Thursday, April 25, 2019

RVE summit - last day and the drive north

The last couple days of the RV Entrepreneur summit were full of fun things with friends.  Time to get geared up and ready - but first, lunch!

[Photos in this post come from various sources, including Kathy, Bob, and Danny]

Eric and Tina Oakley set up a disc golf demo, and the park installed a practice course throughout the campground.  We'd never done this before, no better time to try it out.  Eric gave us some idea of what we were going for, not quite the same as Ultimate Frisbee but it seemed doable:

Everyone's got a disc to start with (and hopefully finish with):

Bob stepping up to show us how it's done:

Luckily we weren't keeping score...

By the end of the round we had all significantly improved, and yes, I could see trying that again.  There are certainly plenty of disc golf courses in the country to try out as we travel.

John's more of a fan of the slackline - and Kathy got a nice photo of him on it:

A highlight of the weekend was a photography workshop by Joe Hendricks - we were stoked to catch the signup process when it opened (we happened to be at Aretha Frankenstein's at the time) and really enjoyed his instruction and thoughts about effective outdoor photography.

For example, getting low to change the point of view of the camera:

Photographing the photographer:

This one (about checking the lighting - or maybe it's interpretive dance) just makes me laugh:

Bob enjoyed the class as much as I did (and he has a real camera to play with):

Testing the idea of shooting from a different perspective - it can make people look tall:

Seems like a good time for a little break:

Love the stand-alone hammock:

Amazing branding on the "Go Pet Friendly" vehicles:

License plate art:

Bob captured a bald eagle!  Or at least a photo of one.  Here's a picture of his picture:

We got to participate in a sing/play-along!  Ellisa Sun (and her Dreamboat Tour) does a "Motorhome Music Mondays" where they produce a song from wherever they are that week.  They invited RVE folks to come join them, and we were like "why the heck not?"  She passed around some percussion instruments:

Love the Oatmeal sticker on their equipment:

We learned a song ("Home" by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros) and then performed it for the camera.  Super fun!

And because Elissa puts on such a nice performance (I won't speak for the rest of us), here's the video:

We made many new friends that week, including this adorable pup who is in training to be a guide dog:

Starting home on Monday (yes, sadly eventually we had to leave), we stopped at the front entrance to play with the camera and see if we had learned anything from Joe.

Take #1:

Take #2 - maybe a bit better?

Take #3, which is definitely better because we're at Waffle House  :)  That's either a "W" or a "3" that I'm signing:

We made a couple side trips on the drive home, including the "Cheese, Cows, Wow!" farm (Sweetwater Valley) for some cheese curds to go and ice cream to eat immediately:

Livestock hugs:

Kathy and Bob introduced us to Black Dog Salvage, which was a really neat place to wander around:

Just a taste of what we might find inside:

Lots of eclectic art:

A unique lamp:

And finally, a summary of our week!

Thank you for all the great fun and conversation and inspiration, Kathy and Bob and Danny!

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

RVE Summit - create your own rules!

The RV entrepreneur summit officially started on Thursday, but there was plenty to do earlier in the week, and we all enjoyed some relaxing time, exploring the giant park (for me that meant lots of trails to run), easing into the event.

One of my highlights was yoga by the beach with Kathy and a group of our new friends - I do enjoy finding fun places to do yoga, especially outside on a lovely day:

Bloomings starting - must be springtime!

[Photos in this post come from various sources, including Kathy, Bob, and Danny]

John was in his happy place, with just enough trail work to keep him busy, a little at a time:

Enjoying happy hour at the lodge (another happy place):

Another gorgeous sunset:

Bob brought his new telescope and this was the perfect place to test it out:

I managed a bit of digiscoping, my first for a moon shot:

More fun toys - Kathy and Bob brought their foldable kayaks, neat!  They finally found a calm afternoon in between the windy days, so they took a paddle tour over the island across the way:

And they saw an eagle!  It wasn't easy to snap a photo of one, but we all caught glimpses of bald eagles here and there.  This park really is a great place to enjoy nature.

Back at the campground:

John taking a kayak for a spin:

Another fun activity was the RV tours - people signed up to show their RV, in this case a jeep with a setup we'd only previously seen in Australia.  Really cool to talk to these folks about their travels, I believe to Mexico:

The theme of the summit was "Create Your Own Rules" - we're into that!

Bob helping John with the trail work - not quite sure what they're planning to do with this thing though:

Goodnight, sun!

A blurry but representative photo of our enthusiasm at being here and meeting new friends:

Speaking of enthusiasm - I got to talk to Heath and Alyssa Padgett, the creators of this summit and the RVE podcast!  They are super nice and always seemed "present" and happy to talk.  Thank you both!

Yay Danny and Waffle House!!  It was a good morning.

Love the theme of Ari and Jesse's travel - hike, camp (in a Roadtrek) and boldly go, it's all about the trek:

We were so lucky with the great weather:

Friday and Saturday involved several sessions with amazing speakers on the main stage, plenty of inspiration and information.  Alyssa and Heath kicked things off with introductions:

First up - American Ninja Warrior, Christina Gambino!  She was full of energy, inspirational, and a great way to get everyone fired up.  Thank you Christina!

Joel Holland has taken over Harvest Hosts and it was great to hear his story (and we look forward to trying it out this summer when we get back on the road):

Other speakers talked about building a YouTube channel, buying instead of starting a business, and balancing working and enjoying travel on the road.  There were workshops focused on Wordpress, creating a content strategy, real estate and selling your house, SEO, and Pinterest.  So much to take in and process!

I went into the summit with a concept for a large project, and I took something out of every presentation that I could use.  Lots of brainstorming, note-taking, and ideas.  This will keep me busy for quite some time.

Back outside, and back to work on the large log - thank you John for making the Lodge Trail so much better!

Another wonderful evening hanging out with friends as the sun went down over the lake:

Kathy successfully "spotted the station" with an app on her phone so we could watch the Space Station zoom overhead:

Goofing around on stage before the next sessions started:

Someone stepped over to help make it a "real" photo - one great thing about the summit, there were plenty of people around who knew how to take a good picture:

I really enjoyed listening to Jamie Sorenson from Winnebago talk about "Finding Your Niche" - because one of the things Winnebago is working on is an all-electric RV.  There are a ton of caveats attached to the concept right now, but he showed a video of the prototype being driven around Los Angeles.  Very cool!

Winnebago designed an accessible RV that can be purchased without a bunch of customization, also very cool:

Rather excitedly talking with Jamie about the all-electric RV idea:

As is probably obvious by now, we really liked going back and forth between the lodge with all the excellent programs and the park full of trails and nature.

John especially...

Selfie from a different angle (while talking with John):

OK, this is rather humorous... John and Bob had been on a ranger walk when they learned about an eagle nest.  We all went back to that location, spotted them in binoculars (bald eagles, yay!), and then proceeded to attempt to digiscope it - but without a tripod.  Even with 3 people trying to hold everything steady while tapping the screen to take a photo, we were not successful.  At least Kathy got documentation of the (failed) process:


Alyssa and Heath are due to have their first baby next month, so a collection was taken up for a baby gift.  Bob sketched out this awesome drawing of an RV with a baby carriage behind it, nice!

Group gathering around the summit theme sign:

OK everyone, gather on the patio so Joe can take a group photo!  We're all milling around while Joe is up at the railing setting up the camera:

Then he started the timer and took off running (inside, down stairs, back outside) to come join us - and he made it!  He's in front just to the right of center, and we're behind him... all the way behind him (at the light pole).  Fun photo, thanks Joe!

[Photo by Joe Hendricks]