<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="65001"%> A Philosopy for Full Time RVers
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Subject: Slow Down and Smell the Sagebrush

Instructor: Bill & Louise Farlow

There is a contagious disease which many new RVers contract, and even experienced "old-timers" often get. It could be called "See it all Now". Too many of us make a mad dash to see everything in the shortest period possible. We take two weeks to get to Alaska -- and back. We circumnavigate the lower 48 in just a few months. Then, after two years, we feel they have been everywhere and seen everything. Therefore, we quit.

Actually, the RVers with this disease have seen very little. They have hit the high points, and missed the towns, the scenery and the people of our country. It has been very expensive, and they are tired -- physically, and tired of RVing.

There is a cure for this disease. Slow down. Check out the area in which you find yourself. Stay awhile -- one month or longer. One fulltimer has divided each of the states into quadrants, and plans to spend a month in each. He will learn the history of the area, check out museums and local libraries, talk to other Rvers in various campgrounds, and perhaps become a campground host.

Get off of the Interstates, and start following the blue lines. Stop at the local libraries in small towns -- go in, ask the local librarian about the local attractions and historical sites. You'll learn a lot. And you'll find so many of the small towns have wonderful -- often free -- places to stay. The local visitors centers or chambers of commerce are also excellent resources. Pick a trail, like the Oregon Trail, and take a trip back through history, taking the time to read the road signs as you go. Take your time -- there's no rush!

Local museums are another gem. You'll meet fascinating people, and learn all about the local area. These are all too often under-utilized resources.

Volunteer your services. Campground hosting is always a great way to spend some time and help a lot of people. Here's your chance to give back something. This can also help pay some of the expenses. You always get a free site; and even when the camgprounds are remote and don't offer hookups usually the campground hosts have full hookups.

Private campgrounds are "too organized". He prefers rustic, less organized environments, such as National Forests, Corps of Engineers, etc.

Every wanted to pursue a hobby you just didn't have time for? Some folks would like to write; others to skech; and others learn about genealogy. The excuse used to be "I just didn't have time". Whatever those things were, you DO now have time. There are always some courses or other ways to help you get started.

Other ways to keep yourself from a mad rush to "go" include visiting national parks and campgrounds. These are often built around outdoor interests,and cost less than a private campground. Set a monthly budget to limit travel and stick with it. Or -- try relaxing. Develop a new hobby, such as birding or painting or photography. Put out a couple of chairs and sit facing the road. It is a little known fact that people who face the road are waiting for someone to come and talk to them, whereas those who face the other way are seeking solitude!

If there is a community college in the area, attend a class. Investigate elderhostel. Just try to know the area before you move on.

Some of Bill's favorite places to explore include: old car, motorcycle or vintage airplane museums, ghost towns, such as the one in Oatman, Arizona (burrows in the street), and the U.S. space Center in Huntsville, Alabama. His favorite highways and byways include: Highway 299 west from Redding, CA [Ed. Note: we strongly recommend against big rigs on 299], U.S. 12 east from Lewiston, ID to Missoula, MT (Lolo Pass) and Highway 550 north from Durango, CO to Silverton. He is fond of northeastern Georgia (Gainseville to SC), Jerome, AZ (but don't even think about taking a big rig through there; the north shore of Lake Superior, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, and just about anyplace in British Columbia. He also likes Alaska, the north rim of the Grand Canyon (far fewer people), and the Bryce Canyon area of Utah; Olympic Peninsula in NW Washington; (while there, in Sequim, find Gardener Beach Road -- carved fence posts, all "trolls".)

Also on the list are the North (not South) Dakota badlands; Music museum, Traverse City Michigan; Studebaker Museum, South Bend, IN; Grand Coulee Dam, in Washington -- with laser show; motorcycle museum in Columbus, OH; Nashville, INDIANA -- a budding country music center; ice cream & cheese operation + Dirigable museum, both in Tilamook, OR; Custer State park, in South Dakota; Big Bend National Park, with its extraordinarily diverse ecosystems;

But wherever you go, just remember: If you haven't stopped to smell the sage brush lately, you've been driving too long!