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Bruno Mars – A Planned Detour Before Heading West

Bruno Mars – A Planned Detour before Heading West

We spent part of three days with my brother, Ken. Heading West Again to Pick Up a New Ranger Tug Trailerable Trawler –  Once again we were on our way across country, west to Des Moines, Washington. This is where we would take possession of our new Ranger Tug R29S. We’ve done this jaunt many times before, starting with a trip to Seattle to take delivery of a Fathom 40 trawler in 2007. We spent the winter there watching it be built before we cruised some in Puget Sound – then we had it trucked back to the Great Lakes that spring. In 2011 we drove out to meet our first Ranger Tug in Kent, Washington and we’ve taken that boat back and forth, across country – four times south to Florida and two more times to explore Puget Sound and British Columbia. A boaters paradise by any experienced cruisers standards. How to Maximize the Trailerable Trawler Lifestyle We weren’t…

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Nice Article On Crew Of Kismet – Sea Magazine – August 2017

Nice Article on Crew of Kismet – Sea Magazine – August 2017

TRAILER BLAZING! Sea Magazine just did a fantastic article about the crew of Kismet in their August 2017 issue. Find out more about this amazing lifestyle choice. Go where you want to boat with less restrictions, less weather restraints and more affordability. Use your boat as an RV when traveling to distant cruising grounds. For the best fun of all, get out on the water and meet up with other Ranger Tug owners, from all corners of the country, at Factory or owner held rendezvous. Become part of the community! That new VolvoPenta Engine will be taking Kismet on some big adventures, by land and by sea! Hope we see you there. #RangerTugs, #VolvoPentaNA #VPtakesme #VolvoPenta Kismet Sea Magazine

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Kismet Is Heading East – Boaterhoming Cross Country

Kismet is Heading East – Boaterhoming Cross Country

Boaterhoming Cross Country – Time to head home! – Our 2016 boating trip in the Pacific Northwest came to an end. What an adventure it was! We will be boaterhoming cross country, back to our home state of Michigan. A slight delay on the first day of our road trip! After we dropped our grandson off at his parent's house, we started the trek home. Within minutes we were on I84 heading east along the Columbia River. If you notice in the photo (above), we are stopped on the shoulder of the highway. Unfortunately we blew a tire on the trailer and had to have a tow service meet us on this busy road to change the tire. Not a fun experience with all that traffic zipping by. Immediately after, we had to drive to the nearest tire store to get a new tire. This whole process delayed the start of our trip east by several hours, but this stuff…

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Boaterhoming Cascade Locks On The Columbia River With Silas

Boaterhoming Cascade Locks On the Columbia River with Silas

Boaterhoming Cascade Locks for the First Time! – Silas didn't hesitate leaving his Mom and his cozy home in Portland, Oregon to go boaterhoming Cascade Locks with his Papa and Ana. We're happy he feels comfortable enough to take off with us like that – Do you think he's inherited the adventure bug DNA? We didn't drive far, that wasn't the mission. Cascade Locks is a city in Hood River County, Oregon, about 25 miles miles from Portland. The name came from a historic set of locks built to improve navigation past the Cascades Rapids of the Columbia River. We'd cruised to Cascade Locks last fall and stayed in town at the city marina. So we were familiar with the area and knew about this small campground located in the heart of the town very close to the marina, on the river, across from the old lock. We wanted to camp with Silas and take advantage of a learning opportunity…

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Boaterhoming In Portland, Oregon

Boaterhoming in Portland, Oregon

Getting a Good Night's Sleep While Boaterhoming in Portland, Oregon! – We didn't waste much time in getting back to the states after our cruising adventure in the Broughton Islands (British Columbia, Canada). Our route was a fairly fast track back to the States to boaterhoming in Portland, OR. After an amazing rendezvous of Ranger Tug owners in Roche Harbor, Washington (San Juan Islands), our sights were set on trailering Kismet south, to Portland to visit our son, Ross and his family, Sarah, Silas and Hadley. Since we wouldn't have a lot of time to spend in Portland, we decided not to put the boat in the water. Instead, we opted to park in front of Ross and Sarah's house for a few nights before we took our 3-year old grandson boaterhoming for a few days. Ross and Sarah have a limited amount of space in their cozy home, so we thought, why not just sleep in the boat while parked…

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Staging Storing In Portland, Oregon

Staging Storing in Portland, Oregon

Staging Storing Whenever we plan a major trip, usually once a year if we can manage, it usually involves what we like to call "Staging Storing." We often need to stage our boat somewhere near our intended future cruising area well before we actually start cruising. Whether it be storage or docking somewhere nearby to avoid weather restrictions, to avoid higher costs, or we think we'd like to take in some interesting activity short of our final destination – making plans to stage and store the boat is an important element of trip planning. Our cruising plans for the next year will be focused on the Pacific Northwest, primarily Puget Sound and British Columbia. We often take our boat south to Florida for the winter months. In that scenario, we'd take a trip in the fall, to ferry Kismet well away from Michigan and it's brutal winters, to stage and store her in a warmer state, Tennessee or Alabama for instance. Maybe we'll cruise somewhere nearby the staging/storage area…

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Coeur ď Alene, Idaho – Last Stop On The Road For Kismet

Coeur ď Alene, Idaho – Last Stop on the Road for Kismet

Having never stopped in Coeur ď Alene before, during our travels across the northern part of the U.S.A., we decided it was high time we stayed at least a night near town and had a look-see. It is so much fun driving through parts of Montana and Idaho. The mountainous vistas and open skies are inspiring and entertaining, perking up the weary bodies near the end of our cross-country trip. Mid-afternoon, our RV Park app directed us to a park on Blackwell Island, located just across the Spokane River from Coeur ď Alene. Nice looking RV park, great location near the downtown area and, with it being off-season, plenty of available sites for the night. However, we had a little snag while checking in. Blackwell Island RV Park, in Coeur ď Alene has a policy about not allowing boats to stay at their campground. First we explained how we are like any RV, but just a different shape with an added benefit of being able to float.…

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Montana RV Park Stops – On The Way To Portland, Oregon

Montana RV Park Stops – On the Way to Portland, Oregon

Miles City and Cardwell – Our Montana RV Park Stops Miles City, Montana RV Park was our next stop while driving to Portland, Oregon. In this part of the country, while driving west on I-90, we look on one of our RV apps to see what place is closest to the Interstate. We don't need to drive way off our route to get to an RV park. We aren't necessarily looking for a primo park, our requirements are very simple. We like a pull-through if possible, our rig is a total of about 55 feet (35 feet for just the boat and trailer), but we can back in and disengage the truck to park alongside if the site is not long enough. Our only other requirement is 30-amp power hook-up which most parks have, but not all. We need electricity to power our small plug-in heater. While the daytime temps are quite warm, it can get cold at night in these parts. Our…

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Theodore Roosevelt National Park – Medora, South Dakota

Theodore Roosevelt National Park – Medora, South Dakota

Taking a Break at Theodore Roosevelt National Park Well before we take off on a cross-country trip, Jim always does some research and tries to line up something fun to do. It breaks up the monotony of sitting in the truck day after day. Usually it's a visit to a national or state park. This trip was no different, he picked Theodore Roosevelt National Park in Medora, North Dakota. He timed our travel days to get to an RV park just outside of Medora. That way, we could get up in the morning and get to the park early. Theordore Roosevelt National Park, named for the 26th president of the United States, was established in 1978. The park covers about 110 square miles of breathtaking vistas, buttes and painted canyons in the arid and rugged Badlands of North Dakota. The park has a dense population of wildlife. Bison, pronghorn, elk, white-tailed and mule deer, wild horses, and bighorn sheep inhabit the park, as do numerous smaller mammals,…

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Shower Facilities At RV Parks Can Sometimes Be A Hit Or Miss

Shower Facilities at RV Parks Can Sometimes Be a Hit or Miss

Sometimes we just have to forgo a daily shower for a day. Not our favorite thing to do, but sometimes circumstances pop up that preclude us from our regular bathing routine. Our choices for boaterhoming, while driving across country, are sometimes limited to what's available off the Interstate. Our first night on this trip found us in Onconto, WI, at Holtwood RV Park. When registering, we were told that the showers were coin operated and while that would have been doable (we’ve experienced coin operated showers all over the country while boating, especially Canada), after further inspection of the facility, we decided to delay that activity and take our chances on finding suitable shower facilities at the next RV stop. It was a MISS on this one! One of the very few drawbacks of using our boat as an RV is that we have to be careful of discharging water off the boat, even if it is clean. RV parks frown on discharge…

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Off To Portland Oregon, With Kismet In Tow

Off to Portland Oregon, with Kismet in Tow

First North, then West to Portland Oregon After months of packing, planning and organizing, we finally headed out this morning. First to 131, driving north to the Mackinaw Bridge. After we crossed the bridge, Kismet's bow was turned west towards our final destination of Portland Oregon. Not only will we get the boat out to the west coast before the snow flies, but we plan to spend time with our son, Ross and his family, in Portland for several weeks before flying home for the holidays. This is just the beginning of a year-long adventure in the Pacific Northwest. Because of the last minute change in our fall travel plans (see post here), getting ready to leave the house this year became a bit of a challenge. To further complicate the process, we had all our young men and their families home the week before. Jim kept saying that when he made up the schedule and presented me with a time table as to when…

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“Change Is The Only Constant In Life” – Heraclitus

“Change is the Only Constant in Life” – Heraclitus

Change is Good! The phrase, "Change is the only constant in life,” was written by a Greek philosopher named Heraclitus of Ephesos (around 500 BC). I’m sure when he wrote these now famous words he was not thinking about the cruising travel plans of Kismet (a Turkish word that stands for "fate" or "meant to be"). Lisa and I have have made a complete overhaul of our 2015/2016 fall and winter cruising plans, it must be "kismet." Our original plans, of cruising the Rideua Canal this fall, then heading to Florida for the winter, have changed dramatically. We’ve decided to trailer Kismet west, across country. We want to spend time with our grandson and family in Portland Oregon. Our tug will be moored in Portland, on the Columbia River. After the new year we’ll trailer Kismet further north to the Puget Sound area for some wintertime cruising in Washington State's San Juan Islands and British Columbia’s Vancouver Island, we've already reserved a slip in Victoria for one month. It…

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We Call It Boaterhoming – Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan

We Call it Boaterhoming – Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan

Boaterhoming – Sault Ste. Marie – Soo Locks Campground and RV Park –  Tonight we will be boaterhoming – Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. This border town is just south of the Soo Locks on the St. Mary's River. Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario Canada is to the north, over the International Bridge, and is about the half way mark to our destination. We will arrive in Little Current, Ontario, in the North Channel, one day early for the 2015 Ranger Tug/Cutwater North Channel Rendezvous. Some friends of ours gave us the idea to camp at this RV park several years ago when they sent us a photo of them sitting on the grassy shore, in front of their RV, watching the freighters go by. As luck would have it, the park had an opening for a much coveted site on the water. We only stayed for one night – that's all we needed while boaterhoming. We pulled right in and before we knew it our new camper neighbors were…

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Spaghetti Dinner And Poker Night – Homosassa Springs, Florida

Spaghetti Dinner and Poker Night – Homosassa Springs, Florida

Boaterhoming Homosassa Springs – Florida Nature's Camp Grounds provided a "Old Florida" experience and spot to ready the boat for launching in Tarpon Springs. We used the laundry facilities and enjoyed a spaghetti dinner and poker in the activities room at the campground. We liked the spaghetti, but really stunk at the poker game. Boaterhoming while traveling to cruising destinations has become one of our favorite activities, second to boating of course. Being able to use our boat as an RV while on the road has opened up a whole new world to us. The boat is very comfortable for living and sleeping while on the trailer. We cannot hook up to waste hookups but we can hook up water and electricity. We cannot use our air/heat unit while on the trailer, but we have a small electric heater which is perfect and warms the boat up quickly on chilly mornings. We usually use the shower facilities at the RV resorts we stay at,…

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If You Rest… You Rust!

If You Rest… You Rust!

The crew of Kismet is On the Road Again! If it appears that we are eating our way back to the boat, you are right, we are! Seems like we are always on the move, north, south, east or west. Not much to report on during our road trip south to Florida to pick up Kismet, however we found some exceptional food stops along the way. When trailering our boat, or driving back to where she is stored, gives us an opportunity to explore some little towns off the expressway. Shan Chinese Buffet was tops on our list, it was just a fluke that we happened upon it, as it was out of town, off the beaten track and very unassuming. However, one step inside and we knew we were in for a treat. It looked like a well-known trucker stop with a huge parking lot for big rigs, plenty of room to park Kismet. One thing we have to consider when stopping for food…

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Fairhope Alabama – Starting Our Cruise Through The Panhandle From Mobile Bay

Fairhope Alabama – Starting Our Cruise Through the Panhandle from Mobile Bay

Boaterhoming Our Way to Fairhope Alabama After leaving Joe Wheeler State Park after the AGLCA rendezvous we headed south with Fairhope Alabama as our intended launch site. However, after a late start and a long day's drive, we called it quits when we got to Greenville, Alabama and found this rustic RV park about a mile off I-65. Stopping here for the night gave us the opportunity to arrive at Fairhope early in the day. The park was quiet except for an evening symphony of cricket chirping in a swamp nearby. We have been by this way twice before and each time stayed at Eastern Shores Marina in Fairhope, Alabama. We ran into Ed, the harbormaster, at the AGLCA rendezvous a few days ago and made arrangements then to secure a slip and check into good launch sites. He suggested the Fairhope Yacht Club across the inlet, since he is a member he offered to go over there with us when we…

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Family Time… In A Family Way

Family Time… In A Family Way

Family Time in Portland, Oregon After dropping our boat off at the Ranger Tug factory in Kent Washington for an auto pilot install we drove to Portland, Oregon. We were excited to spend time with our son Ross, his partner Sarah and our soon to be grandchild, due date early October. Lisa and I were able to spend the afternoon with Sarah while Ross was working. Lunch over Thai food got us caught up on all the pending baby plans. We couldn't be more excited for them and proud to see our family grow in yet another way. When Ross arrived home from his job the family reunion continued with happy hour (virgin bloody mary for Sarah) and dinner out at Pambiche. Before we knew it the evening was over but the memories will last forever. It was hard to leave after only one day, but the separation is made easier knowing we'll be returning, in October, to help them out during the first few weeks after…

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Boaterhoming In Fruitland, Idaho

Boaterhoming in Fruitland, Idaho

Seeking shade in Fruitland, Idaho after a hot day on the road. Our last two road days included a stop in Fruitland, Idaho where we selected a shady site at an RV park for the night. Still hot but bearable with the shade of the overhead trees filtering the intense heat from the sun making it comfortable sleeping in the boat. We are excited that the road trip part of the trip is just about behind us. We can't wait to get the boat back in the water. The next day Seattle was in our sights. It was a long drive out, but we love to boaterhome and experience the RV park lifestyle while exploring the United States of America.

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Cross-Country Trek – Kismet Is Boaterhoming Her Way West

Cross-Country Trek – Kismet is Boaterhoming Her Way West

Our boating exploration hiatus is over. Time to head west! Two years ago we set our sights to trailer Kismet west this summer for four months, mainly to cruise Puget Sound up into British Columbia's Desolation Sound, and maybe even the Broughtons, time permitting. On our way we'll put the boat into the Flaming Gorge Reservoir in Utah. It's been nine months since we had a cruise of any significance – the Tennessee River from Grand Rivers, Kentucky down to Rogersville, Alabama. We are happy to say that the planning is over, the boat is prepared, goodbyes to family and friends (always difficult) were made and the truck is packed. Our first stop on the way out west will be the Flaming Gorge Reservoir, it straddles the borders of southern Wyoming and northeast Utah, and is 1,586 trailering miles from our home in Michigan. Traveling 450 miles per day seemed like a reasonable goal, so we ventured off early Sunday morning…

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The Little Red Tug Is On The Move Again – Cloverdale RV Park

The Little Red Tug Is On the Move Again – Cloverdale RV Park

Cloverdale RV Park made us think we should do more RVing! The little red tug, Kismet, is on the move again, we're headed south this fall to cruise the Tennessee River; a 220-mile trip (approx.) from Grand Rivers, Kentucky to Rogersville, Alabama. First stop was Cloverdale RV Park in Cloverdale, Indiana. Not a lot going on here but it was a very friendly stop for the night and very quiet with a tranquil setting. It had wide open grassy sites that were mostly empty and the park was surrounded by trees dressed in their fall colors. There is a pond on site that added greatly to the park's appeal. I think Jim thought this sign was speaking to him personally, being such a kid at heart himself.

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Heading Home From Spanish – North Channel, Canada

Heading Home from Spanish – North Channel, Canada

Loading Kismet at Spanish Municipal Marina. Heading back to Spanish, time to load our boat onto the trailer to drive back to the states. This was the first bad weather day of our trip. No sooner had we got the boat secured onto the trailer and into the parking lot when it started to rain hard. You can tell from the photos how dreary it was during our trip home. Heading over the bridge at Sault Saint Marie was a little stop and go as we neared customs. Not long after crossing the Mackinaw Bridge, we were looking for a place to camp for the night and we decided it was time to try an overnighter in Walmart's parking lot in Petoskey. Well, everything went pretty good, we had a quick dinner, thanks to the deli in Walmart, nobody bothered us all night, but it was a little noisy when we were trying to sleep. There is a Home Depot…

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Going Home To Traverse City For The Summer

Going Home to Traverse City for the Summer

Going Home for the Summer. When trailering a big boat, you don't have as many options for stopping at just any restaurant while traveling between cruising destinations. We often have to look around for a bit to find a good spot to eat, one that we can also park the rig easily. Sometimes the best thing is to find a restaurant close to a mall parking lot. Lots of room to park in those kind of lots, usually way in the back where there is less noise and traffic. WalMart's are usually a good place and known to be accepting of travelers needing to stop for the night. We always check in with the manager and make sure to buy something from the store while there. We are excited to be going home for the summer so that we can, once again, cruise the Great Lakes. WalMart Directories for Parking Overnight with an RV. The directory (above) is a great resource…

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Little Red Tug Cruising Through Zion National Park

Little Red Tug Cruising Through Zion National Park

Red Tug Alert! Zion National Park is a short cut for us to Lake Powell Who would have thought the SECOND sightseeing attraction on that day in Zion National Park was Kismet, our little red tug. Everywhere we stopped to pull over, people seemed more interested in taking photos of our boat than the scenery. I'll have to admit, we did stand out a bit driving on those rocky hairpin turns and entering a few tunnels. I'm sure the last thing anyone thought they'd see on that day was a bright red tug traveling through the majestic Zion National Park.

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Stopping Short Of Zion National Park

Stopping Short of Zion National Park

Finally getting into the rockiness of Nevada, Utah and Arizona. Our goal is to arrive at Lake Powell beginning of the week and we've picked a great driving route that will allow us some arid vistas and views. Although we're not really stopping to sightsee along the way we've enjoyed driving through the territory we've covered so far. We left Las Vegas this morning with much anticipation because we're heading to Springdale, a small tourist town just outside the entrance to Zion National Park. Initially we thought we might camp out in the park but after reading a few cautionary signs about the size of vehicles that can drive through the park we decided to stop at an RV park in Springdale instead and think about whether we really wanted to drive through the park or go a longer, less scenic route. Good choice as it turns out since we had a chance to walk around the town and we…

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