and…Plans for Year 4 (2020)!

As you well know, if you have been reading these pages with ANY regularity, we don’t put a lot of effort into anything that one would call an “Itinerary.”

We have MISSED chances to connect with friends simply because they had no idea we were going to be In THEIR vicinity.

We generally make big, broad “Quadrant” projections, and see what happens out of that. For example, “Alaska in 2019.” Or “The Canadian Maritimes” in 2018. BUT, while leading to MANY fantastic examples of serendipity, there is an unexpected side-effect of our proclivity for wandering without much aim: We have MISSED chances to connect with friends simply because they had no idea we were going to be In THEIR vicinity. Many, it seems, had the utter NERVE to make other plans!

So, we thought we would share our thinking for 2020, to allow for INTERSECTIONS of orbits as opposed to fly-bys or close approaches; which are wholy unsatisfactory!

ALL YOU’D HAVE TO DO is eat, drink and be merry for a couple days (or weeks – up to you, of course)!

Seriously – if you can see yourself visiting any of the destinations or areas we describe below, OR, if perhaps you LIVE in or near any of them, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE contact us!   We’d LOVE to see you, break bread with perhaps a touch of adult beverages.

And, we are the PERFECT guests!  I know,  hard to believe,  but we arrive with our own hotel room, silverware (yours’ does not need to be locked away!), liquor and, of course,  VERY low expectations!  

To make an intersection happen, Well, you would have to do ONE THING ONLY!  You have to suggest that we put a pin in the map representing such an intersection. YOU CAN DO THAT, can’t you?

Or, you can use our planning as a tool to be sure you are NOT HOME when we are near.

So, here we go: Our “quadrant plan” for 2020.

We think 2020 will be a “Central North America” thing. It seems we have a couple of weddings to attend in Chicago – one in Early May and one in Early July. So, we thought we would “plan” orbits that pass thru Chicago at those times. While this would “suggest” a Midwest orientation, for us that can be from North Dakota to Pennsyvania and from Manitoba to Louisiana.

There are also some Festivals – Music and other kinds — that we’ve identified as possible Pins in the map…we learned in Alaska that such venues are a TOTAL BLAST if the festival has RV Accommodations of some sort available. There’s the Minnesota State Fair; Blues Festivals in New Orleans, Duluth Minnesota, Houma Louisiana and several others; There is the Experimental Aircraft Association Convention/Festival/Fly-in in Oshkosh Wisconsin. All of these sound like a great place to see and appreciate things and meet new friends.

I put together a map to reflect our thinking for the coming year…a few notes about the map: 

— BLUE reflects the period from Jan 1 to about May  9 (so SPRING). 

— RED reflects our summer thinking, which is a lot “fuzzier.” 

— GREEN picks up from Labor Day onwards,  so FALL,  which is extremely hypothetical.  

— Pins for pretty-certain stops
— “?” for places we MIGHT go based on proximity.

Click here for an Interactive Map

In the next part of this post,  we have more detailed descriptions of some of the stops and areas we will be visiting.

  • JANUARY 2020. Carolinas — North and South. We are embarking shortly on a Grand Circle of the Carolinas. Columbia, Winston-Salem, Raleigh, The Outer Banks. We have not spent any time at all in the Carolinas (except Charleston and Savannah, but once each for a brief period).
  • FEB 6-13 Hilton Head.  Our friends, the McDowells have a lot in one of Hilton Head’s RV resorts, so we thought we’d rent a spot nearby and share a few meals with them!
    Had to check first, tho…”Resorts” tend to have “rules.” We don’t like rules, which are usually written to exclude people just like us, so we usually avoid “Resorts.”   It turns out one of the Hilton Head resorts has lots of rules and restrictions, such as: No vehicles older than 10 years without special permission (which is granted by the parking “Valet”), no Charcoal or wood-fired BBQs, etc. That place, and any people who might be found within, tolerating such rules, sound totally NOT fun; but Fortunately it is NOT where the McDowells reside.
  • Feb 16-23. Vidalia, LA/Natchez, Ms. There is a Rally in Vidalia/Natchez which we attended last year. HAD A BLAST. Good people, good food, good beer and a VERY pleasant campground on the banks of the Mississippi. Something very entertaining and peaceful about watching Mississippi Barge Traffic go by 24×7, So, we thought we’d do Mardis Gras in Natchez it again!
  • Feb 28-Mar 6. St. Augustine, Florida. Friends Bob and Barb White exit a cruise on Feb 28, and we are looking forward to intersecting their driving-path back to Chicago. We booked a spot in a Campground near St. Augustine where they also have cabins in order to eat drink and be merry together for a couple days. We did this once before with Barb and Bob; my recollections are shrouded in a Pusser’s Rum haze.
    NOTE: This is an example of what is possible if you, our treasured friends and readers of this drivel would only consider our path and yours, and where they might intersect! It’s a HOOT spending time catching up with folks, and SO WORTH THE EXTRA EFFORT to make it happen!
  • March and April…OPEN (pretty much). After St. Augustine, The ENTIRE Month of March and Early April is OPEN. I am thinking we’ll bop over to Tampa; maybe hit the Everglades; visit friends Nancy and Bob Weaver in Lake Wales; Randy Shrimplin in Beverly Hills (Fl) or ???  FYI none of these friends yet knows we are coming, which we may or may not be!  Or, maybe we’ll head North to Washington DC to see 106-Year-Young Aunt Marilee.  Truth is, it’s a big open blob.

I do know there is a Blues Festival in Tampa in early April. SYDNEY WILLIS, are you listening?

  • April Bluebird Rallies??? In April there are a couple of Bluebird Rallies we have not attended before in places we have not been before. 15-19 April in Maggie Vally, NC. 22-26 April in Myrtle Beach, SC. Both reputed to be MUCH fun…
  • Early May Chicago Wedding #1 is May 9; we expect to arrive a week or so before, and stay for a couple of weeks. On the agenda for those weeks: DOC APPTs. DENTIST APPTs. And Bob White has agreed to help with some Interior renovations to RV WHERE YET.
    These were inspired by Bluebirdbrains Anita and Les Sonke. We’ll publish more on those as they take place!
  • Mid-May. Muscoda, Wi. Morel Mushroom Festival, Bluebird rally and home of Bluebirdbrain Friends Molly and Gary Schilling. A couple years ago, we attended, and RV WHERE YET was encouraged to be in the parade – we were followed by a subset of the U of Wisconsin Marching Band WITH mascot Bucky Badger Rocking to “Roll out the Barrel” played on our musical horn.
  • Late May and June are totally open. We are thinking about the UP (for those not familiar, the “UP” is the “Upper Peninsula” of Michigan). Perhaps Door County, Wisconsin. Maybe even the Grand Circle of Lake Superior and Lake Michigan?

WATCH OUT, Toronto – you are within range!!!

  • Early July — Chicago.  Wedding number 2.
  • JULY 20-26 Oshkosh (B’gosh) Wisconsin. We have never been to the EAA AirVenture Fly-in and even though it has been a LONG TIME since I have used my Private Pilot License, I have never stopped being interested in aircraft. Anyway, even setting aside the aviation orientation (I know Liz will!), AirVenture sounds like it could be fun – a HUGE festival with RV Camping Options adjacent !
  • Iowa in Late July or Early August…Bluebird Friends Steve and Cindy Florer have a farm there. These are the same folks who tried to kill us in their Jeep last spring in Arizona, and made us drool excessively last summer with tales of sweet corn right off the vines. Or whatever corn grows on – what do we know…we are city folks so for us it grows at WholePaycheck/ Safeway/ WinnDixie/ A&P/ Jewel/ Supervalu!
  • August 14-16 Bayfront Blues Festival in Duluth, MN??? I have to admit, Duluth does not leap to mind in the context of Blues Music, but as college buddy Mark Morris once told me, “Living in Duluth was like living in the toe of a Gray Sock,” so maybe it is apro pros. Anyway, it’s a festival!
  • Late August/Early September ST. Paul, Mn: The Minnesota State Fair is the ten days before and including Labor Day. College buddy Keith Cambre has sent me snaps of the beer tent (with him in it) for at LEAST the past 15 years, while extolling the virtues of the largest collection/variety of fried comestibles anywhere on the planet. Why should HE HAVE ALL THE FUN? And, there is RV Parking available adjacent to the fairgrounds!
  • The rest of September and early October are open at this point! This is Primo leaf-viewing time – and we are again thinking of maybe following Fall Southwards. Maybe we head a little North before we start that trip south – back to the UP? 
    Or, since it is after Labor Day and the Kiddies are back in school, maybe we go someplace that is normally crowded like Mount Rushmore and /or the Badlands in the Dakotas.
  • Oct. 9-12??? Houma, Louisiana.  One of our favorite musicians (Tab Benoit) has a music festival in Houma, Louisiana. RV Parking is free. Attendance is free. It’s a benefit for an organization called “Voice of the Wetland, so donations are encouraged. We might even go early and stay late an volunteer to help.
  • Oct. 16-18 Crescent City Blues Festival in NOLA?

So, there you have it! Our “Plans” for 2020!!! They are pretty loose, but NOT loose in a bad-burrito way! There are days and weeks where we have not a clue where (exactly) we will be. We SINCERELY HOPE that some of you, our dear friends, will see yourselves in our future (or, at least, in our path!) and will contact us so that we can bend our route and our dates to include intersection and degustation!

Hasta Luego – see you WHEN (not if) we see you on the road somewhere!

3 thoughts on “and…Plans for Year 4 (2020)!

  • What a plan. I am hesitant to plan that far ahead. Anita and I are in Pt. St. Joe Fl. For a couple months. We may try to connect with you on your way north in the spring. We can find you space in our park if you want to check out Petoskey mi. Lots to do and see in the northern lower peninsula of Michigan. I would also highly recommend the Lake Superior circle tour if you let you back into Canada. Beautiful scenery.

    • Pretty sure we did NOT burn any Canadian Bridges! And as we complete “The Circle” We will make a note of Petosky!! If for no other reason than to show you our Sonke-inspired kitchen renovation!!!

  • Dan and Liz,
    Once again, sorry we could not make the Birthday weekend for Liz. Would have been nice.

    The Vintage Birds Fall Rally and business meeting will be in Brunswick GA, October 26-31. I’m working on the flyer now, soon to be out. We will be at the Costal GA RV Resort. Seeing how you have reviewed the area already, you could make a great tour guide. Do you work for Beer? VB Rally is one week after the WOG Rally. Looking forward to seeing you both at the Muscoda Morel Mushroom Fest. Keep us posted about the EAA Air Show. We were there a couple of years ago and had a good time.

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