemez Mountains along the Jemez River. This is some really beautiful
country! Both Bandelier and Valles Caldera would be great locations for future
volunteer opportunities. By the way, you can click on any of the pictures on
this or any other pages for a larger image.
We are now in Reno as of the end of March. We will be stationary for about a
month, then it is on to Stockton, Ca. for an Escapees Escapade then up to
Oregon to purchase solar panels and related equipment. While here, we
decided to make a trip up to Lassen Volcanic National Park. The main road
through the park is still closed along with the road to the Butte Lake
campground where we will volunteer as campground hosts for the summer.
Hopefully the road will be open sometime this month or early May and we will
have a chance to get a look at our summer home. It is a beautiful area and we
are looking forward to working there this summer.
After the Escapade at Stockton, it was on to Springfield, Oregon to have some
solar equipment installed. From there we made our way over to the coast. We
stopped at Cape Blanco State Park for a few days along the southern coast.
This state park is home to an operational lighthouse as well as a two story
ranch house that was constructed in 1898. Very interesting tours. We also had
the chance to visit several other state parks in the area. They are some of the
nicest state parks we have had the chance to visit and the scenery is
absolutely beautiful. It has been a while since we had an opportunity to spend
time along the ocean and I had forgotten how nice it can be. Cool and rainy but
that's ok. We hope to return sometime in the future to volunteer in this area.
Tomorrow, it will be time to head south to California and the redwoods.
One of the truly beautiful areas of California is the northern coast in the
Redwoods. These trees are really magnificent. It is amazing to think that you
are standing amid life that in many cases exceeds 1500 years old! There was
so much to see in this area that the week or so we spent touring the area
was not nearly enough. We did have the chance to talk with some volunteers
at one of the state parks and received some good information. We may be
returning some day to volunteer in this area also. More pics of this area on
the 2007 Photos page.
We are now at our summer home in Lassen Volcanic National Park. The
picture on the left is Lassen Peak and was taken from the top of Cinder
Cone. Cinder Cone last erupted in approximately 1650. It is within a couple of
miles of our campsite at Butte Lake. Lassen last erupted between 1914 and
1917. This is an active area with mud pots, boiling springs and other
geothermal areas. It is also home to all four types of Volcanos. It is a little
used but very fascinating area.
June through September 2007
|October through December 2007
June through September 2007
At the end of August, we made a short trip to Crater Lake National Park.
This was our second visit to the park and we hope to return with a little more
time in the future. See our 2007 Photos Page 2 for more photos of this area.
An unexpected trip back to Arkansas in October gave us an opportunity to
visit with family and friends that we had not anticipated. Other than a few
thunderstorms with tornado warnings, it was a pleasant trip back. The return
trip from Arkansas to our winter volunteer commitment gave us an
opportunity to visit several national parks. First on the list was Joshua Tree
National Park. We spent the week of Thanksgiving camped in a BLM area
on the south side of the park. While in southern California, we also
managed a quick trip to Mojave National Preserve. Both of these parks are
primarily high desert areas with surprisingly interesting plant and animal life.
As we neared December, we started moving north to our winter home at
New Melones Lake. Along the way, we visited the giant sequoias at
Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park. This park is home to many of the
largest trees on earth. It is also home to the black bear in the photo on the
left. After Sequoia, it was on to Yosemite National Park. Although it was quite
smoky from fires in the park, the Yosemite Valley was still an amazing place.
We were very fortunate to have good weather into early December for this
visit. You can see photos from these parks at 2007 Photos Page 2. Now we
are in our winter location and will be here until April. We hope to visit more
of this area to begin our 2008 On the Road and Photos page.See you down