Recently I used one of those 'what states have you visited' quizzes to show where I've traveled. So far this year these are the states we have been through/to since leaving Florida in July. You can see that so far it has been one big loop and that as the weather cools we've headed south to keep warm. Our major goal this year was to get to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming before the weather got bad. We managed that (partly thanks to the amazing Peggy L. Henderson and her hero) but still had a bit of snow one day. We're getting closer and closer to finishing the loop as we move through Texas and will end up back in Florida at the home base for the coldest parts of the winter. However, the adventure is not over as we plan on going to Alaska next year. Throughout these past few months we've been flying by the seat of our pants and surprisingly enough it has worked fairly well. Part of me wonders if this is in response to years of super organized and efficient teaching time. Both of us were those annoying sorts who turned up early to get everything ready to go each day and spent loads of time planning, organizing, scheduling, grading and all the other teachery type things. Now we're free from the daily grind we might be rebelling against schedules. I do believe we will have to start doing more of the schedule thing after this winter simply so that we can stop and visit with so many of you who are following us and encouraging our adventures.
As the journey continues we find little ways to keep us rolling efficiently such as truck snacks. Truck snacks are a wonderful thing, they are the snacks you keep in the truck as you pull your trailer to your next destination that you can just break out and nibble when you feel those subtle pangs of hunger along the way. Our original truck snacks were yogurt covered pretzels and we kept the container they came in so that we can keep refilling it. We've had Nutter Butters, Chips Ahoy, and peanut butter sandwich cookies. Trucks snacks are a really little and simple thing but they serve a big purpose. To begin with, they stay in the truck and we do not eat them in between travels, they are only for those moments when it's not time to eat but you need a snack. So why is this important? One major reasons to always have truck snacks is because then you don't stop and spend the money for food items in gas stations or other places. It's not uncommon to be driving somewhere after a leisurely breakfast only to feel the pangs on hunger by mid morning. We try not to push our travel time to hard and usually only drive 2-4 hours on a travel day but because we move slow already to conserve on fuel expenditures stopping often because you need some munchies is going to cut into that time even more. So it's truck snacks all the way.
Along with truck snacks there are other little details to consider to outfit your rig as you roll. We have never had travel mugs until now but we purchased two this summer and double checked to be sure that they fit in the cup holders in the truck console. We also keep items like paperbacks and author cards and pens in the truck as well so that we can share them with people we meet. It is so much fun to just say thank you to a place of business that provides free services for campers. This past month we stopped at a free dump site in Pima Arizona at a business that sold RV parts. They had water and a dumpsite open 24/7 . It is customary when using these facilities to purchase something but since our camper is pretty new we didn't need anything. I took a few moments to talk to the proprietress and offered her a book. It was really fun to see her face light up with such a simple action.
Rolling and Writing, you never know what you'll need next but it's always a good idea to over prepare just a smidgen.