We are back in our winter Texas spot. We have shifted from the everyday travel and changing locations to knowing where we will be for the next few months. No finding state parks or Walmarts for a while. Focus has shifted to swimming, volleyball, yoga, ukulele and band practice and, of course, happy hour.
As a wrap-up, I broke down where we stayed, who we visited and how many times we moved this season.
We stayed at a total of 55 spots, 22 of which were Elks Lodges. We detailed the Elks here. Elks were by far the majority of our stays and we always have a good experience there. Join the Elks!
We visited with 25 different sets of friends and family, 10 of whom were Winter Texas friends. Fellow travelers often have good parking and hookups too! Two friends we ran into as we were rolling down the road (not literally) and pulled off for an impromptu meet-up. This is the first time that has happened but I guess the bus is easy to recognize. We met up with six family members, including three sets of my long lost cousins in Vermont. We love seeing people in their local environment and seeing the sights.
We rode 15 bike trails covering about 900 miles for the season. I would like this number to be higher but ya gotta go where the trails are.
We camped in five actual campgrounds or RV parks. We usually do this when it is the only option. This includes fairgrounds (one) which are usually deserted, have hookups and good cat outing areas. Often near a bike trail.
State/National parks are wonderful during the week. We stayed in six. Our senior pass gives us 50% off camping.
Eight Walmarts and one Lowe’s are on the list. Walmart is free and we can stock up. The parking lots are huge so we can find a spot out of the way. We stayed at the Lowes when Walmart said we might get rousted out if we parked there. The Lowes said “Come on down!” No problem. We just close the blinds and are safe in our cocoon. Not many had good cat walking but some did.
City and county parks total: four. These are very nice places to stay. Quiet, few other campers and often adjacent to a bike trail . Sometimes the mayor comes to the bus to welcome us. We need to find more of these.
And even though we made the conscious decision to stay longer in most spots, like 4-5 days, we traveled to 27 states this year.
This was a wonderful six and a half months of travel. Our best season so far. No broken bones. No shingles. P.S. The new shingles shot, Shingrix, is coming out soon. GET THE SHOT! It is much more effective than the Zostrex one we got. I will be first in line.
No bus repairs or problems. That keeps the money in the checkbook. This old bus just keeps on rolling down the road. We may be slow and we may be big but we are The Million Mile Mighty Bus.
We arrived at our spot in Texas and were sidelined with a bunch of bad news about several friends here. One died, several are sick with cancer or in hospice. It was unbearable to hear such heartbreaking news about people we have come to know and love. As one of those friends articulately said, “Love each other.” We know things can change in a New York minute but we are so very thankful that we are BIG BIG lucky.