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!

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.


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 stayed 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.




  1. Hey Mona,

    Thank you for sharing your adventures with us. I’m so happy that you and your hubby finished your goal. I am so in awe of all you’ve accomplished. Your summary was amazing to read and inspiring.

    May God be with you on your next journey in life.

    Peace and blessings to you both.

    Felicia Permillion

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Wow! You two have been on an amazing journey. It has been fun being able to tag along through your blog. We are so glad our paths have crossed a couple of times and we hope we get to meet up this Winter/Spring in Tucson. Travel On!

  3. What an amazing experience you guys had on the road. I am so slad I found your blog at a time we were out RVing, too. Your stats are cool, and I look forward to your next advnture.

  4. What a journey! I am so impressed with how organized all your information is. What awesome memories you made and and Joe and I are so happy we could share a small adventure with you both. Sure hope our paths cross again in 2017!

  5. Man is your family huge! Looks like a ton of great times and lots and lots of memories.
    Fantastic job on the map. We wanted to do something similar to your map but pooped out after the second year. Wish that hadn’t happened.
    Hope to see y’all in Tuscon. Take care. Happy New Year.

  6. Wonderful post! It’ll be fun for me to see how you decide to change up your travels. Wow, what a big family. Love the photo of you with your sisters. Hope to see you in the spring. Faye and I had lunch today and you were missed 🙂

    • Thank you. We will definitely slow down more in our travels and so with the blogging. I did see you have met with Dave and Faye in Port A. Wished I was there too and we can do some birding. Missing my bird feathered friends.

      • You guys were missed and we talked about you. Hope you’ll join us next winter in Cave Creek. We’re giving you plenty of time to plan!

  7. The whole time I was reading, I was like “Oh no, they’re not quitting are they??? We just started! I want to meet them!!!”

    Phew!! Glad you’ll still be out there!!

    This is an incredibly impressive post. When I think about how much you’ve seen and all the efforts you’ve gone through to capture it and make it available to others (through photographs, informative posts, and RV park reviews), I’m truly blown away. All of the resources you’ve created are really helpful to us newbies and it’s very much appreciated. Add to that the giant dose of inspiration your 5 years of travels provide, and we are truly grateful.

    Congratulations on reaching your goal, Happy New Year, and best wishes for 2017!!

    • Thank you Laure, I sure hope that you will venture out west and we can meet somewhere. Writing this blog was fun as it brought lots of memories and felt proud of our accomplishment.

  8. Congratulations! You certainly did embrace our entire country and Canada:) What a great accomplishment:) Now you can kick back and go wherever you fancy! Super post on your five years in review. This definitely is not a lonely lifestyle. The road is full of wonderful people. Looks like a great time back “home” with friends and family. We are looking forward to catching up this February!

  9. So many fun times, grand adventures, and beautiful smiles all around! Thanks for taking us along on your amazing journey and sharing such great tips along the way. We’ve loved meeting up with you guys during our travels, and are looking forward to more good times to come. Happy New Year! oxox Laurel & Eric

  10. What an adventure (so far)!! Looks like you have a HUGE family! Always nice to be back with family. Maybe we’ll get to meet you while in AZ this year and do a little hike?

  11. Loved that group family shot “attacking” the turkey and big meal, you need to put that one a magnetized backing and hang on your refrigerator 🙂

  12. I can’t believe how much you’ve traveled so far! I feel like we’re slow-pokes now (but I’m OK with that). We’ll make it to Alaska “some day”, but we still have a lot to cover before then. Looking forward to crossing paths again! -Mike & Kathie / LifeRebooted

  13. Congratulations! You did it! I’ve loved reading about your adventures and seeing your beautiful photos. I’m glad I got to see Steve at Yvonne’s retirement gathering at Berkeley Lab. Have a great time in Arizona. Thanks for sharing your adventures with us. Peace!

  14. Glad to see your first goal accomplished, can’t wait to see where the road takes you. Sorry we can’t join you for your Mexico adventure but it doesn’t make sense to head to AZ since we are heading to IL for the summer. Sure did miss you when Ingrid and I had lunch the other day.

  15. Congratulations on meeting your goal! What amazing adventures you have had along the way. So glad our paths crossed and certainly hope they do again. Happy New Year and many blessings for 2017.

  16. Mona Liza I have no idea how I missed this. I have been missing your posts but boy I can see you have been spending a lot of time putting this together. It is JUST AMAZING! So much information about your journey. I am in awe. Wish I could say we’d hit all 50 states. We were making great headway until about the time you started out when cancer came along for the ride. Thanks for all these stats and the red letter list of campgrounds. IF we can ever get west it will be invaluable. And many many thanks to Steve for the great campground reviews. You two are quite a team. How wonderful for you to have such a huge family here to enjoy. Yours is bigger than mine and David’s put together and multiplied. What joy! So sorry for the sadness of the loss of two friends both so close together. I know they were both enriched by your friendship.
    Steve – the map is fantastic, I’m so jealous of your mapping ability. Color coded by year. WOW!

    • Thank you so much Sherry. Putting this together was a little hardwork but it gave us an excuse to look back and be amazed of where we had been.
      One day I sure hope we cross paths, either you come to the west or we travel back east.

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