Camping out near the North Rim of the Grand Canyon recently has whet our appetite for more travel. What else is new? We’ve been planning a long road trip along the southern route through New Mexico and Texas to Florida for a few weeks now, but as the time for departure draws closer, we’re beginning to get antsy to get on the road. Preparing for the trip is part of the fun and definitely heightens the anticipation.
We haven’t been exactly idle over the past couple of months. There’s been landscaping to do and yard clean-up. We planted over 20 desert plants in the front and backyard which necessitated re-routing the sprinkler system and adding several new sprinkler heads. Lantana, purple fountain grass, fire bush and Mexican bird of paradise, all sun-loving, drought-tolerant, low maintenance varieties, seem to be doing well.
We’ve had numerous catch-up doctor’s appointments one of which culminated in David having knee surgery a week or so ago for a torn meniscus. So far, the recovery has been quick and the results fantastic. He was walking the golf course the day after surgery. I had another cortisone shot for the plantar fasciitis in my left heel and all is well at present. Seems like there will definitely be more walking in our future.
David has also been working on Blue quite a bit. He’s finished the side walls with laminated panels and is covering the unsightly wires that run the length of the van. The bed frame has been strengthened and we’ve replaced the Leesa mattress with a longer, lower profile, foam type, giving us more headroom above without sacrificing comfort. He’s building a new enclosure for the composting toilet for better access and comfort and a bit more aesthetic appeal. Currently when the toilet is not in use and the enclosure is closed, it acts as a bench, but the sharp corners were a killer on the back of the legs/knees. He’s rounding out the edges plus he’s redesigned access to the toilet beneath that will also be a bit easier, especially during the night.
The new cabinets above the bunk are great. I found some lightweight fabric bins at a dollar store and they fit perfectly. Towels, sheets. paper goods and snack items are now stowed out of the way and easy to access. Drawers beneath the bed with a pull-out table above are on the drawing board for the next round of projects, as is a skinny, tall cabinet on the driver’s side at the foot of the bed and new flooring. All things in good time. For now, the bins under the bunk work just fine. We’re in no hurry and Blue is perfectly comfortable as he is for our upcoming road trip.
While David is working on Blue, I’ve been working on our itinerary and getting our gear, supplies and equipment in order. We’ve decided it will be a two-month excursion with plans to return to Las Vegas by Thanksgiving. It’s a full itinerary, mostly because we want to see and do as much as we can and I’m only just discovering all the ‘can’t miss’ stops along the way.
For starters, we’ll be heading to Albuquerque at the end of this week after David’s follow-up knee appointment. The 47th annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta will stretch over eight days from October 5-13th and we plan to make the most of it. Side trips to Bandolier National Monument and Santa Fe will be squeezed in there somewhere. And after that? For some reason, Roswell, NM and its funky alien museum seem to be beckoning us and there are several national parks in Texas that I’ve just discovered.
So stick around, you’ll know the itinerary as soon as we do and, of course, you’re invited to share the experience.