Sunday, June 03, 2012

Road Trip Recap

7,110 miles driven

14 states visited

3 tire blowouts and roadside tire changes

1 day lost to camper repairs in Texas

2 new brake lights in Tennessee

4 new tires

2.75 hours spent in a traffic jam in Arkansas

1 pregnant stranger used the bathroom in our camper

...and countless memories made along the way.

We camped in towns that we once called home and strange places that we never thought we'd end up.  From the Louisiana bayou to the hills of Tennessee, we stayed in some interesting places.  We had more than our share of mishaps and adventures.
The first day of our trip was not great.  Just a couple of hours from home, a tire blew on the camper.  We replaced it with our spare and kept on driving.  Later that night, just 10 minutes from our campground, another tire blew and we were left sleeping in the van on the side of the road.  We had no power in the camper (so no a/c and it was over 100 degrees) and our LP tank malfunctioned, causing us to lose the food in our fridge and freezer.  We ended up losing a day to get the tires replaced.  On the bright side, we were stuck in the town we used to live in, right in the heart of west Texas.  At least we knew our way around!

Another unexpected stop led us to the "Cross-eyed Cricket" campground, where we spent the night next to a creek.  Yet another unplanned stop resulted in camping without water hookups at the top of a high dam in New Mexico.  We spent a week at a campground in Georgia, visiting friends where we used to live.
There were times that I was not happy about sleeping on an uncomfortable camper bed, especially while pregnant.  There were a few times when the unbearable heat/humidity/bugs drove me crazy.  Gas was ridiculously expensive and our camper is far too small for 8 people and a dog.  But all in all, we really seem to enjoy RVing and traveling the country.
(See that tiny space in the back?  That's where all six kids sleep in their bunks.  That awful pull-out sofa in the front is where Jason and I sleep with our feet dangling off the side and our heads mashed against the wall because that "bed" is not made for tall people!)
My kids had forgotten what humidity feels like, so the heat in the southeast felt even hotter than the dry heat in the desert.  See Sarah hiding her face?  She was so hot.
Even when we walked to the lake and playground, my kids were red-faced and sweaty and just wanted to go back to the air-conditioned camper.  They spent more than four years living in Georgia and never complained but I guess they are no longer used to living in a sauna.  Arizona is more like a convection oven.
Our time spent in Virginia was nice and this is probably the first trip that did not result in any family drama, arguments, or tension.  It was a very uneventful visit!
After spending so many weeks in our van, I'm sort of looking forward to getting a new van this winter (not looking forward to having a car payment though.)  This van has a lot of miles and she's starting to feel her age.  Things are starting to fall apart here and there and I know she's ready to retire soon.  We have been hard on her.  Of course, she's been to 45 states (and Canada) so we have made a lot of good memories together and she will be missed.  But we need room for another car seat...
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