Ever since we started traveling full-time, we've parked the motor home so we could spend the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays with family. This year we were parked longer than usual, as we got to welcome a new grandson the month before. So after an unusually long vacation from vacationing, we are finally back on the road again. We had a perfect day for our first day of travel--sunny skies and no wind. We're officially heading south in search of warmer weather.We crossed the state line into Texas, where we'll be staying for most of the winter. Mark was trying very hard to "drive friendly the Texas way" as the welcome-to-Texas sign suggested.
Wednesday, January 13, 2021
Monday, January 11, 2021
For six years we have lived with the furniture that was in our motor home when we bought it. The previous owners had upgraded the couch during the 13 months that they had the coach, so it was actually already improved from what it could have been. But we were really tired of the RV industry's reputably uncomfortable furniture.
That left us with a shorter version of a sleeper sofa and a chair. After six years of not having a recliner in our living room, we were ready for another change. Both the chair and sofa technically have foot rests, but they are too short to support Mark's long legs, and the leather on both was cracking and peeling. Even though we got the couch cushions recovered last year, now the back is doing the same. It was a bad batch of synthetic leather in 2014!
We really wanted a sofa with two recliners to replace the sleeper sofa and chair. So we started shopping a year ago. Our main problem with finding a replacement sofa is that it must fit in the driver's side slide. It's exactly 35 inches from the wall to the lip of the slide floor. Over and over we found that reclining sofas were 37-40 inches deep. We sat in and measured a lot of sofas in furniture stores across four states in the last year! To make the process more uncomfortable, those shopping trips had to be made while wearing a mask.
Saturday, January 9, 2021
Every year we look back over our travels and make a list of the things that we enjoyed the most. We would recommend any of these experiences, and happily do them again if we traveled in the same area again. Our list of hikes is longer than usual, because we were blessed to get to walk in the majesty of the mountains this summer! We are listing our favorites not in the order of our preference, but in the order that we experienced them in 2020. We try to include the nearest town as the location for most of our activities, but some trail heads can be very far from any town. These long lists are a reminder that we were once again blessed with the privilege of wandering God's wonders full-time. We are so glad to get to hike, bike, and kayak, and we also include our over-all favorite experiences of the year.
Gathering sea shells at Sea Rim State Park - Sabine Pass, TX
ATVing to Goose Lake - Red River, NM
Eating and dancing at the "Cowboy Evening" show - Red River, NM
Cutting wood for the firewood angels - Angel Fire, NM
Driving the passes of the Rocky Mountains (especially Cottonwood, Independence, Kebler . . .)
Rafting with family on Roaring Forks River - Glenwood Springs, CO
Jetty Walk - Port Aransas, TX
Goose Lake - Red River, NM
Clear Creek Trail - Cimarron Canyon, NM
Williams Lake - Taos, NM
Great Sand Dunes National Park - Mosca, CO
Continental Divide Trail on Cottonwood Pass - Buena Vista, CO
Grotto Trail and Ice Cave - Aspen, CO
Loveland Lake Trail - Loveland Pass, CO
Shrine Ridge Trail - Vail, CO
Scarp Ridge Trail - Crested Butte, CO
Vallecito Trail - Vallecito, CO
Penitente Canyon - Del Norte, CO
Mount Baldy Loop - Red River, NM
Mount Wheeler Loop - Red River, NM
Spruce Creek to Mohawk Lakes - Breckenridge, CO
Peaks Trail via the free summit stage - Breckenridge to Frisco, CO
Maroon Bells Trail to Crater Lake - Aspen, CO
Blue Lakes - Ridgway, CO
Ice/Upper Ice/Fuller/Island Lakes - Silverton, CO
Kilpacker and Navajo Lake (just not on the same day!) - Rico, CO
West Peak Summit Trail - Cuchara, CO
Vermillion River at Palmetto Island State Park - Abbeville, LA
Cottonwood Lake - Buena Vista, CO
Twin Lakes - Leadville, CO
Woods Lake - Sawpit, CO
Trout Lake - Telluride, CO
North Padre National Sea Shore Beach - Mustang, TX
Brazos Bend State Park with the Alligators - Needville, TX
Arkansas River Trail - Little Rock, AR
Mineral Belt Trail - Leadville, CO
Boggy Draw Trail - Dolores, CO
Thursday, January 7, 2021
Every year we write a summary of our travel experiences, and it's hard to believe that we have just finished our sixth full year on the road as full-time RVers! We know that we will never forget Covid's presence in 2020! What a crazy year for a couple vagabonds trying to isolate, but still enjoying the changing views from the windshield of our home on wheels!
We started the year at the tip of Texas, and then we began our planned route towards the north and east. We had plotted out stays in the Canadian Maritimes for the summer--planning to spend time in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland. We were in Louisiana when things started shutting down--including the Canadian border. So our travels suddenly changed as we put together Plan B . . . then Plan C . . . then Plan D.
Each year Mark plots a map with a point for every place that we spent at least one night in our motor home. Our travel route is a crazy shape this year. as we came up with new plans as the pandemic kept shutting doors to our travel ideas.
Tuesday, January 5, 2021
After a wonderful Christmas with our children and grandchildren, we headed a couple hours north to pick up Mark's Mother. She was staying with Mark's brother, but she needed a ride back to her house. At 92, she's still living by herself and taking care of everything. But she enjoyed a three-day vacation as they treated her like a queen.