July 2, 2022 Old Town to Palmetto, FL

We got up and started packing up. We put a lot of our packed bags into the Jeep so when we get home, the unloading will go a little faster. All that we have left is the dry goods and refrigerator/freezes items. We got ready to leave, hooked up the Jeep, and left the campground by 9:45. It was warm and humid with showers predicted in the afternoon. That seems to be the usual weather pattern we’re in right now. We crossed over the historic Suwannee River into the town of Fanning Springs on Highway 27.

Highway 27 would take us all the way to Ocala and I-75. We stopped for fuel one last time in Bronson at an easy in, easy out station and paid $5.69. Traffic wasn’t bad at all on Highway 27 with the 4th of July holiday weekend here. Near Ocala, “horse country”, we passed many beautiful horse farms with miles and miles of fencing and gorgeous horses. Once we hopped on I-75, traffic was heavy and lots of out-of-state license plates.

We drove through rain showers multiple times, but they didn’t last long. Otherwise, the drive home was uneventful and coming home is a little melancholy. We are looking forward to seeing our friends and being at home, but we love to travel the open road, so we’ll look forward to our next getaway. We pulled into Tropic Isles and parked at our Auditorium so we could open up the bus and unload everything.

We unloaded the refrigerator/freezer items and the bags I had packed up. We got everything unloaded before it started to rain again. In the next week or so, the bus will go in for service, we’ll wash the bus, and get it prepped and ready for our next camping trip.

At the house, Auggie got to check out his yard and let the geckos know he was back. We put away most everything we brought into the house and chilled a little after the drive. The temp was 94 and it was humid. It’s always a little emotional coming home when you realize you have to come back to reality. There’s a lot to do to open up the house, empty the shed from all that was stored in it, tune up the yard, and get back into a regular routine. We drove a total of 6,274 miles in the bus, which doesn’t include any side trips that we took with the Jeep. Bob drove all of those miles in the bus and I drove a few in the Jeep. He’s is amazing! We bought 722.9 gallons of diesel fuel and spent $3086.57. We averaged 8.7 miles per gallon. That’s pretty good considering that a lot of that was high altitude mileage! We traversed 10 states in 76 days. We had awesome weather and were not affected much by rain, except for 4 days when we had a quick shower or it rained during the evening hours. We had no major mishaps to impede our plans or enjoyment of anything, but we did have one hurricane scare after we left home and experienced a major dust storm in Terlinqua, TX. We visited 5 national parks, 2 national monuments, 2 gorges, and many other amazing sights. We viewed one total lunar eclipse and had many starry nights and “dark sky” views. We saw a herd of elk, bighorn sheep, deer, antelope, donkeys, coyote, javelinas, and a llama. We saw Stellar Jays, hummingbirds, a golden eagle, scissor-tail flycatchers, magpies, and roadrunners among many other beautiful native birds. We visited some unbelievable areas of the country with beauty beyond our imagination. Here are some other highlights of our trip:

Toured Carlsbad Cavern and viewed the evening bat flight.

Toured the Padre Island National Seashore.

Visited Questa, New Mexico to see the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument, (the “Grand Canyon” of New Mexico) and did the Enchanted Circle Drive.

Viewed the Rio Grande River from many different locations and its convergence with the Red River.

Viewed the “Big Bend” of the Rio Grande River.

Drove and partially walked across the Rio Grand Gorge Bridge.

Visited the “Wall” in El Paso.

Attended an awesome rock crawling event in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

Visited and revisited some beautiful cities–Albuquerque, Taos, Telluride, Durango, Moab, Galveston, and Corpus Christi among others.

Ate Pueblo Indian tacos–twice.

Did some fun off-roading drives in some beautiful areas that not many other people can get to.

Took lots of photos, met some friendly people, and made lots of wonderful memories! Thanks for “traveling along with us”. Until next time…happy trails!

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