We had been dreading our departure from the cool Colorado environs where we spent the summer. We were fully aware of the late August heat we would encounter as we slowly watched the altitude unwind on the GPS as we left the picturesque mountains behind.
Our first night's stopover was in Roswell and, noticing the 99-degree reading on Phannie's OAT gauge, we braced ourselves for the furnace-like blast when we opened the door on arrival and stepped outside. And yes, it was just as we feared. We almost stumbled as we tried to catch our breath.
This was not the end of the unpleasantness, however. We were immediately besieged by a swarm of houseflies so numerous that four of them flew into the coach before I could even close the door. I'm not sure what was going on with the flies in Roswell--maybe there was a housefly convention or something! But it was bad. Really bad. After we left, it took us a day or two to find and swat all of the little varmints. We lamented to each other how pleasant it was in Hawaii and Colorado, where flies were almost nonexistent.
The next day, I decided to drive all the way to Killeen, Texas, where we were to attend a 50th anniversary celebration of longtime friends, Rev. and Mrs. John Abbey. We had a great time with this wonderful couple and their family, agreeing that our time with them was much more important than our constant whining about life's little discomforts:
Arriving in Killeen from Durango, Colorado was the culmination of two 500-mile legs in Phannie with only one overnight stop. This represents about twice the normal distance that we usually travel in a day, and I think it represents a change in our philosophy about what our travel days will look like going forward. But I also think this is part of a new paradigm of sorts from fulltiming 'vacation' mode to fulltiming 'destination' mode.
This change in travel modes among fulltimers is a very common phenomenon, we have learned; in fact, it is almost a rite of passage. Put simply, it is a shifting of new fulltimers' priorities away from the usual frenetic pace of travels at the beginning of their new taste of freedom. Being unfettered then by obligations at work, they typically think they have to get out there and see everything at once.
However, as they begin to check off more and more of the myriad places that have been on their bucket list, they realize that a more measured pace perhaps yields more satisfying results, so they slow things down and begin to spend more quality time at fewer stopovers. Maintaining a furious pace of driving, then setting up and tearing down at campgrounds can be exhausting and, after doing this for a while, you begin to realize this isn't exactly fun any longer. This is why vacation mode is usually not sustainable over a long period of time.
Having said that, I have determined that a 500-mile driving day is too much, even though Phannie doesn't really tire me out. The comfy captain's chairs and air ride suspension make for a very pleasant driving experience. However, we know better than to push ourselves beyond what is a safe limit, but we are likely to make longer legs than we used to--especially if our stopover is at a place we have already been or that holds little interest for us. So, it seems we are definitely getting into a 'destination' mode; we want to get where we're going and stay there a while.
We had to hurry to Conroe and participate in another round of doctor checkups to get prescription refills before we depart for Tennessee in a couple of weeks. Arriving at Thousand Trails on Lake Conroe, we noticed there were no shortage of spaces:
That's because most of the sane people weren't here in the blast furnace like we are! We must do a better job of scheduling our appointments next year.
Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful life;
please forgive me if I don't appreciate it as I should each day.
You don't stop playing when you get old; you get old when you stop playing.