First, the boring facts; we traveled 7,019.9 miles this year with The Beast. We started the year in Arizona and ended it in South Carolina. We visited the Pacific Ocean coastline and have stayed three months on the Atlantic Ocean coastline. During our cross country travels Denny and I stayed at forty-three different campgrounds in eighteen states. Of those forty-three campgrounds, twenty-two were membership campgrounds or affiliated with our member parks so we either stayed for free or at a greatly reduced ($10 a night for example) price. Of the remaining twenty-one parks, I'm sure probably one third of those were Passport America parks where the cost of the stay is discounted at 50%. We don't boondock, dry camp or spend the night in Walmart parking lots. When counting up our restaurant stops I was surprised to see that Denny and I tried one hundred and nine different restaurants, cafes, diners or bars over the course of a year. Hmmm, I can see right now where we could cut our expenses a bit! I think Denny and I managed to play about ten new golf courses before I injured my back. And as is usual with The Beast, we had numerous repairs to be made to the furnace, to leaking slide outs, lights, propane regulators and hoses and right at the end of the year the microwave/convection oven blew for the second time in one year (thank goodness for extended warranties.)
Ah, but the good part of traveling by RV comes next; we saw full moons over the ocean, over rivers, over lakes and over the desert.
Over the past year Denny and I have seen birds and critters and flowers galore, except when we specifically went to see something special like the Antelope Valley Poppy Preserve where there were no poppies. Sigh. At the Mesa flea market in Arizona Denny splurged on a pair of 20 x 70 binoculars and boy have we had fun with those. They allow you to see rock climbers and soaring birds and things you just wouldn't be able to see normally or with a regular pair of binoculars.
After fourteen years on the road we finally made it to Yosemite National Park.
And the Reno/Lake Tahoe area.
I rode a duck for the first time in Wisconsin Dells. It was there that I slipped and fell, ending up with compression fractures in two vertebra which ended our travels for six weeks while we saw a back surgeon and had our normal check ups with our family physician and dentist in Ohio. Because it was so uncomfortable for me to ride in the truck for the long distance to our hometown from our campground Denny and I didn't get to visit with as many of our friends and family members that we would have liked.
After the back surgeon cleared me for travel Denny and I headed north to visit both sets of sons and their families before turning the nose of the truck towards Myrtle Beach. Our intent was to check out homes in the area as a possible location to settle down, but when we found a place that we liked Denny and I found ourselves getting cold feet about the whole idea of staying in one place. Together we realized that there are still coastlines to explore, lakes to picnic beside, bends in the roadway to follow. Yes, if we bought a house we could always fly or drive to other areas and stay in motels but traveling in a RV allows us to take the cat with us without worrying about her care (or if she's clawing her caretaker to shreds), sleep in our own bed, cook local produce in our own kitchen and enjoy having a different view out of our windows every week.
So while we will continue to look at houses as we travel I have a sneaking suspicion that at the end of next year we'll be nestled among the saguaro cacti with a view of the Superstition Mountains out of the rear window of The Beast. While missing the sound of the surf at Myrtle Beach. And so it goes....