The year started off spending a couple of months in California. One of the things we learned was that when you stay long periods of time in one location, the opportunity to meet and get to know people rises. "Snowbirds" from Canada flock to California in the winter, and the campground was about 75% Canadian and 25% US! One lovely couple camped next to us was from Calgary and we had the joy of getting to know them. When I shared that I had always wanted to visit Calgary and see the Stampede they invited us to their home and to come see the Stampede. Their daughter works for it as well! We ended up taking them up on their offer, and even leaving the rig there for an extra few days and traveling on up to Banff and Lake Louise. Our friendship has continued and we will be meeting up with them again this spring in the US.
We were able to see 9 National Parks in 4 states and enjoyed every one of them! Each one different from the other. Yes, we have a favorite (always asked that), it's the Grand Tetons in Wyoming. They just took our breath away. I've gone on and on in other blogs about our National Parks, so I won't again here, but let me just say one more time, that what a blessing we have in this country. The natural beauty is only something you can truly enjoy in person, no picture can do it justice. If you can give yourself one gift, give yourself a trip (s) to our National Park (s), you won't ever forget it. Better than a trip to Europe - honest!
We also went to our first BIG RV Rally this year. It was put on by the Family Motor Coach Assoc. and held in Gillette WY. Hundreds of RVs and people gathered togethers for 4 days in the rain to have fun and attend classes and shop! The "campground" was a big dirt field that quickly turned into a mud pond that was a hoot getting out of, but get a bunch of RV'ers together and what you have is a bunch of "friends" helping each other, laughing and having a good time doing it! It was informational and fun! We even ran into friends there we had met the year before in Red Bay AL (at the Allegro Manufacturing Plant) - and ran into them a couple of times in our travels! Love that! I'd post on FB a picture of our day, she'd see it and say, hey, we are here too, where are you? Then we would find each other and get together! What a hoot!
We camped at 270 campgrounds this year and spent a little under $7900. The most expensive campground was in Canada at $57 a night, in the US, it was in San Jose CA (big surprise!) at $45 and the lowest was in eastern Washington at $10. We traveled 6000 less miles this year, for a total of 11,569 and spent a little under $6800 in gas.
We celebrated two weddings and two baptisms and the news of an up-coming new grandchild. The tough part of our year was that we lost 7 dear people. 3 family members and 4 special friends. That hurt. It reminded us how precious life is, and how important you have to live each moment, share it, and love those around you - be in the moment. That's why we do what we do. That's why we are continuing on for another year. We are still loving this life we lead, there is still so much to see! There are 10 states we still haven't gotten to! Friends and family we need to spend time with.
..so, 2014, here we come!