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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Houston....Boomers On The Move Have Landed

April 17th, 18th 2014
What an incredible winter journey this has been! One hundred days in the truck camper! Ten Thousand miles on the odometer! Countless friendships made on our winter’s travel! Twenty Four States visited! Eleven National Parks! Several museums! Eight new states claimed for geocaching! Several Military installations! Countless points of interests visited. One very special “Bataan Death March Marathon” support team participation.
I’m still in shell shock mode! It will be a long time before I’ll be able to digest everything we've done this winter. I’m trying to pick the most enjoyable place we visited…and at this moment I can’t honestly pick one over the others. Probably on a personal note, it would be the moments that my wife Helen and I shared alone in many secluded spots whether it was in Key West…on the beach or in a remote campsite on BLM land in Utah, watching the stars come into full bloom after total darkness in the middle of night!
I personally feel so blessed to be able to have done this type of traveling, exploring and experiencing so much! I haven’t felt so young in many years, felt so healthy with no aches and pains hiking at altitude in Utah’s National Parks!
What’s in the future? I am looking to explore the “Space A” flights around the world with the US military! I've done some flights, mostly with the local New Hampshire Air National Guard. There is a learning curve to know how to best access flights and get accommodations when arriving at different destinations. I do know you have to be patient to get on some flights, but that’s part of the enchantment of “Space A” travel.
Getting back to this winter’s travels. We did head back home possibly a month early from my intended return in mid May.This was partly due to cold and windy weather, once we crossed the Rocky Mountains. It just seemed that the wind kept us moving steadily in an easterly direction and with the temperature never moving above 43 degrees, in the day time, we just kept moving with the wind.
The temperature for the most part in Utah was agreeable considering the elevations above sea level that we were at. For sure, Key West, FL was perfect in every way. In six weeks, we had only two days of showers and the temperature ranged from 67 to 87 degrees!
Key West will be our favorite winter getaway spot, for the weather, the friends that we've made, for the friendly town with it’s many bike paths, the many fine restaurants to partake in varied cuisines. The Naval Air Station at Sigsbee, Trumbo Point at the Coast Guard Station and Truman Annex (another Navy installation…better known for its Intel and Communications around the world). We didn't make it to Boca Chica Naval Air Station this year…just too much to do at the other installations. Their marina is reminiscent of a South Pacific Island with its thatched roof Tiki bars, and sandy beach.
With the writing I've done above, it sounds like I don’t like my New Hampshire, but actually there is no better place to be in the summer time. The air quality is very good, the scenery is priceless, the people are friendly and best of all it's home! I just don’t like the cold, the snow and the short daylight hours in winter…November into the last part of April. That’s OK, we will just adjust and become snow birds for that season!
I just have adjust to “Life in the fast slow lane” as in the song by the “Eagles”. This week, I've been in the maintenance mode and been tackling little repair and modifications to the camper. The first thing I did was repair the ladder that goes up to the roof access. I backed into a fence. My ground guide was looking down and not up when the bump happened. Nothing serious, I got it fixed better than new. The other minor mishap was when we were flying through Kansas. The wind was so strong (50 miles per hour steady) that the skin under the overhang became loose and developed a sag. I repaired this by installing a couple of aluminum astragals and through bolting them with stainless steel bolts. This not only made it stronger, but is nearly invisible from the outside. On the inside, the rug and mattress hides all from view. I installed a thermal break over the SS bolts to prevent any frost from penetrating from the outside to the inside.
The only other maintenance that I intend on doing, in the near future, is a good cleaning of the exterior and a wax job. I will also add a kill switch in the camper to shut down the generator at night. This is just to keep from getting dressed and going outside to hit the off switch. The campers at Trumbo Point are experts with Honda Generators and this kill switch idea is from  them. I will hardwire, through the truck to a convenient location, into the camper. I will also make up a 30 foot extension in case I download the generator when the camper is off the truck. These little modifications are just “making life easier.” In the military, they call this “position improvements”
Maybe later this summer, I’ll install an awning on the passenger side of the camper. This along with our 12x12 mat would give us added living space when we are located in one spot for a period of time. This would be a great enhancement when we winter in Key West!

That is what we saw, did and will do!

Click on the link below to see where we've been exploring!
https://mapsengine.google.com/map/edit?mid=zRSzsK8rgrpI.kUUvMbrThPq0

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