Monday, November 16, 2015

And we're driving, and we're driving and we're driving, and we're stopping.

Well the last three days have been a whirlwind to say the least!  I had so wanted to just take my time and explore as I made my way to SW Arizona.  But NO, the Weather Goddess, though very gracious and giving of lovely weather for the first 2 weeks of November, decided that she had held back winter long enough.  So I had to hightail it across Kansas, the panhandles of Oklahoma and Texas, across New Mexico and Arizona in 3 days!  We are all exhausted - Grania especially!

On Friday, November 13, I cut diagonally across Kansas - driving directly into the wind the whole way.  I stopped for a break at the Kansas Wetlands Education Center and Cheyenne Bottoms Refuge just north of Great Bend, KS.  If you are in that area be sure to stop by - especially in the spring and fall.  It is one of the main stopping places for migrating birds - shore birds, song birds, waterfowl, you name it, they probably stop there.  Give yourself most of the day if you want to go out and explore the areas of the refuge - you will need a car to do it or I believe they do offer tours.

View of the refuge from the Education Center
After stopping to explore, I made my way to another free campsite in Meade, KS at their city park.  It was a very nice park with playground, pavilions, open green space and an area for RV's.  No hook-ups, but it did have a bathroom with heat and running water.  Unfortunately, someone came and locked them in the evening, so when I got up in the morning I was met with the dreadful surprise.  But, not to worry, I used my secret agent skill I learned in college and got in.  No, I didn't pick the lock or crawl through a window.  I never actually unlocked the door at all, but I did open it.  Potential unpleasantness averted.  Phew!

Evening Sky at my campsite in Meade, KS
On Saturday, I continued through the last little bit of Kansas into the Oklahoma and Texas Panhandles "Where the wind comes sweeping down the plain" and right smack into me.  I checked my gas mileage for this leg of the trip and it was about 14 miles per gallon!  Ouch!  There were Kamikaze Tumbleweeds shooting out across the road.  I admit, I did hit a couple of them, but not to worry, they all miraculously survived and continued tumbling onward.  I have been having lots of laughs along the way with the names people give their businesses.  There was the "Kum & Go" gas station chain in Iowa, the "Toot 'n Totem" gas station chain in Texas, and then the best one so far, the "Hooker Inn" in Hooker, Oklahoma.  Maybe it's a Hollywood thing, like stars giving their kids names like Diva Thin Muffin Pigeen, Jermajesty and Zuma Nesta Rock.  Com'on people, think before you name, don't drink before you name.  

I had scouted out another free campsite just west of Albuquerque in the parking lot of a casino.  Hey, it was free and ya gotta try things sometimes.  It was a COLD night in Zelda.  I even sprang for a cup of hot chocolate this morning to warm up - not something I ever do.  From Albuquerque I was going to only go to Winslow, AZ, cuz hey, there's a song about it so that's a good reason to stop in my book; but the weather forecast for Flagstaff called for snow tonight.  I didn't want to take the chance of having to drive through that tomorrow so I changed my mind and decided to push through to Kingman, AZ.  I did however get to drive through snow showers around Flagstaff.  I guess since I'll be in SW Arizona for the winter, that was my winter snow for this year.  I can handle that, especially after the past 2 horrible winters in Ohio.

A dear friend of mine, who happens to be from Arizona, recommended The Pine Country Restaurant in Williams, AZ, about 30 miles west of Flagstaff, so I thought I'd treat myself to something hot to eat for a change.  The food was delicious and the pies are amazing!  


Williams is a lovely, quaint mountain town and is the gateway to the Grand Canyon.  I wish I had had more time to spend there and explore.  Definitely a place I will have to go back to when the weather is nicer.  It is right on Historic Route 66 and was the last section that was decommissioned in I believe 1984 it said.

Williams, AZ

As I headed to Kingsman, I hadn't found any good free campsites that met my needs.  The weather was supposed to get icky so I decided to splurge ($30!) and get a site in an RV park with electric and . . . SHOWERS!!   As I got out of the car to check in I was just about blown away!  I thought the wind in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas was bad, but this was hurricane force wind!  I am NOT exaggerating.  It pushed me along faster than I wanted to walk.  The storm was upon me and I did get set up before the thunder, rain and sleet started, but the wind was rockin 'n' rollin Zelda with me in it.  Within a little over an hour after I could feel the drop in temperature.  It is cold again.  I can still hear the wind, though it has settled down to blustery and I am wondering if I will wake up to the snow they forecasted for here as well.  I hope not.  My hot shower will be for naught as soon as I start walking back to my site.

Tomorrow I will head south to the Lake Havasu area and start looking for a good boondock.  The  forecast says once I get down that way the weather will be warm and stay that way for the next couple of weeks.  YIPPIE!  I so want to find a warm place where I can stay for a little while, get myself organized and just savor the realization that this adventure has finally begun.  Is that too much to ask Weather Goddess??


  1. I am so excited for you. Keep us updated I love to read your travels.

    1. Thank you jdl1968! It has been quite the adventure already. You can plan & plan all you want but reality always keeps everything interesting! That's what i love about life - it really is like a box of chocolates. I have more to come in the way of posts so stay tuned! Are you out here on the road too?

  2. Jordan, I've been reading your blog and your excitement in the past weeks on rvsueandcrew blog. Congratulations on your arrival in Az and on your Adventure! Your whirlwind trip reminds me of the trip we took on our honeymoon, moving from Kansas to Las Vegas in a camper 4 years ago. It is hard to enjoy your surroundings until you feel settled and safe. Glad you have

    1. Hi Sue,

      Glad I can bring back (I hope GOOD) memories! :) It has been exciting and I am adjusting to my new lifestyle. Moving today to a new boondock as soon as my computer has finished recharging, so will see how things go. I hope to find some other full-timers & maybe get some good tips - my last camp was full of ATV'ers.

      Hope you & your family are still getting out camping - at a little slower pace! :)