I've been back in Mansfield, for a little over two months. During that time, I've visited with my family, had two new A/C units installed in Liberty (one because it broke and the other just to teach it a lesson) and been sick for about half of those two months. This sickness hung around for almost five weeks which surprised me since any sickness I've had in the past usually ran its course in two weeks at most. Now that I'm just about 100% recovered from my sickness, I have set up an appointment with my General Practitioner for my annual checkup. Like most reasonable people (see what I almost did there,,,, if you don't agree with what I was about to say, I declared you "unreasonable". lol). Now that wasn't fair for me to do that, so I'll start that sentence over. Unless you're crazy like me, you normally go to the doctor when you're sick. My thoughts over the years has been if I have a touch of the cold or flu or sinus or whatever minor thing I may catch, it will run its normal course in a week or two with the help of just a few over the counter meds. If I would happen to go to the doctor, I may get better quicker, but there is a trade off. Some people say, the more antibiotics you use, the less effective they become, so maybe I'm saving up their "effectiveness" for something really big. The sickness this time was a low grade fever for a few days with a ticklish type of cough. After the first week or ten days, one of my sinuses started acting up. But I'm much better now and will see my GP tomorrow. I will probably tell him about my sickness, but maybe not.
The weather around here is getting hotter and more humid by the day. One of the things I used to say about my plans of retiring and hitting the road was, with an RV, I could follow the 70 degree temperature line on the weather maps. Now-a-days when ever I think of following that line, I'm reminded of my friend, Joe Debusk, who used to laugh each time I mentioned it. He also had plans for his retirement, but a lot of them went unfulfilled when he passed away a little more than a year ago. His passing was one of the many reminders to me of "don't wait too long".
I figure the weather will be OK through June but somewhere around the first of July, I need to be traveling in search of that 70 degree line.
So, that means I need to pick a destination, plan a route and find some things to explore along the way. Several readers of this blog are planning to become Full Time RV Travelers in the future, so I thought it might be interesting for them to see how I plan a trip. This will also document my thought process for my grandchildren when they read the blog decades from now. Planning the trip has become necessary only within the last couple of years. With the dramatic increase in RV's on the road, campgrounds are filling up faster than they have in the past. It used to be you could pull into a campground in the middle of the afternoon and have a pick of half the campsites. Not anymore. You better have a reservation unless you plan to dry camp in a Walmart parking lot.
Picking a destination: The trip will be during July, August and September. Three very hot summer months. This means the cooler temperatures will be north.
Choices are the northeast which is the more expensive area for RV'ing. I wouldn't mind seeing Washington D.C. again since I certainly didn't see everything during my last trip. Maybe some other time. The northeast is out of the running.
The north central part of the country would be Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin. I was in that area not long ago, so it is still fresh in my mind and I don't want to re-trace my steps so soon. The north central is out.
The great plains area is out of the running due to a crazy tornado season this year, plus it would be almost as hot as down here.
The Rocky Mountains would be a good choice and maybe even a little farther west to the Pacific Coast. Now we're cooking with gas (younger readers may need to ask a seasoned citizen the meaning of that phrase).
The way I travel is I pick a destination which is basically as far as I plan to travel during that trip. I then plan my trip to that destination by picking exploration stops along the way and on the return trip. As an example, my first destination when I left Louisiana on my first RV trip was Bangor, Maine. It was a crazy route to get there, but I kept heading in that direction.
I think I'll chose Coeur d'Alene, Idaho as my destination. I know very little about the place except my father was stationed there when he was in the Air Force back in the 40's. He never talked much about his service but he did say Idaho was a pretty state. I've been in parts of Southern Idaho but not as far north as Coeur d'Alene. So, the destination is set.
Now, a couple preliminary routes to get there. Some of the places I'm interested in stopping at along the way would be the Big Bend area of Texas, Death Valley, Yosemite, Angel Lake in Nevada, revisit parts of the Oregon coast, Shoshone Falls and other waterfalls, Black Canyons of the Gunnison in Colorado and other places yet unknown to me.
Those are three preliminary routes and will definitely be modified before I hit the road and will be modified more while traveling. The main part to take away from those two routes is the distance. It will be about a 6,000 mile round trip. That is 6,000 miles of towing and based on past experience, that means another 6,000 miles of exploring. 12,000 miles of total travel. Those mileages help give me some more information. With a distance between campground of about 200 miles, this means about 30 campgrounds. If I stay, on average, 3 days per campground, then the trip will be about 90 days long. That means if I leave the first week of July, sometime after the 4th, I should be back in Louisiana about the first week of October.
The next post will firm up some of the preliminary routes, look at some campgrounds and find things to explore along the route.
A couple of pictures to round out the post.
|Grandson Nathan asleep in his Pa's arms while attending Olivia's T-ball game.|
Ya'll take care of each other. I'll Cya down the road.