Monday, October 18, 2010

Getting Ready for the Big Haul

It's been a couple of months since we've had the beast out.  I'm referring to the trailer, not my husband - or the cat!  In only about three weeks, we'll be hitting the road for five months.  I can't believe it.

How many of you are old enough to remember the movie "The Long, Long Trailer" with Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz?  Even though our trailer is not one of those beauty Airstreams, I always think of that movie when I think of our trip.  My husband is an avid rock collector.  Our house and garden is full - I mean FULL - of rocks from Bancroft (the self proclaimed mineral capital of Canada) and surrounding areas that he has collected over the past several years.  In the movie, Lucy collected a rock from every place she and Desi (Nicky in the movie) visited, and she hid these rocks all over the trailer.  Needless to say, when it came time to try to pull the trailer through the mountains, the car had a bit of trouble, the rocks started sliding out from their hiding spots, and an argument ensued Lucy/Desi style.  C'mon, it was the '50s.  Anyway, Brad's already been warned - NO ROCKS!

So we're busy with our preparations.  We have a list of To Do's that is 80 items long - items for Brad that include things like preparing the truck and trailer, winterizing the jet skis, pool, his 1971 Mustang, and making sure the house is okay to leave in the hands of our son (furnace, water heater, etc.) - you know, guy stuff; and items for me that include things like getting health insurance, creating a list of emergency numbers, renewing my plate stickers for my car (which stays at home for our son to drive) and the truck (which pulls the trailer), and figuring out our route to take down and where our first few nights will be spent.  There are things we both have to do like making sure our wills and powers of attorney are all in order, and ensuring everything at the bank is taken care of.  So far, we're almost half way through the list.  It's mind boggling the things that have to be done.  And we still have regular day-to-day things to do that aren't on the list.

A lot of my time is spent investigating things on the internet, like joining clubs for saving money at RV campgounds.  We can save 10-50% per night with different clubs.  And then I came across an article in our RV Gazette magazine that we receive with our Explorer RV Club membership that talks about hiking in the desert and things to pack for such adventures, etc., and in the article it listed the author's website.  When checking that out, I found a wealth of info on "boondocking" - RV lingo for dry camping or parking out in the middle of nowhere with no hookups (electricity, water or sewer) on free public land.  Well isn't this why we purchased a $6,000 generator?  This author, Marianne Edwards, has published 4 e-guides which she sells on her website for a very reasonable price that identifies where you can boondock as well as great places to hike.  Interested?  Check out her site -  She and her partner have done much of what Brad and I are setting out to do, so we look to follow in their footsteps.  She has no guides for California or Nevada, two states which we hope to travel into this year or next, so maybe I'll help her write her next couple of guides, who knows?  And thanks to her boondocking guides we hope to save a lot of money this year on campgrounds, the second biggest cost of the trip (the biggest of course is fuel).

So I hope you'll keep following our travels.  I'll be posting from the road (unless I have something interesting to post before we leave).  Finding wi-fi service will be an interesting challenge when we're not in a paid campground - visitor's centres, libraries, MacDonalds...  I'll have to pre-write my blogs and just upload them so Brad and I don't have to sit for long periods of time at these places waiting for me to write them.

Until then, Happy Hallowe'en.

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