Closing out 2021

Hopefully won’t do that again.

What a fascinating year. We started our Qubie adventures before we even dewinterized her by replacing the seat upholstery on the captains chairs. We got out to Jordan Lake in March, kickstarting a renewed enjoyment. Our summer plans for a GRAND TRIP to the National Parks for Julia’s last summer vacation before college got put on the backburner due to the fantastic opportunity she had to work full-time in a microbiology lab. We had and continue to have no regrets with that decision, as it was too good an opportunity to pass up and it really enriched her life and informed and reinforced much of her vision of the future.

Qubie the low rider with Liquid Springs

The week after Julia graduated high school Cat and I went on a whirlwind trip to Fayetteville Indiana to get our Liquid Springs CLASS suspension installed and visit Chicago while the install happened. We had a delightful trip and after many months and many trips we definitely feel the Liquid Springs decision was among the best we’ve made. Qubie is so much more comfortable to ride in and she now drives with such poise and stability.

At the Woodford distillery

Given how busy the summer was for everyone we found ourselves at the end of our summer before we knew it. We had a challenging, emotional weekend dropping off Julia at her college. Empty nesters! I don’t know that either of us were ready for that, but that’s life as a parent. We returned home for a few days then packed Qubie up with our kitties and aquatic turtle (don’t ask) and made our way to Kentucky to tour the Bourbon Trail for a damned-near three week empty nester extravaganza. Honestly, that trip was such a joy in every way. Sure, we missed Julia but we got to be primarily spouses again after being mostly parents for the preceding 18 years. It was a blast.

That trip also ended up inspiring a move we haven’t really discussed much but that pretty much set the tone for us and our plans for Julia’s college years. We’d been thinking that we would take more and longer trips, see more of the country, all of that “not-quite-full-timer” thing. Once we actually reached that time we started rethinking many things.

  • May sound like helicopter parenting but we didn’t really want to be across the country from Julia very much. We haven’t used our proximity often, but we’ve done a couple of visits, planned and impromptu. It’s nice that we can be there in just over 2 hours if we need to. Hopefully we won’t, but for us it’s a factor.
  • I’m working full-time and Cat is effectively doing so too. That makes travel during the week challenging so we’d likely lean to traveling between places on the weekend… which means my leisure time would now be primarily spent driving.
  • Given the work thing we need reliable high speed internet. Doing that in an RV is pricey, dicey, and often unreliable. It’s not an option to not have it, I can’t work. So what happens if I arrive at a place and I’ve got nothing? We’d have to relocate which is never fun.
  • RV travel has grown increasingly popular. Finding sites to stay at places is getting more and more challenging, often requiring booking well in advance. Combine that with the internet thing and it could get quite stressful.
  • Traveling is expensive. Gas is a considerable expense for moving between places and everywhere you stay you’re paying for aside from perhaps overnight stops on travel days at Harvest Hosts or the like. Qubie isn’t set up well for dry camping so we’d have to invest pretty heavily (in, say, solar and more batteries) to get her to a point where that would be viable.

So… what now? Our final stay on our empty nester trip was back to Deer Creek Motorcoach Resort, where we’d stayed a few times previously. We had another wonderful stay and this time we realized that a lot at DCMR was a move that just made a ton of sense for a “home away from home”.

  • We’re still within range of Julia.
  • We can easily go whenever we want.
  • We have our own high speed internet connection.
  • It’s our place, we can use it whenever we want.
  • In terms of cost we still have to get Qubie there and back obviously, but then we can stay as long as we want with full hookups. But a new benefit is that when we’re not using the lot we can rent it out to offset the costs. So our money isn’t just tossed down the rental hole.
Our lot at DCMR

It’s always a peaceful, lovely place even in rainy weather with the farm view. We can have friends (or Julia) visit and stay in the furnished cabin. We have the New River Trail trailhead 15 minutes away for wonderful running and biking trails. There’s a lot to do that we haven’t even explored yet. We even have friends who own a lot there too!

So yes, we bought a lot at Deer Creek.

That does have a bit of an odd impact on Shallow Roots. I’d intended the vlog to be about our travels around the country. But that only works if we’re, you know, traveling around the country. But trips to DCMR or Jordan Lake just doesn’t provide a lot of opportunity for content. It doesn’t help that we’re just not vloggers. We don’t enjoy documenting our every waking moment, we’re too private. We never really think about it. I recorded some on the Bourbon Trail and began editing the vlog… but I just couldn’t generate the care. So I doubt we’ll do much of that.

Putting Qubie to bed for the winter

This weekend I put Qubie to bed. Got her oil changed in the engine and generator, got her winterized, got everything dumped, and away we go. She’s sitting at just over 21,000 miles and about 540 hours of generator time (plenty of exercise!). Cat and I both marvel at how well Qubie performed for us this year. We had one brief glitch sometime this year when one of the (Schwintek) slides went out of sync that was easily and rapidly corrected with the resync procedure. That’s it. It’s been a pretty consistent message from this blog: Qubie is just a solid workhorse. I know that could change tomorrow, and I know that systems age and start failing. But that’s life. I just really appreciate how easy it’s been with Qubie. We go get her from storage, pack her up, drive her to our destination, level, fling out the slides, enjoy our time, reverse everything and go to the next place. And she just does it.

Thanks for another great year Qubie! Rest up, next year will be fun.

One Comment on “Closing out 2021

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: