So we had another big expense month. But it was supposed to be even bigger. Since I needed to get contact lenses before my current perscription ran out, I thought it might be a good time for Greg to get his eyes examined and get a perscription too. We decided to do this at a Lenscrafters in Billings, Montana. I ordered my lenses ahead of time so they would be ready by the time we got there. But then the day before Greg’s appointment we got a call from Lenscrafters to reschedule for later in the week. A customer had tested positive for COVID-19 and they were closing down the store for a few days. We rescheduled the appointment but then decided that perhaps having an eye exam during this pandemic wasn’t a good risk. When we went to pick up my lenses we cancelled Greg’s eye exam.
So, thank you, COVID-19 for saving us $400.
And our total expenses for July were…
Here is the break down of categories…
As you can see besides the Eyes/Feet/Doctor expense we also had a higher than usual camping expense in July. We converged with some sailing friends, Ellen and Scott, who are now traveling in an itty-bitty Scamp. While we were with them we splurged a little and did a little pay camping. The Gifts/Charity category went up a little too. Our grandson, Gabriel, was sent a few souvenirs from our travels and I had a birthday on July 23! I surprised everyone with chocolate and a belated birthday gift for Greg (his birthday was last month) of mixed nuts. On top of that, Greg bought me more chocolate, and Ellen and Scott gifted me even more. We were eating chocolate for a week.
Speaking of my birthday, I also got new boots that day too. If you remember that I just got new boots a couple of months ago, you are correct. One of the seams on those boots started ripping sometime in mid-June. They are guaranteed for a year. I knew it would be difficult to get them replaced since we are traveling but I also knew if they were ripping now that they wouldn’t even last a year. In the end, it took about 3 weeks to get the boots replaced, many emails to Danner’s customer service rep, postage for mailing the original boots, conversations with two post offices, a phone call to a UPS store, a pair of boots sent UPS when I asked that they be sent USPS which were recalled before they arrived, and finally, the easiest part of all – picking up the new boots at the post office in Yellowstone National Park. In the end, I had to get a different color because they no longer carried my size in the color I had before and I now have a $19 credit with Danner because this new color cost more than my original boots so the customer service rep discounted the new boots leaving me with the credit.
Ellen and Scott weren’t our only sailing friends we saw last month, we also visited our friend Sid who lives in Montana. We camped in his driveway for 5 nights, spending evenings catching up on his sailing tales and trials from being on a boat during the pandemic this past winter in the Bahamas. During the days Greg helped him with some work on the house he has been building the last couple of years.
A few stats you might be interested in
Camping totals (all camping is free unless otherwise indicated):
1 – nights at an Idaho Fish and Game boat access site
1 – nights boondocking on BLM land
6 – nights dispersed camping in a National Forest
5 – nights in a friend’s driveway
8 – nights in a free National Forest Campground
1 – night paid ($10) at a Brewery
1 – night at a free BLM campground
3 – nights paid ($92.17) at National Park Campground
3 – nights paid ($15) at National Forest Campground
1 – night in a Walmart parking lot
1 – night at a Montana Wildlife Management Area
Number of gallons of water bought/acquired for the van: 39
Number of miles driven: 2008 (this makes our July gas cost about 15¢ per mile)
Value we have gotten out of our $80 National Park pass since we bought it in May 2020 – $185.
Bryce Canyon NP $35
Craters of the Moon NM $20
Yellowstone NP $35
Little Bighorn Battlefield NM $25
Grand Teton NP $35
Yellowstone NP (again) $35
Number of states we have now visited in Ballena Blanca: 25! See the interactive map below to see which ones.
To see all of our expense reports, click here.
If you are interested in reading other expense reports from people living on the road, check out these links:
*All pics are click to enlarge.
So what do you think of our expenses this month? Have you ever had to return something under warranty? Did it go smoothly?