A Travellerspoint blog

Day 63 (11.03.07) - A day to Reflect (& do laundry)

We stayed in the Rondout RV Resort today, did some chores, rested, and I worked on the laptop (but not the blog)



Miles Walked - 1 (to the office & back for laundry quarters!)
Weather - Overcast & cool, no rain or wind here however


We are fine. There was a big storm Saturday, but it didn't make it this far inland. It was overcast and cool, but no wind or rain. The campground was nice, we had a chance to get the rig cleaned up and organized a bit, got our laundry done. The hard drive on my laptop was almost full however (60G), so I spent a good part of Saturday cleaning that up - I copied most of my photographs to DVD's. I also set up an external hard drive I'd purchased and started backing up the laptop (just in case, you never know). This took several more hours, so I never got a chance to get back on the internet and update the blog. We considered staying over another day, but the resort wasn't going to stay open Sunday night and they wanted $4.00 to use their wi-fi for the day Sunday - so I figured I'd just work on it later (e.g., tonight).

I also thought since we weren't travelling Saturday, it would be a good time to reflect a bit on the trip, blog, or whatever (this would be a good time to exit out if you're not into long digressions).

- I wanted to take the trip to see parts of the country I'd never visited before (like New England). I also wanted to reconnect with how rural many parts of the country are (and get away from strip malls for awhile).

These parts of the trip have greatly exceeded my expectations. While we have gotten back into urban area's at times, most of the time we've driven through very beautiful countryside. Even most of the more populated area's seem to have a lot of countryside around them (the Catskills in New York, not too far from New York City, but very lovely). I would have to say that the amount of rural countryside is far greater than I expected, it's just that we tend to live & work in urban area's so maybe we forget that there's plenty of open space not so far away?

- I thought I was reasonably well educated, that I knew our geography and history somewhat well, had read the more important literary works.

No, I'm beginning to think I was fairly clueless! I didn't set out on the trip to 'learn', but what a learning opportunity and experience this has been. Not a day goes by where I don't say at least once, "I didn't know that". Mom and I are both learning a lot about geography, history, and all sorts of interesting things. It's especially interesting to me to see how things fit together - how the geography of one area affects the history (Plymouth vs Cape Cod for the Pilgrims, or how Lexington & Concord and Bunker Hill all are related to the Revolutionary War and the birth of this Nation).

I wish there was some way the experiences of such a trip could be captured more effectively for students (of all ages). I don't know if I just wasn't as good a student as I thought I was, or if books just aren't the most effective teaching tool - but this has really been an education.

- I wanted to connect a little bit with early explorers such as Lewis & Clark. They undertook a massive expedition under very difficult circumstances and succeeded.

The RV is quite small for two people, but of course our trip is not nearly the challenge Lewis & Clark faced. Still, I can relate somewhat to their experience. How much effort it must have taken for them to write in their journals during the trip with powdered ink and quill pens! They also had to draw pictures of new plants or animals they observed, whereas I have digital camera's and laptop computer with (generally) internet access. Still, I'm up late most nights trying to capture the day's events. If they ran out of food or supplies, they had to make do with what they could hunt or gather in the woods. We can stop and buy supplies, but still have to manage what we have and plan excursions accordingly.

When we first left and were driving the midwest and during the warmer months, there were other RV travellers on the road and in that part of the country - nobody really noticed us. Now that we've gotten to the Northeast (and late in the year), we're not seeing many RV's. Not only that, but it seems local people don't see quite as many RV'ers - we get a lot more 'looks' and questions. Some people seem surprised to see a couple of older women taking on a trip like this. Several people seem to be somewhat inspired ('I hope to do this someday' - type comments.)

- To go/not to go

Before I left (and sometimes since), I've had a lot of misgivings about the cost of the trip. A lot of people have also asked me how I could afford to do something like this. The truth is I probably can't. I'm 'robbing' my retirement kitty to do this. A prudent financial planner, which I usually am, would never do such a thing. However, I am increasingly convinced that this is worth it. I can and will go back to work when I get home and rebuild my retirement savings. But I don't know if I'd have ever taken this trip 'later', there would probably always be good reasons not to go - maybe 'later' I'd just be too old myself (to say nothing about Mom not being able to do it, she's 80 now). I may have to work longer to pay for this, but I know now that I will have a lifetime of experiences to cherish - it would be hard to put a price on all this, but I now know that it is worth it.

- Blog (especially since it keeps me up too late, almost always)

(1) I want to keep this so when I get back, I can remember all the cool places we went and saw and did.
(2) I don't remember things very well, so almost have to write this daily, before I've forgotten it all,
(3) It's fun to share something so fun with other people.

On that note, I especially want to thank the folks who add comments to the blog!

It really helps to know that all this effort is of some value to someone besides myself. Whether I write too much or too little, put in too many or too few photo's is hard to tell absent feedback. More importantly however, comments keep a dialog going and make the experience a little more interactive, so if you haven't done so already (and I haven't put you to sleep tonight yet), please sign up for a Traveller's Point membership (it's free) so you can post comments!

Maybe I can't follow every bit of advise or change everything as suggested, but you never know - maybe I can sometimes also (especially if I know what it is people want). And, it makes this more of a conversation!

FINALLY - bet you thought I'd never get here just in case you thought I got through today without taking pictures, here are a couple I snapped in the campground:


Posted by jl98584 18:27 Archived in USA Tagged family_travel

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The photo of the cardinal is a good one. It reminds me of the time I went to Minnesota for my 30th college reunion. The last morning, I was up early due to the time change, and just walking around. I saw a cardinal in a porch, just sitting there. I don't remember ever seeing a cardinal when I was in college. I felt it was a gift to me for being up so early. The log over a stream just looks peaceful. the trees re about on par with the ones here.

by drque

I look forward to reading all the things ou are doing. I would love to do that, but ahhhh you are a better planner than myself....

by rllomas

I wish I were a better planner! No, I just jumped in without looking (ha, ha). Mom & I did do some planning of course, but I spent most of the prep time working on fixing up the RV (it's an old beater). In some ways, that's worked out better - some of the things we've enjoyed the most aren't in any guidebooks. If we'd stuck to the guidebooks, we'd probably see just the same old tourist attractions everybody else see's. We will do some of that of course, but I've enjoyed the off the wall stuff every bit as much.

by jl98584

I'm a week behind and catching up on your blogs; last week was pretty intense work-wise so I worked late each evening and couldn't read. However, reading your philosophical statements here, I think you are right on the money! Many people would LIKE to do what you are doing but they don't ever get around to actually DOING it! That's why you probably get a lot of supportive comments from people you meet. And why you aren't regretting dipping into your nest egg a bit. For what it's worth on the blog, btw, I am enjoying it very much. Meant to say a few weeks ago, but I think after a couple weeks of getting the hang of it (and no internet access), on the East Coast you really hit your stride. The right mix of photos and text, personal interest, etc. Great job!

by TexasRTJ

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