Monday, September 26, 2016

Blog post

A Blog Post Back In Time

Yesterday, Barb, a long time Reader of mine, wrote a comment. Her comment touched me deeply. After replying to Barb, I placed my own comment to Barb. While writing that comment to Barb, I was thinking of a moment that happened to me, a long time ago.

I would like to share with you, a Blog post that I published on Thursday, February 25th,  2010. That was the 7th anniversary of Tioga and George.

That Blog is reproduced below:

7th Anniversary - Tioga George
I was thinking about how I got to my 7th anniversary with Tioga, and wondering if you would like to read about the beginning of our journey?

Tioga and George's first camp
On the morning of February 25, 2003, I was scheduled for an appointment with my cancer doctor. I suspected that my doctor was going to give me the word that I was in cancer remission, and I was right! My doctor laid out a five year plan for my after cancer treatment. I told my doctor, "Right after I leave your office this morning, I am driving to pick up my new RV home. When the time comes for my first appointment for the five year plan, I might be camping up in Montana. Thousands of miles away."

My doctor smiled at me and said, "Good for you, George".

A few weeks before that appointment, I drove to Manteca Trailer & Camper in the Town of Manteca, California to put down a $1,000 deposit to buy a 1991 Fleetwood Tioga Class-C RV. I liked the floor plan of this Tioga, with two single beds in the rear. I planned to convert one of these beds to a computer workstation.

After leaving the doctor's office that morning, I returned to Manteca Trailer and paid the $17,000 cash balance for Tioga. Then I drove back to my apartment in the City of Concord. I moved clothes, food and other stuff from my apartment into Tioga. I planned to be an RVing fulltimer from that day on.

I needed some screws and hardware stuff for Tioga. So, I drove to the Ace Hardware Store to buy these things. Out in the Ace Hardware parking lot, I did whatever repairs were needed. Then I wondered where I should go now? That was the first time that an astounding concept popped into my brain. "I was already home!" What an amazing thing to come to understand! No matter where I would go from that day on, as long as Tioga was with me, I would always be home. Man-O-Man!

Tioga and I spent the nite right there in the Ace Hardware parking lot. Our first dry-camp. In the morning, I saw Ace's assistant manager walking toward Tioga. I thought that I was in for a scolding for camping in the lot over nite. However, the manager only wanted to know about Tioga. He wanted to buy an RV himself, and wished to look inside!

Searching for adventure!
On June 7th, 2003, Tioga and I headed north. We were finally on our BIG adventure! During the past three months, we had been busy installing stuff. Mr. Datastorm got installed, so did a couple of Mr. Dometic refrigerators [one failed]. Mr. Levelers is now onboard.

There were a ton of other things that we did too! We went on some shake down trips to learn what Tioga was all about. We drove all the way to Southern California for the Datastorm installation. What a challenge that installation was for us because the Datastorm did not work at all for about two weeks!

Although I was having the time of my life going to new places in MsTioga, I had hard times too. I was completely inexperienced camping with Tioga. On July 1st, 2003, I drove Tioga down a forest road where I should not have been and came to a dead-end! I could not turn around. My blog post for that day did not disclose how upset I was by the challenge of that day's trip. But a note to myself shows how fear affected me. That note is still taped to the wall of Tioga today.

My creed
I don't run away from my dreams
Because of my fear of what "might" happen
I have faith that no matter what
Fate brings me, I shall overcome.
1 July 2003

Our transmission nightmare
During these first months on the road, we gradually had Tioga checked over. There were no records of maintenance for Tioga. We figured on checking everything little by little in order to begin to collect our own maintenance records. That was why when we got to Portland, Oregon, Tioga went to have her transmission fluid changed.

The tranny shop manager showed us a small mound of sludge in the transmission's pan. He said that this was a sure sign that our tranny was about to fail. We now know that this "about to fail" prediction was likely false. $3,200 was paid to rebuild our tranny. Two months later that rebuilt tranny did actually fail. The spline shaft on the tranny's torque converter stripped out. When the tranny shop refused to honor the warranty, a rebuilt tranny was installed at a Ford dealer. Another $2,700!

Not enough $dough$
Even though our cash reserve was now terribly low, we continued our journey. We had to believe that somehow, someway, we could make it financially and stay on-the-road. However, it was not until several months later that it became clear what the cost to keep Tioga on-the-road would be. And that cost was more than our income!

Reader Bob to the rescue
On March 31, 2004, I wrote to you in a blog post that I'd have to stop searching for adventure and go get a job. The maintenance for Tioga was so much more than anticipated. I figured that I'd get a job at WalMart or something.

Many emails arrived from Readers encouraging me to stay on the road. But one email from Reader Bob had a solution. Bob suggested that income could be earned with Google's AdSense program. I knew nothing about AdSense, but Bob seemed to be an expert. Back in those days, AdSense was different. There were no easy ways to understand AdSense as there are now. But Bob kept after me thru email communication, coaching and urging me on.

I was putting in several hours a day with AdSense and only earning pennies per hour! My first month I earned $108.09 from AdSense. I wanted to quit this AdSense. I thought that it was not worth it. All that work for so little money. Bob keep after me. He would not let me quit!

I have no clue what I would be doing today if it were not for the dogged determination of Reader Bob. He saved me. In December, 2004, my AdSense cracked thru the $500 barrier. I was now earning more than my expenses!

How the blog began
During May, 2003, I was still going to weekly meetings of my cancer support group at the Wellness Center in Pleasant Hill, California. It was clear that sometime soon I would be heading out with my RV. There would be no more meetings!

Betty Phillips was one of the members of Group. Betty wondered how they would know what became of me when I was off wandering around in my RV? She suggested that I begin a blog, so that my Group members could follow me on the internet.

That's how this all began!
George and MsTioga
Camped in Benicia, California
April, 2003

Note: The Nite Camp Location link below, is where I was actually camped
on February 25, 2010. When you click that link, back off the Google map by
tapping on the "-" on the bottom right map corner. If you back off far enough,
you may get a perspective where Tioga and I were on that date!

Nite Camp Location


  1. Thank you George for the reminder of your first days , you are doing great getting back on the road again.

    1. Hi OAT,

      I thank you BIG time, for your "great job" compliment! 😎

      Tioga George


  2. Wow George!
    An old man would have remained at Guava Gardens, “sat on his laurels” and waited for his number to called.
    You just demonstrated by example that you are anything but that!
    George, you are truly a wonderful inspiration to all of your readers!
    You maybe unable to crawl up on the roof but you are still very young at heart.
    As a long time reader and infrequent poster I look forward to a glimpse of your originality each day.
    I’m curious George, you made the claim that you struggle with people relationships.
    How is it possible that such a giving, joyful, adventurous person could even have this problem?
    I know about your scuffles with your living son and occasionally you appear to be grouchy but I still believe that you would make a great friend.
    Would you please explain….?

    1. Hi Granbo,

      This reply to your comment addresses only your
      "I'm curious George" question.

      I did struggle with people relationships, all of my life. However, since I did not understand that I had a problem, I was unaware that I was struggling! Crazy, huh?

      Everything began to turn around for me in 2003, when I began Blogging about my adventures. I used to reply to people on the RV.NET forum. Answering questions about RVing.

      One day in September, 2003, I ran across a thread on that forum that was about me. In that thread, readers of my Blog were writing what a wonderful person I was. They loved me!!

      Reading that thread was the beginning of my road back from my tragic life. The reason that I began the road back from here was, that I now had a clue about it all.

      I began to experiment and searching what I did in face-to-face people meetings that turned people against me. Why did my Readers love me? Yet when those same Readers met me, quickly they didn't like me!

      Over the next few years, I tried sooooo hard to find out what the heck was going on? One day as I was writing a Blog post, it occurred to me that it took me a very long time to write a post. Even a short post that would take me only 5-minutes to type, would often take me 2-hours or more to complete. Why?

      Answering that ?why? question, was the beginning of my becoming the person that I am now.

      When I wrote my Blog posts, those posts were filled with cynical, argumentative, critical writing. BUT, before I published a post, I edited out all of that! That editing was the reason it took sooooo long for me to finish a post!

      Over the next few years after that September, 2003 run in on RV.NET, I gradually began my own self-therapy to change myself from the person I was in my un-edited blog posts, to the person that I am now, the edited person.

      Well, Granbo. Whatta you think?



  3. George, I think this move back into the RV will add many years to your life! And just for the record, We have met in person several times and I have enjoyed our time together every time! You are a very interesting man!

    1. Hi Croft,

      Wow! If your prediction of adding many years to my life is a good one, would you care to predict when my ending year might be?

      Your "enjoyed our time together" & "interesting man" comments are great compliments! Thank you sooooo much!

      Tioga George

  4. George thank you for your reflective reply but I think you’re being too self critical.
    You demonstrate a unique connective thoughtful style of writing and I can’t picture you changing your stripes in person. Perhaps a motorcycle trip to Apple Valley is in order...The valley is beautiful in the fall. I’m in San Jacinto CA..
    What say you?

    1. Hi Granbo,

      Your comment/reply is very complimentary to me. Thank you sooooo much!

      I would very much love to meet you! That might be a very good time! 😎



  5. What you said is so true, there is more things to explore about dreams but I'm not sure what are dreams that comes in the minds of people while living in this world.

    1. Hi JD,

      I would very much like to read your thoughts about:

      ...what are dreams that comes in the minds of people while living in this world....

      Would you consider writing that in a comment on this Blog? Pretty please?

      Tioga George


  6. George, not sure what is going on with you but very excited to hear you getting back into RVing. I just had an excellent trip with my Winnebago. All appliances worked great. No roof leaks. New awning fabric was great. Most importantly got along good with others.... RVing is great, like I have said before, I want to be like you when I grow up!!!!!.

    Please post details of your new RV..

    1. Hi Jack,

      A BIG thank you sooooo much for your ",,,, I want to be like you when I grow up!!!!!..... compliment!

      Double wow with sugar on it!!!

      Tioga George


  7. This is indeed great post, thanks.

  8. I had to chuckle.."I began to experiment and searching what I did in face-to-face people meetings that turned people against me. Why did my Readers love me? Yet when those same Readers met me, quickly they didn't like me!" LOL George. It's because in face to face meeting you can't edit out the cynical, argumentative you like you can in writing. Yes, I myself use to think 'what a grouchy, set in his ways old man!' But, you are amazing in that you self analyzed yourself and proceeded to change. I see other bloggers unwilling to see themselves and unwilling to change for the better. Believe me they have some serious issues ranting about themselves yet they want us to like them. I too self assess myself every so often to be in the right path for a comfortable people relation path. I try to be but sometimes I am opinionated as you can see. I will tell myself 'if you don't have something nice to say, don't say it.' Love this post and your memories of them. Take care, safe travels for many more years.