The year end finds us back in Florida where our full-time adventure began nearly 2 years ago. Its nice to be warm and enjoying sunny weather. In our experience Florida is the only warm place in winter. While we love the desert and all Western states,
Florida is THE warm place in winter.
Travels in Review – Where did we go in 2016?
2016 was our second full year on the road fulltime. We started in Southern California then spent 5 weeks in Baja Mexico with a Baja Winters Caravan. We crossed at Tecate, visited Pacific beaches, deserts of rocks and cacti, Carnival in La Paz, Loreto, Bahia de Concepcion, Los Barriles, Cabo San Lucas, Todos Santos and best of all – petted gray whales in the lagoons of Guerrero Negro. We loved Baja and plan to return.
After returning to California we stayed near Palm Springs visiting the desert and Joshua Tree National Park. From California our travels then took us to Arizona where we boondocked near Quartzite, camped in Cottonwood, visited Jerome, Clarkdale, Sedona, Phoenix. We stood on the corner in Winslow, visited the Petrified Forest and Gallup New Mexico on our way to Durango, our home away from home in Southwest Colorado. We then traveled West again to Lake Powell, Zion National Park and Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada. Then on to Death Valley and US395 North along the east side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, staying in the Alalbama Hills in the shadow of Mt, Whitney. US395 took us north thru Bishop CA, Carson City and Washoe Lake State Park NV. Then on to Northern California and Bend Oregon. We caught a Royal Caribbean Cruise out of Seattle visiting Vancouver and Nanaimo BC.
Then after visiting with family we took off East again to eastern Washington and north into the great Canadian Rockies. We stayed and soaked at Radium Hot Springs, then explored Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper before crossing the Rockies again to Kicking Horse pass and the headwaters of the Columbia River. Mid year found us back in western Washington visiting family, having family visit from Florida and helping our son and his family move into their first home. Then our trip turned south again. We stayed on the Pacific coast in Seaview WA where we had one of best mushroom hunting days ever. We visited Astoria OR and had RV service performed in the Eugene area.
Stayed again in Bend OR to see our favorte Celtic band, Gaelic Storm, at a beautiful restored theater. Weather in Oregon in October is not the best but we got to see gorgeous Crater Lake NP on a sunny day with a fine dusting of snow. Then back south into California, visiting Redding, Pinnacles NP, Watsonville, Bakersfield and Tehachapi Loop before staying at Soledad Canyon just outside of LA. Regional rail allowed easy access to exploring La La land including the taping of a couple TV shows. Vasquez Rocks is still a favorite hiking destination.
And from Los Angeles we hopped across the southern route to Florida enjoying time with friends along the way.
Total mileage for the RV 11,513 miles. Our towed CRV contributed another 14,093 miles.
Maintenance, Repairs and Upgrades in Review
Our RV home requires maintenance and upgrades as any home. In 2016 we upgraded to 680 watts of solar panels along with a MPPT controller and remote display. On a good sunny day we can see 40 amps flowing into our batteries. We also upgraded our batteries to the best wet cell Trojan T-105s and installed the best chassis batteries. This led to a new pure sine wave electric inverter and battery charger. Additionally we replaced the RV toilet, microwave and our electric mattress pad (we consider this essential to cold weather stays). We also replaced our bedroom TV and DVD player and remodeled the main cabin TV cabinet to more closely fit the flat screen TV. We upgraded our TV antenna to a power boosted, signal sensing digital model. We replaced the bedroom carpet with laminateand upgraded most interior lighting to LEDs.
Thats a quick recap of our adventures in 2016. Hope all our friends had a good year as well. We have big plans for 2017 traveling to all 4 corners of North America as well as some long distance cruising.