JoDo Chasing Rainbows

It is all about perspective!

We followed the same route to Texas that we took on our maiden voyage as full-timers in June of 2018. I can tell you we have had a change in perspective since we started living in our RV full-time. Here are some of what we learned since going full-time.

  • Atlanta traffic still sucks. Yes, sucks. We did not like it when we left and it sure has not changed. It seemed worse to us. We will do everything in our power to never drive the RV on I-285.
  • When we started, I would never drive up to a RV Park without a reservation or minimum speaking to someone at the park to confirm that they have availability. I knew I wanted to stay in Tuscaloosa, AL for the evening when we left Atlanta in 2019. I checked the football schedule to confirm that Alabama had an away game. I could not get the park where we have stayed twice before on the line. I knew the manager does not leave before 7 pm so we drove there without a reservation nor confirmation that they had availability. I figured since I checked the one thing that would fill up the park on a Thursday that I would be okay. We were. They could accommodate us for an overnight stay.
  • I used to call to check on national forest sites for availability. No more. We show up around 2 pm and check to see what’s available since these are first come, first serve sites.

I have become so much more relaxed about finding a site. There is almost always another place that will be available if my first choice is full. The only time I have firm up reservations is around holidays or peak season for a prime location. Memorial, Labor and Thanksgiving are huge camping holidays.

  • I used to stress over the route and driving through cities. Atlanta has had absolutely the worst traffic that we have experienced in our travels. Nothing, not even Denver at the end of rush hour was as bad. We know that we can leave between 9 am to 9:30 am to miss the worst of traffic in any city. We drove around Birmingham, AL, Jackson, MS and Houston, TX with no problems. I should say Donna drove. She still handles the big city driving. I am comfortable with smaller cities like OKC, Cheyenne, Nashville, Little Rock.
  • I used to worry about low bridges. There is one low bridge crossing from Louisiana to Texas. I used to fight with Roxanne. (Our Garmin GPS. I needed to name her so that I could properly argue with her.) No more. I have chilled out and realized that the signs are actually right and we can get under or over any bridge that has more than 11 feet of clearance.

I am saying all of this to help you overcome whatever might be holding you back from your dream. You don’t have to full-time RV but there might be something you want to do. You are afraid or stressing out trying it. I can tell you that practice makes you better at it. I spend more time enjoying the sites and less time stressing over the next destination. It really is a matter of perspective.

Can we get a brake?

Well, we done did it. We wrecked the braking system on the car. I mean Donna did. She admits it. While we were in Kansas our braking assist was completely engaged while we were towing the car. We drove 20 miles dragging the car near Salina, KS. When we brought the car into our trusted mechanic at MMC Auto in Stone Mountain, GA, Mike just shook his head. We had to replace the brakes, the rotors and the tires on our car. We learned a lesson. Donna is not allowed to set the brake assist in the car anymore. RVing is learning experience. We have been traveling over a year before we made this mistake. Our biggest take away is that we broke our driving rules when we drove to Atlanta. We were driving 5 to 6 hours per today instead of 4 hours. We were driving every day instead of our 2 days on the road 2 days off. We won’t do that again.

We (meaning I) was anxious to get to Atlanta so that we could empty our storage unit. Downsizing is a continuous process. We had a small storage unit in Georgia that we just had not had a chance to get back to since we left. Now this storage unit is down to 4 small boxes and 2 pictures. Those items are now will us and will be housed in Texas so we can access that items when we need it.

Our time in Atlanta was fruitful. We got to visit with old friends and attend Pride. We did not know that we would be in town during Gay Pride. This lead to a volunteer opportunity with ZAMI NOBLA on Saturday. We spent a morning working in the yard at the Biggers House. This home will house elder lesbians in a safe, affordable space. We ended the weekend going to the Pride Parade. Even though it rained it was a festive time.

While we enjoyed our visit to metro Atlanta, we are ready to leave the busy, loud city. We have one more stop on the east coast before we slowly start heading west again.

Yellowstone Tree Art

I hope you all will indulge my artistic side. I was intrigued by down and dying tree stumps throughout Yellowstone Park. Yellowstone is a conservation and preservation park. Meaning if a tree falls and it is not an immediate hazard it is not moved. Lodge pole pines have swallow roots which can fall during high winds. Thermal areas can appear and kill trees in the wake. I spent all summer taking pictures of trees and tree roots. I can now properly edit the photos now that I have access to reliable internet. I hope you enjoy my summer labor.

Taking a break this week

There won’t be a new post until Sunday, October 13. Taking a small break to catch up with friends and family in Georgia.