May 8th, 2022

First off, Happy Mother’s Day to those who are lucky enough that their moms are still alive. And the rest of us may have lost our moms (fuck you, cancer) but their memories are still with us on a daily basis.

Yeah…I know. It’s been a while.

A LONG while.

A few people have asked about that and you deserve an explanation.

I have taken some time away from the blog the last few months while considering a few options. It’s ten years this September that I posted my first entry. I took a break a few years back but decided to continue after a few long-time readers showed they were still interested in reading and catching up with my life. Plus, I felt inspired again. I have always appreciated the interest of those who wanted to read what I was writing, and I always will. I thank everyone who does read and subscribe to it.

Blogging is a labor of love and dedication, even more so if you don’t make any money at it (which I currently don’t). It can be tiring sometimes but I feel an obligation to post for those who have faithfully read what I have written all these years. At the same time, it is a lot of fun.

One of the options I had seriously considered was to quit blogging when my paid upgrade comes due in a few months. With that, unfortunately, comes the loss of my blog; ten years of posts and hard work would simply vanish. The only way to save that hard work is to pay even more to upgrade to the top tier for another year and it would give me the ability to save all of my previous posts. They call it an upgrade; I call it extortion.

There are some personal reasons, but one reason I have considered stopping is I absolutely despise social media and the phoniness that goes with it. Instagram has utterly ruined travel because people cannot be honest with anyone or even themselves. Toilet seats and printed pictures used to mimic an airplane window?!?! WTF is wrong with you? Fuck you and your phoniness and your vanity. When I see IG handles carved into and written on places in nature (and I have several times) it really pisses me off. Get a life and a job.

I wanted to make sure I wasn’t turning into one of those social media assholes so I took some time away to regroup and think about that aspect. I stated long ago the reason I started this blog was to keep family and friends informed of what was going on in my world. It was never about ego or trying to impress and I definitely did not want it to appear that way. I have tried to keep it as a diary of sorts…here’s what is happening in my life – no pouty ducklip pictures (or toilet seat airplane windows). Just honest straightforward posts, with no bragging, BS or lies, but hopefully with things people enjoy reading.

Lately I have made a few road trips and I must say it has been odd to not post on here about those adventures – like part of the trip was missing. It felt almost guilty to NOT post about them after ten years of doing so.

After not posting, taking some time and considering everything I needed to consider, I have come to the conclusion that my work here is not done 🤣🤣. I have a lot of travel planned in the future so there is much for me to look forward to. I also don’t want to lose what I have done already so I will probably have to upgrade to the top plan for at least a year to be able to save my blog posts. This will also give me another year to look at options of moving the blog to a different host or using a free site (if possible).

I will also be adding a donation button and you may see a few more ads. I do not really know much about that stuff on the top plan with WordPress so I will need to look at that. I do not plan on getting rich off of this, but if I am going to do it I might as well look at monetizing it.

I think there may be a few other changes as well. I will be updating and changing the look of the blog; I will be contacting the website host and finding out how to change the name and website domain so the title and address of the website WILL definitely be changing. But, the way the blog is written won’t change. Good or bad, my writing style will not change 😂. I will still not post where I currently am for (my) safety purposes. You will still not see many pictures of me posted.

As for those aforementioned trips? In a nutshell, last month I made the first trailer trip of the season to Meramec State Park that ended up being cut short due to some very severe weather (we got to safety in plenty of time). It was good to get the trailer and the dog out for a few days and we had a good time. On a daytrip from there I went to a huge international grocery store in St. Louis that had foods from all over the world. It was an awesome store and I spent an hour and a half there! I cannot wait to go back to get more interesting groceries.

In the state park I had a site with full hookups which is very handy on the first trip of the season. I think the biggest plus is that it gives you the opportunity to sanitize and flush out the fresh water systems, but otherwise for me it’s not how I really like to camp. It is what I have done the last few years and you can get your road legs under you. I’d stay a night in a full-hookup site first night or two, flush tanks, get water, and go boondock in the forest for a few days, then find a dump station on the way home to take care of that.

Whenever I stay in a campground with full utilities, I have always gone for one of those full sites, thinking I needed to do that. With that comes issues (at least for me) – giant RVs disturbing the peace and the experience with TVs and speakers on the sides of them, porch lights being on all night, etc. When camping I want it dark at night…as it should be in nature. I want to see the stars. I definitely prefer a dispersed site in the forest over a campground. If you’re scared of the dark then stay home.

The more I thought about it, however, I think I will be doing something different going forward. I think I will opt for electricity only when staying in a campground for a few days (and even just a primitive site if only for a day). That way I can be more in line with my people and. keep my battery charged plus have electricity for air conditioning if necessary (I don’t worry about that if boondocking). I do not use public facilities as a rule (definitely not a campground shower) but I can conserve water pretty well and use a dump station on the way out.

I took my truck in last week to get the air conditioner looked at. I am having some issues with it and after the shop looked at it I may be in the market for a new vehicle. The compressor needs replaced and it is not a cheap fix. Not as bad as an engine, but not cheap. It is at the point with the miles on the truck that I really don’t want to sink that much money into it, but it would still be cheaper than getting a new one (I cannot fix that myself). Problem is, with 250,000 miles on it I need something reliable; I don’t need a breakdown on the highway, ESPECIALLY one that would force me into a corner where I would HAVE to buy something or not get home (wherever that is).

So, I guess to wrap up, I will continue my same way of writing for at least another year but with some changes to the look of the blog. I have a lot of trips I am looking at doing this year and hopefully they will be of interest to you. After devoting much of my vacation time to the West, I will be doing more exploring in the eastern side of the country. I plan to visit many places I have not been to before. I have been to the East Coast but my time exploring “the other side of the country” has been somewhat limited. I hope the ‘rona stays calm so I can get into the Atlantic Provinces but we’ll see.

Until next time, thanks for reading.

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