Of all the cotton pickin….

Look what greeted us at Sharon’s house!

What says The South better than that?

Sunny day to greet us today, forecast says we should expect more of the same for the duration of our stay, with temperatures in the 60s.

Sharon’s off work the rest of the week, so we’ll be doin stuff and havin fun! Bonfire, lots of walks, and better pictures of the cotton field out our front window!

Brace yourselves….

Lovely, actually

Bless Virginia, they know how to build and maintain roads!

Better ride today, and lovely weather until the moment we stopped for the day in Statesville, NC.

Rain here, and even some possible snow! Gotta keep heading south.

Land at Sharon’s tomorrow, stay through the weekend. Should be sunny. Will work hard to get photos.

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Not great

No one ever promised that every day would be a bell-ringer. That’s good, because today in Charleston, WV started like this:

The rain started about the time we got moving, and never let up. Pouring as I write.

Passed some interesting terrain that I’d loved to have photographed, but it would have been a death-defying act beside the busy road in the pouring rain!

Very challenging roads. West Virginia hills that require constant attention to the throttle and brake. But the ROADS! Worst interstate I’ve ever driven. Even the fresh repairs were dreadfully bumpy!

But, but, but….remember how I’ve talked about bad leading to good, or turning into good?

First, just look at those clouds…aren’t they actually glorious? Remarkable sky like that all day long. Always a patch or two of blue out there.

Second, we plunged past some very challenging geography in good time, and other than the jarring ride it was a lovely experience. Needed fuel and found it for 20 cents a gallon less than we’ve been paying, and the same station had a dump station for our holding tanks and fresh water to fill. Huge lot, and we’re staying in it for the night. So terribly efficient, we are!

Oh, and the temp has been 65 degrees or warmer all day. That’s why we headed this direction.

Hang in there, it’ll get better!

Ahh, on the road again!

Wow, it’s no fun just sitting around in the Big Taxi.

Oh, we had fun seeing Jared, my brother, and some of you. But that didn’t take two weeks, it just had to be spread over two weeks, and all that filler time was like standing on the shore waiting for the boat to arrive……

We drove sort of south out of Dayton yesterday, ending up at Rocky Fork State Park outside Hillsboro. Been there several times before, knew there were Bald Eagles, and new there was 50 amp service so we could do laundry. Check out our Christmas lights….

Robyn was already watching the eagles. By late yesterday she had figured out where a pair of eagles had a nest, and this morning she watched them bringing new twigs and branches to add to it. She even observed something new for her: one eagle flew at a small branch and grabbed it with talons while still flying, as though to break it off….but it didn’t break, and the eagle did a flop-over barrel loop when it failed to break the branch! She observed one of them land on a branch and bite off another branch with that powerful beak, then grab the branch with one foot as it took off for the nest. They don’t just grab fallen branches from the ground….

Robyn shot the sunrise picture with her phone this morning.

We traveled today on State Route 32, which is labeled the Appalachian Highway. Lovely road running east-west across the southern portion of the state. Notice how they’ve logged the one hill and left it scarred with roads and scraggly trees, but the neighboring hills remain all bushy with trees.

Really lovely day, sunny and warm, up and down landscape, little traffic, new territory so close to where we lived for so long! Ended up in Jackson, OH; parked in Walmart.

Tomorrow, more familiar and more grubby traveling down US 35 to Charleston, WV where we catch interstate roads.

Thank You, Thank You!

What a great life we lead!

Thank You, God, for good health and everything we need just as we need it…no waiting! The terrific rain and wind this week reminded us just how solid this coach is, and how fortunate we are to live where the rain and wind don’t get completely out of hand!

Thank You, God, for Jared, for Ross, and for Ryan. Three sons who bring joy to our lives, smiles to our faces, and blessings to all who have contact with them.

Oh Thank You, God, for Robyn. She is the love of my life, the one who makes me complete, and the salvation for our family and all its needs (she gets it from God).

Thank You, God, for our extended families. We share Thanksgiving dinner with Jared at my brother, Dave’s, house tomorrow in Trenton, OH. Then we head south. Jared will head west to Kokomo to share another Thanksgiving dinner with Grandma Fell, Aunt Marion, and Cousin Andrea! We think of Grandpa Fell in California, and Barb Herdman in Oregon.

Thank You, each of you, for your attention to our odyssey. We enjoy traveling more because we can share it with you, and we enjoy it better because of your feedback and advice! The coming months will offer more opportunity for interaction because we will encounter more unknown geography than usual!

Check the What’s Next? tab frequently, because we will try to update and add detail as time progresses along this southern swing. Please offer ideas and observations about the route, because everything is subject to adjustment in order to enjoy the time and place even more!

From the bottom of my heart, Thank You!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Old Home Week

How fun! We were visited today by three of our dearest former caregivers for Ross and Ryan!

Even better, each one brought her own children!

You can see some of the joy the boys had as they reconnected with these long-time friends and caregivers from long ago. Again, Mr Soberface (Ross) was the most expressive. Each family was on its way to the Christmas in Historic Springboro Festival; we were parked up the road.

Each of these young ladies began working with us while she was in college and unmarried. We’ve been in touch over the years, and it has been a joy to see their progress with life’s goals. All are married; Lindsey is a teacher, Maria is a nurse, and Mandy is a special education teacher. Maria’s youngest child is a daughter born just seven weeks ago….on Ross and Ryan’s birthday!

We are in touch with other former caregivers, and each time we have contact with any of these special people we are reminded of the village it has taken to raise these boys!

As you share this adventure with us, you contribute as well: your comments help us touch base, your advice about routes and destinations help us enjoy the path, and the knowledge that you watch and enjoy traveling vicariously gives us energy!

We’re hanging around Dayton this next week in order to do Thanksgiving with Jared and my brother’s family. Friday will see us hit the road for our first REAL adventure, where we head off for three months into territory we’ve not touched with the Big Taxi. The novelty of the territory will also bring uncertainty about the solutions to our daily dilemmas of where to sleep, where to get water, and where to dump our tanks!

Sure hope you’re with us for THAT adventure!

There…..we can exhale

Our routine annual medical checkups are concluded, and we’re in fine shape.

Uh, would you put another scoop on my pie? Thankyew, thankyew verrymuch!

Movie with Jared tonight. Lunch with some magistrates tomorrow. Full hook-ups tomorrow night so we can do laundry. Wow, from one high to the next!

Still here in Dayton, so the routine doesn’t seem photogenic.

Working on details for Thanksgiving, either around here with my family, or around Kokomo with Robyn’s family! No tussles, just gotta decide.

Trying to arrange for Jared to fly down and meet us in Florida at Christmas….best of both worlds, for him and for us!

Life….I love it!


Unlimited wings, Monday Night Football with Green Bay, and Jared….who could ask for more?

Robyn and the twins in the coach in the parking lot eating their favorite foods, and going to sleep in their own beds…who could ask for more?


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Take the slow road…..

We stayed the last two nights in a park only 100 miles from Dayton, and are due in town tomorrow.

But why rush back…….

So we’re spending tonight in Winton Woods campground, a Hamilton County park located inside the Cincinnati interstate circle. It’s VERY nice & clean, with full hook-ups, and is nicely “decorated” with tall evergreen trees. Can’t hear the city.

We’ve known and loved the park for years and years, having run down here for the day to bike its trails on many, many occasions. We used to have a trailer that hooked onto my bike, and the twins would ride in it when they were little. We did many miles here.

Neat to be spending the night here. Robyn just HAD to walk some of the trails, one of which crosses the lake on a bridge that is distant from our site but within range of the camera. She’s ready, wouldn’t you say?

Ready, it turns out, for Ross and Ryan’s baths…..long, hot, soaking, tub baths for these guys!

Look out, here we come!

We may be abusing your kind attention to our adventure by failing to keep up to date with postings…..sorry.

We reluctantly moved on from Paynetown rec area, because we have routine medical appointments in Dayton. Spent a quick night by ourselves in Hardy Lake State Park; so weird to see all the campsites, all the facilities, lovely sunshine….and no one in the camp (not even staff).

Went south across the river into Kentucky for the weekend. Had to snake through Madison, IN to get to the bridge to cross. Only bridge for many miles. Busy Friday afternoon traffic, zig zagging through town and finally a last, narrow turn to face the bridge approach 100 feet away, narrow lead-up to narrow bridge, fairly sharp incline because bridge has to rise above big boats on river, and just as we drive past leading edge of bridgework….a small sign flashes past: “truck load limit 15 tons”.

Oh, you mean 7 tons less than we weigh?

Oh baby, what a crossing!

Still wiping the sweat from my brow….

So here we are 40 miles from the deserted Indiana park, and the campground loop we’re parked on with full hookups is filled!

Heading to Cincinnati today, Dayton tomorrow. Probably in town most of the week. Heading to Kokomo to do Thanksgiving next week with Robyn’s family (Jared’s driving over).

Our big news: we don’t have to report back to Dayton for three months! We’re going south!

If you live somewhat near the following route, we’d love to hear from you so we could arrange to stop by. Dates are approximate, especially farther along on the route!

Dec 2: Albemarle, NC
Dec 10: Jackson, NC
Dec 15: Charleston, SC
Dec 18: Savannah, GA
Dec 21: St Augustine, FL
Dec 25: Orlando, FL
Jan 3: Tampa/Sarasota, FL
Jan 17: Pensacola, FL
Jan 19: Birmingham, AL
Jan 25: Chattanooga, TN
Feb 3: Knoxville, TN
Feb 9: Lexington, KY
Feb 16: Dayton

Gotta get going! Hope to see you soon!