Monday, December 12, 2011

A look back......

Well, Christmas is right around the corner, which means 2011 is winding down. Seems like it has been a long year, at least to me! I got to thinking last night about the past year, and it seems like I did a LOT of travelling, or at least a LOT of driving! Lets take a tour shall we?

January found me leaving New Jersey, all the way across Pennsylvania, across the northern tip of West Virginia, across Ohio, across Indiana, finally back home in Illinois.

Just kind of hung out in Illinois in my home town while my new trailer was being built in Georgia. Put up with the cold and the snow and the ice waiting for the call from X-tra Tuff Trailers in Eastman, GA telling me the trailer was done.....waiting...waiting....then the phone rang in late March, my baby was ready for pick-up, and the owner himself told me "shes a beauty!"

I wasted no time!! I think I was packed and in my truck in 30 minutes! Down thru southern Illinois, across Kentucky, down thru Tennessee, down to Georgia, with a few obligatory stops at Waffle Houses in each state for coffee and daily dose of artery clogging hash browns w/gravy! HAVE to stop at Waffle House!! Made it into Eastman, Georgia and my trusty TomTom GPS led me right to the trailer plant!

The owner showed up at 7am, saw my Illinois truck plates, and knew who I was and waved me on in. They had pulled my trailer in to the plant overnight, had it hooked up to 30amp power so I could see that everything worked. It was beautiful! They had built it EXACTLY to my specs! I was thrilled! We went to the office, and sat down to fresh coffee and biscuits and gravy! Love that Southern hospitality! I handed over $3469. in cash and they handed me an envelope with a mess of papers and the title and keys, went outside and hooked me up, and away we went!!

She pulled like a dream, extremely light, 1200 lbs. empty....sometimes I wouldn't even know it was back there! I couldn't just turn around and head back home to the cold, so jumped on I-75 and headed south. Destination--Cedar Key, FL to my friends Pat and Cindy Bonish at the Low Key Hideaway Motel-RV-Tiki Bar!

I knew they wouldn't laugh at my plans, so I pulled in and spent 4 sunshine filled days with them...if you have never been to Cedar Key, you get off at Gainesville onto SR 24 and head west. This is a nice drive, runs into 2 lane after a few miles, then its miles and miles of tall Cypress trees on both sides, and then---water....and then more water....then you hit Cedar Key....a delightful, charming little fishing village....on the Gulf of Mexico. And I mean, right on the gulf!!

But be forewarned, there are no strip malls...hell, there isn't even a McDonalds!! No traffic lights either!! But there are some incredible sunrises!! And if you go, you have GOT to stop at the Low Key Hideaway, and about 5pm, amble back to the Tiki Bar and grab a barstool, order up a cold Coors Lite from Pat or whoever is behind the bar (you may get lucky and the president of the local bank is tending bar!) and prepare yourself for a breathtaking sunset!! Tell Pat I sent you down, he will know who I am!!But before you go, check out one of their and go to their galleries, and check out the pics of their journey! They are both professional photographers, and it shows!

And while you're in Cedar Key, take a stroll towards town and on the left side, look for a little place called Kona Joes Island Cafe! Owned by 2 of the sweetest people, Joe and Edie, they will take good care of you and let you chow down on some really good food!

While hanging out in Cedar Key, I got a call from a guy in Silver Springs, FL just outside Ocala, wanting to know if I would be interested in workamping at his mobile home park/campground? I told him I was in Florida, only about 90 miles away, and he said come on over! So I did, checked the place out, he let me stay a week free, but it wasn't for me....I thanked him but told him no thanks, and I headed out.

Back north thru Florida, but when I got to I-10, jumped on it and headed west. Across the panhandle, spent a few days in Pensacola, then over to Louisiana and I-55 north......up thru Mississippi to Memphis....stayed at a huge Pilot outside Memphis for a few days, then followed I-55 up thru eastern Arkansas, and on up in eastern Missori where I spent a few nights in Cape Girardeau, then on up to St. Louis where I picked up I-70 and headed east back home to Illinois.

Stayed put on a free site at a friends in my hometown who has a 32' fifth wheel, and has a 30amp plug in right next to his house on a flat strip of asphalt. The summer rolled on by, and in late July I got a workamping call in New Mexico.....loaded things up, and back on the road, across Illinois, across Missouri, across and down thru Oklahoma, across the northern tip of Texas, and into New Mexico! The Land of Enchantment held me captive 4 months, long enough to stash away some cash, but it lost its grip on me and I jumped on I-10 and headed west to Quartzsite, AZ where I am now, camped out for free on BLM land.

And now you are all caught up with me! I'm settled in here for the winter I hope, looking for a workamping gig for next year! Would love to stay out here in the west, just so much to see out here! In the meantime, will just enjoy sunsets like this...

Was setting outside my trailer last night, enjoying a salad from Burger King and a steaming hot cup of joe from Pilot, thinking it just doesn't get any better than this.....until tomorrow!


  1. OMG Man...I am so with you. Waffle house is the bomb!

    Love the year recap and can't wait to see what adventures await you next year :)

  2. That's beautiful!!

    Somehow, in my mind you had worked at a Pilot, but a camp area sounds so much more fun.

    brenda from arkansas

  3. Great travel log! Wow. Thanks for sharing. Beautiful sunset too. Glad you had a good day - here's to many more. :)

  4. Brenda, I never worked at a Pilot, but considering how much time I spend at the one here in Quartzsite, I should!! I applied here, but even though the GM here sees me every day getting coffee or setting in my truck on the internet----well, nothing yet. I talked with him, but he has no openings....