This is our end-of-year review. Where did we go and what did we do in 2021? (The states we visited in 2021 are above this paragraph next to the date.) What amazing things did we see along the way? In 2021 we added eleven new states to our route map. Other than Louisana we spent multiple nights in each state.
Right now we are heading to the end of the road, as far as the road goes, and beyond. You will have to wait for an explanation of “and beyond” for now it will just have to be a surprise.
After four years of non-stop travel, you might have the idea that we are getting tired of (or thinking about) ending our travels. Nothing could be further from the truth. For me, looking at this end-of-year review (picture at the top) I don’t really look at the route of what we have seen but rather I see the empty spots, the blank areas where we have not gone. As I follow the line, I see that we always miss wonderful things right along the way and places that we intentionally saved for next time.
Happy Holidays everyone
Our number one desire is that peace and joy be with you during this holiday season. That includes good health (especially considering the last two years). I used to write an end-of-year review included in a Christmas Card so everyone could see what we did. I guess that this is the same thing. Merry Christmas.
Overall, this Christmas season I want you to know that we love traveling but even more than that, we treasure the friends we have made both traveling and everywhere else. Thanks, y’all.
By tomorrow at this time, we will be on the road to Key West Florida. Our objective is to arrive in time and be all set up before the New Year’s Eve party starts. Does the party ever end in Key West? We intend to find out. Our next update will obviously be next year.
Tucson through Texas
We started this year in Tucson, even though the above picture doesn’t include it or the road trip across Texas. The only reason the map above doesn’t include our Texas is to make the picture square. We crossed Texas right before the historic cold front engulfed Texas and created chaos. It was our first time crossing Texas. Overall it was nice until the weather arrived. Before 2021 we had only stayed once near El Paso Texas.
This year as we crossed Texas we stopped at seven different places; none of them in a big city. In fact, the only city we drove through was Houston. Most people drive through San Antonio, but we went around it to the north instead. When we go back we are going to have to do a Texas city life tour.
We were west of Houston when I saw the Arctic Cold front coming and that is why we only stopped at one place in Louisiana (spending the night at the halfway point again at a rest area).
If freezing rain hit Houston there would be a disaster. It did, and it was. By the time it hit, we were on the far side of Louisianna. Our campsite when we visited New Orleans was in Mississippi, just north of the Louisiana border. The cold front hit us in east Texas on the Louisianna border with torrential rains but because we kept going we outran the ice storms. It didn’t get really bad until after we left.
The Deep South in the Winter
The post, Mississippi Storms is a good recap of our trek through Texas all the way to northern Alabama describes this section of our trip. Mississippi Storms
In Mississippi, we turned north but had some of our campsites canceled because of the storm damage. Starting in northern Alabama and Tennessee, we did some serious exploring.
Our number one memory from Tennessee is the wonderful waterfalls. Obviously, there is much more to Tennessee than waterfalls but the waterfall pictures in these posts really impressed us. Tennessee Waterfalls and More Tennessee Waterfalls
I’m not sure that northern Alabama qualifies as the Appalachian Mountains, but eastern Tennessee certainly qualifies. Other than some difficulties with the language, we loved the Appalachians. Here is a fun post about the language that I couldn’t understand. Wampus caterwauling
At the western edge of the Appalachian Mountains is the Great Smoky Mountains. We had a great time in the Smoky’s both in Tennessee and North Carolina. We got a real taste of mountain culture while we were there. The piedmont area in North Carolina was nice but honestly, we would have loved it more earlier in the spring. This next link will take you to most of our posts about the Smoky Mountains and Piedmont Region. These links will be in the reverse order of our visit. Appalachia
I really can’t finish this section without a picture of the Biltmore. Here is a post about our visit. Amazing Biltmore Palace
While visiting Virginia we got a huge Colonial history lesson. One of the jokes in a Virginia High School is that they don’t have any classes on Virginia History (I don’t know if it is true). Instead, they just study the history of the United States. Nearly every place we visited in Virginia had a history lesson. Even when we were far away from the cities or battlefields we were still getting a history lesson.
We spent most of the summer in North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. Here is a link to some of the stories. Again these stories are in the opposite order of our visit. Virginia
Heading south for the winter
We didn’t leave Virginia until the end of October and the one spot we enjoyed the most on our trip south was Charleston. This city in South Carolina is nearly as it was two hundred years ago.
Here is the link to our story about Charleston. Charleston Charm
It was mid-November when we got to South Georgia. The weather was just right not hot, not cold, not too much rain, and no hurricanes for our trip south along the east coast. While in Georgia we stopped at Jekyll Island for a look around and found it very pleasant. This was a playground for the super-rich in the early 1900s. Here is that story. Jekyll Island Secrets
Flordia has been very interesting. Saint Augustine was wonderful. The story is here, Old Saint Augustine. So were the Spanish Forts along the coast. Here is a link to that story. Historic Forts in Florida
Watching a rocket take off to deliver some satellites into orbit was awesome. I couldn’t have an end-of-year review without mentioning this or including this picture. Here is a link to that story. Space Launch
This next link will include all of our stories about Florida including the ones I haven’t published yet. As I write this end-of-year review I also need to remind myself we are only at the halfway point on our trip through Florida. Just like climbing a mountain, the top is at the halfway point. Key West is as far as the road will take us and we are expecting and hoping for an awesome visit. As we go along, more new stories will be added to this link. Florida
What is next
After finding the end of the road in Florida, we might find the end of the road in Maine. Someday we will do that. Or we could see where the road ends in Canada. Again someday we will. Whatever we do, we will be starting at the very end of the road in Key West and everything is plenty far from there. You can expect us to take a long journey in 2022. At the end of the day tomorrow we will have traveled 5435 miles in the motorhome, plus car miles. We have visited about (I haven’t looked that close) 70 different campgrounds in our fourteen different states.
Please come along with us. I can’t say I’m doing it for you but we are so happy that you are with us along the way.