Carol writes: For me, one of the fun parts of this blog has been researching appropriate quotes to capture a pertinent message or feeling for each blog. I tried not to repeat any quotes (well, maybe a few at the end which were particular favorites of mine), but this time I will repeat two of my favorites, in their customary spots, that have acquired so much more meaning for us after the past year’s adventure.
Our very last stop in our yearlong saga on the road was in Clovis, New Mexico, for a cherished visit with our dear daughter.
After such a long time apart, it was such a treat to be able to relax together as a family. Cold, icy weather blew in and so we all decided to pile on the throw blankets and enjoy the long weekend together watching a marathon 5th season of “Breaking Bad.” Excellent plan! That was one terrific miniseries!
On our last day it seemed appropriate that maybe we could start patting ourselves on the back that we had managed to complete a fabulous year on the road--including 8 months driving, camping and sightseeing in Europe--without any major health problems or serious traffic mishaps. Even our daughter confessed relief that we had traveled so happily and safely for so long.
On leaving Clovis, we had one more full day on the road ahead of us before we would be pulling into our driveway on Highview. We left town over slick, ice-packed roads on a frigid, snowy morning at dawn. We were treated to a fabulous New Mexico sunrise as we left the outskirts of Clovis.
After about four hours, we finally reached the Colorado border.
I confess feeling a bit emotional as we entered our beloved home state. As we traveled north up the familiar route of I-25, one by one we passed the Colorado landmarks that have become so familiar and dear to us over the past 24 years. The always impressive Spanish Peaks had their typical winter blanket of snow, all the more gorgeous under a majestic Colorado blue sky.
We were blessed to have one of those crystal-clear winter days in which we could actually see Pikes Peak over 100 miles away.
Anticipation can sometimes be greater than realization…but that wasn’t the case for us when we actually pulled into our driveway and had our first glimpse of home in almost a year. Yeah, there were a lot of goose bumps going on at that long-anticipated moment…
It was with a huge sense of relief and great pride in our accomplishment that we tucked our little home on wheels away in its designated parking place next to our home.
For those of you who are wondering how the caretaker situation turned out for us…we couldn’t be more pleased! Our home was spotlessly clean and everything inside and outside was well taken care of by our live-in caretaker. We would give the Colorado Springs affiliate of Caretakers of America our highest recommendation. They, along with our caretaker, did everything as promised—and more--to take wonderful care of our home. We will never forget how they vacated our house with all our personal boxed items and cherished family pictures when our neighborhood was put under a mandatory evacuation order during the past summer’s horrific Black Forest Fire.
Over the next few days, as we slowly unpacked all the boxes in which we had stored our personal belongings, our daily lives gradually returned to “normal.” It seemed pretty luxurious to have our own spacious and private indoor bathrooms with large walk-in shower (plus soaking tub), full-size indoor kitchen with plenty of counter space, cable TV, heat at night, unlimited Internet service, and our comfy recliners.
For all of our readers who have followed us over the past year by means of our blog, we would like to extend a heartfelt thank-you. Your Facebook ‘comments’ and ‘likes’ were most encouraging and much appreciated.
Al and I haven’t gotten into any detailed discussions on where our next RV adventure will take us, but we do know there will be future “chapters” on the road. For now, we intend to enjoy a wonderful Colorado summer at home with occasional short RV trips to the mountains. I want to get back to my quilting crafts and become more accomplished at catching those mountain lake rainbow trout, and Al has several more fourteeners he wants to conquer. We have friends and family who have told us they will be visiting us this summer, and we look forward to that very much.
With a nod to my husband, who loves recordkeeping and math, I will sign off the last blog for this European “chapter” with a few facts and figures:
We visited 13 countries…
Drove 23,000 miles…
Spent 50 weeks on the road…
Read almost 100 books between the two of us (remember—we had no TV) :) ...
AND HAD THE TIME OF OUR LIVES!
“Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” Miriam Beard