Freedom and Liberty

Freedom and Liberty
I travel in Freedom but sleep in the security of Liberty (not only on the road, but in this amazing country of ours)

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

The Streetlights Are Almost On,,, Time to Go Home

Location: Coeur d'Alene Casino; near Couer d'Alene, Idaho (elev 2,600 feet)

I'm not sure if this post will have pictures, but if there are any they were probably taken with a Nokia Lumia Icon 929 cell phone.

"The streetlights are almost on, time to go home". Sometimes it was also porch lights instead of streetlights but either one meant the day of playing was about over. During the summer and weekends, we kids would have been outside playing for the entire day. Maybe going home around noon to grab something to eat if we were in the area. The limits of our playing was how ever far you could ride your bike and still be back home by the time the streetlights came on.  People of my generation will remember that feeling, that feeling of the adventure is just about over. We never felt like we were guaranteed another adventurous day and it seemed like we lived day to day, weekend to weekend, season to season. 

For the last couple of weeks I've been trying to figure out where to go after reaching my destination of Coeur d'Alene. I'm now at the end of my stay here and need to be moving on. I thought about going to the Oregon coast and then circling south through California on my way back to Louisiana but a lot of that would be retracing some of my old route. So I figured maybe go into North Dakota since I hadn't been there before. I googled and about the only thing to see was the National Grasslands and that didn't excite me too much. I've  been to the National Parks around here so those visits were out. I thought about re-riding the Beartooth Highway and then it hit me why I didn't want to repeat things. When I rode the Beartooth Highway a couple of years ago it was a fantastic "wow", one of the best of my travels. I rode it right after it was opened up from the winter. But, I worried that if I re-rode it and it was less spectacular, would that tarnish/taint my older memories, my "silent echoes". In the future as I would look back on Beartooth, would I remember the first "wow" or the secondary, possible let-down, "oh well" ride. And that is why I believe I have been hesitant about re-tracing some of my older routes that had "wow's" on them. That doesn't mean I will never go back to places I've been. One example is the Rocky Mountain National Park which I've visited twice. However, the second trip was specifically to ride an old road that I was unable to ride the first time. I doubt if I'll go back to the park since Colorado raised the price of camping in their state parks. When I checked about possibly staying in Boyd Lake State Park, the price was $44.00 per night. That is just way too high for any state park. Perhaps for a family with little ones, but not for an old man wandering around by himself. 

I haven't counted them up lately but I've stayed in around 250 different campgrounds since I started traveling back in April of 2014. The gauge on the dash in Freedom says we've towed Liberty almost 45,000 miles around this country. I've been coast to coast and border to border. I've seen the sun rise from the Atlantic Ocean in Maine and set in the Pacific Ocean off the Oregon coast. As I think about directions to travel, there is more often than not a thought of "I've been there before", and the feeling passes. 

So, with all of that in mind,,,,, the streetlights are almost on and it's time to head home. I'll pull out tomorrow heading for home in Louisiana. Yeah, I know it's still hot but it'll be OK. There is one thing I haven't done in my travels that I will do on the way home. I've never over-nighted in a Walmart parking lot. I'll do that tomorrow night and the next night in the Walmart lots of Laurel, Montana and Sidney, Nebraska. Both days will be about 500 miles of towing along the interstate. To me, that means excellent "thinking driving". I've checked both of them out and they seem good to go. If I arrive around 9:00 pm or so, the outside temperature should be in the upper 60's to low 70's. When I bought Liberty, I specifically chose a floorplan that would allow me access to the bed, toilet, shower, bathroom sink and my Lazy-boy recliner without having to open my slide-outs. That was done for nights like the upcoming two nights in Walmart's parking lot. I'll just pull in, unplug the electrical connection between Freedom and Liberty, maybe walk to a restaurant near by, then crawl in bed for a good nights sleep. I always carry water in Liberty's tanks, so with her new water pump I'll get a nice hot shower in the mornings before hitting the road again. The hot water for the shower comes from my water heater that runs on either electricity or propane. I'm looking at the Walmart stops as adventures within themselves. One more thing to do before I,,,,,,,,,,.


Tonight's picture is from five years ago when I was camped on the shore of Lake Superior. Every evening, around dusk, most of the people in the campground would go down to the shore to watch the sun go down. These ducks were swimming to shore to roost for the night. I guess they saw "the streetlights coming on". 
Ya'll take care of each other. I'll Cya down the road. 

14 comments:

  1. After 10 full years and 3 half years of roaming the west, I have been having the same thoughts you are. My trailer has over 250,000 miles on it since I left Richland Washington on 10-07-2007. Virtually all those miles were west of the Mississippi River. This year I am having a difficult time planning a fall loop. I just had my Happy Birthday call from my son and now plan to be back here in North Alabama for December and January. Meanwhile I need to fill in the Sept. Oct. November time.

    I am really enjoying your blog entries and all the memories they bring back to me. Be safe my friend.

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    1. I'm glad you're enjoying them Barney. As I said before, it's my opinion that you should go to Rockport, even with all of the changes you described,,,,, it is a place that just suits you.

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  2. Since I've stayed at a LOT of Walmarts, and when I'm traveling I consider them a normal place to overnight I will offer these few thoughts.

    Even if a Walmart has no over night parking signs up, if you ask an employee often they will say Walmart doesn't care, the police don't enforce it, and there's RVs here every night.

    I always put out my slides, even though like you, I can live comfortably with them in. I try if possible to park so my slides hang out over the grass instead of into another parking space, but every RV I see in the parking lot has their slides out. I believe that the no slide out thing came from the concept of not looking like we're camping in the parking lot. But to me that meant don't put out the awning, don't put out the barbecue, and don't put out the lawn chairs, and the people I've talked to that work at Walmarts have told me Walmart couldn't care less about slides, they just don't want you to look like you're living there.

    I try to arrive early at a Walmart so I can get a nice spot where my slides will overhang the grass. Showing up at 9:30 PM at a normal Walmart most of the good spots will be taken by RVs and often times semi's you may have to end up parking where the cars park.

    Do with these suggestions what you will and I hope they're beneficial to you, but keep in mind there based on 30 years of RVing and sleeping in Walmart parking lots and never once being asked to leave by Walmart or the police.

    Tom

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  3. Hello Tom, thanks for the suggestions. My plan is to get to Walmart after it cools down to around 70. My fans should cool off the RV while I run into Walmart to buy something. Since I will only be sleeping, I'll probably keep the slides in unless there is something I can't live without that is blocked by my slide. I don't anticipate any problems and heck,,,, I may start liking it. Be safe out there,,, I hope you enjoyed the races.

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  4. Enjoy your blog though haven't commented before. A suggestion for Sydney NE if the Walmart doesn't work out - try Cabelas Sporting Goods. We boondocked there several times over the years with no problem and the store itself is great.

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    1. Hello AG,,, thanks for the information. I just checked Cabelas location and it may be a better place than walmart if the 18 wheelers have filled up the walmart parking lot. Thanks again. Be safe out there if you're traveling.

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  5. Safe travels. Hard to believe it is time for you to head home. Hold onto those "wow" moments.

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    1. I'm holding them as tight as I can Barb,,,,thanks.

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  6. There is a lot more in North Dakota to see than just the grasslands! There is Medora, Teddy Roosevelt's home is there. Garrison Dam - man made the home of the tag fish... there is the state Capital and of course Fort McKeen south of Mandan that has the actual earth homes. North Dakota is home to the Peace Gardens, and this is the PERFECT TIME for a visit to the Peace Gardens. The world's largest Holstein Cow in New Salem... I could keep going but... my fingers are tired now!

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    1. Thanks for all of the suggestions MCA,,,, I'll put them on my "list of things to see and do". I won't make ND this trip though. Thanks again.

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  7. If you stop traveling it will be kinda sad —-like the end of an era. I remember the street light rule but also remember the same applied to the porch light. And if the porch light was turned off & immediately back in-we were in trouble-that was the last warning. But that probably didn’t happen to you ‘cause you always obeyed the rules!

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    1. We will see about traveling. No plans yet. Yeah, you were always the bad influence.

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  8. Ya need to get a old style percolator my friend!! Enjoy your musing but I have to start the day with coffee electricity or not!

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    1. I used to have one of those many years ago. But instead of making it that way, I'll just stop at a truck stop on my way down the road. Love's Truck Stop coffee is pretty good. Thanks for the comment. Be safe.

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