Phannie

Phannie
Photo taken at Winchester Bay, Oregon

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Back in Texas and Making Winter Plans

At Lake Conroe Thousand Trails, Willis, Texas...

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.




8 comments:

  1. I have well evolved into the go places and stay to do certain things mode. Hanging up the keys has been in my thoughts but I feel that the rolling just to be rolling was what I wanted to give up. For example in late summer I decided I wanted to be in Rockport Tx again for the fall flounder runs, so I came here. After 3 months I will be rolling in December for the Big Bend NP area again to do saturation looking around there. I figure I will keep on rolling for a good while since the grandkids are in north Alabama where it is too miserable cold November through March for my far south blood. So 5-6 months in summer in North Alabama and the rest of the year in 1-3 locations of warmer weather. It will/has really cut my fuel bill for the last couple of years. I thoroughly enjoy your blog by the way.

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    1. Thanks, Barney! I enjoy reading your adventures, too;I never miss a post.

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  2. Nice the hear from you again and we have only been full-time for 12 years. not ready to hang up the keys yet. Our health will bring that one. being from Canada we want to get away from the cold and snow as long as possible. Keep on doing what you and we too love reading your postings.

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    1. You're so kind, George. I enjoy your blog, and I've used some of your recipes, too. Nice job!

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  3. I find it interesting that travel preferences are fluid, with changes often depending on the stage of life a person is in. As young adults and then later as parents raising a family, our past travels were limited by vacation time available and school schedules. Our vacation days were always fun-filled, but jam-packed. Now those days are behind us (as bittersweet as that may be), and Alan and I have been taking great pleasure in what we call just "poking around" whether we're on the road or at home. Exploring new bike trails, trying a different bakery, admiring the architecture in quaint little towns and big cities, enjoying local foods and the shops and restaurants that offer them - all new adventures but at a slower, more relaxed pace. Although I don't think we'll ever go full time due to family and business commitments, I can definitely see us road tripping for many, many more years to come. Couldn't possibly hang up our traveling shoes until we meet you and Sandy anyway!

    So glad that the Doc provided better news than what Sandy was expecting. Travel safely, you two!

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    1. Hi, Mary! I agree that age and life stage has a lot to do with how we do our traveling. We were so glad to be rid of the confinement of employment, so as to allow mere whimsy to dictate our activities, as you mentioned. Like you, we have no plans to change our lifestyle, so long as we are not physically constrained or insensible--the latter condition already being questioned from time to time--and certainly not before we meet up sometime. I hope your travels take you out our way one of these days.

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  4. Yes we too have been most of the places on our bucket list but fear we will be too bored to leave this lifestyle now... guess we will continue to roll until we feel itherwise or the campgrounds price us out of the business...

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  5. Well, that's the problem, isn't it? We think we would be pretty bored, too, if we had to go back to four walls. I hope the campground construction will finally catch up to the horde of RVs being produced nowadays. Otherwise, the prices will just keep going up, I'm afraid. Thanks for stopping by; I always enjoy your blog.

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