From Pacific to Atlantic

road trip

We spent more than three months, from late October to early February, skipping winter and soaking up the southern California sunshine. When we first traveled around the country back in 2012, California easily earned a place in our hearts and we were very glad to return. In southern California, you don’t have to decide if you’re a “beach person” or a “mountain person.” You can be both in the same day, often at the same time. I know there are plenty of reasons that people don’t love California, such as the cost of living and the traffic, but when the views along the road are breathtaking mountain vistas, somehow the traffic jam is a little easier to take. Never before have I wished for a red light on the way to the grocery store so that I would have more time to take in the mountains before turning. SoCal traffic jams beat East Coast traffic jams every day of the week. If you have to be stuck in traffic, of course.

While California genuinely captured our hearts, we have left pieces of our hearts across the country, and a rather large piece remains in Pennsylvania. In order to allow for a comfortable pace of travel with periods of rest but still return to PA in time for my sister’s graduation, we left California in early February and began driving the more than 3,000 miles that separate the Pacific from the Atlantic.

Once again, we are reminded just how large and diverse the United States really is. Imagine the contrast of hiking the desert landscapes of Saguaro National Park in Arizona, then watching alligators swim in the bayous of the Jean Lafitte National Park near New Orleans, with just a few weeks in between. The kids learned a lot about geography in our 3 months of travel eastward, and it was the perfect time for them to study ecosystems.

desert hike
Apparently a fallen saguaro cactus works as a bench just as well as a fallen tree.
bayou hike
Lush and green with plenty of chances to see alligators, snakes, frogs, turtles and all kinds of wildlife!

Finally we seem to have planned a reasonable pace of travel for ourselves. We are learning. Finding the balance between covering ground and having time for work, school, rest and exploration is not easy, but we’re starting to get better at it. Our travels this spring gave us the chance to explore at least 8 different national parks, as well as many museums and other attractions. We reconnected with old friends along the way and formed new friendships that we hope will be lasting. What a privilege it is to be living this amazing RV life!

This summer, I plan to look back on this part of our journey and share some of our favorite places and experiences. Thanks for following along with us on, and a special thanks to those of you who were a meaningful part of this amazing trek from sea to shining sea.

road trip

 

 

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