…to leave Maryland and begin our journey. We settled the house sale this week and, flush with equity from the sale, we went looking for our next home-on-wheels. I think we found it at Lazydays RV in Seffner, Florida: It’s a used 2017 Fleetwood Bounder 35K that has 3000 miles on it, and it has most of the options we wanted with the exception of an HD satellite dish. So we settled on a price and asked the RV dealership to install a Winegard Slimline HD Trav’ler antenna, and we’d pay for it when we get there on May 12th or so.
So we’re down to our last 2 days in Maryland. We’re loading the car and separating out everything that doesn’t have to ride with us, beginning on April 30, to South Dakota. Once we get there in 3-4 days, we’ll set up our domicile in Pennington County (near Rapid City), and then run on down to Tampa to pick up the RV. I am conflicted about leaving our home in Maryland – I mean, we’ve lived here for 30 years and are familiar with all of the nooks and crannies. And we’re expanding our horizons so far that it will be impossible to know everything about the places we’ll go – we’ll just end up touching a few high spots before moving on. I imagine myself as a 21st Century Charles Kuralt with On the Road, passing through small towns and sampling all of the sometimes weird and wacky things they have to offer, all in the name of bringing in tourist dollars. There’s the Chaffee Barbershop Museum, which commemorates Elvis Presley’s first haircut. Or how about the International Banana Museum in California, dedicated to everybody’s favorite pasty fruit. Or the aptly named, “Museum of Odd” in Kansas? Or (seriously) the Moist Towelette Museum in Michigan?
OK, so most folk are going to say, “but aren’t you going to go to Las Vegas and gamble?” Well, no. I’m as awestruck by spectacular light shows as the next guy, but our journey isn’t really about what everybody else does, it’s about what we do. Picture Dave Barry coming up with material for his blog, and that’s us during our journey. I can’t wait.
The last couple of days have been a hodgepodge of loose ends. I had cataract surgery on one eye earlier in the month, and during the surgery the docs saw something on my EKG that they didn’t like so I had to run the chart past my primary doctor to see if something needed to be done. I had an EKG done by him as part of the pre-op stuff that turned out normal, and so I didn’t suspect that this was anything serious. So I visited my primary doctor this week and he ran another EKG, which also turned out normal. So apparently I am good to go for the launch of the Great RV Adventure.
The person who bought our house turned out to be one of the kids’ teachers from River Hill High School, and even though it’s no longer my home I didn’t want to just take off without making sure that she was happy with the place, since she reported a couple situations of lights not working, problems with hot water, etc. One of the plastic parts of a DIY water irrigation system for the raised garden beds didn’t survive the winter and needed to be replaced, so that’s on my list of things to do for Saturday the 29th, our last full day in Maryland.
We’ve seen more of John and Katie, our two kids, more this month than in all of the previous 6 months combined. They’re busy building their own independent lives and working way more hours per week than I consider healthy, so it was with surprise when they started indicating that they wanted to spend a lot of time with us. I think they realize that we’re not going to be around for awhile and are getting in some last minute parent time before we take off on our adventure. At some point I’d like to see if we can hook up with them and share our adventure, maybe get them to fly out west to stay with us for a few days, so we’re building in some time during the holidays for us to stay a spell in Maryland before heading south for the winter. The “rules” of domiciling in South Dakota sort of make staying around in Maryland expensive, since if we stay a total of 6 months here we become eligible to pay Maryland income tax for the entire year. With that fact in our minds – and the fact that we’ve already been here in Maryland for four months of the year – we might have to cut things short this year. Next calendar year we can devote more time to hanging with the kids.
We’re leaving town on Sunday the 30th, and our planned overnights include Elyria, Ohio, Madison, Wisconsin and Sioux Falls, SD until we reach our destination of Rapid City, SD. Each leg includes 6-7 hours of driving, and because Mac the Cat is our backseat road buddy, we’re choosing to stay in Red Roof Inns, which welcome pets with no extra charge. We plan to roll into Rapid City on the 3rd of May.