Adventures with Traveler - December 2018

RV Adventures with Traveler – December 2018

About 7 months ago, I moved into my little home on wheels, Traveler! Traveler is my 24′ class C Gulf Stream RV.  Together we’ve trekked all over the USA these past several months and racked up over 10,000 miles. The beginning of my full-time RV life has been some of the most exhilarating and mindset-shifting times of my life. If you really want to get to know yourself better and learn to truly love yourself with all your flaws… solo travel is probably the most accelerated way to start!

I’m learning to slow my pace down and am now feeling the effects of the seasons changing. It’s been interesting to watch how it’s made me feel like hunkering down and hibernating. Going with that feeling, I returned to my hometown of Clovis, CA early November and have been enjoying the comforts and familiarities of “home”. It’s been very nice to take a mental break from the underlying stress of always being in an unknown place, route and destination planning, and being on the move. 

Additionally, it was time to get a few things fixed for Traveler. As I’m writing this, Traveler is in the shop and hopefully will be getting fixed up so we can begin dry camping again. There has been a battery draining issue that has interrupted my best-laid dry camping plans recently (sigh). 

Even though I am enjoying this little respite from RV living, I have absolutely no plans of stopping! I look forward to getting back on the road and exploring more of our beautiful country, and maybe even some of Canada! I’m continuing to go with the flow and allowing the Universe to guide me in my more “long-term” plans, which means I really don’t have much of a plan at all. For 2019, I see more road trips as well as a few international jaunts (by plane of course). Full-time travel will continue to be my way of life!

A few months ago, I shared some of my thoughts from the first 10 weeks of my new life adventure on the road (check out that post here). For this post, I thought I would do something a little different. This is a compilation of everything from my favorite places to the most fascinating people I met to the most annoying dilemma I’ve faced. For all the list lovers like me, here is 6 months of road-life experiences summarized into tidy bullet points 😉

 

The Bests

  • The Best Restaurant Meals I Ate
    • Cochon in New Orleans, LA 
    • Basic Kitchen in Charleston, SC 
    • Hu Kitchen in New York, NY
  • The Best Free Parking Spot: Mojave National Preserve. Epic skies and peacefully isolated!
 
  • The Best All-Around CampsiteBadlands Interior Motel & Campground in Interior, SD. Less than 2 miles outside of the Badlands NP entrance, all the amenities, and walking distance into the tiny town of Interior. The best part were the most expansive starry skies with stunning sunrises and sunsets over the Badlands.
 
  • The Best Drive: Casper, WY to Grand Teton National Park via Hwy 20 and Hwy 26. This drive was stunning! Scenery included everything from wide open spaces and big skies, to beautiful canyons, rock formations and rushing water in the Wind River Reservation, to the Continental Divide with real mountain climbs and views, to the colorful autumn aspens, culminating in stunning view of the majestic Tetons.
 
Traveler's view of the Badlands from campsite
The view of the Badlands NP from the Badlands Interior Motel & Campground

The Most Fascinating

  • The Most Fascinating Person I Met: a fellow world traveler named Adi from Israel. We met in the Badlands NP at one of the various lookout points. He and his friend were hitchhiking their way through the USA. Adi has been traveling the world for several years, relying on the kindness of strangers and spending as little money as possible. I was fascinated by the ways he has gotten around the world on pennies, the insights he’s gleaned from meeting all kinds of people, and his generous sense of humor. He convinced me that not all hitchhikers are scary people and that more young people really need to travel, it’s the best education there is.
 
  • The Most Fascinating Thing I Saw: The National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, VA. I’ve always had an intense fascination with all things WWII but I didn’t even know this place existed until last summer! Thanks to Roadtrippers (the site I use to plan my routes), I saw that this was only a minor detour from my route from Lynchburg, VA to Washington D.C. I am so grateful I took the time to visit this beautiful tribute to the men and women who lost their lives on DDay. I was thoroughly impressed by the way the memorial was designed to tell the story of that fateful day and the knowledge and friendliness of the staff and tour guides. I strongly recommend a visit to this memorial!
 
  • The Most Fascinating Revelation: Friendships come in all forms! As a young adult, it’s easy to fall into the “trap” of thinking that you can only make friends with other people who are in a similar life stage. As I’ve “grown up” a little more, I’ve realized that friends come in all forms. The more I’m open to making friends with an “unusual” prospect, the more beautiful friendships I gain. Age and gender differences, relationship statuses, socio-economic backgrounds, nationalities… none of it really matters. I’ve found some of the most fulfilling friendships in some of the most “unlikely” people. I am grateful that they have also chosen to not place parameters on who they become friends with, too. 
 
The National D-Day Memorial
The National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, VA

The Favorites

  • Favorite Driving Entertainment: Harry Potter series audiobooks! 
 
  • Favorite Spot to Return To: Grand Teton National Park! This was my first time in the park and I only saw a very small portion of it. I loved everything about this area: the crystal clear mountain lakes, the majestic peaks, the fresh mountain air, and the serenity that comes with being surrounded by nature.
 
  • 5 Favorite Water Experiences: Being in and near the water is my favorite thing to do so I actively sought out some spectacular water experiences along the way. I was fortunate to dive into some amazing waters, so I can’t pick just one favorite!
  • Splashing in the waterfalls at Robert H. Treman State Park near Ithaca, NY
  • First time on a jet ski & attempting to water ski on the St. Lawrence River in NY
  • Getting soaked by the mist at Niagara Falls, NY
  • Frolicking in the chilling waters of Jackson Lake in Grand Teton National Park, WY
  • Getting my fly fishing waders wet for the first time in Island Park, ID


The Annoying

  • The Most Annoying Dilemma: Recycling! There is no standardized system for recycling across the country. Every state, sometimes every city, has different regulations. It was impossible to keep up with what could be recycled, how it needs to be sorted, and where to even dispose of items! To top it off, most campsites and RV parks didn’t offer recycling options. The most annoying part was how I felt it discouraged me from wanting to recycle. As a country, I think we can really up our game here.
 
  • The Most Annoying Thing About Living in an RV: Making the bed! A bed that is enclosed on 3.5 sides by walls is NOT easy to put sheets and blankets on! Needless to say, my days of hospital corners are behind me.

The Stats

  • States Driven Through: 27 states + part of Canada, with only 3 states repeated!
 
  • 6 National Parks Visited: Shenandoah, The Badlands, Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Arches, and Petrified Forest.
 
  • Longest Drive: 671 miles from Camp Verde, AZ to Amarillo, TX (about 12 hours).
 
  • Total Driving Time: Approximately 158 hours! From Clovis, CA (Jun. 2018) back to Clovis, CA (Nov. 2018).
 
  • Friends & Family: Spent time visiting with 23 different loved ones! 

Please let me know if you have any questions or comments, I love hearing from you! Spread the Love and share this post with someone!

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Disclaimer: The information in this post is not intended as medical advice, or to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional. Marcelle encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research, and in partnership with your doctor, licensed dietitian, or nutritionist. The information provided in this post and the entire contents of www.marcellephene.com are based upon the opinions of Marcelle Phene and are for general educational purposes, and have not been reviewed nor approved by the FDA. You are solely responsible for your health care and activity choices.

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