Where did the year go??

Trip Start Mar 04, 2005
Trip End Dec 31, 2014

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Wilderness Lakes, TTN park

Flag of United States  , California
Friday, December 31, 2010

Ken here. It's that time again, the end of 2010 and our 'annual report’. You see, I’m (we) are retired; it’s raining and cold and its football Sunday. Yes, way too much free time.

2010 started slowly, as usual. The first couple of months were spent searching for warm air, visiting family and friends while we spun our wheels waiting for that first crack of the bat in Spring Training. Joined by friends the Stewarts, Andersons and Barts we took in a few Cactus League games in the greater Phoenix area. From there we, along with the Stewarts and Andersons took off for New Orleans. ( the Bart's, sadly, had to return to work!) We would make lots of  stops along the way in New Mexico and Texas. Things started to become just a little snugger.
We finally arrived for our week in New Orleans and were joined by the Lucas’s who come down from Missouri (we all worked together). After 7 days of seeing the sights and eating our way through ‘Nawlins’, things got just a little snugger. After our week here our friends headed north and we deadhead back to Arizona to meet other friends, the Hernandez’s, the Zoon’s and the Beans (henceforth know as the Frijoles) for a trip south of the border.
Our 7 week trip deep down into Mexico began April 22nd.  We started at the Copper Canyon, headed west to the coast, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta and then inland to Guadalajara where we landed for 3 weeks. Then it was time for us to head back to the USA and off we go across the Sierra Madre’s and back into Texas. Just 3 simple hours with the incompetent morons at US Customs and we are back in our own country. Yep, Uh-Huh, you guessed it; things are just a little snugger. The dining out in places in Mexico where we stayed we’re so inexpensive (and delicious) it hardly paid to cook most nights. I hated coming back!!!!!

The trip South of the border lasted from April 22nd till June 14th, encompassed 2,652 miles, over 400 gallons of Diesel and two flat tires. About the same amount of beer, gallon wise was also consumed. Our average speed on the roads in Mexico? Just 35.2 mph. We traveled through 10 states in Mexico, Sonora-Chihuahua-Sinaloa-Nayarit-Jalisco-Guanajuato-San Luis Potosi-Zacatecas-Nuevo Leon and Coahuila.

After we arrived back into the good old USA we took about 2 weeks getting to Colorado where Andy-Ami-Alyssa and Alicia came for a 9 day visit. Always a special time with them. Saw a Rockies vs. Giants game, an amusement park, a water park  and we took them into Rocky Mountain National Park. Andy and Amy left on the 10th of July and we had somehow managed to con everyone into leaving the granddaughters with us while we drove back to CA, 15 days away. Nothing like non-parent time with the little ones (Alyssa 9 and Alicia is 7). They absolutely love the coach and 15 days is our longest trip yet. Thank heavens Gramma kept us 3 kids busy and  in line.

Back in Livermore we hosted a party for my Mom’s 80th birthday in late July with over 40 family members. Just one week later, we co-hosted a 3 day party/BBQ for retirees from Livermore PD.  From there it was off to Oregon, then a week’s visit at Ann’s Parents in Chewelah WA for Ann’s mom’s 70th birthday.
It was time to hit the road again because my Government in its infinite wisdom decided we needed new Drivers Licenses. So it was across Idaho-Montana-Wyoming and into South Dakota where we are licensed. That done we headed into Iowa but were forced to make a 7 hour stop on I-90 in Minnesota while we dealt with our third flat tire this year. Thank goodness for Onan and DirecTV. We finally got to Iowa and a visit with Ann’s sister Cathy and her family. It was time, after all, to meet our newest niece Alexandria.

From Iowa it was south to Missouri, Oklahoma and into Texas. We were joined in Austin by our friends, The Wolkoff's and had a long over due visit.  In our southbound travels we managed to visit three Presidential Libraries, Truman, Bush Sr. and Lynden Johnson.  All were fabulous.

We slowly made our way back to CA  just in time for Halloween and Thanksgiving. Whew, what a year. I’m told the average RV’er puts about 5,000 to 7,000 miles per year on an RV. We did over 17,000 miles. To say we are way above average people is well, you know. 

As this is being written our plans are being finalized for 2011. Remember those friends I mentioned earlier, the Stewart’s, Anderson’s, Hernandez’s and Zoon’s. Well, after a couple of cocktails they all agreed that Ann (mostly) and I should lead a mini-caravan all the way to Alaska and back. What were they thinking!!!!! This should be very very interesting. We depart the 3rd week in May and return sometime around the 3rd week of August. Hang on folks. In October we will co-host our first Beaver Rally at the Balloon festival in Albuquerque NM. Always high on our list and now we get to go with our Beaver friends. The 2011 holidays will be back in CA and then we head east late December 2011. Spring Training in Florida 2012 and the Spring/Summer on the east coast, specifically New England.

For those who like useless information, here are some statistics for our travel in 2010. We made it to 17 states CA-AZ-NM-TX-LA-MS-CO-OR-WA-ID-MT-WYSD-MN-IA-MO and OK. We traveled 17,108 miles and used a total of 2,343 gallons of Diesel fuel costing a shade over $6500. With allowances for Hydro-Hot and generator usage, we averaged 7.94 mpg. Not too bad for 67 feet long and over 42,000 lbs. We spent 364 nights in the Motorhome and 1 night in a hotel (Reno Nevada-she got me). Our lowest night cost was $0 and the highest was $50 per night in Austin Texas. Ouch!!!!! The farthest north we got was Chewelah WA, south was Ajijic MX, east was Bay St. Louis MS and west was Fort Bragg CA.

While it’s impossible to pick a favorite place, Stone Beach in Mazatlan comes to mind for me, body surfing, cheap Cerveza (pronounced Sair-Vay-Suh) and shrimp tacos. But really, my favorite is traveling with my bride and best friend (and harshest critic but, hey, that’s another story). I’m sure she’d tell you her favorite time might be when I’m golfing and out of her hair and not underfoot. The places to see in this country are almost overwhelming. What a great country we live in.

Well, talk to you next year. Whether it’s here on our blog or Facebook, keep in touch with us. We are very interested in what’s happening with you too.  Be safe, be healthy and occasionally refuse to act your age. You’ll feel better for it. Best wishes to all of you in 2011. 
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Stephan Santini on

Ken: Happy New Year. Just read a couple of your latest entries on your blog. Very impressed. Looking forward to reading all of them in the upcoming weeks . Do you just write this blog or is your trip partially financed by articles in travel magazines, golf magazines, baseball periodicals, etc? There are a number of editors out there willing to pay for your visions of America and the open Highway. It might help defray the cost of those tires! Keep on rollin.

lprado on

Feliz Ano Nuevo from the Prado Family in Livermore California. Ken will be happy to hear that Gabriela finally got her license and turned 18 all in one month!! Too bad he wasn't here to give her that first ticket he promised me all those years! Ann, I'm so sorry we missed you on the wine trail. Hopefully next time it will work out for us. As always, I love your blog. I read it every chance I get. Ernesto loved your Mexico trip and he hopes to see a fraction of what you both have already experienced. LPD is not the same still without you. Ann..we were reminiscing about you in dispatch the other day. We thought you could come back and whip these people into shape! Ha...we had a good laugh. Anyway, I am happy to see you both healthy and happy. Enjoying your travels and you haven't killed each other yet :). One day.....we will meet up with you....Love you guys and keep on travelin!

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