April 2013

Month: April 2013

Our vintage RV

Introducing Lillie, our new RV:

Lillie

Lillie is named after Lilly, the former owner (complete with a long story about how the state of West Virginia misspelled her name for years and how long in a post 9/11 world it takes to correct such things) and Kimberly’s beloved grandmother Lillian, who will be with us in spirit.

Louis the Pug is already claiming dibs on spots inside:

LtP claims dibs on the table

Lillie drives like a champ, and only has a few things we need to address. She’s only 20 feet long, but has all the internal amenities we need. I’ll hold off on the tour for now: Kimberly is already busily planning cushion revamps and having new curtains made by her mom. I’m looking at the solar panel possibilities because full electric camping sites are stupid expensive, and stupid expensive is for suckers… plus I want to do at least one green thing for this trip!

We’re testing her out this week at Greenbelt National Park, near DC. For now, Lillie is getting used to her new home at the cabin…

RV shopping? Me?

I never thought I’d be in the market for an RV. Let’s face it, they’re not the most environmentally friendly vehicle on the market, plus I tend to prefer my camping to be in places combustion engines don’t reach. But with Tranquiity Tour, I’ve had to get a crash course on RVing, and more importantly, shopping for a used RV.

A good resource I found was the e-book Buying a Used Motorhome – How to get the most for your money and not get burned. It was very helpful for a non-car guy like me to know what to look for. It definitely confirmed a few of my “walk aways” from a few money pits.

We’re looking for something well-maintained, and preferably closer to the size of a van than a bus. There’s a candidate, and I hope to have some news Sunday. In the meantime, I’m starting to think about life on the road and some of the fun that could be had on the green energy front with some solar panels and a few extra deep cycle batteries. I suspect the interior design is out of my hands… with the exception of wiring up an LED chandelier.

RV

My morning routine and a surprise encounter

As long as the weather is decent (sprinkling is ok, rain is a cancel) I try to do my Great Falls ride every other day during weekday mornings as soon as there’s light by 6:30am. Not only is it a good training ride, I never seem to get bored by it. Part of it is the visually stunning rapids and falls at my breakfast midpoint:

The other great part – the surprises. I truly regret not being fast enough with my iPhone to capture the image of the bald eagle that glided along my left shoulder over the canal on my way back. I’m not much of a bird person, but bald eagles are so impressive in flight up close. I hadn’t seen a live bald eagle until I lived out west, and now I’m truly happy that there’s at least one that lives within 15 miles of where I live in DC. Considering bald eagles were a threatened species until relatively recently, that’s very cool.

Biking in the heat

My favorite weather nerds (a term I use endearingly) have a post up about biking in the DC heat, as we’re getting an early taste of it the last couple of days. I happen to hate the high heat… I call them “heat index rides” – not endearingly. The comment section is interesting… people giving their answers to the question, “do you prefer cool or hot weather for rides?” Worth reading the different takes and tips!

summer on the C+O
summer on the C+O

Biking to Great Falls

This morning was my first morning ride to Great Falls of the year. It’s my go-to ride because it’s about 31 miles round trip and can easily fit from sunrise until I need to get productive in other things. Here’s the view from this morning (turn on the sound to hear the awesome rush of the Potomac River).

I love this ride in particular because there are few, if any, people at the lookout when I’m there. It’s awash with humanity the rest of the time, so it’s nice to have the falls to myself.