Our loop is complete and we are home. After almost 8,000 miles, through 17 States and 7 ½ months later, we pulled into our driveway with a little bit of happiness to be home and a little bit of regret that this year’s journey is over. We stayed at (in order of frequency) Coast to Coast parks, State Parks, Elk Lodges, County Parks, Passport American parks, Corps of Engineer Parks, Walmart parking lots and BLM lands. A very nice park near Tucson, AZ was our most expensive stay and, of course, the desert was free. Walmart doesn’t charge to stay in their parking lot, but we always manage to spend about $100 when we stay there, so it is not our most frugal stop. We spent more on camping this year, but we were gone almost a month longer and moved more often than we have in the past.
We spent less on fuel this year than we did last year despite the fact we put an extra 1,500 miles on the rig. The highest we paid for fuel was $3.68 in Coldwater, Michigan when we left, and the lowest was $2.47 at Sams Club in Casa Grande, AZ. I didn’t think we would ever see gas prices go down again, but diesel was over $3.00 until after the first of the year and we never paid over $3.00 after that.
We got our flu shots at a grocery store in Pahrump, NV and were pretty healthy all winter except for one bout of some “bug” that got us both down for a few days. Ed’s allergies/sinus problems were pretty constant once we got west of the Mississippi and lasted until we got home. He seems to be much better at home?? I had problems with my knees most of the winter, but they mysteriously got better the closer we got to home??
The motorhome performed okay for a 13 year old rig if you don’t count the refrigerator door falling off, a leak in the roof for which we had to put out bowls and towels to catch the drips, the toilet seat breaking, and replacement of the kitchen faucet. Oh yeah, and on the last leg of our journey, the built-in cabinet on Ed’s side of the bed decided to drop down and tilt sideways as the slide was brought in. Oh yeah, and the liquor cabinet door fell off its hinges as soon as we got home. But we love our rig, especially since we can’t afford to buy a new one.
We visited old familiar places and explored places we had never been before. We saw the sun set over the ocean and watched the moon rise over the mountains. We camped in the desert, at the Ocean, on lakes and on rivers. We saw very little rain and lots of sunny, blue skies. We tried fried cheese curds at the Rodeo in Tucson, finger steaks in Boise, and had the best clam chowder ever in Pismo Beach, CA. We tasted a lot of wine and tried some new “speciality” drinks with our friends in Arizona. We also lost/won a little money in a lot of casinos.
We look back on our trip and it seems to have gone by so fast. We spent time alone, with friends and family, and a month each with Kristine and Corinne and had a wonderful time everwhere we went. We were only held up by weather conditions twice the entire trip and no close calls or accidents.
We laughed with our friends, cried with my family when my niece Tiffany died, were sad to leave our girls, distressed to hear my brother, Mike, had cancer, and rejoiced that my nephew, Tommy got married on the beach in Florida. We loved seeing my great nieces and nephew, children of my niece Shelley and niece Wendy in Arizona, but were unhappy to hear that our RV friends, Bill and Ruth, had lost everything in the tornado that hit Oklahoma City this spring and destroyed their 5th Wheel and truck. Life moves along no matter where you are.
This will be a different summer at home for us as Ed has retired (sort of) and I have to lose 50 pounds before my 50th class reunion in August. We will both be facing personal challenges! We are glad to be home but are already looking forward to heading out again in the Fall. I hope you have enjoyed tagging along with us. We made lots of memories and I hope you didn’t mind me sharing them with you.
Till next time.......................................................