Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Settling In Along the Gulf Coast

Yesterday we finally showed up at our Gulf Coast winter base camp... Sandollar Resort and RV Park, just north of Rockport in the town of Fulton, TX. Strategically and stealthily showing up during a light drizzle we were able to back into our site, level up, and punch out the slides before starting with the process of meeting and greeting and getting caught up with everyone. It was a lot like old home week. Because of the quickening passage of time these days, it seemed like we've only been gone a few weeks instead of the better part of a year.

The expedition from our last extended camp in the State of Washington was a little over 2,800 miles, took 74 days, and involved 17 different camps. Our travel pattern has developed, driven by family circumstances, locations, and nature, into an annual series of three extended stays... Wisconsin in the summer, Washington in the spring or fall, and Texas in the winter... interspersed with three periods of travel and exploration. We strive to take different routes during the travel periods to see as much as we can of the big old USA.

We'll be here along the Gulf Coast for a full three months. After our 97 day stay here last winter (during which a serious case of "hitch-itch" descended on both of us!) we really considered shortening our stay this year to just a month. But the realities of life intervened in the form of less-than-hoped for investment returns, rapidly increasing health insurance costs, and our desire to continue this lifestyle experiment for a while longer. Therefore, being able to augment the income side of the ledger by utilizing Dar's nursing skills... which are 1) in demand and 2) decently paid... seemed like a good trade-off for another extended camp this winter.

Due to the reduction in our explorations I'll probably struggle at times for journal entry topics during the next three months and there will probably be a reduction in the frequency of new posts. But my goal has always been to favor quality over quantity... and I will strive to keep things interesting and current. As much as I like having readers, my primary audience has always been the future readers of the print version of this Journal... a record of our travels and a legacy of insight into who we were. I try to keep this in mind when writing.