Finding Perpetual Spring – Where We’ve Been
If you talked to Kelly or me before we set off in the RV (or read the first version of our “Spring Route” on this blog), you probably heard big plans of heading down to the Florida Gulf Coast. Well… we didn’t quite make it there (yet). The main reason we were so eager to head south was because we had just suffered through a long winter in Chicago. Even more importantly, we needed to de-winterize our RV to make sure all the plumbing worked (surprise: no). Also, driving an RV in the snow or ice is something one should try to avoid at all costs. So, it made sense to us that we should start heading south and keep going until we saw beaches and sand and sunshine. However, complications arise.
Since I landed a full-time job, I have to be working normal business hours during the week for the most part. This means it is easiest for us to spend Monday through Friday at a fixed location, and then travel to a new destination over the weekend. We have also learned that trying to drive more than 5-6 hours in a day in the RV is miserable. There is a lot of take down and set up involved with each move, so there is an hour or so before departure that we will be busy doing things, and then it takes us an hour or so after we’ve arrived to set up shop. The day can get really full and long when you’re trying to gain more than about 250 miles. (We also drive about 55 – 60 mph on the highway, so that’s not helping our cause.)
So, when we finally set out, we quickly realized that getting all the way to the Gulf Coast and then back up to Northern Minnesota by the beginning of June was going to be pushing it, especially if we wanted to spend a week at each stop. The last thing we want to do it spend too much driving and not enough easing into things. We have enough to worry about with making sure this RV is up and running and settling into our new lives without trying to hurry from one place to the next. So we had to do some plan-changing, which we happily did. That’s one of the benefits of this lifestyle – total flexibility. Instead of heading so far south, we have basically stuck around the Southern Midwest.
This strikes us as kind of hilarious. We came from Chicago, drove to Michigan, and set off on this BIG FANTASTIC JOURNEY – and we haven’t even left the Midwest!! Not that the Midwest isn’t beautiful and charming in it’s own right – it IS. We have been loving it, and exploring the crap out of it, but ultimately, we’ve been here before. It’s mostly flat, with some beautiful rolling farmland, and a whole lot of cows. Where are the mountains?? Where are the oceans?? Where are the grand National Parks??
Patience. The best part about this is, we are having SO much fun, and we haven’t even seen anything new yet! In fact, it would almost be an overload if we were to experience the drastic changes that come with living in an RV coupled with the novelty of different surroundings. It’s probably a good thing we’ve had this time to warm up, get used to our lives, settle in a bit and take it slow, before we head out to places unknown. We are getting the rhythm down.
The other best part: It has been spring FOREVER and it has no signs of slowing down. We hit that sweet spot of heading far south enough that the leaves have come out, the flowers are blooming, the birds are chirping, and the weather has been a glorious 60-70 degrees pretty much the entire time we’ve been gone (and… some rain, yes, but that’s how spring goes). It hasn’t been too hot or too cold, it’s just been pleasant. Also – no mosquitos to speak of. And now, as it starts to heat up here, we will begin to wind our way slowly north up to Minnesota, where spring is only now really beginning. We’ll get to do it all over again! We didn’t mean to, but I think we planned this just right – perpetual spring.
Here you will find a map of our route – complete with all our “important stops.” This link will allow you to explore in more detail where we’ve been.
Below is a quick snapshot.