Sunday, May 26, 2019

YEAR SIX is complete!

On April 1, 2018 we started our sixth year of vandwelling and rubber-tramping.  As usual, there weren't many set plans other than visits with family at certain times.  In between those visits we would glance at the map and choose new roads to roam and discover new places to see and things to do.

Our sixth year of travels began near the Atlantic Ocean in Stuart, FL, ventured as far north at the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and as far west as Yellowstone in Wyoming and found its conclusion on the Gulf of Mexico in Olivia, TX.  

We traveled through some part of 24 states:  Florida -  Alabama - Georgia - North Carolina - Tennessee - Virginia - West Virginia - Pennsylvania - Ohio - Michigan - Wisconsin - Minnesota - South Dakota - North Dakota - Montana - Wyoming - Nebraska - Kansas - Missouri - Illinois - Kentucky - (a return to Tennessee, Georgia, Florida and Alabama) - Mississippi - Louisiana and finally Texas.  Also during our sixth year of travel North Dakota received the honor of being our 48th Contiguous State to visit. 

This was our first time traveling with bicycles and we enjoyed discovering the world of Rail Trails (long abandoned railways that have been converted to multi-use trails).  We also enjoyed exploring dirt roads we were parked near and appreciated the ability to travel further than our legs would have carried us sans wheels.  Our bicycle stats were 326 miles on 18 different trails during the past year.

As for Annie, she turned 30 years old just as our return to full-time travels began, has recently marked her 31st year and continues to amaze and enthrall us.  No matter how many other rigs or vans we see, we continue to remark that there are none that could ever replace our girl.  After all of these years she's still a 'work in progress' aesthetically speaking but holds her own mechanically and continues to thrive with close to 75% of her original equipment.  During our sixth year of travel she carried us 12,268 miles which brings our full-time mileage total to 59,870 miles.

We put together a quick video of our sixth year of van living.  Sure hope you enjoy it as much as we did.


Meanwhile, we have been exploring a portion of Colorado for the last month.  It will be our home for the summer as we excitedly return to volunteering.  We'll catch you up on all of that when we get a chance.



Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Texas... The LIFER State!

We were pretty excited about our visit to Texas this time around.  With plans to head down south toward the border it seemed we just might spot ourselves a few LIFERS

Six National Wildlife Refuges, a few county parks, one library, a Wildlife Management Area or two and several side of the road experiences later and we had added 41 Lifers (and that's just the birds)!  We also added 11 Butterfly Lifers along with several flowers, insects and reptiles, as well.

The journey was way more than we ever expected and on some levels we are still recovering from the overwhelming numbers of new critters seen.

We had hoped to put them all into one video but with such high numbers it seemed a split into Part One and Part Two would be a better idea.

Both Part One and Part Two are linked below - enlarge them - turn on your volume (for what sounds there may or may not be) and enjoy...