Leaving Nashville, we spent a few days at one of our favorite campgrounds--Tom Sawyer RV Park in West Memphis, Arkansas, situated right on the west bank of the Mississippi River. We've been there several times and never tire of watching Old Man River and the constant parade of tugs pushing barges--ever so slowly upriver and swifter as they float downstream. In the photo below, it looks like some of the park's friendly geese like looking at the river, too.
Since we've visited the sights of Memphis several times, we chose not to do touristy things this time; besides, the steady rain argued against getting out and about. On the second day, the rain stopped for a while, long enough for Sandy to do some shopping, something that always perks her up!
The day before departure brought about a clearing of skies, allowing for a view like this at sunset:
In a previous post, I expressed my observation of a pattern shift in our fulltime travels, concluding that we had reached a point where we are definitely moving from a 'vacation' mode to a 'destination' mode. I suppose this could be defined as a 'go-somewhere-and-stay-put-for-a-while' stage. It is clearly a paradigm shift--one that seems to be a rite of passage at some point by most who start fulltiming, and it was largely underscored by our realization that we really had nothing left to see in Memphis, having faithfully recorded our previous visits here in this blog, complete with photos.
There is a larger perspective that we have realized: During roughly 50,000 miles of travel in 'vacation' mode, we have seen most of the places in the country that were on our bucket list. With this in mind, our need to continue in such a nomadic fashion is much less compelling. This brings into focus what the obvious next stage of this adventure will be--hanging up the keys. The inevitability of this has been made much more evident in past several months as a surprising number of our fulltiming friends have either left the road or are in the process of doing so, in favor of returning to a stick and brick house. While we've always known that this freewheeling fantasy will come to an end, we confess to being a bit surprised that so many of our comrades are bailing out at one time. Their timing does seem to be coincidental, however, there being diverse and understandable reasons for having actuated their exit strategy, but we're still trying to get our heads around it.
That doesn't mean we're anywhere nearly done with our travels, however. For example, we would like to make another long trip through the western U. S. and up through California to the Pacific Northwest. We're still looking for the ideal cool place to get away from the hot Texas summers. Last summer in Colorado was nice, but the few parks that met our preferences there were fiendishly expensive. We don't think our requirements are all that far out--a nice, safe park with hard surface sites, good cell service and not too far from a metropolitan area. We're thinking we might take a look somewhere on the Olympic peninsula in northwest Washington state next summer.
We will have it all captured in this blog, of course and, as we approach our own exit from fulltiming--whenever that may be--we'll be able to reminisce about it as much as we like in the pages of Phannie and Mae.
Leaving Memphis, we traveled to Texarkana for the next stop and almost met up there with good friends Jackie and Steve who, unknown to us, were not far away from our I-30 route on their way to Houston from Ohio. They encountered a mechanical problem, however, and weren't able to make the rendezvous, much to our disappointment.
The next day took us to Fort Worth for more doctor appointments (these never stop, do they?) and to take in a gospel music concert with friends Don and Ruby, along with Mary Lou and Harvey:
It was good to see these fine folks again, and the good news is that Sandy's hip problem proved not to be arthritis but a bout of tendinitis. After an injection, she feels much better, so we're thankful for that.
After this visit, we set course for Lake Conroe Thousand Trails, where we will remain for a couple of weeks before leaving for Branson, where we will spend Thanksgiving with the family before returning in December for the Christmas holidays. We've also made plans to spend three months in the Rio Grande Valley beginning in January as we follow the sun to a warmer clime.
In the meantime, we're enjoying family time and time with friends here at Thousand Trails. Life is indeed good!
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.