Why These RV Living Beginners Loved Wandering In The Winter
State and National Parks are serene.
In many of the parks where were stayed, there were usually only one or two other rigs. And often we were far apart so it felt like we were alone. In New Mexico, it snowed for an entire day. We woke up early to see the sun rise on a magical, blue-tinted snow-covered wonderland. As we walked around the campground, it was the quietest time I have ever experienced in my life. All I could hear were the trees rustling in the chilly air. All of my senses experienced so much joy that I can’t even describe it to this day.
At a park in Oklahoma a couple of months later, we hunkered down through an electrical storm through the afternoon and evening and just one night later, the woods came alive with cicadas and frogs! This signaled the nearness of Spring! The weather was warming up and the woods were transitioning from brown to green.
The cold weather, the “fireplace”, the snuggling.
Baby it’s was cold outside. When there was something we wanted to see, we did it anyway. Like Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon in Utah.
In Arizona at Lake Powell, we drove all the way to Flagstaff to have lunch at Cracker Barrel and see the beautiful painted canyons on the way. As we pulled in, the snow began to fall. It snowed all through lunch, while we got gas and as we drove out of Flagstaff. During the summer, the beaches of Lake Powell are usually full of people and the water spotted with boats and jet skis, but when we were there, it was bright, sunny, windy and cold! We walked on the parts of beaches that people don’t see as they’re usually under water. We found some personal items interspersed with so many shells.
Four Corners in, well you know, Four Corners, a storm was approaching the next day so we trekked out to Four Corners, from Colorado, with a few extra layers and a date with some newly found besties that we met at Lake Powell. Our paths had crossed again and couldn’t resist meeting up again.
But the day after that…. a huge snow storm covered Colorado. Big even for them. We spent a couple of days watching the snowfall from our Adventure Palace windows in our comfy pants and socks in front of the “fireplace”, sipping soup and watching tv.
But the coldest night I remember having was the first week of January 2019 at Lake Casitas in Ojai, CA. New Year’s Day we woke up to a frozen water hookup. We had no water reserved at this point. We had no coffee, couldn’t shower for a couple of hours until it thawed.
Valentines week we stayed at Lake San Antonio for about a week. This was one of those place where we were the only people that we could see in that huge campground. It rained, no lie, for at least three days!!! That includes Valentines Day. Cute story here: the morning of the 14th, I looked outside at a tree that was too close to The Palace for comfort. The weather was pretty intense and I worried it might fall on us. It was aimed right at the bed slide on the side where he sleeps. He wasn’t worried but I was. I must’ve looked pretty anxious because he went outside in the pouring rain and awful wind and backed up the truck to the hitch, escorted me to the truck so I wouldn’t get wet, and moved The Palace to a nearby site on a hill. When we got to the new spot, he backed that sucker in and set it up himself.
The Simple Life: Bonding as a couple.
First bonding moment was when we unloaded so much of our “stuff” before we even got into the RV itself. It is very “challenging” to convince yourself to let go of material things. There is an emotional aspect to it that is difficult. Doing this together taught us things about each other.
My husband is very detail-oriented and plans everything, anticipating possible dangers and mishaps. I tease him about his OCD but I really appreciated it on the road. Because of him, I always felt safe enough that I really let myself enjoy the unpredictable and somewhat scary weather.
Learning how to do everything brings you together as well. Yep, there are things you should research and videos to help you with things that you wouldn’t think about. Like the basics of hooking up the sewer line (ick). I can’t tell you how many people we observed doing everything wrong and how painful their struggles looked.
Take offs and landings are a HUGE bonding experience! It’s probably my least favorite part (But then, I don’t have to hook up the sewer, sooooo). It can be a frustrating job for both the driver and the navigator. It’s very easy to lose your cool with your partner. Think about it. The driver is responsible for this long trailer and you are their eyes. Lots of pressure. I think we only had one or two heated incidents. But when it starts to click and you get it done quickly, it’s an amazing feeling and the high fives are strong! We’re really good at it now. Teamwork makes the dream work, as that say.
Brought appreciation for simple luxuries
For example, a long, hot shower. Most of the places we camped at didn’t have sewer. This means that you only have so much room for dirty water, since it can’t just drain onto the ground. This means spot showers. You know, soap up, scrub, then a couple shots of water to rinse. Same with your hair.
So when we camped at places with sewer and unlimited outgoing water, it was pretty exciting to take a long, hot one.
For most of our trip, we were in very rural areas with no recognizable grocery stores. We are pretty conscious of what we eat and fresh produce is a huge part of that. But in the winter when those kinds of things aren’t in season and you’re way out in smaller communities, there wasn’t much produce and what they had was in good shape. Also, being from Souther California where you can literally find anything in any store, we found that smaller communities have only what that community eats or uses. Let me tell you, once you leave California, you discover that some places only eat things like iceberg lettuce or that Dole bag salad with shredded carrots and cabbage. That particular scenario was quite common as we went through middle America.
So when we made it to Hot Springs, Arkansas and found the big block shopping centers with the corporate chain stores, we were extremely happy. We were able to buy some things that we hadn’t been able to find for weeks. I have a new respect for the consistency of corporate America. Didn’t used to be a huge fan but now I see the advantage of them.
These RV Living Beginners Enjoyed Traveling in the winter.
As crazy as it was to plan our traveling around the rain, snow and flooding, it really was exciting. Because we did our research and kept track of the weather, we were able to have fun and stay safe and comfortable. Next time we brave the winter in our Palace, we’ll be season-ed veterans, get it? Wah-wah-wah.