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Hoosic Reservoir, Cheshire MA, August 21, 2010
Hoosic Reservoir, Cheshire MA, August 21, 2010

On November 15, 2007 I moved into an old Lazy Daze motorhome and left Red Rock on my first extended journey to the Southwest to spend the winter in warmer climes and to try my hand at this fulltiming thing as a way to explore this beautiful country in my retirement.

It turns out I love this life more than I could have imagined and now can't imagine living in a so-called sticks and bricks house again.

Fulltiming is central to my life now.

Fulltiming refers to living full time in a motorhome, whether parked in one place or on the move. Some folks move seasonally. Some travel regularly. Some seldom move at all. Early on I traveled a lot but now I find myself moving more or less seasonally between places I've grown fond of, while cherishing the traveling I do between stops.

Genesis of an idea

The seed of the idea of living a mobile lifestyle was planted back in the late '80s when my cabinetmaking business went bust and I started riding around the country on my old 1974 BMW R90/6 motorcycle, licking my wounds and thinking about what to do next.

On one of those trips I met a couple at Arches National Park traveling in a small motorhome and started asking questions. They lived full time in a larger motorhome in Arizona and traveled in this smaller one. They were very enthusiastic about the full time RV lifestyle and urged me to try it. The seed planted, I spent the rest of the trip trying to figure out how I could make that happen.

No workable plan came to mind; there was too much going on back home and I just wasn't ready. But the seed germinated and the sprout grew slowly for years while I continued with the motorcycling and became infatuated with the west.

Out of the trees

At some point I remember beginning to say how it felt so great on those motorcycle trips when I crossed the Mississippi River and got "out of the trees" and into the open country of the western plains and mountains. It fed my soul. I couldn't explain it and still can't but the feeling was visceral and deep and I was determined to live a mobile lifestyle and travel the west. Somehow, someday.

Time passed, life went on, and the dream flourished

Finally early in this century I was ready to start moving toward the dream but I had no clear idea how to proceed. I lost interest in my work and knew it would soon be time for a change. This could be the opportunity to launch the dream. I was developing an interest in making forged wire jewelry, among other things, and jewelry was something I could pursue in a small space with very little equipment. Maybe there was a way to make it work.

In 2004 I stumbled on an old Starcraft truck camper I thought I might rebuild into a mobile jewelry studio. That idea quickly proved impractical and fizzled so I abandoned the project and moved on to the next idea, converting an old 1969 Airstream Tradewind trailer I found. That idea fizzled too when I concluded it needed too much work to be practical.

By then I was beginning to think a self- contained RV would be a better choice and research led me to Class C's and eventually to a 1992 Lazy Daze Mid Bath, now my home since November 15th, 2007.

Journal

I set up a Journal to record this ongoing adventure, beginning the day I left on this long adventure on November 15th, 2007.

Night Camps

Traveling and living full time in my Lazy Daze RV for a couple of years, here's where I've made my night camps.

Tags: RV Information

A Siberian dog signal-howl

A camp in the middle of a clear, dark winter's night presents a strange, wild appearance. I was awakened, soon after midnight, by cold feet, and, raising myself upon one elbow, I pushed my head out of my frosty fur bag to see by the stars what time it was. The fire had died away to a red heap of smouldering embers. There was just light enough to distinguish the dark outlines of the loaded sledges, the fur-clad forms of our men, lying here and there in groups about the fire, and the frosty dogs, curled up into a hundred little hairy balls upon the snow. Away beyond the limits of the camp stretched the desolate steppe in a series of long snowy undulations, which blended gradually into one great white frozen ocean, and were lost in the distance and darkness of night. High overhead, in a sky which was almost black, sparkled the bright constellations of Orion and the Pleiades--the celestial clocks which marked the long, weary hours between sunrise and sunset. The blue mysterious streamers of the aurora trembled in the north, now shooting up in clear bright lines to the zenith, then waving back and forth in great majestic curves over the silent camp, as if warning back the adventurous traveller from the unknown regions around the Pole. The silence was profound, oppressive. Nothing but the pulsating of the blood in my ears, and the heavy breathing of the sleeping men at my feet, broke the universal lull. Suddenly there rose upon the still night air a long, faint, wailing cry like that of a human being in the last extremity of suffering. Gradually it swelled and deepened until it seemed to fill the whole atmosphere with its volume of mournful sound, dying away at last into a low, despairing moan. It was the signal-howl of a Siberian dog; but so wild and unearthly did it seem in the stillness of the arctic midnight, that it sent the startled blood bounding through my veins to my very finger-ends. In a moment the mournful cry was taken up by another dog, upon a higher key--two or three more joined in, then ten, twenty, forty, sixty, eighty, until the whole pack of a hundred dogs howled one infernal chorus together, making the air fairly tremble with sound, as if from the heavy bass of a great organ. For fully a minute heaven and earth seemed to be filled with yelling, shrieking fiends. Then one by one they began gradually to drop off, the unearthly tumult grew momentarily fainter and fainter, until at last it ended as it began, in one long, inexpressibly melancholy wail, and all was still.

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