Road Candy

Posted February 9, 2021 – Narrated by Carmen
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“Road candy seemed to me a perfect summing up of the pleasures of driving through the Deep South. What I saw, what I experienced, the freedom of the trip, the people I met, the things I learned: my days were filled with road candy.”

– Paul Theroux, Deep South

Even as full-time, free-ranging homo sapiens sapiens, these cross-country treks to beat the weather are a challenge. Leaving Point A with the goal of reaching Point B has all the thrill of a footrace with the starting-line excitement and the finish-line euphoria. But the real drama is in the unknown developments – the tension between A and B.

Click the map for an enlarged version

Generally speaking, travelers prefer the known to the unknown. That’s why cruise ships and airlines provide distractions – movies, booze, magic shows, contests and gambling – to relieve the tension of that ever-present hum of travel which most passengers find unnerving.

I love engines. The sound, the smell, the rumble. I get that from my dad, a mechanical engineer. Whenever his babies had trouble sleeping at night, he’d take us for a drive. The jingle of his keys signaled relief was on the way. Then, the crank of the starter, the intoxicating whiff of fuel, the purring of the engine, the crunch of gravel beneath the tires (still my favorite sound in the world) as the car backs out of the driveway … these sensations soothed and transported me into the world of sleep.

Uh-oh … maybe that’s why I’m kinda vulnerable to nodding off at the wheel … even after a full and satisfying nights rest. A trait easily managed with good strong coffee, right? Yes, but it’s complicated these days. Caffeine – my backstabbing friend – is betraying me in my old age.

When we were young and poor, Jim and I accomplished many caffeine-fueled cross-country drives, stopping only for gas.

Decades of entertaining that delicious black elixir of inspiration and energy has rendered the stuff a poison to me. A mere cup of half-caff in the morning keeps my brain’s terminal open all night re-routing old baggage. Even so, I don’t feel safe to drive the rig without a java boost. Now, these long cross-country journeys begin with a fresh Me and finish with a blurry caffeine-whipped Carmen plodding through a mushy week or two of withdrawal.

But until our eyes have seen enough, we will continue to embrace the annual, and sometimes bi-annual activity of playing chicken with extreme weather conditions while under the influence of one thing or another.

It’s the road candy that keeps us going

Rare and unusual scenery … Murmurations of starlings … Unusual cloud formations … Rusty wagons … Faded farm equipment … Signs pushing product that no longer exists … HoJo’s, Stuckey’s, Pea Soup Andersons, all but eliminated by interstate highways and cheap airfare.

The map above details the LIB Cali-Tenn Crawl: Four weeks in eighteen overnight locations with many free campsites. We saw much and we missed much more, but if we are lucky enough to pass that way again there’ll still be plenty left to chew on.

Clovis, California

With plans to visit 559 Beer Brewery, we parked overnight in Clovis – the tenth fastest growing city in California.

We’re not ready to settle down, but Clovis with its proud hometown vibe and lovingly restored Oldtown has the stuff to change our minds.

The Links at Riverlakes, Bakersfield, California

Golf courses are great places to overnight in metro areas. On this sweltering hot Bakersfield evening, I heard someone call my name. It was Pete, a LIB follower, driving past in his golf cart. We had a pleasant chat about pre-retirement and planning for full-time travel. Pete, a truck driver, offered great tips about Hwy 40.

Shady Lanes RV Park, Barstow, California

On our way to Barstow, we pulled off at Keene Cafe for their traffic-stopping huevos rancheros. The shady outdoor dining yard under the oaks overlooking the valley is one of the best kept roadside cafe secrets in California.

We waited too long to stop by Elmer Long’s bottle-tree ranch.

Elmer passed away in 2019 and apparently the bird feeders hadn’t been filled since – yet, happy birds were everywhere. Maybe the bottles attract flying insects? I don’t know. No one was around to answer questions. It was a self-serve, free attraction.

We couldn’t even find a donation box. But the remote site, unmolested by vandals was open to visitors. All you have to do is push open the fake chain-lock on the gate.

Elmer’s life work – horrifying, hilarious and serene – is a totem to the sharp edge of western expansion. Elmer is gone but his found art installation still rips consumerism a fresh one, exposing the ironies forced upon our cheap, yet priceless land in this hard, but delicate existence, even as he celebrates our awkwardly beautiful lives.

That night, in hot and dusty Barstow, we found a nothing-special desert trailer park, but one that lives up to its name.

Mike’s Route 66 Saloon, Kingman, Arizona

The next morning we set out on Old Route 66, and pulled off for brunch in Ludlow.

The Ludlow Cafe is not the original cafe – but it had plenty of parking where we could have stayed overnight with the big trucks.

Thanks, but no. Sleeping with the big trucks is an act of desperation.

So we followed the railroad,

crossed over the Colorado River into Arizona,

and breezed through Kingman,

… to Mike’s Route 66 Outpost Saloon for some top-notch grub and shut-eye. We had the Taco Tuesday salads, with a perfect cowboy sunset on the side.

Woody Mountain Campground, Flagstaff, Arizona

Every year since LIB, Jim has arranged a birthday surprise. But considering the pandemic possibilities, I was expecting a lovely grilled salmon dinner at our charming site at the Woody Mountain Campground in Flagstaff.

I was stunned when Jim pulled off his annual October surprise – a formal five-course meal served by a real waiter. At Josephine’s Modern American Bistro, we celebrated my Beatle’s Birthday under the pines. He still needs me. He still feeds me.

We lingered in Flagstaff for a few days, but it rained for most of them. Someday we hope to stay for the fair-weather months.

McHood Park Campground, Winslow, Arizona

When the weather cleared we continued on Route 66 toward Winslow, our destination for the night.

The weather was gorgeous, so we thought we’d stay for a few days – hike the park and paddle Clear Creek – but that was not to be.

As we pulled into warm and sunny McHood Park Campground, we got that all-alone feeling which usually means we should check the weather report. Sure enough. Snow was predicted within 24 hours.

The next morning we toured charming Winslow and returned to the campground in the early afternoon to prepare for a 45-degree temperature drop.

The following morning we woke to the chill of frost.

We hitched up and pulled out of Winslow and stopped by Little Painted Desert County Park for the spectacular rim view of the canyon.

Freezing rain was on the way, so we switched on the furnace and prepared a hot breakfast and moved up the road toward Holbrook.

Crystal Forest Museum, Holbrook, Arizona

Holbrook is an outdoor mid-century museum. In normal times it is bustling with activity and fun. But it was ghostly quiet on this icy, covid day.

But our campsite (no hook-ups), compliments of The Crystal Forest Museum and Gift Shop was loaded with interests and kept us in the Route 66 spirit.

We huddled in the trailer, furnace full blast, playing oldies and grooving on the cotton candy sunset.

Petrified Forest National Park

The next frosty morning we woke to sad news. Our friend, Nina who had been sick for months, had passed. I opened the door, to see how world had changed.

It was so cold, but I just wanted to go for a walk. We brewed a pot of coffee, but skipped breakfast and drove a few miles to the Petrified Forest National Park.

We wore masks, as required, but no one was there.

It was just we three and these petrifications where ancient trees had come to rest after a violent act of nature – a Triassic flash flood.

On that morning, I had little interest in sightseeing but history would not be silent. And, as the sun came out from behind the clouds, these ancient trees asserted their message from the beyond, “All is not lost. Nothing is permanent. Look at us. We still have presence.”

We went back to the rig for a hot breakfast and coffee. Then we drove along the Badlands to Blue Mesa Trail to walk some more.

These mountains erode at least an inch per year.

Here, I felt my friend’s presence – her heart, her wit and the fierceness of her intellect.

This melting frost presented ideal conditions for the namesake color of this terminally ill range to come out in spectacular display.

Badlands. Now, there’s a word …

… A place bridging the trauma of death and the unbearable ache of grief that diminishes, incrementally, over time. Touché again, Nina.

Mobil Station, Chambers, Arizona

Okay. We slept with big trucks. No shame in it. Check that one off the list.

Route 66 Junkyard Brewery, Grants, New Mexico

We entered New Mexico, and crossed the Continental Divide.

And took the exit to Grants, as guests of the Route 66 Junkyard Brewery for the night – a fascinating adventure.

Check sleeping in junkyard/outdoor movie theatre/brewery/campground off the list.

We grabbed two chairs without snow on them and enjoyed some excellent brew in classic junkyard style.

If we had arrived on a movie night it would have been even more fun. This brilliant idea should be franchised.

Every town should have a junk yard/brewery/outdoor theater/campground. Add: weekend farmer’s market, dog-training school, running track … the possibilities are endless.

San Jon Municipal Park, San Jon, New Mexico

Leaving Grants, we drove up to the sweet little town of San Jon where travelers are welcome.

Free municipal overnight, no hook-ups camping is provided in a lighted park across the street from the police.

Interesting that wealthier towns than San Jon dismiss this service as unaffordable. The grounds are nicely kept with bathrooms, tennis courts and a ball field.

Comfort food was in order. So Jim rode his new Dolphin e-bike a couple of blocks to an authentic Punjabi Dhaba restaurant. These specialty trucking stops are sprouting up along US highways.

We also gassed up and filled our propane in San Jon. We are proud to spend money in cities where safe, clean, convenient parking and services are provided. Thank you, San Jon.

Lake Meredith National Recreational Area, Fritch, Texas

Next morning, we crossed over into Texas for some quiet time and spectacular sunsets at the Lake Meredith National Recreational Area.

We stayed for two days and every spare hour was spent exploring around the little town of Fritch and this sprawling national park. We’d have stayed longer but …

… a huge winter storm was on the way.

Fritch perked my foodie senses when I noticed a Tea Room. Evidently, high tea is a thing in this part of Texas. Well then, that settles it. When this pandemic is over we shall return for more fine free camping, kayaking, and some of that cowboy tea.

Lucky Star Casino, Clinton, Oklahoma

Still outrunning the winter storm, we entered Oklahoma.

We turned into the complimentary overnight parking lot for the Lucky Star Casino. The RV area was fully lighted, clean, patrolled, quiet and … completely empty. Uh-oh. We checked the weather for bad news. Seeing we were in the clear, we tooled around the asphalt but couldn’t find a level spot. So we parked and walked around. Certain the most level spot is at the top of the hill, we settled the rig in between two light poles. Still, it took every Tri-lynx leveler we own to keep Jim on his side of the bed.

Last Stop Store, Checotah, Oklahoma

The next morning, after passing through Oklahoma City, we were the delighted overnight guests of The Last Stop Store.

After purchasing some house-made southern delicacies, our host showed us to a concrete pad in the quiet suburban neighborhood of Checotah where we watched the election results.

Gulpha Gorge Campground, Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas

To better our chances of securing a first-come, first-serve spot at Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas, we pulled out of Checotah at first light.

That crisp Autumn Arkansas morn slowed the world down several beats to that familiar and most-manageable southern rhythm that we love so well.

We pulled into Hot Springs National Park at about 11 am in the morning and scored the last open space at Gulpha Gorge.

The next day we moved to a better space on the riverbank.

The leaves were peak color. We spent long hours hiking the trails.

This park is a coveted Autumn destination. We were lucky to be here.

Bass Pro Shop, Memphis, Tennessee

We drove into Memphis on a rainy day.

I am acquainted with Memphis because my niece, Beth, was treated for cancer here at Saint Judes Children’s Hospital.

Memphis is a city of heroes with a heart-wrenching history of reaching out to offer a helping hand …

… and it is beautiful. The virus kept workers and residents home, so the streets were hauntingly quiet.

We parked, compliments of Bass Pro Shop, housed in the world’s tenth largest pyramid.

The parking area where RVs are allowed is under the bridge.

It was lighted very brightly and patrolled with 24-hour security: Sleeping under a major urban highway. Check.

The sun came out the next morning, so we took our Dolphin e-bikes to town for coffee and pastry and this exhilarating two-hour spin on Big River Trail.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Dickson, Tennessee

We were two days short of a self-imposed two-week period of isolation (no indoor shopping or visits with friends) before arriving to my sister’s house. So we ambled for a couple of days through Tennessee. Thank you, Cracker Barrel for the sweet parking lot digs.

Del Monaco Winery, Baxter, Tennessee

This was our second visit to Del Monaco Winery, and we knew what to expect, so we crossed the tracks into the grounds …

… and took our usual quiet spot beside the tracks which are not used at night.

Wearing the last of our clean clothes, we sat alone on their magnificent porch.

The staff – alerted to our delicate circumstance – applied every required procedure to deliver a delicious no-contact southern dinner – and made us feel like royalty.

Deborah and David’s House

The next morning Beauty had to take a serious dump. We would be dry camping at my sister’s house way up in the mountains far from any services. So we stopped by Cumberland Mountain State Park to perform the honors.

For a small fee, we were able to maintenance our tanks to squeaky-clean perfection. Cumberland Mountain is a dreamy park – rustic and woodsy – with all the perks. We would stay here if we didn’t have our own private campsite nearby.

That afternoon, we arrived safe and sound to our Smoky Mountain destination.

So, the road to my sister’s house is really, really long, but with plenty of excellent eye-candy along the way. And, at the end, I have a concierge medical service from a registered nurse who will guide me through the symptoms of caffeine withdrawal.

If you want to see our exact route, click here.

*photos in this post (unless otherwise noted) were taken and copyrighted by Living In Beauty.

61 thoughts on “Road Candy

  1. By the end I had goose bumps. Thanks for sharing the road candy that is so easy to miss.
    I want to eat fried green tomatoes and see fireflies among a 1000 other goals on the road. It’s the little things.

    I hope you were treated well in Bakersfield, home of Buck Owens, Dewars Ice Cream and Luigi’s Italian Restaurant

    1. Linda! Wonderful to have you aboard. Yes, like big clumsy pelicans, we have far more misses than catches. That’s the beauty of returning. After some time has passed between visits, I am attracted to different features, phenomena and activities.

      We were just trying to escape the heat that day in Bakersfield. We weren’t hungry but now that you mention it, we should have stopped for ice cream. Thank you for these tips, Linda. Jim is pinning them in right now.

      Best to you on those goals – eating fried green tomatoes while watching fireflies from a screen porch with a big ol’ ceiling fan is a fabulous goal!

      Safe and Happy Travels!


  2. How many times when on the road has the DW said “did you see that.” when I was watching the drivers front, back, and both sides? Once in a while we turn back to see what I missed. Mostly not with 57 foot of pickup and trailer. I’m responsible views from high bridges–she closes her eyes.

    1. Hey Tom! It’s nice you split up the view watching like that. That’s our rule too and the camera makes it easier. One drives while the other takes pics. Only rarely is something worth turning around for. I think the last time we turned around and went back was to see a piece of driftwood someone had decorated to look like a sea monster.

      Jim doesn’t like high bridges either but I’m okay with heights. I close my eyes for tunnels. If we had room in the back seat I would go back there, lie down and cover my eyes.

      Thanks for being with us Tom.

      Safe and Happy Travels!


  3. First time reading your travels. Poetry and art in motion. Loved it. Absolutely loved your story and wonderful pictures.

    1. Hey Kathy! Welcome, so delighted to have you with us.

      LIB is our travel journal and we are happy to share. Thank you for your comments.

      Safe and Happy Travels!


  4. We are new followers of Living In Beauty and we love your blogs! You are sooo informative with all your travels and I can’t wait to get started myself. Keep posting as we are learning so much from you and we love all the beautiful pictures you take along with the aerials. Safe travels!

    1. Hey Dolores! Welcome aboard. We’re happy to hear that you connect with the journal. LIB is all about documentation. Our goal – if we are lucky – is to, someday, relive this journey from an overstuffed chair and declare with wide-eyed wonder about how young we look in the photos 🙂

      Thank you for your sweet comments. Jim dropped his drone in the gulf yesterday, so it may be a while before we have more of his fabulous aerials.

      Please stay with us – even if we get boring.

      Safe and Happy Travels!


  5. So very sorry to hear about your friend Nina. Thank you for taking us along your trip. That was quite the long haul with many stops in between. You two always make it look so easy! 🙂

    1. Thank you, Brenda. Friends, with all they teach us, it is just so tragic when one so young teaches us how to die.

      Five years on the road and we are still learning. It’s a more active lifestyle than living in a conventional house on an average property, but for us it so much more fulfilling – at least for this period of our lives. We are grateful every day for the experience. Hopefully, we will stop before we become a danger to ourselves and others 😉

      Safe and Happy Travels!


  6. Sitting here in front of the fireplace with a fifty pound dog on my lap (oof!) Your Fall journey from west to east was so enjoyable. So many places we have been and are excited to get back on the road…soon friends, soon. Two favorite photos this time___Pico proudly posing on the petrified stump has to be #1! And the sprinkling of Ivie’s ashes was lovely and sad and joyful all at the same time, as #2. As soon as this dog wakes up, I will fix a cup of tea and go over every entry and photo at least one more time. Keep them coming and stay safe! One of these days I hope you get to spend a bit more time in Arkansas. You’ve barely scratched the surface!

    1. Hey Jo! Always so great to hear from you. Wow, that’s a lot of dog … I don’t think all the dogs we’ve ever had would together weigh 50 pounds! My brother-in-law, David took that photo at the creek as set our old girl free. She lived over 18 years and water was her favorite element. Pico used to like water but, recently, he changed his mind recently. We think he saw something big in the water – probably a creature. Hopefully, he will get over it someday. I miss him on the boat.

      Enjoy your tea-time, Jo. I might have a cup myself since its pouring down rain here right now.

      Safe and Happy Travels!


    1. Hey Joe!

      So happy to hear from you. Glad you like the narration. I’ll pass your comment on to my agent.

      Hugs to you and Ronnie – xoxo

      Safe and Happy Travels!


  7. That’s what we miss the most since we gave up our “rebellious” fulltime living in our 1982 Excella!! We like our new “land” home, but the old RV life still brings tears!! Our advice… simply, save a lot, start younger!!! Happy travels AA!!

    1. Hey there Jean!

      Thanks for sharing your full-time Airstreaming travel tips! You are SO right on those three points. You have the right attitude, too. Looking for and expecting positive outcomes tends to produce more positive outcomes – it’s truly miraculous. Of course bad things happen – things break, inhospitable weather conditions ruin your wonderful plans, toes get stubbed and heads get whacked while cleaning the windows, Jim drops his drone in the sea … but we’re having fun! feeling great! eating great! and staying in the most beautiful places in America while living frugally! Does it get better than that?

      Yes, we know there is a house out there waiting for old travel-weary bones to discover it and call it home – and when that time comes, we will still dream about living in Beauty and hunting down the road candy of our dreams.

      Thanks for being with us, Jean!

      Safe and Happy Travels!


      1. Enjoy the wonders of simple travels!!! We were so blessed to have our time on some of “the roads less traveled”!!! To take pure delight in a huge field of sunflowers in Kansas…..pronghorns in New Mexico….tidy little KOAs hidden in odd settings!!!! It was glorious!!!

    1. Jennifer!

      Thank you, for noting the details. RV travel is as much about the how’s as it is the where’s. Jim is really into tracking details and uses the information to give shape to our long-term travel goals. His meticulous attention to detail used to drive me nuts, but I’ve learned to roll with it 😉

      Thank you for being with us.

      Safe and Happy Travels!


  8. Time marches on. Love following your journey down the road through life. So very sorry for the loss of your dear friend. On our way back to Arkansas from Florida, we were so surprised when we passed a Stucky’s that was still in business. Pre-Covid we would have wondered the aisles stepping back in time. Hugs to you and Jim. Great seeing you guys.


    1. Judy! We must get together again in warmer weather! It took hours to thaw out after we left the restaurant in Destin. When I lived in Italy we had these portable personal furnaces – everyone kept them close in the winter because of the cold marble floors – and even carried them outside onto the patio. Maybe I’m getting old, but I feel that I need one of those for this cold Florida winter.

      I attached a map of all the remaining Stucky’s. There are still several in the south but no more out west. Hopefully, they will survive covid … I’d love to visit Stucky’s again.,%20Groveland,%20FL%2034736,%20USA&radius=1000

      Thank you for being with us. Hugs to you and Michael!



  9. Photos, narrative….just captivating. Once I start to follow, I can’t turn away. I can’t help but wish Richard was here to see your blog. His favorite thing on a road trip was to get off the highway and explore the small, quaint, historic towns. He would deem you heroic and beyond blessed to be able to be Living in Beauty. He had minimal interest in international travel. He wanted to “see America.”

    1. Mickie! Oh, how good it is to hear from you!

      Richard was a smart guy. America has enough opportunities for a lifetime of travel – and seeing the USA alone can be a challenge. We’ve been traveling for five years and we still haven’t been to Alaska and have barely seen Arkansas, Oklahoma, Michigan, Iowa … we could easily fill another five years just in the USA.

      We love Canada, Mexico, South America, Europe, the Caribbean … and hope to see more overseas – but if we do not or cannot for some reason or another we’re fine with that. Our goal is to see places, not just be there – which, due to travel restrictions is more difficult to achieve when overseas – and can be very expensive. That’s why we RV. The best places to see are usually an hour or more from the travel hubs and have campgrounds nearby. So, camping or RVing is the best way to see the the US, Canada, Mexico and South America.

      We are learning that Small Town America is a wonderful way to absorb world history because most of us landed here on the heels of traumatic historic events – ancestors running from something or someone, or forced here through slavery, expulsion and other societal failures. The sense of being under pursuit is built into the American DNA and could be an underlying condition for these current troubles.

      I miss you so much, Mickie! I hope that when we come back to San Diego I will be able to give you a big hug with no covid worries!

      – Carmen

    1. Claudia! Thank you for your thoughtful condolences. Seeing your name on the comment list always makes me smile.

      Safe and Happy Travels!


  10. This was amazing! I loved the pictures with places to eat. I want to definitely visit these places – esp. Winslow, AZ. Thank you both for sharing!

    1. Hey Tammi!

      Wonderful to have you with us. We love Winslow, Needles, Tucumcari, Santa Fe … and all of the Route 66 destination towns. Before the pandemic they were getting better every year. Most of them thrive only on tourism. I hope, every American who can afford it will drive to at least one of these economically fragile towns and spend a vacation this year or next. If that happens, these American treasures might just might make it!

      Thank you and …

      Safe and Happy Travels!


  11. Thanks for sharing your wonderful trip I’ve been a crossed many of those roads and it’s always nice to see what others have taken in along the way!

    1. Evelyn! The trip is always better when we have family, friends and followers along for the ride. Thank you for being with us and please feel free to let us know if there is something we should pin onto our wish-list.

      Safe and Happy Travels!


  12. Great to have you break down this latest trek, even while Jim added it to your overall journey. Glad to visually see that you are healthy and active, without any major strains to body parts! Did you make it down to the Alabama coast for Christmas? Just remember – calories in have to be less than calories burned… Safe travels.

    1. Hey Kevin! Wonderful to hear from you. Thank you so much following all these years. Yes, Jim’s ankle is almost back to its former condition – our health has been good and we are staying active. Hopefully you, too, are thriving, regardless of these strange times.

      Yes, we made it to Gulf Shores and we absolutely fell for the place! So funny – for years my dad has suggested we give it a try. I don’t know why it took us so long to take him up on it. We hope to get back to that area again someday.

      Christmas was fabulous and I don’t want to talk about calories 😉

      Safe and Happy Travels!


  13. Happy belated birthday, Carmen and so sorry for the loss of your friend…How wonderful that mother nature and its beauty were able to bring you comfort and alleviate your grief.

    Isn’t it amazingly great that there is still so much to see and explore after 5 years on the road! A lot to look forward to… Safe and joyful travels!

    1. Sabrina … YES! When we started out we never thought that five years in we’d still feel like new travelers. There is so much to see. We’ve barely scratched the surface. And, as you say, everyday is another adventure. Always something to look forward to.

      Thanks so much for being with us.

      Safe and Happy Travels!


  14. Such fun hearing you, and enjoying the photos in your travelogues. And, did you get a little fireplace for your rig? Much love, Eva

  15. You guys are the best. Just at the moment I’m thinking, “Man, they write the BEST travelogues, so engaging and entertaining, full of helpful content but also poignant and thought provoking,” out comes “The next morning, Beauty had to take a serious dump.”


    Love it!

    Thanks again for a wonderful read and lots of great roadside stops. My condolences on the loss of your friend.

    1. Hey Laura!

      Wow! You really read the post and aren’t just looking at the pictures. That’s amazing. Laura of Chapter 3 Travels reads our blog … really!

      We LOVED your post about Bend, Oregon. And I appreciate how you evaluate cities and states on how they’re handling the pandemic. I agree so much with your assessment of the situation – that keeping everyone safe is community work.

      Thank you for your condolences xoxo

      Safe and Happy Travels!


  16. Wonderful post. I can tell you put a lot of work into this one. We hope to be heading to AZ after our shots and you’ve given me some nice trip options. Thanks again.

    1. Hey Bill!

      Best to you on your journey to Arizona. And, thank you for checking in. You’ve been on this journey with us since we began. And we still haven’t gotten together for a Meeting of The Excellas … but maybe after we get our shots we can set something up.

      You’re the one who suggested we go to Big Bend and also to Hot Springs NP – and we’ve been to both!

      Hey! Speaking of our Excellas, here’s a cool thing. Gabriel, my genius nephew made us a new door-slider for the screen door with his 3-D printer. He engineered it much better than the old one. We’ll post pictures of it soon. These old trailers are a constant project!

      Again, always great to hear from you.

      Safe & Happy Travels!


  17. Another lovely post. Thank you for sharing your travels.

    I came across this yesterday-author unknown-and I’m paraphrasing from an old email.

    Why is it that birds who sing so beautifully, that we enjoy so much, perish so quickly?

    -Always remember that there are other worlds to sing in.

    So sorry to hear about your friend.

    1. Hey Dean. What a beautiful poem. Yes, there are other worlds to sing in.

      There is comfort in the knowledge that everything is in flux – at least it is comforting to me … and, that everyone is a traveler with a very unique and personal journey.

      Thank you for these words of comfort, Dean. You are kind.

      Safe and Happy Travels!


  18. I always enjoy reading your blog. Since you are so knowledgeable on all things digital, do you know of a company that can create a coffee table book from a blog? I have a blog that I would love to be able to keep in hard copy and I think this might be a great idea for you guys as well.

    We went back to stationary living in 2018, but still enjoy the Airstream life vicariously through LIB.

    Your old neighbors at 407 E Ave.
    Emily & Jeff

    1. Hey Emily & Jeff! Wow!!! Great to hear from you. How’re things in the old neighborhood?

      Hmmm. Interesting idea. We haven’t looked into it but some followers have suggested we edit our blog content and publish a coffee table book. We will research this and let you know. It seems like there would be a company specializing in need.

      We would love to see your blog! Is it still online?

      Safe and Happy Travels!


      1. Your blog would make a beautiful coffee table book! And what a way to leverage the work that you already do to fund more Airstream adventures! Please let me know if you find something! Life on the island is good and there certainly are worse places to be cooped up for a year. We have two blogs. The first captures our year+ time spent working and traveling in Europe (not in an Airstream). The second chronicles about 8 months of our full time Airstreaming in retirement. We decided to be stationary through the winter in ski country so Jeff could be a ski instructor at Deer Valley. Honestly, I then got bored with the blog and stopped logging any entries. We continued our nomadic adventures until August of 2018 when we moved home and rejoined the working world. So, our retirement turned into a ‘gap year’ and we are now considering a Bambi to enjoy short weekend trips. We miss the freedom of the open road! In the meantime, we continue to live vicariously through LIB!!!

  19. Hey Beauxs
    Thanks for the vicarious thrills and majestic photos. You should write a play — it would be an epic 24 hours long about two (sorry Pico, three) intrepid travelers and there beer swilling, bike riding, airstream tank dumping adventures.
    San Diego misses you. I am sitting near my patio gazing at my stream and pond oasis with Harpo and Groucho getting annoyed because breakfast is late.
    Lots to talk to you about including my day that started with a root canal and ended with cracked ribs — there! I’ve given you an incentive to call me.
    Stay in touch — we love chatting with ya’ll
    The other Jim and Sam

    1. Jim and Sam, we too miss a lot of things about being in San Diego. One of them is seeing you two. Hope to see you two in November. What a wonderful day you had. Staring with a Root Canal and ending with cracked ribs. There is a story there somewhere! It just doesn’t get much better than that.

  20. Stunning photos and a stunning road trip! You two always seem to take your time and manage to find a balance between “work” (the driving) and “pleasure” (the food, drink, sightseeing, and rest). Sorry about all those bad weather moments. We passed through Hot Springs NP this past October, but the leaves weren’t as pretty. Such great timing you had. Elmer Long’s bottle-tree ranch is as colorful, fun, and intriguing as it gets along the dusty roads! 🙂 I hope you’re staying warm in Florida!

    1. Hey Liesbet! Yes, we missed you by a few weeks in Hot Springs. Are you still in the Tucson area?

      We are COLD in Florida. In the last two months we’ve had about a half-dozen warm days. Gulf winds have been steady and strong. We are enjoying our stay here, but are inside and reading and watching more movies than usual. I guess that’s a good thing.

      On your recommendation, I checked out Greg and Duwan’s blog MAKE LIKE AN APE MAN. Very rewarding – and such beautiful photos. You van campers have our respect.

      So great to hear from you.

      Safe and Happy Travels!

      Carmen @ LIB

  21. Great blog post and fantastic pictures as always. Love the Arizona part since we’ve been to some of those spots. Love the Jackrabbit Trading Post since I went there as a kid circa 1965 back when Rt. 66 was the way you traveled that part of the world. Things were a lot different back then. My favorite photo of all though was Pico and his Amish fireplace! Yowsir!

    1. Steve, glad you enjoyed the post. It was a fun adventure across the country. Due to COVID, we did not go inside the Jackrabbit Trading Post and many of the attractions along the route. Unfortunately, many places we would have liked to see, but are inside, are just not possible during the pandemic. We can always plan to visit there again when things go back to normal, it there ever is such a thing again. Say HI to Sue for us! Stay safe out there! LIB

  22. Looks like you had a great time on the road. I love the idea of taking a road trip but prefer short distances with lots of stops. A scenic train journey is something I enjoy more. But then again, the local experience you get on a road trip will be missed.

    1. Hey Monica!

      All forms of travel are fine with us – but as you say, the road trip has many advantages in the US. We love traveling by train and someday, when we’re old 😉 we hope to train tour across the US.

      We only object long travel days … by car, plane or train.

      LIB is about starting out after rush hour and stopping between 3 and 4 PM )what we call 4-3-2) and the more side-trips the better.

      Thanks for being with us, Monica!

      Safe and Happy Travels!

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