2018 Rick & Karen’s Blog

This is our 2018 adventures.
This is a rewrite because I somehow deleted the original post.

Jan 2018
We stayed at Village Pines for the winter and took some day trips from here.
One trip was to Cedar Key Florida to checkout the seaside village.
I was very interesting walk through the village.
There were lots of arts and craft shops. We also explored a community garden that was great.

Feb 2018
The best place we went this month was Homosassa Springs State park.
This is an amazing must see in this area of Florida. There are lots of animals including, Hippos, Alligators, Birds, Manatees in season and more.

Feb /4
Another great thing we did in February was the Crystal River Drum Circle.
This event took place at the Fort Island Beach. This turned out to be a must do event once a month.  Drum Circle meets the 2nd Sunday of the month.
For more information about the Crystal River Drum Circle CLICK HERE.

March 2018
We sent to San Antonio Texas for a short vacation. We did all the usual things to do there. The usual plans in San Antonio is to go down to the River Walk and eat.


April 2018
I made a video this month on how to save money with paper towels. Yup it’s a crazy endeavor but every penny counts. To see more videos on YouTube CLICK HERE.


May 2018
This month we took a quick trip up to Gatlinburg Tennessee. On our way north we stopped at Providence Canyon in Lumpkin Georgia.  This is a small version of the Grand Canyon in Arizona but this canyon is in Georgia!
If your in the area make sure to stop here and bet a BBQ lunch in Lumpkin.



We stayed a couple of weeks in the Gatlinburg area. One week was at the Elkmont Campgrounds in the Smoky Mountains. This is one of our favorite places to stay in the mountains.


This is a quick tour video of Gatlinburg.


Our Friends Dave & Lara Postin live in Gatlingburg. Dave is a wood carver and we made a video of some items he made.


A great stop in Gatlinburg is Ely’s Mill. It’s at the end of Cherokee Orchard road another great thing to do in the area. I have taken pictures of the old truck in the field for years. It’s always changing with moss growing on it.


June 2018, not much happened!

July 2018
We drove from the Wisconsin Dells to Puyallup Washington.
The Dells had a very interesting McDonald’s. It had a mountain lodge feel to it. there were many taxidermy animals in the building.


Then is was onward to Minneapolis Minnesota area to visit our friends Tod and Janice.  From there we headed up to North Dakota. We were heading for the Theodore Roosevelt National Park near the Montana boarder.
The little town just before entering the park is Medora and this is a must see town.  In the park we saw Prairie dog, Rams, Wild Horses and Buffaloes.
While watching a male and female buffalo walking close to our Durango it stopped. It turned it’s head and started to grunt. I was sure he was going to run into my Durango, so we slowly moved away.

From the national park we headed for Columbus Montana. There was a campground there that was free! It’s called Itch-Kep-Pe Park and if you want to camp in the area consider this place.  We stayed here for a couple of days because the was lots to do here. The first day there we had a hail storm come through. I was afraid that our solar panels were going to be destroyed but we got lucky. The next day was another hail storm!

From here we were heading to Yellow Stone for a few days. We didn’t get there because the trailer wheel hub exploded!

I called AAA for a tow and to my surprise the tow truck got there in just a few minutes! We went to Livingston where he dropped us off at a local campground. This was a great place to get suck. Lots of great folks there and they all tried to help. The town itself was a historic area. I would go back to visit Livingston.


Aug. 2018
After the repairs to the trailer we headed for Glacier National Park.
The plan was to stop one night at the Elks Lodge in Kalispell but the place was full and we had to move on. It was very late and there was no chance to get a campsite on Friday night. As we drove toward the park we saw Hungry Horse Dam. I remembered that there were camping areas in that area. We got very lucky and found a place to park for the night and it was FREE.  The next morning we headed for Apgar Campground but there was almost no chance to get a campsite on Saturday morning. We did get lucky after awhile I noticed someone getting ready to leave and I pulled in as they drove away.

Glacier was amazing and most of the thing we did there were free.
We took the shuttle up to Logan’s Pass and then walked up the mountains to the Alpine area. We saw Rams up there and it was very cold. On our way back down the mountain there was an announcement that there was a fire in the park. They said it would be under control shortly but they were very wrong. After we left the news reports the fire was extensive.

We continued on through Washington State stopping in the Cascade Mountains for short visit. The color of the water in the ponds, lakes and streams were vivid.


Then it was onward to Puyallup. We parked our camper at the Elks lodge in Puyallup for 6 weeks. While in Puyallup we managed to take a train ride up to Seattle. We went to Pikes Place Market and got a coffee at the first Starbucks shop.

We did take a trip to Mt Rainer. The volcano was that far from Puyallup.
I hard to imagine how big the mountain is.


Next stop was Alaska. My cousin Donna lived in Soldotna Alaska in the Kenai river. We stopped a “The Moose is Loose” donut shop in town.
The donuts were gigantic, here is Karen trying to eat a donut bigger than her head!

We saw lots of moose here in Alaska. The first couple hours at my cousins house we saw a mother and two babe moose in the yard.


We rode over to Seward Alaska and took a boat ride out to the glaciers. That trip was amazing you could see ice breaking off and falling into the ocean. You can hear the ice cracking.


Sep. 2018
We left the Elks lodge and headed towards the Olympic Mountains in northeast Washington.  We did spend some time in the mountains and also stayed in Forks, at the Elks Lodge.

From Forks we move down to South Beach Washington right on the Pacific ocean. That was a great stop.

Then we went to Tillamook Washington for a week. This area of Washington was another great stop. We went to the Tillamook Cheese Factory and got a tour of the place.

Our next stop was Florence Oregon were we stayed at the Elks Lodge for a few day. The worst part of this stop was the thrift store at the lodge. Karen went into the shop everyday!

Then is was Crater lake in Oregon. We camped at Mazama Campgrounds not far from the visitor center. I booked 3 nights here and it was a big mistake. Each night the temperature got down into the 20s.


Onward to the Redwood Forest. This was a sight to see. The trees are so big you can’t believe it. We are from the east and never saw trees this big.


After the Redwood National Forest to head to Yosemite California. We did stop a lots of places on the way to the Yosemite. I have to mention here that California was burnt from the ocean to route 5. Later Chico and Paradise also burn. I grateful we saw the area before it all burnt up.
We didn’t spend any time in Yosemite because there was just too many people there.

We went to Kings Canyon were some of the biggest trees on earth exist.
The General Grant Tree was the biggest tree I have ever seen.


We left Kings Canyon and went through Mohave Dessert. It was 106 degrees all the way across to Needles California. We stayed at the Elks Lodge in Needles and decided to head for Sedona Arizona for a week were it would be cooler.

Oct 2018
After Sedona we traveled over to Santa Fe New Mexico were we stayed at the Elks Lodge there. It was a brief stop while heading back to San Antonio Texas.




Nov and Dec 2018
We stayed in Florida and spent time between Village Pines in Inglis and home in Palm Harbor. 

Rick Mercier Moved from FrugalWay.com Feb 2020

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