The driving is killing me, but looking forward to arrival

After a wonderful Thanksgiving fest with family, and pies!  Thank you Becky and Chuck.

I began my long-haul east-to-west trek across country on 11/29 from Jordon Lake, NC to Tucson, AZ and Palm Springs, CA.  I can drive about 200 miles per day, give or take.  I now understand why West Coast residents rarely go to Florida, and easterners stay along the Atlantic.

My plan is to arrive in Tucson, AZ on 12/25 when D.C. friends Sylvia and Cheryl arrive for their holiday spa vacations.  Liz and Tim arrive after the new year for a family event and will stay with Tim’s Mom (a Tucson resident).  Pals Madeleine and Norman have purchased a Tucson winter home, so they are already there.  Campground friends Phyllis and Chris are also there; and, golf pal and snow birds Bruce and wife (Juneau, AK) live in Green Valley, south of Tucson.   Looking forward to visiting with friends, and NOT driving for a month.

In 10 days I have driven over 1,200.  Thank you, Audible, Podcasts, Pandora and NPR. Only 900+ miles to go. Thank goodness for $1.99 per gallon gas.  BUT!  Our highways are atrocious: uneven pavement, potholes, no shoulder, YIKES!  Scout and I are bouncing along, and when I open the door after a long day of driving, I hate to see what has flown — stuff has shifted, rattled and rolled.  Gas prices are so low, why can’t we add .05 cents per gallon to the federal highway fund to improve our roads and bridges?  Watch the newly elected House Democrats argue this is the time to pay for infrastructure by raising gas taxes, which are historically low.  GOP=NAUGHT.  But, I digress into politics and not travel.

Maggie continues to be the very best travel companion, but she is tired of sitting in the back seat and looking out the window.  We checked-in tonight at Whispering Springs RV Park, Texas along HWY 10.  I was so conflicted not to stop at the George H.W. Bush library in Houston?  I do have an interest in visiting all the Presidential Libraries.  But, I would rather see my living friends Ruth, who lives in Austin; and, Beth who lives on her ranch with my favorite horse Hope.  Maybe I will come back to Texas in April, after my winter visit to Palm Springs and working on my golf game.   It is cold and wet here.  I want to be in sunshine and warm weather.

The beauty of retirement and dragging your house along, is the road is long and there is no timetable.


Remember the grocery store clerk asking, “paper or plastic?”   I routinely forget my reusable sacks at the check-out and buy yet another reusable bag.  Thus, I have so many bags in the front seat of my truck.  All the more to forget before entering the grocery store.   However, there are many uses for reusable sacks when you live in a 20′ Airstream.  Here are my tips for using reusable bags:

  1. Recycle container.  When I lived in bricks and mortar, I had a very large recycle bin outside my back door.  I now a bag as a recycle container.   Great when campgrounds recycle.
  2. Wood and tinder gatherer.  Campfires are a real plus when camping.  On our daily walks I carry a reusable bag and pick-up pine cones, sticks and twigs for kindling as a fire starter.
  3. Hiking or walking around the campground, trail or dog park with a bag to pick-up trash.
  4. Goodwill.  I am always looking to get rid of something.  When you buy something new, something old has got to GO!  A reusable bag is great for sorting donations the next time I drive by a Goodwill store or bin I chuck it in.  Goodwill appreciates reusable bags, rather than a plastic garbage bag.

Other useful tips for RVing:

  1. Always fill-up the gas tank the night before you are leaving a site. Why not get a head start with a full tank of gas, and avoid towing into a gas station.
  2. Check tire pressure.
  3. Always do a walk around the trailer before pulling out.  I have left stabilizer pads behind, the black tank cap off and dangling, and just the other day I left the hitching foot down.  No matter how often you tow, the memory is failing.  A checklist for hooking and un-hooking is useful.  I can’t believe the stuff I forget, after a couple of years on the road.  I pulled yesterday, and had forgotten to lift the tow foot.  Thankfully, it made a terrible noise, and I knew something was wrong.  No damage, so stopped and raised the foot.

2 thoughts on “The driving is killing me, but looking forward to arrival

  1. Alison,

    I know the feeling of forgetting to check items before your tow departure. I have made a check list that always jogs my memory. So many things to remember. I always look forward to your blogs, you are an amazing woman. Drive carefully and be safe in the wilds of America

  2. Alison,
    I just love reading your articles and following your adventures. I, too, have an Airstream 20 footer and love the size of it for towing and find it to be just the right size. If you need anything done while in Tucson, the folks at Lazy Days have a good service department. I bought my Airstream there and have taken it back there for service work…gave me a good reason for a road trip!
    Travel safe and Happy Holidays!!

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