We've decided to spend this winter in the northern states. We will mostly be in western South Dakota, with plans to make side trips to eastern South Dakota, Wyoming, North Dakota, and Minnesota.
I suppose the obvious question is, "Why?"
These are some of the factors that entered into our decision:
1. We plan to go to Alaska in the spring. Staying up here will give us a head start, both time and mileage wise. We'll be 1500 or so miles closer than if we go to southern Texas, Florida, or Mississippi for the next few months.
2. Since we'll likely be playing (and not working) next spring, summer, and fall, it is financially prudent to cut our expenses and increase our income. We can achieve both of these goals by staying here, with Bob continuing to work at the railroad.
3. We are buying a new trailer for our Alaskan trip and we need time, and a place, to work on it. Bob's doing the regular renovations that change a trailer from a camper to a home. Here, we have the space to have the two trailers parked side by side.
4. We are ready to try something new. We've never spent an entire winter cold-weather RVing. We've been through some ice storms and bouts of cold, so we've had a taste of what we are in for. But that's different than settling in.
5. I guess I'm a bit nostalgic. I grew up in Minnesota and Bob and I lived in the Dakotas before we headed out full-time RVing. I sort of miss having all four seasons. I'm looking forward to bundling up and playing in the winter snow. And, there's something magical about a white Christmas.
A wise decision or a mistake? We'll see -- and keep you apprised on how this goes.
(Coleen's note: This was written in the fall of 2000, in Hill City, S.D., prior to our spending a full season of cold weather in the RV.)