Having done our usual flurry of posts as we realized how behind we were, this end of month report nearly catches us up. In the coming days we will have posts about our first week in the UP, an update on our refrigerator and other mechanical issues, another great market event, and yet another solid casino camping (and gambling!) experience.
The Distance: 2,930 miles, the biggest month we have had during our entire time RVing! We crossed the length of Washington and Montana into North Dakota, before turning down into South Dakota and Nebraska. Then back to South Dakota before turning east again as we started our revised route plan for the remainder of the year. We crossed the length of South Dakota by continuing east to Iowa, then finished the month with a northeast run through Wisconsin into Michigan. Whew, that’s most of the way across the top of the country and puts our annual mileage up to 7,792. September will see a big slow down since we plan on being in the UP at least three weeks if the weather stays reasonable, and then pick things up with a big sprint back to Florida.
The Places: We spent the bulk of August visiting a string of five national parks stretching from Washington to South Dakota: North Cascades, Glacier, Teddy Roosevelt, Wind Cave, and Badlands. Along the way we had a handful of one and two night layovers at various casinos, military bases, and private campgrounds, and also got to visit Custer State Park and Mount Rushmore. We enjoyed a nice Nebraska State Park right in the eclipse totality, and a family visit in Iowa at Ledges State Park. After yet another successful casino stay we finally arrived in Michigan the last day of the month.
We stayed 16 nights at private campgrounds (which includes four nights at three casinos,) 5 at military bases or recreation areas, and 10 at public spots (four on national grasslands, six in state parks or forests.) We had connections of some sort for 26 days (10 full hook ups, 7 power and water, 9 electric only) and dry camped for 5.
The Budget: Yeah, we blew the budget pretty badly this month: over by 34%. We did this despite collecting more than $200 in free money and gas from various casinos. Basically, we spent nearly three times as much on gas this month compared to our average as a result of our nearly 3,000 mile run across the country. (That plus another $267 for the new tire.)
But, we sorta new going in to August it would be a tough month financially with no markets to help offset it, and once we decided on our revised plan to head to the Michigan UP, we new it would get even worse. The upside is we will be in the UP for about three weeks with up to six vending days. This was part of our plan: make the sacrifice in August so that we could reap the benefits of selling at markets and limited gas expenses in September.
The Drama and the Improvements: We had another flat tire, but it turned out to be the last of the original old ones, so we are now completely riding on less than two year old rubber. More significantly, our refrigerator went out the last week of the month while in Iowa. We have since learned that it will require complete replacement, but more on that in a later post. Lastly, we rebuilt and reorganized our several of our jewelry displays in anticipation of coming farmers and artisan markets in the UP.
2017 monthly reports to date: