An Interesting Mix In Year Six

Wow! Can we really be coming to the end of our sixth year on the road? We don’t feel we’ve even scratched the surface of things to do and see!

From May 2017-May 2018 we covered many miles as you can see in our route map below. We almost made a spoon shape route. We went from the Rockies to the Atlantic coast to the Great Lakes while juggling health and RV repair issues. Challenges… yes. Adventure galore! Drop dead gorgeous scenery… you bet! Good eats … mmmmm.

We are starting a new composite map for years 6-10 as continuing to layer our routes would make it unreadable. However just for fun we’ll post a composite so you can see what 180,000 miles looks like.

Join us for Year Seven as we explore summer in northern Minnesota, head back to Indiana for (we hope) our last major repairs and on to a glorious winter in Arizona. See you on the road!


Our 6th Year On The Road


Composite Of Our First Six Years

Our Segway Adventure At Bonaventure

On Chari’s Top 5 list for 2013 was to ride a Segway. Ok, check that one off the list. Well, not really off the list. As with so many of our fun things, once we’ve tried them we can’t wait to do them again. The Segway falls into this category. Looks like our Bucket List is more like a loop than a list. Too bad these fun machines are over $6,000 or we’d be out looking for them. But then we already have lots of toys strapped to our RV (which I’ve named Dream Chaser) so a ride now and then will have to do.

Segway, Bonaventure cemetery

Our Bonaventure Segway Tour

We scheduled our tour with Segway of Savannah after picking up a flyer at the Savannah Visitors Center. Their new location is just across MLK Blvd. in the Old South Trolley Tour parking lot. They offer tours of the historic district (60 minutes for $65) and Bonaventure Cemetery (90 minutes for $75). Reservations do need to be made a day ahead and there are age and weight restrictions (see website or brochure). This would be our splurge for this stop. Hey, you can’t take it with you even though a lot of people try! I’d rather collect memories than something I have to dust. 

There were four of us taking the tour today. The other couple was from Detroit and about our age. We met our tour guide, Tess, at the cemetery parking lot after watching a safety video and signing waivers. After watching the video my palms were a bit moist and my adrenaline surging from a combination of excitement mixed with a dose of fear. Part of me felt like the Little Engine That Could as I said “You can do this, I know you can”. The moment had arrived. Tess held the handle bars as I stepped up and felt the machine purr. Slowly, ever so slowly , I leaned forward so the weight transferred to my toes and off I went at a snail’s pace with Tess walking along side. Then she said “OK, now turn”. The Segway turns in a very tight radius by touching the handle right or left. We were instructed to NEVER lean on the handle. Around to the left. Now back to the right. This wasn’t going to be that hard. Actually the hardest part isn’t the going but learning to control the stopping and standing still. When moving along with weight forward you gently shift  your weight back onto your heels to slow down or stop. When standing still you need to keep still. even the smallest movement causes the machine to “rock” a bit. If by any chance you shift your weight too far to the rear the Segway will start backwards. More about that later… After about ten minutes of practice we were off to see one of the most beautiful Victorian era cemeteries in the country.

Segway, Savannah

Steve Learns To Operate The Segway

Segway, Savannah

Segway Training Session

Bonaventure Cemetery leapt onto the literary stage in the best selling novel Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil.  However, the story starts long before that. For safety reasons no photographs are allowed while riding the Segway so we only have a few photos to share. We refer you to the Bonaventure Historical Society website for additional details and a virtual tour. There was a wooden plantation home called Bonaventure (French for good luck) built on the site in 1771. A family burial plot was located here  and was the beginning of the cemetery. The two original owners were loyal to England during the Revolutionary War and their property was seized and sold. After the war the Tatanall family returned and repurchased the property. It remained in the family until 1846. The next owner developed part of the property for use as a cemetery called Evergreen Cemetery of Bonaventure. It was a public cemetery and became “the place” to be buried during the Victorian era when burial rituals became formalized and memorials not only spoke of the deceased’s deeds but of social status and wealth. Tess was a most informative and humorous guide. We’d pause at various places and she would tell us stories or explain the significance of various statues. Prior to the Victorian era for instance coffins were reused. Once enough time had passed the bones were removed and left at the gravesite and the coffin recycled. Then embalming began to be used and graves became personalized. To be interred at Bonaventure was so desirable that many wealthy families moved loved ones from downtown Savannah cemeteries to Bonaventure. During the Civil War when money was scarce very simple markers were used. As wealth returned, elaborate sculptures became common. Many of the sculptures were done by John Waltz. His sense of detail and of humanity make these works of art meaningful today. One of the most popular is of a young girl named Gracie. Her parents had a photograph taken of her just days before she died from pneumonia. Her grieving father took the photo to John Waltz and the memorial captures a child-like innocence and beauty. The tree stump symbolizes a life cut short, the bud a life just begun and the palm branch peace. Oddly enough his own grave has no sculpture to mark it. Many notables are buried here including songwriter Johnny Mercer and poet Conrad Aiken. It was Aiken who brought Emily Dickenson’s poetry to light and she is now much more well known than he. The city of Savannah bought the cemetery in 1907 and it is still an active cemetery today.

Bonaventure cemetery, John Walz

A John Walz Sculpture

Bonaventure cemetery, Savannah


One of the things that surprised us was how much you use the smaller muscles of your feet and legs on the Segway. It’s not uncommon for the constant use to cause decreased blood flow to the feet. So we took a few breaks off of the Segways to walk around. After one of the breaks I climbed back on the Segway but must not have gotten my feet quite far enough forward. Instead of rolling forward, I began going backward. Fortunately the man behind me put out his hand to stop me. A slight shift forward and I was balanced and headed in the right direction. From there on I made sure to step well forward when getting on and had no further problems. Our units were supplied with all terrain tires which we needed for the dirt roads and tree roots. As we moved along our confidence increased and we kept a reasonable pace. At the end Tess took us about 3/4 of a mile down a side road where we could “open them up”. She asked if we felt like we were twelve years old. I replied, “mentally at least”. The road led to another cemetery where the grave of Danny, the murdered assistant, from Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil is located. Tess said the book is 90% true and 10% fiction. She said the fun is to find the 10%. For example in the end both Danny and Williams are buried at Bonaventure. In fact neither one of them is there. It’s been a long time since I saw the movie and Steve never has so we’ve put it on our Netflix list.


Grave From “Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil”

Our hour and a half tour went by so fast. We’d love to come back and do a walking tour or just take photos. If you’ve ever wanted to try a Segway, we highly recommend this tour. Our second childhood is great especially on days like this one.

Segway, tour

Steve and Chari On Their Segways

What A Year, What A Year!!!

We can’t imagine a year more exciting, challenging, draining and life altering than 2012. What could 2013 offer? We don’t know and that’s what keeps us on the move as we seek new places, new adventures and check off a bucket list item or two.

I’m not going to call them New Years Resolutions that way I can’t break them. I’ll call them goals instead.

Here are Chari’s Top 5 For 2013:

1) I want to develop our blog to be more user friendly, add new features and reach 5000 views. In 2012 after just 6 months the blog has 21 followers and reached 1188 views. Now that’s nothing compared to some of the top rated blogs but we appreciate each and everyone who has taken an interest in Homeless and Loving It!

2) I want to ride a Segway on a tour in some city or other place. I’ve wanted to do this for a long time and now it’s finally reached the top 5. 

3) I want to take a sailboat day trip. I’ve been on big ships and small boats. I’ve kayaked and canoed but I’ve never been on a sailboat.

4) I want to continue seeing  National Park sites toward our goal of seeing them all. I haven’t counted recently but I think we are at 60 out of 391. What are the chances of reaching 25% next year? That means 38 more places. Mmmm, a tough one. It’s not the count that matters but the fun and learning along the way.

5) See a moose in the wild when I have my camera with me. Two years ago I was kayaking in Idaho when I rounded a bend and came within 100 feet of a cow moose and her calf. I stopped and said “I won’t hurt you” meaning and I hope you won’t hurt me. She just looked, decided I didn’t need further investigation and walked away with the calf in tow. To this day I consider this the best wildlife shot I could have had, the one that got away.

Here’s Steve’s Top 5 For 2013

1-  I want an adventure.  Something I’ve never done before.  2012 saw two, flying in a hot air balloon, and flying in a sailplane.  Don’t know what this new adventure will be, just know that I want one!

2-  Just recently we’ve eaten a couple of meals that place first and second on my all-time favorites.  One was Emeril’s recipe for Shrimp and Grits, which we made with fresh caught Gulf Shrimp.  The other was our own recipe for Cajun style baked oysters.  Don’t know which one places first and which one second, it may be a tie, but at some point in 2013 I want to make and eat a meal that pushes them to second and third place!

3-  I want a “National Geographic Moment”.  I’ve experienced a few in my life, and Chari has had some.  One of mine was being so close to Northern Right Whales in the Bay of Fundy that when they spouted, I got wet.  Another was being on the fifty-yard line watching while two bull elk locked horns in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado.  Chari and I watched enthralled as the bats flew in their hundreds of thousands from Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico and wound their way to the horizon in the twilight sky.  I’d like another “National Geographic Moment”.

4-  I want to experience a moment of pure wonder and serenity.  Once, I sat under a pine tree at the Grand Canyon, in the midst of winter, when the only other person in sight was my brother, who also sat under a pine tree about a quarter of a mile away, and watched while the canyon slowly changed colors as the evening sun sank into the western sky.  Another was sitting on the beach near the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse watching as the morning sun rose to my left, a thunderstorm raged to my right about a mile or so offshore, and a pod of porpoises played in front of me.  And watching a fantastic display of the Northern Lights while driving alone through the night across North Dakota was another.  I’d like to experience this feeling again.

5-  I’d like my life of wandering with Chari to go on forever.

Here’s Opal’s Top 5 For 2013

1-    I want to actually catch a squirrel.

2-    I want to run and roll in the sand on 10,000 more beaches.

3-    I want Mom and Dad to take me everywhere and not leave me in the stinkin’ trailer.

4-    I want “people food” with every meal.

5-    Just once, I want to be left alone after I’ve fallen asleep for the evening instead of getting woke up to go out and pee.