Today marked a major milestone – one year on the road. It was August 4th, 2016 when we pulled away from curb in San Marcos. It has been 365 days, covering 13,600 miles up to this point. From west coast to east coast following the old Route 66 through Arizona, New Mexico and across the midwest to arrive on the east coast in Rhode Island.
After a brief respite there with Carole and Pete, we hugged the eastern seaboard driving down to St. Augustine in Florida, dodging hurricane Matthew in Delaware and passing through the aftermath as we continued south after the storm. We went over the sea and under the sea through tunnels, on ferries and crossing long expanses of bridges. Spent time with friends and family in the Carolinas and saw fall foliage in the mountains.
From Florida, we followed the Gulf of Mexico through the deep south stopping on snow white sand beaches and boating through alligator infested swamps. We visited friends in Texas and crossed the border at Laredo heading into Mexico.
From Thanksgiving and into the following May we wandered around the Pacific coast of Mexico riding along the malecon in Mazatlan in an open air pulmonia and exploring the beaches between there and Puerto Vallarta. A large amount of our days were spent with the great people at the zen compound at Los Arroyos Verdes. From there we settled for a while at the picturesque pueblito of Lo de Marcos in Nayarit. Good friends were made, wonderful memories were imprinted on the cerebral cortex and music rang out from the weekly open mike at El Pequeno Paraiso.
As June approached, we took a northward tack once again. Up through the Sonora desert and back to the family compound in north county San Diego. After a few weeks visiting with relatives and excavating our way into the storage unit for some needed items, we headed northeast once again.
This time our path took a more northerly route traversing the Rockies and seeing the beauty of the red rocks in Utah and Colorado as we crossed the nation for a second time. I saw my first Great Lakes and we were awed by the spectacle of Niagara Falls.
The RV has acquitted itself admirably not withstanding a few blown tires and a bit of huffing and puffing to get over the Rockies and climbing up into Santa Fe. But overall, no major complaints although we do look wistfully at some of the mid sized rigs that would offer a little more living area.
I’d love to say that the dogs took to the traveling like fish to water, but the truth is they still haven't quite got it figured out. Koda does okay. She can nap through anything and is pretty easy going. She is just not a big fan of the heat. Cali, on the other hand, is thoroughly neurotic and doesn't show any signs of changing. It is still a chore trying to get her to eat and even after a year of being a passenger on this train, she continues to quake in fear when it's time to saddle up and drive to the next destination. They have their days though, cavorting back and forth like puppies after an early morning swim in a lake or ocean.
PJ and I? Well, we have our ups and downs. For her, there are many days where leaving a secure job and a comfortable home don’t seem like it was such a great idea. The van is too small. A dog is always having some need. Your feet get dirty. I have no voice. Will there be enough money? But there are other times when the sun is dropping behind some crazy red rocks in Sedona, a herd of wild horses is passing through your camp or you are ducking beneath a gentle blue wave in 83 degree tropical seas that this wild adventure seems to have some intrinsic value.
The original plan to explore retirement destinations in the tropical south to see if there might be a sliver of beach that might be right for us keeps being pushed forward. I think for some that there exists a limited number of days living in an RV before a tolerance level is surpassed and we have exhausted most of that ‘RV Goodwill’ touring back and forth across the U.S.A. Of the 13,600 miles driven so far, only ~2350 of those have been south of the border.
So where does that leave us now? I’m not really sure. We are taking it one day at a time, still thinking to cross back into Mexico before the year is out. We are taking a little tour of northern New England then back to the in-laws to see how they are holding up then figure things out as each day opens up. If you've made this far into the post, my hat's off to you. It's 6:00 a.m. as I'm writing this. PJ has been up since four trying to convince Cali to poop. Seacoast Camping here in New Hampshire which has these great beach front photos on the website is no where near the beach (well 4 miles if that counts as being on the coast). It's threatening to rain and I'm exceedingly grouchy, so pay me no mind. This is where you'll find yourself after 365 days on the road.