Preparations and Departure

(Tuesday’s recap)

2020 marks the 6th year of traveling in our 5th wheel. Before this camper we had a bumper pull and it served our family well, but as our family grew and we started pursuing longer distance trips we knew we needed a bigger camper.

Some people might watch HGTV and home remodels, but I’m in camper remodel mode. I promised Nick we wouldn’t tackle any major projects before winter, but I convinced him we should sneak in a mini makeover before our trip.

The “master” bedroom has queen bed and previously had decor that really aged the space.

We removed the old headboard and posts and replaced the background with sticky decals that are removable. I couldn’t be happier with the results. We also bought a new mattress and bedding to bring it up a notch.

Preparations for our trip went beyond the camper itself and included working the garden so we would have fresh vegetables to bring along. The credit for this year’s garden really goes to Nick who was up early many mornings tending to the crops.

Below is a picture of some of the crop harvested the night before we left. In addition to this, the boys picked 99 ears of corn! Thankfully, my mom prepared it for the freezer so we could finish packing.

Nick likes to remind me that my uses of zucchini mirrors Forest Gump’s comedy of uses for shrimp. We had more zucchini than we could eat fresh so I made zucchini bread, froze some and prepared freezer meals using zucchini two days before we left.

Since school ended in a bit of chaos last year and we haven’t attempted any refreshers over the summer, we visited the library to check out books for our trip. The boys picked out books of interest to them and I grabbed books of the states we will visit for a history and geography lesson wrapped into one.

Sandra, here is your hint about where we are heading!

After a morning wrapping up a few items for work, we pulled out of the driveway at 11:40am. It will be nearly 14 days and over 3,135 miles before we return. Are we crazy? Some might think so, but I can’t wait to explore!

Why am I the only one smiling?

Somewhere in Illinois the view looks like this! I think we might see a lot of this landscape the next couple of days…Illinois, Missouri and Kansas aren’t exactly known for diverse terrain.

We took I-70 through St. Louis, MO so we didn’t have the best view of the Arch but we did catch a glimpse. How fitting to see it, The Gateway to the West, on our trip west! Spoiler alert – we aren’t going all the way to Oregon but the boys read a book on the Oregon Trail while traveling through Missouri as a history lesson on what long travels used to look like!

We purposefully planned a shorter day today (only 295 miles) since we didn’t leave until midday and we have a lot of windshield time ahead. After all, the journey is just as important as the destination.

As we neared our destination, we passed through a cold front that brought a quick rain and about a 20 degree drop in temperature. This meant our evening was a comfortable 73 degrees – a blessing since we can’t run the A/C while boondocking.

Boondocking isn’t foreign to us. This time we stopped in Columbia, MO at the Bass Pro Shop. It allowed for quick access to the interstate and had a fairly level parking lot. One of my favorite apps to use for boondocking is Allstays Camp & RV. The app provides useful reviews and information to contact the various businesses to confirm it’s ok to stay.

We ended the night reading books and playing board games while checking out the sunset.

I can’t say that I have ever noticed the details on the light posts before.

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