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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Leave our metal detector at home. We stored it under the bed and never once used it.
- Leave my knitting bag and supplies at home. I never once unzipped the bag the whole time we were gone.
- Leave our bikes at home. In two months, we only rode them three or four times.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.