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2012 Itinerary – First Pass

December 12, 2011

I’ve spent most of this cold, dreary day at the computer, working my way back and forth between Google Maps, a 2012 Calendar, campground finder sites,, and an Excel spreadsheet.  My oldest daughter will be happy.  She was afraid we would just pull up to the first intersection out of this RV Park, look at each other, and ask “Which way?”

I’ve mapped out a route that includes, very tentatively at this point:

– the first week in April at Galveston Island State Park, watching the surf, listening to the seagulls, taking walks on the beach, and otherwise vegging;

– a somewhat winding three-week route during April that takes us through New Orleans, then up to northern Alabama, spending some time at several state parks in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama;

– 3 free days at an RV park in Langston, Alabama for listening to a time-share sales pitch the first weekend in May.  Why Langston?  Because it’s not terribly far from Gadsden, Alabama, and I want to say hi to friends there;

– then a fairly direct route up through Tennessee, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and continuing up into Maine.

The idea is to hang out at the beach for a few days, then head north.  We took the time-share pitch in hopes of catching a couple of friends in Alabama to paint for a couple of days, and the free stay is only about 50 miles away from them.  We may pass up the time-share pitch thing, but three days free at an RV park sounded like a good idea at the time.

Our primary destination for this year is Maine.  We’ve decided to pass up the fall colors and get up there around June.  We want to take our time seeing the coast up there, and maybe make it over to Nova Scotia.  I want to photograph, sketch, and paint the coastal towns, work our way back down into New England, back over into Pennsylvania, and start working our way back south long before coats are called for.

Today, I’ve plotted four stopping points between Galveston and Langston, Alabama, with potential RV parks or campgrounds identified.  I’ve also plotted a route north, picking out places to stop that will require 3 to 5 hours driving time, maximum, per day.  Next I have to locate a couple of places to park near each of those stopping points.  And then, I’ll spend some time on to see what kinds of festivals and shows are scheduled at the right times, along the route.

It’s a bit complicated, but it’s a fascinating exercise, trying to balance the places we want to go, the time we want to spend seeing things, and the desire to photograph, sketch, draw and paint along the way.  It has to be very, very flexible to allow changes of mind and reaction to whims.  And a certain amount of time just sitting still.

At this point, it’s all very tentative.  Blue sky guesswork.  And we’ve got three and a half months to work it out.

Fun stuff.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. December 13, 2011 9:12 pm

    Yahoo! I’m so excited to hear you are making plans, no matter how tentative they might be! Love you Daddy!

  2. December 14, 2011 1:16 am

    Sounds like you’re making plans and checking twice. I would recommend that you make your moves 3 hours or 300 miles maximum. Many full-timers use 2 and 200 as their standard. I think you will find that going more will be rather tiring. And, you want this to be an enjoyable and leisurely trip. Don’t forget that your day will also include packing up and dumping to leave and setting up when you arrive. Remember, you’re retired, so take it nice and easy.

    • December 14, 2011 4:39 pm

      Pleinguy, your thinking is right. When I look again at what I’ve been laying out, it’s generally 2.5 to 3.5 hours. My experience with this rig so far tells me I’ll want to take a break about every hour or so, even with those times. We unhooked, closed everything up and put away all those things that might fall, and it really didn’t take long. Of course, if we’ve got outside things to put away, that adds to it a little. I’m getting the dumping part down pretty good. And we’re finding that setup really isn’t that bad, either. Since there are two of us, we’re starting to work out who does what (in general, I handle the outside, and she gets the inside put back together).

  3. December 28, 2011 2:27 am

    My DW Melissa and I are planners – we have our first year pretty much planned out.

    Pick up our Nexus 31′ Class C on April 4 in Elkhart and stick around for 3-4 days and then off to Iowa, back to Santa Fe for a couple of weeks and then to San Antonio Tx – ater this, Charleston SC onto Virginia Beach onto Littleton MA onto Salisbury Beach to Wolfboro NH onto Damariscotta ME – onto Nova Scotia then over to Old Quebec – Ile d’ Orleans and then we head back by a different route to end up in Punta Gorda FL for Nov-Dec-Jan
    Hope to do a lot of Plein Air painting on the journey.

    ENJOY your adventure!!

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