ROUTE TO YUMA
Our route to Yuma this year was by way of a South Dakota, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico. Not the most direct route, but along the way we took time for long overdue visits with family.
KANSAS CITY MISSOURI
One of the things I suck at is measurement – it doesn’t matter if it’s distance, length, time or volume. It’s not to be argumentative, my ability to judge is just broke – if Travis says it’s three inches, I’ll say it’s six; if he says it’s been five years, I’ll say it’s been two. With that said, I’ll simply say that Stoney, Trav’s brother has been living in Kansas City for a looong time and we had an opportunity to spend a couple of days with him and his wife Linda before moving onto Springfield. Stoney’s been dealt his fair share of hardships and challenges but our hearts swell when we see where he is today. We are so very proud of him.
THINGS WE WON’T UNDERSTAND THIS SIDE OF HEAVEN
On our way to Kansas City we found out our oldest daughter Alyssa had a miscarriage, so the morning after we arrived at Stoney’s house I drove Tricia to the airport so she could be with her. Since life is always messy and complicated she ended up spending 3 weeks in Spokane.
Joey has been living in Springfield for the last several years and we were looking forward to spending Thanksgiving with him and meeting our little granddaughter Vivian and his girlfriend Diana for the first time. Joey landed a new job about the time we arrived and conflicts with work schedules really limited our time together and led to a non-traditional Thanksgiving, so we went with it. We found a quaint little restaurant downtown on an evening Joey didn’t have to work and then spent Thanksgiving day at Teen Challenge serving the kids a huge turkey and ham dinner.
MOVING ALONG WITH A NEW WAY TO ‘OVERNIGHT’
When I say ‘I’m not a fan’ it really translates to something more like ‘nope, nada, or over my dead body’. I’m not a fan of those ‘quick overnights’ at a Truck Stop, rest area, Wal-Mart, Cabala’s, Cracker Barrel or any other place that happens to allow this so we went in search of an alternative and came across two options: Harvest Hosts and Boondockers Welcome. Both options charge a nominal yearly fee and provide a list of places we can stay for an overnight at no charge to us. Harvest Hosts is a collection of winery’s, farms, and museums. Boondockers Welcome is a group of people that love to RV and have a space available for people passing through. You can find more information on Harvest Hosts here and Boondockers Welcome here.
ZENA SURI ALPACA FARM JAY OKLAHOMA
After greasing the sides of the motorhome to get it through their entry gate we parked in the yard/pasture of an Alpaca farm. These fluffy, furry, tiny animals roam freely in the pasture each day until evening when we helped herd them into the barn for the night. Even with the stress of getting through the gate, this was still one of the best overnight experiences we have had.
MILAM CASTLE OKLAHOMA CITY OKLAHOMA
Yes, it really is a castle. No, it’s not old (unless you consider five years old). It’s actually a private residence and the owner has signed up for Boondockers Welcome and allows RVs to park on a pad with power near the castle. After arriving we were given a private tour of the castle and heard the story about how the owners donate the use of the castle for private events and weddings. He said he’s made a lot of money over the years and it was his way of giving back to the community. We love hearing those kinds of stories along our journey.
CAR RANCHES IN TEXAS
Not exactly one of those places that arrive on your bucket list intentionally unless you’re a lover of buried cars, but Slug Bug Ranch and Cadillac Ranch on Route 66 in Texas made for a good diversion to hours of windshield time. They call it artwork, and just outside of Conway you will find five VW Bugs and near Amarillo ten Cadillac’s buried nose deep. Vendors parked along the road sell spray paint allowing visitors to leave evidence of their visit.
WHITE SANDS NATIONAL MONUMENT ALAMOGORDO NEW MEXICO
At various points along our journey, we’ve had people share numerous ‘must sees’. White Sands National Monument was one of those places we added to our map but really didn’t understand the awe behind it until we got there. It’s 275 square miles of wave-like dunes across the desert. We called it warm snow, the road through the park was even plowed so the edges of the road looked like snow banks. At this point, our mind is playing tricks on us as we get out of the car in our shorts and flip-flops and walk over to find the sand very fine and cool to the touch. It was strange, unbelievably beautiful and so worth the stop.
We’d been without a Costco or decent grocery shopping for a couple of months by the time we hit Tuscon Arizona meaning it was time to stop for a few days and restock. I’ve mentioned in previous posts how lengthy and challenging it is shopping in new stores all the time, ugh here we go again! Restocked and ready to go, we had one last afternoon to check out some of the sites. South of Tuscon is Mission San Xavier Del Bac, a beautiful Catholic mission that was completed in 1797 and still holds services there every Sunday.
JUST FOR FUN
Cottonfields in bloom, windmills, beautiful sunsets and a 19 story cross found in Groom, Texas were just a few other things we saw along the way. Next stop, Yuma Arizona but until then here are some random pictures from our journey.