December 2013 marked the end of our tenth year on the road. Here is a quick recap of how many miles we've covered during each of those years, and what our destinations were:
· 2004: 9,800 miles - up and down the East Coast, ending the year in west Texas.
· 2005: 13,600 miles - West Texas to California, north to Alaska and the western Canadian provinces, east to New England, ending the year in south Florida.
· 2006: 5,300 miles - the year started and ended in Florida, with trips to New England, west to Arkansas and Missouri.
· 2007: 6,600 miles - Georgia to Arkansas, back to Florida for the summer, fall in New England before ending the year back in Georgia.
· 2008: 8,700 miles - Georgia to Florida, then north to New England, the summer in the Maritimes, west to Arkansas, then back east to Georgia.
· 2009: 8,000 miles - Georgia to Florida, west to spend the summer in Utah, Colorado, then back east with time spent in Alabama and Georgia.
· 2010: 3,900 miles - Georgia for the beginning and ending of the year, meandering up the East Coast to New England for the summer, west only as far as Goshen, Indiana.
· 2011: 12,300 miles - Almost the entire perimeter of the US, starting in Georgia, west to San Diego up to Anacortes, Washington, circled Lake Superior, and back east and south again.
· 2012: 5,400 miles - Georgia, up the East Coast to New England, then south again, with Summerdale, Alabama being the westernmost point for the year.
· 2013: 6,000 miles - Georgia, back up to New England, a quick side trip to Ontario, west as far as Arkansas, and back south again.
Over the course of these past ten years, we have covered 48 states - we'll catch Oklahoma in 2015, and Hawaii when there is a bridge we can take the motor home on; all the Canadian provinces except for Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Average annual mileage - 8,300. Friends made - too many to count; memories - priceless. Let's see where the next ten years takes us!
And here we are in 2014. We kicked off the month with our annual birthday celebration with Lucille's mother - the official New Year's Baby in Waterbury, Connecticut in 1926!
We left Camp Carr for a short trip to Lotts Island, the military RV park at Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah. Lotts Island is close to downtown Savannah and convenient to a couple of upcoming medical appointments. Longtime Habitat friends (and also retired military) Jim and Linda joined us for several days, sharing our site. The RV park has less than 20 sites, which quickly fill up because of its location. Luckily, Jim and Linda travel in their truck camper so it worked out well. We enjoyed seeing them, sharing several meals, and catching up on our travels since we saw each other.
Besides taking care of the medical appointments and visiting with Lucille's mother, we met Pat and Yvette for dinner one night at one of our favorite restaurants in the Savannah area - The Exchange on Waters. Good meal and excellent company, as always. We also did our second Wherigo cache at Skidaway Island State Park - a neat way to learn more about the area and get in some exercise at the same time. One day we drove down to Darien to meet up with Habitat friends Dave and Mary for lunch at B and J's Steak and Seafood. Once again, great shrimp and worth the time to get there.
Next destination was St. George Island State Park on St. George Island, part of the Florida Panhandle. This was our first visit there - a beautiful park located between the Gulf and Apalachicola Bay - we will be back. There are several trails in the park, leading either to the Gulf side or the Bay side. We walked most of the trails and snagged several geocaches while there.
Because we were there over a weekend, we enjoyed a ranger program/potluck breakfast at the Interpretive Center, learning all about snakes in the area. The Apalachicola National Estuarine Research and Nature Center is on the mainland just before crossing the bridge to the island. After looking at the educational exhibits in the visitor center and the many tanks of local fish and turtles, we walked out to the platform overlooking the Bay.
Time to head to Summerdale, Alabama, where we had reservations at the Escapees' Rainbow Plantation RV Park. We opted to drive scenic US 98 rather than the quicker I-10 - beautiful drive with heavy traffic when we got to Destin. We quickly got set up on our site and got involved with the park's activities. They feature dinners Tuesday and Thursday evenings as well as breakfast on the weekends. Sitting at the large tables with ten other club members is a great way to meet new folks. During one of these events, we got an invite to join Ken, Helen and Andy the next time they got together to play Pegs and Jokers, a fun game to learn.
Dave and Mary pulled in to Rainbow Plantation just ahead of the ice storm that hit the area and closed the bridges for a couple of days. Seeing both our car and motor home covered in ice, and icicles hanging, was a first. We also learned that another Habitat Care-A-Vanner couple, and long time friends, Ron and Jean were in the park. We last saw them when we both found ourselves at another Escapees' park in Chimacum, Washington.
Mary's bucket list included a stop at Lambert's Cafe, home of the 'throwed' rolls. Because of the ice storm, we wisely cancelled going out that first night, had planned on going for an early supper the second day only to find they closed early to allow their employees to get home safely. By this time, the roads were all clear but some of the area bridges were iffy. Even Cracker Barrel was closed but we found O'Charley's open and best part was that it was Free Pie Wednesdays - a sweet way to end our day.
January ended with a quick trip to Mobile - we'll tell you more about why we went there, and the newest member of our family, next month.
Coming up: Summerdale till the end of March, then head towards Mountain View, Arkansas for a couple of weeks; Springfield, Missouri to join close to 200 Habitat RV Care-A-Vanners as we celebrate the program's 25th anniversary.