We have finally made our trek across the USA, and we have moved onto our boat for good! We arrived early evening two days ago, and so far, the days have been packed with unpacking (pun intended). We are not yet done, but getting there.
Ed and I certainly learned a lot on our drive from Portland, OR, to Fort Lauderdale, FL.
- The United States is huge. We all know this on paper, and for some of us of a certain age, because of the Oregon Trail game. Thankfully, we did not die of dysentery.
- So is Texas. Why on God’s green earth do we have a state that big? Yes, I know Alaska is way bigger, but they at least have enough dang sense to not build a bunch of roads and, instead, rely on aviation. Everything is bigger in Texas, including your fuel bill.
- Hybrid vehicles have crappy fuel efficiency when towing. I’m starting to suspect that it would have been cheaper to just get rid of everything we towed, fly here, and buy new. But…most of what we brought was not exactly replaceable. We were pretty selective that way.
- Eating fast food multiple days in a row and spending all day in a car for a week is a good way to make your body angry at you. It was pretty much the only option because with Covid, stopping and doing indoor dining was not happening.
- We did at least break up the trip and have a rest day with our friends in Palm Springs. I think we’d have gone super crazy if we had not done that. Long road trips should be done with lots of stops and at a slower pace if possible.
Our friends were gracious enough to get us on our feet and show us some of Palm Springs’ nature.
The photos do not do this place justice. The palms and scenery are truly breathtaking.
We also appreciated having a homecooked meal for a couple of evenings. I really think we would have made ourselves ill if we didn’t get the opportunity to break up the eating out.
After a brief respite it was time to hit the road. Our next leg got us to El Paso, TX. I wish I had more to share, but it’s a whole lotta nothin’ other than Phoenix, Tuscon, and Las Cruces. The next leg got us a bit east of San Antonio, TX. Yes, we could not make it across Texas in one day. West Texas is some of the most desolate country I’ve seen, and that’s saying something considering I’ve been to Eastern Oregon and Alaska.
The following leg finally got us out of Texas and we managed to make Tallahassee, FL. We had originally planned to stop in Pensacola, but we decided to push through the extra two hours to get a little further down the road. If I had to do it over again, I would not have made that choice. I think I pretty well went into crazy mode that night from poor sleep and poor diet while traveling. I really needed the break, and pushing further turned out to be a mistake on my part. The last leg finally brought us to our boat, and we were sooooo thankful to have made it.
We did about 3,500 miles in seven days. When one stops to think about it, what an amazing feat of human invention that we can do that (and better via airplane!!) It was only 150 or so years ago that the same trip would have taken many, many months.
Although we were quite worn out from our travels, the work must continue on. We spent the weekend unpacking and organizing our stuff, and also making many errands to get a few more items that need to be bought anew. Today (Monday) brought the first of our “top” work to be completed, with the “bottom” work already done. Two months ago, we had a welder fabricate a solar arch and davit system and they finally got to begin installation today. Tomorrow they will finish up.
It was quite the process to get the array up onto the bimini. Luckily, we have a built-in crane system via a mast and halyard! We are really excited to have the extra solar wattage which should allow us to live truly off-grid, and hopefully we will not have to run the generator to run our electric devices.
I also have a satellite phone type thing called an Iridium Go on its way here. It will allow me to upload Grib files (for weather forecasting) anywhere on earth, and also give us satellite data…albeit at dial up modem speed. Good for text, not much more though. I will also be able to link our position via a weather prediction app called Predict Wind. Stay tuned, because our website will display this soon, and you all be able to see where we are in the world at any time!
We think we will be on our way to the Bahamas in about two weeks! Stay tuned for updates!!