GOAT has commonly been accepted as meaning the Greatest Of All Time thanks to Ken Jennings and Tom Brady. But, I am changing the definition for my purposes to mean Greatest Of All Trips for 2021. BLT generally refers to a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich. But my definition in 2021 is Bucket List Trip! Let me explain. If you have been following my posts from the beginning, you’ve read that when we sold our home, it’s contents and our cars in 2018 to purchase a motor home and go on the road full time, Kathryn agreed to this plan under a two year deal. We had a great first (and only) trip in 2019. Then COVID hit in 2020 and we decided to stay parked until we felt it was safe to go on the road again. Thankfully, Kathryn has agreed to a one year extension to keep her promise for year two, which is our now planned and reserved trip for this summer. She enjoys living in our beautiful coach well enough but is not as excited as I am about the part of moving from here to there. She worries about, “what if this happens?” or “what if we come on a detour like in Ohio?” Reasonable enough concerns, and I understand she is going along with this adventure for my sake. I on the other hand have always been a wanderer ready to go, anywhere any time!
The trip as planned is to leave Punta Gorda June 14th. It will include 37 stops, 24 states, 7,356 miles in 141 days or four and half months. We will head up the East Coast to visit with family and friends, but not stopping in the same sites as last time. (see the proposed map on 2021 Post Cards page) Then we will head West. I was able to go cross country once in the late seventies, but it was a whirlwind trip of 7,000 miles in three weeks. That meant keep moving and only seeing a few of the highlights our country has to offer. I call our proposed trip my Bucket List Trip because it includes visiting all the things I have been longing to see: The Bad Lands, Mount Rushmore, Big Sky Country, Yellowstone, MOAB and more in Utah, the Grand Tetons, Las Vegas, Lake Havasu City, Flagstaff, Sedona, The Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, the Silos in Waco, (yes, of Fixer Upper fame) and my dream since high school, extensive time on Route 66. (calling Todd and Buzz anyone)
“Live Every Day Like It’s Your Last and One Day You Will Be Right!” Willie Nelson
Planning this trip was multi layered process taking lots of time and research. We started with, in what direction do we want to go? We don’t drive more than three hundred miles in a day, (I have no where to be and all day to get there) so that puts us where? When we agreed to this plan, we also agreed to never rough it like parking in the Walmart parking lot or a rest area. We prefer to plan ahead and know where we are heading and what to expect. Yes, that does limit the spontaneity, but it works for us. Then we look up what campgrounds or resorts are in the area? Not roughing it includes 50 amp, full hook up, which for non RV’rs means being able to use both air conditioners and having fresh water and sewer connections. Then Kathryn goes thru all the reviews. And I do mean all, as in pages and pages from Trip Advisor and the campground associations. We are looking for clean, safety, sites with enough space for our rig, and ease of maneuverability. If we find an acceptable resort we book it. If not, we change direction and start the process over again. Yes, we have actually changed directions many times rather than risk a sketchy stay. Since this may be our last trip and/or my GOAT, I’ve added another layer to the process. Does it have an ocean view, or is lakeside, or have a patio site? This trip will be top shelf! I also check Atlas Obscura and Factory Tours to see what is in the area. We may not do any of these things, but at least we will know what is available should we want to. All of this determines how many days we would want to spend in an area. This is quite the opposite of my last trip across the country which was basically point and shoot. This process also gives me the joy of anticipating what we will see which helps to pass the time until it is finally June and we are ready to go. Did I mention I have a huge case of wanderlust and need to be on the road? There is so much to look forward to as we await June.
Although we are both going on the same trip, it will be two very different experiences. Yes, the scenery will be the same as we drive from point A to point B, but once we are there, our individual experiences will vary greatly. I love to hike and can’t wait to hit some hiking trails in Utah and elsewhere. But, Kathryn’s knees don’t allow her to do that. So, I’ve included some sights that will be great for her, like scenic drives in the TOAD while the coach is parked in the nearby resort. And what attractions are easy to visit and do not require a lot of walking.
I say this is my dream trip, but we all know something will not go as planned. Will something happen? PROBABLY. Will it alter our trip? DEFINITELY. As I say to Kathryn all the time, “It’s all part of the adventure!” Here’s hoping it actually becomes the Greatest Of All Trips!