Sunday, March 4, 2018

The why we chose

hello friends,
When I look back six years to the beginning of our journey I know my short term goal was to get out of the rut we were in and simply do something! Our careers we over, our children had busy families of their own, we lived in virtually two rooms of our 8 room house, our yard work was absolutely no fun anymore and all the things we thought might fill the big hole in our lives were not doing the job! I was beginning to be a real self-absorbed pitiful Pearl! I knew I needed a change....Paul was dealing with his paradigm change much better and was actually ok with the way things were. Travel has always been my my thoughts turned to a long road trip. After much thought and deliberation....cost/size/must-have features/upkeep/towability/and COST....I decided on a Casita Freedom deluxe! We bought a Nissan Pathfinder as our tow vehicle drove to Rice, Texas and picked MiniPearl up on Valentine Day 2012! We leased our house for two years, moved everything to a huge storage unit and hit the road....for that long road trip .... which turned into a move to Kansas City, selling our house and living in a one bedroom apartment on the eighth floor overlooking the Country Club Plaza! Oh! The places you’ll go!
I thought I had become a minimalist but that was a joke. I still was happy place! For four years we didn’t do much traveling and that was ok, but I was dealing with my relationship with things and the realization that those things were really holding me hostage! Plus I was spending too much money on stuff, plane and simple. I wanted to be free of the weight of those things!
We still had MiniPearl and Willy Nelson (out Nissan)....this time our adventure would be full-time with perhaps a five year duration. No large storage unit...we’d only keep what would fit in the very smallest and cheapest. We held a 6 day estate sale, and  the remainder of our stuff cleaned out and picked up for a meager $300. That was hard to watch....all that stuff meant something to me, it had value way beyond $300....but now it was gone for good....I have to admit I had a melt-down.
Maybe this has been way too long...sorry. On one hand I’m pretty sure most quit reading at the first sentence, but if you stuck it out to right here perhaps you’ll see my story is one of victory with a happy ending! Kind of like Bilbo letting go of “the Ring”.....I let go of my stuff so I could have adventure!


Friday, February 23, 2018


Hello friends,
We have spent all of the new year in the Sonoran desert of Arizona. Quartzsite for a little over 6 weeks and now we’re outside Yuma near the Army Proving grounds on BLM land. This entire time we’ve been “off grid”....which means no electric, sewer or water! To achieve the ability to be off the grid and live for free costs quite a bit! Anything solar is pricy...then there’s batteries to choose, oh don’t forget a blue boy .... what’s a blue boy? It’s a totable, portable for hauling your grey and black water to a dump station. As for drinking water...most folks buy theirs. We’ve had a 90 watt portable solar suitcase-type set-up for several years. It works very well for us and keeps our rig up and running. This trip we added a 100 watt Goal Zero Nomad, a light, foldable solar panel which has been awesome for keeping our also new Goal Zero Yetti 400  charged. As for batteries, we have a new AGM. For now we only have room for one battery, many folks carry more. We bought a new, smaller blue boy and use a moving dolly to haul it behind our car to the dump station. We bought a Berkey Water filtering system for our drinking/cooking water and have been very pleased. 
So far we have spent $600+ for the 100 watt panel, $400+ for the Yetti, $300 for the AGM battery, $225 for the blue boy, and $200+ for the Berkey!
We paid $180 to stay at the LTVA sites in Arizona and California ....that’s Long Term Visitor Area. For that we get access to a dump station, potable water and trash bins. Good from October-April.
We will probably stay on LTVA BLM land into March hoping to recoup some of our original out-lay of funds...we also plan on staying on as much free spots as possible.
That’s WINTERING in Arizona desert regions...our way....There are other ways to winter but this is what we chose and in my next blog I’ll tell you some of the reasons why we chose this style.


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

A Presidential Library

Hello Friends,
Today our goal was to visit the George W. Bush Library in Dallas on the campus of SMU.
So far we have been to the Truman, Eisenhower, Roosevelt, Kennedy, Nixon, Jackson, Washington, Jefferson and now George W. Bush libraries  or homes. All were excellent and worth the visit. I was a bit surprised at the security to enter the Bush library.
Here's proof! We enjoyed an excellent lunch in their restaurant and made the drive back to Melissa, TX. Where we were camped.
Sunday we had a double treat as we were able to join long-time friends, Chuck and Kathy Vance, at their church, Stonebriar Community Church where Paston Chuck Swindoll preaches! Afterwards we had a long leisurely lunch with lots of catching up talk!
Monday had us heading to Waco! More of that later!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Today we took the cure!

Hot Springs is a marvel of awesome production of pristine water flowing through tons of rock over thousands of years to produce the most delicious mineral water on the planet! People have been coming to this area to enjoy the benefits of the water for thousands of years....Americans for over a hundred years. We decided to partake of the traditional bath experience in a bathhouse that is over 100 years old using all original equipment. Men head into their area on the first floor...ladies go up the elevator to their area on the second floor. I wish I could show you...but no pictures are allowed. You strip...are sheathed in a large sheet and head to the huge marble tub filled with 100 degree mineral water. An attendant makes you comfortable then turns on the whirlpool ...a very antiquated contraption, but does the job admirably. You soak for 30 blissful minutes...then the attendant exfoliates your legs and back with a loofa and you are ushered onto a table where hot cloths await. You're wrapped in the hot towels and a cool cloth is wrapped on your face! After 15 or so minutes you're then steamed in a cabinet....only 3 minutes for me....then finally you get the needles shower to rinse! I also had a lovely message. Let me tell you....a wonderful treat!

Selfie in the dressing room

The dressing room
That's all I could'll have to make the trip to Hot Springs to see for yourself!
Tomorrow we head to Dallas!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017


Hello friends,
That is our mileage as we left Kansas City to begin our journey! Actually...we began months ago...and have worked very hard for the past couple of months to prepare....but...leaving ... that's a very big step. Our adventure will end when we decide to stop...that's about all I know for now. There's so much to see and do that I can't begin to list even for a bucket! We are back at Hot Springs National Park. We felt like we deserved the royal treatment and tomorrow we go for the "cure"!
I decided I would keep track of the National Parks we visit this time around...although we have been to quite a few already...there will be repeats I'm sure!

Tomorrow ...THE BATHS

Monday, October 16, 2017

The struggle is real....

Hello friends!
We're beginning our sixth day of estate sale crazy! I now know why people opt to stay put in their large homes filled to the brim with "stuff".  Talk about painful...on many levels. We've spent hours, no days, hauling, sorting, hauling, grouping, pricing stuff! When the dust settles we hope to rid ourselves of almost everything we've acquired....almost. We've moved 60 boxes into a 5X10 storage unit and there it will remain until we claim it after our travels are finished!
Our living room


 Our kitchen
Soon it will all be gone....for better or worse...we are on our way!

Welcome to our sale!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

We're Back!

A New Day

Hello friends! Three years since my last post....time flies! And howdy!!! For several reasons, which I won't enumerate, we have decided to dramatically downsize and hit the road again! Our lease is up on Halloween and we will be leaving the apartment life behind! Where to begin....we're even more aware of the swiftly passing of about biological timeclock, whew....we have bucket lists full of places to see and adventures to have...when we started way back in 2012, YouTube was no big deal. Blogs were where it was happening. Blogs required very little technical ability, very little equipment, and although semi-sophisticated, most anyone could achieve respectable success. Enter the world of VLOGS and YouTube ....a true minefield of equipment, technology, click bait, monetizing and astronomical numbers! I have to admit that I enjoy watching YouTube and I have learned that there are some vlogs I adore and many that bore and a few I abhor! I am learning what I would do...if I vloged, and what I would try never  to do!
So we have a good camera ....check A GoPro....check An iMac ....check. iPhone.....check and iPad...check. Ready to go! Not so fast....the GoPro is still confusing, the Cannon camera has too many bells and whistles and the iMac is also on a learning curve.  Once we get on the move my plan is to get serious and learn how to operate this stuff!
For now, our lives are focused on five catagories: 1) store 2) sell 3) take 4) donate 5) trash
No photo...but here's a feeble attempt at a video.

New mods to our Casita.