Highlights from Another Snowbird Season

For the record, I still consider us full-time RVers, considering we only spent a couple months at Jerry’s Acres last year. It looks like we’ll only be here a few weeks this time, before we head to our favorite workamping job again back at the ranch. Barely enough time to reflect upon some of the most memorable highlights from the past 11 months on the road.

Live Work Dream RV Snowbird Travel Map 2012-2013

Click photos to view them larger, or check out our road trip galleries for more pictures. For details about all our stops this year, see our full-time RVing travel map.

A Couple New Favorite Sites

When we first left last May, we found free boondocking at Turquoise Lake near Leadville, CO. It was only free because the campground had not yet opened for the season, and there was still snow on the ground. But it was still fun roller blading at 10,000′ along the paved roads.

Turquoise Lake Leadville, CO Free RV Boondocking

Thousands of miles later, near the end of this year’s journey, we discovered a new all-time favorite place where we will definitely be heading again. Goosenecks State Park near Bluff, Utah is simply amazing – remote, quiet, dark at night, with absolutely nothing to do but get some work done or go for a run and soak in the magical beauty – just the way we like it!

Goosenecks Utah State Park Free RV Boondocking

We decided not to park to close to the edge since we could let Wyatt run wild here. Luckily we met a fellow traveler who encouraged to look a bit further down the road from the busy parking area where it seemed lots of RVers stopped for just one night. We spent a week and are already looking forward to staying much longer next time.

Goosenecks State Park Utah RV Boondocking on San Juan River

Attractions and Special Events

Speaking of dizzying drop-offs, a more recent highlight from the past year was our recent Jeeping adventure with Kev, the founder of Nü RVers.

Thelma and Louise Point Over Colorado River in Utah

After stopping at the famed location where Thelma and Louise drove off the cliff, we proceeded to climb the most harrowing trail up out of Canyonlands National Park. I’m just thankful I wasn’t driving!

The first attraction we went out of our way to see this year was about nine months earlier before we even left Colorado. The Sand Creek Masacre National Historic Site sits off highway 96 in Eastern Colorado.

Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site

Other sacred sites where it felt like we were treading on hallowed ground were the Civil War battlefields in Virginia that we visited.

Spotsylvania Fredericksburg Civil War Battlefield Canon

Fredericksburg, Virgina was also memorable because that is where we gave our keynote talk at the Greyhounds Rock Take A Bite Out of Canine Cancer conference. It’s the whole reason we headed East this year, to share our story about Jerry and help attendees learn How To Be More Dog.

Burning Leaves at West Virgina RV ParkSpeaking of hallowed ground, another highlight was the spooky hay ride and haunted house at Stony Creek RV Resort in West Virgina. I’m not sure what was scarier though, the abandoned old house decked out for Halloween or the way the campground burned all the leaves in a pile that snaked through all the sites.

Another memorable event was meeting up with a couple of my sisters in Georgia. We don’t get to the East Coast often, so I was happy when one flew down from New York when we visited the other near Atlanta. No big sightseeing to report, it was great just to hang out and catch up with each other. Next stop: Luckenbach, Texas!

Doug Moreland Trio Live at Luckenbach Texas

A year on the road just wouldn’t be the same without our annual pilgrimage to the center of the universe in the Texas hill country. We didn’t get stuck in Luckenbach this time, but we did enjoy a couple nights of cold beer and good music by the Doug Moreland Trio and others while boondocking in the cold.

Weather Report from the Road

Speaking of cold. Another memorable night was the coldest night we ever spent roadside boondocking.

Free Boondocking Sierra Blanco Texas

From the ice on the road and the frost on our breath (inside the rig) the next morning, we realized why they named this tiny Texas town Sierra Blanco. As far as weather goes, I must mention Hurricane Sandy. Normally we high-tail it in the other direction when tornadoes or other major weather systems are in our path. But with our conference date in Virginia, we sat this one out about 100 miles south of where Sandy came ashore.

Anza Borrego Dust Storm from RV Window

And speaking of sandy, one more memorable weather event this year was the three-day sandstorm that drove us away from Borrego Springs, back to the Slabs earlier than we wanted. But enough about the weather, let’s talk about some food!

Best Food and Drink on the Road

Rene and I rarely go out. Whenever we do, we make it special, or for a special event. One memorable outing was to the dive bar in Festus, MO where we had to toast Spoonie, since that’s where he was from. But this place was a highlight only for it’s smoke and cheap, bad drinks. Kris would approve.

Oklahoma Joe's Best Kansas City Barbeque

One of the culinary highlights of the year was just a couple days prior at the renowned Oklahoma Joe’s BBQ in Kansas City. This place is a must visit for any meat lover. We lucked out and got there in between the lunch and dinner rushes. The line is usually out the door at this small gas station, and it was starting to form as we were finishing our meal.

Herby K's best Creole Food Shrieveport, LA

The most memorable meal of the year had to be at Herby K’s, in Shrieveport, LA. This 77 year old icon of cajun cooking was just what we were looking for as we approached the Louisiana border and realized we hadn’t yet had any creole food. Disregard any reviews you may read about this being in a “bad” part of town. While the neighborhood has clearly seen better times, long ago, the clientele that kept pouring in as we left were obviously well to-do and knew that the best food is often found in a discreet little hole in the wall.

The Year in Summary

For most of the past year, we seemed to be traveling on somebody else’s clock. Much of it was spent preparing for our first public speaking engagement, and then we had to deal with Wyatt and spent far too long at Rainbow’s End. After that we made a B-line for a belated holiday visit with la familia. Once back on the road again, we were on our own time. We’ve enjoyed the last month or so as we worked our way back to the mountains.

Crystal Lakes Moose Red Feather Lakes CO

We got back just in time to be greeted by a Moose and a major snow storm headed our way. But not until after the most harrowing drive ever, over Vail Pass, in the wet snow, after dark. Not fun, but better than the alternative of driving over the next morning with the risk of it being iced over, or closed.

Snowbirds Return to the Snow

It’s good to be “home” – wherever we park it.

What has been the highlight of your journey recently?

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3 Responses to “Highlights from Another Snowbird Season”

  1. I really enjoyed your tribute to Spoonie…and have Herby’s on my destination map. What a plate full…mouth watering.

  2. Hey Jim,

    One of the things I look forward to is trying the food and finding good places to eat.

    I envy you the ranch job. Growing up on a farm and owning a horse farm for ten years. I hope to land some work camping jobs like this one and I read your older post on the Organic farm you did in Florida.

    I look forward to seeing what kind of trouble you get into this year, I mean your adventures this year 🙂

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