June 17, 2014

Analysis With Open Eyes - This Blog is Finished

As many of you know, I am constantly thinking, analyzing and lately I have been asking myself “Why”. The most asked question was “Why have you been sitting here and not on the road where with a little effort you could be?” When I analyzed to find an answer to that question, I remembered that just little over a year ago in March 2013 I deactivated this blog, moved all of my RV bookmarks out of sight and stopped reading anything about RV’s, traveling or RV blogs. At that time I wanted to see if it was something I really wanted to do or not. It was not until 2 months later where I reactivated the blog, let followers know I was back blogging and soon after started looking for something to travel in. Most of the summer I was looking at and close to purchasing small trailers due to the amount of weight my tow vehicle could handle. At the time that tow vehicle was a H3 Hummer that couldn’t tow thin air if it had to! The blog continued on as well as my search continued up to and past my retirement date.

Too many times to count I have asked myself why have I not made a decision. After my trip to Arkansas with the hounds last September 2013, I stated on this blog that my plans of traveling were on hold if not canceled. At that time I explained it was best for the hounds to stay where we were. I still feel that same way today. That thought has always lingered in the back of my mind. See, out of all the blogs I follow where people are traveling with dogs … NONE of them are of the hound breed. Until you have one of the hound breed you may not know what I am speaking of. They are not like the herding breeds, terriers, greyhounds, mixed breeds and others I’ve forgotten. They MAY walk next to your side or near you on a walk through the field but once they pick up a scent of a deer or rabbit … they are gone…gone as fast as a Kentucky Derby winner. You can train them all you want and call their names over and over but once that scent hits their nose … its bye bye ... they move into a state of unconsciousness until the rabbit or deer are caught. They are never caught but the hounds run forever and out of sight.

Would that work well out in the desert? Or anywhere else in a State or National Park, even leashed?

I’m not putting the blame on the hounds though. I just mentioned those issues as a personal concern for their own safety.

No, I have other things I like to do and some of those are borderline addiction. The game of football is the one borderline. Recently I have found myself with the help of the Facebook groups I follow, reminding me just how many weeks it is until kickoff for the 2014 season. I found myself more interested in that dateline than which area of the western United States I would be traveling in. Sure, I can put a DirecTv dish on top of my trailer or a portable dish outside the trailer and watch all the games I want. So I guess that is not the reason for not traveling is it?

I think things changed recently when I decided during the process of prepping my house for sale, that I wanted to keep my house and not move. I knew then the most I would probably travel would be 4-6 months out of the year. That still has a very good chance of happening just like it may not happen at all. That is just me. I rarely make plans ahead of time and most of my trips even for a day or even the times I decide to attend a football game in person are strictly impulsive. I decide that day and then I’m on the road.

No, I don’t know why I am that way.

So, these thoughts, doubts, whatever, they are have always been in the background. Something happened recently that brought all of this to a head so to speak. It took a stranger to say something that stung me a little bit. I disagreed with what was said and sent their thoughts to a friend of mine. When a close friend that has many years experience of traveling with dogs and cats, mostly in small trailers, said “he might be right” … that took the stranger’s sting out of their words and had me doing an honest analysis of me. Not the hounds, no followers, no local friends … just me. I came to realize that whatever the need(s) I have for filling up my life of retirement, no matter how nice it seems nor how great everyone’s photos are of their travels … that lifestyle may not be what I am truly looking for. Not only would that be an expensive mistake financially but also a mistake for my hounds. Otherwise I really think I would be on the road by now.

Through this analysis and further discussion with my close friend, those old reasons from March 2013 and last September 2013 came back into view. Add in new information and I was pretty sure this idea of the hounds and I even part-timing in any sort of RV was not going to take place. I think all of my indecision these past 2+ years prove that. Such as, how can you buy any kind of RV or trailer when deep inside, maybe subconsciously you really don’t want to, for various reasons. How I ever thought that 3 hounds and I could live a lot of days and nights in a truck camper just showed that I might have been really confused on what I can and can’t do. Some would say delusional.

So come this fall, most likely I will be where I have been for the past 17 years and that will be enjoying the cool fall weather with a morning bike ride on my vintage Romic or the newer Giant Road Bike and watching football later in the day. I think when it comes time for the Midwest winter, that for the first time in 17 years, the hounds and I will head to SW Arizona or boondock in Borrego Springs for a few months. I believe tents would be used and when the high winds or bad weather hit, it would be all of us in the Toyota FJ Cruiser or a nearby motel room. For the rest of this summer in 2014, I’ll sit here most days complaining about the humidity, not the temperature, drinking iced tea and wondering how my online RVing friends are doing, where they are at.

At the same time I will continue keeping a very close eye on my old basset Winston. His back has been bothering a lot recently, more than a couple of months ago. I know what it is. Every old basset hound I’ve had has the same bad back. It comes with the breed. Having experienced bad backs myself, I know for a fact it doesn’t matter if I had a ramp to walk up instead of stairs, the back would still hurt enough that walking was nearly impossible. He along with the other hounds will enjoy spending the day sleeping in their favorite spots and I know they would find new spots if they were traveling but I’m not sure they would be as clean as they are here. They really enjoy their green grass mixed with broad leaf weeds to lay on, along with their Mexican blankets. All except Heidi because she is the “Queen of the Couch”.

I have no doubt that I will think about this decision, but it was time to face facts with open eyes. In retirement I wanted to spend more time riding my bicycle, getting more miles on my legs while getting in better physical shape, play a little tennis, catch some live baseball and football games or at times pile everyone into the FJ and take a short trip somewhere. I am not sure I would enjoy traveling or camping everyday week after week.

So to end this never ending post I have decided to stop blogging on this blog. I thought of changing the title but it has too much internet history, people still find it useful while they are searching for RV information. So now it will now turn into a library for the information I have found within my 2+ years of research. They will also find more information from your blogs that are listed on the left side.

I will tell you it was a joy and brought me a lot of satisfaction, and fun reading all of your blogs, seeing your photos and reading your comments. I will miss that part of this blog the most. Keeping up with your blogs is just too hard to read though. Between your stories and the photos you post, they only lead me to daydreaming of traveling that way when I know it’s really not really possible in my life right now. I will travel some, as I always planned on during retirement but I am not sure what type of travel that may be. When I pictured travel recently I see loading the hounds up in the FJ 4x4, and retracing my route that I took in 1976 on my bicycle cross country. We could camp on the way, and in bad weather hang out in some dive motel along some of the older highways I rode.

In October the current domain www.houndsandrvs.com will expire and will not be renewed. This blog will go back to it’s original blogspot domain of: www.bhounds.blogspot.com

I still have the urge to write and I am told I like to talk about almost anything. So I am starting my new blog “Retirement Life With My Hounds” at www.soloretired62.blogspot.com  There will not be any specific topic blogged about, just anything going on with the hounds or me....Minus any discussions on politics or religion.

Goodbye everyone and thanks for all of your encouragement and comments over the past 2+ years. It's been fun.

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