plans change!

We’ve been full-timing in our RV for TWO years (as of Aug 19).

As a way to celebrate our two-year FT anniversary, we will walk through our new home in East Helena, Montana!

COVID-19 has changed our world. We’ve been vigilant with our social-distancing and mask-wearing since March and of course, will continue to do so. Our decision to remain in Quartzsite, Arizona through the summer was in direct response to the pandemic.

We’ve made the occasional trip to Phoenix for follow-up visits with my glaucoma specialist. And we’ve even ventured twice to Yuma to do a few errands.

Many of you have checked in on us because of the high COVID-19 rates in Arizona; thank you. We’ve seen a bit more compliance with mask-wearing and social distancing in Phoenix and Yuma. There have been relatively few cases here in La Paz County where we are, but quite a few folks seem to not give a fig about wearing a mask (at least not in a way that it serves any purpose—don’t get me started on those who wear their masks only on their chin!).

So my anxiety rate has gone through the roof when we HAVE gone out.

We’ve been quite content to stay put in the RV park we’re in (there are only TWO Rv’s here—in a park with 160 slots!). But the extreme heat has made it extremely difficult to be outside for anything other than our one mile walk at 5:30 AM (when it’s already 94F!!!). We’re in another “excessive heat” stretch now with temps going up as high as 118 for at least the next ten days. Yeah, it’s a dry heat but so is your oven; I doubt you’d choose to relax inside of it.

Thank God we love each other but we’ve pretty much found that 375 sq ft for months at a time (SWELTERING-in-place!) can be a bit monotonous. We’ve been bingeing on many terrific shows on Netflix, Amazon, Britbox, etc. but it sure would be nice to get outside!

SO…we’ve come to realize that if we HADN’T sold our home in Maine back in February and we could have looked into the future, maybe we would have taken it off the market. We have come to the conclusion that we need a ‘sticks-n-bricks’ to have as a home base. We fell in love with the Northwest last year and specifically, LOVED what we were able to see of Montana. Hence, a house search ensued!

Searching for a house while in a pandemic can be a challenge. We are VERY fortunate that we connected with a real estate agent, checked out dozens of homes (Montana is a VERY hot real estate market right now!), and found one that ticks ALL the boxes for us! We took a webcam tour of the property this past week and made an offer. We are under contract!

So this week, to mark our two-year full-timing anniversary, we’ll be doing a walk-through of our new house! It’s been amazing to us how quickly this has all come together (I’m sure some of you have whiplash just reading about it) and we’re so excited, we could burst!

East Helena is just three hours north of Yellowstone National Park, and 3+ hours south of Glacier National Park. We’ll be about 600 miles from our daughter Beth and her family (in Vancouver, BC—yeah, we know…CAN/US border is still closed!). Montana boasts 21 National Wildlife Refuges and 30% of the state is public lands—lots of space for riding our side-by-side! Our home is surrounded by the beautiful Elkhorn Mountains and you can certainly understand why Montana is called BIG SKY country!

If all goes well, our soon-to-be “Home Sweet Home!”

But this isn’t the end of the adventure—the “loose” part of Lobsters on the Loose will continue.

Our plan is to continue to travel much of the time, coming south to Arizona in the winter, and exploring other parts of our beautiful countries—US and Canada—(when it’s safe!) during the rest of the year. Having a (larger) safe space to call home whenever we need it sounds good to us!

31 thoughts on “plans change!”

  1. I think you made the right decision. I wish you all the best in your new home. Montana sounds wonderful.
    With love

  2. You two continue to surprise us. Montana is a beautiful state and your home looks very inviting. Glad to know that you are both healthy. Bernie met the wife of the couple who bought your house when he was working on the road. Due to the virus we have not been able to really meet them. They have one child – maybe two now as a second one was/is due this month! She is delighted with her new home. She felt it was a bargain for them.
    Good luck with your move and next adventure.
    Kay and Bernie

  3. What exciting news! Congratulations to you two! You have a great Senator, Jon Tester, and Governor, Steve Bullock. Plus those great wide open spaces. My best friend moved to Tucson about a year ago, actually grew up there; and she and her husband are remembering how hot it can be. Stay cool, stay safe, and be well.

  4. Glad to hear you two are well! Congratulations on your new home! Ray and I have the luxury of an upstairs and downstairs so we are able to give each other ‘space’. We have had our children and their kids over a few times. (Birthdays, swimming, dropping off Aliza and taking her back home 2 weeks later)
    Best wishes for your new adventure!

    1. Congratulations with this next phase of your adventures. We love our hybrid model having a home base while traveling out west in the winter. I’m sure it will also work for you two.

  5. Good move, Cousins. I’ve driven Montana twice and really loved it. Best wishes for you in the new home.

    Pete & Vicki

  6. Yes I am surprised. Not that you couldn’t survive the heat, but that you bought a real house. I may have believed a lot with a shed or something, but now you are back to home ownership worries.😟 and materials that expand in space. You probably don’t need to know how many properties we have to worry about. Have fun in Montana!

    1. We’ll be fine! The advantage of these past two years in just the RV is that we’ve mastered the art of minimalism! We won’t overdo with furnishings, etc. Looking forward to it. Are you guys coming to Q this winter? Hopefully, I’ll see you!

  7. Well, that certainly was a change. Playing mah jongg gave you the ability to play with the tiles you are dealt instead of the ones you thought you wanted, the house looks beautiful and being able to travel easily to Yellowstone or Glacier is not too shabby. Not a bad Acadia substitute either. With your RV you can do it on a whim. Good luck to you.
    Acadia has been through a 3 week heat and humidity binge, maybe? Over?. No rain in eons. We have moved to Ann’s Point for good with all our earthly possessions. Bought a generator and fulfilled my lifetime dream. Most people are wearing masks and the tourists are coming. Not in great numbers, but enough to pull the season from disaster for most of those who have rental cabins. Enjoy your new life.

  8. Wishing you the best with your new home! Sounds like the best of both worlds–a brick and mortar home and a home on wheels! I was wondering how you were doing holed up in your RV with the beastly temps outside, and COVID restricting any travel of any kind. Woohoo for the two of you and your newest home adventure!

  9. Congratulations and best of luck.
    Have enjoyed your blog immensely.
    Stay well, stay safe.


    Shirley and Bob

  10. How Exciting!! Don’t you love it when a plan (that wasn’t really a plan) comes together?!? Best wishes on the new home!

  11. Congratulations! It sounds like the perfect complement to the RV life you’ve enjoyed so much. Some of your old Mt Dessert mahjong friends are playing in person (not me) and some are playing online together, with phone for connection and conversation.
    Even though we are in Maine, we have had very few “in person” social interactions, and then only with those we trust to be very diligent about precautions.
    Enjoy your new home! It’s looks like a beautiful spot!

  12. How exciting! Please keep posting about life in Montana – I’d love to see more photos. Bar Harbor has been crazy hot and dry, and we’ve been so swamped with tourists for the last three weeks that I won’t go downtown. It’s almost like a normal August!

  13. Smart move to get out of the relentless heat. Montana is stunning,you chose a wonderful area to settle into! Bozeman is on my list of possible places to retire so maybe we shall see you in the future:) I would love to connect with you two again. You are both an inspiration to me and I always love reading your blog and seeing the pictures from your travels. Stay safe and well!

  14. Congratulations! And happy birthday to Al! Montana is gorgeous – I haven’t been to Helena yet but have spent time around Bozeman, up through Beartooth Pass and to Red Lodge, Silver Gate and Cooke City, and into Yellowstone. I want to visit Helena and especially Livingston and the Paradise Valley for some of the best flyfishing in the world. Have you read Norman Maclean? Jim Harrison? Are you going to learn flyfishing? It’s really fun. So happy for you!

  15. Wow! Such big news! I give you guys credit for all the time you have spent in your RV! Congratulations! The new home looks beautiful. Love you!

  16. We are excited for you. Looks like plenty of room to keep your camper by the house so it will be convenient. Jimm has been wanting to go to Montana. Talked about this summer but with the virus we have stayed home in Florida, and as away from people as much as we can. We have played joker over our I pads with friends. Just put them on an easel and tip them down to see the boards. We think you are smart to get out of the heat. I guess your next big toy will be a riding lawnmower or tractor. Hope you enjoy your new home and continue your traveling adventures. Please keep blogging your adventures. We love learning about all your adventures. Traveling with you on your blog has been an adventure for us as well. May God continue to bless you both. Jimm & Sue Ann

  17. Congrats to you! Congratulations on surviving without COVID, surviving the oppressive heat , being flexible with your plan and making a great decision!

  18. We just visited Montana and we were in awe! I totally understand why you fell in love with it and the house looks amazing. Glacier National Park is on my list of places to visit so maybe we can stop and see you along the way at some point. Sending you all the biggest hugs!
    Love, Melaney

  19. Congratulations on all the new aspects of your adventures! I can understand how bricks and mortar may be appealing during this crazy time! I wish you all the best😊💫

  20. Congratulations. We are almost neighbors! I am sure you will be glad to have “roots”.
    Take care and perhaps we can have a future visit. All is well here in the panhandle of Idaho. We have remained healthy, visiting with our granddaughters and other family members as we are able.
    Best wishes to you both.

  21. Congratulations to you and Al, Kathe! It sounds wonderful and it’s amazing to me how you’re experiencing your retirement! Good for you! Hope you make it back for our 50th if it finally happens! Stay well! ❤️

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