NOTE TO NEW READERS:
This travel blog currently offers 92 journal letters. They appear on two different web sites:
From May 2007 to May 2008, 55 letters can be read. Click on this link: http://www.CuteSmallDogs.com/Pages/Bus/LetterContents.html
From May 2008 to Present the letters continue on this web site. Click on Letter Archives in the tool bar above or click here Letter Archives to see the full list of posted letters. On every letter page there is a link that makes it possible to navigate back and forth between the letters on Cute Small Dogs and Letter Archives in Letters From A Bus.
There are chronological gaps where I have had technical difficulties and was unable to post my letters. There are gaps between June and October of 2008. The letters pick up in November 2008 with letter #105 and continue through March 2009 with letter #125. In April I had a very serious difficulty that was never resolved for the remainder of 2009. During that time we traveled along the eastern seaboard from Florida to Maine and back again.
Currently we are back in California where I was able to get the technical problems fixed. Now I am once again able to post to my web site. In the months ahead, I will endeavor to fill in the missing journal letters.
Welcome to Letters From A Bus. ~Elsa. 04/20/10
Read Last Posted Letter
Monday, April 19, 2010
Maple Leaf RV Park, Morgan Hill, CA
Life in Morgan Hill
Tuesday, March 16. Our Honda CR-V gets bashed in a parking lot.
I’m always wary about being in a traffic accident but it never occurred to me that my car would be attacked in the parking lot at Dinah’s while I had lunch with friends. But that’s what happened. I came up to Palo Alto for a 1:30 pm dental hygiene appointment at Foothill College. I arranged to meet Dona and Joann for lunch at Dinah’s at 11:00 am. It was our first warm day and the first day we’d been able to sit at an outdoor table. We enjoyed our sense of springtime while we caught up on our news over lunch.
At 12:30 pm when we walked out to our cars, I found the front of my Honda demolished. I was pulled up facing the sidewalk that borders the Trader Vic Restaurant at it’s eastern exposure. Parked on the corner next to an end cap island I had the protection of a huge cedar tree planted in the island. How could anyone hit the front of my car? The cars parked in my row face west.
Parking spaces on the other side of the island face north and are on a 90° angle to the spaces where I was parked. They also pull up to the sidewalk that borders Trader Vic at its southern exposure.
A woman entered the parking lot traveling east and she intended to make a 90° left turn to park. She missed. She pulled in on an obtuse angle headed straight towards the front of my car. She hopped the curb so that her front wheels were up on the sidewalk when she hit high on the front hood of the Honda, well above the fender. (No, it wasn’t a Toyota. She was driving a Ford Taurus.) ...read more...
Best Letters From A Bus (April 2008
Top Four: Travel Blog Blues
Dateline, Monday, May 21, 2007, Hunstville, AL.
UNDER HOUSE ARREST. Margot and Rudi Walton accused of Grand Theft Auto and Willful Property Damage. Half brother and sister worked in tandem to drive truck. Two small dogs, each weighing less than thirteen pounds, are being held for questioning after they hijacked a Ford 250 turbo diesel pickup truck from their ow ners, Elsa and Dennis Walton
. ...read more....
We Drive to the Birthplace of our Allegro Bus, July 2, 2007, Red Bay, AL. On our first long trek we struggle to locate campground entrances on narrow roads while negotiating our 62' length and pulling a tow car. We learn about campground sites that are not level. Elsa looks up a high school classmate and we explore Dahlonega, a gold town in Georgia. We lose our windshield wipers in a heavy rain downpour on the freeways of Birmingham, AL and discover a haven in a Wal*Mart parking lot. ...read more....
Technical Problems on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 26, 2007, Santa Fe, NM. We explore the downtown plaza of Santa Fe and enjoyed visiting with friends. At 5:30 AM on Thanksgiving morning it was 45° inside the bus and 23° outside. This is when we discovered that we had no heat. We celebrated Thanksgiving in a warm home but the next day in our bus we woke up to snow outside and a very cold interior. We had to wait until Monday to fix the problem. ...read more....
Run of Bad Luck, Dec. 10, 2007, Las Cruces, NM. We set out to do some Christmas shopping in Las Cruces and suffer a traffic accident in our Honda. We move to El Paso where we collect damage estimates for insurance. We enjoy Cattleman's Restaurant at Indian Wells and dislike our visit to Juarez, Mexico. ...read more....
Top Six: Travel Blog Red Letter Days
We Move Into Our New Bus, May 17, 2007, Huntsville, AL. We take possession of our new home and learn how to take care of it. ...read more....
Florida Tourists, June 24, 2007, St. Augustine, FL. While visiting with my brother and his wife, we tour Cape Kennedy, the St. Augustine Lighthouse, and the Aligator Farm. We walk on the white beaches and hang out to watch sunset on the dock. ...read more....
Bus Improvements, July 16, 2007, Red Bay, AL. At the Allegro Campground we have warrenty work done by Spartan, apply a Diamond Shield to the bus cap, and hire a Tiffin employee to do custom cabinet work on the interior of our bus for greater storage space. ...read more....
We Visit Memphis, St. Louis and Kansas City, July 23, 2007, Kansas City, KS. We stop in Memphis to see the Riverwalk, visit Graceland, and tour Chucalissa. In St. Louis we spend a day at the Riverfront Gateway Arch. Then we drive to Kansas to visit my cousins. ...read more....
Revisiting Eugene and Exploring Ashland, September 3, 2007, Ashland, OR. I explored the town and campus at my alma mater, University of Oregon in Eugene and hooked up with a sorority sister. At Emigrant Lake in Ashland we hid out and rested over the Labor Day weekend. ...read more....
Discovering Las Cruces, December 1, 2007, Las Cruces, NM. We relax at Sunny Acres RV Park, discover the old town of La Masilla and enjoy dinner at La Posta. We learn about the Chihuahua Desert, tour the White Sands Missle Range Park and Museum and discover the incredible gypsum dune field at White Sands National Monument. ...read more....
01 Bryce National Park,
02 Cape Canaveral: Then & Now Tour,
03 Glacier National Park
04. White Sands
05. Zion National Park
Learn More About the Letter Writer
is an RV
travel blog —
my travel journal,
We joined the fulltime RV lifestyle a year ago in May 2007. After we decided on a diesel pusher, we looked at Tiffin Motorhomes and ordered an '07 Allegro Bus. Now we live in a beautiful 42' coach with tag axles. Despite fuel prices, we've logged more than 9000 miles and crossed the country from coast to coast. As we traveled, we began to accumulate knowledge in the ways of RV camping, RV parks and RV resorts. And from day one, we began to collect stories about our experiences on the road.
Of course our friends and relatives wanted us to keep them posted on our activities. I've always been a letter writer and I've always kept journals so it came naturally for me to begin a blog about our RV travels.
What's around the next bend, kept me going as a backpacker. What's over the horizon, motivates our current gypsy way of life. We are still new to this way of life and curiosity put us on the road. We want to see as much of the North American continent as possible. That's a lot of territory to cover! Where to and when are the big choices for us now....
—Elsa Walton, 6/1/08
Learn More About Bus Occupants
Enjoy yourself, it's later than you think
In February 2006 we began to talk about making a major life style change. After participating in a one-year clinical trial Dennis seemed to have escaped the dire predictions of stage 4 cancer from metastasized melanoma. We had a second chance.
Dennis is a masonry contractor. He owns his own business and in many ways it ran his life. But the message was clear and the old song rang in our heads. "Enjoy yourself, it's later than you think." Dennis retired and we decided we were free to move about the country.
It is extremely difficult to sacrifice the known and concrete contentment of one life for the unknown and abstract promised pleasures of a new way. Although we are acquainted with car camping and backpacking we've never spent so much as one day in an RV. We planned to become "fulltimers" with no prior RV trips. Nevertheless, we let go of our house, sold our garden and household goods, packed our Ford 250, loaded our two dogs, Rudi and Margot, and drove to Huntsville, AL to pick up our new motorhome and start our new life.
We will always miss our home and garden and all our family and friends. But we have the wonderful luxury of a home on wheels and the promise of something new to discover around each bend.
This is our new lease on life. It is a much less complicated life than we formerly led. This past year our main responsibility has been to learn to manage and maintain the bus. Otherwise, life is much easier and less stressful. For the first time in his life Dennis is free to get away and see the country. And for the first time we are both free to take it easy and not hurry. Life is good.... about us
Our nuisance "grandkids" travel with us. Actually, they are Cotons de Tulear. Left is Margot, 3 years, and right is Rudi, 5 years. Rudi's father, Cesar, is Margot's grandfather, so they are related.
Our Favorite RV Parks
May 2007 - September 2008
01. Cherokee Springs Golf & RV, Hatch, UT
02. Cherry Creek State Park, Aurora, CO
03. Cocopah RV Resort, Yuma, AZ
04. Conestoga Campground, White Sulphur Springs, MT
05. Glacier Meadows RV Park, Essex, MTt
06. Jim & Mary’s RV Park, Missoula, MT
07. Nat-Soo-Pah Hot Springs, Hollister, ID
08. Santa Fe Skies RV Park, Santa Fe, NM
09. Space-Rocket RV Park, Huntsville, AL
10. Sunny Acres RV Park, Las Cruces, NM
01. Cherokee Springs, Hatch, UT (View from hills looking down on Pro Shop.)
07. Nat-Soo-Pah Hot Springs, Hollister, ID