It was December. We were gathered at our house for Christmas, and my daughter had assembled us all in the living room. She was excited to give us her proposal for a family vacation, an adventure in a motorhome. Complete with PowerPoint, moving pictures, detailed itinerary and her own scripted narration, she began the presentation.
It was to be the Most Awesome Road Trip Ever, an epic journey to parts unknown, traveling over 2600 miles in 12 days through Texas, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico making memories to last a lifetime. I was impressed by her salesmanship as she touted the advantages of a rented campervan. No need to unpack in questionable hotel rooms, we would have our own secluded get away on wheels with a private bedroom, modern kitchen, cool bunks for the kids and a ‘spacious’ bath. Our own 5 star hotel on wheels.
Our first stop would be Palo Duro Canyon, the 2nd largest canyon in the U.S. With its tranquil scenery and breathtaking views we could hike or enjoy peaceful relaxation in the great outdoors next to our campervan, which would be hooked up to water and power. Next we’d visit Colorado Springs, where we could choose from Pikes Peak, Cheyenne Mountain, USAFA, and Garden of the Gods. We even had the option of a rustic cabin Day 3 or 4 if we wanted a bit more room. Topping that we would visit the Mesa Verde Cliff Dwellings in southern Colorado, a fascinating ancient home to the nomadic Paleo Indians.
“But wait, there’s more!” she exclaimed. “It’s time to go to the Grand Canyon!” She explained that Grand Canyon National Park is America’s 15th oldest national Park, housing the 277 mile long, 18 mile wide and 1 mile deep magnificent canyon. Our RV campground would be primitive here, no hookups – time to cook outside, sleep in a tent, hike and explore the beautiful grounds of the park.
Our final destination was Carlsbad Caverns where we would walk a 1.25 mile steep, switchback path 750 feet into the cave and to marvel at the amazing formations and the Big Room. The trip included a couple of nights at RV parks with hookups to allow for flexibility in travel time. Then we would travel back to Texas in the comfort of our cozy RV at our own pace.
Paul and the kids were sold at “campervan” and “adventure.” Craig and I were less enthusiastic – him more so because of the time required to be off work, me because I’ve never been big on camping or adventure. But I was more than ready to set that aside for the prospect of spending so much time with people I love, traveling together, and visiting parts of God’s creation that I’d never seen. Besides, my daughter’s enthusiasm was contagious.
We set the date for a mid-May departure, Laura and Paul to work out details and reservations, and the trip began to become a reality. The trip did indeed turn out to be an amazing adventure – we had great fun, made lots of memories, saw stunning sights, and learned how to drive, live in, and manage an RV – even in a tornado. Read about it all in the ongoing blog series the Most Awesome Road Trip Ever.