Wednesday, August 17, 2016

RV'ing from (nearly) sea to sea

After a couple of years of talking about it, we pulled the trigger on mixing up our mode of transport to get to Minnesota.  We were all excited...

Logan braved city traffic and our hill - boldly parallel parked this 30' bad boy for the load up....

Xavier insisted we needed some flair - a Rudolph nose.....


We spent the next week 'touring' (that's RV speak for going places).  And along the way learned a few things about RV life.  Our top 10:


1) It's literally all with you!
OK, an obvious one - but how fab it was to just unplug and roll.  We had it ALL
Cool beds up top....


A full on kitchen...

Room to hang out...

And given the '70s style' no seat belts, room to run around (or pee on the move)....
(Zoe's dance party)



2) Load her up so you can just keep going
With a childhood of cross-country drives, I was well coached on the magic of chicken legs & chocolate chip cookies to keep mouths too busy to bicker....

While that time-tested technique proved a winner, the canned wine addition was a serious miss.  Learn from our mistakes...it's seriously weird



3) She drives like a whale
Logan was likely a trucker in a past life - he observed the whale like conditions, but carried on driving a good ~90% of our 2,500 miles...

Meanwhile, my ~10% was accompanied by white knuckles & a strong reluctance to pass...



4) People seriously pimp out their RV's
We thought our 30' was a beast - until we saw the serious scale of some of our neighbors....



From a distance for comparison - ours = center

We also thought ours was festive - until we saw some real RV flair....


Clearly these guys know what they're doing...



5) Even casino parking lots are gorgeous in Reno
Aiming for ease, we booked a site right off the fwy in Reno for the first night.  
Given it was a casino parking lot RV park, we had low expectations.   
But dang....Reno really is more than slots and bad buffets



6) Idaho - well there's a cool water park
I'm sure the rest of Idaho is fab too - but our stop in Meridian (outside of Boise) was solely focused on hitting 'the largest water-park in the NW'....



This one was terrifying....



7) Yellowstone rocks
The scenery is mind blowing....

The wildlife abundant...
(those are Bison - NOT Buffalo by the way)

..and not at all afraid of us

The geysers are just as fantastic as I remember...

...although the kids did not share my fond memories of the sulfur smell

The town of West Yellowstone was also fab - has a gorgeous RV park with a ropes course right next door...




8) Cody is mean to its baby cows
Cody, WY it turns out has more guns than people.  It's a real cowboy like town...thus a western show BBQ was a must

With nightly rodeos and visions of fun bucking bulls, we had to join...
It started with a really long prayer + flag bearing horse ladies...

That said, our San Francisco sensibilities were shocked to see what would clearly count as animal cruelty here...

After roping the baby cow, they flung him on the ground & tied up his legs - Zoe and Xavier screamed when one was caught and cheered aggressively for the baby cows who got away

However they did also participate when the kids were invited to chase baby cows - catch the flag on his tail & win a DQ!
(clearly one need not go overseas to experience a new culture)

While our RV park in Cody was significantly less lush...

...it boasted some cool amenities

And we were able to brush off the dust with some class III fun to top it all off...

Given the heat, we rolled out of town a day early - and felt like hard-core RV'ers taking advantage of Wal-Mart's RV's welcome to stay policy (we were one of about 10)



9) South Dakota: more than you'd expect
Not only on the way, but we were excited about some of SD's attractions....
Yes - a toilet seat that lights so you can find it in the dark!  

Dear friends who moved to S. Dakota & re-did their bathroom had no idea how much time 3 kids could spend playing with all of the functions.  They've never been so clean....

Fab to see the Pay-Crawfords - clearly keepers - welcoming our day 7 grit with a smile!

That said, we experienced the hot end of their extreme weather & learned the AC blowing from the cab isn't quite enough to keep the whole rolling house cool...

We all leveraged frozen treats to cool down..



10) Truck stops sell some serious flair 
In effort to really get into the spirit, we decided to hold a Truck Stop Outfit contest....built outfits as we went, making purchases only at stores that also sell gas.

There was a surprising range of choice....




So much so, Zoe struggled to make a selection...

It's a toss up who 'won'....
Yes - that IS an eagle head cane (NO - it is NOT a 'pimp stick' as his big brother taunted)

As the bulls-eye truck stop target, Logan had massive choice & fit right in....


All in all, a pretty colorful experience....


Here's to summer adventures, random journeys and the joy of a house on wheels!