I finally have a firm date of departure: February 14th. I can't think of a better way to spend Valentine's Day than to finally hit the road!
I'm supposed to get my motorhome back from the carpenter today. I'm not crossing my fingers because Eric has been delayed quite a bit due to illness and other problems. But I have given myself a little leeway...I made an appointment with the mechanic for Monday. The Guppy will probably be in the shop for a few days, then I can roadtest it before I actually leave Eugene.
I hope to be posting pics of the newly refurbished interior very soon. In the meantime, I have gone ahead and made some reservations for places I will be camping in California. I'm not quite ready to do any extensive boondocking yet...I'd like to get some experience camping where there are electrical hookups and so on until I have the confidence to go camp for free on Federal land. So I'll be staying at some resorts in the Coast to Coast network, some California State Parks, and a private RV park near Disneyland. I will have a few nights of boondocking along the way in order to gain some experience.
My itinerary is to head south on I-5 until I get to Sacramento, then go east to explore the California gold country for a few days. Then I'm going to Santa Cruz to meet some friends that I've known online for many years, then head slowly down the California Coast.
I'll be venturing into the greater L.A. area for a little while. I'll be spending a couple of days in the Long Beach/Huntington Beach area for some whale watching, then it's over to Anaheim to visit The California Adventure and Downtown Disney. After that I'm heading to Palm Springs for a couple of weeks. (Palm Springs is a great place for me to buy eBay inventory...scads of upscale thrift stores!)
In mid-March, I'll start my slow journey to the east, meandering my way across Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, in order to arrive at my pet-sitting gig in Atlanta by mid-May. Then the plan is to backtrack to New Orleans in June, where my kid will join me for a week when school gets out.
After that I'll take my time driving The Great River Road to Minnesota, where I grew up and most of my family still lives. I'll spend the summer there and then head back to the Pacific Northwest to regroup for a couple of months.
Now, about money...even with staying at a bunch of fancy-schmantzy resorts and top-dollar California State Beach campsites, and even paying for gas, my first month on the road should cost me less than it costs to live in a tiny rental cottage on an alley in Eugene, Oregon. That's because of my Coast-to-Coast membership, which allows me to stay at nice campgrounds for just $10 per night. I'll get a place to stay, electricity, and Internet for less than what it costs to stay home. When I get my courage up and spend more time boondocking, my cost of living will get even cheaper.