How it all started.
Once upon a time . . .
in a border town in west Texas, we saw a GMC motor home. It belonged to someone that was active with a group we were active with as well. This group would often take trips throughout Texas and New Mexico. They would, of course, travel in their motor home and we would travel by car. Need I say, we were envious?
We couldn't afford to live a normal life AND buy a motor home, but we could dream. Over the years we enjoyed the camping lifestyle. At one point we had an ole van that we used for camping. It wasn't much, but we had loads of fun in it. All the while dreaming of the time when we would have our very own motor home.
We agreed that we would have to put off a motor home until we retired. As retirement got closer, and closer, and closer our thoughts were more and more of the motor home lifestyle. Quite often we would hear people say how they wished they could travel more, see more of this wonderful country we live in. We felt the same way. Both of us loved to travel and would really love to do it in a motor home.
We started going to RV shows. We'd visit RV dealers, scan the 'for sale' sections online for something we could afford AND something that we'd be happy living in. This took some time. We saw many models we'd be happy living in. The only problem, most of them required a little more money than we had to spend.
So we kept looking. Eventually we realized we'd have to settle for something a little less than we really wanted in order to realize our dream of living 'on the road' for awhile. One Saturday we saw several listings for class "A" motor homes, all concentrated in the area of the state capitol of Augusta. We picked out a couple we thought met our requirements and decided to 'check 'em out'.
The first two were, how shall I say it, terrible! By the time we got to the third one we were about to give up on the whole idea. Then, there in among the trees, we saw it. Almost before getting out of our car, we had decided, that's it! That's the one! The owner was inside cleaning. The unit was already 100% cleaner than the others we had looked at, so we saw it as being cleaner than, perhaps, it was. We did, however fall in love with it.
It was clean, fairly modern (only 10 years old), and did I mention, clean? Yep, we could see ourselves living in it. We walked around it, looked in the stove, kicked the tires, looked at the bathroom, walked around it again, kicked the tires again, looked at the underneath storage, kicked the tires again and spoke with the owner for awhile. Asked the price, looked at the mileage and kicked the tires again.
After leaving the place (owner's house) we talked about the 32' Chieftian and decided we both really liked it. It seemed to meet all of our requirements. The price was a little higher than we wanted to spend but we hoped that if we offered a lower price, they would accept it. By the time we got home, we had already decided we wanted, and I mean really WANTED that motor home. We called them and asked what it'd take to keep it off the market until we had a chance to really go over it. They said our word was good enough. We were in heaven!
After checking it over we decided we'd take it provided they would fix a couple of things. They accepted and agreed to make the necessary repairs. It was scheduled to be completed by my birthday (June 13th) and we were expecting to have a really big birthday party. It was touch-and-go, all the work wasn't totally done but we were able to have a party and have me accept the unit as my birthday present. It was wonderful!
It was more expensive than I thought it would be to register it. Then, of course, more for the vanity plate. Interestingly when I tried to get the vanity plate R-Way they said it was taken. The state of Maine has more than one TYPE of license plate. The one that said R-Way was only one of several so I asked them to check the conservation plates and low and behold, it was available with that plate (the one with the loon on it). By the evening of June 13th, I had my motor home with it's name on the license plates. Glory, what a great day!
I should have known. Once I had the vehicle, retirement looked closer than ever. I started really counting the days, all the days I could use for retirement. I checked EVERYTHING I could think of. Yep, I could leave anytime I wanted. If, however I wanted a pension I'd have to wait almost 6 months. After checking with several people as to the amount of that pension for someone such as myself, I decided it wasn't worth sticking around for. Even though I was over a year away from drawing my social security at the earliest age, I decided to throw caution to the wind and retire anyway! I left my final employer on the 8th day of July and haven't looked back yet.
We got everything sold or given away by the middle of July and only needed to get rid of a few things (5 or 6 hundred things) before we could move out and into R-Way. Naturally a yard sale was in order. With the help of some good friends we managed to set aside one weekend for a yard sale. What a success it was, even though there was some things left over. Those we donated to Goodwill. Anything not worthwhile, went to the dump! At last we were free from all our STUFF!
Well, that's how it all got started. We're on our trip now and enjoying every minute of it. Come along with us and enjoy the times and places too. It doesn't cost any money, just a little time.