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10 Weeks, 34 States, 14,000 Miles, And We’re Still Married!

Last year Sue suggested a long trip in our little 22’ Searcher Motorhome back to the East Coast.

Idea was to explore states and routes we haven’t been to, and to take our time — thus the initial two-month plan.

Click on images to enlarge.

I was supposed to be writing blogs along the way, but that didn’t work out, so here it is post-trip — and I hope you enjoy me writing about it as much as we enjoyed the actual trip.

Time-wise we figured after Labor Day in the fall would be best, as the kids would be back in school and most of the vacations would have already take place in the summer, leaving September and October the best times to travel.

Also one of our “bucket list” destinations would the the Northeast states during the fall, hopefully with the leaves turning.

Only reservation we made was the “start” of the trip, meeting up with Sue’s daughter Jolie and her husband Derik, who live near Seattle. We arranged to connect with them at Flathead Lake in Montana. We’ve camped there before and it’s absolutely beautiful! So we both made reservations via www.recreation.com for Monday, Sept. 4 for three nights.

Before the trip, I had the oil and filter changed in the motorhome, new tires, and added a rack on the back for all of the stuff — emergency and fishing gear — we decided to take. Also we had to load up our drinks, full tank of water, empty dump tanks, and dog food for Maggie.

Maggie? Of course! Our Corgi goes everywhere with us. She travels very well. We even put a box between our seats, cover it with towels and she has a place to sit or sleep while we travel.

Stocked the two-way fridge (12V and 110v) with food but figured we’d replace main course dinners along the way. Worked out pretty good. Planned on eating two meals a day in the motorhome and one at a local restaurant along the way.

We left our home at Rancho Relaxo on Aug. 26, figuring we would take our time to get to Flathead Lake. Left with three fires burning in the area, one just two miles from us! Our neighbors promised to keep in touch in case we needed to head home. Luckily, they got the fires contained so we could continue our vacation.

The very first day we head up over Ebbets Pass, crossing the very windy road at the summit and down to Highway 89 where we turned towards Lake Tahoe. Weather was warm, but the air conditioning in the motorhome was doing a good job.

Just past Lake Tahoe, some jerk in a pickup coming the other way managed to slip into our lane and his mirror hit my driver’s side mirror and it exploded, glass flying everywhere! Since the mirror was toast I couldn’t see who did it and he never came back.

Now, it’s extremely hard to drive without a drivers side mirror, can’t see to change lanes. So, we pulled over and Sue came to the rescue with her passenger side makeup mirror, which we taped onto the mirror shell! Worked good enough to find our first night campsite at an OHV park just past Highway 80.

Maggie fishing at Gold Lake

Our plan was to find free campsites along the way for overnight camping and, if staying at a nice stop, to find a nice campground — preferably a federal one — so we would only have to pay half the daily rate for holders of the Senior Pass.

Second day, we drove north up Highway 89 and turned south on Gold Lake Highway towards — ta dah —  Gold Lake! It’s a small lake  that we discovered on a previous trip. USFS Campground is small with no hookups, but located right next to the lake. We got there a bit early and campground was full but some sites we could see campers loading up for their trip home. We ended up in a nice site, same spot we had camped before.

We camped there for two nights for just $5 a night (half off!) and enjoyed it very much.

What’s next? See my next blog!

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