RV Experiment day 6

Day 6

Saturday October 27, 2018 was move day. Laurie and I both kind of hated to leave Zion, we were having such a great time. We thought about extending our stay but the park was full so we couldn’t. After breakfast we cleaned house and secured everything for travel. On day 2, while traveling a wine glass fell and broke. We learned the lesson that we need to do a good job of securing stuff before moving.

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The trip to Bryce took about 2 ½ hours of some of the most amazing scenery. We drove through the Zion National Park and at the other side is a long tunnel. Our motor home is right at the maximum height allowed for the tunnel. It is an arch shaped tunnel so it is high in the middle and lower on the sides. They have to stop traffic when a larger vehicle goes through because we have to drive down the center, straddling the center line. The tunnel is about one mile, totally cool to go through it. After that we could see the other side of Zion and some different kind of rock formations.

 

Then cool ranch and farm land that looked a bit like we had traveled back in time.

 

 

We could see the red canyon in the distance as we headed north. When we got to that point we were amazed. So interesting. There are scenic pull outs on the road every quarter mile and you want to stop at all of them.

 

We got to the Ruby’s Inn RV park and campground and checked in. The campground is huge and has lots of trees. We are at an elevation over 7500 feet so it is colder here. We found out that the shuttle into the park stopped running for the winter just a few days ago so we will have to drive our rv into the park when we visit it. Not too thrilled about that. This is where having a tow vehicle would be handy. Many motor home travelers have a small car that they tow behind either on a trailer, a dolly or flat on all four wheels with some specialized gear.

 

We had a beautiful sunset while I made dinner. We watched a movie on Netflix and went to bed. Ready to figure out what to do tomorrow.

Cheers!

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RV experiment Day 5

Day 5

Friday October 26, 2018: It felt good to sleep in a bit after our great day of hiking and exploring in Zion National park on day 4. We woke up so excited because we decided we were going to hike the narrows. This day however presented some minor challenges. The Red Bull Rampage mountain bike event was right next to the RV park, Thursday is the finals and the traffic was heavy. It took longer to get to Zion National Park. In order to do the narrows hike we rented waterproof pants and shoes and neoprene socks and a walking stick. The best $41 I have ever spent. The outfitters are just outside the main walk-in entrance to the park. It took some time to get suited up, then there was road construction inside the park so the shuttle inside the park took longer.

The Narrows are at the last stop on the shuttle route. You have to hike in one mile on an easy trail to where the canyon becomes wall to wall river, that is where the narrows hike starts. The water is mostly ankle to mid thigh deep and moving at a moderate flow. It was not difficult to walk in the water as long as you can stay where there is a sandy bottom. Half the time however, the river is rocky so that makes it a little more difficult. The outfit we rented kept our legs dry and we were not cold at all. We walked in about two miles from the start of the narrows. It was beautiful and really fun to do that type of hiking.

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Almost right away we encountered a deer coming down river right toward us. There was little room for him to pass us, but we moved over as far as we could so that he did not become agitated. He was a large buck with a big antlers, very healthy looking.

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We determined our turn around point based on time so we could meet the RV resort shuttle at 3:00. We went back to the resort and soaked in the jacuzzi and swam for a while and went back home.

Another great day. Tomorrow is moving day as we make our way to Bryce Canyon National Park.

Tim and Lauries Rv experiment Day 4

Our RV site is right next to the Virgin river. There is a berm so we can’t see the river but we can hear it. It is sweet music and so wonderful to sleep and wake up to the sound of running water.

The Zion River RV Resort is very pretty with lots of trees. The staff is very friendly, the facilities are clean and well maintained. They have their own free shuttle service that will take you to the entrance of Zion National Park. There is a heated swimming pool and a jacuzzi, nice lounge and game areas with TVs a pool table and laundry facilities.

We got to the shuttle that takes us to the entrance of Zion National Park at 9:00, right on time. The park is 16 miles away, the shuttle drops off right at the entrance of the park. It costs $35.00 for what they call a carload, or we can buy an annual pass for $80.00 and that gets your carload into any national park in the country as many times as you want for a year. What would you do? We got an annual pass. We still have 5 more days of national park visits on this trip alone, the pass will pay for itself and then some on our 3rd visit.

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Once inside Zion national park, there are plethora educational boards that are very informative about a variety of subjects. Well worth lingering about and reading especially if it is your first day of a multi-day visit. The park on a Thursday in off season was splendidly un-crowded. Zion national park is basically one road in to a dead end and back out again. It is impossible to walk on the road in the park. You can make your way through on the trail system, but some sections are strenuous. Pretty much everybody gets on the bus to go from site to site in the park. There are 9 stops and the busses operate all day, the wait at each stop is no more than 10 minutes. The last stop is the trailhead to the river view trail which is 1 mile in and ends at the trailhead to the Narrows. The narrows are awesome! It is where the canyon becomes too narrow to have a road, in fact most of the narrows are wall to wall water and you have to hike in the river. It goes 8 miles in and there are spots where you can touch both sides at the same time. More about the narrows on day 5.

Each stop for the bus has trailheads and / or other facilities like a museum and a lodge. literally everywhere in and around the park is amazing. The cliffs, rock formations, trees, all the colors; just breathtaking and awe inspiring.

We did two trails; the river view and the lower emerald pools. Both were amazing! Follow our Facebook and Instagram and the photos will give the best description of how beautiful it is. Right outside the park entrance is the Zion Canyon brewing company. Yes this is Utah, and there is a brewery. Well Utah has changed over the years, but that is a whole different topic so I digress. We had a local micro brew while waiting for our shuttle.

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When we got back to the RV park our legs and feet were sore so we hit the jacuzzi for a soak, and did a few laps in the 80 degree swimming pool. We are using this vacation for, among other things, to try to get plenty of exercise and start getting into shape. We are sort of watching the diet, but not really. I mean we are on vacation after all so we are indulging a bit. But we are getting lots of exercise.

Well there is going to be so much more to share. I have to give the short version now in the interest of time, but I will just say right now; we are having the best time. Please keep following so we can tell you all about it.

Be sure to check out Lauries Instagram – Laurelavalon   Lauries Facebook and my Instagram –  timothysanchez7528 and Tim’s Facebook for more photos of our adventure.

Tim and Lauries RV Experiment day 3

The Hotel California in Las Vegas; you can check out any time you like but you can never leave! There is so much construction going on in Vegas, it took us hours to get out of town, I thought we would never leave. We checked out of the Oasis RV Resort at around 10:30. We had to make a “quick” stop at Walmart to pick up a few things that we anticipate needing in the days to come, and we needed to get gas. The Walmart is bigger than those 1970’s malls we used to hang out at back in the day. Walking through the store is like a marathon, it took forever. When we finally got out of that nightmare, we went to the gas station where nothing worked. I went from pump to pump trying to get gas, I finally had to go inside and there was a line with a chatty clerk who was not in a hurry and that took forever. Then when I got done with that I hit the freeway and the construction zone traffic. Plus the interchange to the freeway I needed to go on was closed so I had to go through some ridiculous detours and I made a wrong turn and got further off track. We did not get out of Las Vegas until 2:30.

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We pulled into the Zion River Rv Resort at around 6:00 mountain time. We lost an hour because of changing time zones. We set up the motor home in a jiffy and I cooked a steak dinner with sautéed mushrooms with fresh garlic and grilled broccoli. The steaks were bacon wrapped center cut rib eye marinated in lemon juice with a sprinkle of garlic salt, pepper and Lawry,s season salt. Simple but effective.

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Internet is poor here so I don’t know how well I can post these next few days but I’ll try. We reserved a shuttle into the Zion National park for tomorrow morning at 9:00 AM. Zion NP is 16 miles away. So far the RV park seems nice, I will see it better tomorrow on day 4

Tim and Lauries RV Experiment day 2

Viva Las Vegas. Laurie and I had a good first night in our motor home. We were up early and I made a pot of coffee and we sat and talked and had a nice morning. We left the windows open overnight and it was just right, until just before sunrise. It is always coldest just before dawn but it was really cold. Our heater worked like a champ. We will really need that when we get to Bryce Canyon later this week with overnight lows expected to be around 30 degrees F.

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After a bowl of oatmeal we set out for St George Utah. An ambitious quest that we would soon realize is unrealistic. We left Bonita Ranch at 9:00 AM, we got gas and headed North on the I-15 over El Cajon pass. That took a while. We stopped at a random am/pm in the middle nowhere around noon because I was hungry. We made veggie sandwiches in the RV, ate and at that moment I thought that we were still about 2 hours from Las Vegas. We would get there around 2:45 and we would still have a couple hours to St George.

Lesson learned; getting around in a motor home takes a lot more time than getting around in a car! Therefore I decided to stop and stay the night in Vegas. I called ahead to the Oasis RV resort and reserved a space. I told them I am renting a motor home from Cruise America so they said “oh, you get a 20% discount”. Sweet! We got to Oasis at 2:45 as predicted and set up camp. There are so many unbelievable motor homes here. We are going crazy drooling over the 3 million dollar class A motor homes that are here, wow. There are dozens of them and they are literally mansions on wheels.

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A random thing happened on the way to Vegas: a couple weeks ago Laurie started following a couple on Instagram who lived in a van for 6 months and have been traveling all over. Their photos and stories are inspiring and beautiful. She eventually realized that we know them. It gets better. Crystal and Chad were following our adventure on social media too. They were driving on their way to Benton Hot Springs, one of our favorite places too, and they realized that we were close to where they are. Chad was passing a motor home and said, I wonder if that is Tim and Laurie. It is! So we are driving through El Cajon pass and Lauries phone rings with a random number from Hawaii so she ignores it, then the same number pops up on my phone so she answered it. The voice on the other side said; this is Crystal and Chad, we are right in front of you. Wow! Laurie recognized the van from the Instagram photos. We pulled off the road at a Starbucks and got to hang out with them for a while. It was so awesome. We Love you guys, hope you can come visit us on the island soon.

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I think one of the best things that we can look forward to when we unplug and live the independent RV road warrior life is the friends we will make and friends we will encounter along the way. Being rich is not at all about money. Being rich is about relationships and experiences. Money is important for being able to have your needs cared for and for a measure of comfort. The most important investments you should make for becoming independent and / or retired is investments in your spiritual and physical health and in forging lasting relationships. Money can run out or get lost or stolen and your health will eventually fail; but nobody can take away your faith or friends.

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Oasis RV resort in Las Vegas is a massive 55 acre – Casablanca themed resort with a thousand spaces and a 24,000 square foot clubhouse with a store, restaurant , fitness center, meeting spaces and more. Outside are two lagoon style swimming pools with white sand beaches, a jacuzzi, an 18 hole putting golf course and a dog park. The bathrooms and showers are large and clean, and they have nice laundry facilities. We parked in a pull through space, it is wide and spacious with a picnic table and full hookups. With our discount it was only $42.00 per night. The resort is just minutes from the Las Vegas strip so if you want to go catch a show or tour the strip it is easy enough to go do that.

Next up is day 3, heading to Zion national park for 3 nights at the Zion River Resort. Now it’s gonna get real good! Look for our photos on Tim’s Instagram and Facebook. And Laurie’s Instagram and Facebook.

What is the Fourth Quarter?

I remember when I was very young, there was a family friend who retired from his job where he worked for decades. He went to a party, got a gold watch and never worked again. Day after day there he was, sitting in his easy chair watching TV as if he had been waiting his whole life for the day he could sit and watch TV all day long and not work. He obviously had a pension, he did not seem to want for money. I saw that after he retired he started to look and act so old, he walked so slow and hunched over. He died at the age that is not too far away from where I am now. It seemed to me from the perspective of a young person that people were supposed to retire at 65 and that was the beginning of the end for them.
The thought of working my whole life, retiring and dying seemed so dreadful.

These are different times however, we know more about health and fitness than they did in the 1960’s. Seniors are living very active and healthier lifestyles with ambition to continue to better themselves. Work culture has changed too. Back then it was very common for people to get one job when they got out of school and / or military service and keep that job until they retire. During my working lifetime it slowly became normal for people to change jobs frequently and that is what I did my whole life. Changing jobs and learning new skills, continuously building a strong resume and a variety of skills is what I thought of as a good investment for my retirement years. I have also always had a side business, some sort of entrepreneurial hobby and I have always planned on breaking free from employment and going totally independent. I succeeded in that once but a nasty divorce knocked me back to square one so I had to start all over again from scratch at age 40.

My blog is directed at people like me who are late to the party, with very little in the way of savings or pensions and who know that social security payouts alone will not cut it.  At the same time, we want to have the feeling of being retired early; work less, travel, golf, fish or whatever we find joy in doing a lot of. Since people are living longer and we have so many things we want to experience, retirement savings needs to last so much longer. Nobody wants the money to run out before we complete our bucket list. I am promoting the idea of building sustainable retirement income through entrepreneurial endeavors and smart investments. I want to encourage and help people who are working for what I am working for and in doing so I can gain encouragement and knowledge from what I research and write about in my blog. I will be reviewing a wide variety of casual employment opportunities, part time business opportunities, financial investments and personal investments; ways to better ourselves in order to fully enjoy our retirement years to the full.

My blog is also a journal of my progress in building a business and good investments that will help finance my fourth quarter, and my dream of taking my business on the road and traveling around to all lower 48 states and to as many points of interest as my wife and I can. I hope my experiences and advice will inspire and benefit people who want to live a more casual and free lifestyle.

As of this writing, I am on a 5 year sprint to reach my goal of becoming free from employment with the ability to maintain independent income while being mobile, free to roam, for both my wife and I. I think of my goal as, rather than working for retirement, I am working for independence from employment. The fourth quarter for me is not only these final five years before independence, but it is for the rest of my life as I reap the benefits of my work and investments.

Please comment, share and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, instagram, LinkedIn and you tube.

Our RV Living experiment preparation; 5 days to launch

Laurie and I are making our final preparations for our RV trip. Only 5 days remain until we leave our island home to go load up our rental motor home and go live on the road for two weeks. We are calling this a trial run to see if RV Living might be a workable part of our future plans.
Preparing for our trip has a unique set of challenges for us. Laurie and I live on Catalina Island in Southern California USA. We have quite a load of stuff that I think we need to take with us. We need our camp chairs, blankets, pillows, games, hiking gear, fishing gear etc. for us, we can’t drive the RV to our house and load all of this stuff up.
Catalina island is 20 plus miles from the closest mainland cities. The City of Avalon has restrictions on the number and size of vehicles that are allowed to be on the island. Most of us drive golf carts on the island as our primary mode of transportation. Vehicles do not go back and forth on a ferry, they are considered cargo and only go across on a freight barge and it is very expensive. Additionally, the passenger ferries limit how much baggage you can bring across too. Therefore we have to gather all that we want to bring on our trip and take it to the freight line at least two business days before we want to pick it up on the other side.
Today is Tuesday; we are taking a trip to Long Beach to do some shopping and take care of other errands. This is another aspect of island life, we have to take a whole day to go overtown (overtown is our island expression to describe the mainland) to go shopping. What we buy today we will leave in our car until we pick up the motor home. For many islanders we have a car overtown that is parked in long term parking near the ferry terminals. The car is not only our way of getting around but it is also kind of a small storage unit. We keep a set of travel supplies like toiletries, camping gear, extra clothes, ice chests etc. in our our car so we always have it when we go to the mainland.
Thursday I plan on taking the things we have here on the island to the freight line. Before we pick up our motor home on Monday we will go pick up our stuff at the freight line in San Pedro (LA Harbor). So as I said, because of living on an island we have to work through some additional logistical challenges.
I learned from the book I read about RV living that it is important to be able to level your motor home. Our rental does not come with a leveling system. One of the things I will shop for today is leveling blocks. Adjustable blocks that you drive the motor home onto to level it. There is a trick to it and I look forward to the challenge of working through that learning curve. I love trying to figure that kind of stuff out. I am bringing a traditional level but with the latest iPhone update there is a leveling ap on my phone; I can’t wait to try it.
Well I feel pretty good about where we are on our plan. I’m getting exited but as always I am nervous because I fret about forgetting something. But once we get our motor home and hit the freeway out of LA it will be time to relax and enjoy the journey.