Posts Tagged ‘Pine Island’

“All things share the same breath – the beast, the tree, the man … the air shares its spirit with all the life it supports.” Chief Seattle

Travels With Maggie

If you want to see wood storks, Pine Island is the place to go. One of these, perhaps the same one, sat in the top of the tree that help shade my RV from the Florida sun. -- Photo by Pat Bean

I spent a month on Pine Island, exploring such nearby places as the west side of the Everglades, Audubon’s Corkscrew Sanctuary and Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, which were all wonderful places.

But if I wanted to see birds, which of course I always want to do, all I had to do was look out my RV window.

I was especially fond of the word storks that haunted the Dumpster area of the large RV park where I stayed. The also visited me and Maggie at our RV site.

Bean’s Pat: Ruthless Scribblings: 12 (and a half) rules for writing http://tinyurl.com/7bmd3d7 Some good things for writers to remember.

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Wood storks right out my RV was a common sight during the month my RV spent on Pine Island in Florida. -- Photo by Pat Bean

  “The real fun of traveling can only be got by one who is content to go as a comparatively poor man. In fact, it is not money which travel demands so much as leisure, and anyone with a small, fixed income can travel all the time.” Frank Tatchel, “The Happy Traveler,” 1923

The view from my RV's rear window at Cade County Park near Sturgis, Michigan. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Travels With Maggie

Several people have asked me lately, how I can afford my life on the road. My response is that the way I do it is probably cheaper than maintaining a house, for sure if you have a mortgage or pay rent.

I have a basic budget for food, entertainment, gas and lodging of $60 a day. It was $50 seven years ago, but both gas and RV park fees have increased since then.

A daily break down might be $30 RV park, $20 gas (My small RV gets 15 mpg and I don’t do long drives), and $10 food. I rarely eat out.

However, a week’s stay some where saves gas money for things like a trolley car tour, a bookstore purchase or museum fees. When my budget is strained, I simply sit more.

Staying at a state park that has RV hookups, which is my overnight lodging of choice, usually costs only about $20, which gives me some leeway for commercial parks that might charge $35 a night, and I’m running into more and more of these lately.

For safety reasons I don’t skimp on choosing a clean, populated, lighted park. An emergency overnight stop for me is a Wal-Mart parking lot, which I only have used one time in seven years, and that was to escape traveling in a sudden storm.

I didn’t choose my way of life to sit in a parking lot. I want a view and a place to hike.

A squirrel viewed from my RV when it was parked at my son's home in Lake Jackson, Texas. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Free winter parking at my kids’ homes, where I can usually hook up to their electricity, usually saves me enough to cover the cost of regular maintenance for my RV. The bonus here is that I get to spend time with loved ones.

In addition I’m serving as a campground host at an Idaho park for four months later this year, where in exchange for some part-time chores, I get a free campground site with a lake view and free utility hookups. The money I save during this time will be used for more on-the-road adventures.

Living in a 22-foot home (which I bought when I sold my home) where everything has a place, also means I save money simply by not buying things. It’s amazing how much money you can save this way, even on clothes when the space to store them is tightly limited. I basically live in pants, shorts, T-shirts and tennis shoes.

Not counted in this breakdown are my monthly expenses for health and vehicle insurance, and my phone and air card bill for my computer. I do all my money transactions on the computer, and thankfully have an angel of a daughter-in-law who forwards my mail for free.

Except for an occasional credit card bill to cover emergencies, I have no bills.

So there you have it. Frank Tatchel was right. It just takes a bit more money these days than I suspect he was talking about in 1923.

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