Good Bye Yuma

Trip Start Oct 14, 2013
Trip End Apr 13, 2014

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Where I stayed
Raccoon Valley RV Resort

Flag of United States  , Tennessee
Sunday, April 6, 2014

March 28 to April 6, 2014
Yuma to Heiskell (northern Knoxville, TN): 3368 km
Travelled through: Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee

After 10 days travelling through New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas, we are in Knoxville, Tennessee. Our second day on the road we took a side trip through New Mexico, past the White Sands Missile site, and visited the White Sands National Monument. It should be a 'Wonder of the World'; the sand is water soluble gypsum and has the texture of sea salt but because of the area’s dryness the sand does not dissolve. We drove on sand roads between gigantic sand dunes and then stopped so we could climb one of the dunes. There were people lying under huge beach umbrellas, others flying kites, and others sliding down the dunes. It was like being at the beach, yet there was not any water, anywhere. What a sight! We spent the evening with our friends Dave and Dawn in Alamogordo, near Tularosa. We had met them on the Hawaiian leg of the cruise and it was really nice to see them again.

Our stop the next day was in Roswell, site of a "UFO" crash in 1947. We went to the UFO museum and to some of the many UFO souvenir shops on the main street. The museum was rather interesting, presenting photo, affidavits, and other mementos of the event. Greg and I left there more confused than when we arrived. Aliens? UFOs? Military cover-up? The truth is out there somewhere…

The scenery along our route in New Mexico was incredible. We travelled up mountains that lead us to the high plains: vast areas of flat uninhabited land. We dodged tumbleweeds throughout this area. Then we drove through forested areas, the first trees that we had seen in months. We still hadn’t seen any bodies of water, just small streams but we did see snow in the mountains.

The towns along our route through Texas were comprised of huge cattle yards and dairy ranches. One of the towns was actually called Hereford.

Then on to Oklahoma. Our stop for the night in Oklahoma City was rather interesting. We stayed on the grounds of the convention center. There are about 300 spaces for RVs on the property and a huge meeting center with a rodeo arena. But what was interesting was the setup for a consignment sale in the convention center. Picture a Value Village just for children’s clothing and paraphernalia. Parents were bringing rack loads of clothing complete with price tags into the complex. We were able to look at some of the clothing; really good quality, and good prices. Unfortunately the sale started a couple days after we were there so we couldn’t buy anything but a few days later we heard that customers arrive hours before the sale starts and that there are long lines of people waiting to get in.

We had fantastic weather along much of the way, that is, up until Arkansas. Then the severe weather warnings started: thunderstorms, baseball sized hail, tornados. We were listening to the weather every chance we got. When we stopped for the night in Russellville, Arkansas, the gentleman in the campground office told us that if the weather became too severe we could spend the night in the laundry room. Thankfully it wasn’t necessary.

The bad weather didn’t catch up to us until we were Jackson, Tennessee. We survived an incredible thunder and lightning storm, complete with heavy rains while we were camped for the night. We were expecting hail with the storm but fortunately we just had rain, lots of rain. Then the sky cleared and we continued our travels through Tennessee. This is a very scenic time of the year in Tennessee. The roadsides along the interstate are peppered with blossoms: daffodils, eastern redbuds and tulip poplars. Yes, along the interstate. Absolutely beautiful.

We decided to stay in Knoxville, Tennessee a couple days to relax before we make the dreaded big left turn, the one that takes us north. We shopped in Camping World, the mecca for RVers, shopped at a consignment sale, similar but on a smaller scale than the consignment sale in Oklahoma City. We also visited the Appalachia Museum. This museum is affiliated with the Smithsonian Institute and has an incredible display of Appalachian artifacts. The museum is set up as an Appalachian village. The founder moved actual homes, stores, mills, barns, a school, a jail, and other buildings that were built in the early 1800s from areas around Knoxville to the museum site. Greg and I spent over 3 hours there since there was just so much to see.

Tomorrow we leave Knoxville and head north. We are hoping that the weather cooperates, ie, no snow!
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Susan on

Enjoy the warmth as long as you can. No doubt you have heard about the weather here! Today it was lovely, however, but tomorrow we are due to have heavy rain and wind. Are you sure you want to come home?

greg-and-karen on

Hi Susan
Well, right now we are in a campground near Roanoke VA. We are experiencing cold, damp, foggy conditions, the opposite of conditions in the southwest. We love the travelling but not the environment. Oh well, six months in Nova Scotia will go by quickly, we hope. --Karen

Margie on

As you head north we are heading south! What a winter! I am thinking you will see snow outside of Moncton as it will take forever to disappear. So enjoy your travels. We are gone till nearly the end of May. Home and then gone again in another direction, Northern Ontario!! Hope to see you for a cup of tea while you are back. Take Care

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