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Welcome

The business of life is the acquisition of memories.

— Carson, Downton Abbey

We are Matthew, Veronica & 5 year old Lucas! Our plan is to travel the USA for an unknown period of time and enjoy God’s creation. We are excited to see what adventure awaits and look forward to sharing our journey with family & friends.

Some background – we sold our home in VA in June 2019 and moved all our belongings in a 26 ft U-Haul truck to the Finger Lakes Region of NY. The plan was to live in a Travel Trailer on Veronica’s parent’s property for a couple months while we downsize our belongings. As you can imagine, it took longer than expected but we were also helping my parents with their property maintenance and enjoying a NY summer with family.

During this time, we also realized that a 28 ft Travel Trailer was probably not sufficient for Full-time living and upgraded to a Fifth Wheel Trailer. There was a huge learning curve which we are growing more confident with each day.

We’ve now been in NY for 3.5 months are hoping to hit the road shortly. Stay tuned!

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Brantley Lake State Park – Carlsbad, NM

Day 116

Friday, January 31, 2020 – After a pretty restless night in the Texas Rest Area on Interstate 40, you know a sound machine can only drown out so much truck noise, Lucas did a little legos while I made coffee. I received this little stainless steel pour over and travel mug set from my friend, Kathryn, as a farewell gift. I LOVE it! Once ready for the day, Matthew checked over the rig while Lucas and I went for one more round at the playground. 

After a pit stop at a truck stop for breakfast, we hit the road towards New Mexico. We had been warned against traveling Route 285 from Pecos, TX to Carlsbad, NM. It’s known as Death Highway and goes through oil country. Between the large trucks driving fast and inexperienced truck drivers, there are many accidents. The oil and gas industry has exploded in this area over the past couple of years. We opted for Route 18 which, in hindsight, may not have been much better.

It was pretty desolate aside from the oil and gas wells. There were a LOT of oil rail cars. One section had over 90 cars (see photo below). Soon after we entered New Mexico it started snowing. At one time, the road was mostly covered and I’d guess there were 2 inches of snow on the ground. It was really beautiful! Our first snow of the winter! Lucas loved it but was sad when we soon drove out of it. While stopped for fuel a bit later, I was able to collect a small snowball for him from the front of the RV. 🙂

We decided to visit Carlsbad Caverns National Park before going to our campground as it was on the south side of the city and our campground on the northwest. What an incredible place. I don’t have much experience with caverns, I think I visited one in Colorado Springs that was pretty claustrophobic, so wasn’t sure what to expect.

It was suggested that we hike into the caverns and bring the elevator out. The hike took about an hour as we descended the height of the Empire State Building (New York City) which I think is 80 stories. There were a few times I had to tell myself to breath and keep calm. I just couldn’t dwell on the fact that we were that far under ground. Once down inside, we walked the loop around the upper cave which took about 45 minutes. There is a lower cave that is only accessible for guided tours. It’s so amazing to see what lies under that mountain. Lucas completed the Junior Ranger program and received Badge # 12. 

On our way back through Carlsbad, we stopped to fill our propane tanks and stock up on groceries at Walmart. After shopping at small stores for the last 3 weeks, Walmart feels like a palace! 

We arrive at Brantley Lake State Park around 4:15. I had ordered a few items from Amazon and as we were driving the 3 mile road back to the park, we were following the UPS truck. Sure enough, he was delivering our package! It’s a good thing we met at the office because I learned they don’t accept UPS packages on behalf of visitors. Each park has different rules on packages and it was be very confusing.

After we were set up, we headed out to walk the park. This park doesn’t have a lot to offer as far as character but we were okay with that. We needed a few slow days. While on our walk, we spotted a Virginia vehicle so we chatted for a bit. They were from southwestern Virginia and working on becoming Texas residents after traveling around the US for several months. 

Matthew got our WIFI router up and running. WOW, it is so nice to have WIFI at our campsite! You may recall that this is something he’s been trying to resolve for about a month.

Day 117

Saturday, February 1, 2020 – Starting the morning slow with no where to be. Lucas is happy playing in the dirt of our campsite while I get to work drafting blog posts. Most of my journaling is up to date on the laptop, just need WIFI to post it on WordPress and add the photos. Photos being the time consumer. But I love pictures, as you can tell. 

Later in the day we went for a leisurely walk. So refreshing to just BE today.

Day 118

Sunday, February 2, 2020 – After breakfast we decided to wander around the park and pick up trash. There isn’t much but little bits here and there and a lot of cigarette ends around our campsite. We lost count at 25! We chatted with a few people as we went. It was a bit chilly but with the sun, it felt warm. 

Today is Super Bowl Sunday! Matthew has been a lifelong San Francisco 49’ers fan so GO NINERs! I made some homemade queso and gluten free soft pretzel bites – those weren’t so good. But we enjoyed the game even though the outcome wasn’t what we had hoped!

Day 119

Monday, February 3, 2020 – I needed to go into Carlsbad today – about 15 miles away. My parents left for Puerto Rico today for a 2 months assignment as House Parents for construction crews that come to assist with rebuilding. This is their 4th trip since Hurricane Maria in 2017. Prior to leaving they mailed a package as they collect some of our non-official mail. I also wanted to pick up groceries for the week ahead. 

Package contents: mail, pixy sticks (What were you thinking, Mom??) and a few other treats. 😉

Tomorrow we are traveling to Alamogordo, NM and plan to meet up with our friends from FL again.

Big Bend National Park, TX

Day 112 Continued…

Monday, January 27, 2020 – The drive from Fort Davis through Alpine & Marathon to the main entrance of Big Bend NP took just over 2 hrs. We did not have reservations so wanted to arrive early. Upon stopping at the main visitor center, we were told there were approximately 14 spots available. Well, little did we know that the campground is 45 miles from the park entrance! Do you have any idea the size of this park? It’s insanely massive! But oh so beautiful and very much worth the trip!

We arrived at the Rio Grande Village Campground and began to search for an available site. Our FL friend’s had visited this park a couple weeks prior and clued us in on the process for finding and reserving a site. We thought we knew what to expect but once we started driving the campground in a search of an available site we found it wasn’t easy to ascertain if the site was actually available. The site posts in most of the campsites had a piece of paper clipped on them with a date. Did this mean the site was available on this day or that it was reserved until that date? Other sites had the official “Available” or “Reserved” signs that we had seen in most of the other parks. We decided to take a chance on one of the sites that had tomorrows date on it. Quickly decided to back in because now other RVs were also driving around in search of a site. Before unhitching we decided to check with the camp host in order to ensure that it was actually available. It’s a good thing we checked because we had it wrong. The date on the sign indicated the night reserved, not the night available. We quickly found another site that was only available for one night and honestly, it was the LAST site we could have fit in. We were so grateful! There are only restrooms in our campground and no hook ups. This shouldn’t be an issue as we had filled our fresh water tank before leaving Davis Mountains State Park so that we wouldn’t have to stop for water. Also the generator and gas can were both full as it would be are only source of electricity during our stay. The park’s generator hours where from 8AM – 8PM which is more generous than most of the parks we have stayed at so far. Most only allow generators to run for two hours in the morning, typically from 8AM to 10AM and in the afternoon from 4PM to 6PM.

After settling into our site, we took a walk over to the Rio Grand Village Store to check on the amenities and just get the lay of the land. The Village Store has laundry & shower facilities for a fee – yes, $2.00 for a 5 minute shower. There is also an RV park by the store with full hookups. Really, it’s just a parking lot. We inquired on availability there in the event we couldn’t find a spot tomorrow. Every site was full but they do have 2 sites each day that are first come/first serve.

On our way back, we got our first glimpse of the Rio Grande! We are literally across a little river (I’d call it a creek at some places) from Mexico.

When we returned and had a little dinner, we set out to hike the Rio Grande Village Nature Trail. The trail took us to the water’s edge again at a different spot and we could see a few Mexicans on the other side. Along our trail, you would occasionally see handmade items with a price tag and a money jar nearby. Apparently, it’s common for the Mexicans to place items around the park for sale. It was a gorgeous hike with seeing the sun beginning to set and included a burro sighting.

Before turning in the for the night, we walked the entire campground scoping out sites that were coming available in the morning and that our rig would fit in. I had about 5 options. The plan was to scout out the sites early in the morning to see who leaves first.

Day 113

Tuesday, January 28, 2020 – After coffee, Lucas and I set out to look for a site while Matthew went for a run. Lucas carried his little camp chair and was taking his job as “site securer” very seriously. We only walked a little ways when a couple pulling out asked where we were off to. I said we are looking for a site. They informed us that their site was available and guess what?? It was one on our list!! We quickly walked over and placed Lucas’s chair in the site and I went to pay for it. Because this was a first come/first serve site, we could reserve it for as long as we wanted it. We decided to stick with our plan of departing on Thursday.

When Matthew returned from his run, we hitched up and moved to our new site then packed our backpack for a hike. It was about a 25 mile drive to the Lost Mine Trailhead. We were a bit unprepared for the temperature shift due to elevation change and were a bit chilly when we started out and again at the breezy top. This was one of the hardest hikes we’ve done but the view from the top was phenomenal! Definitely worth the effort. Hike Stats: 4.2 miles, approx. 2 hrs

Upon returning to the trailhead, I spotted a Black Jeep with NY plates and not just any NY plates but one with Watkins Glen on it – that’s near my parent’s place for those who don’t know! Unfortunately, the occupant(s) were no where around. More on this later.

From the hike, we drove down into Chisos Basin which has a campground (for small RV’s and tent campers only), a Visitor’s Center, small convenience store and the Chicos Mountains Lodge & Restaurant which is managed by Forever Resorts. We were able to get WIFI at the Visitor’s Center, did a quick video chat with my parents and picked up a Junior Ranger book. The views here are just spectacular!

We planned to have dinner at the Lodge restaurant but unfortunately, it was closed from 4:00 – 5:00 forcing us to wait about 45 minutes. Taking advantage of the free WIFI, we downloaded a few YouTube videos and caught up on social media. There is little to zero cell service in most of the National Park which after almost 3 weeks of limited service, we would like to have that luxury back.

Dinner was delicious (always better when I get a brake from cooking) and the view was like none other! The sun was setting as we pulled out and began our drive back home. We were all exhausted.

Day 114

Wednesday, January 29, 2020 – Today we are going to Mexico! We watched a few videos on YouTube of others who had made the crossing and our FL friends had given us a first hand account of their experience so we were confident that it was save. Lucas had heard you could ride a burro/donkey so there was noway that he would let us skip this adventure. BUT FIRST – this morning Lucas takes his LAST antibiotic!! We had a mini celebration!

After an otherwise slow morning, we prepared for our trek into Mexico. Packing our backpack with plenty of water, a few snacks and our passports, we first went to the Boquillas Canyon and completed the 1.4 mile hike into the canyon. It was a quick, easy hike and we briefly heard dulcet tones reverberating of the canyon walls of the one known as the “Singing Jesus” – a Mexican that sings in canyon. He has a tip jar set on the US side and typically requests donations for his songs.

To say we had zero trepidation of venturing into Mexico would be untrue. Our preference would have been to go with a few others. When we pulled into the border crossing parking lot there were plenty of vehicles there so we assumed others would be there. To go into Mexico, you simply pass the Park Police office – they manage the crossing for US Customs & Border Protection (US CBP)- and follow a path to the edge of the Rio Grande River. There we waited for a Mexican to cross the river in a rowboat and take us across. Upon landing, we paid $5/adult roundtrip for the crossing – Lucas was free. Then we could choose our mode of transportation to the town of Boquillas just over a mile away. The options were burro ($6), horse ($7), truck ($10) or walking. Lucas & I chose a burro and Matthew walked beside us. A guide accompanied us to ensure the animals cooperated and to take us to where we needed to be.

Upon reaching the edge of the village, we dismounted and walked the rest of the way past residents who sold souvenirs outside their homes. There is a Mexican Police Station which we were told to check in with – more of a welcome center than for immigration – however, it was closed so no stamps in our passports. From there we could choose between two restaurants picking the one on the right – Boquillas Restaurant – which we were told was the more authentic one. They offered three items: tacos de cabra (goat), chicken tamales and cheese enchiladas. Matthew chose the chicken tamales and I the cheese enchiladas with Lucas being offered a cheese quesadilla. I also ordered a margarita because, after all, it’s Mexico!

The village of Boquillas, Mexico really only has one street and at times it’s hard to tell if the folks live there or just come in from another town each day. After a bit of research on the village I found out that the border crossing had been closed after 9/11/2001 and remained closed until 2013, which I’m sure had a huge impact on them. Especially since the village appears to survive only because of the tourism from Big Bend National Park.

After enjoying our meal, we walked with our guide a little more through the village picking up a souvenir for each of us. Lucas picked a lizard made of beads, Matthew a bracelet with the town name and I a koozie/cozy with the town name and a burro on it. 🙂 From there we walked back to our burros and made the quick journey back to the river.

Upon our return to US soil, we entered the official crossing building which is manned by the Park Police. Inside there is a kiosk where you place your passport on a scanner. A few moments later, the phone in the kiosk rings and you’re connected with a CBP officer who we learned sits in El Paso, TX. In our case, I told him that I was traveling with my son and husband. He had me place Lucas’s passport on the scanner for review and once complete, I passed the phone to Matthew so the officer could verify his passport as well. It was a simple, painless process. This little venture was definitely a highlight for all of us, especially Lucas.

I dropped the mens off at the RV and decided to go check out the Hot Springs that was a few miles away. I knew Lucas would love it but wanted to be sure it was a place for him. Things are just so much further apart in the west. What looks like a short drive may take you 30+ minutes and this adventure was no different. Part of the road was for 4 wheeled drive or off road vehicles only. Let’s just say, I had to turn on the 360 cameras on the truck to ensure I didn’t drop off the edge of the road.

Of course the area checked out fine so I headed back to pick up Lucas. He was SO excited to go swimming. When we returned there were probably about 12+ people there. The spring in only about 20 feet square and the water temps reach 105 degrees. We met a few locals as well as people from Minnesota and one who had a relative in the DC area. One of the ladies was standing in the Rio Grande and Lucas wanted to swim there a bit, so she offered to keep a hand on him so he could say he stood in the Rio Grande. While he was a bit more active than most may have liked while soaking in the spring, he did provide a level of entertainment and they were most gracious about it.

A bit later, we met a gentleman, Jeff, from NY who lives about 2 hours from my parents. In conversation, I learned that he was the one with the Watkins Glen, NY license plate on his Jeep. He’s sold his house and business and is out traveling for an unknown period of time. His website is http://www.goldgravelandtravel.com if you’d like to check out his adventure. I’m always intrigued by others who long for a simpler life.

We chatted with these folks for a well over an hour and before I knew it, I could see the sun setting. Knowing we had to get out of this area before dark due to the driving conditions, I had to practically drag Lucas away from the water. While the experience may not have been as relaxing for me as I’d hoped keeping an eye on the boy, the conversations with others was refreshing.

Look at that moon!!

Day 115

Thursday, January 30, 2020 – Packing up to head drive north today. Matthew went for a run while I started the teardown. Lucas was playing outside when I looked out and saw a coyote roaming around just a couple hundred feet from our rig. I was a bit freaked out but when talking to others later, they mentioned it’s a common occurrence. Apparently, they’re just looking for left overs. After Lucas was safely inside, I tried to take a picture but it wasn’t clear.

We were not in a rush to leave this beautiful place as our next campsite was on the side of the road – well, technically, in a rest area. 🙂 Matthew and I both felt that we weren’t finished here but knew it was time to move along. We will be back and will stay much longer! There is so very much to explore here – of course having an off road vehicle would be nice.

After the usual stop at the dump station, we went to the Rio Grande Village Visitor’s Center for Lucas to complete the Junior Ranger Program. Unfortunately, we arrived in the middle of lunch hour so had to wait about 45 minutes. Lucas took that time to run laps around the parking lot to burn some more energy before we drove several hours. I wandered around the building and read the plaques. When 1:00 arrived, we entered and he successfully completed the pledge and received badge #11.

Along the route we spotted this bitty Target. We had seen it on our way south to Big Bend and people were stopped beside it to take pictures. 🙂 There’s even a shopping cart – it’s hard to see in the photo. Also shown is how the boy entertains himself on some of our drives.

We pulled into the Pecos West Rest Area on Interstate 10 just as the sun was setting and parked behind another RV. There was a HUGE playground that Lucas immediately spotted. He & I went there while Matthew got set up. We typically put the stabilizers down to take pressure off the truck even though we stay connected. Here, we decided to put out our living area slides to make it a bit more comfortable. 

After playing for an hour or so and exploring the museum-like section of the Rest Area, we headed to the RV for dinner. On the way we had made a pit stop at Walmart for fuel and I ran in to grab dinner. I was on the phone with my Mom and asked what I could grab quick for dinner. She suggested a rotisserie chicken. What a brilliant idea! I grabbed a bag of baby carrots and a couple other things. Dinner for less than $10 and it was quickly consumed. It was a bit chilly here from what we were used to in the southern part of the state so headed to bed early.

Tomorrow we leave Texas! We’ve spent 60 days in this state – so many more than we thought we would but we don’t regret a single one.

Davis Mountains State Park – Fort Davis, TX

Disclaimer – I had 2 “Day 24’s” back in October! LOL So my day count has been off – Took me long enough to figure it out. I’m officially correcting it going forward.

Day 98 Continued…

Monday, January 13, 2020 – Well, our 4 hour trip turned into almost 6 hours with our stops. As we are driving west, I’m trying to soak in this countryside! It is so amazing! I guess in the east, the mountains are covered with trees & greenery so you don’t see the ruggedness of them and how monumental they are. 

We were warned that the Interstate 10 stretch from Junction, TX to Fort Stockton, TX had only a few gas stations on it, however, we failed to keep track of our fuel level and got dangerously low. Thankfully there was a gas station when we had about 10 miles until empty showing on our gauge. This will not happen again! The price of fuel was $3.19/gal – about a dollar more per gallon then what most of Texas charges. I presume since it was a remote location so they felt free to charge more.

From flatland to the rocky hillsides, it’s gorgeous! While at a rest stop and later at Walmart, we spotted a couple we met in our park yesterday. It’s fun to see people that are familiar to you. It doesn’t happen that often so it’s always a smile and wave.  

The stop at Walmart was to stock up on groceries as we were told there wasn’t going to be a major grocery store for awhile, possibly not for about 2 weeks depending on where we end up. We arrived at our campsite just after sunset (Site 50). The campground reviews said to expect that most campsites in this park aren’t level. Thankfully, this one wasn’t too bad but it was kind of short for our entire rig. After a few adjustments, we were unhooked and set up. We ate some dinner and soon turned in for the night. 

I’m still keeping an eye on Lucas’s tick bite. It’s just a small red mark at this moment. No change so far. 

Day 99

Tuesday, January 14, 2020 – After breakfast and while Matthew was on a run, I went to the office to see what options we had for moving campsites. Our site wasn’t ideal as it was in the valley and pretty close to our neighbors. There were 2 sites available for the length of stay we had planned, leaving Friday. Lucas and I scoped them out, chose one and then started packing for the move. 

By the time Matthew returned from his run it didn’t take long to hitch up and move sites. Yay for a nice view! This park is pretty spectacular. The elevation at camp level is over 5,000 feet and the highest point in the mountain range over 6,000 feet. The Davis Mountains are the only mountain range fully contained in the state of Texas.  

After setting up at Site 18, and eating some hearty Chicken Noodle Soup, it was time to hike to the top of the mountain via the shorter of the two trails – Old CCC Trail – just less than 2 miles each way. What amazing views along the way. According to the park staff, these mountains have Javelinas (a type of wild pig, pronounced with an H where the J is), Mountain Goats and Mountain Lions. Trails are pretty rocky – like rocks the size of baseballs & softballs at places. It was tricky for Lucas but he pushed onward, keeping an eye out for Mountain Goats. Unfortunately, none were spotted on this trip.

Arriving at the top, you round the corner through a short separation in the rocks to a spectacular, panoramic view of the valley below! After enjoying the views and seeing all there was to see, we headed back. Hike stats: 3.78, 1 hr, 56 minutes.  (In case it hasn’t been mentioned before, the CCC was the Civilian Conservation Corps. Formed in the 1930’s, its purpose was to provide jobs for young men and to relieve families who had difficulty finding jobs during the Great Depression. They built many state and some national parks.)

I took another look at Lucas’s bite mark and a circle is starting to form. Inside I’m screaming, angry and frankly devastated at what might be ahead. Hoping and praying it away. Late afternoon, I stopped by the Park Headquarters to see if any rangers have experience with tick bites. There were three super sweet ladies on duty, one in particular had experience with it as her husband was bit a few years ago. They all agreed that a bullseye was forming. Unfortunately, the closest doctor/clinic/hospital is in Alpine, about 30 minutes south of here. The offices would be closed at this time of day but they recommended that if we didn’t want to go to the ER, we could try the clinic in the morning. I’m slowly loosing hope but trying to stay positive and not make a big deal about it in front of Lucas. 

While at the park headquarters, I picked up a list of park activities as well as information about the McDonald Observatory that is nearby. On Tuesday, Friday & Saturday night’s the Observatory hosts a Star Party where they point out constellations, planets, etc and allow you to view the night sky through their telescopes. We couldn’t pass up this opportunity. 

After dinner, we drove the 13 miles west to the Observatory. Lucas was pretty excited about checking out some stars. We purchased our tickets and headed outside to the amphitheater walking along the path marked with red lights along the ground. Did you know that red light does not interfere with your night vision?

It was a chilly evening, Lucas had a coat but Matthew and I weren’t really prepared for the temperature drop at this elevation. The show started at 7:00 and for 45 minutes, we sat in a circular area listening to an astronomer speak about the planets, lightyears, stars, constellations and even use a green laser pointer that allows him to point directly at a star. It was incredible! We learned it takes your eyes about 45 minutes to acclimate to the dark and provide the best clarity for viewing the night sky. The Milky Way was clearer than I had ever seen in my life! The whole lightyear thing blows my mind! Like these stars are really old that we are looking at! LOL 

About 30 minutes in, Lucas fell asleep on my lap. He was exhausted from our hike. We listened a bit more then decided to look through a few telescopes before ducking out. I attempted to wake Lucas and finally at about the 3rd one, we got him awake. Once his foggy brain cleared and he realized what was going on, he loved looking through the telescopes. We were able to see Uranus, the 7th planet from the sun, which appeared as a blueish ring and several star clusters through the telescopes.

By this point we were all pretty chilly so went inside to watch a brief movie on telescopes. It was incredible. Around 9:00, we returned home. Overall a wonderful experience and highly recommend everyone experience an observatory like this at least once in their life. 

Day 100

Wednesday, January 15, 2020 – Immediately upon waking up, I checked Lucas’s bite – no question its a bullseye now. My heart sank! We ate some breakfast and loaded up for the drive to Alpine. Last minute, I grabbed the dirty laundry in case there was a laundromat nearby and had the time. On the way, Matthew and I discussed our travel plans. While we had hoped to link up with our FL friends, Kyle & Angela, at Big Bend National Park, it looks like we need to postpone. There is zero medical care within 3 hours of the Big Bend. I called the park office and extended our current site through Saturday and completed a new reservation for another site from Saturday through Friday, January 24th. Staying put here seems to be the best plan. Lucas had an allergic reaction to penicillin when he was younger so want to be safe. 

We arrived at the Big Bend Regional Medical Center in Alpine and went into the clinic that’s connected to the hospital. The receptionist informed us that they only had an OB/GYN on staff today and suggested the Preventative Care Clinic down the road. After waiting for another patient to check in, I was told that they didn’t have any appointments available today and this receptionist suggested another Doctor’s office. I asked if she could call ahead to check on availability. She graciously did and told me they would be able to see Lucas. On to the 3rd location – Alpine Medical Center. We checked in and were soon taken back. Lucas weighed in at 48 lbs, 5 oz but I forgot to record his height. He’s gained about 3 lbs since we started out and I know he’s grown at least an inch – his pants are getting so short. 

The Nurse Practitioner confirmed our fears – the bite shows the typical Lymes Disease bullseye pattern. She prescribed Cefuroxime 250mg twice/day for 14 days and recommended that we follow up with her or another doctor in 2 weeks to be sure all was well. We went to the pharmacy and then went back and forth with the doctors office for several hours because the original prescription was for liquid and it was no longer available. In the meantime, we ate a bit of lunch and did our laundry – YAY!. We picked up the medicine and finally headed home around 3:00. (Photos below are of the side of the doctor’s office and the pharmacy.)

As we were pulling into the entrance of the park, we spotted a few Mountain Goats on the side of the hill. I wasn’t able to capture a picture but it felt like a gift after our crazy day! 

Now to figure out how to give our boy his first medicine in pill form. We thought mac & cheese might work and let’s just say after about 30 minutes of screaming and tears – from Lucas and Mom – he got the pill down! Tomorrow morning, I’ll be going to the grocery store to buy applesauce, juice and anything else that may help it go smoother. 

Day 101

Thursday, January 16, 2020 – Lucas and I woke around 7:00 and headed to the grocery store, Porter’s, about 2 miles away. Porter’s has been around since 1945 according to the sign and I have to say, for a small town, they have a great selection and decent prices. We picked up juice, applesauce, flavored instant oatmeal, yogurt and a few essentials. Interesting tidbit, this store sells Shurfine brand foods which was the brand sold at the grocery store I worked at after high school – Giles Shurfine.

While at Porter’s, I took advantage of the cell service and called Danielle back in VA. It was time to catch up! On the way out of the RV, Lucas had grabbed his iPad which turned out to be a huge win as I could chat without interruption. 😉

We returned home and commenced to administering another pill. There was a bit of fight but not as dramatic as the night before! After relaxing around the RV for the morning, hand washing a few items that I had forgotten to grab yesterday, Lucas and I went for another hike. Picking the Montezuma Quail Trail with it’s trailhead by the bird watching area. (We chuckle when we see bird watching areas – just not happening with a 5 yr old!) It was a little over a mile long hike with a few pretty steep areas. My phone died part way through so Lucas allowed me to borrow his camera that he took along. (His camera is a really old digital cameral of mine. He pulls it out from time to time. I love to see what he captures. He’s doing better about holding the camera still until it’s done taking the picture.)

Later that evening, we drove into town to send a few messages and find free wifi. The wifi at the park is pretty unpredictable. Lucas and I popped in the “Drug Store” which is a restaurant, soda fountain and ice cream shop all in one because he needed to use the restroom. I had to take a few pictures. Definitely a landmark of this town. 

We returned home and I decided to open a bottle of wine that I’d been carrying around for about 8 years! It was a special gift from the Israeli Embassy.

Day 102

Friday, January 17, 2020 – We had a thunderstorm overnight! As you can imagine they don’t get much rain here. I asked a ranger later in the day and was told we had about 7/10th of an inch. I had gone to bed late and then the rain started so I didn’t get much sleep. While I like the sound of rain, in the RV it always sounds like a deluge! 

After a lazy morning, we decided to visit the Fort Davis National Historic Site in town just a few miles away. Lucas was excited to do another Junior Ranger program. We picked up our booklet and started wandering around. Fort Davis was established in October 1854 as a way to provide protection along the southern route to the west. The Fort was along the San Antonio – El Paso Road. The soldiers here also worked closely with the Indians. Lucas completed the Junior Ranger Program and received Badge #10!