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RVing around MI Great Lakes – 2011

I’m happy with the new WordPress design for Malia’s Miles and at some point I hope to get the old html pages switched over, but until then, links to the old format pages will open in separate windows. Feedback always welcome in Comments below every page since that’s the only way I know if this site is helpful to you, which is my ultimate goal! 

What is Malia’s Miles?

After I had been solo fulltime RVing for a few years, I wanted more information than I could find at the time about places I wanted to explore and potential campground home bases.  I wanted to see more than the glossy pictures from the campgrounds – I wanted details and differences in loops and sites, what are the best sites and why, and what is interesting to do close by.  Since I enjoy collecting and sharing this kind of information, I began Malia’s Miles in 2005.  I also like how Maliasmiles all written together could be seen as Malia Smiles.  I think that’s pretty cool!  :)

Arms Wide Open

Inspiration takes off – June 13, 2001

 

You’re a Fulltime Whaaat??!

See Inspiration’s Journey for the story of how I got the bright idea of fulltiming and what I did during the first few years.

 

My goal for this site:

I’ve always said that at the top of the list of things I love most about RVing is the people I’ve met along the way. It seems like people who choose this lifestyle, especially fulltime, are open and generous folks who like to share info about things we’ve enjoyed along the way.  Whether it’s campgrounds we’ve liked or not, breathtaking scenic spots that you just can’t keep to yourself – we want to talk about it!

So I want to share things here that are either things I’ve found that are technically helpful or incredibly beautiful.  I will provide my honest reviews of the campgrounds I visit, with pictures I’ve taken of how close together the spots are, etc. Beyond the dry stats, I will also give my impression of the feel of the place – how friendly are the people – the kind of things I would like to know before deciding on where I want to live, even if it’s only for a couple of days.

Besides camping choices, I’ll let you know about some of the local activities and businesses. And while I will partially support this site by bartering my efforts for campsites and selling ads to places I have visited and endorse, no one gets to approve what I say. I want whoever reads this site to know that I mean what I say and what I write about and what I say will always be my choice alone.

So as I begin this venture, I hope you will become my traveling partners. I will always welcome your feedback and want to hear of anything else you would like to see here. The site is most definitely a work in progress and will be expanding as I continue my journey.  Comments thrill me, so please chime in with your 2 cents on any page.

Site Layout:

Besides the General RV Pages with its sub-categories, it’s basically organized by state, listed in the column to the right. Within each state are the locations and attractions seen there with links to them in the left hand column of the page. If you’re looking for something in particular, use the Search Malia’s Miles box located on every page.

Be notified when this site is updated

I’d really appreciate it if you’d subscribe to the site to get notifications when I update or add a page.  Choose your subscription option in the top right column. (Just in case you wonder, no way would I ever share your addresses!) I just love getting feedback and support!

  • Janet Morehouse

    Hi Malia, I came across your website through Technomadia… just wanted to let you know how impressed and inspired I am by your adventurous nature!!! The thought of going on the road full-time is a dream goal of mine and I just Love to see a girl like you… going for it!!!

    • http://www.maliasmiles.com MaliasRV

      Hi Janet, thanks for taking the time to comment! It’s always nice to hear from a fellow woman with the adventurous nature gene. :) I fully support your dream goal, and like I always advise others: take a baby step every day toward what you want to do and you’ll be surprised at what things will come your way! Go for it, girl!

  • Janet Morehouse

    So I’ve been wondering a few things… How “scarey” was it for you to make the decision to live the RV lifestyle and do you generally feel safe as a woman traveling alone?

    • http://www.maliasmiles.com MaliasRV

      Well, it wasn’t scary for me to make the decision at all. Since I’d always wanted to travel, when I first heard about the fulltime RV lifestyle, I just had what I call a “natural knowing” that this would be the way to make my dreams come true. I had lots of insecurities, though – mostly around money and how I could support myself. But it has all worked out, even though sometimes I don’t know how – things just come together, sometimes at that scary last minute. As for feeling safe, in 13 years I’ve really never once felt threatened, even in state and national parks. But one reason I decided on a motorhome was that I could always just pull off if I didn’t feel safe – without having to go outside and hook up trailer, etc. But that’s never happened, either. :)

      • Connie Kalriess Koprowicz

        I love what you do! I just might do the same along the way. I’ve camped alone – in a state park. I thought I’d be scared but I wasn’t. I loved it!

        • http://www.maliasmiles.com MaliasRV

          Hey, Connie – well, as you can probably tell, I do love my lifestyle and would support your decision to do likewise. :) It’s not nearly as scary as people might think and state parks are perfectly safe in my experience. Maybe we’ll meet up again and swap travel tales sometime!

  • cindy

    LOL alone, I am allowing fear to dictate even hubby and myself do this. We live in Canada and have to stay in our home province 6 months of the year for medical coverage, but 2 of those months would be very cold, so we can build a small house on our land and be there, or figure a way to winterize the trailer and where to go. Not allowed to have on our land as only home, and no parks open here in winter….. He wants to FT I am willing to do 2 months for now. Well not yet, cos we have dad living with us…. I am in awe of your lifestyle. I think omg tornadoes, fire, accidents and we wouldn’t be in our home country, what a mess that could be. BUT I do love to travel and love my rv ( 34 ft 5th wheel which is now seasonal as we cant go far with dad at age 88). OH so glad I found your page. Every time I start looking at rv re models and trips I think YES, but then if we had the funds to have a small house and go 4-6 months of the year maybe….

    • http://www.maliasmiles.com MaliasRV

      Cindy, of course it’s natural to think of things that scare you about life in or even just traveling extensively in an RV, especially in a different country. But I can testify that most of the scary things we worry about never happen and the joys and benefits of travel are most definitely worth it! I do hope that when you do have the chance to follow your dreams – whatever they are – that you don’t let fear veto you plans. :)

  • Dawn

    Hi so cool to see another woman RVer living the dream.
    Great site. I have been full timing bout a year and really wanna do a site. Any recommendations and suggestions? Do you make money from it? Is it worth the investment of time and money.

    • http://www.maliasmiles.com Malias RV

      Hi Dawn,

      Thanks for the compliment – I like this WordPress platform I’m using now instead of the html one I started with. I haven’t tried to make any money from it, although I do have Google ads. They don’t generate much income, but at least covers the cost of the annual domain name registration and hosting fees. It does take a lot of time, but I enjoy doing it and being able to share what I’ve learned with others. I also always laugh and say it’s a great way for me to remember where I’ve been after all these years on the road. :)

  • Kris Torok

    Awesome site. So glad I found it. Just what I was looking for. I have a question about caravan groups. How do I find them?

    • http://www.maliasmiles.com MaliasRV

      Hey Kris, I’m so glad you’ve found the site helpful – thanks for letting me know! As for caravans, that’s just something I’ve never been interested in, so I just don’t have any info on them or recommendations. My best suggestion would be to check out some RV forums (I have some listed on Resources for Women RVers – http://maliasmiles.com/resources-women/ and RV Forums – http://maliasmiles.com/fulltime-rving-resources/rv-forums/) and post a question. If you find one you like, let me know and I’ll include the info on this site. :)

  • CJ Hazer

    Hey Malia, good to see a sister RV’er out there living the dream. I’m a solo traveler but have not yet been able to break away to fulltime (due to family obligations). But it is definitely in my future. I just recently upgraded from a 1995 Itasca Suncruiser to a 2001 Winnebago Chieftain. I am in a Winnebago club which makes it nice to have a group to travel with monthly during traveling months.

    I’m so glad I found your page. I have a feeling I’m going to learn a lot from your experiences to prepare me for MY fulltime experience. Kudos to you! And we just might see each other down the road. :)

    • http://www.maliasmiles.com MaliasRV

      It’s always great to hear from a sister RVer! I’m glad you found my page, too, and I sincerely hope it helps you in some way. I try to let people know about the great things about being on the road, but also the bumps along the way and the fear that can stop us if we’re not careful. I also hope our paths cross sometime and we can swap travel tales! Thanks for getting in touch!

  • Vicky Cali-Smith

    So glad I found your site. I have been a full timer in my motor home with my 8 year old Doberman, and my 15 year old red heeler. All the companions I need at the moment! I have been on the road a little over 3 years. I am 67. I am semi retired, and thank the Dear Lord that my job allows me to work through my phone and computer, no matter where I may be sitting! For the last 8 months, have been staying put at a thousand trails RV park in Southern California to work full time with my company to try and save up some money. Really didn’t save up much, and hate Southern California, even though I was raised in San Diego for 40 years, that I have decided to hit the road again January 1st, and go back to semi retired with my company. God will provide somehow. I am my happiest when these wheels are rolling! Your site will help me get my mojo back, and needed confidence in hitting the road again after 8 months of sitting still. Must admit, somewhat afraid, but excited at the same time. Vicky.

    • http://www.maliasmiles.com MaliasRV

      Hi Vicky,

      That’s wonderful that you’ve already started your fulltime dream – that’s the hardest part! I understand your frustration about being stuck anywhere, but Southern California holds no charm for me, either, so I totally understand your desire to get those wheels rolling again. I remember well how freaked out I was trying to drive in California where nobody will even think of letting you get in – the rudest drivers I’ve ever seen in my life! Anyway, that being said, I have to head there next month to visit my daughter in Sacramento. I admit to having a bit of apprehension about it, and also can relate to your comment about being afraid but excited at the same time. :) Especially when I’ve sat still for a while, my stomach always does flip-flops when I first sit behind the wheel, but soon enough it turns into butterflies of excitement and happiness that I can hit the road again off to parts unknown! I hope our paths cross sometime, Vicky!

      • Vicky Cali-Smith

        Thanks so much for the reply back! I have a question? I need to get up to Boise, ID, from Vegas. Need to be up there by 3rd week in January. So worried about the weather, driving a 33 foot motorhome, towing my car. Can you suggest a good route for this time of year? Even though I’ve crisscrossed the US a few times, I’ve always stayed away from snow states during winter time. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Vicky.

        • http://www.maliasmiles.com MaliasRV

          Sorry, Vicky, I’ve never taken that route so am not familiar with it at all. With this crazy weather we’ve been having, I’d check with the highway department along your way to make sure all is safe. Definitely best to stay away from snow as far as I’m concerned – it scares me to death to drive in it when in my car and wouldn’t want to get caught in it in my motorhome for sure! Sorry, I wish I could be of more help in that regard.

  • Judith Reese

    Hello, My friend just sent me your website and I’m so glad he did. I’m about to embark on my first solo RV trip, although I will have my 5 dogs with me. Thank you for the inspiration and courage you offer to those of us following in your footsteps.

    • http://www.maliasmiles.com MaliasRV

      Thanks so much for letting me know you like the site – I really do appreciate that and your encouraging comments. It means a lot to me! 5 dogs – wow! If you do a blog about your travels, be sure to send me the link.

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