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A long time ago, I was a child. (I started out as Cathy First from Colon, Mi.) For the past several years I’ve been an adult. A lot of things went on between those two stages of life; probably no more or no less than anyone elses. My husband and I moved to “da U .P” from southern Lower Michigan several years ago (yes we were trolls at one time). We owned and operated and operate Clementz’s Northcountry Campground and Cabins just north of Newberry, Michigan until May 2015. We have grown kids and grandkids (who all live downstate). My passion is life and all that Nature has to offer us and trying to photograph it in unique ways. Our intention in life is to see all that Nature has to offer us. We hope that you will be a part of our adventures as we cruise through our lives together. Come back often!

Thursday, September 20, 2007


A lot of people have asked Dan and me just what we plan on doing when we sell our business and “retire”. Dan is not one to “retire”. He will always find something to do. Winter’s drive him nuts when he has the plowing all done or he isn’t out grooming. When boredom hits him between the eyes in the winter time, he helps me bake cookies….then proceeds to eat them gleefully….which I wouldn’t mind but then the next day we have to do it all over again! Truthfully, he isn’t THAT bad with cookies but I think he would be if I let him!

Anyway, in all probability we will become full timers, meaning full time RV’ers. Our choice of a motor home is going to be a Class A diesel pusher, preferably with two slides and some of the extras. We are not extravagant people so there is a LOT of things that we would not need (or necessarily want) that come with some of the Class A’s. It is a good thing we have started discussing this NOW because we have butted heads over it already! Not so much over the choice of motor home as the choice of toad (tow vehicle). I am a person who is very conscious about gas mileage. Let’s face it, with a moho, you are lucky to get 9-11 MPG, then to add on a toad you will cut that down even more (or should I say less??). THAT is where we are having heated discussions. We WILL need that 2nd mode of transportation. I want something light weight but with enough room to store more “stuff”. And there are only certain types of vehicles that you can tow behind a moho (that is unless you want to render that vehicle useless eventually). We’ve been looking at the dinghy guides (another word for a toad), the ratings for various vehicles, etc. MY perfect choice of vehicle will be one that you can tow at speeds of 65 MPH indefinitely (instead of 55 MPH for 200 miles, then give it a 15-20 minute rest). Because of Dan’s knee issues, I would prefer an automatic, but he feels he can handle a standard so that part is up in the air yet. I want a lighter weight toad, that has some storage space and that gets good mileage. Dan would like to haul around a Ford F250 crew cab. We both have agreed that whatever we get, we will need to be able to put a hitch on the rear of it in case there are times we want to go tent camping instead of using the moho. The reason we need the hitch is because of a “cargo carrier” that we put on the rear of our vehicles and it requires a Reese hitch. To that cargo carrier, we add a lockable tool box. We can store all our camping gear (and a lot more) in that box. So, it is a good thing we have started all this “discussing” NOW. We’ve probably got a whole bunch of time to get this figured out, but at the rate we are going, we’re gonna need that time!

So, let’s assume we have our perfect moho and toad…we’ve hit the road. What will we do to help with our endeavor financially??? There always seems to be a need for camp hosts or workkampers at parks. Considering we’ve owned and operated our park for 15 years, I think we have the experience to qualify. A lot of these places you can work 10-15 hours per week in exchange for your campsite and a little $$ to boot.

And when we are able to do this, we will have so much STUFF to get rid off! You don’t realize how much stuff you have until you start thinking about this type of a lifestyle. How much call for our bows and arrows will we have if we do this?? Or my big bread maker or by huge mixer?? There won’t be room for some of the stuff we would like to keep, but these are choices we will have to make. And then there is the problem of receiving your mail. There are mail forwarding services but then there is always a relative that hopefully would act as your address and forward mail to you when you light someplace long enough.

And we would have to buy a notebook computer so we could be wireless, travel and keep in touch.

And if our dogs are still living when we do this, they will be going with us, but what happens if we have to have one or both “put down” while we are living this lifestyle? We would probably have the pet cremated so we could return Nick or Chewy to the U.P once we came back this way. We couldn’t just leave them behind in some strange town.

Then there are OUR medical needs, which fortunately don’t amount to much (knock on wood). We’d have to carry our medical files with us. BOY THERE IS A LOT TO THINK ABOUT! I suppose once ya get all this stuff sorted out and behind you, the rest of being a full timer has to be a piece of cake! RIGHT??? If any of you are fulltimer’s and have any hints, we’re all ears!

As I said, we’ve got lots of time to research all of this. We figure it will take a couple of years if not longer for our park to sell…all of which gets Dan closer to age 65 and SS! And maybe by then we’ll have this all figured out!


  1. Cathy...Don't forget to leave room your NEW digital camera in the RV! :)

  2. ES, THAT is a given! IT will be part of my body, like an extra arm with an eye!


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