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Washington Travel MagazineWashington Travel Magazine is our newest travel site. This premier edition has a Fort Vancouver history video article, horsepacking the Washington Cascades Pacific Crest Trail book excerpt, Experience WA Outdoors column featuring Bill Goodwin's Spring Fishing Southwest WA., and more. This site has been published using a new widescreen format that automatically fits your browser window size. Enjoy!

Psst... RV Baby Boomer. Over Here!

Let me guess. You are retiring —just as flower power Dennis Hopper suggests in a financial planning ad on the boob tube— to live a dream. Far out. Way cool. Groovy. Time for you and Bobby Magee to take a freedom of the road trip in your own RV magic bus. Right on.

Myself, having been born into the smallest generation of modern times —last of the "Great" depression, and a WWII newsreel survivors— know that out of a scarcity of 35¢ per hour female baby sitters, I sort of worked my way through grade school with a paper route, peddling Puck Magazine subscriptions, and changing baby boomer diapers. By the sixth grade my class of 23 was recruited to help lead 112 first graders out to recess, to the lunchroom, and to the new-fangled invention called a school bus.

So here I am, having lived part of my retirement dream as Dinah Shore used to sing, "See the USA, in a Chevrolet," full-time traveling, I find myself saying once again, "Hey guys. Line up to follow me."

When our escape from the ordinary odyssey took off in 2001 from Alaska we sort of “semi-retired” from dead tree magazine publishing and our advertising agency that had come to an end — being our number one client had been sucked up by a multi-national mega-corp, and the internationally respected TQM product brand name, destroyed.

Obviously the bitterness of seeing eight years of loving a hunk of steel —taking it from 19th in a field of 20, clear to number 1— worked it’s way into www.MotorHomeTraveler.com, which has sort of become stuck in the mud over my complaining about a manufacturer who sells a “unit” with a “bumper-to-bumper warranty,” on a Class A motorhome that has no bumpers.

Hopefully I can attract help in writing a way out for "Traveler," to honestly answer RV owners concerns in a Consumer Reports sort of way.  I also need to correct, with our new “RV” name, having overlooked that a good percentage of ‘fellow travelers’ don’t give a fig what rig Mortimer & Penelope Jones are driving.  

A depression born minimalist consumer, I also was genetically guided by a wondering star. My burden is following family tradition of being trailblazers of the Cumberland Gap, Natchez Trace, Santa Fe, Oregon Trail, Applegate, Chisholm, Chillcoot Pass (see www.AlaskaTravelMagazine.com), and the Pacific Crest Trail (www.SearchForAShadowOfThePast.com). Somebody’s got to lead the way, but again, I am asking for a little help (see www.E-TravelMagazines.com).

As we share this planet, and as a kid I don’t seem to remember over population being a problem (an estimated 55 million died in WWII, which also was an ecological disaster), I am also suggesting we all work on our downsized “carbon footprint,” living as nomadic RV fulltimers, existing on 75 gallons of water per week, and solar panel generated electricity. To avoid the assisted living facilities our stressed out children always seem to be talking about, escape by following scenic back roads, at a fuel saving 55-miles per hour, or less when possible. Our frequency of “changing the wallpaper in our living room,” has lessened to perhaps a full tank of gas per month to give us a range of 500-miles, doing 50 miles every third day.

For health reasons my wife and doctor have curtailed my ranting and raving to one subject that affects all of us— especially you, “numerous newbie’s.” In six years of travel we have experienced RV parks going from an average $18 per night to $28, and as high as $57 for a KOA in Cherokee, North Carolina. The view (which is why we travel in the first place) from most private RV parks, unfortunately, seems to be just average, so when we can, we opt for State, County, National Forest, BLM, or Native American campgrounds. As do the 60-percent of us that travel more than 3,000 miles per year.

What is scary, though, is that RV park timeshare presentations (stay three nights free, dinner included, for attending) have been preaching that the boomer wave will totally swamp a system locally regulated by PAC supported county commissioners. I have heard a number of very polished presenters cite that there is today only one commercial RV parking space available nationwide for every 79 motorhomes. Notice that harder to track "week-end" units were not included in this figure, nor the "gray area" year-round park models that take contribute to a scarcity where us transient RV people can park across the street for a night behind a motel, for less money, and have a room, hot water, and clean sheets thrown into the bargain.

Yes, there are some very well independently operated commercial places to stay —that we will support here — but expect some complaining on your behalf when pointing out bureaucrats taking away quasi-governmental RV camping opportunities without provision from actual paying users voicing a public opinion. Case in point is the Port of Kalama, Washington closing a Columbia River view park that we were going to use while updating our www.MtStHelens.net, and www.MtStHelens.com— web sites that would actually benefit the Kalama, Washington, Chamber of Commerce mission, or Cowlitz County Tourism Office's role in promoting, along with the Washington State Tourism Department motel/hotel (and RV park) room tax money, a pay to be in the "Awesome" brochure that shuts out private travel publications through unfair competition.

We also know the frustration of spending gallons not worth the effort visiting something advertised by Chamber of Commerce’s as truthfully being “Blah, blah, and blah,” or worse an "anti-Rv" attitude as our bad experience of being escorted out of the Alice, Texas, city owned RV park, by twice the number of "Texas rangers" it took when my cousins were establishing the Republic. 

Hence our attempt to suggest we know the way to live your dream of exploring the USA.  Take a look at our multimedia video previews of the Mendocino Coast of California, and the driving conditions overlooking the Southern Oregon Coast. We feel it well worth a gallon or two extra of high-priced fuel to go this way.

So here is the sales message of this web site. You already have a rig, patched together with what Alaska bush pilots call 100-mph tape (outsiders know it as homeland defense tape)? Then America The Beautiful awaits you. Come along.

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