November 20, 2012

Boondocking and Isolation

Those two words in the title never seem to leave my thoughts and today came back into the mental scene like a high speed storm. Sell everything, hit the road and figure things out on the way.

How's that for a wide range of thinking?

I have 4 days off from work after tomorrow, the 21st, and plenty of time to shampoo my carpets, wash down the walls, a thorough cleaning, more downsizing and put that brand new "for sale" sign in the front yard. Yes, I know it's the holidays, I know its winter and maybe it will not sell during this time ... but at least it's a start and if I were to get lucky with a sale, then I hit the road.

I am not sure of the reason for the sudden change in thinking.

My favorite college basketball team is #1 until they get beat and they will get beat eventually ... maybe tonight. Yet, I know I can watch them anywhere in the USA with my Directv dish and transfer my service.

All I thought about today during a slow day of work ... was boondocking and sitting somewhere with warm weather, a slight breeze, sun and 3 hounds napping outside on a rug.

So we will see. I think I am going to be very productive these next 4 days and that will get me back in forward motion of clearing my house out, selling it and hitting the road.

What if it doesn't sell?  After a period of time where I give it a chance to sell, I'll buy a trailer, head west and see what the future brings.

RVsue's story has always been very interesting as well as her current blog posts. When I read last year, the reason she decided to sell out and hit the road I could see we had similar reasons.

Stay tuned.

November 19, 2012

Is Sadie a Hold Up in the Decision?

As much as I love my hounds, I wonder sometimes if my 80lb bloodhound Sadie is subconsciously keeping me from making a decision. Two "low level" basset hounds are much different than 2 basset hounds and 1 large bloodhound. Plus a "hound" is much different than those smart never run away shepherds. I would have to have all 3 of my dogs on 3 different retractable leashes because even with the older Winston (8yrs old), when they get on a scent, they are off and all 3 can run much faster than I can.

I know this from past experience in the hayfield walks in the afternoon and an unexpected deer shows up within their scent range ... and I know how slow I am chasing them.

So when I see pictures of other travelers hiking with the dogs unleashed, and they stay around without running off, I know that is not possible with the noses of my hounds.

With a tow vehicle that I am currently driving daily to work, that puts me in the range of a small trailer. The more I think of it, the more I could see me and 2 basset hounds doing it comfortably but that 3rd 80lbs of fumbling tumbling hound INSIDE something only 16'-18' makes it seem hard to imagine.

So that is why I asked, if Sadie, my big bloodhound has been the reason I have not been able to make a decision, when I am use to making decisions pretty quickly on other topics.

All through my google searches over the past 13 months, I have not found anyone RVing full time with a bloodhound or even a large dog with 2 other dogs. Definitely not inside a smaller trailer.

Based on weekend observations, my hounds sleep A LOT during the day while I am at work and also while I am around on weekends. Those naps could be on a rug inside a portable fenced area like RVsue uses for her two smaller dogs but when the winds are howling and the rain is flying, the big girl with the 2 basset hounds and I would seem to be pretty cramped inside a smaller trailer when I think about it.

Does that move us back to a Class C or a 32' - 34' Class A?  Even in times of $4 gas?

I have done all of my gas estimates with different types of RV's at $4 per gallon fuel in the past year. I am pretty close to an estimate of 8,000-9,000 miles traveled in a year, maybe less if I stay in places I like longer. Having lived in the west in the past for 20+yrs, I have seen a lot of Calif, Washington, Idaho, and Arizona. So I see myself doing less traveling than maybe some others I read about.

Still, I keep coming back to traveling full time with 3 hounds and 1 of those hounds being 30" tall at the shoulder, packing only 80lbs and a tail that can clean off a coffee table with a couple of tail wags. I will not even get into the drool

I could do a Class C or A and used my current tow vehicle as my toad.

More and more to think about.

November 18, 2012

Nothing New Except the Morning Temps

As you see on the left side of this post, I follow a few blogs of others either snow-birding, RVing fulltime and a few that camp when they can get time. I follow more than what is listed to the left in Google Reader, so I do have a wide range of travelers and a wide range of ideas and thoughts.

Still, I remember to remember that each of us has their own situation in doing what we do.

Over the past month I have had time to think of what a typical day in retirement would look like if I chose to stay here in this house on a fulltime basis. A couple of days off during the week plus weekends gave me a glance into the future and one that turned out quite boring. I had thoughts asking myself "is this what you really want to do?" when I decide to retire and stay in this location? When imagining doing what the people do that I read daily about I asked myself the same question "is this what you really want to do?" I saw more positive images and thought "yes" to that question about traveling.

That thought process led me to take a look at the way I am always changing my mind more than I like in making this decision. Add in the comments on this blog, the stories of others in their blogs, the few private emails I receive about what to do and it keeps me in the mode of not making a decision.

I realized over the past 13 months since this urge of RVing fulltime hit me, my mind consistently changed with the change of seasons, situations at work and/or when I was just plain bored. Tired of the same routine that I and others in the workforce follow.

So really the answer is in all of this analysis I have been going through, I will not know until I just do it. Seems simple.

I have decided instead of jumping in 100% feet first by selling everything and hitting the road with my hounds and just the bare necessities and figuring it out as I go ... That I will keep my house, continue to downsize, buy a trailer and hit the road.

The date to hit the road is still undetermined but the search for a travel trailer is on as well as buying the things I will need to be off the grid in my travels.

I do know that the temps (20's) I wake up to and drive to work in makes it so tempting to buy something soon and leave but I don't feel like I am fully prepared to make that move yet.

Through my reading I am seeing more pulling off the road and staying in one spot longer. Are the fuel prices this past summer a factor? I know that fuel cost are very flexible and can be controlled by the amount of movement from one camp site to another. I have no doubt that I will be more of a boondocker than a traveling tourist.

In my case when comparing the 2 options of keeping the house and traveling or selling the house and traveling, my NET monthly expenditures are within $200-$300 of each other. Not a big difference. In either case I already have my tow vehicle.

As one friend told me "you only need shelter".