Tuesday, June 13, 2017

6 weeks on the road - MerVan vs. Christina Sea - time for an update...

Rollin', rollin', rollin' - it's been another three weeks out on the road!  We're having a wonderful time and a great experience crossing the country.  We've seen two of the Great Lakes that look like oceans to us! We've been through the Badlands and Black Hills of South Dakota, seen national monuments and museums - especially in Wyoming, seen beautiful rolling hills in Montana and have put Idaho particularly high on our "old folks" land home list (much to our surprise).

Rubber tires on pavement vs. water under the hull - it's very different!  There is definitely a convenience we're enjoying about being able to stop anywhere on the road and grab some groceries, eat in a restaurant, or just pull over to sleep...Walmarts and Cabela's are very kind to RVers.  I remember returning from the Bahamas last summer and walking into a Ft. Lauderdale Publix; it was like being a kid in a candy store - fresh everything and lots of people!

It's nice not to have to put the dinghy down, make sure it runs, fight the waves going ashore, find a safe place to leave the dinghy, then climbing out of the dink without getting too wet and walking to our adventure or nearest store for supplies.  With the MerVan, we just pull over and hop out - only worried about warm clothes and whether we need an umbrella or not.

Systems - RV vs. boat so far - on the one hand, Christina Sea requires much more preventative maintenance and her systems are more complex.  But the MerVan requires us to constantly monitor systems.  Planning is always a must!  We stop for fuel a couple of times a day when driving, finding and paying for campgrounds, finding and paying to dump the black water tank every few days and filling with water almost as often.

On the boat, we make our own water and can dump out in the ocean (at least three miles off shore), a tank of fuel (700 gallons) on the boat lasts us months, and we can throw out the hook (anchor) almost anywhere we like - for free.

Our mobility is much better in the MerVan, we're really enjoying hiking in the woods and getting out to be tourists.  However, there's nothing like coffee and cocktails with the dolphins and manatees everyday!

We'll probably be crossing into Canada in the next week or so...then on into Alaska - stay tuned...

Lake Superior - caught an eagle in flight - he had just finished eating his breakfast on the beach!

Lake Michigan - so clear and blue - reminds me of the Bahamas

Lake Michigan - top of the Dunes

Lake Superior - seagulls up here too!

Lake Superior - fishing boats very similar to Christina Sea

Michigan - waterfalls 

too cute...

Michigan - love all kinds of wildlife

Michigan waterfalls

Minnesota - three of George's brothers together with their families

South Dakota Badlands - Tatanka/bison/buffalo

South Dakota Badlands 

South Dakota - Custer State Park Stockade Lake

South Dakota Badlands

South Dakota - Mount Rushmore

...not the best view of a buffalo - guess we weren't interesting enough

So close - he was looking right at us

Prairie Dogs everywhere...period!

South Dakota Custer State Park

South Dakota Custer State Park

South Dakota - Pactola Reservoir

Wyoming Devils Tower - America's first national monument

Montana - Little Big Horn Battlefield - Custer's Last Stand
This was very moving and sad for us

Idaho Heyburn State Park

Idaho Heyburn State Park

Lake Michigan - check out the waves, just like the ocean

Michigan - Mackinac Bridge

South Dakota Badlands

South Dakota Badlands

South Dakota - George's niece and nephew and families

South Dakota Custer State Park - Alina drove up from Colorado

Idaho Heyburn State Park - Lady Moose! Coming down from a hike off a mountain, there she was in the woods!

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