Tag Archives: RV travel

Happy Trails, Part 25

The trail along this retirement journey isn’t entirely, um, happy.

I won’t throw up my hands, I won’t surrender, I won’t cease exploring new adventures across our vast continent. I’ll have to learn some patience as we continue to battle individual communities’ unique methods of controlling and directing traffic flow.

We recently found ourselves guided — mistakenly, I believe — onto an express lane of Interstate 95 between Washington, D.C., and our RV campsite in suburban Virginia. How in this world we got into that lane is a mystery to both of us.

Traffic was stalling terribly in the “regular lanes” of southbound traffic; meanwhile, we sailed along in the express lane with virtually no one else in our lanes.

We were able to exit at Woodbridge. I might get some form letter from the Virginia Department of Transportation. It might contain a traffic ticket for all I know.

I’m not sure how to handle a ticket. Do I pay the fine? Do I challenge it? I’m tempted to challenge a fine if it comes. I think it’s an easy case to win. I’ll await something to come in the mail.

We are learning that states have different methods of striping their highways. Some of them advise motorists in plenty of time about lane changes, or closure; others of them aren’t as careful.

My task now is to get ready for sudden changes in traffic flow.

It also is incumbent on me to stop whining about getting diverted by mistake along a route that takes us out of the way. Hey, we’re retired these days! Why worry if an unintended detour keeps us on the road a little longer?

Happy Trails, Part Seven

AUSTIN, Texas — One of our nieces asked me at dinner: How does it feel?

Retirement? Yes.

Well, I don’t quite know yet. I’m still quite┬ánew at it, unlike my wife, who called it a career three years ago. She’s adapted nicely to being fully retired.

I’m still finding my way emotionally.

Don’t misunderstand me. I do not miss the daily grind. Nor do I miss the pressure of meeting deadlines. I damn sure don’t miss coping with the pressure of a changing media environment; I’ll leave that to the young bucks.

My gut tells me it’ll take no time at all to become totally acclimated to full-time retirement. After all, isn’t that what all of us strive to reach, that era of our life when we are free to pursue what we want, to not have to answer to anyone — other than your much better half?

I’ve crossed that threshold.

I cannot yet find the words to describe how I’m supposed to “feel” about retirement. I’ll recognize the words when I hear them in my head.

When I do, I’ll be sure to let you know. For now, I’m deriving too much joy just from awakening each morning when I feel like it.

Journey coming to an end

at the beach

COLORADO CITY, Texas — It hasn’t been the Trip of a Lifetime.

My wife and I have experienced a couple of those already in our 44 years together.

We did, however, answer a key question: Are we able to spend more than, say, a long weekend on the road in our fifth wheel travel vehicle?

Our answer? Yes … absolutely.

It’s our final night on the road. We’ll get up in the morning, unplug the water and the electricity and head to Lubbock for lunch with two of our best friends in the world. Then it’s home to Amarillo.

We’ve had a wonderful time catching up with some old friends along the way. We saw family members … including our precious granddaughter Emma.

We have nearly completed the big circle that covered roughly have of our huge state. We’ve taken in a good portion of Texas’s amazingly diverse landscape: from the Caprock, to rolling hills and the lakes, the Piney Woods, the Gulf Coast, the Hill Country — and tonight we camped out at Lake Colorado City State Park, which feature the cactus and scrub brush common in West Texas.

Our pets — our dog and cat — proved to us that they’re both excellent travelers. We took a gamble with our 13-year-old kitty, Mittens; she didn’t let us down. Toby the puppy? You know about him. He’s the coolest customer … ever!

Our latest journey is about to end. My wife and I are convinced more than ever that, yes, by golly — we can do this when the time comes to quit working for a living.