Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime. ~Mark Twain
Helloooo? Knock, knock. Anyone home? Probably not since I haven’t written anything in months and months and why in the world would anyone be here? My fault. My apologies. (And my thanks to Caskie Stinnett for the title quote.)
Well, this seems as good a day as any to get back on that blogging bandwagon since today is my anniversary. I took possession of the Chieftain one year ago today. After three long days on the road from Philly to Florida, we got into Tampa on October 12th and a couple of hours later we were moving into the RV.
We spent six weeks at Lazy Days RV Center, boondocking for most of it and then spent the winter in the Keys. We lit out of Florida in February, headed up to Georgia then to Tennessee then to Louisiana. Then in April while we were in Texas we decided to upgrade from our ’03 Winnebago Chieftain to an ’05 Tiffin Phaeton, which required that we head right back across Louisiana, which we swore we’d never drive on I-10 again, to Alabama. (I love New Orleans, I really do, and I love the French Quarter RV Resort but damn, Louisiana, you need to earmark some of your recovery money for your sections of the interstates. I damn near rattled all the fillings out of my head.)
After picking up the Phaeton and spending a couple of weeks getting it organized we had to head to Canada for some classes. We drove back across Louisiana to Dallas, said “Hi” to my mom for one night, maybe two (I can’t rightly recall.) and then up to Oklahoma to see the Dude’s family.
After OKC it was straight up I-35 to Kansas then over to 29 to skirt along Nebraska and Iowa and then we took a left at Sioux Falls on I-90 to make one long-ass drive across South Dakota. We took a slight detour to see Mt. Rushmore and the Crazy Horse monument, and since we had a little extra time drove to Devil’s Tower.
We got back on 90 and stayed on it until Billings, Montana. We stayed a couple of nights, missing the big tornado by one day, and then took 87 to Great Falls where we caught our final US interstate, I-15, which took us to the border crossing at Coutts, Alberta.
We spent a few hours waiting to get cleared for Canada and the final leg began. We had god-awful torrential rain the entire time from Coutts to Calgary. That damn rain was coming in sideways and it was fucking cold and the animals were freezing and we were freezing and the only other drivers on the roads were truckers. We had a schedule to keep and we were by God going to do it.
Finally, Calgary. We stayed for three weeks and then it was off to Vancouver. But we took the scenic route up north and went through Banff and Lake Louise and up to Jasper where we stood on an ice floe from a glacier. That was awesome.
After Jasper it was down to Kamloops and then over to the Pacific Border RV Park, about thisclose to Blaine, Washington. We were there through July and in fact, had July 4th in Canada and I could actually throw a rock and hit Washington. But I didn’t as I didn’t wish to go to prison or start an international incident because I hit a Border guard.
After Vancouver it was down to Washington where I had a chance to see my best friend from my freshman year in high school and a friend from Dallas that I hadn’t seen since, oh, ’95-ish?
We left Washington and went on down to Oregon and I saw some more old friends and then off to California.
We stayed in Santa Rosa for a week then we spent five days in Bodega Bay and then went to San Francisco, which is where we are now. We will be here for another couple of weeks and then it’s down to LA. After that it’s all open. We have no set plans after LA. Could be heading to Florida. Could be heading to Texas. Might stay in San Diego. Who knows?
After one year in an RV, living with the Dude, two cats, and a dog, I reckon we’re doing OK and are going to make this work. As far as I can remember we’ve only threatened to leave each other a handful of times, which considering that there is really no privacy and no doors to slam is pretty good. I don’t think we’ve fought any more or less than we did in a brick-and-mortar home.
So, there you go. One year of travel, condensed to a few paragraphs. It’s a whole new year, which means a whole new set of adventures and this year, I promise to write more than once every few months.
Off to Yoshi’s for sushi, cocktails, and jazz! Happy anniversary everyone!