We sit thousands of miles away from friends and family. Thanksgiving for us was spent in the desert with temperatures in the 70’s and a lot of wind. This holiday for us is usually spent with family and friends with the aromas of turkey in the oven, stuffing, casseroles, desserts and cold temperatures outside. It […]
After years of planning, we made it!
QUARTZSITE!! We woke up excited to see what our surroundings looked like. It was so dark the night before, we had no idea what awaited us. There were campers scattered everywhere and the ground was rocky (unlike what you’d imagine when you think of the desert). It was beautiful and we just couldn’t believe we had finally made it. It was very surreal! Steve and I stood outside impatiently waiting for 9am which is when the office opened so we could buy our pass and find the perfect spot to park the RV. When the office finally opened we went inside and found out that we could of gone inside and found a spot and just came back the next day to buy the pass. Good to know for next year I suppose. You have to pay for the pass in cash (which we didn’t have on us) which was $180, good from mid September to mid April.
They allowed us to go pick out our spot and give them the money later on during the day once we got settled. Off we went to find our spot! We knew we wanted to be parked next to a cactus so about 2 miles in we found where we would park the RV. Steve went right into action getting everything level and the truck disconnected. I started making the camper look like home as we put the slide out and we got the dogs settled before we went into town to grab the money for the pass. We were starving so after hitting the ATM, we picked up some lunch and headed back to LaPosa South to get our official pass. Getting back to the camper was so rewarding because we could finally put the stickers on the truck and camper to be official Quartzsite pass holders.
After 2 weeks of traveling, you’d be surprised just how dirty a camper can get when you are constantly on the move so I started cleaning everything! It was so nice to be settling in. Steve was in awe all afternoon. He kept going in and out of the camper talking about what we were surrounded by. Mountains, cactus, scattered campers and 4 wheelers everywhere. I finished cleaning and putting everything into place and at this point the sun started to go down so we took the opportunity to take pictures! We just had to get a picture of each of us hugging the cactus we parked next to. Our first sunset in Quartzsite was out of this world. This was a sunset you only see in magazines. Never had we seen one so beautiful. When it got dark, we were told of how big the sky looks and it was so true. The stars were so bright it seemed like you could just reach out and touch them and the Milky Way was HUGE!
After an overwhelming day of excitement, we did receive some very sad news as we were settling in for the night. Steve’s gram had passed away. It was very unexpected considering the doctors had given her 3 weeks to 3 months to live the day before she passed. We were ready to turn around and fly home but Steve’s aunt and cousin told us to stay. It was a night of sadness but Steve and I were just glad she wasn’t suffering anymore. We went to bed early to be ready for the next day which would be getting much needed things done that we didn’t do on the road.
We spent 17 hours on the road today!
So, because of the long day we had yesterday and the fact that we only got a little bit of sleep, we ended up sleeping past our alarms and finally got up in a panic just before 3am. We hauled butt and hit the road after getting breakfast and energy drinks at a nearby truck stop. The wind advisory stretched almost to the Arizona border so we had to fly like the wind to beat it in less than 2 hours. We drove through Albuquerque and it was such a beautiful city at night. There were lots of pretty lights that lit up the bridges we went under and with it being surrounded by mountains, we could only imagine what the city looked during the day. We drove and drove up and down hills and mountains watching the clock until we finally hit the Arizona border. By this time the wind had caught up with us and it was CRAZY!
There was a truck stop right on the border line and we grabbed fuel and pizza for lunch. The wind was so strong at this point (even being out of the advisory zone), we saw tumble weeds for the first time in fast motion. I was really nervous to keep going but Steve assured me we would be ok so off we went. Steve decided to take a scenic route which led us through so many mountains but it happened to be a happy accident because it was GORGEOUS! Also on this route we saw cactus for the first time and there were hundreds of them everywhere you looked. We knew we were getting close to our destination!
After more driving, we decided to drive through Phoenix (much to Steve’s dismay) because I have this thing about cities. I love driving through and seeing big cities which we had done in almost every state we’ve been through so far. Being so close to Quartzsite with only about 2 hours or so left on this trip, I immediately regretted going this way as it was all traffic! We wanted to reach Quartzsite before sundown and it was looking like we might not make it. The only good thing about seeing this city were the palm trees and flowers everywhere. Once finally getting out of the traffic, we stepped on it and in about an hour and a half later, we made it to Quartzsite at dusk! We found LaPosa South and spent the night at the entrance because it was now dark and the office had closed at 4pm. Tomorrow we will wake up to what will be our surroundings for the next couple of months!
We woke up later than we wanted to this morning!
The day may have started a little later than we wanted but that didn’t stop us from staying focused on the travels ahead. We had coffee, let the dogs out, and started getting ready to hit the road. It was a beautiful day so I straightened my hair and put on a pair of earrings my sister had made for me as a gift before we left Maine. We packed up, hit the dump station and grabbed some footage of us going up the steep hill to get out of the park. It was nerve wrecking but Steve is a pro and got us out no problem. We didn’t eat breakfast so we stopped for an early lunch at Carl’s Jr. The burgers were huge but I managed to eat all of mine, surprisingly. Turns out, traveling gives you quite the appetite! We started driving and hit Texas!
It was very flat and had a TON of windmills. I’d never seen so many windmills in one area before! We drove straight through the top of Texas until we hit New Mexico. What a beautiful state! At that point we really started to see what our environment was going to look like and made us very excited to keep going. It was starting to get dark after many hours of driving and we needed to stop for fuel. Next to the gas station was an empty(ish) lot/parking lot we decided to stop at for the night. Steve needed a break from driving and the dogs were getting restless. Once we settled in we were relaxing on the couch and our phones started going off about a major wind advisory due to hit at 5am the next morning. They were saying 50-60+ mph winds and we were right in the middle of it. We had to make a decision to either stay there and battle the winds or take a cat nap and be up before 3am to get out of the wind warning zone. By this time it was 9pm and made the decision to beat the winds. We went right to bed. Tomorrow we see if we can make it out on time!
We made it to our first state park!
Upon waking up, Steve immediately started working on the video of the animal safari which gave me time to take care of some things around the camper to be more organized. It’s definitely a learning experience to find permanent homes for everything in a house that “moves”. I was able to organize everything we had stored in our bunks that kept either falling or getting in the way every time we moved. Once that was done, I let the dogs outside to get some fresh air and came back inside to make breakfast. Now that we were full, it was time to hit the road. We drove through Tulsa and found a Walmart so we could stock up on some essentials and get drinking water. We got 5 gallons of water for .37 cents a gallon. On our walk back to the camper, we saw a truck in the parking lot that was picture worthy! It gave us a good laugh.
We drove through Oklahoma City and we were amazed at how big it was! I would of loved to stop and see the memorial for the Oklahoma City bombing site but there was just no way of maneuvering a camper around that city so we kept going until we came to a little town called Hinton. We found a state park called Red Rock Canyon. It was $22 a night to stay there which gave us access to potable water and a dump station. It was gorgeous and it smelled different. It was a fresh smell, a mixture of the trees, grass and canyons surrounding us. We set up camp and I made a shepherds pie for dinner. We took showers after we ate and with a little Walking Dead to end our evening, we relaxed, enjoyed each others company and went to bed. Tomorrow we try to see how far we can get as we are getting closer and closer to Arizona!
Today is Safari day!
We woke up at the rest area which had gotten busy over night and made breakfast. While I got ready, Steve talked with a neighboring RV’r and made sure the camper was ready to go. Today is Safari day! We hit the road and got there early before they opened to get the dogs adjusted. We were so nervous about leaving Missy in the camper while we went on the safari which as an hour and fifteen minute tour ride. We also realized when we got there that there were a bunch of animals in plain sight from the parking lot so we had to cover up all of the windows so the dogs wouldn’t see them! Steve put on some music to drown out any outside noise, put Ki in his crate and locked the door behind us. This was the moment of truth as this was the first time we were leaving her alone since being on the road.
We went in, paid for our tickets and realized there was a petting/feeding area we could walk through while we waited for the bus. It happened to be open on the other end so we were able to check on the dogs before the bus tour. Aside from it getting a little warm outside, the camper was staying cool due to all of the windows being covered up. So far so good. We grabbed our bags of animal food, got on the bus and off we went! We had the time of our lives! SO MUCH FACE! It had been a long time since I’d laughed that hard and Steve got some amazing footage of all of the critters. After about an hour and a half we made it back and the camper was still in tact! We checked on the dogs real quick and went back inside to feed the rest of the food we had left to the giraffe and checked out the reptile exhibit. We had such a good time and it was a day for the books because Missy had been a good girl while we were gone. We made lunch in the camper before we left the parking lot and hit the road before we stopped at another rest area to feed the animals and settle in for the night. We relaxed the rest of the evening until bed time. Tomorrow was going to be a big travel day. Check out the video we took below!
I finally get to see the arch in St. Louis!
This morning went without a hitch as we got the dogs and us ready to hit the road. Shortly after leaving, miles before we actually reached the city, we saw the arch of St. Louis! It was HUGE! This city, by far, was my favorite city we had driven through because it was so big and it’s always super exciting to see land marks you know about but had never seen before. We kept driving until we entered Missouri and went through a lot of different towns, one of which had a hot air balloon in the sky! Like the arch, it kept getting bigger and bigger as we got closer to it until it was right over us!
We stopped a few times in between to tend to the animals and finally stopped for the night at a rest area. We decided to stay there and catch some cool shots of the supermoon. Steve put the drone in the air to catch some shots around us and he took a time lapse of the supermoon as it got higher in the sky. After a long day of driving and video footage, I talked with my dad about our travels so far and then we put on some Walking Dead until it was time to go to bed. Tomorrow we go to the Animal Safari!
You’ll meet strange people no matter where you go!
Anyone who lives full time in a RV knows the importance of having data. Verizon being the top dog in cell coverage has always been the go to carrier for both cell, and hot-spot service. Years ago they offered a unlimited Wi-Fi hot-spot package, this promotion didn’t last long. Many people kept these plans and were grandfathered. These “unicorn” plans allowed those who signed up to have all the data they needed, with coverage to boot.
It appears Verizon is now fighting back against the heavist of users. While reading a blog by Outside Our Bubble, I learned that Verizon is looking to remove these heaviest of users. All is not lost it seems. Users who stay under 100 GB’s of usage a month seem to be OK, as Verizon is only targeting those who use more.
Check out Outside Our Bubble and read on to what they learned. Sound off in the comments if you currently have one of these coveted plans and are being effected by the news.