Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Some Notes on Being Home and Our TIme On the Road

We've been back for almost a week now and a lot has been accomplished.
  • Grass cut. It took two four-hour days to get the normally two-hour job accomplished but it got done. Eight and a half inches of rain over four weeks must have been perfect weather for the clover, plantain, and grass which was a good foot high.
  • Gardens weeded--mostly. I've got one to go and a little hoe work in another. See comment about rain and perfect growing weather above.
  • Zucchini harvested and turned into 10--or was it 12--loaves of bread, half a dozen quart bags of slices, and one left to be shredded and frozen.
  • Cucumbers converted into freezer pickles.
  • Carrots harvested, cleaned and frozen in five quart bags.
  • Beets--eaten.
  • Doctor's visit done. Urologist for a PSA test and general check up following bladder infection and kidney stone in April.
  • Visit to Camping World in Bath to order awnings for the Vibe's slideouts and a new mattress. (The one that came with the Vibe is crap. Two nights and it was like sleeping on the plywood with canyon walls on either side.) They will also deal with a couple of issues that arose on our trip.
  • Speaking of the Vibe: Forest River will pay for the repairs to the AC. The only thing they will not pay for is the house call fee (about $75). It pays to have a detailed invoice!
  • Tomorrow the Tundra gos in for some TLC.

Terry is already on the road again. She has a SAGA thing out in Skokie, IL. She left around 10 Wednesday morning and will finish the drive Thursday. She'll also visit with Brian and Vicky and John and Cindy...again.


I ran some numbers for our four-week trip and found:
  • we used 800 gallons of fuel with an average price of $2.85 per gallon for a total fuel cost of $2290
  •  our campgrounds cost us $972 for 27 nights; an average of $36 per night 
  •  our total cost for fuel and nights' lodging was $3262
If we had just flown to Portland and stayed in a motel/hotel for a week it would have cost us between $2200 and $2900. (Airfare for two roundtrip tickets Monday-to-Monday start at $1375. Motel/hotel would run between $120 to $200 a night.) This does not account for a rental car. I've ignored food because we would have eaten anyway and most of our meals were prepared by Terry in the trailer. Those that weren't would have been matched (almost) by dining out while we were home.

Of course, if we had merely flown out and back, we would not have been able to have stopped to go bird watching in Brigham City/Bear River NWR, to visit Mt. St. Helens—at least not as easily, visited Little Bighorn, visited Mt. Rushmore or the Badlands or The Mammoth Site, or see the many, many square miles of corn, beans and cattle growing throughout the upper Midwest. Nor would we have been able to visit with Cassie and Patrick in Bonner’s Ferry, Brian and Vicky in Milwaukee, or John and Cindy in Chicago.

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