Saturday January 1st 2021
Happy New Year Everyone
The year in Bradenton Florida began shrouded in a heavy thick fog. By morning the weather cleared into a mostly sunny warm day with a high temperature in the low eighties. Tomorrow is forecast to be a transition day with the highs on Monday in the sixties.
In addition to finishing setting up camp for the next two weeks I did a few odd tasks today. One of the little things was backing up all of my pictures and blog source files for the last year. Thanks to the wonders of the digital age, I took over 7,000 pictures during 2021. While the backup was going on I had time to reflect on my 2021 travels.
Overall the Rambling Road Trip in 2021 was unremarkable. I didn’t visit any new states or big National Parks and only stayed at five new campgrounds all year. It wasn’t a bad year, just not one filled with “bucket list” items. I enjoyed the staying at Fontainebleau State Park on Lake Pontchartrain in Louisiana. It was a gem of a new find. I also enjoyed three weeks along the Mississippi River watching the shipping during my two stays at Tom Sawyer RV Park and my return to Maumelle Corp of Engineers Park on the Arkansas River in Little Rock Arkansas for two weeks was also fun.
I allowed a lot of external concerns influence my travel this year. I was still in Florida in June. First I was waiting for the COVID vaccine, then I was trying to schedule some maintenance on my RV home. The vaccination happened by mid April which was earlier than I originally thought, but getting RV service was a big challenge. I finally did some of the things like replacing the coach batteries my self and other items are still on the list to get done. It just wasn’t happening in a timely fashion.
All of these things along with a good dose of procrastination prevented me from making reservations in the areas I wanted to visit. This had a few positive results, but was largely the biggest restriction on the years travels. The good thing was that it allowed me to run from severe weather without concern with recovering lost reservation fees. I ran from the path of three tropical systems. The negative aspect of not making reservations well in advance is the weekends. In popular areas the weekends were often fully booked even when I was looking a month or more in advance. The Labor Day and Columbus day weekends were of particular concern. The October holiday really snuck up on me. I ended up reversing course by two hundred miles to find an available site.
Currently I have reservations through the third week of April. My plan for the summer of 2022 is the Dakotas and other places along the way north and back. I am already late making reservations at the really popular public places next summer, but private campgrounds are still an option. I also have to start making reservations for next winter in Florida. The conditions haven’t improved since last year, but hopefully I will consider 2021 a lesson learned.