Brian and I have been discussing, for many years, retirement goals and strategies. With our children grown and now living out of state, there is not much that holds us here in Alaska. Not having an affinity for any other state, one of my dreams has been to travel and have a good look around before deciding where to spend our post retirement life. Even though retirement is still many years in the future, we have been testing the waters to see if my dream could become our dream and then a reality.
Our first foray into this thinking was May of 2011 when, as a family, we rented a class C motor home and traveled to Nikiski. We all had a wonderful time, saw some awesome sights and enjoyed having a place to stay right there with us. We also faced some sobering realities. First, I was not a comfortable passenger/navigator. The Class C seemed big and cumbersome, the RV Parks were not what I expected, more of a glorified parking lot, and the living space didn’t seem worth the extra work of driving a monster, finding an RV Park, parking, setting up etc. I back burner-ed the idea.
We proceeded to have an amazing summer. We went camping nearly every weekend and Brian was able to get most Fridays off, so it was a summer of long weekends. We were able to finally explore a portion of what Alaska has to offer after having lived here for over 30 years.
So even as we were enjoying The Summer Home, we began looking for something more suitable to our needs. That search continued over the winter and into this spring. Last week (second week of June 2017) I found a craigslist ad for a BlackRock 19 foot travel trailer placed by a dealer, Camper Valley. The hook for us was the extra insulation. We arranged to take Friday off to go see it.
We took The Summer Home, fully loaded, on the 4 hour drive to Wasilla. The plan was to go “look” at the BlackRock and then proceed to a camp site either in Talkeetna or the Wasilla area to enjoy the weekend. The BlackRock was a fine rig, but not all we expected. The windows were not insulated, the toilet was wiggly and there were associated dings, dents and imperfections. It confirmed that we were on the right track for finding our perfect rig, but she just wasn’t it. I loved the layout, and we looked at a brand new BlackRock, but she also didn’t speak to us. We were getting ready to go when Adam, the salesperson, suggested we look at a Creekside.
The Creekside was well out of our price range but had a ton of extras and Adam said he’d “make us a deal.” The extras were, a TV, a solar panel, an air conditioner, a porcelain toilet, a pillow top mattress and a microwave. All things that I would want (especially the air conditioner!!) so I had Adam run some numbers on the extras, bought separately, to bring the used BlackRock up to the same number of amenities. But it didn’t really matter.