Well, we have our first year in the books…and what an exciting year it has been! On September 26th, we had just gotten back from the RV-Dreams Fall Rally in Goshen, Indiana and we headed out the door of our house for the last time.
We knew that this was what we wanted to do, but we were unsure how the immediate future was going to play out, as we were (and still are) responsible for Diana’s mom’s care. We moved the fifth wheel a few miles down the road to Woodchip Campground, as Diana was having to visit her mom often.
In early October, we decided to make a quick run to Florida, so we could deliver Diana’s dad’s tools to her brother. We left our golden retriever Jenny with my sister. While we were gone, Jenny stopped eating. She had been losing weight for some time, and a visit to our vet upon our return revealed that she had cancer of the blood vessels, of all things.
With great sadness, we had her put down on November 12. To say we miss her is an understatement. With that said, we made the choice to be ‘dogless’ for awhile, as we have had dogs every year since 1991.
The day after Jenny left us, the snow arrived in Grand Rapids.
We were well prepared for the cold. We skirted the entire underside of the trailer with 3/4″ foam board, and we placed an electric heater underneath. Our biggest challenge was keeping the moisture at bay inside the RV. We ended up purchasing a couple of small dehumidifiers to help with that issue. Heating costs were high for an RV, but not much different than we were paying to heat our house. In February, when the outside temperature dipped to 25 degrees below zero, I was making daily trips to the propane refilling station. We kept a good attitude and actually did quite well. 🙂
We kept ourselves entertained throughout the winter. We went in with the attitude ‘if we have to live here during the cold months, then we may as well embrace it’. As many of our long time readers know, we did a good job of it. A few of you even mentioned that our posts were making you cold! 🙂
We also visited the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex. No, we didn’t try the luge.
In March, we volunteered for Gilda’s Laughfest.
In early April, a bad case of ‘hitch itch’ overcame me, so we tore off the skirting, hooked up the RV and headed to Florida!
We spent some time with Diana’s brother and our niece and her family near Leesburg, and then we spent the rest of our time in Naples. It was good to get away after a long winter. :). We got back to Grand Rapids in mid April.
On April 30, we headed north to begin our work camping job in Lake Leelanau at Wild Cherry Resort.
In early June, we hiked a newly opened portion of the North Country Trail near Fife Lake.
It was part of a celebration that designated the village as a ‘trail town’. Part of the trail we walked on was a section that we used to snowmobile and cross-country ski on. It was great to see it now under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of the Interior. 🙂
Also in June, we drove our Escape down to Alton, Illinois to get together with some of our friends from college.
Never a dull moment with this bunch! We had a fabulous time. 🙂
It was about then that the festivals began around Traverse City.
The first one was the Traverse City Wine and Art Festival. Lots of food, music, art and wine!
The crew at Wild Cherry also completed their first ‘paver’ site.
Our next adventure was Paddle for Pints, a pub crawl in Traverse City, involving kayaks.
Throughout the summer, the wineries would host music events on their patios.
And here we are with Patti & Lane, Grace & George, and Mary & Rod at Shady Lane Cellars.
In August, we hooked up the rig and took a week’s vacation to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Our destination was the Porcupine Mountains.
Labor Day weekend came and we were visited by our friends Mike and Cindy.
In mid-September, we received word that Diana’s mom was taken to the hospital with pneumonia. We made a quick trip to Grand Rapids and determined that we were going to need to relocate back to be by her for a bit. There is a good possibility that we will still be able to get back to Wild Cherry for October, as Mom is doing quite well…but we will see what the next week brings.
Alaine is crusing by with the kiddie train and everybody is having fun. 🙂
All in all, it has been a great year! Thanks for riding along with us!