We put an emphasis on fly fishing this year for sure and were pretty successful with it except for a disappointing float, and a terrible drought, we had a spectacular time. We certainly did our part to try to reduce the lobster population and increase the economy in Maine, and found we really, really enjoyed Montana. Problem wise it was a better than normal year, once we got the new tires and airbags to start us off.
I know I'm hearing an ugh, but I have divided this recap into 2 parts, because I just couldn't cull the pictures of our memories anymore.
So first to the nitty-gritty numbers. We covered 11,044 miles, a bit more than normal reflecting our huge loop, the shortest leg was 17.4 miles from Grizzly Campground in West Yellowstone, MT to Henry's Lake SP in Idaho, same as last year, and our longest leg was 429.8 from Stanwood, MI to Iron Mountain, MI which took us over the Mackinaw Bridge. We traveled 60 days and stayed in 21 different states at 59 different campgrounds, we actually repeated at several. Campground prices were definitely higher, we averaged $44.92/night, compared with just over $42 last year. We did splurge on waterfront awesomeness in Trenton, ME, near Acadia with our most expensive stay at $99.66 even with a weekly rate, and absolutely worth it! Our least expensive stay was $0 for 6 nights, when we boondocked or stayed for repair. Our next least expensive was $7.50 at Moose Creek, just south of Bozeman, MT, one of our favorite spots right on the Gallatin River. You can always check out our route on the link to the 2018 Travel Map. We used 2104 gallons of diesel at an average price slightly more than last year, but still quite good, $3.17, with a high in Montrose, CO of $3.70, and a low in Cartersville, GA of $2.82. And we continue to see a poorer MPG due to the increased Bio-diesel and averaged 5.81 mpg. As you swoon remember we have a 515hp engine pulling a 46,000# motorhome towing a 5600# truck.
As I said we started off by replacing the tires and airbags, got a new towbar, a Blue Ox Avail which we are very happy with, and new chassis batteries. As far as troubles and travails, we had a toilet leak, a propane leak, a slide out drain hose leak, several air leak issues, a broken windshield, a finally have our floor replaced for the LAST time. Nothing that truly stopped us although the air leak behind the dash almost did. It was a leaky year:-)
We were able to visit and were visited by lots of friends along the way. We met and welcomed Jason's significant other Joanne, and were also welcomed by her family when we were in Buffalo. We were able to see several of our Florida friends along the way, were turned on to lobster BLT's, had a wonderful boat ride, great visits, an unexpected rendezvous with "on the road" friends Dave and Lingky, saw Jan's mother, Viv for her 96th birthday, saw Karen and Tom's house completed, and had several nice visits with them along the way, a very nice Thanksgiving week with our grandchildren Faith and Christian, also with Jason and Joanne, and our Kelly, all capped off with visits and dinner with close friends in Atlanta before we finally turned south for Florida. It was a wonderful year, blessed with health and happiness.
So sit back, enjoy or endure, and I'll share the first installment of the memories in pictures of our year:-)
|Harold and Jan running a new wire for our errant air pump|
What an enormous help Harold is!
|Scott, Harold, and I jacking up the slide for repair|
|Harold and I installing skid plates for our slide rollers|
|Harold and I replacing the slide seal that didn't last long,|
and unfortunately the repair we did didn't make the season
|The gang, Harvey, me, Harold, Bob, and Joe|
helping me install the too long struts which Jack with
his ingenuity was able to build a tool to make it happen
Thanks Jack, and everyone!
|As the winter draws nigh, Bert says, "Let's go"|
|Our last get-together at the "Dog"|
|First stop, get the bags replaced|
|A wonderful last minute meet with Harold and Debbie|
on our way north!
|Joanne and Jason come to visit in Atlanta|
|Visit to John and Diane's lake house|
|An epic evening|
|North Carolina and our Rod Vault finally arrives, after 10 months!|
|Installed and ready for action|
|A gorgeous NC stream|
|Jan working the trout|
|Me bringing one to the net|
|At Bailey's in Maine!|
A wonderful visit with Bob and Harlean
|Our first seafood, fried whole belly clams in Portland|
|And, oh yeah, lobster stew|
|Anticipation at one of our old haunts in NH, Newicks|
|Oh yes, fried clams and onion nuggets|
|Freeport, Harraseeket Lunch, where we think we found the best seafood stew|
|LL Bean, an always stop in Freeport, never closed|
|Surfs up In Kennebunkport|
|The Clamshack's lobster rolls, some of the very best|
|Yeah, back to Freeport|
|Had to get this amazing haddock sandwich:-)|
|Sailboats off Portland, ME|
|Amazing korean beef steamed bun in Portland|
|Getting settled in at Boothbay Harbor|
|Even in the rain, a long line at Red's in Wiscasset|
|And this is why, lobster rolls and fried scallops, yummy!|
|The view at the campground, Shore Hills in Boothbay|
|A pretty view on a rainy day at Five Islands|
|We found out this is the BEST seafood stew in Maine, maybe the world|
At the Red Barn in Augusta
|Enjoying with Harlean, Bob, and Scott|
|If you want the best, go here in Augusta!|
|Beautiful Boothbay Harbor|
|Yet another nice lunch on the dock|
|Our campground here in Belfast is lousy, but expensive|
But the view is wonderful
|Walking the beach near the campground|
Now I have to interject here and I'm sad to say we didn't take any pictures, but from Belfast we drove up to visit Doug and Nancy, some other friends from Florida. We had a wonderful visit at their lovely home with awesome views, and they absolutely spoiled us and probably ruined any future "store bought" lobster rolls forever. They served us the most luscious, freshly made, awesome lobster BLTs. Let me tell you.......wonderful!!!
|An idyllic harbor|
|The view from our splurge campsite in Trenton, ME|
|Oh yeah, this was worth every penny!|
|One of the many views in Acadia|
|On a rainy hike in Acadia|
|Yet another picturesque harbor|
|Loving our hike around Jordan Pond|
|Another Jordan Pond, a favorite|
|Looking down on Bar Harbor from Cadillac Mountain, and as close as we got:-)|
|Our first attempt at making our own Lobster BLT's|
Thanks again Doug and Nancy!
|Oh yeah, they were oh so good|
|Can you almost taste it?|
|Seems around every curve is yet another gorgeous view|
|On to Vermont|
|Orvis central, where we each got new rods and reels:-)|
|New York's famous Ausable River, where we didn't budget enough time to fish:-(|
|Our campsite on Lake Ontario|
|On a wonderful boat tour in Buffalo with Jan, Jason, and Joanne|
Man, was it hot!
|While in Buffalo we drove north to visit Harold and Debbie|
This is the awesome view from their gorgeous boat!
|The four of us on our amazing boat ride|
What a wonderful time we had!
|We went with Jason to Niagara on the Lake to visit several wineries|
and had a very enjoyable visit and even helped the Canadian
economy by buying several bottles:-)
|Goodbye NY, and on to Elkhart, IN where we had planned to repair|
our cracked wheel well. We decided not to and kept on trucking
|Into the Yupe over the Mackinaw Bridge|
|We got a chance to stop at the Thielen Meat Market in Pierz, MN|
|Jan jokes she only gets to drive one day a year and here it is:-)|
|Westbound through ND into MT and|
There are the Mountains!!!!