Our Rocking Rolling 2018 Tour in Our Motorhome – Living Life – Like Everyone Else – Lots of Good Times – Some Trials and Tribulations – But in the End – It’s All Good – God is Good –

St. Augustine Beach Campsite – Notice the item leaning against the tree. Our Rock Guard.

How does our rock guard fit into this post? This ordinary piece of equipment played a part in changing the course of our 2018 tour. Before I explain, let me expose first, for the sake of chronology, events along the way that marked our journey this year as one to remember like one might recall a roller coaster ride.

We left Arizona after incurring a huge unexpected expense we thought would be paid for by our extended warranty. It was not. An uncomfortable beginning.

Fort Stockton, Texas, was enjoyable except for driving to an emergency room for Steve during the night after a fall an hour before dark. We found the hospital, he was thoroughly examined and dismissed, and we made it back to our campsite without a mishap. No changes in plans were necessary at this point. Steve was sore but able to drive.

We continued to San Antonio, stayed a month, during which time Steve had Mohs surgery to remove a small cancer on his face. Successful. Very good. We met with friends in San Antonio. We did the River Walk there and saw the Alamo. We met them again in Austin, where we found The Broken Spoke, a nightclub with country music and dancing. We went dancing twice. All was well. No changes in sight.

Next we traveled north to Dallas to visit family and friends. As Steve was driving the Jeep we encountered a huge spiked metal apparatus on the highway. Steve had no way to avoid it. He hit it as did three other drivers. Two new tires on our Jeep were shredded by this object. The other three drivers’ vehicles were also towed to Discount Tires where we all bought new tires. Alas! Very expensive. But all was well. No change.

Proceeding on our planned route Steve drove the motorhome south on Interstate 20 through Louisiana, stopping three times, including a stop in New Orleans. By this time we were more tired than interested in having fun. We rested in our New Orleans campground. Still no changes considered.

Next stop was Pensacola, Florida. There we had an accident in the Jeep. No one was injured, but damage to both vehicles was extensive. Thank God, Steve was able to disengage the other driver’s fender from our bumper so he could drive the Jeep. We left Pensacola according to plans since our insurance company was willing to let us have our Jeep repaired at our stop in Winter Garden, Florida, an area where my family resides. Still no changes.

On our way into Winter Garden driving on the Florida Turnpike a piece of retread tire appeared in the road in front of us. Steve could have avoided it until a car from another lane switched into our lane, hit the piece of tire, and tossed it directly in our path. As we passed over it we felt a thump from beneath. Steve checked under the coach as soon as we arrived in our Winter Garden campsite. Our generator exhaust pipe was missing. Troubles seemed to multiply.

We placed the Jeep in a shop for repairs. We were invited to spend a few days together with my family members in a beach house at Anna Maria Island on the west coast. Fun, fun, fun! After Anna Maria Island, we returned to Winter Garden and placed our motorhome in a service center for repair of the generator exhaust pipe. Both of these ongoing repairs threatened our ability to get to Steve’s son in South Carolina on time. His son had reserved his vacation for the week we would be there. It became obvious we would not be leaving on the day we planned. The Jeep repairs were not finished, nor was the exhaust pipe job completed. Now changes had to be made. We shortened our stay in St. Augustine Beach.

As seen in the photo above, our rock guard was leaning against a tree in plain view, yet we left St. Augustine Beach without it. Three days later we noticed the rock guard was missing and phoned St. Augustine Beach KOA. (We didn’t disconnect the Jeep from the tow bar for three days, thus we didn’t notice the rock guard was missing.) The owner said he would be glad to hold our rock guard until we could return to pick it up. Now we had a dilemma requiring another schedule change.

We arrived on time to visit Steve’s son and other family members. A great time was had by all, including two days at Myrtle Beach with Steve’s daughter and son-in-law. Before leaving South Carolina we would need to make some major changes in destinations. Steve gave the situation his undivided attention and came up with an extraordinary revision to our 2018 tour.

We canceled our one-month stay in Savannah, Georgia. Beside giving us time to return to St. Augustine, it saved us a chunk of cash. Yes, we were charged a fee for canceling our reservation, but we saved a good amount. We returned to St. Augustine Beach, picked up our rock guard, and had trouble with our house batteries while we were there, another large expense we would soon incur. We spent one day working on the house batteries. The very next day we heard that Hurricane Florence was headed to the Atlantic side of Florida. St. Augustine Beach is an island off the coast of Florida, and it was on the edge of the forecast cone at that time.

We left the island but not before making one more astounding change in our plans. We were booked in Panama City Beach, Florida, at the Emerald Coast RV Resort on October 11-24. We canceled this expensive two-week reservation.  Again, we paid a fee for canceling, but the amount we saved was significant. Not only did we save money and get needed rest in our winter campground, we missed having to run from Hurricane Michael. This storm made landfall in Panama City Beach on October 10, the day before we would have arrived. We had no clue about that when we changed our plans. We believe the Lord was watching out for us as He always does.

September 9 we arrived in Clermont, Florida, at Rolling Ridge RV Resort 53 days early for our winter destination, welcomed by the owner of the lot we had rented before we left Arizona. This is a beautiful park with rolling hills as its name implies. The people here are friendly. There are many social events, more and better than any others we have encountered. The scheduled events are emailed to all residents so everyone knows and is invited. We will be here at least until the end of April, 2019, living life one day at a time, thankful for the grace of God and His bountiful provision. As for our troubles, we believe as the Bible says in Romans 8:28 – All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. We look forward to a winter season with our family and our many new friends in Rolling Ridge RV Resort.


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So Long – So Long – Not Goodbye but Too Long not to Post – We Live the RV Life – Data Costs More than We Like – Posting Requires Data – Almost Decided to Quit Posting – Catch Up Time –

We left our Arizona campground the end of April traveling down Interstate 10 from Arizona to New Mexico, stopping for a week in Las Cruces, then on to West Texas. Van Horn was the first stop in Texas, then Fort Stockton, where the above photo was taken as Steve and I walked along the gravel road outside the campground. We stayed a week in this RV park. Desert all around as far as the eye could see. Winds that effectively blew away anything not tied down. We refer to this park as the Texas-One-Night-Stand Park because each morning RVs left in droves and each afternoon they came in one after another almost like a parade until the park was filled again. If we had nothing else to do, we could sit and watch the evacuation and infiltration unfold. Very interesting to see all the different RVs, motorhomes, fifth wheels, campers, and trailers passing by.

Life goes on while living the RV life just as it does for people living in houses and apartments. Troubles happen. Blessings abound. I won’t try to fit all the momentous stuff that happened along the way into one post, at least not this one. It’s time for me to prepare sweet potatoes for Steve to cook on the grill. While he does that, I’ll fry some Tilapia dusted in flour and Cajun spices. Life is good because God is good.

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I Opened the Shades to See the Sun Rise – Black Storm Clouds Loomed – What Would Sunrise Look Like – Would the Light Shine Through – YES – Gloom Gave Way to Bursting Shades of Purple Pink and Lavendar – Reminding Me of Troubled Times that Shrink When Grace and Truth Appear – God Is Good – Hang on When Trouble Hides the Light – Ashes Blow Away – Beauty Remains –

Isaiah 61:1-3 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.

Jesus quoted this scripture in the synagogue on the Sabbath day. He left out the words “and the day of vengeance of our God.” Those words pertain to another time. Jesus was introducing the day of grace that He would bring through His crucifixion. We live in the days of grace. Receive His love freely. Expect His mercy. God loves you.

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Sunrise at Van Horn RV Park in Van Horn, Texas – Small Town – Excellent Park – We Are Resting Here – Calm Blue Skies in the Morning – Motorhomes and Fifth Wheels and Campers Coming and Going Each Day – We Love It –

This is our third tour in our Motorhome. We started this one in mid-April calling it our 2018-2019 tour. It will end April 30, 2019, making this tour a few days longer than a year. (This is the plan subject to any revisions as needed.) However, from November 1, 2018, until April 30, 2019, we will be resting in our winter campground. We travel six months and rest six months, living in our motorhome, because it is our only home. We identify with the little phrase we often see in camping shops: Home is where you park it. This is true for us. You would be surprised how much anyplace can seem like home when all your stuff is with you and only your surroundings change.

Van Horn RV Park

Looking out the window
What do I see – land – and
Mountains on the horizon –
Still as castle walls –
Like stone soldiers
Intently looking down on
Brown Texas sand –
And people like me –
Looking out their windows
Admiring the trees –
And the grass – (what
Little of it there is) –
We are noticing the blue sky
Has turned to gray – but the
Mountains on the horizon –
They remain the same –

Carol Ann Hoel – Just sayin’



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Books Books – I Read – I Read – And I Wrote the Novel – Buddy for David – Key Words – Crime – Family – Hope – Despair – Adventure – Boy – Dog – Ex Convicts – Love – Courage – Victory – Rich in Action Scenes and Dialogue – Movie to Be –

Boy David Anderod

Canine Friend Buddy

Unexpected Unwelcome
Traumatic Event

Family in Distress

Bart and Kepper – Child Abduction –

Simple Prayer of Captive Boy David

Three Days in the lives of David, his family, his captors, law enforcement officers, and others not named in this ad

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Beginning Our 2018-19 Tour in our Motorhome – And the Excitement Builds – What Could Be So Exciting – For Me – Looking Out Our Windows Beholding New Surroundings – I Love It –

This is the view from the driver-side window this morning. Yesterday we looked out that same window and saw a row of empty campsites on the street in the park where we camped for 5-1/2 months. (A few weeks ago the park was full. We stayed longer than most.) Today the view has changed! I doubt that many would claim this new view was the most thrilling part of the RV life, but for me, little else is better. We will be here for only three days. We are on our way to somewhere else and linger here only to rest a few days and enjoy living the simple life.

If you are looking at this post on FaceBook, you may see only one photo. I never know which one will show, but if you click the link to my blog, you can see the entire post and photos. This is the view out the window where we have our meals. Coffee in the morning happens here before the sun rises. See the light reflecting off the Oak tree leaves (I think it’s an Oak). I haven’t seen trees outside our window in a long while. Notice the mountains in the background of the other photo. Awesome.

I have not posted in a long time. We had fun with our friends, and that was good. BUT. We both had the flu and a few weeks later I got another virus that seemed worse than the flu. AND. Our cooling system had a problem that turned out to cost us nearly $8000, which we expected our extended warranty to cover. Our expectations were not met and now we owe, we owe. Life may dish out disappointments, but our Lord never fails. We will be fine. We try to be frugal, but that’s so inconvenient! But we can do it. Sure we can.

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Blue Sky – Blue Sky – Morning Is My Favorite Time of Day –

Blue Sky – Blue Sky

Blackish blue night sky
Quiet Moonbeams cry
All through the night
Stars twinkling bright

Morning brings a splash
Of blue – The new day
Bathed in predawn dew –
Then panoramic baby blue –

Purple sky – dusky blue –
Hails the end of baby blue –
Til morning finds her way – and
Day begins anew in blue

Carol Ann Hoel
Author – Buddy for David

Photo taken in Prescott, Arizona, 2016.

When we get up in the morning, often the sun has yet to rise. Morning is my favorite time of day. As soon as a shard of light appears on the edge of our shades, I pull them up to expose the morning blue sky.

We are wintering in Arizona this year, 2018. Next year, 2019, we plan to winter in Florida and will give ourselves until November 2018 to get there. Steve and I both have family in the east. While seeing the country is our objective, visiting family we find more enjoyable than anything else. We expect to return to Arizona for the winter of 2019.

Steve and I have just recovered from a harsh virus, maybe the flu, maybe not. God is good. We are fine and will resume having fun with our friends and family soon.


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Bikes in Our Future – Steve Turning 80 Soon – Carol Ann 70 – We Think We Can Ride Them and Have Fun – Good Exercise – A Recap of Challenging Journey – Different from Our First Year that Happened without a Hitch –

Shopping for bikes was a project that took some time, but we have found the right bikes for us, we think.

Yes, I can mount it. In fact, I’ve been riding it. Steve also has been riding his. We plan to purchase helmets next. Very soon.

As the photo indicates, we are residing in an RV park in Arizona for this winter season. We enjoyed our 2017 tour of the country. The highlights of this year’s exciting journey are told in former posts. We experienced our share of challenges, towing a jeep with a dead battery, changing our bookings to accommodate a longer stay in Nashville, lingering longer than planned in Pensacola, Florida, avoiding bumping into Hurricane Harvey, rerouting north to dodge the storm, delay for a mechanical breakdown in Louisiana, and enduring five days of nonstop downpours as we traversed Texas ushering in the end of their drought.

This is the view from the driver side window:

This is where we will practice riding our bikes until we feel comfortable on them. We will not ride on public roads. Rest at ease, Arizona.

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Las Cruces New Mexico – Destination for Fun with Friends – Fellow RVers Meet Us Here – We Dine Together at Local Restaurants – And There Are Plenty – Steve Had Coach and Jeep Washed after Five Days of Rain and Mud in Texas – Now They Shine Again –

Here we are in Las Cruces, New Mexico, all shiny and sparkly again after wind, rain, and mud accumulated during our altered trip through Texas. We had to reroute to escape the terrors of Hurricane Harvey. Barely out of Harvey’s reach we stopped in Louisiana about 50 miles from New Orleans, where our airbag deflated and would not inflate again. This airbag was part of the brake suspension system. We were immobile until we could have it repaired. I thoroughly enjoyed the wait in that simple but adequate RV park, but Steve, not so much. He wanted to move on, which by the grace of God we eventually did.

Our arrival in Las Cruces happened several days later than we first planned. This year we discovered that sometimes we are not in total control of our world. Sometimes we must go with the flow until we can know what we know. What we know is that God loves us and has not forgotten to keep us in His loving care.  We and our friends have spent many hours enjoying the goodness of God together and loving it. All we do is eat, as some of our other friends have pointed out, but we don’t just eat. We talk, share our life stories, discuss our future plans, and drive around the city seeing the sights. What a beautiful country is the USA. How happy we are to live in it here and there and everywhere.

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Long Time No Post – Spent All Our Time Having Fun with Family – But Then Moved on and Parked Here in Louisiana – View of the Bayou – Simple but Adequate RV Park – Staying Longer than Scheduled – Again Diverging from Our Original Plan –

Here we are stuck. We moved about four feet forward and could not proceed because of a mechanical problem. Steve is working on it diligently, but we are having to change our reservations going forward, and this is not the first time this year! This is the third time we have had to make changes. Last year we made it all the way through our tour without a hitch.

The first required change happened when we received a call canceling a booking in Arkansas because of flooding. Next, an unexpected event caused us to spend more time in Nashville, Tennessee. Then we stayed longer in Pensacola, FL, than we had planned.

We had a wonderful extended time in Nashville. We met up with an old friend of mine there and spent time with them. The change in plans was a pleasant experience once we settled into the idea that we could not do what we first intended. We also enjoyed the extended stay in Pensacola while we waited to see if we would have to reroute because of Hurricane Harvey. I’m enjoying this time in Louisiana, too, in spite of the anxiety that comes with a mechanical breakdown. Steve is busy familiarizing himself with the part he hopes to install on the coach. If it is not possible, we will be here even longer getting it repaired at a service center.

New for me: We dined in Pensacola at Peg Leg Pete’s, an oyster bar. I’ve never been to an oyster bar before. This was an expensive lunch! Steve said I used to be a cheap date but no longer. Spending more time here in Louisiana, we dined at Prejean’s Seafood Restaurant that served Cajun favorites. Steve and I both had our first taste of crawfish and were delighted. We need to get back to McDonald and Taco Bell. We have blown our restaurant budget.

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Moving toward Our Next Destination – Driving a Comfortable Distance – Following Our Plan – Reaching Parks We Booked Months Earlier – Three Days to Rest – Three Days that Fly By –

Chattanooga nearby, Cleveland, Tennessee, is our stomping grounds for three days unless we choose to drive the extra distance to Chattanooga. We probably will not because we have only three days to relax and enjoy life. These are new surroundings, but home is where we park it until we leave. Steve and I went for a walk around this beautiful RV park. Today was sunny, as was yesterday, and probably tomorrow, a nice change from many rainy days in a row. When it rains, we get to hear the sound of it dancing on our roof. Some campsites are muddy in the rain and some are not. Our last spot was a mudslide, but we enjoy life even when it rains.

During our walk we stopped in the camp store to see what they had. Steve likes to send his daughter a small memento from each place we stay. He found a little windmill that looks like a sunflower. Now we must find a post office. While shopping, I asked the clerk what grocery store in the area he thought was the nicest. He paused. I told him we were looking for a full-service grocery store with excellent produce. Food City was his immediate answer. As we left the store I told Steve what he had told me. Another camper overheard our conversation and gave us his own recommendation, which happened to be the same one – Food City. He and his wife gave us their Food City card so we could take advantage of the discount from the card. We assume they knew they were finished with it. They probably will leave tomorrow.

GPS is a blessing to us as is my iPhone that gives us Google and Maps, two sources of GPS from which to choose. Using these resources we found Food City without a problem and did our shopping. We were delighted with this grocery store. It did not disappoint us one bit.



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Everyday Life for People that Live in an RV – What Could Be Better than to Wake Up in the Morning to New Surroundings yet Being in Your Own Home – It’s the Little Things in Life that Make it Okay –

Bellefonte, Ohio, RV park, not where we were the day before and not where we were three days later. We were in this town seeing whatever there was to see. Sometimes we have to drive the Jeep a little distance to find restaurants and stores in new places, but usually not too far.

What do we do all the time? We do the same things we used to do when we lived in a stick and brick home. We have coffee and cereal in the morning. I pull out meat from the freezer for our main meal, which we like to have at midday. Steve grills the meat after I get it ready for him, and I cook the sides on my propane gas range. Other days we go out for lunch like we did today. Laundry is an everyday endeavor, one or two loads. The washer and dryer are small, but that’s fine. Steve finds plenty to do outside until 4:00 when we turn on TV and celebrate happy hour at home with a beer or a cocktail.

We are in Mount Vernon, Kentucky as I write this post. This is our second day here. We went to town using the GPS on my iPhone to find the local Pizza Hut. When we got there, GPS instructed us to turn right, which Steve did, even though it didn’t look like a road or a driveway. It went straight up, almost. I was afraid we might slide backward if Steve did not keep his foot steadily on the gas. There was a gas station at the top of the first rise, then a sharp curve that took us higher yet, and another one. At the top of the knob sure enough there was a Pizza Hut! The edge of the parking lot looked like a good place to fall off the side of the mountain. Photos never show true depth. This one is no different. The incline was steeper that this photo reveals.

The restaurant is not shown in this photo. It was on the other side of the parking lot.

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Had to Share this Photo of Lake Erie Shore – We Arrived this Afternoon Greeted by a Wasp that Flew into the Small Window Used to Pay Tolls from the Driver’s Seat – Last Year Hornets Invaded the Cockpit – One Huge Wasp Was Just as Effective in Slowing Down our Progress until We Smacked it Silly and Tossed it in the Trash –

I snapped this photo while Steve was disconnecting the Jeep from the tow bar. This is the view from our campsite! Isn’t it fabulous?

We got out of bed this morning at 5:00 a.m., as we usually do when a driving day is ahead of us. We arrived here in mid-afternoon and have finally finished setting up at about 4:30 p.m. Typically, if everything goes as planned, it takes us about an hour and a half to turn our RV into our home. If any one part of the routine misfires, we end up tired when we finish. This time disconnecting the Jeep took some extra time as well as exterminating the wasp that took control of the cockpit for a short period of time. It didn’t help that a section of road work on I-75 had us moving at a crawl for about 12 minutes. I won’t complain, however, as we had a safe and successful trip.

A very nice treat happened when we pulled into a plaza on the Ohio Turnpike. We had sandwiches at Panera Bread! We rarely get to eat out on the road. Our RV towing our Jeep is too long to find a place to park at a restaurant. Our home is ready, and now we will relax, watch TV, and enjoy a snack together.

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Where Have We Been – Up to Flagstaff Arizona – Albuquerque and Santa Rosa New Mexico – Amarillo Texas – Oklahoma City – West Memphis Arkansas – Nashville Tennessee – Virginia – Pennsylvania – Long Island New York – Ohio now – Heading for Michigan in a Few Days – South to Florida, West through Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, and New Mexico – Back to AZ –

Here we are pausing for a week in Streetsboro, Ohio, not far from Cleveland. This park is a beautiful place. If we were to see nothing else in this area, we would be waking up each morning to natural beauty all around us and many other campers lining the narrow streets in the campground. We look like an elephant in a hallway driving into and out of RV parks, this one being no different. Our spot is generous. Sometimes camping sites are very narrow. We are enjoying the journey. This stop is not on our destination list. By that I mean it is not a place where we intend to stay and visit family or see the sights. It’s a stop on the way. We enjoy the spots on the way. We explore our surroundings, restock our refrigerator and basement, and find a brewery or restaurant in which to spend our time and our dime.

I have failed to post as often as I wish I would have. Many of our stops were for three days only. Three-day stops are better than one-day stops, but we still feel rushed. This year we had to be rushed to make it all the way to the east coast, Long Island (where we attended a family wedding), and now Ohio, then Michigan, down to Florida, across Texas, stopping again this year in New Orleans and winding up our tour with an entire month in Las Cruces, New Mexico, then back to our winter place in Arizona. Next year we plan to plan a restful tour! We will stay on the west side of the country and book long stays. Saying we will plan and successfully planning are two different things, but we will work hard to play more and drive less on our next tour.


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Camping on Little Pigeon River Makes Up for Being Canceled by Our RV Park on the Mighty Mississippi – Which Flooded Her Banks This Year – Here We Are on Another Riverbank – Enjoying the View –

We arrived yesterday at 4:00 in the afternoon. We set up our campsite. Steve handled the outside work, connecting utilities, unhooking the Jeep from the tow bar, setting up our grill, and many other related chores. I unpacked our stowed items, which means I put the coffee pot back on the counter, as well as all other items that sit out and would fly across the room as we drove if not stowed away in plastic containers. Only three containers are needed to hold such items until we arrive at our destination. The entire process takes about an hour. Today was no different.

Time to explore. The name of the park being Riverside RV Park and Resort we decided there was the hint of a river running through it. It took only moments to realize the river bank was just across the way. People were settled on the shore fishing and enjoying cool breezes and their campfires as well. I took some photos at the time, but the one you see here, I snapped this morning while the sun was shedding more light.

We were disappointed when we heard about a week before we were due to arrive at our campground on the Mississippi River that our reservation had been canceled due to flooding. In fact, it was more than a little disturbing, as my thoughts were filled with images of floating cars and people in trouble. As it turned out, we were able to reserve a spot at a land-bound campground nearby. The one that canceled us was located directly on the shore of the expanding Mississippi. The flood was not so bad as I imagined, but was only an inconvenience to the park during years of high water.

Little Pigeon River runs through Sevierville, Tennessee, a city a few miles from the Smoky Mountain National Park, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg, all places of interest to tourists. We will be here only three days, so we will not be seeing very much. Our trip this year is driven by the necessity to arrive on Long Island for a June wedding, a feat which leaves not much room for long stays between Arizona and New York. Nevertheless, we are having fun and living the life.

Carol Ann Hoel
Author, Buddy for David
Novel, Christian Fiction
Mystery, Suspense

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Growing – Learning – Believing – Confidence – Resting – Our Inheritance in Christ –

Living a better way now – taming the thoughts I think –
You ask – Why make a change – why not think the same –

Learning things I should have known raised my
Expectations in this life from good to astonishing –

Hearing the gospel preached clearly – Hearing plain
Talk – so good that people tend to doubt it’s true –

Emboldened me – thrilled me- challenged me –
Made me believe God’s Word – doubting nothing – believing in

Healing – power over spirits – strength to use authority –
Grace that conquers fear – confidence that endures confrontation –

Resting in Jesus’ work at Calvary  and knowing it’s finished –
Knowing every provision is ours by faith forever –

Grew into a way of life inspired by new perspective –
Why should I settle for less – This is our inheritance in Christ –

By Carol Ann Hoel © May 13, 2017

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Beautiful Day to Travel on Interstate 40 through New Mexico – Albuquerque Was Our Next Stop – All Was Well until It Wasn’t – The Jeep Would Not Start – AAA to the Rescue – But Our Trouble Was Not Over Yet –

Steve and I have been traveling since April 17. We headed north for Flagstaff, Arizona, and it was cold. We continued west to Holbrook, Arizona, and it was cold. We should have expected it, but we didn’t. We were uncomfortably chilly but not dangerously so. Albuquerque was also cold, but we had something else to think about: Getting the Jeep operating again!

An AAA mechanic came to our campsite but he could not install a new battery. The problem had to do with our battery being encumbered with equipment pertaining to our tow bar. I will make a long story short. We towed our non-starting Jeep from Albuquerque, New Mexico, to Santa Rosa, New Mexico, and then to Amarillo, Texas. Steve contacted a Jeep dealership in Amarillo, and they connected him to F/X Motors Sports, which enterprise had staff that knew how to solve the situation in a few hours. Success!

Now we are camped in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. We appreciate the blessing of having our Jeep that runs again. Instead of remaining in our campground with a dead battery, we went to Bricktown, an entertainment district in Oklahoma City. We walked along the canal among all the other people having a good time. We snapped a few photos and walked back to Bricktown Brewery, where we enjoyed beer and pizza.

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – Bricktown Canal.

Carol Ann Hoel
Author, Buddy for David
Novel – Suspense – Faith

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Our 2017 Tour Begins But in Slow Motion – We Rose Early – First a Fuel Stop – Then a Propane Fill Stop – Arrived Safely at Flagstaff KOA 5:30 PM –

Up the mountain, down the mountain, up the mountain, down the mountain. This is what it seems like to me traveling on I-17 North to Flagstaff, Arizona. I’m not a mountain enthusiast, but I’m determined to get to our destination in spite of roads that wind through steep terrain. Steve is not afraid of mountains. Chelsea, our Bichon Frise, doesn’t seem to mind them either. She is invigorated by finding a new park to explore on her daily walk. She stops at every stump and stone to smell them. If they pass whatever test she is performing, she pees on them. Ha!

We got up at 5:30 a.m. this morning and did not arrive at our destination until 5:30 p.m., and it was only 172 miles away. We had much to do to pack all the things we accumulated over the winter months. We also had to stop at Camping World to fill our propane tank for the inside stove, or so we thought. As it turned out the tank was half full, and I might have cooked another entire year before running out of propane gas. Steve wanted to fill up the coach with diesel at the Fry’s station, so we went there next. By this time we were hungry for lunch, and Taco Bell was on the same parking lot. How convenient. We usually have lunch at a rest stop half way to our destination. As I said, slow motion.

Better late than never. We are here and safe and sound. That is the good news. Since it is evening, we will start exploring our new surroundings tomorrow.

Carol Ann Hoel
Buddy for David, Novel
Suspense, Faith

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Chelsea – Pet Bichon Frise – Puts Her Paw Down – Demands Her Daily Portion of People Food – But Should We Give It to Her – Would You – We Do – Then We Don’t – Then We Do Again –

Little Chelsea, the bravest Bichon Frise I know, out for her evening walk, trails behind Steve. She has her good days, many in fact, but she has her bad days, too. Fifteen years of woofing and doing doggy stuff has worn her out.

Chelsea does not complain, at least not about her waning strength. This she deals with as necessary. What she really hates is being deprived of her portion of our food. If she doesn’t get it, she lets us know how sharply she disapproves. She begs, whines, and barks. She turns her big black pleading eyes on us until we give in. Chelsea has kidney stones, the kind that only surgery can help, but at her age, an operation would not be wise. She has done well for a pooch with problems. Along with kidney stones, she has a deteriorating disc in her neck. Additionally, she suffers from digestive trouble. We think that people food may be the cause of those episodes, so we encourage her to eat doggy food, the dry kind. She eats it reluctantly and only if all her efforts to make us give her people food have failed.

Some of our friends are silent on the subject, while others speak up for Chelsea, telling us they think she should eat what she wants at her age and be happy. We have withheld people food for a time, and we thought she did a little better, fewer episodes. Yet, she still had episodes. We would give her a little people food again, and she would love it! She would be happy! When she gets sick and lies on her bed most of the day, we wonder if we should deprive her again.

Chelsea’s longtime kidney stones caused her a bladder infection only once, which antibiotics took care of swiftly. Her digestive flareups resolve after several hours of rest. The bad disc caused her a pinched nerve once, but she seems fine with it now. One day at a time for old Chelsea girl. She is a trooper, and we love her, our little Bichon Frise.

Carol Ann Hoel
Author, Buddy for David
Novel, Suspense, Faith

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Booking RV Parks – Eight Day Project – Job Complete – 37 RV Parks – 6,588 Miles Driving in Our MotorHome – Everywhere We Park Is Home – Until We Move On –


This is my office space within the living room area of our coach. This is where I spent the better part of eight days finding and booking 37 RV parks for our year 2017 6,588 mile tour of the country.

How did I do it? Mathematics first. I divided the number of miles from one destination to the next, such as the distance from our Albuquerque park to the park we chose for Nashville, approximately 1,022 miles, by 200 (our desired distance between parks), which told me the approximate number of 200-mile trips to reach the Nashville park was 5. Then I multiplied that number by 3 (the number of days we wish to spend at each park), calculating the length of time the entire journey from Albuquerque to Nashville would require as 15 days. I determined that I needed five parks located as evenly as possible between those two destinations, an approximate distance of 200 miles apart, where we would remain three days at each one. All I had to do was find those parks and book them. I repeated this formula as needed until the entire journey was booked.

Steve provided me a huge map of the United States, which had everything we wanted except lines showing state borders. Steve improved it by adding the state lines. I made a calendar template using Excel. Steve made copies of it for each month we would be traveling. He filled in the month at the top and all the days in their proper places. These calendars became the work papers I used to mark in draft each booking and the days we would stay. This helped me not to book the same day or month twice. (It could happen. I was confused more than once as this project wore on.)

Finding decent RV parks at proper intervals along the Interstates was the most difficult part of the project. Not all RV parks are equal. Some are great, some are good, and some are not places we would want to stay. Booking was only a phone call to make once a park was chosen. Eight days – 37 phone calls.

I prepared a chart on Microsoft Excel to guide us to all our reserved RV parks. It shows the name of each park, the days booked, the number of miles from the last park, the park address, directions from the Interstate to the park, the park phone number, the full amount due for the booking, the amount of the deposit, and the amenities provided for us at the park. This document is 7 pages long with each RV park a line item. It’s finished. I can enjoy the ride.

Carol Ann Hoel, Author
Buddy for David, Novel
Suspense, Mystery, Faith


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