Thursday, November 30, 2023

Baytown Texas, 800 More Miles Down, 900 to Go

Ever wonder HOW did I do this or that when you were younger...but NOW it is like, "I wonder how I ever did THAT!   Case in point, when I was 22 years old, perhaps only 21, I left the Kansas City Missouri are, alone, and drove to Sacramento, alone, in about 28 hours...except for the 3 hour break I forced myself to take in Battle Mountain or Winnemucca so that 'Dad' wouldn't know how fast I was moving along.  This was back in '76 or '77.  National Speed Limit was a whole 55 mph.  States that decided not to follow, lost highway funds, so they all cooperated.  Following the speed limit would take me at least 31.5 hours.  Why did it matter at 'my age' back then?  Because he let me take his fairly new Toyota which got better gas mileage, was more comfortable, and very reliable as compared to my Chevy Malibu.  But my point is this....HOW DID I DRIVE THAT LONG, WITHOUT HELP, AND GET THERE THAT FAST???

Back in 1976/77 - 1,700 miles in 28 hours + 3 hour rest

Today we ended a two day, 800 mile trip.  WHY are we so beat up???  After setting up camp, I sat down in my reclining chair and 5 minutes later I said to Marcia, "I feel like the motorhome is still moving!"   I knew it wasn't, but in my hands and arms I could still feel it moving...


Today - 800 miles in 17 hours over 2 days with hour break each day

I will do a better post on these two travel days tomorrow...right now I feel like I need to 'veg out'.

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Vado, New Mexico -- 1,200 Miles Done, 1,700 To Go

Before I get into the last two days of travel, here are a few pictures taken with the camera which I previously failed to share.

Mom sitting at the Thanksgiving Dinner table having her dessert.  She ate SO MUCH!

My wonderful sisters putting the food away after Turkey Dinner.

Headed to Arizona from Needles

The Colorado River and Arizona boarder

Coming into Kingman Arizona

Turned onto Arizona 93, headed to Phoenix

The other three picture above show various desert plants.  The desert is much more green this year than in the past.  That recaps our travel through Monday.

Monday afternoon we met Laurie, a longtime friend, at Cracker Barrel in Phoenix.  Her mother Joyce, one of Marcia's best friends, passed a few years ago.  The picture above was from our last meeting with her in April...neither of us thought about taking pictures Monday night.  After our dinner and visit, we decided to travel on to the Cracker Barrel in Casa Grande, getting us a good head start on Tuesday's travel, and keep us away from the morning rush hour.  

It was a nice quiet night at the Cracker of the quietest Cracker Barrel nights we have ever had.  Got up at the crack of dawn and got on the road.  

Picacho Peak caught Marcia's eye from a distance.  A state park resides there, and back in April 15, 1862, a battle of the Civil War took place here.  As we got closer, the sun was shinning bright upon the mountain...but I kind of like the distant, dawn pictures better.

The boulders in this area reminded me of Alabama Hills in California

There are dozens and dozens of these mountain monuments in Southeastern Arizona.

One of the boarder checkpoints.  I noticed the 'eastbound' camera array had shrunk to one.

Here is the famous Road Runner just west of Las Cruces

Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument overlooking Las Cruces

We made it to the Western Skys RV Park around 2:30 pm.  It was a long 350+ miles and very uneventful.  Stopped for a quick snooze and break for about 30 minutes close to the Arizona and New Mexico border.  There were a number of police cars, and we saw at least four vehicles pulled over which had an officer up at their door.

This is our second time at Western Skys RV Park, the first was this past April on our way out west.  It is pretty quiet, a bit older of a park, and the staff are very friendly.  For $20 Passport America rate, it is hard to beat...however if the weather was warmer, we would have stayed at the Road Runner Rest Area for free, which includes 24 hour guard service.

We have two long days in front of us, and then we are going to take a break.  Wednesday is a 400+ trip from Vado to Sonora Texas.  On Thursday we need to get through San Antonio and Houston...a little under 400 miles but passing through 2 major size cities.  If we get to San Antonio after 9 am but before 10 am, then we should be able to get through Houston before the night rush hour.  

Before I close I want to provide an update on mom.  She was released from the hospital on Monday.  She has about a week of an antibiotic, which is an addition to the antibiotics she got while in the hospital. The delirium is gone, but the memories of what "she saw" are firmly embedded into her mind.

Monday, November 27, 2023

Headed Home to Florida - Thanksgiving Update - Mom has Another UTI

We left Florida in late March, arrived at my sister's house in Citrus Heights around April 10th.  After 7+ months, all but 6 weeks camping up in Cromberg to get away from the heat, it is time to head home to beat the cold weather.  Our motorhome is not set up for colder in the Tampa area means we don't have to weatherize it...but it also means we need to limit temps below 32...we faced that back in 2017 when we stayed for Christmas, drove home in late December and early January and faced frozen water and sewer lines crossing Western Texas.  

We were off just before 8 on Saturday morning.  Drove to Lodi where there was a Flying J because we were in need of a RV Wash (Blue Beacon next door), Propane (we were nearly out) and gasoline.  Very small line at Blue Beacon, no lines at Flying J, so we were back on the road. Above is cell phone picture of the Propane being put in.  

In Stockton we moved from I-5 over to US-99 in light traffic.  Made it through Merced, where my Blog Friend Nancy had told me to expect very bad construction issues...but we got through without even a slowdown.  However, just south of Tulare we hit a car wall...and for the next 90 minutes we moved maybe a few miles.  In Tipton I got off the freeway, headed east, south, then west getting back onto US-99 near Pixley passing all the stalled highway traffic.  We got into the Orange Grove RV Park around 4:15, and barely got things settled before darkness hit.

We again were up and on the road by 8 am, and saw a lot of Desert (pardon the cell phone tired to get the few pictures out of the camera.)  We arrived in Needles before 2 pm and we are staying at Fender's RV Park and Resort, Passport America park for around $20.  Indy was happy to find this Oasis of Grass that they have near were we always stay (been here I think six times now, maybe as much as eight, and all but once we have stayed in the same spot.)

Tomorrow we meet our friend Laurie at a Cracker Barrel in Phoenix, we will stay overnight at the Cracker Barrel, and off again.  If our luck holds up, we should be past Houston Thursday which point the cold weather chances vanish for this time of the year.

For Thanksgiving Arny deep-fried the Turkey (one of his best fryings in our opinion) and we had Mom, Ed (a neighbor), Patti (sister), Sandy (sister), Arny (brother-in-law) and Marcia and I in attendance.  Since it was someone's B-Day, we decided to not follow our diet and eat some of everything, but keep it to the one meal with dessert.  It was all delicious, and everyone took home some leftovers except mom, she does not have her own refrigerator. 

Knowing that I would be busy Friday preparing to leave, I went by to visit mom at the Assisted Living Home on Wednesday before Thanksgiving.  For the most part she was happy, talking good with just a little bit of the dementia showing through like when she asked how my Thanksgiving Dinner went (without her).  Unfortunately, by the time she arrived for the real Thanksgiving Dinner the next day, she was entering a Delirium stage.  By Friday she was back in the hospital, which is not the easiest condition to leave...but I had already said my goodbyes, and we both (mom and us) know when we say goodbye, it could be the last goodbye.  Today Sandy said she is going to be in the hospital until at least Tuesday to finish up antibiotic treatment...and when they send her home she will have a antibiotic pill to take for who knows how long.  Overall the Delirium is fading fast, but it always takes its toll on her.

May not post every day of the trip...and we have taken this trip so many times we are running out of pictures to take.