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How It All Began

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Jackhal49

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The Journey

"To finish the moment, to find the Journey's end in every stop of the road, to give the greatest number of good hours, is wisdom." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Jack and Peg's Great Adventure," Part I

First, allow us to introduce ourselves. I'm Jack, a retired Navy chief and just now a retired high school chemistry/physics teacher. Peg is retiring from a 30-year career in federal service as a safety specialist for NAVOSH, which is the Department of the Navy's answer to OSHA.

We are currently residing in mid-coastal Maine with our son and family and our dogs. We soon will depart on our "Great Adventure" full-timing across the country, mostly the Southwest during the winter months.

The thought of buying a motorhome and going full-time started more than four years ago. It is one of those thoughts that just came to us out of the blue; at least it felt that way. We had seen around 7,500 coaches at an FMCA rally at Brunswick Naval Air Station about 10 years ago but really did not think about buying one. We were amazed, however, at what we saw.

My father-in-law has had a motorhome for a while and had been wintering over in Florida and then Texas through the years. So when we began thinking of at least wintering in a motor home we started researching them online, visiting the few dealers in our area, and visiting motor home owners who were camped near us at the local campgrounds.

We loved the friendliness of all the motor home owners we met and they were always happy to show us their rigs and answer our questions. We went to a few chapter rallies with my father-in-law and had a great time and, of course, looked at more motor homes and asked lots of questions. We also took the advice to buy our last motor home first.

Our search for a motor home ended surprisingly enough when I found it on the Internet and it was within a fairly short distance from our home. A private party was selling this 2005 Winnebago Journey 34H, which was in primo condition and had been babied. It was love at first sight. We loved the floor plan and the size was just what we wanted. After having the rig inspected by a Winnebago dealer, we bought it and have been wickedly happy ever since.

The hardest part has been getting rid of years of just plain stuff! When you start looking at all the stuff you have accumulated over the years it is just mind boggling! We are going to sell the house eventually, but for now we are renting it to our son and his family. With that said, all of our furniture is going, as well as our art work and everything else you can imagine under the sun!

We have lots and lots of just plain junk to sort through and a lifetime full of pictures/slides to sort through. I intend to scan all the pictures/slides and store them on flash drives so we still can have them but they will take up very little space. Space is the valuable resource when you are going from a house with over 2,000 square feet to a 350-square-foot motor home with a weight limit to worry about as well.

All and all, we have just about completed our downsizing and are moving our few possessions into the motorhome.

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I plan to follow this blog, considering it to be a learning experience. My husband and I just bought our first motorhome and will be taking off possibly in August, following in the footsteps, if not the tire tracks of Jack and Peg. I hope what they learn and pass on will be fair warning or fair learning for us!! We have our house for sale and are still going through the "junk", trying to cut those emotional ties to some of this "stuff". However, the call of the open road is strong and time to respond seems to get shorter every day.

So, to Jack and Peg I say, Go forth, leave plent of bread crumbs for those of us coming behind you and lets all have a great adventure!!

Judy and Jerry - June 24, 2010.

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We, hopefully, will be keeping our blog updated. As I mention in the blog we have been planning this escape for years now and it is almost here! Getting rid of junk (trash or treasures) is not an easy task, but it is really amazing the junk we put away and never ever use. Good Luck to you both on the road and hope to see you out there sometime! Jack & Peg

I plan to follow this blog, considering it to be a learning experience. My husband and I just bought our first motorhome and will be taking off possibly in August, following in the footsteps, if not the tire tracks of Jack and Peg. I hope what they learn and pass on will be fair warning or fair learning for us!! We have our house for sale and are still going through the "junk", trying to cut those emotional ties to some of this "stuff". However, the call of the open road is strong and time to respond seems to get shorter every day.

So, to Jack and Peg I say, Go forth, leave plent of bread crumbs for those of us coming behind you and lets all have a great adventure!!

Judy and Jerry - June 24, 2010.

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Oh yes, on our "maiden voyage" I did drive some and found it not as intimidating as I feared. I don't think I am ready to do a lot of backing and adding the toad will lengthen that tail swing area, but my husband, as a former trucker, says it will come with time and practice. Straight driving seemed fine.

Judy Aselton

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We have just gone through it. Now in our 3rd month of fulltiming. House is up for sale and we do not intend

on living in that house again. Downsizing was not easy. We "gave gifts back" to the family members and people that over the last 35 years gave us nice things. Instead of putting them out at a garage sale, we just gave them back. What they do with them is ok with us.

As for all those slides and photos. I set up our slide projector and pointed it to a white board (not a screen) and pointed my digital camera at the board. Each night we would drop a tray in and look at the slides. The ones we liked we took a photo of it. Now what was once a stack of slide trays over six feet tall and three feet wide is on a memory stick - wow, talk about downsizing. Did the same for all our records and CD's. All our music is on an ipod. The memories and the music will still be with us.

For fun, we post an old photo or slide on facebook for our kids to see. What a reaction. When we post a shots of the kids with their friends at the time even the friends are emailing us about how great it is to see those old memories.

Good Luck

Jerry X

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Oh yes, on our "maiden voyage" I did drive some and found it not as intimidating as I feared. I don't think I am ready to do a lot of backing and adding the toad will lengthen that tail swing area, but my husband, as a former trucker, says it will come with time and practice. Straight driving seemed fine.

Judy Aselton

Glad you have gotten behind the wheel and as you have said it is not as intimidating as one first thinks which is natural. Backing is an issue and we never back the rig without one of us being outside directing. Our son bought us walkie talkies that really help so we have good communication which is really important. I clobbered out roof the first time I backed the motor home the very first day we had it. Ouch! A hard lesson to learn is not only watch the trees but their limbs as well. Peg's driving instructor calls it GOAL which stands for "get out and look" when ever in doubt. He also said avoid backing into a campsite on the passenger side as it is quite blind and even experienced truckers avoid that. Backing just takes practice and taking your time. As the driving instructor said it does not cost anything to get out and look. Using your convex mirrors is really important as it tells you where your back wheels are and how you are traveling within your lane. Lazy Days has some great videos from the driver's confidence course here is the URL for the site http://www.betterrving.com/Article/RV_Tips...into_a_campsite . Good Luck & Happy RVing!

Jack, Peg, & Little Annie Girl

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