Waking up in Chaco was hot, really hot, so it was a relief to finish out the day in the cool evergreen forest at Mancos State Park, Colorado. The next day before we hit the road we had a fun time doing some yoga, taking photos and relaxing. As ready as I was to get to our destination and get our dogs and cats out of the RV and into a more permanent living situation, I had a lump in my throat as we took down our tent and prepared to leave. The soft forest floor of Mancos had been so inviting!
The road to get there was 21 miles of washboard purgatory (why not hell? well, we didn’t know if we would ever arrive…), but the arrival was cool moonlight silhouettes of astounding buttes. Coyotes howled all night and the burning sun woke us in the morning. This was my first real experience of the desert.
I got some good driving time in on the RV going from southwest Oklahoma to northeast New Mexico. The roads were nice and straight, which made for smoother sailing in the RV (which over 55mph often felt like a boat rocking on a troubled sea), and I started to relax a bit driving such a behemoth.
Out of all the stops on our trip this may have been my favorite place to arrive. Both Chad and I had started growing skeptical about what the park would be like as we navigated through the town of Clovis. But when we drove into the state park as the sun was setting, I felt a sense of excitement overwhelm me. Beautiful shades of mauve settled across the horizon as the grasslands moved under a cool breeze.
The campsite had an adobe-type wall around it which provided some privacy where we could look out at the beautiful view. We had a nice private site at the campground. I loved seeing the waving grasses the next morning and really wanted to stay there for a few days.
The Wichita Wildlife Refuge was one of the few destinations that were on our original travel plan that we actually made it to. It was exciting to be arriving just around sunset and to have a wide choice of campsites to pick from. Also, we were finally out of the humid forests of the Southeast and into a different type of habitat – open canopy woods.
Arriving at Tishomingo State Park in Mississippi late on the second day of our cross-country honeymoon trip was exciting because I was out of known territory. The camp sites were nestled in around a lake, and we drove around in the dark trying to pick the best one (ie, the one that was both close to the bath house and away from other people). Our night there started out well but became harrowing when one of the cats escaped. Luckily the next morning we were able to relax, go for a walk by a stream, get our paws wet and hit the road again feeling poised.