About a year ago, we came to a realization. We have always wanted to go on a trip across the USA. And it has always been "someday".
And then we had a few acquaintances go through some very tough and scary times and it made us realize that "someday" may never happen if wait too long.
We also realized that our kids are the perfect ages for such a trip, young enough to not have too many obligation, yet old enough to appreciate it. We also have a dad who is currently a teacher with a summer of vacation. But we also have a Caroline. A severely handicapped daughter who doesn't tolerate car rides for longer than an hour without getting very upset.
So we bought a motorhome.
A HUGE home on wheels that will allow us to tour the country AND keep Caroline happy! It was a huge and very scary investment and we are absolutely clueless on these "rigs'. So we pretty much didn't know how anything worked and have been doing it all on the fly.
And, to make things even more crazy and fun, Eric's sister and her kiddos are following along behind us with their camper! She has always wanted to do this type of a trip too but didn't want to do it on her own. And it has been so nice having another adult around. We help her and she helps us. I told her I *almost* can understand the appeal of having sister wives! LOL! Although she is actual a sister, and not a wife. But anyway...
So we headed out 4 days ago and pretty much did quick overnights from PA to CO.
On the first day we traveled through PA, OH and IN. We set up camp in the Indianapolis area. The campground was fine - a little crowded, a little loud with interstate noise. But fine. We did have a nice view of a small pond. And we got some tumbling in, ate dinner, and slept.
In the morning, Eric and my nephew Carson went to the Indianapolis Speedway to tour the museum and see the track. And we were back on the road about noon.
Of course, just as we started to turn onto the on ramp to get back on I70....our storage compartment opened up and ALL our contents were thrown across the highway! YIKES! Luckily, we got them all back, but lesson learned. Just because you "lock" a compartment, doesn't mean it is completely SHUT.
Day #2 we made it through the rest IN, then IL, then we crossed the Mississippi River, saw the Gateway Arch and entered Missouri!
Missouri was HOT. Like almost 100 degrees HOT. And, in order to keep the entire motorhome cool, you need to turn on the generator to run the roof A/C. And we turned on the generator. And it worked. For 10 minutes.
We were never able to get it to work for any length of time, so we were all very hot. Very tired. And getting very irritated. It wasn't the best moments of the trip thus far.
But then we arrived in New Florence, MO and found the Lazy Days Campground. It was an oasis in the middle of nowhere. There was a POOL. There was a dog park! It was beautiful and quiet and we got two sites right next to each other. We enjoyed some Domino's delivery (WAYYY too tired to cook), sat and watched the sunset. And almost didn't want to leave!
But we did leave because we knew there were some incredible things up ahead
Day #3 we went through the rest of Missouri and then started in on Kansas. Holy Cow. Flat flat flat. And once you pass the halfway point, there is pretty much nothing but a few tiny towns here and there. We did some some amazing tornado damage from a storm that actually JUST came through and crossed I70 on 5/25/16. I did not even have time to grab my camera. But afterwards did some research and found it was an EF-4 tornado and quite incredible. Since no lives were lost, it didn't make the news, but apparently it was one that storm chasers will be talking about forever.
But other than that, there were windmills! LOTSO windmills.
We decided to really get as many miles in as we could on this day so we could reach the mountains on the next day without a ton of driving. So we drove as far in western KS we could handle and ended up in Oakley KS!
Oakley has nothing. But one RV park that leaves much to be desired other than a bunch of overgrown grass and fields as far as you can see. But it had hook-ups and was an easy on/off. And only was for one night.
And then began day #4. We had a bit of a late start since we were SO tired from the long drive the day before. But this day was a little more interesting since we got off the interstate and took US40 across the rest of Kansas and into Colorado.
Talk about remote. The landscape was insanely flat. And, for the most part, the few homes we did see were completely run down and overgrown. We all said it reminded us of the landscapes from the movie Erin Brokovich. But we did see an antelope which was pretty cool.
And then, finally we saw mountains as we headed towards Pueblo. We were getting VERY tired of driving and sitting. But once we passed Pueblo and made our way through the mountains and passed along the Arkansas River on US50...we were in AWE!
Eric actually noticed some big horn sheep along this cliffside which was AMAZING! They almost completely blended in but it is crazy to think how they actually live on such steep cliffs!
After a long drive of OOHS and AHHS, we turned down our final road and began traveling along the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range. WOW.
And then we arrived. And the most AMAZING RV park in the cutest little town. We knew it would be nice, but we didn't think it would be THIS nice. I am not sure we are ever going to leave. We got a campsite with unobstructed mountain views!
We were ALL in awe. We feel like we are living in a screensaver.
So we ate dinner, cracked open the champagne, and built a fire as the sun set over the mountains. I truly don't think it gets more idyllic than this.
We are so happy with our current location that we plan to stay through the weekend and explore this area of Colorado while we start to plan our next destination!!!