Jun 4, 2022

Beyond Branson; Pondering Future Travel

This past Tuesday, we moved from Branson to a very nice Corps of Engineer’s Park on Wappapello Lake.  We’re in the Redman Creek CG. This facility is like so many other Corps parks with long asphalt pads, electric, water, and this one even has full sewer hookups as well.  Regular price $24/night.  We get half off, so $12 for a premium FHU site.  I don’t think this is going to last too much longer. What a deal!

With the latest plan, we're here until the 17th… next Friday.

The following was done for my Journal, but I’ll re-post it here for future reference:

Regarding travel in a more expensive future world… I did some math yesterday.  Here’s the setup:  Consider two versions of a one day, 500 mile trip.  One is by small RV pulled by an adequate but still relatively efficient tow vehicle.  Real life data from the Escape forus says that a Ford F-150 with an eco-boost 3.5 motor, pulling a small camper like our E19, will get between 12 and 14 overall mpg.  So let’s use 13mpg. With this setup, a campsite is still needed to complete the full day. The second version is an efficient car - a CRV or similar - that get’s a real world 35mpg overall.  Here, we’ll have to get a motel in order to complete the day. Both vehicles use regular gas at an assumed future price of $5.00/gallon

And the results:  

Fuel consumption:  Truck: 38.5 gallons;   Car: 14.3 gallons

Fuel cost:   Truck: $192.31    Car: $71.43

Lodging:   RVPark:  $35.00     Motel:  $140.00 (a mid-level+ joint, a Hampton Inn or similar)

Total cost:  Truck+RVPark:  $227.31      Car+Motel:  $211.43

Upshot:  The Car+Motel model is $15.88 less costly than RVing.

Sure, there are other considerations.  Some just hate sleeping in motels. But on the other side of the equation, there are always the side-hassles of using the RV model… hitching/unhitching, set-up time and effort, comfort, bathroom size, dumping tanks, reversing the process the next morning.

All in all, however, this example calls into question the use of big RVs for touring.  For example, would I pull the Escape all the way across the country in order to tour New England and the Maritimes?  Really?  Small RV Parks, higher expenses, smaller roads, more people, and maybe even more people.


It might be time to fully consider more alternative methods of travel:  B and Bs, AirBnBs, hotels and traveling by small efficient car, or even mix it up by air travel for some trips… or cruises… 

May 21, 2022

Biding our Time in Branson

Recently, I've heard a couple of people say it was easier to follow our travels and our whereabouts when I kept a current blog.  I've also been looking for something more to fill that creative space, or purpose, that I've missed. Therefore, I think I'll take a shot at reviving the old "Sabbatical Journal" again.

It's going to be a slow start. I'm not planning on extensive posts explaining every detail of every moment we're out on the road.  I'm envisioning something along the lines of a weekly (maybe) post of where we're at and what we're doing... but in general terms.  Brief. Probably better to start slow than to make it complicated from the start.  

So here's our status for this week:  As (some) of you know, we're on our way to the Escapees Travel Clubs' big annual meeting/convention/rally.  It's called Escapade and it will be held in Lebannon, TN. We'd like to be there by June 17th.  

Even at our pace (slow and easy), we're only a 3 day drive from there right now.  And we're in Branson MO.  We've been here for a couple of weeks and will be here until the end of May. Then we'll have 17 days to make 3 drives.  I think we can handle that.

Oct 1, 2021


The last few days Dar and I have been in the Portland area helping out our Son-in-Law Gage, Our Daughter Andrea, and their family.  I haven't written anything here about whats been going on.  The short story is that a few weeks ago Gage was involved in an accident between a bicycle and a Jeep.  Gage was on the bike. As you can imagine, (Jeep vs. Bike, Bike vs. Jeep, either way) he got the raw end of this deal. A number of broken bones and a long recovery is expected.  We're here to lend a hand.

As of a few minutes ago, he awoke from his third surgery.  All is good. Bones have been put straight.  He's now on the road to recovery. 

Sep 27, 2021


We have too much stuff. 

It's time to de-clutter.

But where do I start?

Sep 24, 2021


 Yesterday, Dar and I reserved the day for just the two of us. Far too little traveling lately, maybe too much community involvement, and over-exposure to stupid people who reject facts and science... and probably a few other factors that aren't jumping to mind right now... combined to motivate us to get out for the day and just get away.

A restaurant breakfast on board, and under a clear sky, we soaked in the views and relished the break in routine as we motored along. We checked out a few area campgrounds, but unfortunately, many of these are closed, or in the process of closing, for the season. Add that to the list of unfortunate things that don't make sense on the surface. Autumn can be the best time of year for camping and they're closing the damned campgrounds! But that's another story.

Both the miles and the hours melted away. One thing led to another and later that afternoon the truck was parked at PlankTown Brewing Company in downtown Springfield. Dar and I have always enjoyed these pub stops during our travels. This one, for me, more so than usual. A sudden feeling of happiness flowed through me as I nursed a pint of Sara's Pale Lager beside a background of soft jazz and just the right amount of people din filled the space. It was perfect. I've really missed this. Cheers.

Sep 22, 2021


Today, September 22, is the Vernal Equinox.  Many strange and mysterious things have happened over the years on the Vernal Equinox. This is another one.

Now that pretty much everyone has moved from blogging to vlogging (for the uninitiated: video logging or video journalling) I feel comfortable getting back to the old blog.  It's so simple... words on a page for someone to read or NOT read, as they choose. It's really elegant when you think about it. And for a closet author like me, there's a certain amount of "purpose" in it too.  

For some time now, I've been feeling that something has been missing from my life. Sure, the Park keeps me busy at times, and we do still go exploring once in a while, but there's been a missing "thing" in my life that I couldn't quite put my finger on or identify. This morning, to kill time I think, I dialed into the old RV Sabbatical Journal. And spent some time going through old posts. There are almost 1200 of them. And I quickly realized how much I missed the process of generating regular posts that were then accessible to anyone in the world (!) with a device. It seems the number of readers or followers one has is almost secondary to the idea that anyone could stumble on these pages and read these posts. Anyone can be a published author.

While considering this relighting of my humble writing proclivities, I thought about Goodle and their blogging product called "Blogger".  With the turn from blogging to vlogging (Youtube), I wonder how long they'll even keep the blogging product around. "G" has a history of just shutting down services or products that fall out of favor. So it might be good to have a plan B if this blogging service is shut down at some point.  (more later)

wandering...  and wondering

Beyond Branson; Pondering Future Travel

This past Tuesday, we moved from Branson to a very nice Corps of Engineer’s Park on Wappapello Lake.  We’re in the Redman Creek CG. This fac...