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Saturday, December 09, 2006

We've Moved

Please be sure to visit:

For our continued adventures!

Thanks for stopping by!

-Rich & Laura-

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Time for Some Changes!

Alright, the Bag-it-tour is officially wrapping up :( Our year on the road ended on October 5th, without much fanfare. Notice we didn't even do a journal on the anniversary date.

However, we accomplished all of our goals; We visited many parts of the country neither of us had ever been too, we got to do and see some amazing things, we found our new place to live, I found my new "career", Laura found an awesome temporary position in Tucson, we came in on budget, we didn't go crazy living in 350 sq ft, and the best part, we met tons of wonderful people and made new friends in many different parts of the country!

Now that the ground work is laid for life 2.0, we think its time for an update to the blog to celebrate the next "phase". So, we hope that all of faithful readers will join us on a new journal: rolo 2.0! I'm the "ro" and Laura is the "lo" and we'll continue to chronicle our adventures, exploration and travels. Just because the full-time travel is ending, doesn't mean the adventure has to end :)

We hope you'll check out the new site, be sure to book mark it too! Here is the new site address:


We are going to start using the "new" site now, so check there for our continued adventures ;)

Thanks to everyone that has followed along on our journey; offering encouragement, advice, comments & opinions, places to see and people to visit.....

...you followed us on the road, now follow us a we transition back to "stick & brick" life!

-Rich & Laura-

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Found a horse to ride!

Say hello to my new buddy, Cascade. She's a 10 yr. old thoroughbred, former hunter-jumper show horse. Now her owner, Aubrey doesn't have as much time to ride her as she'd like between work and school, so that's where I step in. I'm going to be riding her once, maybe twice a week on the trails near her house. She lives right near Saguaro National Park, so there's tons of trails around. Cascade gets a lot of attention on the trail because she's beautiful and almost 17 hands (5'8")tall, which is about the tallest horse I've ever seen, and definately the tallest horse I've ridden. Oh...and the height measurement on a horse is just to the withers (shoulder), then add a foot or two for the head. I had to climb up a fence to get on her, then getting down was a loonnngg slide.

The barn where she's being kept is about an hours drive, but well worth it!


The Ultimate Fun Bike!

Last October, when we left Michigan, we didn't have room for me to bring my cyclocross bike. I left it with our friend Mary, to use while we were on the road. A few months later, Laura convinced me to sell the bike to Mary. For the uninitiated, a cyclocross bike is a cross between a road bike and a mountain bike; And they are just a blast to ride because you can take them just about anywhere!

There are tons of fire roads, 4X4 track, horse trails and mountain bike trails within riding distance of our home, here in Tucson. Since we are in our "temporary" permanent location, I decided to start looking for a new cyclo bike. Plus, a cyclo bike will make a great commuter bike, with the addition of some fenders and a rack, for the 6 mile commute I will have to work when we move to Denver, next spring!

I found a great deal on a Schwinn DBX Sport cyclocross/commuter bike. Because it is a year end close out, I picked up for 30% off, plus an additional 10% (of the price) in credit towards parts and accessories! It has a cool "flat" paint job in gold and British racing green (looks black till you get it in the sunlight) It has some really great parts that you just don't see in this price range; It has disc brakes, which will be great to have if I ever run into rain on my work commutes (disc brakes are not affected by water and dust like traditional rim brakes!), it has a carbon fiber seat post and front fork to tame the jarring effect of those potholes.

Here it is, my new favorite bike:

After my long work week of travel to the east coast, I was anxious to get out for a ride! I ended up doing a 32 mile ride! I did 8 miles of dirt road and 4X4 trails, 6 miles of single track mountain bike trail (I got really funny looks from the full body armor "free rider" guys) and 18 miles on the road!

Here is a map of my route, the blue line is pavement, the red is dirt road and the green is the singletrack. There was a lot of elevation change in my ride. I started out at 2,900 ft and went to 3,500 ft by the time I reached the single track trail. I ended up at 2,400 ft down at the bottom of the blue line, on the map(top speed, 36 mph). I stopped for some lunch before making my way back home, back to the 2,900 ft mark (ya gotta love GPS systems!).

By the way, if you can make out the black box on the right, it says "Mt Lemmon, 9,157 ft"! My goal, before we leave here in March, is to be able to climb to the top on my bike! That would equate to about 5,700 ft elevation change in the 20 miles to the top :() Stay tuned to see how that goes!


Thursday, November 09, 2006

Horses horses horses!

Ok....so I've been looking for a horse to lease since we got here, to no avail. Now, between my posting on craigslist and a free ad I put on equine.com, I've found 3 places to check out. The first I wrote about on Tuesday. The second, came when a woman on Craigslist emailed me to say I could ride her horse anytime. So yesterday, after work I drove 40 miles to the middle of nowhere to see the horse. Well, without being snobby and being politically correct, it was a big fat "NO". There were 2 horse, one was arthritic, the other (the "rideable" one) looked like he'd seen better days. The owner guessed he was about 15, but he looked a lot older. Apparently he's been ridden once in 2 years, the last time being a year ago. The last person who rode him got bucked off. The saddle in the tack room was covered in an inch of dust & dirt. So, the bottom line is that I'm decent on a horse, but I'm not about to risk getting bucked off.

On Sunday I'm going to look at a thoroughbred as a possible lease. It's also far, way over on the east side, by Saguaro National Park. It's a college girl who owns the horse, but doesn't have the time to ride him. Sounds like a high-end horse because she was telling me about his championship hunter/jumper points, etc. I'm not looking for a champion, just a horse that will trail ride without freaking out if something runs across our path. Stay tuned!

Rich comes home tomorrow. Hooray!!!!!!!


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

A day full of feelings

Today was a long day and I'm bushed, but it's been a day of happiness and sadness. The day started when Rich's alarm didn't go off, so at 5:45am we were racing out of the RV to drive him to a shuttle pickup place. He scheduled a last-minute business trip to Philadelphia. We found a shuttle that will take him to the Phoenix airport for a reasonable fee, thus saving me 4 hours of round-trip driving. After a brief rest, I was off to work by 9am. Today I took the car since I was going to see a horse after work.

A horse? Yes, I've been looking into leasing a horse while I was down here. I've already found 4 places that are options in Denver, but was having a heck of a time finding a place here. I've looked in local papers, craigslist, & asked anyone and everyone if they know anyone. Finally I found 2 possibilities. One lady responded to my craigslist post. She has a horse that she got for her kids, but they haven't been riding him/her(?), so it's a little reluctant to leave the barn. She said I can come ride him anytime, but she's 33 miles away, on the other side of town. Then, a co-worker suggested I look on equine.com, which is where I found Julie and Fantazee Farms, 18 miles away. I went there after work today to meet her and ride a horse. The horse I got to ride, Hawk (painted pony on the far left in the group pic) is owned by a busy teenager who doesn't get to ride her much. I would be doing a "partial lease" which would give me access to him 3 days a week, any day except Thursday and Saturday. Julie and I each groomed and saddled a horse (been a loonnnggg time since I did that!) and off we went. First we did some arena work, then we ventured onto the trail on state land behind her property. But there were obstacles! We got chased by a viscous bull cow! Her horse, which is only 4, was freaking out. Julie was laughing while her horse was going backwards and sideways. I would have been a bit scared. My horse was watching the follies with interest. After about 1/2 hr. we headed back to the barn. On the way home, I stopped for a quick bite to eat and realized I was exhausted. Whew!

In sad news, we learned today that one of our RV friends that we met last winter at the graduation rally for the fulltime class of 2005, died today. Micky is the author of RV Notebook, a tracking program for RV'ers. I bought the program before we went on the road, so I was impressed to meet the author in person. I think he was about 60'ish and appears to have died of a heart attack. In addition to meeting Micky & his wife, Patti in Quartzsite, we also "stumbled" upon them when their network popped up when I did a search when we landed in an RV park in Yuma a week later. You can read about Micky & Patti's adventures and see pictures of them in their blog. When I hear about tragedies like this, it makes me really grateful that we embarked on our Bag-it Tour in our 30's, instead of waiting until later because there's never any guarantee of "later".

So it was a day of happy and sad feelings.

I miss Rich!


Thursday, November 02, 2006

Trail Obstacles?

One of the advantages of directing sales in the east and living in the west is that most of my business is concluded by 3pm my time, 5 pm EST. That leaves me at least a couple of days during the week to get a bike ride in before the sun sets at 5:30(I hate that about winter)!

Yesterday I rode my mountain bike from "home" to the 50 year trail. I was able to get in 6 miles on the road and 8 miles of intense singletrack before the sun set.

I've run into many different trail obstacles in the 28 states and 1,200 miles I've put on my bike in the last year, but this is the first time I've run into this:

A momma and her brand new baby! Normally, cows tend to be fairly skittish animals, especially if you are on a bicycle. But with child, they can get a little aggressive! This mom was busy munching on the cactus with her hind end all the way across the trail and her baby in the background(sorry about the pic quality, it's a phone!). As I approached she looked up and gave a stomp with her front foot as if to say, "I'll move when I'm done eating!" I waited a couple of minutes and "mom" decided she had enough and moved on.

All of the "fall" babies must have been born in the past week, I saw four different sets of mommas' and calves on my ride. Most of them far off the trail, but very aware I was there!


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

These Boots are Made for Walkin..........

.......and that's just what we'll do!

Well, we took the plunge and both found boots we liked.

We never dreamed there was so many choices in cowboy boots. We spent a good hour trying on different shapes, styles and finishes.

Laura decided on these Ariats with a very feminine blue stitching to them, very cool!

she'll get chance to try her shoes out Friday at work for "jeans day" !

I went with these Justins in a "distressed" leather. The stitching on the shaft is pretty much the same color as the boot so its hard to see, but a cool design!

I liked the fit of my boots so much I wore them out of the store :)

By the time we got back home, I decided they were the most comfortable shoes I've ever owned! (except for maybe my running shoes, but those are for running)

Who knew cowboy boots were so comfortable?!?