Our first stop was a free core of engineers campground on Sardis Lake in Mississippi. We took a pretty decent detour off the interstate to check this lake out. The lake was fantastic, the roads getting to and from the interstate were abhorrent. Not only were they in terrible shape, threatening to rattle us to pieces, but every inch of the roadside for almost 20 miles was covered in trash! We'd never seen anything like it. Certainly made us not want to return to Mississippi...
The road getting down to the lake was the best stretch of pavement we hit since leaving the interstate.
Look what we found!!
Derby had this WHOLE BEACH to herself!!
She couldn't contain herself
We waited to head out until after the sun rose the next morning, wanted to get some photographs.
Here we go! Next overnight stop was another free core of engineers campground on Lake Eufaula in Oklahoma.
Another fun little tiny road getting down to the water.
Again had the place to ourselves, but no beach for Derby this time.
Next up was New Mexico!! We planned on spending a few days with my folks in Albuquerque. Restock the rig, dewinterize, get a few to-dos done. Well, it's wise to keep a close eye on the weather in early January, even in New Mexico....
There was a massive snow front moving across the state, bringing frigid temps from Canada. Talking lows -10 to -15F. Yeah, that's not something we'll be tolerating in a 24 year old rig! We got as far as we could, as we were driving right into the storm.
Hello Roadway Inn, Tucumcari.
How you know you're traveling with a New Mexico native, and well, NOT a native. *wink
We got all settled in to our motel room just as the snow was starting to fall. Didn't take long for the roads to turn to ice as the temperatures plummeted. 30 minutes after we parked, Lucy and Fanny looked like this!
I don't remember the overnight low that night, but I do know it didn't get above the single digits the following day. We were up early just in case we could hit the road.... Nope! Not that much snow, but there is a lot of open interstate out here and it just wasn't worth the risk.
We all spent pretty much the entire day inside. Thankfully Lucy was stocked well enough, we didn't have to go anywhere for food or drink. Derby had ZERO interest in going outside, so took out her energy in the motel room.
Karla and I squirreled the day taking full advantage of the good wifi. Watched the first season of Grand Tour along with a few movies.
Well that was fun for a few hours maybe.... That night was even colder as the clouds had moved on, we weren't sure if the roads would be clear. The next day I took a really close look at every NMDOT camera I could find and thanks to the plow crews we were good to go!
Clear pavement, yeeeeeessss.
Now, remember on our trip to Kentucky from Colorado we had an inner dually blow and we felt a vibration before it happened? Felt that vibration again! We had only replaced the the four rear tires and had just kept a close eye on the fronts. So far they hadn't been a problem, but now we had one starting to de-laminate. Thankfully now we knew what it felt like BEFORE it exploded, so we safetly got off the interstate to a truck stop. Karla's turn!
Back on the road, Karla called ahead to a Big-O Tires in Albuquerque. They had the right size tires and could see us as soon as we got into town. Woot!
New tires up front, we dropped Fanny off at an old family friends' place. Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Sellers!
What is that, our house in front of my parents' house? Haha, something really awesome about that!
Sans the trailer, Lucy fit just fine in the overflow parking in their complex. It was perfect, we spent the next few days getting some projects done, cleaning, de-winterizing the water pipes and stocking.
We needed to figure out a way to keep Derby warm when we weren't plugged in at a campground (we had been using a heated pad for her). Came up with this brilliant idea, it's a plastic storage box! Been working like a charm since and she adores it. Dad even made a little name tag for her.
Great food, even better company. Thanks Mom and Dad for hosting us and helping so much with our projects! We were ready for our final 2 days to get to Quartzsite, AZ.
Beautiful weather, we headed south on 25 to 40 to avoid any more snow.
Best travel partners.
No lake for our final stopover, but a nice quiet spot near Willcox, AZ.
Check out the moon rise as the sun was setting.
Then we were treated to this! The skies are the hallmark of the southwest.
Life never gets boring when the view out your home's windows is always changing.
One last bit of highway to hit before Quartzsite and the weather held nicely.
Found ourselves a great spot with the Xscapers group, an RV club of "working age full timers." We'd spend the next two weeks with them making friends and learning all sorts of things. It would also be our first time seriously boondocking off grid, we were grateful for the mentorship and the myriad of resources available in Quartzsite for RVers.