Have you ever wanted to sell everything you own and just "take off?" Travel the country's back roads, paddle down a meandering stream, experience breath-taking mountain views, walk among 100-year old trees, and just marvel at America's beauty? That is the dream that my partner, Betsy, and I decided to make a reality. This blog describes our adventure. The food we eat, people we meet, sights we see, and the enjoyment we find in traveling.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Two Years and Still Rolling...and a List of Last Year's "Tops"

March 15th marked the two-year anniversary of our fantastic full-time RV adventure.  So this is when I sigh and blurt out the overused cliché, “boy, how time flies.”  The year started out in Florida and now we are in Oregon so its safe to say we have been from one extreme of this country to the other with a whole lot in between.  I won’t bore you with a long drawn-out narrative of how great last year was; instead, I’ll leave you with a list of “top” things we did, saw, and ate – everything from museums to hamburgers.

But first, a quick look forward to 2013 which will take us to new places and adventures.  We have committed to a three-month work camping gig in Idaho…that means we are going back to work (actually volunteer!) …we will have jobs again…we will have a boss...we will have a schedule.  This is the first time we have signed on to be work campers and are really looking forward to the new endeavor.  We will be at the Dent Acres Campground which is administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as part of the Dworshak Dam and Reservoir near Orofino.  The park lies in north-central Idaho which is teaming with wildlife and rugged beauty.  There should be plenty of hiking, kayaking, fishing, and swimming for Spirit.  We will work 4 days on and 4 days off so that should give us plenty of time to explore northern Idaho.    

After work camping, we will head to Glacier National Park and then across the beautiful Canadian Rockies.  In the late summer/early fall, we will turn to the west coast of the U.S. to once again enjoy the salt air and Dungeness crab in Vancouver and the Pacific Northwest.  When the leaves begin to turn yellowish-orange and frost appears on the ground, we will make our way to the panhandle of Florida where we will stay from November thru February.  Exactly how we get there and where we go from there we are not sure.  And that is what we love. 

So here is a portion of the “tops” list (to be continued with more categories in the next post).  Items are not listed in any particular order.  Click on the title for a link to the blog posts.

Top 10 Museums

Musical Instrument Museum (Phoenix, Arizona)

The museum opened in 2010 and is first class.  Exhibits are engaging and come to life with the audio wands that   entertain visitors with sounds of the instruments and informative narratives.

Quarter Horse Museum (Amarillo, Texas)

As two girls that like horses, this museum was always on our list of "places to go" and did not disappoint.  After spending two hours in the museum looking at horses, cowboys, and western legends we just had to go eat a steak at the Big Texan (another Amarillo legendary place).

Titan Missile Museum (Tucson, Arizona)

The Titan Missile Museum is staffed by well-trained tour guides who keep you spell-bound with the suspense of the Cold War and the precarious situation of having an armed warhead ready to be launched.

National Historic Trails Interpretive Center (Casper, Wyoming)

This museum describes the reasons and hardships that people faced when they crossed the rugged west under some of the harshest conditions.  This museum was a wonderful surprise and held our attention in a subject that we knew nothing about.

Buffalo Bill Historical Center (Cody, Wyoming)

The Buffalo Bill Historical Center is much more than a memorial to a western legend.  It contains exhibits on western art, Native American Indian Tribes, firearms, and a section on natural history of the area.

George Bush Presidential Library and Museum (College Station, Texas)

Presidential libraries are always on our list of places to see and this one did not disappoint.

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum (Tucson, Arizona)

The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is a great way to immerse ones' self in the desert ecology of southern Arizona   It is  a myriad of zoo, aquarium, botanical garden, and museum that  belongs on  the "must see list" for anyone visiting Tucson.

Living Desert (Palm Desert, California)

Palm Springs, California may be known for its shopping and restaurant scene but this zoo is a real gem and very much appreciated by the locals.  

Taliesin West (Scottsdale, Arizona)

Taliesin West was the winter home of renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright and an excellent display of his architectural creativity and genius.

Monterey Bay Aquarium (Monterey, California)

This world-class aquarium will entertain you for hours so plan on spending a bit of time at this aquarium perched right on the bay.

Top 10 Places (and things) We Ate

The Missoula Club  (Missoula, Montana)

The "Mo Club" is known for their simple, yet delicious, burgers cooked on the flattop.

Charlie’s Donut Truck (Alys Beach, Florida)

Get to Charlie's early because they sell out well before noon.

El Perro Loco Sonoran Hot Dog Truck (Tucson, Arizona)

Our first Sonoran Hot Dog was from El Perro Loco - a hot dog stand in a parking lot.  It was delicious and we were hooked.

Bruno's Pizza (Seagrove Beach, Florida)

We have been going to Bruno's for nearly 10 years and go there every time we are in town.  The "Ladies Day" buffet is not too be missed.  The owner is a great guy that works on the honor system - pick up a plate and cup first, enjoy your food, and then come pay.

Spencer Makenzie’s Fish Company (Ventura, California)

Fried fish and shrimp tacos are the specialty of this Ventura landmark.

Franklin's Barbeque (Austin, Texas)

This monster sandwich is the "Tipsy Texan" which is stuffed to the max with brisket, sausage, and coleslaw - better get the fork and knife.

Lindy’s on 4th (Tucson, Arizona)

Who can resist the double cheeseburger with onion rings?

Kreuz Sausage and Barbecue Company (Lockhart, Texas)

What is better than BBQ and beer served on brown paper that you eat with your hands?  Nothing!

 Tony's Seafood Restaurant (Cedar Key, Florida)

Tony's is known for their clam chowder and have won the national clam chowder cook-off for the last three years, even beating the New England competition.  We went there for lunch, dinner, and bought a frozen quart to go.

Squeeze Inn Hamburgers (Napa,California)

What can I say about this cheesy goodness?  Under the cheese skirt is the burger patty, lettuce, tomato, pickles and all the other burger fixin's.

Tune in to the next post for more of our "top" picks from our second year of RV'ing.  We love to hear from you so please let us know from your travel experiences what is "tops."  After all, we don't want to miss anything.


  1. what a great post and what a great year! we loved being part of it and are already eagerly anticipating seeing you again in FL in November.

    1. Thanks Nancy - glad you could join us on the road and make our travels special. Can't wait for FL.

  2. Congratulations on the second anniversary !!!! You two and Spirit have had such a wonderful journey.....It has been terrific to share so much of this with you..... Including the splendid photography and tasty recipes ..... Your blog is soooo well written and presented ......a joy to read ...... I have followed you for most of the journey and will continue to look forward to rolling on with you in the future ..... It is always a pleasure.....thanks for sharing all the miles of fun !!!!
    All the best, SallyB Sarasota, Fl.

    1. Nice to hear from you Sally. We sure enjoyed Sarasota when we were there two years ago - Myakka River SP was our first stop after we got Spirit. Other than the enormous alligators, it was a great place to raise her. Thanks for following the blog and I'm glad you enjoy it. Maybe we will bump into you someday in our travels and put a face with the name.


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