Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Great Summer Adventure 2010 comes to an end

Whee! What a ride!

“It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters in the end.” — Ursula K. LeGuin

Nearly 7,000 miles while driving through 18 states – what a super time!

Did I have a favorite state? Favorite campground? No to both questions. I can tell you that my least liked campground was Homestead/Yarwood in northern Kentucky; the most challenging one was Maple Springs Campground (outside of Preston, MN) where Jeremiah had to be pulled out of the mud.

During my adventure I stayed at three working farms: a dairy farm, vegetable farm, and pig, corn and soybean farm. I camped at commercial parks, state parks, Corps of Engineers parks, city parks and on three occasions at Walmart! Camping neighbors ran the gamut; most super people who also love to travel.

Besides my week at the Winnebago Grand National Rally, I made an unscheduled flight to northern Nevada to be with one of my sisters for a week. And on my way home, I stopped three days at Pancho Villa State Park in way-southern New Mexico and went across the border for a dentist appointment (ultra-sound cleaning for $30), had new glasses made ($90 using my old frames) and had lunches at the Pink Store (the must-go place in Palomas, Mexico). I also bought a raspador saldado for 214 pesos - $17.85 (also called a “Mexican hoe”). Actually it is a floor scraper that works great on weeds.

My last night was spent at McDowell Mountain Regional Park in the Phoenix area before driving home and parking Jeremiah and Cat (friend Connie looked after Cat) at my Prescott Valley home. I drove my Ford Explorer to the San Diego area for medical checkups (all OK!) and visiting with friends and family.

My winter volunteer "job" - McDowell Mountain Regional Park

Jeremiah, Cat and I are now settled into one of several volunteer host camp sites – with a sewer connection, laundry facilities for volunteers, a park truck for getting around the park and only a few miles to the town of Fountain Hills (in the greater metro area of Phoenix, Arizona) for groceries and such. What a luxury. My park “job” is to be one of two “group camp” hosts. This involves overseeing group campers in five areas. We have two groups coming in on Friday and leaving Sunday. My group host counterpart, Donna, and I spent time this week getting group areas ready. Our schedule will be four-days-on followed by four-days-off, making it nice for getting out and about in the Phoenix on off-days. I also have four days at Thanksgiving – Thursday through Sunday – so I’ll be able to join the rest of the Anderson clan for Thanksgiving dinner.

You can be sure I'll be figuring out my 2011 travel plans because:

My idea of a good time is getting in a car and driving to explore our great country. For whatever reasons, I have defined relaxation as driving long distances in short segments; freedom is associated with a steering wheel in my hands and a new section of America somewhere out past the windshield where the yellow center line dips over the horizon.