The check off list is complete. The mail is on hold and the sprinklers have been checked. The windows are locked, the AC set at 88 degrees and the water heater turned off. Our youngest daughter will come by occasionally to water the house plants and make sure everything looks good.
As I finish writing this Betty is loading the last of the supplies, clothes, and reading material, and Bailey into the RV. The GPS unit has been programmed for our first stop tonight in Benson, AZ. It isn't all that far away but we have decided that a 3 hour drive is the ideal maximum in any one day. After all, this is about the journey and not the destination.
After Benson we are on to Las Cruces, New Mexico, then Fort Stockton, Texas. When we arrive in Texas hill country around Austin we will spend at least 6 days exploring the area and relaxing in a part of the state we haven't visited before.
Then, a quick trip to San Antonio with the River Walk and Alamo, back to El Paso and north to Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Finally we'll drive back to Flagstaff, spend a few days, and then down I-17 to home. We have built flexibility into the trip so the end date of April 26th is not firm. We could extend three or four days with no problem, as long as we are back for an important dinner on May 2nd. I will be posting about the trip with photos and commentary, though not every post in the next three weeks will have an RV slant.
One change might occur: my posts may not be as regular as normal for the next several weeks. Fresh material three times a week may become twice a week, though if I'm feeling inspired then Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays will continue as the posting schedule. I just want to be sure I have a bit more time to slip into RV/relaxed mode and not feel quite so much pressure to spend so many hours at the keyboard.
Betty says we are ready, the dog is getting antsy to feel movement, the refrigerator is switched to propane and cooling nicely, and the house is buttoned up. It is time to hit "publish," shut the computer down, turn off the power strip and go.
Since this is our first extended trip I am sure we have packed too much and over-prepared. Oh well, the next time we will be more aware of what is really needed.
If you are looking for an indication of what makes a satisfying retirement look no closer than the date on this post. We were planning to leave Monday, April 8th. But, by Saturday afternoon we were completely packed and ready to get going. So I called the RV park in Benson and told them we'd be arriving a day early.
The flexibility to leave 24 hours early is one of the joys of retirement. We are ready to go..... and so we go!
Next stop Benson, AZ. Wish us well.