Welcome to Stories Behind the Pictures! This post series will introduce you to new pictures, and some fun facts about where they were taken and what we were doing there. We hope you like it!
Let's get started with Picture #1- The Kite
This picture was taken on January 8th 2019 in Abilene, Texas. You can see me, my dad and Nate on the ground. Nate's holding the kite, if you can't tell. This was taken on Nate's birthday, and he received the kite that morning. We enjoyed watching the kite soar for at least an hour in total that day, although it was chilly.
Now let's go to Picture #2- White Sands Serenity
This picture was taken in White Sands National Monument. I thought it amazing that, although you can't see it here, we could see a variety of different terrain such as mountains, sands (obviously), and grassy plains. White Sands covers 224.6 square miles, and we only covered about 1/2 of a square mile! It was amazing to see the dunes, and sled down them on the discs that our very kind RV park owners let us borrow. You can see them in our hands. (They're orange) White Sands is truly awe-inspiring.
Last but not least, I present Picture #3- The Saguaro
This picture was taken in Saguaro National Park. The Saguaro cactus is the classic cactus of western movies. They can grow to be 40 feet tall and can live to be 200 years old. I was surprised that the inside of a dead Saguaro looks like a tree's insides. We took a couple of great hikes in Saguaro, including one that led us to some petroglyphs, which are carvings in rocks made by Native Americans between 550-1550 years ago! We enjoyed checking out the Saguaros.
We had a fun time at each of the picture sites, and I hope that you enjoyed reading about our times in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona!
We left Denver about two months ago, and headed into Texas. We went all over the massive state, and I'm now going to recap our time there.
We entered Texas through Amarillo. We met with some family, Ureshkaka, and Bharatikaki, my dad's Aunt and Uncle. It's always nice to meet family and friends who you normally don't see, and we've enjoyed having access to that luxury.
During our time in Amarillo, we found a hidden gem: Palo Duro Canyon. It was amazing to see a canyon (it was the first time I had seen one), and was great preparation for the days to come at the Grand Canyon. We went on three great hikes, each progressively getting better and better. The first was a nature trail, running through the bottom of the canyon. It was an easy, enjoyable hike. The second hike was even better. We saw a roadrunner, and a cowboy dugout (see top picture) while we walked along a creek. It was also an easy hike, and was well worth it! Our third hike was a moderately difficult one, and, in my opinion, the best. It was 3/4 of a mile in to an area that appeared to have experienced a landslide involving lots of rocks falling down a slope many years before. We had to climb up this hill of boulders to get to our reward: a cave. Granted, the cave was shallow, but the views of the canyon were well worth it.
After visiting Amarillo, we moved on to Wichita Falls. It's ok if you've never heard of this place because it's a pretty small town. The only thing we saw worth putting in the blog was a stump of a Sequoia tree. You can see the picture of it in the gallery below.
Our next destination was Waco. Most of you will have likely heard of Waco for a number of reasons. The sole reason that we visited was to go to The Silos, an area created by Chip and Joanna Gaines, the hosts of the TV show Fixer Upper on HGTV. If you haven't heard of them then definitely look these people up. They have made it their mission to help the city grow and become more vibrant. In the heart of the city thrives a family friendly area known as the Silos. The Silos is made up of the bakery, the store and the lawn. The bakery was packed when we were there, and we really enjoyed their cupcakes and cookies. The food trucks parked around the lawn housed a variety of foods, and we were pleased with our food there as well. The lawn was very kid-friendly, and had bouncing balls, building blocks and corn hole. The store sold home furnishings as well as a lot of "Fixer Upper" type products. We bought a book, T-shirt and some ornaments.
Another (small) highlight of Waco was that we were able to try In-N-Out Burger for the first time. For those of you who have never tried this great place, it's like the Chick-Fil-A of burgers: Great service, clean bathrooms and above all, tasty burgers! You must try this place if you go out west!
Well, folks, I've blown through our first couple of weeks in Texas, and I'll fill you in on more of our time in Texas in the State of the Lone Star State Part 2!
P.S. I really don't feel like a woodsman anymore, since the west seems to have a deficit of trees.
Welcome to the New Year! Most people make New Year's resolutions in some shape or form. But by the time December rolls around, 99% of any and all resolutions made earlier in the year are now forgotten, and a "new" resolution is made in January, albeit the same resolution from last year. So instead of looking continually forward, what if we look back and learn from the past? That's what I'll do in this post.
Seven months ago, when we left Georgia to start our shakedown trips, we dreaded travel days. Each of us was tense about doing our jobs correctly. We were the inexperienced folks who were just beginning to learn the ropes of RVing. I think that a few people in the campgrounds were secretly laughing at us from behind their RVs. Nevertheless, we jumped the hurdle of "free entertainment for the rest of the campground", and learned to trust each other to do their jobs and move much more efficiently.
Another example of a skill learned is doing my schoolwork on the road. When we travel, I bring schoolwork with me in the car. Sadly, some states' road quality is disappointing, and with a truck with rigid shocks, it makes it worse. My car hand writing is not a good indicator of my regular hand writing. I've learned not to bring certain subjects in the truck with me. While in the RV, I have an easier time about it, but sometimes it becomes difficult to do school without being distracted by something. For example, at the time of me writing this, my background noise is a movie that Nate is watching. Putting on my noise canceling headphones during these times helps a lot.
These past 12 months have been a real mind-changer on how much stuff we had at our house versus how much stuff we actually need. If any of you have moved before, you'll know how this feels. But think about moving into a 300 sq. foot space. You really don't need that much 1990s memorabilia, the same photo from 10 angles, or the old baby toys that you'll never use again. You know what I mean? I had the job of "trash man" before we left, and every Monday during the last 2 months in Georgia, the curb was piled with trash. But now we've lived on minimal stuff for 7 months! (I know, 7!)
I'll challenge all of you to think about what you'd need on a trip like ours, and comment your top 3 things. Here are some ideas: pots and pans, books, toys, favorite clothes, cameras. Put down anything that is not included in the RV when you buy it, for example, furnishings.
Will is 14, and enjoys running track, writing,