Monday December 31st 2018
Happy New Year
As I sit here in front of the computer while the TV counts down the hours and minutes remaining in 2018, it’s a good time to look back on the things I’ve done this year.
I began the year in Las Vegas finishing up a three month stay. In the middle of January I began a journey to Florida. Over the next month and a half I made extended stops in Las Cruces New Mexico, San Antonio Texas, Baton Rouge Louisiana and the Florida pan handle. I made it back to Florida in time to catch a few Spring Training Baseball games in the Sarasota and Bradenton area.
In April I started north with extended stops in Chattanooga TN and Elkhart Indiana. I arrived in Michigan by the end of May to attend a wedding. From there I had to hurry to reach Sedalia Missouri for the Escapees RV club Escapade starting on Memorial day weekend. The wedding and the Escapade were two planned events on this years travels. The third event was a family gathering in North Carolina at the end of July. Getting to North Carolina was the next phase of my 2018 travels.
The events were planned, but my activities between the events were not well planned. I was in the “What am I going to do between now and the next event?” mode a lot of the time. From the middle of Missouri I had almost two months to tour and travel east to North Carolina. I spent some time in Branson Missouri, a couple of weeks on the Arkansas river outside Little Rock, and some time outside of Memphis during June. To find a place to stay over the hard to book forth of July week, I dropped down into Mississippi. My week at Sam’s Town Casino RV park in Tunica was a fun diversion during the holiday week.
I continued east during the rest of July with a stop in Pigeon Forge TN to visit Great Smokey Mountain National Park. This stop was my biggest regret of the travel year. I should have picked a campground nearer the National Park and stayed longer. I enjoyed a few activities in the park, but the distance I had to travel in heavy traffic to get there was hard to take. I’ll return in the future with a better plan and more time.
From Pigeon Forge I crossed back to the east of the Appalachian mountains. I stopped for a couple of days in Ashville NC and a week in Charlotte NC before attending the family gathering in the eastern part of the state. At that point in my summer travels I was free of additional commitments. My destination was fall in New England, but once again I had only an outline of a plan.
My first stop in August was a week in Williamsburg Virginia. This was my first visit to the colonial settlements in Williamsburg and Jamestown. I enjoy American history so this visit along with a stop at the Yorktown Revolutionary War Battlefield were very educational and enjoyable. There are other things in the area, like the Norfolk navy base and Virginia Beach, but keeping with my plan to head for the northeast I headed inland after my stay in Willimasburg.
While in western Virginia I had a change of plans. I decided the easiest way to solve an issue with renewing my RV registration was to return to Florida. After a fifteen hundred mile round trip over a week and a half I was back on my way to the northeast. I spent two weeks including the labor day weekend on Lake Ontario in New York. From there I traveled through Vermont and New Hampshire into Massachusetts during September. October and a little bit of November were spent near Cape Cod and traveling around Eastern Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire checking out old haunts and visiting friends.
The cold weather of early November sent me traveling south to Florida in a hurry. With stops on Florida’s east coast and central area, I’m now in the Sarasota and Bradenton area. I’ll be in other areas of Florida for the rest of the winter.
Overall this year I traveled over 12,000 miles. It didn’t seem that long, but when you plot it out it becomes clear that I crossed the country once from west to east then did two complete round trips south to north with some wandering thrown in for good measure. I’ll layout my 2019 intentions in a future blog entry.
Happy New Year