Frodo and Sam

With our successful home sale and move to the apartment, all systems were go. I looked forward to starting to plan a trip to Hawaii and other international travel for the next year. We were all settled in for just two weeks when COVID 19 became a reality in everyone’s life. My company told everyone to go home, work remotely, and not come back to the office. The gym that I had just joined closed down. And it wasn’t long before Hawaii mandated a two week quarantine for anyone arriving. We enjoyed Saturday walks and bike rides in various parks which, Cal being retired, he was enjoying every day. With COVID isolation, getting outside was the only thing to do. I had started wondering if we were going to be able to travel over any ocean the following year. A flight to Denver to see our grandson was canceled. And so was our family reunion planned for Washington state in July.

After a few weeks, we noticed an RV motorhome in the parking lot behind us on Thursday afternoons. On Friday morning it was gone, only to return again on Sunday, and then disappear. An idea began to germinate. What if…?

I started seeing Cal spending a lot of time on his notepad researching RV’s and Ford trucks. We both came around to the idea, he sooner than I, that an RV would put us in our own little bubble so we could keep traveling. He did the research, took me out to see his favorites, we had endless “what if” discussions, and in May we found ourselves to be the proud owners of a Montana High Country 5th wheel and a Ford Super Duty 350 truck. Frodo is the truck, and Samwise Gamgee is the “5er” (RV lingo for our 5th wheel) following him along, just like in the Lord of the Rings ( We were fans of the book before the movie ever came out, by the way).

It may have seemed like a sudden, impetuous move. But it was an idea we had played around with for years. We used to go to one or two RV shows a year until we pretty much decided what we wanted. I have nine siblings and 3 of them have had RVs, two of them living the life full-time and now on the other side of it, so we’ve had many years to observe, discuss and plan. It just wasn’t supposed to happen this soon. Life has a way of planning things for you when you least expect it, right? And who could’ve expected the COVID pandemic?

Here are some views from the inside:

Our new living room/dining room/kitchen combo
Looking back towards the door and the bedroom
Straight ahead, that’s a picture window to the side of the king-size bed. But from the outside, it doesn’t look like a window. If you look at the picture of the RV, it’s where “Montana” is splashed across the front. At first it was a drawback for us, but now we think it’s awesome. We can sit on the bed and have a bird’s -eye view of the kingdom.
Our view from the living room window, which is even better in the back row of the park.

Right now there is no better feeling than getting Sam all set up and unhooked from Frodo, and stepping into that RV for the first time on a Friday afternoon. And we’re always sorry to leave on Sunday. There’s no place like Sam!

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