Long-time readers of this blog may vaguely recall, and new readers might like to know, a while back I started a series called “Ten Things Tuesday” wherein I would post Ten Things lists on Tuesdays (yeah, a complex concept I thought of all by myself). In the first posting Ten Things To Do When Bored At Work, I promised not to be consistent. In that I have succeeded.
For Ten Things Tuesday (on a day that’s probably not Tuesday), I present Ten Random Observations from the Road.
After being a full-time RVer since July of last year, I have learned quite a few things about myself, others, and places. Particularly how different the atmosphere can be in a town compared to the one in northern California in which I spent most of the last 30 years. That said, the following observations are probably of no interest to anyone but myself.
1. Most every one I meet is really nice, chatty, and helpful. Especially in the smaller towns. And after spending the last three months in Texas, I can assure you “Southern Hospitality” is no myth. It is alive and well in Texas, a state I am quickly coming to love.
2. I’ve learned I prefer small towns with populations of 30,000 to 100,000 people. They also usually have my favorite stores: Trader Joes, Target, Fry’s Supermarket, Starbucks, Pizza My Heart (or similar good pizza), Walmart, a health food store, and cute shops.
3. I prefer small, two- or four-lane highways. They never have traffic and they’re usually in great condition. In fact, small towns seem to have little of what this (previous) Californian would consider traffic.
4. I will go out of my way to avoid a major city just to avoid the congestion. It scares the crap out of me driving trough it in my RV – especially when I’m towing my car.
5. I truly am a Glamper. After many weeks boondocking in the desert I missed the heck out of civilization. And I hate dust and dry heat. The nearest town four miles away from Slab City had next to nothing in the way of conveniences, and many abandoned homes and buildings. While boondocking in Yuma, the center of town was about eleven miles away and full of great stores.
6. The southwest is largely desert. I know you’re all saying ‘Duh!’ I’d never spent much time in the southwest, and none in the desert for that matter. It is such a different landscape than that which I’m used to in Northern California. I’ve never seen so many tumbleweeds or freight trains.
7. Many towns have empty and abandoned houses and buildings. It is especially noticeable in the smaller towns. This surprised and saddened me.
8., 9. When I drove back into Northern California for a visit, two things struck me:
- I missed trees. The mountains are full of color and greenery, and trees are everywhere. Everywhere. I love trees and missed them terribly while in the desert.
- I didn’t miss traffic. I laughed out loud when I saw traffic backed up on 101 as I drove into the city.
10. I make friends in every town I stay. Plus, I think I was adopted last October by a nice couple in Lake Havasu. It’s always sad for me when I leave my new friends to go on to the next location. But, as it’s turning out, I end up seeing some of them again.
11. Checkers, my co-pilot, still loves the RV – as long as it’s not moving. She’s been very happy the last few months in Texas with the view of a lake right outside the big front window.