Kids are grown and it's time to live for us! Planning on multiple trips a year to see this great country.
  • Day5

    Chisos Basin

    November 27, 2019 in the United States ⋅ 🌧 43 °F

    Our campsite Tuesday night was thru a VERY narrow canyon. Thank God no cars were coming since only 1 car at a time could pass. The weather was so balmy. We sat out enjoying the 60+ degree temps even after the sun set. We had pulled pork, green beans and Shiner Bok Ruby Red beer.

    Decided to take a walk and encountered another javelina. Chico was going after it but redd called him back! I was running back to the truck lol.

    Some weather came thru around 4am with cold winds. The temps have steadily been dropping. Currently its 39 and falling, plus misty rain. No hiking this morning because of rain.

    We did try to hike Santa Elena Canyon but couldn't cross into the canyon because of the river level.

    We've left Big Bend and are continuing our backroads journey.
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  • Day4

    Balanced Rock Hiking

    November 26, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 66 °F

    After a long day of driving we pulled into Big Bend National Park. The backcountry office closed at 5:00 p.m. so we hurried up to panther Junction to claim our backcountry spot. The ranger told us there was nothing available for Monday night so we bought a permit for Tuesday and Wednesday night. As we stopped to look at pictures of javilenas rading campsites, someone came into the backcountry permit office and gave up their spot. We jumped on that spot so that we could stay in Big Bend monday night.

    6 miles down a very dusty bumpy rocky dirt road we came to our campsite called Grape Vine hills number 5. Actually it was number 4 because someone was in number 5 accidentally. We set up camp and began cooking revise and smothered potatoes for reds birthday dinner.

    Big Bend was under a wind advisory and the wind probably blew 25 miles an hour all night long. At 1 point I was afraid the truck was going to top over. The tree house held up well no rips no tears the fabric is in perfect condition.

    As we drove up to our campsite we discovered the trailhead for balanced rock was very close to our campsite. We decided we would stop at the trailhead to see how far of a Hi Kate was before we determined if we would take it on Tuesday morning. We were the only ones at the trailhead when we arrived except for 2 other people. We hiked up to the balanced rock which is a 2 mile out and back again. The last quarter of a mile is straight up rock, scree, and pokey bushes but the payoff was worth it

    Change in campsites tonight will be closer to the Rio Grande and santa elina Canyon.
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  • Day2

    Madera Canyon Picnic Area

    November 24, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 61 °F

    We reached the 1st stop of our trip and decided to take a hike. Up and around to the top of a large hill. It was getting dark so we were trying to get back to the camp. The last leg of the hike was thru a dry creekbed. Baylor was ahead of us offleash and Chico was behind me. All of a sudden, a javelina burst out of the brush, flushed out by Baylor.

    This thing decided to charge us! Baylor didn't know what the hell was happening but Chico bowed up and started to chase the thing off! My Chicks! We crossed the creekbed and the pig stopped on his side. He was bristled up and kept bluff charging but didnt cross the creek again. Whew, too much excitement.

    Heading into Big Bend today!
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  • Day17


    June 26, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 84 °F

    Numbers and journals to come later. Trying to unpack is the worst!

    Total miles driven: 6,510.00
    Total states: 17
    Total paid campsites: 9
    Total free campsites: 7
    Total number of gas fill-ups: 35
    Average miles per gallon: 11.05
    Total spent on gas: $ 1,552.00
    Total spent on food: $ 1,031.00
    Total spent on lodging: $ 238.00
    Total spent on souvenirs: $ 225.00
    Total spent on misc: $ 184.00
    Total for trip: $ 3,232.00

    I honestly do not know how we spent 1,000 on food when I feel like we barely ate. Granted, brew pubs can get pricey since you'll drop 50 bucks on just the alcohol. And it feels like it's a law to spend money on snacks when you stop for gas even though you have perfectly good snacks in the car!

    Things I learned on this trip:
    Redd should always bring pants even if he thinks he doesn't need them.

    Paula packs too many clothes even when she thinks she's packing minimally.

    We didn't use 1/2 of the kitchen things we brought to cook.

    We didn't eat 1/2 the cooked food I brought.
    We ended up throwing some pork loin and hot dogs.

    Ribeyes are always good but are especially good for breakfast.

    Our little cherub, our converted cargo trailer, is a liability when overlanding. I was terrified we would break axl or bust a tire on the rough roads. We are going to sell our sweet Cherub and put a camper shell on the truck. This way we can easily access whatever we want.

    Chico is not a cold weather camping dog. Poor guy was miserable the whole time.

    Baylor hates riding in the car for long periods but resigned himself to it after 3 days. Sad puppy face was seen 99% of the time.

    21 days *might* be too long when your boss is freaking out because its busy and you're on vacation. 21 days is not long enough if you want to move slow and enjoy, like Paula wants to do.

    Always remember to pack the compact jumpstart battery, the tire inflator and the jumper cables.

    The journey is as important as the destination. Enjoy the scenery. Take it all in. The skies of the high desert and prairies are so gorgeous, that blue is breathtaking. The snow on the conifers are beautiful. Fog rolling in with the sunset behind it in the ocean is not something I'll get to see every day. Redwood trees are God's masterpiece. He put them there to remind us that we are children.

    I am so thankful we took this trip. I feel we are closer as a couple than ever. Camping really draws you together because it takes everyone pulling together to make camp work. Looking forward to summer 2020!
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  • Day17

    Detour and Last Day

    June 26, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 66 °F

    We were rerouted 2.5 hours east of our original route through Kansas to come home. We suspect due to heavy flooding. The flooding through here is insane. The highway in some parts is literally eroding away.

    Drove to Joplin, MO and slept in a truck stop. It is hot and humid. A bad storm rolled through around 3am. I contemplated going to the storm shelter but didn't due to no emergency warning or storm siren going off. It was so bad and riding a super severe storm in a trailer is sketchy at best.

    Getting some starbucks and driving thru to New Iberia!
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  • Day16

    Badlands National Park

    June 25, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 54 °F

    Had a storm brew all afternoon which finally broke around 5pm. The wind dropped the temps 20 degrees! We cooked dinner on the flat top and visited with our camping neighbors.

    We woke up around 1am to see the night sky. Since BNP is a dark sky initiative, I knew we'd see quite a bit of stars. I did not expect to see the milky way unaided. Simply spectacular is an understatement.

    Dawn was at 4am when the meadowlarks started singing. Guess the coyotes howling all night woke them up early. I loved listening to the coyotes.

    Rain storms brewing again this morning made for a beautiful sunrise. Beginning our trek south and east today.
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  • Day15

    Wall Drug, Since 1931

    June 24, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 73 °F

    Homemade pie for the second time today? Yes please.

    Wall Drug is a weird place. It started out as a pharmacy and general store in the '30s. Since SD is sparsely populated they have to lure in the tourists with all these crazy road signs, like sirens singing to the sailors!

    Once there you are surprised to find out they make their own pie, doughnuts, and ice cream. Plus they have the oldest operating soda fountain in the US. Not that the soda fountain looked old fashioned at all. Soft serve ice cream machines and coke fountain drink machines. Rather disappointing. But the pie was not disappointing.

    To staff their place in the height of tourist season Wall Drug hires international students to come and work for a few weeks. They house them during their employment. We spoke with a girl from Kazakhstan who seemed less than impressed with Wall, SD. Lol.
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  • Day15

    Badlands National Park

    June 24, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 73 °F

    This place looks like it should be in Arizona rather than South Dakota. We snagged a free campsite at Sage Creek and now we are touring the area. We just visited a Minuteman Missile site, which is pretty cool. Little did I know at the height of the Cold War there were over 1,000 of these missile sites scattered throughout the country.

    We stopped at the Badlands visitor's center to get a map of the park. Apparently we had come up the back way and missed all entry gates. I dont know how they stay in business because there are multiple farm roads coming into the park with no gate.

    I wish we could have hiked a few of the trails but it was pretty "hot" that day and I didn't want to leave the dogs in the truck with the temps in the 80s.
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