The End

It's been 6 weeks since we returned and it's time to wrap-up this blog and this exciting page of our lives.  

We parked Big Country outside the condo and unpacked.  We are fortunate to have strong nephews and great neighbors who made the process of unloading the storage locker much easier.

On Friday, Daddy and Katie spent the day driving Big Country up to the Spartan facility (supplier of the chassis to Newmar the manufacture) in MI to have a few things checked and fixed.  You’d think after being on the road for a year it would have been the last thing we wanted to do, but it was a perfect trip.

We’ve naturally had many people ask “what was your favorite place” and “what did you like best about your trip” and “what didn’t you like?".  

We have no single answer to those questions, but here are a few thoughts:

— What was it like?  There was a constant feeling of freedom. It is not lost on us that not many get the least not with their children at school age.  We had our family and our home with us at all times, but had no agenda or expectations. The closest thing might be the feeling of your first night away at college or that first night after moving into your first home. Everything was new. We woke up each day asking “where should we go today?” “should we stay here another day?".  For us, in these modern times, it’s probably as close as we can get to what it was like to be an early explorer. Each day we saw, learned, and experienced something new.

— What didn't you like about the trip?  Nothing. We enjoyed ourselves and our time so much. We thank God for keeping us safe and healthy and can't come up with a single "bad" memory.  We even had visitors and were able to spend great time with family and friends.  Well...we did have some issues crossing the borders;)   
Our recommendation: if you get the chance, do it!

— Where would you go if you could do it again?  We covered a lot of country - 32 US states and 6 Canadian provinces.  There were many places we'd never been and knew we may never get to visit again.  We wanted to get a full tour of the US and Canada but never feel a self-imposed pressure to move on.  Mission accomplished. 
If we were to do a another RV trip later in life (no, not being discussed) we would probably visit these places again:

- US and Canadian Rockies 
- Canmore, AB (Banff area)
- Oregon coast
- San Diego/Southern CA
- Florida state parks
- Maine

Those are not necessarily the places that we made the best memories or enjoyed the most, they are however great to visit by RV and have exploring left to do.

Here is the list of places we did not go, but would like to visit by RV:

- Utah
- Northern NM
- NC - Asheville area and inland
- FL keys
- Newfoundland

— What are you going to do with the RV?   We loved our RV, BigCountry. We don’t believe there is a better rig made for a family that plans to cover this country. But we can't justify keeping it. This was our plan from the beginning.  In fact, as of last weekend, we sold BigCountry to a good family in MI. 

Here are some stats from our  trip:

RV miles: 15,033
Jeep miles: 15,182
Total Miles: 30,225

US States visited: 32
Canadian Providences: 6

Places we stopped  for 1+ nights:

7/31 - Tomah, WI (Walmart)
8/1 - Minneapolis/Annandale
8/12 - Mitchel, SD (Cabelas)
8/13 - Black Hills, Mount Rushmore, SD (Rafter J Bar Ranch campground) 
8/16 - Devils Tower - (Walmart)
Big Horn, Powder River Pass - 9666ft
8/17 - Cody, WY (Absaroka Bay Campground)
8/19 - Yellowstone, WY (Park)
8/22 - Bozeman, MT (Museum of the Rockies)
8/23 - Flathead Lake, (Walmart)
8/24 - Flathead Lake, (Campground)
8/26 - Glacier National Park (KOA)
8/28 - Pincher Creek, AB (Walmart) 
8/29 - Calgary, AB (Calgary West)
9/1 - Drumheller, AB (The Hoodoo RV)
9/3 - Canmore, AB (Spring Creek RV)
9/10 - Abasorka Ice Fields, AB
9/11 - Jasper National Park, Whistlers campground, AB
9/14 - Yoho National Park, Kicking Horse, AB
9/16 - Revelstoke, AB (Lamplighter, RV)
9/21 - Oliver/Okanagan Valley, BC (Oliver RV)
9/22 - Abbotsford, BC (Walmart) 
9/23 - Squamish, BC (Walmart)
9/24 - Squamish, BC (Eagle Vista RV)
9/28 - Vancouver, BC (Pacific Border RV)
9/30 - Anacortes, WA (Pioneeer Trails RV)
10/1 - Seattle, WA (Brian’s)
10/7 - Cannon Beach, OR
10/10- Cape Lookout State Park, OR
10/14 - Portland/Troutdale (Columbia River Valley)
10/17 - McMinnville, OR (Trapp rental house)
10/21 - Beverly Beach, Newport, OR
10/27 - Honeymoon State Park, Florence OR
11/1 - Harrison Beach State Park, OR
11/6 - Fortuna, CA (Riverwalk RV Park)
11/7 - Richardson Grove, CA (RV Park)
11/9 - Santa Rosa, CA (Country Fairgrounds)
11/12 - Watsonville/Monterey, CA (Pinto Lake County Park)
11/17 - Morro Bay, CA (Bay Pines)
11/25 - Bakersfield, CA (Orange Grove)
11/27 - LA hotel, Evansville
12/6 - Bakersfield, CA (Orange Grove)
12/9 - LA/Anaheim/Disney (Anaheim Resort RV)
12/13 - San Diego, CA (Mission Bay RV)
12/19 - Yuma, AZ (Desert Paradise RV)
12/21 - Casa Granda, AZ (Oma and Grandpa)
1/2 - Grand Canyon, AZ (hotel)
1/3 - Sedona, AZ (hotel)
1/5 - Casa Grande, AZ 
1/14 - Benson/Tombstone, AZ (Butterfield RV)
1/15 - Deming, NM (Little Vineyard RV)
1/16 - Rockhound State Park, NM
1/20 - Alamogordo, NN (Walmart)
1/21 - Carlsbad Caverns (Whites City RV)
1/22 - Kerrville, TX (Walmart)
1/23 - New Braunfels, TX (Hill Country RV)
1/28 - Port Aransas, TX (County Park)
2/4 - Port Lavaca, TX (Lighthouse Beach City Park)
2/11 - Austin, TX (Lone Star RV)
2/14 - Pedernales Falls State Park, TX
2/15 - Johnson City, TX (Cottonwood Creek RV)
2/17 - Breaux Bridge, LA (Walmart)
2/18 - Galliano, LA (Walmart)
2/19 - Grand Isle State Park, LA
2/24 - Bayou Segnette State Park/New Orleans, LA
2/27 - Mobile, AL (Paynes RV)
3/2 - Big Lagoon State Park/Pensacola, FL
3/3 - Florida Caverns State Park/Marianna, FL
3/4 - Eufaula, AL (Aunt Ruby)
3/7 - Florida Caverns State Park/Marianna, FL
3/8 - Fort Myers, FL (Cypress Trail RV)
3/19 - Sanibel, FL (Periwinkle Park)
4/23 - Orlando, FL (Bill Frederick at Turkey Lake county par)
4/27 - St. Augustine, FL (North Beach RV)
4/30 - Skidaway Island State Park/Savanna, GA
5/2 - Charleston, SC (KOA Mt. Pleasant)
5/4 - Newport, NC (Goose Creek RV)
5/6 - Ocracoke Island National Seashore, NC
5/8 - Cape Hatteras/Avon , NC (Sands of Time RV)
5/11 - Virginia Beach/First Landing State Park, VA 
5/13 - Pocomoke City, MD (Walmart)
5/14 - Ocean City, MD (Castaways RV)
5/16 - Philadelphia, PA (Walmart)
5/17 - Philadelphia, PA (Howards home)
5/20 - New Jersey City/Manhattan (Liberty Harbor RV)
5/23 - Atkinson, NH (Hadwen’s home)
5/27 - Franklin, MA (Nolan home)
5/28 - Atkinson, NH (Hadwen’s home)
5/30 - Bar Harbor, ME (Bar Harbor RV)
6/6 - Saint John, NB (CostCo)
6/7 - St. Martins, NB (Century Farm RV)
6/10 - Bay of Fundy National Park Headquarters, NB
6/16 - Hubbards, NS (Hubbards Beach RV)
6/18 - Halifax, NS (Cummins shop)
6/19 - Dartmouth, NS (Shubie Park)
6/21 - Inverness, NS (Mac Leods Beach RV)
6/23 - Cheticamp/Cape Breton Highlands National Park
6/25 - Baddeck, NS (Adventures East RV)
6/30 - Cavendish/Prince Edward Island National Park, PEI
7/4 - Kouchibouguac National Park, NB
7/7 - Petite Lameque, NB (Chalets & Camping RV)
7/9 - Campbelltown, NB (free city park)
7/11 - Riviera de Loup, QB (Municipal De La Pointe)
7/13 - Quebec City/Levi, QB (Camping La Relache)
7/16 - Montreal, QB (Camping Aloutte)
7/20 - Lake George, NY (King Phillips RV)
7/23 - Niagara Falls, NY (Cinderella RV)
7/25 - Geneva-on-the-lake, OH (Indian Creek Sun RV)
7/27 - Dayton, OH (Brickners home)
7/28 - Home!

We will close this blog, which is really more of a family journal of our trip, by thanking God for keeping us safe and giving us the blessing of being born here, in the great USA where we have the freedom and opportunity to explore, travel freely, and to choose the life we want to live.

This is the prayer that JAK would lead us in each day before we departed to a new location:

Dear Lord,
Be with us on this great day,
Guide our family and keep us safe,
Send us your spirit to strengthen our faith,
Thank you for the opportunities and fun you have laid before us.

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