We’ve Been Everywhere Man! – from Gunter, TX

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Taken toward the end of October during an unplanned stay at a campground not far from where we ordinarily stay which was starting to flood. We returned to our regular spot about three days later. The road into our usual spot never did become totally impassable.

Borrowing from Johnny Cash’s I’ve Been Everywhere:

We’ve traveled every road in this here land.

We’ve been everywhere, man. We’ve been everywhere, man.

Crossed the deserts bare, man. We’ve breathed the mountain air, man.

Travel, we’ve had our share, man. We’ve been everywhere.

We’ve been to California, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Maine.

We’ve ridden 95 and 85 and 15 just the same.

We’ve been to New Orleans, New York City and Key West, they were cool.

We’ve stayed in Hot Springs, Palm Springs and Salt Lake City too.

We’re killers. We’ve been everywhere, man.

An adventure of a lifetime. WE’VE BEEN EVERYWHERE!

I’ll start by writing that the last two years plus have been spectacular. As Alayne likes to say, “she’s seen things she never thought she’d get to see, and she’s seen things she didn’t even know existed.” From Bar Harbor to San Diego Harbor. From the white sands of Fort Meyers Beach to White Sands, New Mexico. From Lake Pontchartrain to Lake Ontario and Lake Yellowstone. We’ve seen a LOT of America, and even a couple bits of Canada.

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This was our living room, kitchen and study for nearly 2.5 years. It served us well. I’d like to say it was always this neat and well-organized, but I’d be lying

We managed to hit 42 states and nearly 100 campgrounds in our time on the road. In both cases, some were more memorable than others. A popular question is, “What’s your favorite place?” That’s impossible to answer. Surely some standouts in my mind are Bighorn National Forest in Wyoming (see Snowballs in July) and Spearfish Canyon in South Dakota. The drives were just beautiful. There was also the first two rocket launches I’d ever seen in my life, as well getting to stand in front of Frank Sinatra’s first house in Palm Springs as well as his headstone at Desert Memorial Park. And there was the desolation of standing in the middle-of-nowhere Utah staring at the very bright Milky Way with its overwhelming number of stars. That’s the sort of stuff you simply don’t see every day.

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Obviously, some RVs are a little more than campers. Our head was about as well-finished as a regular house

In all, we traveled 20,000 miles in the RV. But the RV was only part of our travel. The Honda endured 20,000 miles behind the RV plus another 40,000 miles of me behind the wheel; it now has 92,000 miles on its 2012 chassis. Aside from a flat tire on the Honda in the middle of South Dakota near Wall Drug, we’ve never had any trip disruptions of any consequence. Sure, the RV has required quite a bit of maintenance. But unlike your everyday camper that only gets used a few weeks a year, we’ve used it.

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This is the master bedroom. To be fair, it is the only bedroom. But, the Sleep Number king mattress served us well for the time we slept on it (although I did buy a spare pump, just in case). We rarely used the little sink
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This is the flip side of the bedroom. As you can see, we didn’t lack for storage. That was evidenced in the fact that it took us about three days to move all of our belongings off the bus

Certainly one would wonder what we missed if we only saw 42 states. I don’t think we missed a lot.

We missed Delaware simply because we forgot it existed when we were in the area. Sorry, Delawarians, but I don’t think we missed much. We avoided North Dakota because we’ve seen flat ground. We live on relatively flat ground. We purposely didn’t go to Wisconsin, Michigan or Minnesota because having grown up in the upper Midwest, we’d already traveled those areas extensively. We didn’t go to Alaska. Sure, I could have proven a point by driving the 1,400-mile Alcan Highway, but there are easier ways to see Alaska without taking a grueling, month-long drive. For obvious reasons, we didn’t go to Hawaii. That leaves us with Washington, Oregon, and Alaska, all of which we’ll make time for down the road, probably as part of a cruise to Alaska.

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I’m going to miss playing with all the switches and looking at all the gauges (“gages” if you are the moron at General Motors who screwed up the spelling on our 2000 Pontiac Bonneville, after which the company tried to pass it off as “intentional”; unfortunately it stuck even though their choice of words was totally incorrect. Doesn’t much matter, GM products suck anyway)

I always thought we would tour the country and make a determination regarding where we’d settle down based on what we’d seen. We’ve lived lakeside. We’ve lived in mountains. We’ve been nestled among pine trees, and we’ve lived in the desert. But having experienced all of these, we’ve decided to return to Texas. We like the area, and we like the people. We pretty much like the weather, although it does get hot. And my allergies don’t bother me near as much as they do in the Southeast or upper Midwest.

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We closed on Halloween and had a bunch of trick-or-treaters to feed as we studied our new environment

As we start to transition from what has been one helluva vacation into a more conventional lifestyle in Gunter, Texas, we’re packing, we’re moving stuff, and we’re readying the RV for its new owners. It will surely be with moist eyes that we put our previous home of two and half years up for sale, but we’ve got some fantastic memories that will always remain from the pleasure of owning it and fulfilling our lifelong dream of living on the road.

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Our new home is about six times bigger than our previous home. And, I no longer need to use the Honda as a garden shed
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Not as much space as some of the places we’ve stayed in (e.g., Dumplin Valley), but it will certainly do

In closing, I hope you’ve enjoyed my missives. If you ever want to ask for more detail about places we’ve been, just let us know. And if you’re ever traveling through North Texas, drop by and pay us a visit.

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The day we purchased our bus. We’re gonna miss you, baby!

4 thoughts on “We’ve Been Everywhere Man! – from Gunter, TX

  1. Congratulations on actually accomplishing what many dream and on your new digs. I have enjoyed reading of your travels and comments but have not read all yet. Thanks for taking the time and effort to document.

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    1. Thanks, Sue. The first few days in our new house was sorta funny because both of us kept expecting to flush the toilets using foot valves. We’re like, “holly crap, look how much water these things waste!”

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