November 2008: Reflections on the Latest Trip (6400 Miles)

Time for brain droppings....

We returned the rig today. They found one tiny scratch (needs paint) and another dark spot on the awning arm (fixed by polishing). Ah, the difference between renting a new vehicle that they hope to sell one day and a 10-year-old workhorse (our Rialta last summer) that is intended only for renting. They're persnickety! We think one of the (many) trees we clipped in World Golf Village, in Morgan City, and our own home street may have been the culprit. Frankly, it's amazing there aren't more scratches. We had a time with the height. But it was fun.

Other random thoughts:

Remember that 5th grade math story problem that involved a bridge clearance and a truck that didn't fit underneath? (The solution was for the truck to let air out of its tires.) Well, we saw this problem for real in the real world. Almost literally ran into the stuck truck, whose cherry-picker crane-like rig had smashed into the overpass. Whoops. That would've added insult to injury.

Louisiana roads are now on our "worst roads" list. We realized we've driven through 21 states this year, and Louisiana takes the cake. Where else can the rough road actually make screws fall out of the A/C and cabinets?

Southern New Mexico just blew us away--we had no idea of the beauty around Alamagordo and environs. Must go back that way.

Our next trip won't involve a rental return date. There were a number of times on this trip that we said, "If we had time, we'd do X, Y, or Z." I'm thinking of the time in Eunice, LA, when every single person asked if we were in town for "the concert." Turns out there was a big Cajun music concert at this cool-looking Liberty Theater. Given that there were a number of things in that area that we couldn't do on Sat. or Sun., we could've stayed over Sat. night for the concert, hung out on Sunday, and then got our boudin and cafe sampling done on Monday!

Turn around when you pass something interesting, no matter how hard it seems in a big vehicle. We were so sorry to not get some Louisiana satsumas (we kept seeing the fruit-laden trees, but only a few road-side stands that we blew by) nor any New Mexico chile braids or pinon nuts. Gotta work on the fast stop or the quick turnaround for roadside stands.

People sure are nice. From the many folks on the View/Navion Yahoo! Group who gave us route advice, hot water heater fixes, boondocking strategy, and RV purchasing tips to the nice folks in Needles, CA, who invited us into their Thanksgiving feast. Wish we could've stayed around for Friday's turkey soup. Everyone was asked to bring a favorite vegetable (with broccoli mysteriously banned. Someone was "allergic." Right.) and then the leftover turkey was to be simmered in stock and served up Friday. Bet it was good. At any rate, if you start doubting humanity, hit the road. Nice folks everywhere. Can't forget the Florida Ford dealership who squeezed us in and gave us an oil change and safety check before we headed back, or the nice couple who gave us a tour of their Navion iQ and invited us to stay for cake. On and on....

And finally, we have to say how much we enjoyed seeing so many members of our families. Normally, we think of them as so far away. Living in California--with everyone else in the family in Central or Eastern time zones--makes us feel just millions of miles away. On this trip, we either pulled into their driveways (the Cason parents and the Ishams) or met up (with the Crawley parents) at a lovely location. It was as if no time had passed. We thank the Crawley clan for making time for us as we traveled back from Florida.

Think that's it for this trip's random thoughts.