Boondocking in beast heaven, AZ

With Christmas over, bellies full and 2012 just around the corner it’s the perfect time to take a moment and reflect over the past year. I’ve been mapping our journey on Google Maps since we started RVing so it’s always fun to add it up at the end of each year and see where we’ve been. Kinda puts it’s all in picture so to speak. The math this year works out to a full cross-country ocean-to-ocean drive of just over 8,000 miles and 62 stops. Even with all that travel we’ve taken our time with an average of 4-6 days in each spot and drives of only ~150-200 miles. It’s the way we like it. Slow and smooth, baby!

Morning walk on deserted TX coastline

It’s also been an AMAZING ride from the sublime beaches of the Florida panhandle through the southern states to festive New Orleans. A month and a half in Texas with food to swoon for, our first boondocking of the year and the scare of a fire evacuation.The plan of a “quick trip” to New Mexico which ended up lasting 2 months ‘coz we simply fell in love with the place. Another month in summer-cool and gorgeous Colorado that draws us in every time we go. A stunning side-trip to Utah and a quick jaunt into Idaho followed by a speed-run to Oregon to get the rig slide fixed. That led to another month exploring the fabulous Oregon coast. We ended the year with probably the most beautiful drive ever down 395 to the splendors of the desert in winter. Oh, and of course we managed to do at least one totally idiotic thing…and a Nina special too (the year wouldn’t be complete without, would it?)

Phew! Did you manage to get all that in one breath?

A surreal red sunset in windy NM

We also managed to stick pretty closely to our flip-flop barometer. Early in the year with a longer-than-usual winter hanging in the North we hugged the Southern coast enjoying mostly sun and mid-warm weather. Once it started to heat up in Texas/New Mexico we escaped North to the mountains (8,000 feet and above is the key in summer!). We had a few really hot and dry days, a good couple of really windy ones, some crazy Oregon weather and a single really cold spell, but overall we avoided almost all the bugs (yeah!) and did really well.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words so rather than blabber on for another 600 words, I’ll just go ahead and show you the whole enchilada. Blog posts for each location are linked to the corresponding site on the maps, so in good ‘ol web fashion you can just point and click for all the details you’ll ever want. Enjoy!!

PART I – Florida to New Mexico (~3,200 miles Jan-Apr 2011)

PART II – New Mexico to Oregon (~2,600 miles May-Sept 2011)

PART III – Oregon to California (~2,300 miles Oct-Dec 2011)

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30 Responses to Another Year And 8,000 Miles On The Road -> 2011 Reviewed

  1. Jerry B. says:

    Just curious, what’s your long-term plan, if there is one? Seems like you’re flexible enough to settle down just about anywhere but do you plan to keep on the present path till your wanderlust settles down a bit? The RV life is really fun and you meet the nicest people but many of the full-timers we’ve met along the way seem to put down roots (or they never severed them) somewhere in the 2-5 year range. Meanwhile, thanks for all the great info along the way-we’ll use lots of your finds on our future trips.

    • libertatemamo says:

      You know we’re totally open at the moment. We’re planning to keep going for as long as the wonderlust keeps us on the road. In my case that could be forever (I’m a natural-born nomad), but Paul may want to semi-settle at some point. At least for the time being we’re both still completely enjoying the flexibility…and the ride
      Nina

  2. Sherry says:

    WOW that’s some detail on that map. I can’t imagine doing it although I’d love to but it would probably take me about half the year to get that mapped and everything linked to it. VERY WELL DONE!!

    Sherry
    http://www.directionofourdreams.blogspot.com

    • libertatemamo says:

      Sherry,
      Thanks! I keep the map updated at each stop we go along during the year which is how I manage to keep it going. Otherwise there’s no way I’d have the patience to create it from scratch LOL. It’s a bit of effort to do but so much fun to have at the end of each year.
      Nina

  3. Susan Thomson says:

    I want to thank you so much for this posting. I have been laboring over which way to travel from AZ to OR and your summary of 2011 travels came at a perfect time. Bob and I are continuing to travel even though medical conditions create more challenges. I cannot thank you enough for the informative posts you offer us RV’ers. I want you to know you have been like a guiding light for my planning… Happy New Year

    • libertatemamo says:

      I love the fact that you guys are still enjoying the road, despite everything. Kudos to you for making that choice. We really enjoyed our OR->AZ travel and I can most definitely recommend 395 as a wonderful “back-country”, but very easy to drive road to get north if you decide to go thro’ CA. It would be a fabulous drive in spring I would think once things warm up. Feel free to e-mail me about the route if you guys have questions.
      Nina

  4. jil mohr says:

    sounds like a a great year…I would be curious as to how you put all this in google maps….is there a “tutorial” I can watch…I am NO TECHIE…

    • libertatemamo says:

      Yes, there’s a type of tutorial. You need a Google account. Once you login to Google go to “maps” and then “my places”. The tutorial is on there. It’s fairly easy to use!
      Nina

  5. bob says:

    Thanks for the great travel ideas and rv tips throughout the year. I’m not sure we’ll ever find time for every location on our ever growing “must-see” list, although the dreaming, planning, and plotting is always fun. Out of curiosity, have you started plotting any 2012 travels or wish list locations yet.

    • libertatemamo says:

      We have about 4 different plans for 2012, so nothing at all firm yet. We’d like to go back to CO again for summer, perhaps up into WY/MT. Then again we might end up back on the OR coast. We might even go cross-country again. It’s all very lose at the moment. We’ll probably firm up the plans within the next few months.
      Nina

  6. Marsha says:

    You two have had an amazing year! I am so glad you let Paul and I tag along. We have experienced new adventures just by reading your blog. Thanks for doing such a great job! You have given us a notebook full of places to see and experience!
    HAPPY NEW YEAR to you both! Wishing you a wonderful 2012 full of travel and fun!

  7. Bob says:

    Eight thousand seems like a lot, but spread out over a year, maybe not so daunting.
    HOWEVER. That’s a lot of links you had to put in there! I’ll be here all night! (OK, maybe not really) I don’t know which ones to click on! Gah!

    It’s been fun. Thanks.

    • libertatemamo says:

      I have to admit I was rather surprised we’d travelled 8,000 miles when I added it all up. It didn’t seem quite that far when we were doing it. I guess that just goes to show time & the road flies when you’re having fun!
      Nina

  8. hobopals says:

    My monitor is not working properly, but at least I can read. I have an appointment for repair on Monday. I have enjoyed your blog for a good part of the year, Nina. I can remember that the posts involving New Mexico, Colorado, and the Oregon Coast giving me the wanderlust so bad that I was ready just to get in and GO! Thank you for providing so much entertainment and invaluable information. Keep on keepin’ on in 2012.

  9. Oy! I missed both disasters. Maybe Paul should drop you off at the ER on his way out of town each time.

    That is some big country you’ve traveled through! Thanks for being our role models, boondocking in a Big Rig and sharing the how-to’s.

  10. BeckyIO says:

    Wow, 8,000 seems like so much, but it never seemed like you guys were in a rush. Hopefully I can manage to pull something like this off when I’m on the road. Thanks for all the posts, photos and campground reviews, I found them very helpful and inspirational. :)

  11. Terry says:

    Nina, This is an amazing review of your 2011 travels!. I admire the discipline it takes to keep this current week after week while traveling. I am looking forward to reading each and every “back issue” of your travels.

    Best Regards, Terry

    • libertatemamo says:

      Well I’ll be VERY impressed if you read all the posts LOL…I think that will deserve a bottle of wine from me. Really hope we get to meet again this coming year. I’ll be following you on your blog!
      Nina

  12. Sassy Rider says:

    Jeeze, I’m exhausted just reading the post ! LOL Now I gotta go back and check out all those links. Good stuff keeping track like that.

  13. danshula says:

    Keep going as long as it puts a smile on your face ,there is nothing compared to “do what you want ,what you can and what you like”
    Thank you for sharing your wonderful trips.

  14. Great to be able to look back on your trip like that!

  15. Jeff says:

    Nina,
    As you plan the next year, may I suggest Organ Pipe National Monument in southern AZ. The campground has ample sites for big rigs. It is dry camping, with fresh water available, also a dumpsight. Gen hours are from 8:00 to 10:00 in the morning and 4:00 to 6:00 in the afternoon. Lots of hiking trails and fantastic vistas. I went crazy with the camera.
    I have enjoyed being along on your trip this year and plan on following your every post in 2012. If perchance our paths meet we can share a bottle of wine (or 2)and regale in the stories we can tell.
    Jeff (and Cheryl)

  16. Mark S says:

    We really enjoyed following along and learning so much from your journey this year. Thanks for all the amazing posts and wishing you guys a wonderful 2012.

  17. Hi
    We just sold out house and plan to go full time with my dog Tara and Annes cat Princess.I read every one of your blogs and want to thank you for so much information helping us get ready. Good luck in 2012 and keep posting……

    Arch

  18. [...] crazed chickens across the US spending little more than a few days at each location. Exciting! Our second year we settled down to a more relaxing pace extending stays to a week or more but still did alot of [...]

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