September 13-20, 2022
North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona
Both of us are feeling good about our decision to head back to Arizona early. Bill is feeling better, but hooking up the Jeep is exhausting. So I make sure we have pull-through sites at all our stops across the country. With one exception we stay hooked up all the way.
We also don't hook up sewer until our last stop before getting to the house - we know that we can do a week easily. Not having to mess with the Jeep or sewer makes all our stops much less tiring for the outside guy. Yes, I could do the Jeep, but I can't hook up sewer to the rig because of the way the hose lines up :-(
Some people would power through in a few days, but except for extending the time I'm exposed in a small space, there's no urgent reason to take less than a reasonable pace. It's also double and triple what I normally drive on moving day :-) As we were covering all those miles and staying one night only, I couldn't help but think of all the amazing places we were passing by. And yet I know many travel that way all the time - and I still don't get it!
We were fortunate to be on I-40 already, so it was a no-brainer to just get on and head west all the way. It's a great highway with mostly well maintained surfaces, good signage through cities, plenty of truck stops (OMG the number of trucks!), and KOAs where we needed them. Only Little Rock didn't have an opening for us so we stayed in a little private field/park just off the highway. The only complaint was the lack of rest areas - with few exits in some areas, there wasn't even any place to pull over. Having facilities onboard is good for the passenger, not as helpful for the driver!
|North Carolina, Tennessee and Arkansas|
|One of the nicer KOAs with amazing green space.|
|We want to come back and spend time in the North Carolina mountains.|
|Feeling pretty special in Tennessee with our own pilot car :-)|
|Surprised we were able to get satellite at this Arkansas KOA.|
|Oklahoma KOAs are a little rougher, but they have more fun!|
|So cute. |
|I have avoided KOAs in the past due to cost compared to others in the same area. But the Journeys we stayed at were all good options.|
In Arkansas we test again. Bill is still positive, I'm still negative, and we both have no symptoms. N95 masks, lots of Lysol, and immunity supplements for me are working. Bill sleeps a lot which helps in his overall healing. And he's not smoking :-)))))
We drive through stunning views with space opening up the further west we travel. We're both pretty tired of all the trees we've been surrounded by for months, so when we get to Oklahoma those long, eye-stretching vistas are very welcome. Nice to get across Texas in the skinny part so we don't have to stay there, and then the absolute beauty of New Mexico takes over!
|Ooooklahoma - our 47th state.|
As much as I regret missing the six more weeks of exploring we had planned, I'm loving being back in the West. The gorgeous mountains and dryer air feel like home.
We get an early start, back on I-10 where we started back in April. I'm glad I-40 wasn't as rough for all those miles we covered! Unlike all the other times we've been in New Mexico, there's no wind on either side of Las Cruces.
With the time changing again in Arizona, we're turning onto Hwy 80 about 10:30 AM. Our beautiful San Pedro Valley is bright green, and the surrounding mountains all so familiar.
Turning off the engine in our driveway, I take a deep breath - we made it! Wonderful to get some Jeff hugs, and to be back in our little desert home.
|Back in Tombstone.|