Thank you for following along with us on our journeys and adventures. 2012 was a great year. We’ve traveled all over the US. Here are some of the highlights from 2012.
- New Years Eve x2
- Winter in the Desert
- Driving the Back Roads
- The French Quarter
- Tropical Paradise at Fort Desoto
- Last of the Lower 48 – North Dakota!
- Bison Head Butt at Yellowstone
- Welcome (back) to Las Vegas
New Years Eve x2
We started and ended 2012 celebrating New Years/ New Years Eve in Las Vegas.
2012 started our great, kissing my sweetheart at the stroke of midnight, under a canopy of spectacular fireworks, while celebrating with 320,000 of our closest friends on the Las Vegas Strip. We all drank and partied until the early hours of the morning. Definitely the biggest New Years party we’ve ever attended.
2012 ended great too, kissing my sweetheart at the stroke of midnight at an New Years Party with about a 1000 of our closest friends. We won tickets to the R&B Concert / party next door at the Eastside Cannery and it was too cold to go to the Strip this year.
Winter in the Desert – Arizona
Spending part of the winter in Arizona desert was priceless. We loved cooking for our friends / family while staying with them, and taking them hiking in the desert where we camped at Lost Dutchman State Park.
The mountains are a very beautiful background, they change color all day as the sun moves across the sky. As the sun is setting they become very vivid and colorful.
We enjoyed seeing the beautiful spring wild flowers bloom. Maui enjoyed watching all the birds, both from the dash and while he was out walking on his leash. We laughed out loud to the sound of road runners dashing across the roof of the RV.
Driving the Back Roads
Getting off the Interstate and cutting across Arizona, New Mexico and Texas on the back roads was amazing. The Salt River Canyon, the quiet almost lonely roads, the star filled nights, the beautiful wildflowers in the Texas hill country.
We would love to drive nothing but back roads on all our trips. Time usually dictates otherwise, but after this journey we will certainly be seeking more back road traveling.
We ate pie so good they named a town after it in Pie Town NM, ‘visited’ Roswell (bought some raw honey), found a quaint little town with a free RV Park in Tatum NM, and stayed in a wonderful shaded city park, Richards Park in Brady Texas.
The French Quarter
The French Quarter was awesome. Our experience was enhanced by ‘Original’ Hurricane cocktails at Pat O’Brien’s and a delicious Pot Luck PoBoy and Truffle Fries at Something Else Cafe. Only complaint about the French Quarter was the very limited time we had there. We will definitely be returning to New Orleans and the French Quarter for a longer visit.
While in New Orleans we stayed at Jude Travel Park, a very small RV park surrounded by barbed wire, a few feet below sea level in the 9th ward. The park itself is not the draw (although nice enough), its the proximity to New Orleans and the free shuttle to the French Quarter.
Tropical Paradise at Fort Desoto
We had the good fortune to return to one of our favorite campgrounds. We spent a couple weeks in paradise, camping on an island off the coast of St Petersburg Florida, at the mouth of Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Our waterfront camp site was on St. Christopher Key at Fort Desoto.
Fort Desoto RV Park is a picture perfect setting with lush tropical plants and palm trees that perfectly frame the views of the bay. Jumping fish, dolphins, lizards, pelicans, ducks, egrets and other birds, squirrels, raccoons, and other wildlife abound… and the perfect place to spend our birthdays!
We had close encounters with birds (stealing steak off the grill) and a raccoon that walked into the RV for a visit.
From Interstate rest areas, to Camp Walmart, we boondocked on several occasions as we traveled in 2012.
Boondocking on Route 66 at the Fort Yellowhorse Trading Post at the Arizona / New Mexico state line is one of my favorites. The area is known locally as “Cave of the Seven Devils.” with caves in the cliffs of the rocky hillside and is surrounded by historic remnants and has animal figures on the cliffs behind it. Now an Indian Trading Post, it was originally built for the 1950 Kirk Douglas film “The Big Carnival” aka Ace in the Hole.
Waking up at the Wyoming / Utah border was also nice / picturesque.
Our time in Ohio went so fast. We did not accomplish all that we had hoped (not even close) but we did get a little time at Geneva State Park.
We did get to spend some quality time with some of our nieces and nephews, but completely missed out on seeing others. Hopefully we can get together another time.
We also attended the family reunion. Seeing so many family members for the first time in years was amazing. Perfect timing as it was just before we started heading west.
Unfortunately missed out on high school reunion as it was scheduled for a couple weeks after we got back on the road again.
Last of the Lower 48 – North Dakota!
We finally made it to North Dakota, the 48th state (our final state in the lower 48). We camped at Buffalo Gap Campground inside the Badlands of North Dakota’s Theodore Roosevelt National Park and at Red Trail Campground in the historic old west town of Medora ND.
The North Dakota Badlands -Theodore Roosevelt National Park is one of the most beautiful places on earth. At first glance the rugged landscape appears inhospitable and barren, it is actually home to a great variety of creatures and plants. We enjoyed close up views of buffalo as they grazed at the road side, walked anywhere they wanted in the park. Prairie dog towns populated with cute little black tailed prairie dogs are in several locations throughout the park. We also spotted some vibrant colored and strikingly marked birds. Wild horses roamed the grasslands. This is now one of our favorite National Parks and we look forward to returning.
Bison Head Butt at Yellowstone
Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton area is one of our favorite places and we were fortunate to be passing through again in 2012. The wildlife watching is unmatched. We spotted elk, goats, moose, bear (even saw a bear swimming in the river). We saw thousands of buffalo, and had a close up encounter with perhaps the biggest buffalo in Yellowstone.
As we sat on the side of the road, in the middle of a grazing herd, the biggest buffalo became excited and began to run across the road (to visit a female on the other side). On his way across he stopped right in front of our RV, and as if showing off for her, the bison headbutted the hood of our RV.
After showing his dominance over the RV, he proceeded to chase the female around our RV and then back across the street. This encounter with the largest land mammal in North America, ended up breaking our hood (broke the latches). We re-enforced it with a bungee cord and continued on.
Welcome (back) to Las Vegas
We have returned to sunny Las Vegas. We decided to spend (at least) a few months at Sam’s Town RV Park again this year (fall/winter season). The Holidays in Las Vegas (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years) are amazing.
And the food, oh the food. The buffets and restaurant choices are endless, inexpensive and delicious! Hard to beat watching the NFL games at the sports books and sports bars in Vegas!
The weather here is so much better than the fall and winter seasons in Ohio.
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