It’s the dead of winter, 2016….not cold enough for an impressive snow and not warm enough to go outside without layers and layers. The neighbors, who ‘snowbird’, are long gone to warmer climates. The dog is getting fat….. I am wondering what a snowbird lifestyle is like.
“Do you think we could be Snowbirds?” I ask my adorable wife.
“But we just had a week’s vacation in Arizona!” my wife reminds me. “It was sunny”.
“But I am thinking longer…2 weeks or a month?” I lamented. “We just need to find the sun….okay, to be perfectly honest, I need to find some sun”.
Allow me to digress…. Last February, during an endlessly dark, cloudy winter, I threatened to sell the house and go find somewhere where the sun shown at least once in the winter. Move to Arizona, or New Mexico, or, I don’t know….Idaho? Smiling at me, she made some tea and snuggled up on the couch, curling her legs under her as she sat by the fire. We discussed the issue…..
“What if…”, I started.
“Oh no, not again…. No I am not moving! Get it out of your head. I love this house….no stop”, she said.
” But wait, I read where Lake Chelan has 300 days of sun. Housing is less and I bet living is less too. We can stash the trailer at our daughter’s house and go back and forth…how about that?” I asked
“But, what if we sold and reinvested some of the proceeds and bought a less expensive house in Arizona?” I asked.
“Think of the outdoor activities, the snow, the sun, the hiking, lakes, bicycling….” I said
“What do you want for dinner?”, she expertly changed the subject.
So, as all good, loving, dedicated marriages go, we made an agreement. I agreed to not talk about selling and moving for 5 years…she was done with that crazy talk. And in return, she agreed to ‘go find the sun’ during winter. Somewhere warm, somewhere that isn’t always wet.
Deal! I started doing proper research using forums, chat rooms, internet searches, etc. I posted a question to the Airstream Forum (AirForums…a great site!) and asked…”where do you go, in the winter, to find that 5-star hotel experience in an RV”? You know, with pools, dog parks, amenities galore, near a decent town but clean, with big sites. And in response, I was told about secret RV resorts that were only touted mouth to mouth. One that was repeated a few times was ‘The Springs at Borrego’, an RV / Golf Resort in the middle of the California desert. BINGO……
I went online, thinking two weeks to start. One week and you are just getting into the swing of staying there where, two weeks and either you’re bored senseless or you want to stay longer. So this being our first sojourn to warmer climates, I wanted to book for 2 weeks. No dice! Nada, nil, uh-uh, nope. I could not find an opening, one year in advance, for 2 weeks anytime from Jan 1 to March 1. WTH! So I called the resort and they found a cancellation in 2017, from Feb 1-15. Sweet!
Advancing to 2017…. We are off…well except for the weather….its snowing over the pass from Oregon to California. Two of our options were a no-go. If we headed east into Idaho…..nope, too much snow there. So we watch for our weather window to go south.
Finally, on January 10th, it looked like 40+ degrees and clear over the California pass, and for a few days down I-5. We were packed up, loaded, and the wagon was hitched. We planned to leave on the 11th when Portland went and got 12″ of snow, a freak storm they said, and not having enough snowplows to deal with it all. It froze in Portland that night and there was only one ice-rutted lane on the freeway. No way am I pulling a trailer through that…..
The next day, we were tired of waiting. If we could just get beyond Salem, it would be clear, sunny and the pass was ours…. So option ‘C’ came into play, we head to the coast and go down Hwy 101 to Reedsport then cut back to I-5 and over the pass. The dog jumped into her back seat, we tested the lights and brakes and headed for the ferry and off to the coast we went….. “Here comes the sun…. with our trailer….”
Wife’s Footnote: “For the record, I did not agree to do this every year!”.
The infamous Trip Plan…. (Using RVTripWizard.com)