Wind up and shake down

We’ve been warned by others with far more experience than we have to be cautious about over-committing our schedule while on an RV adventure. We’re heeding that advice and have committed to only three big scheduled events in the first three weeks of the adventure. The first of these was Memorial Day Weekend, so this post covers our week of meandering and visiting up to that point.

And speaking of that point, life would just not be the same without Stump Sprouts and this annual gathering of friends whom I’ve known from my Boston days, and going back 32 years for Doug. Still aglow from yet another fabulous Memorial Day bike and hike weekend, we realized several of these folks had been at my original adventure sendoff for the cross country bike trip in 1983. Love you guys!

So here we are, one week into our great RV adventure, and we’re all of maybe 4 hours from home. On the one hand, it doesn’t feel like all that much of an adventure since we’re still in New England, driving on familiar roads through places we’ve known for years. On the other hand, we’re touching base with friends and family and taking an opportunity to check out all the mission-critical systems before getting too far into the trip.

Our schedule enabled us celebrate a distributed ‘Brothers’ Day.’ We had a fun lunch with Doug’s brother Roland, enjoying most of the day with him, Cathy, nephew Lars and Mikaela in Lisbon, NH.  Then it was off to Doug’s brother Peter’s in Croydon, NH for dinner. From there, a hike in the White Mountains, a quick stop to see old friends Bert and Dot in North Conway, and then south.  Our visit with my cousin Ann, Ann’s husband Mike, and Brady the wonder dog included a great hike and dinner in Hooksett, NH.

We have another same-time-next-year tradition in the Berkshires; we are pretty sure we’ve been stopping to see our friends Howard and Nancy, before heading to Stump Sprouts, for nearly 10 years. On this trip we had enough time to stay the night and enjoy a dinner that also included VT/CT friends Sue and Dick.

We’re learning about our electronic gizmos and how to use them and how bypass phone security to get to the camera when a moose casually walks in front of the RV. We’re fine tuning how to select campgrounds while balancing cost (and campground discount clubs – they’re worth it), location (can we bike or walk to fun places?), and amenities (WiFi, shady spaces when it’s 90 degrees in May in New England which happens every hundred years and it’s happening on our adventure), even how to avoid campgrounds entirely (thanks, Loon Mountain!).

We’re also learning about this blog thing and noting that we need to take more photos – and encourage our commenters to add some when we forget…

We’re honing in on the balance point for introverts to spend visiting versus hiding which is guiding our adventure planning. We’re trying to avoid any more calls that start with, “We know this is short notice, but we’re in (name the) town and would love to get together if you’re available in the next couple of hours.” We also found the commitments forced us to think about which parts of New England we hadn’t yet discovered in the 50+ years we’ve lived here, and there are a few. Today, we are over by Hampton Beach! Neither of us has been here in 50+ years.

So, we’re working through the shakedown and so far all systems are “Go.” We’re continuing our wind-up loop (actually, if you look at the map, it’s more like a pretzel) through New England before launching west, and we’re enjoying every minute of it!


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