Wednesday, March 23, 2016

"Boatless In Alabama"

Well, sure enough we sold "Help Me Rhonda" and I hope you were sitting down for that.  It is the first time we have been boatless since our first major purchase as newlyweds - yes, a boat, followed by many more over the last 39 years!

The new owners are a wonderful couple from Shreveport, LA.  They are keeping the boat on the Tennessee River to get familiar with her and then hope to begin the Great Loop Cruise in the fall. They are avid boaters and race sailboats, but this is their first large powerboat/trawler.  We certainly wish them well and look forward to following their travels.  We asked them what the boat's new name will be, and they said they may keep it as "Help Me Rhonda" but they have some other possibilities also. We think it's an interesting coincidence that their current home and our first home after we were married is the same - Shreveport, LA.  It was there that we bought that first boat and now our last boat will eventually return there, sort of a "full-circle" kind of story, don't you think?

In any event, we said goodbye to a wonderful boat and lots of great memories!  Here she is at her new temporary home about 35 miles from here.  Sure gonna miss her.

Time to move on though, can't dwell in the past.  Things to do, places to go, people to see.  So, we have been busy making new plans.  As many of you know, I started riding motorcycles again last year after a 40-year hiatus while we had our kids and raised a family.  I was not sure just how much I would ride now, so I started out with a Yamaha since my last bike was a 1972 Yamaha 650 "back in the day."  Ah, the memories........

My "return-to-riding" bike was a Yamaha 950 V-Star Tourer and I got very involved with a new FAITH Riders motorcycle ministry at our church.  I rode a lot more miles than anticipated.

After a few months I upgraded to a Yamaha V-Star 1300 Deluxe, and by the end of the first year of riding had accumulated 9750 miles.  Here she is on a 3-day run through the NC mountains last fall.

I have now finally settled on my first Harley Davidson, a 2016 Road Glide Special, which should be my last bike - I am getting old you know!  I even bought a 7-year unlimited miles warranty if I can last that long.  That will get me to around 70-ish!  (Wow, that sounds like a lot.)  But we have 2 guys in our FAITH Riders group who are still riding at age 74, so I hope to be part of that elite group. By the way, this is one fine machine and I am really enjoying it.  My favorite things compared to the Yamahas are 6th gear, cruise control, the extra weight which makes for a more stable ride, and I have to admit, the Harleys sound nice!

But there's more!  Rhonda and I have traveled about all there is to travel from the Mississippi River east, plus Oklahoma and Texas, and a lot of that by boat as you know if you have read this blog.  So, since Rhonda is getting older with me (sorry darling, but it's true) and we don't want to wait TOO MUCH LONGER (just in case), we have decided to buy an RV and hit the road to see the rest of this great country.  So, here she is, a 2016 Grand Design Momentum 397 TH (Toy Hauler).

We have never owned an RV before and spent the last 2 months researching that whole new world which we knew absolutely nothing about.  With so much great motorcycle riding to be done west of the Mississippi River, we decided the toy hauler would be perfect.  The back door below drops down and makes a ramp so the Harley can roll up into a 12-foot "garage" - pretty cool.  

We find it interesting that RVers do not name their RVs like boaters do.  We may start a new trend, so what do you think about  "Boatless" for her?  (I assume RVs are "hers" like boats).  If not, she could always be another "Help Me Rhonda."

We have no idea what we are doing, but we think we are still pretty fast learners.  We hope to make our shakedown cruise (I mean shakedown road trip, forgot it's not a boat) soon and are tentatively planning a trip to Jacksonville, FL to see Rhonda's family before we head west.  We really have NO PLANS other than we need to be back here by September, and that is the other big news!  

Scott and Rachel are expecting their first child and our fourth grandchild on September 12th!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  It did not take them long, like 2 months after the wedding in October, to get this baby on the way.  We are very excited for them, us, and this new life who will be blessed with great parents, a Christian home, and wonderful opportunities.  Here is a picture of the next addition to the family at 12 weeks.  Sorry, you will have to wait for the gender reveal party in April to hear that detail.

Speaking of the wedding, I was not updating the blog at the time and never got a chance to post the latest family picture. Adam has added quite a beard, the first 3 grandkids are really growing up fast and are excited about having a cousin, Scott and Rachel are very happy and clearly understand the "how to make babies" thing, and Rhonda and I are off on a new adventure.  God has really blessed us.  We thank Him and look forward to the times ahead and making many more great memories.

We will keep you posted on how this RV thing is going.  Many of you followed our boat travels with this blog and we hope you will join us again as we put some road miles behind us.

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