One Year Later, Part Three

Three years?! Some days it is hard to believe we’ve been living in an RV for that long, and some days, it feels like much longer. Those latter days are what prompt me to keep writing and recording our adventures, keeping a record of all that we’ve seen and done. I often look back at my own blog to reminisce, but I especially enjoy assembling the “highlight reel” for the yearly retrospective that keeps everything in perspective.

Our travel years do not correspond with the calendar year, rather they run from September to September. My parents have faithfully tracked our wanderings since the beginning, our 9/2020 thru 9/2021 shown in blue on the big map which occupies a section of wall in the dining area of their Ohio home. Though we don’t track total miles, you can see that our third year covered a lot of asphalt.

Now, on to the numbers we do track!

Our biggest expenses were, as expected, campground fees and food.

We visited five National Parks,

one National Seashore, two National Lakeshores, one National Preserve, and two National Wildlife Refuges.

We stayed in six state forests, three Corps of Engineer camps, eleven state parks, three National Forests, seven commercial parks, three county parks, and one recreation area. We boondocked, moochdocked, stayed at a service facility, and a volunteer site once each.

We logged over 400 miles on formal trails. That is our lowest yearly total so far — on foot.

I don’t normally track bicycle miles, but we biked more this past travel year than others, so I went back and added up what I had noted, which wasn’t all of it, and still came up with 150+ miles. No wonder I traded out bike seats a few times.

We also did a fair bit of swimming, the highlights being the crystalline Florida warm springs.

We ate out (ordered to-go, pick-up, drive-thru, whatever) at least 17 times. That’s a LOT for us, even though it fell far short of our twice-a-month allowance.

We saw some gator and ate some gator.

We suffered through and swerved around tropical storms, tornadoes, prescribed burns, and snow.

We got to spend time with many friends, some long-time, some new, all treasured.

And unequivocally cherished time with family.

Now it’s time for us to get a move on once again. This year we’re working our way back to the lower left corner of the country again for winter. We’ll be exploring some new places, re-exploring some familiar places, and reconnecting with more friends/family along the way.

See you on down the road, Faithful Readers!

25 thoughts on “One Year Later, Part Three

  1. Wow, quite the year you guys have had. Love all the details. I keep saying I’m going to keep better notes on our adventures but alas it hasn’t happened yet.
    Your notes and details about places to visit in the future definitely make it to my must see list often.
    COvid has changed how we travel for 2020/2021 and hopeful that 2022 we can visit some new places.
    In a couple months we will start our journey to the desert southwest too and over to SoCal for most of the winter. Would be great to finally meet up with you guys at some point. Providing that Delta doesn’t throw more monkey wrenches in our plans.
    Safe travels south!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the re-cap it’s enough to fill a book….hummmm yeah how about a travel book

    On another note could be its time to plan for the adventure of a lifetime?
    of course I mean a drive to the top of North America!

    I have driven from PA to Prudhoe Bay/Deadhorse at least eight times
    during the 20 years living in Alaska and I am sure it would be the crown jewel of your travels.
    If timed right it would cover your entire traveling year and you could end up back in AZ in time for the following winter.

    I’d be glad to help with whatever knowledge this old man can remember but my last drive from
    Fairbanks/Livengood to Little Elm Texas was in 2016 and my last trip up the Dalton highway to Deadhorse was 2015…

    Liked by 1 person

    • If not for the pandemic, this summer would have been Alaska for us. We have something else in the hopper for next summer, but when Alaska makes it back into the route plan, we surely will consult your expertise!


  3. Reminiscing and wrapping up a year is always fun to do. It brings smile and frowns and say glad we did not go there or done that as you remember past events. Wow 400 foot miles in just one year! Looking back I wished I tracked our hikes it would have been fun to know where our hiking shoes had been.
    Im getting excited you are heading to the southwest, we already have a trail planned for our next hike πŸ™‚
    Hope your southward migration will have not weather events to challenge you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great roundup and collection of images. We even made the cut 😎 I’m so glad I kept track of our travels via the blog. However, I do wish I had done a better job. So, kudos to you for doing such an awesome job of tracking everything. Cheers for more fun travels in the years to come.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Are you kidding? I think you’ve done a wonderful job with your blog! It’s always fun to look back to see where you’ve been in order to see where you’re going. I’m excited for where you’re going, too! Even though it’s the end of one era, it’s the start of a grand new adventure. Can’t wait to catch up on the progress when we get to Phoenix πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  5. So fun to see your wrap up for year three! And even better that we got to be a small part of it. :-)) It’s always surprising and satisfying for me to look back and see all that we saw and did in a year of traveling. Except, of course, for last year, when all we did was stay in Eastpoint, LOL. But you guys came to visit, and that was a highlight of the year!

    Loved wandering again with you through your beautiful photos. And as I’ve said before, you have the BEST travel map out there! Hugs and good travels to you guys as you enter year four…maybe we’ll get to see you in year five? OXOX

    Liked by 2 people

    • Small part?! More like BIG part that even had its own post! Except for traveling in the “wrong” direction between Florida and Wisconsin, I think we did pretty good. We still have an unfulfilled date with you in SE Utah! 😘

      Liked by 2 people

  6. It is amazing what one can accomplish in a year on the road. It’s funny that during our eight years on the road we never did anything like this. I have no idea how many park, monuments, etc that we visited. How many anything, except one year I did record our hiking miles. Interesting how we all approach things differently. Makes for a lot of variety. You had a terrific year!! Enjoy year four!

    Liked by 2 people

    • It really is fascinating to see it all in a summary, isn’t it? I’m not even sure why I do it other than I did it the first year and just wanted to keep it going πŸ˜€ But, don’t you have a total of how many crested saguaro you’ve seen? No teasing, that seems like a total you’d have. I’m looking forward to finding some again, too! We did have a pretty good year, even with some of the bumps in the road. Good enough that there will BE a year four πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

      • Interesting that you mentioned the crested saguaro count. I never counted these either and I do wish I had. I’d love to know how many I’ve seen. I am counting ebike miles, though!!! Haha! Actually the bike keeps track.


  7. You definitely put on some miles and got to see an impressively diverse set of landscapes. You also did a great job of keeping up the social side of things which was no easy task during this (apparently endless) weird time. You know I’m a proponent of writing about all these things because it really is fun to look back and remember all of this stuff. Sometimes it can feel like a hassle, but it’s absolutely worth the effort. Glad you guys are still having fun!

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s weird that it didn’t feel like a lot of miles while it was happening, but looking back at the contrasts from southern Florida to the shores of Lake Superior, it seems massive. I think it’s also motivating to look back a little, especially as we age and something new seems to ache every day — we can be inspired by our past selves to keep our future selves going strong.

      Glad YOU’RE still having fun, too, with more years on the road than us, and just as solid a plan for coming off as we have πŸ˜€ FTRVF!


  8. Can’t believe we made the highlight reel. Our year 1 and year 2 mileage totals were within 200 miles of each other. I was really surprised. I thought we had travelled less. I guess that’s why it’s good to keep up with stats.

    Have fun in AZ. We really enjoyed our time there.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Of course you did πŸ™‚ I bet our first and third years had similar mileage, and I have a feeling this coming year will look more like our second. It all evens out somehow!

      I am both looking forward to and not looking forward to AZ again. We’ve spent so much time there already, and a lot of our time this year will be repeats BUT I am busy looking up new trails, birds, critters, etc. in order to keep it all fresh. And, of course, reconnecting with more dear friends and our prickle frogs will be joys.


  9. In this lifestyle, we look forward, always forward….. but it’s so enjoyable to look back to see where we’ve been and what we’ve done. Thanks for taking us back through your last year.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I agree that looking forward is preferable for the most part, in all of life not just FTRV. This coming year will be a big mix of new and old stuff, and I’m doing my best to find new things in old places. Good thing I like puzzles and planning!


  10. Wow. What a year you’ve had. Glad we got to be a part and look forward to seeing you “next year”. Did you count The Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park? We didn’t hike it but I’m sure we must have taken you guys there, right?

    Liked by 2 people

    • What a treat that we’ll get to reconnect so soon (even though stupid Delta will have us being more cautious) Here’s to playing with goats outside!! I did not count BLCA because we never made a trip in with you guys due to the very smoky air. We all figured the views wouldn’t be any good, so we walked the donkey instead πŸ˜€


  11. This year features a pretty dramatic increase in miles covered, and it is all the more impressive that you accomplished it during pandemic times. I can’t wait to travel again and your summary reminds me of all the great places that are out there waiting to be visited. Thanks for the recap!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Even though we lived it, it’s still a bit of a surprise when I do the yearly wrap-up to see it on the map like that. I guess all three years would look that “big” had we not stayed put for six months last year (or 3.5 months each in the “normal” years.) I’m excited for you to enjoy the areas up here. Fingers crossed for average rain and no wildfire smoke next summer!


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