January 1, 2016 – When reflecting on all the blessings God has bestowed upon us this year once again we were back on the road traveling. During this year’s travels we explored all of the western states from the top to the bottom of our country. Here’s a map showing where we traveled this year. Almost 8,000 miles of travel!!
The western states of America are huge states, so traveling through them took quite a while. There are huge deserts, almost no grass, beautiful mountains and canyons, cactus, caves, volcanoes, tumble weeds, dust storms, very low humidity, and so much more there that this old Louisiana couple were blessed to experience. There were fun days, learning days, oohs and aahs days. Each new day brought with it a breathtaking adventure and we loved every minute of it. We always TRY to rest in between adventures. Sometimes that doesn’t work out and we are on the go everyday. We appreciate our down time when those resting days happen.
Each month of the year below is a link to our blog’s posts for that month. If anything below makes you want to find out more, please click on the link to take you there! It will open in a new window so you can always come back to this page.
January through April 2015 found us in full construction mode building our new house in Amite, Louisiana
From the slab, to the framing, adding plumbing and electricity, then sheet rocking, roofing and siding, painting, wood trimming, appliances, bathroom and kitchen equipment, counter tops, cabinets and doors finished up the house. Roy built our storage building and the water well shed to match the house. Pine trees were pruned and thinned out and seemingly tons of dirt were brought in and pushed around all over the property. A gushing waterway was harnessed and a nice grassy area created in the back by the pond.
On the RV side there was a patio poured, gravel pad created for Dora and full hook ups installed! Landscaping for the house and our RV space wrapped it all up. What a wild and wonderful experience that time was.
Madisyn’s 6th birthday, Easter with the family, Madisyn’s kindergarten graduation all took place while we were home in Amite and we loved being at each one! We got to spend lots of special time with Madisyn fishing in our pond, rolling down our hill and planting flowers and plants. In addition to getting to visit with many friends and family while we were home we ended our time home at our church’s annual picnic at Camp Living Waters where we ate, swam, slid down the large slide and visited!
We found wonderful folks to rent our house to and we started making traveling plans.
In early May we set out to live on the road again. This year’s journey took us through every state out west. Our route took us through: Louisiana, Arkansas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and back to Louisiana.
Month by month here’s where we traveled to and what we saw! A link to that month’s main page in the blog is provided next to each month. If something catches your interest and you want to see more about it you can click on that and go there!
While staying at Angler’s Holiday Mountain Resort in Mountain View, Arkansas the river waters rose to overflowing.
Banjo and guitar pickin in the square several times
Melons Country store
City Park in town
Ozark Folk Center State Park in Mountain View
Loco Ropes Zip lining
Blanchard Springs Cave
While staying at Terra Starr Park in Checotah, OK( near Tulsa, OK) we traveled to Broken Arrow, Oklahoma to see Matt and Alanna Traylor and their girls! We visited with them and went to church with them.
We also enjoyed:
Oklahoma Renaissance Festival in Muskogee, OK near Tulsa
Myriad Gardens OK City–One of Oklahoma City’s public spaces, offering its visitors a 15 acre natural escape in the very heart of the metro known as downtown Oklahoma City.
Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory within the Gardens grounds
Outdoor Symbolic Memorial in Oklahoma City where the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building was bombed on April 19, 1995
While staying at the Shawnee Exposition Center in Shawnee, OK we visited with Susan Randels, my childhood pastor’s daughter, who was my dear friend throughout my childhood and my youth!
While staying at Spring Lake RV Resort in Halstead, Kansas we toured the City of Wichita and we enjoyed:
Wichita River Fest a big festival around parts of downtown Wichita. We got free bottles of Sweet Baby Rays there!
STRATACA Underground Salt Museum – A Journey Into The Dark – a subterranean adventure 650 feet below the earth’s surface in Halstead
The Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center in Halstead
Along our travels in Kansas we stopped in Meade Kansas – Dalton Gang Hideout
Shady Grove RV Campground in Seibert, Colorado – our least liked park and city. No internet, nothing at all to do and nothing within many miles of us! When you’ve just arrived in Colorado that’s not the place to be stuck at!
Between Seibert and Monument we toured the Buffalo Bill Cultural Center
While staying at Colorado Heights RV Park in Monument, Colorado we enjoyed:
Garden of the Gods
Pikes Peak by car – Boots!
Pikes Peak by Cog Railway
US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs
Red Rock Canyon
Olympic Training Center in Manitou
North Pole in Cascade, CO
Cave of the Winds
We drove to Denver, Colorado to enjoyed:
Sports Authority Field at Mile High Denver Broncos and
Colorado Rockie’s stadium Coors Field
Diamond Campground in Woodland Park, Colorado was our favorite park along our travels. The park itself was nice but what made it for us was the friendly seasonal folks who lived there from May to October every year. We may like to do that in the future!
While staying there we enjoyed:
Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine and the Heritage Center – under ground mining
Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mining Company (CC&V)in Victor, Colorado – open pit mining
While staying at Wind River View Campground in Boulder, Wyoming we enjoyed:
Big Piney Chuckwagon BBQ at Sublette County Fairgrounds for 4th of July
Pinedale Aquatic Center where we enjoyed swimming and playing
Green River Rendezvous and Pageant
Rendezvous Historical Tour
Pitchfork Western Fondue
Native American Drum and Dance Performance in Boulder
Rendezvous Beard Shaving
While staying at Gros Ventre Campground (a National Park Service campground) near Grand Tetons we enjoyed:
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Grand Teton Mountain Range – Jackson Lake Dam Not far from our campground is a beautiful 44 mile scenic route around the Grand Teton|
While staying at Canyon Campground – a United States Forest Service campground (part of Gallatin National Forest which connects to Yellowstone National Park) we enjoyed:
Two days of touring Yellowstone National Park – Old Faithful Geyser
While staying at Conestoga Campground in White Sulphur Springs, Montana where we enjoyed:
Castle Museum and Carriage House, known by locals as ‘The Castle’.
Springdale Hutterite Colony and the Hutterite’s Farmer’s Market
We did not see a Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, KMart, Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Burger King or other big chain stores in over a month.
Glacier National Park – four hours from our park so it took a very long day to tour it
While staying at Indian Creek Campground in Deer Lodge, Montana – town with lots of museums, we enjoyed:
Frontier Montana Museum
Yesterday’s Playthings Raggedy Ann and Andy and other dolls
Old Prison Museum and Montana Auto Museum
Cottonwood City was a neat little replica of Deer Lodge in the old days
Left Deer Lodge, Montana and traveled to the RV repair shop at Western States CAT for several hours having a new alternator installed
Stayed overnight at Walmart in Smelterville, Idaho
Stayed over night at Walmart
Tri County Batteries shop in Kinnewick, Washington – replaced four house batteries
While staying at Cascade Meadows RV Resort in La Pine, Oregon we enjoyed:
The Peter Skene Ogden State Scenic Viewpoint, in Terrebonne,Oregon
Newberry National Volcanic Monument in Deschutes National Forest
High Desert Museum in Bend, Oregon
Lava Land and Lava Butte
Lava River Cave in Bend, Oregon – a cave I had a difficult time in
La Pine State Park, in La Pine, Oregon
While staying at Kamp Klamath RV Resort in Klamath, CA we enjoyed:
Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park
Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park
Gold Bluffs Beach in the Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
Trees of Mystery
Fern Canyon, an unforgettable natural wonder that Steven Spielberg chose as a location for Jurassic Park 2: The Lost World.
While staying at Lighthouse Marina and RV Resort in Isleton, California, we enjoyed:
Meeting my boss Hillary in person after working for her for over a year and a half
San Francisco Bay Ferry from the Port of Oakland to Pier 41 in San Francisco
Mumm Napa winery tour and tastings
Golden Gate Park, Conservatory and Golden Gate Bridge
Lombard Street – crooked street
San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge. A beautiful structure that goes through Treasure Island in the Bay
Drove to Fairfield, California to tour the Jelly Belly Jelly Bean factory
Mumm Napa winery for a tour and tastings
Stayed at Desert Palms RV Park in Bakersfield, CA
While staying at Riviera RV Park, in Las Vegas, NV we enjoyed:
Strolling the Las Vegas Strip and seeing:
Bellagio, Mirage, Flamingo, Harrah’s, Ceasars Palace, Paris, Venetian, MGM Grand, Circus Circus, Binion Hotels
High Roller ferris type wheel
Hershey’s Chocolate World and an M&M Chocolate World
I think you can see that September was our busiest month!
Grand Canyon – North and South Rims
Slept one night in Marble Canyon on the road between the rims
Arizona City, Arizona – Met Curtis Coleman, Founder and Owner of RVillage which I work for. We stayed at Curtis’ home playing grandparents to his doggie Augie while he was out of town.
Stayed overnight in Fort Willcox RV Park in Willcox, AZ (where we had a homemade apple pie waiting and free waffles and coffee for breakfast!!)
While staying at Edgington RV Park in Alamogordo, NM, we enjoyed:
White Sands Monument
McGinn’s Pistachio Tree Ranch
Old Apple Barn
Bishop’s Landing RV Resort in Willis, TX – love this town. If I ever had to live permanently elsewhere I believe this little town would be near the top of my list!
Chauvin’s RV Resort in Amite, LA – yes that’s us and that’s our home for the holidays!
While home for the holidays we were extremely blessed to be allowed into the lives of Chip’s fiance Misty and her daughter Kallie. Chip proposed to Misty soon after we returned and we’ve been able to spend time getting to know them and learning to love them. Kallie is a super cool teenager with beauty inside and out!
We spent time with all of them over the holidays fishing, playing and visiting. Thanksgiving was spent with my sister’s family!
We got to enjoy so many of the Christmas activities at our church. Our new Pastor and Minister of Music are wonderful gifts from God. We attended Christmas Eve Candelight Worship Service there with Chip’s family and it was perfect! Being in God’s house with family is as good as it gets!
Our family visit to Celebration in the Oaks at City Park in New Orleans was a highlight of our time at home.
Gasoline and Diesel prices fell throughout the year. This is what it is now in Louisiana!
2016 will find the Chauvins headed to Tennessee for Roy to have full knee replacement surgery. Exploring various parts of the East going all the way up to Canada and all along the east coast is our travel plan for 2016 and 2017. Shorter trips than before, with a month or so at home in between, is the only change. As you can see above we saw so much this year it was way overwhelming. We’d like to not be overwhelmed and get to enjoy each stop more. We are still committed to living in our RV since we love it!
We hope to bring our granddaughters along with us on some of our summer travels.
My work with RVillage increased a lot this year so we are better financially situated to continue seeing this beautiful country of ours!
That’s it! God Bless all of You and I hope your 2016 is as super dooper as we hope ours will be!
Click on the links below to go there!
Wacky Wonderful Wednesdays published on Wednesdays
Some Things I Learned About Dementia published randomly