17,000 miles driven in Mini Cooper (not including miles in tow)
6,900 miles driven in Monaco Monarch
25 RV parks and resorts where we stayed
(shortest stay 5 nights, longest 60 nights)
407 miles; longest motor coach drive in one day
40 miles; shortest motor coach drive
Places visited in 20 states:
50 Museums (all types including art, history, local, etc.)
31 National Park System sites (parks, monuments, historic sites, etc.)
14 State parks
09 Botanical gardens
07 Religious sites
04 National Wildlife Refuges
04 Zoological parks
When I asked John how he would describe 2015, he said, "Fantastic!" I reminded him that he said the same about 2014. So, he revised that to "Awesome!" And, indeed, it was.
- We began 2015 in Tucson, AZ, where we spent 2 months (November to January). Be sure to visit Biosphere 2 if you are in that area...fascinating.
- Next stop Tombstone, AZ; John loved this place and if you like the old west, you will too! Nearby Whitewater Draw is where 30,000 sandhill cranes winter...what a sight to behold! We also visited Bisbee and toured the Queen Mine (copper) also very cool.
- Making our way toward remote Big Bend National Park, we stopped in Las Cruces, NM. From there we visited White Sands National Monument (awesome) and White Sands Missile Range where the first atomic bomb was tested (3 weeks prior to the bombing of Hiroshima)
- Big Bend is one of our favorite national parks. We stayed in the park and hiked many of the trails there. Canyons formed by the Rio Grande are spectacular.
- After so many months in desert terrain, we were happy to get to Corpus Christi to go to the beach at beautiful North Padre Island.
- Our stay at Jamaica Beach for a month was one of our favorite locations. There is lots of fun stuff to see and do in the Galveston area.
- Betty's RV Park in Abbeville, LA, was great. If you're an RVer, be sure to make this one of your destinations. Our daughter, met us in New Orleans, and we stayed within walking distance of the French Quarter. Great time!
- En route to Charleston, SC, to see my brother, Bob, after his cardiac surgery, we stopped in Auburn, AL, for a few nights. The university there is just beautiful. A highlight was visiting nearby Tuskegee Institute and Tuskegee Airmen Historic Site.
- After Bob stayed with us a few days in Charleston, we spent a couple of weeks with our son and daughter-in-law in Concord, NC.. Always a great time when we see our kids
- We stopped for a few days in Roanoke and saw four of John's siblings and some of his nephews, too.
- We stayed near our hometown for a month and had a blast seeing family and friends. We also saw our family doctors and had the RV serviced at the dealership where we purchased it. This was our first time back in over 16 months.
- En route to Columbus, OH, we stopped in Connellsville, PA, primarily to see Fallingwater, Frank Lloyd Wright's most famous house. We saw another one of the houses he designed (Dana-Thomas House) in Springfield, IL...both amazing.
- We had a wonderful visit with my brother and his wife and their daughters/families in Columbus, OH. Our grand nephews and niece were great fun.
- Continuing with family visits, we visited Amanda in Chicago (we stayed about an hour outside the city). Seeing Million Dollar Quartet and the architecture tour were highlights, although Sadie's fav was Montrose Dog Beach on Lake Michigan!
- Next we went to Springfield, IL, (land of Lincoln), Kansas City, MO (fabulous Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and National WWI Museum), and Kinsley, KS (Fort Larned National Historic Site and nearby Dodge City).
- Being back in Colorado was great...we really love this beautiful state (in warm weather). We visited the amazing Great Dunes National Park, the spectacular Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, and beautiful Curecanti National Recreation Area.
- -Utah! Moab is a great home base to see both Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park, as well as many petroglphys and dinosaur tracks. The rock formations found here are phenomenal.
- Then onto Hurricane, UT, home base to see Zion National Park, Cedar Breaks National Monument, Bryce Canyon National Park, Pipe Springs National Monument (AZ), and Red Cliffs National Recreation Area...all of them were amazing.
- As winter approached we headed south to AZ and stayed a month in Lake Havasu City. We had a great time hiking in nearby state and local parks. Boat tours on Lake Havasu and Topock Gorge on the Colorado River were great fun, too.
- We arrived in Yuma the week before Thanksgiving and will be here until the end of January 2016.
Thanks for following our retirement journey. We love our lifestyle and look forward with anticipation to 2016. Happy New Year!