Today's the day. Getaway day. The Roadtrek is packed. The GPS is programmed and the blog is tracking us (see the map to the right) as we pull out of the driveway headed west.
Tonight, we'll stop at our son's house in Kalamazoo, MI and then set off Friday for the first stop in the Quad Cities at the KOA there near the Mississippi River and the Illinois-Iowa line. Thanks to the advance PR done by the Family Motor Coach Association, the Moline (IL) Dispatch and reporter Jack Cullen already ran a very nice story on this first of what will hopefully be many months on travel across North America.
We plugged the fridge in while we were loading the Roadtrek last night so it would be nice and cool as we pull out today. We also set up our new bedding. I did lots of surveys on Favebook and various forums about how other Roadtrek users set up their sleeping and, overwhelmingly, the response was that most Roadtrekers have it configured as two twins and leave it set up the whole trip. We've always set ours up each night as a king, and then take it down each morning for the couch configuration. Our 2006 Roadtrek doesn't have the automatic beds so setting it up each night was quite a wrestling match. Following the feedback from others, we decided to try the twin configuration. But since we will be having a lot of media doing videos of our Roadtrek, we want it to look good.
So we turned to Dennis at RVSuperbags. We ordered two designer bags, with 300 count cotton sheets, a quilt and pillow shams. The color matched our Roadtrek's decor perfectly. Now we can have the beds made and looking good for our visitors. The beds have a summer side and a winter side and are amazingly comfortable.
From the Quad Cities, we head to Sioux Falls, SD, then the Badlands, and then on to Billings, MT, staying in KOAs the whole way. From Billings we will head down to Yellowstone National Park and hopefully get lost in the wilderness for several days before meandering back east, ending up in Indianapolis at the bug FMCA convention Aug 27-30. While in the park, we'll be initially based out of West Yellowsone's Grizzly RV Park until we find that perfect campground in the park. I'm going to spend some time with workcamping RVers out there, who volunteer or get jobs in the park each season for a story on workcamping.
I'll be blogging daily with photos and videos of the stories and people we find along the way. I'll also be updating regularly from Twitter @RoadtrekingMike.
We expect to set off late this afternoon with one change of plans. Many of you know we've been debating about whether to take Tai, our 70-pound Norwegian Elkhound, on this trip. Because of the stringent pet restrictions at Yellowstone, we were debating whether he should come with us. That question was settled for us when he had some unexpected surgery last week. He's doing fine but since he needs to take it easy for a while, we're leaving him with our daughter and her family for some TLC.
We'll take Tai with us when we head to Tennessee and Georgia in September and New England in October.
I hope you follow our Open Mike adventures. As always, Jennifer and I welcome your comments and if you are anywhere near our locations over the next few weeks, we'd love to meet you.