Tomorrow we will be home.
It has been quite a trip--seven weeks and 6,000 miles in Phannie, dragging Mae behind, plus the Alaska cruise. We had the grandest time seeing old friends and meeting new ones that we previously knew only through their blogs. We traveled many new roads and saw many new sights, some of which were far more grand and inspiring than we expected. Although we thought this a "bucket list" trip of places we had to go, it had the effect of whetting our appetite to see more than our fast and superficial sampling provided.
We will be very busy when Phannie is tucked away in her RV port at the side of our house. Besides the household chores and other personal business awaiting us, there is some reorganizing we want to do in Phannie's storage areas. Living seven weeks in an RV while on the road has illuminated some ways in which we can make better use of her space. We'll keep you posted on all of this, but the blog will have more gaps for a while now that we're going to be off the road.
As I am reflecting on the trip now ending (thank heavens for the blog to help me do that), I am trying to think of "a few of my favorite things," as the song goes. That is proving to be much more difficult than I thought. Scrolling through the many posts, I think I see something that I could call a favorite, only to have it eclipsed by something else closely in sequence. I think I will have better luck naming a least favorite. That's pretty easy--the trip from southern California through the Mojave Desert and our visit to Las Vegas. I'm not going to revisit that because I have more than exhausted my readers and myself whining about the experience. Besides, it's my own fault; a light bulb should have illuminated when traveling through the Mojave in August became a consideration. What's even worse is my carrying on as though we were stranded somewhere in Death Valley with the buzzards circling! Why, we weren't even uncomfortable 95 percent of the time, thanks to Phannie's air conditioning overkill. I think what got to us was the shock after spending so much of the trip in cool climes, which, of course, was our goal in getting ourselves out of the Texas summer heat in the first place! Basically, we traded the witch for the devil, and it was I who was on the bridge.
Yes, I could have planned this part better, but then I wouldn't have had learned from the experience. And perhaps you wouldn't have read about it and felt a good deal of satisfaction in knowing that your choices would have been so much smarter.
And although I am reluctant to brag on Phannie and Mae just before the last leg, these two have taken us through drought and flood, biting cold and searing heat, fog, dirt, mud, to say nothing of dust and smoke. They have wound themselves around innumerable hairpin curves and climbed and descended some of the steepest passes in the country. To keep the old girl from running away or bogging down in the mountains, I have downshifted and upshifted Phannie's transmission so much that I can now play it like a piano. All of this, and not so much as a whimper from any part of their drive trains. Had it not been for a small hole in an air hose in Fresno, all would have been perfect. I am so pleased with these two vehicles that seem not so much like machines as family members.
Let me pause here and give you a little tip: On the recommendation of a trusted diesel shop owner, I have used Stanadyne diesel fuel additive religiously as prescribed on the label in all the diesels I have owned. In ten years, I have never had a single hiccup...not even once...from any of these engines. Coincidence? Maybe, but I don't think so.
Of course, I must give kudos to my best friend and partner, Miss Sandy, with whom I had the privilege of sharing this adventure. It was even better than I always thought it would be once we were free from the w*rk world.
And most important, thanks to the Almighty for good health and protection as we had the opportunity to see just a little of His fabulous handiwork. I try to acknowledge Him with the closing note at the end of each post, used by permission from longtime friend, Martha Jo:
Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful life; please forgive me if I do not appreciate it enough each day.