Sunday, June 24, 2018

We made it home safe and sound this past Tuesday. After visiting Spearfish Canyon, we did not do any more sightseeing because it was too hot. Other than spending three nights in Bellevue, Nebraska, to visit friends, we drove straight through to Georgia, spending one or two nights in various campgrounds along the way. We had planned to stay in Nashville a few days on our way back, but I could not find a site with 50-amp service anywhere near the city. For those of you who are not RVers, you can only run one air conditioner with 30-amp service, and we have two units. There was no way we could endure the heat with only one AC unit running.

Since this was our first long trip, we learned some things that we will do differently the next time we hit the Asphalt Trail for a long journey.

  1. Leave Harry’s drone at home. Virtually all RV parks prohibit use of drones, so we will definitely not drag it around with us next time.
  2. Leave our portable satellite antenna and receiver at home. Harry only hooked up the satellite dish one time during our trip, but after learning from a close friend that you can no longer get local channels if you are more than 250 miles from home, we boxed up the equipment and that’s where it stayed for the rest of our trip.
  3. Leave our metal detector at home. We stored it under the bed and never once used it.
  4. Leave my knitting bag and supplies at home. I never once unzipped the bag the whole time we were gone.
  5. Leave our bikes at home. In two months, we only rode them three or four times.
  6. Don’t make reservations in advance unless it is for a national park or a holiday weekend. When our generator died, we had to cancel reservations at a state park in Missouri, and they charged us a $15 cancellation fee.
  7. Research the climate for the area we’re visiting. I truly thought I had this one covered. We left home on April 21st. It was still cool and wet in Georgia when we left, and the weather remained cool and wet most of the time we were on the road until we reached Montana. In fact, it went down to 29° on June 2nd, the night before we left Gardiner. But once we hit I-90, the thermometer started rising and kept going up. We had planned to boondock in the Buffalo National Grasslands again, but by the time we reached South Dakota, it was in the high 80s. It was even hotter in Nebraska, with temps in the high 90s. And the flies there were horrible. They were the pitch-black, bloodsucking kind commonly referred to as stable flies, since the feed on livestock. But don’t let the name fool you. They bite humans, too. And they draw blood. One even bit Harry through his sock. I guess I need to include insects in my research for our next long trip.
  8. Stay off I-90 at all costs. It is absolutely the roughest interstate we’ve ever driven on. I thought I-285 and I-20 West in Atlanta were bad, but I-90 takes the prize for the worst interstate ever.
  9. Never take expense jewelry on a trip, period. I lost my engagement ring and wedding band somewhere along the way. I removed my rings several times when we were out hiking because my fingers were swollen. I normally put them in my camera bag; however, it’s possible I put the rings in one of my pockets. That’s where I usually kept the lens cover for my camera when taking pictures. When I remembered about my rings, I searched through my camera bag, but they were nowhere to be found. My spare battery for my camera was missing, too. We searched the car, the motorhome, and the pockets of both my jackets. I even removed the coin trap on my combo washer/dryer, but no luck. When we got home, we did another thorough search of the car and motorhome, but to no avail. It was a hard (and expensive) lesson to learn. Next time, I will leave all my jewelry at home, even if it’s just for a weekend trip to the lake.
  10. And last, but not least, I don’t think I will blog on our next long trip. As much as I enjoyed researching and writing about the places we visited, it was too time-consuming. Next time, I’ll follow Harry’s lead and just post photos and brief comments on Facebook.

In closing, I would like to thank each and every one of you who took the time to read my posts. I appreciate it more than you will ever know.

Enjoy the rest of your summer.

Georgia Jan


  1. Happy you made it home. I enjoyed reading your blog so much. We have not made it out yet because of some repairs that we had to make to the RV. It has been so hot here in Redding, CA and I wish we were over on the coast at this time. We will be making a trip to the Winnebago factory in Junction City, Oregon in a couple of weeks to have our slide seals replaced so we will get some relief from the heat then. Maybe a trip to the coast after that is finished will be in order.
    I was reading your what to leave home list. We come home lots of times with a list of those things too. Our bikes are definitely not one of them. We have ebikes that we take and use them every chance we get. We just returned from a retirement party in Oregon (way too short) and stayed at a KOA on the way home. It had rained and hailed while we were in northern Oregon almost the whole time we were there, but when we left it was beautiful. The great thing about this KOA was they had a beautiful waterfall that they used as a pool. It was located at the bottom of a gravel road down a hill. My husband had taken a walk to see it and came back saying that he knew I would not make it back up the hill. So, we took our bikes off the car, popped in the battery and off we went. He was right. The waterfall was beautiful and the hill was a bit much for me. The bikes made it easy for us to go down and come back up. We can easily ride 20 miles a day if we find a particularly nice trail.

    We too have a portable satellite antennae. We use to carry it because our roof top one only allowed us to view one tv at a time. We have since upgraded our dish to one that allows us to view 2 tvs independently so it is no longer needed. Sometimes I wish we had it because we can’t use our roof one at all because of trees but not enough to haul it around with us anymore.

    The reservation thing is something we don’t do anymore. We did a full on reservation trip in 2015 and we missed so much. There were lots of places that we went that we wished we could have stayed longer. We did another trip when we went where we wanted and saw so much more. I would sit down in the evening with the atlas and start picking out places I wanted to go. We only had one Holiday that we had a hard time finding a place to stay and that was July 4th. We were in a great park but all the spots were booked for the 4th so we had to leave. We ended up in a KOA but it was nice and the people were friendly.

    I take all of my jewelry with me when we travel. I hate the thought of someone breaking into our house and taking some of the precious pieces that my husband has given me over the years. I got fishing tackle boxes to store them in and put them in a canvas bag. Very organized. I am so sorry that you lost your wedding set. I would be so sad.

    The weather is so unpredictable. This is one reason why we haven’t gone too far yet. I have been reading about all the fires in New Mexica and Colorado this summer. Those are two of the places that we wanted to go. We have never been to New Mexico. I was looking forward to going to the 4 corners where 4 states come together for a picture. We missed doing that on our 2015 trip and hoped to do it this year. Maybe a little later in the season.

    I like posting pictures to Facebook letting people know of the great places that we find. That would be a blog in itself. I tried to do the journal thing and it didn’t work out. I now keep a binder with pages that I can write in reminding me about the places we have stayed. I do have a little log book of the places we went to but it didn’t have enough space to write down little things about the places. Now I have plenty of space to write about restaurants, people we meet, or things we saw. Also the negative things that we might have experienced.

    I hope your next trip will give you as much pleasure as this one did.


    • Hi Mary,
      So nice to hear from you again. I would love to have an ebike, but we just have the old fashioned peddle kind. We love riding them, but we were on the move so much, the only time we rode them was when we stayed put for two or three days, which wasn’t often. Oddly enough, the campground we stayed at in Gardiner did not allow bicycles. It was all gravel, and I guess they didn’t want bikes messing up their roads. It’s too bad – we were there for ten days so it would have been the perfect time to ride them. Oh, well. We’re going to Charleston for a month in November, and we will definitely take them with us there.

      I have appreciated you reading my blog, and your comments so much. And I would to read about your future travels. If you’re interested in staying in touch, please send me a friend request on FB. I’m listed as Jan Booth Lancaster.

      Best wishes, and safe travels on the Asphalt Highway.

      P.S. My husband loves the idea that you keep your jewlery in tackle boxes. He thought it was a great idea. The ring I lost was the one he bought me for our 40th anniversary. Sometimes I wore it with a plain band, and sometimes I wore it with my diamond wedding band, which was the one he bought me for our 20th anniversary. Luckily, it was the plain band I lost, so I have still have my 20th anniversary ring. We took the diamond from my original engagement ring and had it matched as closely as possible and made into earrings. They aren’t very valuable, only 1/3 caret each, but they are very special because one of them was my first diamond from Harry. The only problem is I can’t tell one from the other, so I don’t actually know which one is the original.



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