We left Colorado on Friday morning intending to drive two hours to a campground in Utah. After that our plan was to spend some time visiting Zion and Bryce. Well, once we hit the Utah border something happened. It was like we were a horse heading to the barn. Being that close to home made us anxious to see kids, grandkids, and friends. We arrived at home on Saturday afternoon after 10 months on the road!
Here’s a few facts:
That’s 23,341 miles!
States visited on our trip on 12/26/15:
As you can see we still have some states to visit and we also want to go back to Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico. We have no intention of going to the mid-west states that we missed! We don’t plan on going out for another long trip but will do the the rest of the states by going out a few months at a time.
Our car is 17 years old and had lots of miles on it when we left. I’m sure some of you thought we were crazy! We wondered if we were crazy. But we did not have a single problem with our car! We did get the oil changed a few times and we bought new tires in North Dakota. But to drive that many miles and have no mechanical issues was such an incredible blessing.
We had no health issues! Neither of us even caught a cold. That was pretty amazing since we were in so many places touching hand rails and such that thousands of others had touched before us. And think of all the public bathrooms we used! It truly seems like a miracle. Of course, there was the broken wrist but the worst part of that was that John had to wash the dishes for seven weeks! He does so much while we are traveling (emptying the poop tank for one) that I really did feel bad about the dishes. But he never complained.
We were so blessed to find so many beautiful places to camp. Many of them were found in my research but we went to others that fellow travelers told us about. We so appreciated those recommendations. Not once were we disappointed and some of them turned out to be among our favorites.
This many sound funny but we were so, so blessed by Walmart! We love Sam Walton! And here’s why:
They are everywhere! In most parts of the country, Walmart Supercenters are the norm, not the exception (unlike Orange County, Ca). In case you don’t know the difference between a regular Walmart and a Supercenter, the Supercenter also includes a full grocery store. Emphasis on full.
Another very helpful thing to us rv’ers is a big parking lot. We were always able to find parking for our rig. And they have an auto center. We would leave our car to get the oil changed while we went into the store to do our shopping. And it’s one-stop shopping. And every store is set up the same so we know where everything is.
A typical shopping trip might include groceries, rv toilet paper (very important), fishing tackle and bait, propane, pocket knife (when “someone” looses theirs), winter gloves (when “someone” looses theirs), shorts (when you realize you didn’t bring enough), mosquito spray, toilet plunger (to pull the dent out of rear quarter panel of tow vehicle when “someone” leans against it).
We were blessed to see the best of this great country! In this current political climate, it’s easy to be discouraged at the condition of our country. And there is much to be discouraged about. But this is an incredibly beautiful country. God has blessed us with such creativity in our physical world. And we met so many kind people. It seems that on the media we only see the meanness of people but we met a lot of genuinely nice people!
Some things I personally won’t miss about traveling:
Always having to think about where we were going to stay next. This responsibility was mine and it was a little stressful. Because we wanted flexibility, we never made reservations more than a week or so ahead. But it always seemed to work out and we were never without a place to stay. Thank you, Jesus.
Doing laundry. Most independent rv parks have laundry facilities. But we preferred staying in state parks, most of which do not have laundry facilities. We were just always having to think about where we would do laundry. And I think doing laundry in public facilities is disgusting. Have you ever had to clean someone else’s lint left in the dryer? Gross!
Doing the blog. I didn’t hate doing it but I’m glad this is my last post (until we go back out again). Since this blog is for others but also for us as a record of our journey, I felt the pressure to keep it going but often I just wanted to quit. So glad to not think about it for awhile! And by the way, thanks to Travis for setting up the blog for me. Couldn’t have done it myself!
And now the question you are all asking yourselves. “How did the two of you get along?” “How is it being with your spouse 24/7?” Here’s the answer: One of the key things is having common interests. We have a lot of common things that we like doing! That is critical. (Although I never want to go to another fort in my life.) Another thing that I think is key is that when we do get frustrated with each other (and we did) neither of us stays mad for very long. Did we bicker? Yes. Did we get bugged by one another? Yes. I think my talking got to John sometimes. It turns out than when I’m driving I talk to other drivers a lot. And I make comments about everything. Who knew? But on our last night we told each other that we wouldn’t have wanted to do this with anyone else!
Finally, I’d like to share this chapter from the Psalms I read part way into our trip. This was a song sung by pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem.
I lift up my eyes to the mountains-
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
The Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip-
He who watches over you will not slumber;
Indeed, He who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you-
The Lord is the shade at your right hand;
The sun will not harm you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm-
He will watch over your life;
The Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.
We hope this blog has served as an inspiration to the readers! We know camping (even in an rv) is not for everyone. But there are other ways to get out and see this great country. And if this adventure seems like something you’d like to do, then do it! I’d like to encourage young people to save for something like this even if you, like us, can’t do this until retirement. Most of all, I hope our own kids will be inspired. We will try to leave some money for you to do this. 😂