Coming full circle – Pleasanton, CA

Although I’ve been quiet in the blogosphere lately, we’ve been very busy since arriving here in November.  As you may recall, we cut short our stay in Ashland, Oregon and hightailed it to California due to sad news about our friends.  Nevertheless, our excitement and anticipation built as we approached Pleasanton, California, where our adventure began in March 2012.  Our 37,000+ mile, 58-month journey had brought us full circle!

Alta Mont, Livermore CA

Descending the last hill of our adventure on I-580 toward Pleasanton, CA

Understandably, we were very eager to see family and friends, some that we hadn’t seen for almost five years.  Our two-month stay here was a flurry of activities – bonding with family, socializing with old friends and revisiting old hangouts.  Our dentists, eye doctors, hair stylist and barber were all happy to see us again and had many questions about our travels.  Sadly, we bid goodbye to two dear friends who passed away.

Spending the holidays with family was the highlight of our return, and boy did they feed us!

Thanksgiving dinner

Thanksgiving dinner with family – wow!

My adorable grand niece Hattie and grand nephew Jace

Sandalo Family

Just a fourth of my family on Christmas day

Sandalo sisters

With my sisters, half of the Sandalo siblings

It was an amazing 4 years and 10 months.  Life on the road was full of surprises, many good and just a few bad.  Our journey across the continent left us with so many experiences that linger on.  Mostly we felt fortunate to be able to see so many things for the first time, but we also faced a few fears, learned much about the country’s historical past, and most of all enjoyed the incredible beauty of the U.S.  And for those who wondered about the ups and down of being with each other 24/7 in a cramped space, you’ll be happy to hear that we remain best of lovers and best of friends!

Lichen

Lechon, a filipino roasted pig that can feed an army (and pretty much did)!

Where we’ve been

Adding a new state or province to our map was always a “red letter moment”, and our anticipation grew each year as it filled up.  Then, last September we jumped for joy when we finally covered the map as we headed into our last state, Idaho.  We celebrated that milestone, and dozens of crossings into and out of Canada and Mexico along the way were icing on the cake.

Map of our travels

Betsy proudly wears her completed map

Where we camped

The image below shows our stops from the beginning in March, 2012 through 2016.  The colored routes represent our travels during each year.  To see individual travel routes click here.

all_travels

We stayed at 47 City/State/Regional parks, and we chose some favorites that we recommend.  Clicking on them takes you to Steve’s campground review, or my blog that has information about the campground.  We picked them because of their location, hiking trail access, site spaciousness, great views and overall ambiance.

By the numbers:

  • Betsy’s miles traveled – 37,010 miles
  • Honda CRV miles traveled – 76,575
  • Diesel burned – 4,700 gallons ; averaged 7.8 mpg
  • U.S. states visited – 49 (couldn’t find a road to Hawaii)
  • Canadian provinces visited- 8, plus 1 territory
  • Mexico states – 1
  • Campgrounds visited – 318 U.S., 35 Canadian.  We also dry camped and stayed overnight at maintenance facilities several times
  • Number of City/State/Regional Parks – 47
  • Priciest RV park- $89/night – Perdido Cove RV Resort, Florida
  • Cheapest RV park with utilities – $14/night at Riverside Campground, Sac City, IA
  • Number of ferry rides Betsy took – 5  (Haines, Alaska; Outer Banks, North Carolina (2); New Brunswick, Canada; Port Aransas, Texas)
  • National parks visited – U.S. 34 out of 59 existing; Canada 7 of 40 existing
  • National monuments – 20 of 120
  • National seashores – 6 of 10
  • All American roads- 14 of 30
  • Border crossings – 26 times between US/Canada/Mexico
  • Time zones we lived in – 6  (Atlantic (AST), Eastern, Central, Mountain, Pacific and Alaskan (AKST)
  • Small airplane tours – 6 (Alaska 3, Texas 1, Arizona 1, Utah 1)
  • Aircraft museums toured – 9
  • Car manufacturing plants toured – 5
  • Caves or Mines explored   – 8
  • Miles hiked – we lost track 🙂 but many hundreds of miles
  • Big bodies of water we touched – 11 (Pacific and Atlantic oceans, all 5 great lakes and the gulfs of Alaska, California, Mexico and St. Lawrence)
  • Number of blog posts published- 422

It’s all about friends – old and new

We initially thought our journey would be a mostly lonely endeavor, since we had left our family and friends behind.  To our surprise this lifestyle was a perfect way to make new friends.  We met several at campgrounds, and many others through their blog sites.  Our travels also reconnected us with long lost classmates, former co-workers and several of my childhood friends.

Looking back, we can’t imagine how boring our journey would have been if we hadn’t met all of those good folks.  We thank all of you for enriching our lives and making our journey worthwhile.  We’ll cherish those memories and look forward to meeting you again somewhere down the road.

For those we have pictures of, here are memories of our get-togethers.  For those who are camera-shy or that I didn’t get pictures of during our visits – we love you just as much!

What an adventure it was!

Of course, our travels aren’t over and we don’t know when we’ll leave our life on the road.  But with our main goal completed there will be some changes in how and where we travel.  We’re still trying to figure it out ourselves, as we slowly head back toward Tucson for our late winter/spring break.

 

Next up: Fun tidbits from our travels