REFLECTIONS FROM THE ROAD

By Barry Zander, Edited by Monique Zander, the Never-Bored RVers

We’ve been traveling cross-country for two weeks now on our way to the Canadian Maritimes from California.  I’ll let you know more about the travels in Part 3 of this article.

PART 1 – FREE OVERNIGHT PARKING – From my “I wish I could find the picture I took Department,” I send along this:

In Mark Polk’s March edition of RV Consumer Magazine — http://issuu.com/rveducation101/docs/rv_consumer_magazine_march_2013/1?utm_source=RV+Consumer+emag+this+Month+March+2013+++&utm_campaign=RV+Consumer+magazine+RV+101&utm_medium=email — he has a brief item about Walmart parking, which probably applies to all one-night on-the-road no-charge parking places.   He mentions how putting down the jacks on hot asphalt to level the rig can damage the parking lot surface.

We have seen several instances of what we feel is parking-lot abuse during our travels, but none so memorable as the Scamp mini-trailer on the edge of a parking lot with awning out, rug down, barbecue going and chairs and tables all arranged.  It looked like the owners had set up camp for the week.

We try not to be judgmental, but put yourself in the role of store manager.  You can understand why he or she would think about putting the lot off-limits for overnight RV parking.  Most managers of businesses work hard to preserve an image of a clean property.  We hope you consider yourself their guests.

PART 2 – TRUCKIN’ AND RVers

Anyone traveling the highways of America for many years has found comfort in knowing that if a vehicle is disabled along the road, the first rescuers are usually 18-wheeler jockeys.  That’s the way it used to be, but it’s rare nowadays.  Two things have contributed to the change.  First, many if not most long-haul truckers are not only on schedules controlled by computers, but they are often watched by satellites from the company headquarters.  Time is money, and as much as a majority of truckers don’t like it, they put up with it to hold onto their jobs and qualify for perks.  The other, according to a member of that tribe, is that attitudes have changed.  He indicated the days of the proud professional trucker is over.  They have a job to do and that’s all that matters.

April beautiful, no matter where you are.  Seeing the dogwoods and redbud trees in the Deep South makes our journey all the better.

April is beautiful, no matter where you are. Seeing the dogwoods and redbud trees in the Deep South makes our journey all the better. © All photos by Barry Zander.

PART 3 – OUR TRAVELS — We scooted across Texas, opting for the back roads whenever we could and stopped in New Orleans.  That visit was what many of us RVers consider to be the best thing about our way of life:  we got to visit with family while touring the Audubon Park Zoo, Aquarium, Insectarium and French Quarter.

Our first stop, though, was to eat six pounds of boiled crawfish at a seafood market.  Then RV park neighbor Bob supplied us with delicious salty oysters, boiled crabs and filleted speckled trout.  Another great part of our way of life.  Thanks, Bob. One more N’Awlins comment – we’ve been to the World War II Museum twice.  If there is any way you can get to the Big Easy, make sure you go.  The film is spectacular and the museum will impress just about everyone.

From New Orleans we crossed into Mississippi, and we’re now in Vicksburg., home of four casinos and a raft of museums, including the first Coca-Cola bottling company.  The Vicksburg National Military Park, part of the National Park system, is one of a kind.

From here, we head toward Alabama, Tennessee and North and South Carolina; however, our plans have changed at least four times so far.  That helps us qualify as the Never-Bored RVers.

PART 4 – COMPUTERING — In the last blog, I announced that our new website is ontopoftheworld.bz.  If you’ve visited it, I’d like your comments.  [[email protected]].  Unlike all the stores that ask you to tell them about the service you’ve received, not only won’t you win anything, but I won’t track your buying habits.

Mark Polk, who I mentioned in Part 1, has a dynamic, absolutely enviable website.  His would be a great model to aspire to.  As for me, it’s been months since I applied for a website name.  That’s when I found out that ontopoftheworld.com was taken, and that eventually led to the site ontopoftheworld.bz.

In response to previous articles, here are some of the comments I’ve received:

PART 5 – COMMENTS

I am a web designer who understands all too easily the difficulties one can encounter on creating and keeping your blogs and business up-to-date …  I understand the task of what a contracted web designer does. It takes time to create websites, and unless the client is not clear or concise on what he/she needs, the effort to get the full picture takes time and therefore costs money. So many factors involved.  — Skyjunk

NOTE:  I’ve received several emails with offers to help or give advice on setting up websites.  Sorry, but I can’t pass along the information of a for-profit nature.

We were at Chaco Canyon last year (March 2012). We came in via the northern road, which was not too bad except for some short washboard sections.  We were driving our 19-ft Class C Provan Tiger.  However, we came in only a couple of days after one of the periodic regradings of the road.  Our friends went in the same way a week or ten days later and said it was pretty bad for them, so I guess the road degrades rather quickly.

They were glad they left their Casita TT in Albuquerque and did the canyon as a day trip for that reason, but too really appreciate the site and all the ruins, you need to spend several days there.  Chaco Canyon is an amazing place, and even the experts are just now beginning to uncover the history of the place.  If only those ancient ones had a written language to help us understand their way of life, and to perhaps document the demise of that culture. — Jim Carpenter

Howdy Monique & Barry, Thanx, for the Chaco Canyon write-up!! Joyce has done it and thoroughly agrees with y’all….  — Joyce & Butterbean Carpenter

Thank you for bringing back wonderful memories of Chaco Canyon. We visited in 2009 in our PleasureWay Class B entering from the South and exiting on the Northern route – hoping it would be a better road; – as you had heard, it was not! 

As did you, we experienced profound feelings of connectedness with the Ancient Civilizations.  Would we do it again?  We now have a Class C and would not take this type of vehicle across those roads so well described in your blog. The Class B did well with very slow and careful driving.  Looking forward to your future blogs, — Marlene in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

We  spent several days in the area and our 40-foot motorhome was safely parked in an RV park about 20 miles away. There are many historical sites in the vicinity and we got to most of them. We spent an entire day in Chaco Canyon…it was worth every bump in that dusty road. Isn’t it hilarious that once within the park all the interior roads were paved and smooth!

PS We will be doing your Maritimes Trip with the FMCA Tour Connection in 2014 so we can’t wait to read your blog about it this year.  — Marcy Krauss

From the “Never-Bored RVers,” We’ll see you on down the road.

Because of the numerous Spam comments on this site, the comments section has been deactivated.  Please email us at [email protected] and I will pass along your comments.

© All photos by Barry Zander.   All rights reserved

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