Tis’ the season when nights dip down to temps too cold for just an extra blanket in the motorhome. That means it is time to get the wheels rolling to a warmer location.
We like to travel during October and take our time reaching the winter destinations. It extends fall for us a couple of weeks, if not a full month.
This year we spent the summer in Oregon and struggled to find clean air as the wildfires raged and continue to do so. The rains were beginning, which is good for putting out the fires, but not good for us. So, we pointed the wheels south.
The beauty of having a home on wheels is that we can follow the good weather. It works most of the time, but as you know, weather can be unpredictable in the mountains.
Since we discovered last winter that Arizona was not really our scene, we decided to stay in southern Utah this year. We will see a little snow, but not very much. And we are near family who live in the Salt Lake area.
We managed to get from the Portland area to Salt Lake City in three days and boondocked (free camped) the entire way. One night the temps dipped down to 10°F which made for a chilly morning. It reminded us that we need to winterize before the temps drop for us next month.
Why be a snowbird?
We can stay put for a while or keep moving. We have tried all types of scenarios over the years and found that a mix works best. It may take you some time to figure out what works best for you.
There have been occasions where we decide to take a month in between seasons and hit as many National Parks in a region as we can. Last fall we visited six. This requires finding RV parks, setting up for at least two nights and then moving on to the next, which can be 300 miles away here in the western U.S.
For us it gets quite exhausting, because after driving a full day and hooking up, we tromp around the park the next day or two, then pack it all up again and repeat. If there are work deadlines, we also need to work a little in between.
Preparing and planning make things easier for us during these mini vacations.
• Reserve and stay at least 3 nights per spot.
• Get work done ahead of time and catch up what is left so play time is uninterrupted.
• Have some meals prepared in the freezer so cooking is not necessary on travel days.
• Unpack only the necessities so it is easier to be ready for the next travel day. (Some things need to be put away when traveling, like my N.P. pin collection, things on the kitchen counter and most things hanging on the walls.)
• Stock up on food and beverages so you don’t need to find a grocery store in remote places. Sometimes they are 20 miles away.
After our mini vacation, we move into the extended vacation mode. Being a snowbird does not mean you have to be parked in one of those massive RV communities like you find in Arizona. We stay for one to four months on one place. This allows us to fully explore the area and get very reasonable rates. Many places offer winter specials.
If we get bored, we just look for another place to roam for a month or two.
Right now, we are in Virgin, Utah, with the Zion River flowing 10 feet behind us. I see the river, and cottonwood trees that are beginning to turn bright yellow, each morning as I open the blind next to the bed.
Down the road is Zion National Park which we will hike around all winter. We have ample hiking right here as well and are surrounded by mesas and beautiful blue skies.
Being stable for a couple of months also allows us to work on projects and prepare for our next move in the spring. We hope to go to Alaska if the borders are open, or Maine if not. Both are major excursions but will satisfy our desire to experience new things and break from the mundane.
So today I shift gears from travel mode to work mode. Everything is put away, chairs are set up outside, and the computer is warmed up and ready to go!
Stop by to say hi if you happen to be nearby.