September 15, 2016

On The RV Road Again

As I write this, we have just arrived in Oklahoma City. After leaving home on Monday, September 5th, we have driven 960 miles, stopped in 7 different towns, and had a tremendous time. With about 6 weeks to go on our RV trip, we are adding experiences, memories, and photos to our satisfying retirement.

Unlike previous trips, we are keeping most travel days to only 3 hours on the road. That means less wear and tear on the driver (me!) and allows us to arrive at our new destination by early afternoon. There is plenty of time to get things set up, relax, and see any local sights that grab our attention.

Normally, we will stay for just one night in smaller towns, and then two nights in areas with more to see. With careful planning this has meant extra time in the bigger towns of Albuquerque, Amarillo, and now, OKC. 

Frankly, we could spend much longer in each place, but we have family visits built around certain timing that means this is the best setup for now. On the return trip from Tennessee we can be much more flexible in how long we choose to stay in a particular town. Betty has already suggested we change our route home to go through 5 additional states so we can put more stickers on the RV map!

To this point, our favorite sites have been Old Town Albuquerque, the Cadillac Ranch spot near Amarillo (pure Americana kitsch) , Palo Duro Canyon State Park, the Route 66 Museum and the historical museum in Tucumcari, and the RV Museum near Amarillo.

Surprisingly to me, a full week after Labor Day the RV parks are mostly full. For some reason I thought things would start to quiet down by mid-September, but that is not the case. RVers don't have to follow a calendar, something I should have realized. We booked ahead for this first leg of the journey, so there have been no problems. It will be interesting to see whether there are any changes in occupancy by October. 

Both Betty and I brought along at least half a dozen projects each, so our free time has been busy. We have had the chance to discuss some things we want to do to the house when we get home, but have yet to reach a firm conclusion about the future of our RV adventures. At this point I'd guess we will modify and continue with our current motorhome, but the road ahead is still quite long and could bring changes to our thoughts.

We cooked and froze 15 meals ahead of time. They completely filled the RV freezer.  So far, less than half are gone. But, tomorrow means grocery shopping for fresh produce, fruit, and bread.

While we are shopping or driving, enjoy some photos from the road:

First night in Heber, AZ

Bailey can read!

A selfie!

A giant game of chess?

No more riding on this saddle
Gazebo in Old Town Albuquerque

Grounds of San Felipe de Neri Church

Gives Betty an idea for our backyard!

All sorts of galleries in old town Albuquerque

Rout 66 Museum in Tucumcari...notice the wall of photos

the juxtaposition of modern technology and  an old Rt. 66 gas station

Luckily, this store outside Tucumcari was closed! Way too much stuff
Route 66 Cadillac Ranch..Yes, 10 cars

Palo Duro State Park

Yes, a trailer doggie house!

From the Robin Williams Movie, RV

A customized teardrop trailer

Complete with kitchen

A dozen vintage trailers and twice that many motorcycles

Not bad for 9 days!


  1. Love the beautiful photos! So happy for you that this is turning into a wonderful trip. Thanks for keeping us posted with the latest news and photos. We can vicariously travel across the states with you :-)

    1. We have now entered Kansas, which looks a lot like Oklahoma! Everything has gone according to plan so far, except for our return trip. Betty wants to see if we can route ourselves through 4 additional states!

  2. Betty's photos are beautiful! Well, as far as the future of RV-ing, sometimes just going through the process brings about decisions.. you'll know by the time you're home in October! We were conflicted about the sale of our home in Pine. And then an offer came in! Whew! We were all over it! Yes, the sense of relief and freedom is wonderful. A moment comes, and then, you know! We have trips to Jerome for Halloween,Sedona, a family wedding in Nashville in the Spring, and some other getaways in the planning stages now.. Your blog has supported the thought that retirement is a process, not a static situation. Dreams and goals change, and so do we.. ! My season at the Desert Botanical Garden starts today, underlining what a good decision it was to come back to the Valley... but I suppose there was something to be learned from those first few chapters of our story called "retirement!" I am loving THIS chapter... Enjoy the trip--thanks for taking time to share your experiences....

    1. While not firm, we have discussed a trip in two summers to New England. Next summer will be Portland and Flagstaff for a few months, but suddenly we are thinking of 2018 and visiting all the New England and mid-Atlantic states. That could mean we will have been to all 48 lower states in 6 years!

  3. You are just about 15 miles north of us in Norman. Enjoy our beautiful OKC and state. Hope you can visit the Bombing Memorial. And note the Devon Tower, the tallest building between Houston and Kansas City. And learn to say, "Boomer Sooner!" Or "Go Pokes!" although the former is preferable.
    Jeff in OK

    1. We did visit the Memorial to the 1995 bombing. It is extremely moving and well done. We also explored the Bricktown area and had dinner along the canal. We squeezed in a visit to Will Rogers State Park and gardens, plus a trip to the 23rd Street Antique Mall. OKC is very engaging.

  4. I had a plan to ask VW to loan me a car to take down RT.66 and blog about. I've been a huge devotee since VW has saved my life a couple of times, but they turned me down. Do you think, now that they're in such a negative situation over the diesels they might rethink it? HA!
    Love the photos! Thanks again for the guest post and, stay safe.

    1. In two summers we may find ourselves in Cape May for a visit. Betty wants to see if we can get all 48 continental states before we either retire this RV or leave the motorhome world behind. That is probably more likely than VW giving you a demo car!

  5. Looks like a fantastic trip, Bob. Continued safe travels to you and Betty.

    As for the RV congestion, I-40 here in TN has been packed with RVs pretty much all year. We were on it today and more of the same. The population of people engaging in that style of living has definitely picked up in recent years.

    Stay safe, my friend.

    1. We noticed a tremendous number of RVs in Arizona and New Mexico during the first few days of the trip.

      Since then, even though the campgrounds are are rather full, we are seeing fewer on the road.I imagine as we get into fall that trend will continue.

  6. The photos provide a wonderful sense of the areas you are visiting. Thank-you for sharing them. We have just returned from a seven week trip in a truck and camper through northern British Columbia - lots of rugged country and not many cities. There is such a feeling of freedom to be out on the road, exploring, and experiencing life in different places. But it is nice to come home, too.


    1. Leaving home means leaving behind responsibilities for awhile. Coming home means returning to comfort and security. Both ends of the journey have their benefits.

  7. I'm glad you are enjoying your trip Bob. While I enjoyed Old Town Albuquerque, Santa Fe was my favorite place in the SW. I just returned from a short uRV trip to eastern Ohio. I almost always stay at State parks and did so this time too. They never seem to be more than 50% occupied. Maybe it is because they many are not that close to interstate highways.

    My dream RV vacation is to take the National Road (Route 40) from coast to coast. I took about 300 miles of it on this trip and thoroughly enjoyed it.

    1. We took some pictures at Will Rogers State Park in OKC that we thought you'd enjoy. Look for them in an upcoming post.

      Several days of this trip have been on both I-40 and bl40. As you probably know business loop 40 is also old route 66 in many places.

    2. Thanks Bob, I look forward to seeing them. I have been to his center three times but never been to the state park or his old homestead.

  8. Looks like a wonderful trip. Enjoy! -Jean

  9. One of these days I want to get on Route 66, if only for a few miles. Love the selfie ... you look positively thrilled with the trip!

  10. Great photos, bringing back memories of a getting a few "kicks on Route 66" and pleasant visits to Old Town in Albuquerque. Hope the rest of your journey if as good. For anyone here who cares, I'm back in the blogosphere after a summer hiatus.