Happy 4th of July! Today is the official “day 1” of our trip and we are well on our way. :)
First, just a brief explanation. For a long time it has been our desire that our kids (and us) would have opportunity to see this beautiful country. We want them to really experience this amazing Creation. The problem is there are just too many things that we want to see. We decided to kinda split the country up and concentrate on specific areas for each trip. This trip will focus on places north of Hwy 70 including things like Rocky Mtn Nat’l Park, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Mount Rushmore, The Badlands, etc. Our 4 week trip will take us through 13 states as far west as Montana with a possible day spent in Canada.
Originally our trip was planned to begin this morning with an early departure at around 5am. With the combination of having to drive 12 hours on our first day and having to pull into our first place in the dark, we changed our minds and decided to leave yesterday afternoon when G got off work. Our intention was to be on the road between 3 and 4 pm. That of course didn’t happen; we ended up pulling out at about 8:30pm. We were so thankful to have a break in the rain long enough to finish getting everything loaded and hooked up. We decided to try to make it to the Wal-Mart in Hendersonville, NC, thinking that we would just park in the parking lot overnight. It is pretty close to the Cook’s cabin so we are familiar with it. We however, learned a valuable lesson. Not all Wal-Mart’s allow overnight parking. Thankfully when we got online to confirm the exit number we found that particular Wal-Mart doesn’t allow overnight parking. So on to plan B…The NC Welcome Center rest area. It was full except for an area on the ramp getting back onto the interstate. There was just enough space on the paved shoulder to fit us except a few inches of a bike tire that is on the back of the Explorer (our car that we are towing…called a dinghy in the RV community). With the kids already sound asleep, G did a great job getting us parked and buttoned down and at about 12:30am we fell asleep to the roar of truck engines passing by.
This morning we are continuing to our first stop, Mammoth Cave Nat’l Park. We hope to get there around 3pm, get set up in the campground, and still have time to take an evening cave tour. It has been raining on us pretty steadily which makes driving for G a bit more difficult. The good news is that the rain shouldn’t keep us from touring the caves.