No matter how much research we did, how many YouTube videos we watched, how many articles we read and how much information our RV’ing friends shared with us, there was no way for us to really understand what RV’ing was really about or how it works. I’m not referring to plotting next destinations on the map, researching campgrounds and jotting our plans on the calendar.
What we have discovered is the flow that is part of life on the road. It ebbs and flows, it has a feeling, and it informs us on when we are to spend a single night at a campground or extend our stay to either rest a while or settle into routine for a few days. It makes sure that we all catch our breath when we need to and gives the dogs time to feel at home, even if temporarily, to enjoy a dog park multiple days in a row or to explore some trails to burn off physical energy. Sometimes it seems like it’s just a way to sink our roots into the ground temporarily to nourish ourselves.
We left Palm Coast, Florida after 12 days, a time during which we were able to explore the area, visit dear friends, and enjoy routine with the dogs. Perdido Key in the Pensacola area was our next stop, and we so wished we could have stayed longer. We were right on the border of Alabama, and when we discovered how gorgeous the Gulf Shores beaches are, we vowed to return for an extended time. At the time of our Perdido stay we were still committed to following the calendar and our pre-planned stay. Perhaps it was during that time that our resolve to follow a rigid schedule began to crumble.
As we made our way over to Houston, Texas we traveled on miles and miles of raised roads through Louisiana, over lakes, swampy areas and swollen rivers. It was extraordinary! And then we hit the Texas border and massive road construction, and smooth sailing turned into bumpy and uncomfortable driving. It was with relief that we finally set up camp in the next RV park and promptly extended our stay from 3 nights to 5 nights. It’s always a treat to be in an RV park that is well cared for, super clean, offering modern and lovely facilities. Extending our stay was a good decision! During our stay we caught up with several friends, friends whom we haven’t seen in years, and wow what a treat it has been. We have also visited an amazing dog park several times, taken trail walks and tended to personal things like haircuts, grocery shopping, re-organizing storage in the RV and taking care of loads of laundry. We also spent many, many hours plotting travel going forward for the next couple of weeks, and then redoing our bookings as we felt our way into how long our stopovers need to be. They will remain subject to change.
We are looking forward to tomorrow’s overnight stay at a vineyard, and then our trip down to the Texas/Mexico border where we will explore Big Bend National Park and it’s sister State Park. From there we plan to head into New Mexico to White Sands State Monument. We have also made bookings into Arizona…YYAAASSS!!! We are very excited to get to New Mexico and Arizona. We will feel it out and figure out how long we will explore. We at least have spots reserved for the next few weeks…also subject to change, depending on how we feel.
We can’t believe we have been on the road for 5 weeks. It’s been easy to just be in the moment and also to look forward to what’s next. There is much to deal with each day, but it’s not complicated and it’s just basic living needs and dog parenting. It does, however, find us surprised at the speed with which each day vanishes, and how we have yet to watch a movie or listen to an audio book, to say nothing of how little time I seem to have to sit down to write.
It’s time for bed, and again, I feel super sleepy. Last night included a 2 am dog walk for a very restless Charlie, a 7 am dog walk, coffee, a 10:00 am visit to the dog park followed by a trail walk, re-booking some upcoming camping stays, and a day of pre-travel chores. It’s only 9:30 pm. And so it goes…happy trails…