Tag Archives: on the road

Mondays are for Memories – Joy in the Journey

CraterLake-19I was talking with our kids in Waco today, and they are chilled.to.the.bone. The roads are snow and ice covered (have you ever seen a snow plow in central Texas?), the temps are barely reaching the twenties, and there are ‘rolling blackouts’ as communities try and conserve electricity. As my dear daughter-in-law (who moved to TX to escape winter) said – “Texas, you have betrayed us!” Since I am not chilled to the bone these days, I thought I’d look back to a time when we came across some crazy snow in late April, 2016.

Joy in the Journey – May 2, 2016
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Sometimes we drive just to get to our destination. Sometimes it’s even a long drive. But this last week, while our drive was long (almost 1300 miles) and we were pointed at a final destination (Lake Retreat Camp in Ravensdale, WA (SE of Seattle)) we tried to take that road less traveled when it was possible and take time to stop and smell the roses (or walk in the snow as the case may be) along the way.
Want to come along?
Heading on our way! After 4 months in the desert we're excited to be heading to some trees! Washington, here we come! Oregon, we'll be enjoying you along the way. 🚍 🌳 #ontheroadagain
Although we did have to hop on to Interstate 5 for a bit to get through Sacramento, we mostly drove on Route 99 and then 97. Rte 97, in fact, took us from Weed, California right through Oregon and almost up to I90 in Washington. We drove through valleys, scaled (or so it seemed) mountains, crossed rivers and drove along beautiful lakes.
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Along with the gallery of pictures below, HERE is a link to the album on Flickr. (I’ve put captions on most of the pictures, but apparently unless you click on each picture, you won’t be able to see them. I’ll have to talk to Flickr about that!)


Our two main stops were –
Lava Beds National Monument
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Have you ever heard of this place?
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It was very interesting – lots of lava, beautiful views
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and lots of caves to explore. We weren’t really expecting to go spelunking, so we stuck with the one lighted cave (Mushpot) and one other that seemed pretty easy (Skull). As in no duck-walking or crawling easy. Yeah, we’re not into that. Of course, my phone died just as we were entering the Skull cave – so you’ll have to trust me that it was pretty cool!
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The caves found in this park were created by flows of smooth lava thousands upon thousands of years ago. In another part of the park was a huge rock outcrop with petroglyphs –
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I’ll confess that the petroglyphs were a little disappointing, but the rock itself was fabulous!
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(Full album can be seen HERE!)
and (continuing the sentence back a couple of pictures!)
Crater Lake!
We’d heard about how stunning it was – and I’m sure there is a lot more to do in the summertime when things are actually open,
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but draped in the beauty of snow – this was still a crazy beautiful experience!
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We are so glad we bundled up and stopped to see this amazing lake that was formed when a volcano erupted and collapsed upon itself. So beautiful!
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More snowy pictures HERE!

We thoroughly enjoyed our drive from the desert to the beautiful Pacific Northwest. The scenery was varied, fuel prices were low(ish), our stops were outstanding, and arrival at Lake Retreat welcome!
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We caught sight of Mt. Rainier today on our way home from church –
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Looks like there will be more ‘sploring in our future!

PS – Here’s a music video of the song “Joy in the Journey” by Michael Card. It’s not so much about RV travel (not at all, actually), but about our journey with Christ. It’s worth a listen if you have a minute (or 3).

Today

Although we had planned on taking two days for drive to Lindale,  we got a good early start and decided to just go for it! Wanna come along?
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We did get that nice early start – not to much traffic on this first stretch!
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Actually not to much traffic on the next stretch either!
We opted to drive a portion of the Natchez Trace down to the interstate (I20) and we weren’t disappointed with the lovely time of no-stress driving!
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Apparently there was significant hurricane damage though given the amount of debris along the side of the road in various places.
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It was a great stretch of road – no commercial traffic and natural beauty all the way! (Well, except for the tree mess, but it’s still nature, right?) Soon enough, though, we were on I20, heading west to our TX destination. (Literally, I20 to our exit to the office.)
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Yousers – those there are some BIG tires!
More interstate….
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Shrevesport, LA –
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The Texas Welcome Center
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And here is our tiny house for the next several days!
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We so thankful for our friend Bob who has loaned us his camper so we can be close to the office for the next few days. And we’re also so very thankful for a totally uneventful drive to get here!
I saved my favorite picture of the day for last, even though I took it while we were on that first dirt road. I don’t often make Gary stop so I can take a picture, but those pine trees, draped in the early morning fog just seemed too lovely to take on the fly!
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Thanks for coming along on our little road trip!
Steph

Sometimes the day

…just doesn’t go as planned.

We shared hugs all around, and set out right on schedule from Josiah’s house this morning.
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We were first in line at then inspection station
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and we passed with flying colors. (To my Pennsylvania friends – the inspections here in TX consist of making sure the lights work, the brakes work, the wipers work, the horn works and you have current insurance. Total cost – $7.00. Quite a difference from the PA inspection system!) But I digress…
We stopped at a diesel repair shop to have some ‘codes read’ to help figure out an intermittent sputtering/missing problem we noticed on our way to Waco. And that’s about when our ‘best laid plans’ took a detour. It turned out they couldn’t actually do the diagnosis until after lunch so we decided to make the most of the morning and took care of a chore – doing the laundry! Then we enjoyed lunch at a favorite lunch spot (from when we were doing the Parrott Ave renovations last year). Once we got back to the rig, they were getting ready to do the diagnostic. But first I had to empty out the closet (Oh, the joys of have a diesel ‘pusher’). No pictures of that – it’s too embarrassing!
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The tech spent a lot of time checking things, but in the end everything looked fine. He loaded us up with a new computer program for the engine, took the girl for a nice long test drive and everything checked out. Of course, by that time, it was closing in on 5PM so they told us to come back tomorrow to ‘settle up’. (Gotta love Texas!) We found a nice pull-through RV spot at a local campground on Lake Waco, and tucked in for the night. Hopefully, after we stop back at the garage to pay our bill, we’ll soon be on our way! Again.
It certainly wasn’t the day we planned, but it started with hugs, included clean clothes, a good check-up at the diesel doctor, some yummy food and ended with a lovely sunset.
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We really can’t ask for more than that! Thanks for coming along for the (non) trip!
Steph

Driving, driving, driving…..

We got an early-ish start this morning (after our lovely two day retreat at Rend Lake), and drove and drove and drove. Thankfully the traffic wasn’t too bad – well, Little Rock and West Memphis were a little busy, but that’s to be expected. Tonight we are in a nice little campground just outside of Texarkana, AR with lovely pull through spots (so we don’t have to disconnect the truck). And given the Arkansas heat and humidity, we’re very grateful for an electric hook-up so we can run the A/C.
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Leftover anniversary steak with corn on the cob for a quick dinner, and we’re calling it a day! Sweet dreams, everyone!
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Tomorrow we’re off to Waco – and another batch of Grands!

R&R at Rend Lake

September. Really? Where did the rest of the summer go? The last couple of weeks have been filled with family and friends and fun, and I’m going to do my best to catch you up on some of them (maybe even do a post a day for a while – whaddya think?). But for now, a little real-time update.

Today was a travel day. We left in the morning fog
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and, (after a 60 mile (truck only) detour to retrieve Gary’s phone that had been left behind at Lara’s) we set our sights on points west and south. Although our next family stop will be in Lorena, TX, we decided to do a little bit of R&R camping on the way south. Destination for today was Gun Creek Campground on Rend Lake in Illinois. The spot was chosen because of it’s proximity to I57 (just south of Effingham, IL),about 400 miles into the trip and also the price – $13/night (full hook-ups) with our senior pass. Sometimes it really pays to be old!
Our drive was mostly uneventful – though it seemed like there was an inordinate amount of construction along the way
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and way too many trucks on the road. But then again, I’m happy to see that America is still moving across the country!
The day ended with a bit of rain
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but was clearing out as we settled into our spot for the next couple of days.
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The lake is just through those trees at the end of the road. We’ll be exploring tomorrow for sure!
I am so thankful our safe travels today (something I never take for granted) and for this guy-
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who once again got us to where we needed to be! Even with ALL those trucks!