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Last winter was our longest trip yet at over four months from start to end. A little over a month later, and we’re off again. It’s been a whirlwind, but it always feels good to finally transition from getting ready to leave to actually being on the road. Whether we’re ready or not, the preparations are done.
Our first day was long. We got up early, but it always takes us several hours to get the animals set, get the last stuff packed, do some final cleaning and close up the house. Then we hit the road for a 6.5 hour drive to Iowa and the Winnebago dealer, plus an additional half hour side trip to our daughter’s to drop off something we didn’t intend to bring. Add in a quick lunch stop and a couple of fuel stops, mix with being worn out from all the activity of the last week or so getting ready, and both we and the animals were pretty beat when we finally arrived.
Going south was cold this year! But it was still much warmer than being home. Many of the campgrounds had frozen water pipes (even close to the Mexican border) and we had to be careful to have our water tank full and keep the 5th wheel well heated. Things didn’t get nice and warm until we got to Tucson. And then cooled off again when we headed north to Meteor Crater, where we got snowed on. We did find warmth again as we returned to Texas, however, where we ended our trip with lots of sand, water and sunshine.
We were able to discover so many wonderful places on this adventure, which was fantastic for me because I suffer from wanderlust. But in retrospect, we traveled too many miles in too little time which eventually became exhausting. In the future, I hope to go slower and explore areas even more thoroughly.
It was awesome, however, to meet up with so much family and so many friends! I hope that continues for the duration of our traveling years. I love this lifestyle!
We left Galveston Island with Opa driving the 5th wheel and Coda and Chewbacca navigating. I followed in our new motorhome with our cat Leo helping me navigate. I will admit that I was a little concerned about driving alone, but I seemed to get the hang of it fairly quickly and survived driving through crazy Houston traffic and beyond.
Galveston, oh, Galveston,
I still hear your seawinds blowing – Glen Campbell
Yes, I am addicted to Galveston Island State Park! I love how we are camped just over the dune on the coastal beach. I can see the waves crash from my RV windows and I hear them crash day and night. The winds blow the sea air continuously toward us. I walk the beach several times a day with the sand oozing between my toes. I share the beach with shorebirds and seashells. It is relaxing and hypnotizing. Yes, there is a road not too far behind us, but I’m pretty sure I’ve got that totally blocked out with the help of the sounds of the crashing waves. And I’m not too far from my daughter, son-in-law, and precious grandkids. Life is not just good, it’s amazingly terrific!
It’s been really nice and warm down here and with it being spring break for some, the beach and camping area has been really busy. We got in early the first day of our two-week stay and got set up, relaxed a little, and got to bed early. The next morning, I was dropping Opa off at Bush International Airport In north Houston. He was flying back to Phoenix where friends of ours were picking him up and taking him back to the Silverado RV Resort where we left our new motorhome in storage. He then was driving it back to Galveston Island solo. And I got to drive home from the airport solo through Houston in our huge truck. I survived.
After the kids left, we spent one more night at Caprock Canyons. This gives us a chance to tidy up and relax a little before travel. We wanted to go south one more time to get some beach time before we headed back home. And what better place for us than Galveston Island State Park. We would still be able to see the kids a couple of times and enjoy beautiful beach time.
Way back around Thanksgiving, I was talking to my daughter about our upcoming winter travel plans. Not only were we coming down to visit her for Christmas, but she suggested that we meet and go camping together over spring break. She suggested Caprock Canyon State Park in Texas as that has been on her bucket list for a very long time. So a plan and reservations for a campsite were made. The park also has a lot of ranger led tour activities that you can make in advance. But I didn’t know that and when I called two weeks in advance to sign up for tours, they were already booked through April. Darn!
Again the drive from Palo Duro Canyon to Caprock Canyon was flat, dry, and boring. But then there’s a big surprise as you pull into the park. The first thing we noticed were some bison wandering on a path near the road. Then you get views of another beautiful canyon. Upon check in, we notified the ranger that we were expecting our daughter and family to join us. We needed a big enough site for us and their big tent. The ranger selected the perfect spot for us. A huge site with a short walk to the bathrooms, a playground in between and a prairie dog town next to the bathrooms and playground. Our grandkids loved it! But watch where you step because there is bison poop all over the place. The bison roam free, even through the campgrounds!
After talking about it for years, we’re finally heading for Alaska. Alaska is on many people’s bucket list, and we’ve been seriously looking at making the trip since before I retired. This year, everything seems to be lining up for us, and – barring more unforeseen events – we’ll reach Alaska this summer.
The concept of the journey as the destination is especially applicable to this trip. With about 4,000 miles one-way from home to Denali, and probably about 10,000 miles for the entire trip, this adventure is all about the journey. While there are lots of things we plan to see, and Alaska is literally the end of the road, calling Alaska our destination is a bit like calling the entire southwest our destination. (Alaska is big – you could fit Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado and Nevada into Alaska and still have room for part of California.)