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Monday, January 9, 2017

Full Timers 11-Year Review

First, a little history. Pete, at age 11, went on a 50 mile backpacking trip through Yosemite National Park. It whet his appetite for travel and the outdoors and for the beauty of the United States.

Pete met Ellen in San Luis Obispo in 1973. At this time Pete owned a 175cc Honda street motorcycle. Pete, Ellen and good friend Roger used to head out after work during the summer and travel many of the rural roads of San Luis Obispo county. This whet their appetite for motorcycle travel.

Soon Ellen got her own Honda 125cc dual-sport motorcycle. Neither of these two motorcycles are meant for long distance travel. But that didn't stop them from packing their camping gear and heading up Highway 1 for a 107 mile trip to Big Sur. Ellen on her 125 and Pete on the "big" 175 with the camping gear. A great time was had meeting up with friends Tim and Stephanie.

As Pete and Ellen grew up, so did their motorcycle. In 1975 they purchased a Honda 550 Super Sport road bike. That year their two week vacation was a motorcycle camping trip along with their dog Smokey who road in a laundry basket strapped to the gas tank. This 900 mile trip included stays at friend's houses, motels, campgrounds and wilderness hiking. Pete, Ellen, motorcycle and a dog. Do you see where this going?

In 1976 Pete and Ellen bought their new Ford cargo van which Pete converted into a camper. They used the van for many trips mostly for motorcycle trials events. One notable trip was to watch the Motorcycle Trials Nationals at Donner Ski Ranch. In addition to their two-year old son John, they packed four motorcycles in and on the van and were accompanied by friends Colly, Wally and Aaron. The camping bug grows.

As the Mattson family grew so did the need for a larger RV. Between 1976 and 1996 there were more trips but the van was getting crowded. Twice they rented motorhomes. One a 30 foot class C, the other a 35 foot gas class A motorhome. Now the itch for an RV needed scratching. In 1998 Pete and Ellen bought a used 34 foot 5th wheel with no slides, no generator and no frills. Of their many trips, two are notable. First, during the winter, a trip to Mammoth Mountain Ski Area. Mom, pop and five kids who all loved the snow. Left at 10 pm and by the time they arrived at Mammoth it was raining and winds were at 60 mph. In their three days there the ski resort was never open. The next big trip was 25 days to seven western states with Emily and Melissa. This trip was a big success until the 5th wheel caught fire on the last night.

Enter 2006 stage left. We purchased the 40 foot MotherShip and headed out for a little fun and seeing the nation. We did not know that we were a full time motorhome living couple, but we are! It has been 11 years with no end in sight. The map of our travels is below. We know it looks like a 3 year old's coloring page, but we did stay inside the borders, almost! Obviously we have finished coloring California. Northern Nevada, Southwest Oregon, Southeast Idaho need a few strokes. And the East Coast is waiting for more attention. That's okay, there are plenty of years left.



See you next week.

With love, Pete, Ellen and Mandy

P.S. The 5th wheel fire was small and inside a wall. However, the San Jose city fire department sent out a captain, a water truck, another vehicle and six firemen. We shouldv'e gotten pictures!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Hells Canyon Resort - Clarkston, Washington

Hell's Canyon Resort is a Marina, RV Park, Wedding venue and has a motel down the street.  This is a beautiful park that is so well maintained that is looks brand new!


The web site is also nice, but as shown in our last blog post, the text and links are too small to be easily read.


We have begun the process to format the site for use on phones and tablets. Here is the result for the home page. 


Now, mature RV travelers can use their phones to see the park, it's description and easily click on links to all web pages.  The site uses Responsive Web Design, meaning that the same content is reformatted for any device.

Come to Clarkston, stay at Hell's Canyon Resort and you will enjoy your stay.


Tuesday, November 1, 2016

On the Road Again - Making RV Park Web Sites Mobile Friendly

2016 was atypical for our travels.  After 9 1/2 years of moving often, staying at most one month in one location, we spent 7 months at Golden Village Palms RV Resort in Hemet, California.  We needed to stay put to complete the hand off of the last of our 138 accounting software clients that we had nurtured for 39 years! During this time we have not posted to this blog for lack of time.

Now our time is freed up to once again travel at will. We continue into the 40th year of our computer software business. Our focus now is 100% on web site design and our specialty is RV park web sites.  As we travel through North America we continue to visit new parks, now numbering 398.  We don't stay at run-down parks.  If we find a nice park with a less than stellar web site, we offer our services.

Here is an example of HellsCanyon.net, a park we are currently contracting with.

Currently a mature RV traveler would have a difficult time viewing this site.  And perhaps they would move on to a different park site that is easier to see and navigate.

So, as an RV traveler, why should you care about the changes we are making to such park sites?  If you did not stay at this park because of the difficulty in viewing, you would miss out on a fantastic park!  It has wide concrete sites, beautiful grass, an indoor pool, reasonable rates, all right on the Snake River.

With our work and that of many other web design companies, eventually you, the RV traveler, will have better information at your fingertips. And that will make your life better!


Monday, April 11, 2016

TellMeDaily.com - Your Life Scheduler

TellMeDaily has been created to schedule all of your Motorhome, RV, auto, truck or motorcycle services.

And we added everything else you need to be Your Life Scheduler. It has quickly-to-enter one-time tasks (honey-do's); lists for calls, shopping or anything; recurring events like birthdays, anniversaries, game nights and pre-defined vehicle services.

 Your see the overview at TellMeDaily Overview.

This site was designed to be controlled on your phone, but entry can be on your laptop, desktop, tablet or phone.

Entering a one-time Task is quicker in TellMeDaily than in any system we have used in 40 years. See for yourself at TellMeDaily - Tasks.

Likewise, a shopping list is just as fast and so easy to use in the grocery store! See more details at TellMeDaily - Lists.

A yearly subscription is so cheap our lawyers won't let us publish the price.
You can subscribe at TellMeDaily.com.  Note that subscribers to BigRigBible.com get a free membership to TellMeDaily.






Wednesday, February 3, 2016

FMCA Motorhome Rally Primer

FMCA is the Family Motor Coach Association. It was started in 1963 by 26 families who wanted to share their passion for motorhome travel and camping. Today there are over 75,000 active members including us.

FMCA holds rallies all over the USA. A lot goes on at these rallies and it can be intimidating to attend your first one. We wrote this travelogue to get folks the inside track about attending a rally.

This was our first rally, the Jan 2007 Indio Western Area rally.


In 2016 we attended again, this time after joining the California Coasters, a FMCA local club.  It was fun to belong to this group who provided golf cart tram service to the 1,800 participants of the rallies.



Want to join FMCA and attend a rally? Read our travelogue FMCA Motorhome Rally Primer

Yellowstone National Park Photo Collection

Of all the national parks Yellowstone is the most amazing.  It sits on top of  a dormant volcano caldera. As such you are treated to geysers, mud pots, rivers, lakes, waterfalls, hot springs and massive amounts of wildlife.

The wildlife will hide for their security, but the natural wonders are there for you everyday.

Just one of the dozens of gorgeous river views. You can stop driving every five minutes to get views like this.


Bison, elks, coyotes, bears and more are there for you viewing. "If" you can spot them. The best times for viewing are early morning and dusk.



Teddy Roosevelt dedicated Yellowstone as the first national park in 1872.  This was important as Yellowstone is an amazing creation of God.  Every president wants his name a park. This one was definitely justified.


See the full Yellowstone experience at Yellowstone National Park Photo Collection

Lewiston / Clarkson Photo Collection

It keeps getting better. As we travel around the USA and Canada we keep finding places that are just plain enjoyable. Such is the case for the Lewiston / Clarkson. It sits at the confluence of the Clearwater and Snake Rivers. Surrounded by water which everyone enjoys.

This is a place that you would not think to travel to. This exhibits the beauty of being a full time traveler. You go everywhere and you are rewarded for doing so.

Old Spiral Highway is one way to get to this area coming from the north.


The Columbia Queen can take you from Lewiston / Clarkson all the way to the Pacific Ocean via the Snake River which flows into the Columbia River.



Join us as we show you the Lewiston / Clarkson Photo Collection