This is our first non-family-visiting long trip since Alaska, and we’re going to the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta! The trip to Alaska was very closely planned well in advance and even huge wildfires in British Columbia (and Oregon, Washington, Montana) didn’t really change the plan very much.
This time we decided to do something different and NOT plan every stop. That’s it, no reservations, no schedule, just travel with the wind! We did reserve the parking spot for the RV on the launch grounds of the balloon fiesta, because those are completely booked up within days of the end of the previous fiesta. But for the rest, we traveled like the frontier Americans – our household traveling with us as we wandered westward. Thanks to a couple of traveling apps not available in the frontier days, it’s not as random as it sounds.
Also thanks to those apps, we had some new experiences.
We stayed in a city park in Shelbyville, Kentucky. It was a very nice little spot next to Clear Creek. Unfortunately it was neither clear, nor just a creek when we got there. There had been lots a heavy rain in the days preceding and the very muddy water was well above normal levels. But the parking area was about 8-10 feet above water level so we stayed. Because we did, we had another new adventure – waking up in the middle of the night in a torrential downpour and watching the parking lot for hours to make sure we didn’t get washed away in our sleep! It was very exciting. Just so you don’t worry here’s a spoiler – we didn’t die. We weren’t flooded out either, by the time we were packed up and ready to go the waters had receded enough in the low spots for us to drive right on through.
In Illinois, we stayed at an Army Corps of Engineers campground at Lake Carlyle. This place was just amazing! I have to say, we were expecting something like a dirt road leading into the woods, but this place was the Rolls Royce of campgrounds. We scored a lovely spot right on the lakeshore, but only for one night. This place is wildly popular and I strongly recommend reservations, especially on weekends. Note -if you have a National Parks Pass (for seniors, known as the ‘Geezer Pass’) you stay for less!
Missouri has two ‘first time’ experiences to add to the list. For the first time I was able to connect with an old friend from my pre-retirement days. Hello, Judy! And for the first time in our travels something broke in the RV and we had to stay in one place 5 days waiting for parts. We were in a lovely Rt 66 spot, right next to a drive-in movie theater in a place called Brooklyn Heights. It was no hardship, but they were expecting a whole gang of people in antique campers right as the parts were due, so there was some stress about getting moving in time, but it all worked out. Pictures of that will have to wait and go with our route 66 pics, coming soon!