Act One: A journey begins with a step
Act Two: A week with giants
The time came to begin the trip home. We did not take the same route home as we came. Our first destination was to southern California to return Ashly and the kids home. We spent two nights camping on the beach before our trek back to Illinois.
Del Mar Beach Resort on Camp Pendelton was an ideal beach location. We had a beach view out our front window. The kids had fun in the sand and water. The days were hot and the nights cool.
Camping on the beach had one disadvantage – sand in the RV. I devised a method to brush off our feet that kept most of the sand out of the RV. However, nightly I still swept up a dustpan full of sand.
The beach was not always quiet and peaceful. A few times the heavy smell of diesel fuel and low rumble of the Marine Corps vehicles filled the air. It was fun watching them.
We left the beach to begin days of driving. We drove through the heat of the Mojave Desert to Las Vegas. The temperature never dipped below 105; it averaged around 112. Driving this leg was slow, as we stopped four times to let the tires cool and tire pressure go down. One thing I did not want was a tire issue in the middle of nowhere. We spent the night at the Circus Circus RV Park.
After Las Vegas, we drove up I-15 through Utah. This was a pretty drive. The scenery colors changed from reds, oranges and browns to yellows and greens the further north we got.
We spent the night in Draper, UT, just north of Provo. I called a small place to reserve a spot while on the road. We basically were parked at a curb. The people were nice, but I think most of the residents had been there for quite some time. I probably should have drove further off I-15 and stayed in the nearby National Forest.
My iPhone decided to stop charging and I did not want to travel without a phone. In the morning, we made a detour to Verizon. Luckily, I was due an upgrade. After this unplanned stop, I knew I would have a long day of driving ahead. I-15 connected up to I-80 and we followed a somewhat familiar route for the rest of the journey. We did not stop in the same camp sites as the beginning trip, but did pass by them.
Nebraska was still full of road construction. We stopped at Cracker Barrel for the night and I discoverred that a rock managed to find my windshield and crack it. Perhaps there will be a future post about the process of getting the warranty work taken care of to replace the windshield.
I drove longer hours on the return trip. Dad had another trip to attend (he is such a jet-setter); I wanted to be home before the arrival of my future grandson and on the 3rd day of the return, the weather started to play a factor on how I drove. Bad storms were hitting the midwest. I wanted to stay ahead of the storms. The wind in Nebraska and Iowa had picked up and driving Tortoise with crosswinds was tiring. For most of the journey the weather was good. The only rain that we got on the trip was in Wyoming. However, the bouts of rain barely cleaned the bugs off my windshield.
Dad and I made it home a day earlier than planned. I am still awaiting the arrival of my newest grandson. The RV is in one piece, but on the trip of approximately 4,800 miles, there are a few things I need to have fixed.
Thoughts about the trip
I enjoyed the trip. I found the driving to be relaxing. At times the crosswind did make driving a bit tiring. The RV had better gas mileage than I expected. I learned that not all gas stations are designed for an RV. It would be great to have some means to know this before driving to the gas station. I learned as a general rule of thumb if the gas station was not right at the exit from the interstate, then it probably did not have easy access for an RV.
If I were to do this trip over, I would not have no set schedule. I passed many places that I would like to see, but could not stop. I made mental notes for future exploration trips. At a slower pace, I would have seen so much more.
Would I do this again? YES.
One thought on “Homeward bound”
Mike, Terry and I enjoyed reading about your travels! A few comments: We are familiar with the damage that can occur in unseen places due to salt water (and salt sand). Be sure to wash the underside of everything to get the salt off to prevent rust. There is a really good app called Allstays (the one for rv’s) that you need to download. It will tell you where there are truck stops, which are the best for fueling, since they have high-flow pumps, and it speeds things along nicely. (They have high overhangs, too). It will also tell you where there are reststops along the expressways, which Walmarts allow overnight parking (like Cracker Barrel), and most importantly, the height of the overpasses and bridges you might encounter (especially important out east and in older towns — really anytime you leave the expressway). You only have to back up from an overpass once to find this to be really valuable information! There is a funny story here — I’ll tell you about it sometime. Good luck getting a cracked windshield replaced as warranty work! We really enjoyed the commentary!