Friday, August 18th … Day 103 … Ponderosa Campground, Cody Wyoming
Campground? It’s an RV Park downtown, ½ mile to Walmart …. Anxious to get home we have shortened our trip by 3 days and are heading home tomorrow! So today is all about getting going, laundry and a stop at the Ford dealer, they did the “works” fluids, rotation, brake inspection, they also replaced the SD card on my navigation(yes!). Time for a celebration, dinner at Carries Steak House, Old time Honky Tonk, great local beef, processed right there, live Cowboy Band, good stuff! Truck is hooked up and ready to go! On the road again…………..
Saturday, Aug 19th … Day 104 … Homeward Bound … On the road to South Dakota
Elkhorn Ridge RV Resort in the Black Hills, South Dakota. What a ride! First half was all scenery and high 9,000’ plus mountain pass. Stopped a couple times to take it all in. Saw lots of Antelope along the way. Passed through a lot of National Forest areas. Slow going until we hit route 90 east, area is full of smoke ,burning the eyes, up go the windows and on with the AC. Price of gas dropped as soon as we left Yellowstone, all & all most pricing was fair on the west coast until you near a tourist area. On our trip today twice there were 70 mile spans between Gas stations. We’ve learned to fill up when the tank is at half and started carrying an extra 5 gallons since we were in the northwest. Elkhorn RV is loaded with amenities…. 350 miles today…. Nice level spot, left the truck hitched for a quick get away! ... Stay tuned…..
Sunday, August 20th … Day 105 … On the road to Minnesota
Flying Goose RV Park, Fairmont, Minnesota. Crossed lots of flat land today, lots of cornfields and miles upon miles of Sunflowers! Again lots of Antelope and a number of deer, couple nice bucks. Carol took a turn driving today, she did great but did not enjoy it when the big rigs roared by, most of the highways out here have a 70 or 80 mile speed limit…. A few tourist traps where they start advertising 100 miles away with billboards every half mile… went past the place and movies sets for Dances with Wolves, always liked that show… 500 mile day today, nice park, bed early…
Monday, August 21st … Day 106 … On the road to Indiana
Woodland Village, Portage, Indiana. Up at 4am, have to time the traffic around Chicago, Huge lightening storm last night, lit up the sky for an hour, no thunder, quite the show, … pretty boring ride today, finally got to an area that was green…trees, lawns lots of maple and oak trees… signs of home. Passed through Wisconsin … someone say cheese? You bet, picked out four different kinds, tried them first… oh boy! Arrived in Chicago, looping around it on I 294, greeted with a quick rain, did not last long, traffic moved smoothly with only a few idiots, still a little nerve racking. This park is cheap, full hook ups, a little depressing, a number of old mobile homes. Another 500 mile day today, stayed hooked up again for the quick get away! Up early again tomorrow, should arrive in New York late afternoon….
Tuesday, August 22nd … Day 107 … On the road to New York? Maybe home?
Talked it over last night and decided to try for home … up at 4am, ready for a long ride, raining and pitch black, got to the highway, entrance ramp closed, followed the detours, lots of semis, construction zone, raining hard, dark out, decided to get off the detour and headed east on 94 hoping to catch a side road back to the highway, the alternate road shown on the map did not exist, headed for another entrance to the highway, that too was closed, then headed west 15 miles in the opposite direction and got back on 90 east… alleluia! That episode cost us 1 ½ hours and our hopes for getting home quickly vanished. More rain in Ohio, pulled off the highway in Batavia, NY, Lei-Ti RV Resort, mostly seasonal campers here, very nice park, level site, staying hooked up again, really excited to get home tomorrow!
Wednesday, August 23rd … Day 108 … Heading home!
Slept in a little, two white tail fawns right outside the trailer this morning! … short 250 miler today, familiar with this section of road, traveled a big portion of it to get to one of our fishing spots. Googled one of the Diner stops in Herkimer, NY only to find it closed, gonna miss those Beef Sausage breakfast meals! What a trip! We’ll need some time off to gather our thoughts and get caught up and perhaps plan another one!!.........................
One month later …..
So happy that we took the time off from our lives to pursue a piece of our dreams We have talked about it for a long time, listened to others that shared the same thoughts and watched and talked with those that ventured forth on similar journeys. Our decision to do it now instead of later was driven by a simple phrase “now or maybe never”. Would we do it again? In a heartbeat! Would we do anything different? You betcha! We towed our 24’ trailer nearly 9,000 miles and we piled on another 5000 miles exploring some of the most majestic landscapes on earth, visiting 28 states and Vancouver Island, BC. How much did we spend on gas? Quite a bit, $3,700 or $34 a day, obviously our biggest expense of the whole trip! Campground fees rang in second at $2,200, an average of 20 bucks a night. Nearly half of the trip we camped without electricity or water hook-ups. Food costs were a little higher than home due to the rising price of Marionberry Pies and Huckleberry Ice Cream. Thank God for the National Parks Senior Pass as there were no fees to enter any of our National Parks and half price at all their campgrounds, a huge savings, LP gas, Laundromat use and other necessities were offset by shutting down the utilities at the house. We never exercised our options nor felt the need to zip line, river raft, take a fishing charter, horseback ride or cruise a harbor. So ooo oo…. How much? About 7K for the 108 day vacation, not bad as long as you have a fully outfitted truck and trailer! We visited or stayed at twelve National Parks, over 2 dozen state or county parks and many, many National Forests, hiked nearly 250 miles of this countries’ most spectacular beaches, deserts, forest land, alpine meadows and mountain peaks. We managed to visit relatives and friends along the way and made many new ones. Every day brought a new adventure and filled us with memories that we will cherish forever and ever. Amen!