Thoughts from the Road

A gorgeous sunset made coming home easier.

A gorgeous sunset made coming home easier.

The rest stop at Tannehill State Park helped a lot.  We debated staying an extra day, but decided to head on home today.

The drive was hard.  Ron wasn’t concentrating well and we had a few scary episodes — one of which was driving over a wooden pallet in the road that we had plenty of time to miss if Ron had seen it.

Almost home

Almost home

We talked with some fulltimers this morning who were on their way to Livingston, TX.  She is a three time cancer survivor with very little stamina, yet they enjoy traveling.  I asked her how on earth she did it.

She said they never drive more than three hours a day, then they stop for a night or two.  That way they see and enjoy the sights along the way and the destination is far less important than the journey.

Our little dirt road

Our little dirt road

I decided that is the way we are going to have to travel from now on.

Ron’s cupboard latch broke this trip, so I am going to have to order several small parts from Casita and do a few minor repairs before we head to Florida.

But first, lots of chicken soup, easy exercise, and hopefully a full recovery for both of us.

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  1. The cancer survivor’s travel plan sounds really smart! While I was working we had to high tail it – but now I’m retired. It should be about enjoying the trip more than getting there.

    • I had read that advice several times before, but it really hit home seeing how they are able to actually enjoy traveling. Hopefully the lesson will stick this time. 🙂

  2. I’m still trying to get the hang of short driving days – hope to perfect my technique on my winter trip to S CA. It sure sounds like a good way to travel

    • I think our problem is we try to skimp on the cost of overnight accommodations. But from now on, that is just going to be accepted as part of the cost of going somewhere!

  3. A short driving day is a good driving day, IMO. Of course, I don’t always heed my own advice. And I usually regret it later.

    Love the atmospheric photos. Very cool. Get better!

  4. EmilyO

     /  December 19, 2013

    I try and stick to my Rule of 4-4-2. I am on the road no more than 4 hours; or, have stopped and set up by 4 p.m. so I can get my afternoon rest/nap in; or no more than 200 miles (sometimes fudge to 250 miles). That’s about all I can do now. Yes, it does take more time to get where am going but – hey, I am retired. You might set something up like that for your two.

    • Well, it sure is good to hear from others that they have to keep it to short days. Makes me not feel so awfully old! 🙂

      I like your 4-4-2 plan.

  5. Highly recommend the short day model. Even on the Alaska trip we built our rough plan around 200 mile days. Haven’t done the extra days in between, but can sure see the value.

    • John, in following your epic journey, I didn’t pick up on the fact that you kept short days. I just thought you had endless energy! And I was a wee bit jealous! 🙂

  6. cozybegone

     /  December 19, 2013

    Lesson well learned….the stress off driving or riding as navigator can put me over the edge if out there too long. And now I’m getting spoiled not moving at all…. Love rear window photo…glad you two are on the mend!

    • Yep, it is stressful being the navigator… and the lap that holds two dogs!

      After seeing how well you are doing in one place, I am wondering if we should plan some longer stays in Florida when we finally get there.

  7. We’ve found that our travel days are the days we like the least. 300 miles a day is about our limit – we, too, like to hang out for a day or two and enjoy whatever area we’re in. Your photos from nighttime travel were enlightening to me – we’ve yet to have to drive in the night! Listen to cozybegone….she knows of what she speaks. Enjoy your holidays, wherever you are.

    • We do our best not to drive after dark because we don’t see well then. But those pictures were taken in our little town on the way home.

      I remember your stopovers on your last trip. Loved seeing the photos and reading about them!

  8. Emily stole my comment but I was going to call it the 2,4,4 plan….whichever one comes first, 200 miles, 4 hours of driving or 4 PM!

    I want a picture of you navigating with those two dogs in your lap! How do you even see the road??????

    • Well, Sunny likes to start out on my lap, then he likes to ease down to the floor and sleep the trip away. Sheba has finally learned just to rest her head in my lap. The only casualty is a little dog drool on my pants. 😀

      Lynne, I thought you were on the road dawn to dark! It wore me out just reading about it! Must pay more attention to the details of your future posts!

  9. I’m happy you made it home. But please don’t do that again. You should have stay one more night it may have made all the difference in the world. Your great people and we want to be reading all about your future adventures. Get Well.

  10. Mary Alice

     /  December 19, 2013

    Rest and get ready for another trip. I love the thought of enjoying the journey only 3 hours a day. I have not learned to do that yet.

  11. stay well!

  12. It is so hard to get out of the “vacation mode” of travel!! I agree with the comments above regarding the 2,4,4 plan (or a variation of this). Good advice!! It isn’t always about the destination but about the journey as well!! Slow down and enjoy the journey!!! I can so understand the “lap that holds two dogs.” I usually have the job of dog caretaker. Oh well, we love them.
    So glad you all arrived home safely!! Now you all get some rest and feel better!!

    • Ah! Someone else understands the joys (?) of being a doggie lap while traveling. 🙂

      I don’t know why it is so hard to get out of vacation mode and stop focusing on “getting there.” It’s a lesson we will have to learn!

  13. VERY nice photo’s…..2-4-4 is something that has taken awhile for me to learn…..and it also applies when I get to a destination…I rush out to capture those photo’s….instead of relaxing and saying..”it can wait until tomorrow”….I have a tendency to move too quick too often….I guess we learn sooner….or later…glad that you two are making a recovery!!!…Merry Christmas…Horst sends

    • Thanks for the comments on the photos, Horst. Coming from you, that is always a big deal to me.

      I have resolved that I will not take photos before I walk around and just get a chance to absorb my surroundings and let them soak in from now on. I read an article that said you remember less when you take a lot of photos. I love sharing the photos, but I also love to soak in and savor the memories. It’s nice when photos can enhance memories rather than replace them, isn’t it?

      I am still looking for the right frame for the Casita picture. 🙂

  14. I love the sunset photo. We saw a great one on the way home the other day (only from the garden centre). As I was driving I asked the children to take a photo from my phone but they didn’t turn out quite as well as we’d hoped.

  15. MarciaGB

     /  December 22, 2013

    The shorter travel days are very sensible. We’ve spent long days on the road in the past, but as we age, neither of us wants to do this anymore. We leave next Sunday for SW FL from northern Massachusetts and since we just want to get there, will travel between 350 and 400 miles per day. Once we arrive, it will take us a few days to recover. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate. Wishing you Merry Christmas and a healthy and Happy New Year!

    • Marcia, I always need several days to recover. You are the first other person I have heard mention it.

      I am not sure when we will get to Florida now. It may be February. Have some medical stuff to take care of. But when we do get there, I am going to plan on staying a lot longer in one place than the one week max we normally do.

      Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, too!

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