April 22, 2005

Snoop, Cottonwood, Dunes, Fishing and Hate Mail

Vail proved to be exciting and exhausting. The concert was huge, over 10,000 people attended and the aftermath was daunting. We worked from 7am to 3:30am (yes am) on Saturday alone.

This is our friend and co-worker Gina, aka Cookie, filling 90 water jugs to anchor tents for the show.

We think of ourselves as carnies, here is a circus tent we erected.

We stayed in Vail through Monday finishing up the event and putting everything back into the warehouse. This should be our last work for a bit. As difficult and challenging as working a giant event can be we are very thankful for the opportunities we have been presented with through this job. Once we figured out Canada was a no-go for us this winter we were at a loss for how to afford a winter of storm chasing and skiing at many different resorts. A big heartfelt thanks goes out to Highline, for the emplyment and the good times.

Here's the view from our room in Vail, they were having a street concert right below our balcony.

These folks are Peggy and O.C., our bosses.

Working these events is really tiring and we have come to identify the way we feel the day after as the Highline Hangover. Tuesday we had a doosey of a hangover so we decided a day at the hot springs was needed. There is a highway from Summit County and Denver back down to Durango that we must have driven a hundred times. Somehow, though we had never managed to stop at any of the various hot springs along rt. 285. Per a local’s advice we chose to visit Cottonwood Springs. A very rustic “resort”, the pools are beautiful and they seem to be making lots of improvements currently.

After our soak we felt better albeit very sun burnt, kids always wear sunscreen. Dan wanted to spend the night in the Sand Dunes, so we detoured a bit and enjoyed a night in our newest National Park (at least I think it is the newest.) The money that came along with the Park’s status upgrade is immediately noticeable. This is the nicest N.P. campground we have stayed in yet.

From there we headed over to Creede, Colorado to visit our friends Jason and Julie. Jason is a fly fishing guide and he decided to break in his new drift boat by taking us fishing. The stretch of the Rio Grande that runs through there is beautiful and fun fishing.

Dan and Jason.

Now we are once again in Durango, (does anyone else think that we are making woefully little progress leaving here?) We have completed the winter/summer gear swap, I have done some shopping for Eastern guide books and we are ready to hit the road once again as soon as we return from Costa Rica. I am really looking forward to heading south and east, this is new territory for us both.

We leave tomorrow for Costa Rica. I will not be posting from there so I would guess that our next post will be sometime around May 3rd. Until then feel free to send us any questions or comments, we’ll respond when we get back.

Warning below is a lengthy rant, some useful insight may be gained by reading it, but really you won’t miss out on too much if you just look at the pretty pictures

The day before yesterday we received our first bit of hate mail. Personally I feel this means we have really arrived. I think the definition of a successful blog is over 35,000 hits and at least one piece of hate mail, so congrats to us. Here is the “comment” we received:

I am tired of coming across your site when I am looking for real info in regards to travelling on a budget (RV). YOu two are a couple of posers - you are the must yuppie gypsies I have ever read about... lets review... telluride spas, vail condos, sno cat skiing, trips to Costa Rica, what a bunch of horses***!!!! - and the fact that you are begging your readers to click on your ads so you can get more money is frosting on your pathetic cake. Get a life, else quit posting your consumer promoting travels on the blog!

A couple quick phone calls to our more sarcastic friends convinced us this guy's for real. (If in fact the writer is female, please note I mean no disrespect when using the term guy, I am using it in its colloquial non-gender specific manner.)

I shall address this note phrase by phrase. First, we are the UNDERAGED RVers, not the Budget RVers. However, we do travel on a budget of sorts. We did budget for the better part of three years to be able to afford our trip, this was not easy, we are not wealthy, just frugal and goal oriented. Aside from the money part we saved up all the fun tickets and brownie points we could muster in order to redeem them along the way. Case in point we skied over 50 days this winter and paid for three. This was due to the generosity of friends, the work we picked up along the way and one well written letter that offered a review of an area in exchange for ½ priced lift ticket (which I believe I noted in the post and review of that area- see Snowbird, Utah).

Second, “YOu two are a couple of posers - you are the must yuppie gypsies I have ever read about...” . This too I have addressed in past posts, I believe I called us the Yuppie Clampets. Now are we yuppies, or posing as yuppies?? As to the examples listed…telluride spas, free thanks to our friend Pete Woods past marketing VP of Telluride Ski Resort. Vail condos, actually we stayed in condos in Park City and Breckenridge, as part of our employment with HighLine, in Vail our friend Dale hooked us up with a hotel room which six of us crammed into. Sno(w) Cat Skiing, we paid half price because we know the owner and our guide was Marc, our friend who visited us in Mexico, we used the money that our readers have helped us earn by clicking on the ads to pay for this. Costa Rica, admittedly a lavish excursion. The money for this trip was earned by picking up extra work see the 20.5 hour work day referenced above. As a side note we got a screaming deal airfare and hotel for our trip was less than$550 per person.

Begging our readers to click our ads…. Ahh yes. Well let’s see here. First off let me preface this by saying that I love maintaining this blog. I am amazed and overjoyed at the life it has taken on. Originally I never expected anyone but my Dad to read it, and if you all didn’t write me from time to time I might still believe that he was responsible for all 35,000 clicks. For many months I never earned a cent from the site, if the ads went away today I would still continue posting.

As of this post I have posted 45 times. On average it takes me two hours per post, this time is used writing, editing/ correcting and uploading the pictures. I am not counting the research involved previous to our various excursions or the time it takes me to take the pictures, etc. So a bit of simple math, a conservative estimate of two hours per post, times 45 posts, gets us 90 hours. To date we have earned almost $400 from the ads, this divided by just the hours put into the site gets me about $4.44 per hour. Camera cost $600, computer $2000, monthly Internet connection $30 and so on....

When I visit sites that I enjoy, I click their ads, it takes me but a moment, from those ads I have learned about RVing, about places we have visited along the way and various other useful info. From clicking I get the satisfaction of helping the person whose blog I find enjoyable or educational. When I had the opportunity to place similar ads on our site I did it. I appreciate that so many of you take the time to visit our sponsors; it helps us out and seems to me a win-win situation for all. If it feels in any way smarmy to any of you then please continue to read our site and ignore the ads. In an attempt to thank those who click we decided not to use the money for just gas, or for something mundane, but since it was money we never counted on we use it to do things we didn’t plan to do. I intend to continue placing the ads and using any profits to further add excitement to our trip and hopefully to your reading experience.

And finally “Get a life, else quit posting your consumer promoting travels on the blog!” This is my blog (well ours but everyone knows Dan just drives ;) I chose to write about our travels, the places and things, or even products that have enhanced our trip. I try very hard to show my appreciation for each of our experiences and above all for the chance we have been given, and have provided for ourselves, to take this leap of faith and go out on this adventure. I acknowledge that we are just about the luckiest people in the world to be able to do this.

I thank you, anonymous angry reader, for affording me the opportunity to further explain the way we do things and what our motivations are. I hope that I have addressed all of your issues here, and I am sure that our readers look forward to your next comment as much as I do. Que le vaya bien.

One last shot, Dan and I have an admittedly annoying habit of calling each other Bunny. So we couldn't resist this one.


Anonymous said...

Way to go you two. People who have read your posts and enjoyed them and continue to come back are now 35,500 to 1. I guess the intelligence of that post shows the lack of reasoning in some people... If I don't like a site, I just don't click on it any more... I continue to wish I had had the guts and temperment to do what you are doing when I was 30ish. Now that I'm the other side of 60 I enjoy your blog vicariously...

Anonymous said...

Some people are just unhappy whiners unable to enjoy the anything in which they aren't the central figure. I have been checking your site almost daily (maybe I should get a life) for updates. I still have a daily grind job and reading travel sites before work keeps me motivated as each day gets me closer to the getting on the road.
Thanks for taking the time to chonicle your travels
Judy (we have a little place in Creede, it was good to see the Dunes and the river)

Anonymous said...

have read you Webb site (bogs) from the day you started it on line. I find it very interesting and informative. I think your pictures are wonderful and you have the eye of a great photographer.

Please do not get discouraged by some old RV people, they have totally missed the point of your site, life is an adventure. You did not have to justifiey you writing, posting or pictures to anyone. You and Dan are living the dream, something that I think the RV writer missed.

I will get to retire in 18 months and buy a nice DP motor-home, but I still take the love of my life my wife and drive. We always have a place to go but never a schedule or time-line. We like taking the road that the main stream RVs miss.

Anonymous said...

In spite of the rude responder, I just clicked on the ads twice. Enjoy the found money. You two deserve it for posting an outstanding blog. Without mentioning it, many would not be aware of the profits you earn. It is a small thing for us to do once in while for the enjoyment we receive of your adventures. Apparently they did not follow or read your blogs from the start to understand your full story. You are quite the descriptive writer and have a good eye for photos. If it wasn't for the beverage talk, I would use it as a model for journal and descriptive writng for students. Looking forward to the next post. Happy travels!!

PS- I think I'll log on and click again later so you can enjoy a beer on me. :)

Tara said...

Just discovered your blog...will be back after your return from Costa Rica. Great stories, great photos, great life. Can't let one reader who has his own agenda try to spoil your day. You obviously have many happy viewers. Have fun in Costa Rica!

Tara in So Cal

Anonymous said...

That anonymous angry reader is just the kind of person we DON'T want to meet while RVing. With an attitude like that, who needs him?? Not us other "friendly" RVers!

I've enjoyed your blog, and now am going to click on all your ads!

Have fun kids! Keep writing.


winterssoul@lycos.com said...

Just read your response to "hate mail"...it was great. I come to your site now and then to see the beautiful pictures and keep up on your travels. My H and I are presently living in our 23 foot TT. We spent winter in Florida. H is a builder and we have returned north to work..may be building a second home in PA..we rent our first home. People who choose alternative lifestyles are often envied for having the nerve to take the risk....keep on trucking! Maureen

Steve said...

This person must be jealous I guess. I have followed you guys from the beginning and love your site. Your pictures are also great. I think you may have a future in photography. Don't worry about the hate mail there are lots of us waiting for you to upload another entry. Good luck in the warmer weather.

Anonymous said...

I read your hatemail letter. Envy and jealously are out there so just ignore it and enjoy your travels.
P.S. as you travel if you get a chance to join in a couple of anti-Bush rallies along the way Well - that's just icing on the cake

socioqueen said...

I am highly amused that the thorny words of some randomly useless nomad was able to penetrate such a reaction from us all. Also, hysterical hienic (the animal... you spell it!) laughter has ensued at the mere use of the word yuppie. Poser yes (aren't we all? isn't being a poser that thing that happens when you feel angsty inside because adults tell one story and kids tell another? Oh, I am sorry, "no! I really like the idea of WORK sir" and "Please oh please sir, let me take vacation? I promise I won't be gone long, I LOVE THE COMPANY! It is like my family."). "Yuppie?" hi! isn't that word circa, like, oh my gawd! 1982? There are a plethora of perjoratives out there, please oh please give me some more? Hilarious. I love this person! Whoever took the time to spell words badly, use primitive adjectives and spend ample time dedicating negative energy to the open road, should try unlocking their door.

Ta ta kids. Can't wait til you hit NEW YAWK CITTTTYYYYY!!!!

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