Starting the New Year on the Road

It’s a new year, with new places, adventures, friends and memories to be made.

On this first day of 2018, we find ourselves on the road again, traveling this day through southeastern Michigan, into Indiana and Illinois, through Chicago and up through Wisconsin. By Tuesday we’ll be somewhere near Rochester, Minnesota, where made an unexpected trip last summer at the famed Mayo Clinic to have a troublesome gallbladder removed.

We were so impressed with the place that, when it came time for my annual physical this year, we thought that we could find no better place to have it done. Like a lot of RVers who are on the road for much of the year, we try to schedule all our doctor and dental check ups at once, as efficiently as possible.

It took me three months to get scheduled for an Executive Physical at Mayo and mine starts Jan. 3. They have sent me a jam-packed schedule of tests, appointments, more tests and consultations that will get everything done in about three days. Back home or anywhere else, it would take weeks to get done everything that Mayo will do.

That frees up the rest of the year for travel.

Much of our calendar will see Jennifer, Bo and me trying to attend as many of out Roadtreking gatherings as possible.

Our annual winter campout at Tahquamenon Falls

The first one is coming up fast – January 19-21 at Tahquamenon Falls State Park in Michigan’s snow covered Upper Peninsula. The park plows the normal 2 1/2 feet of snow covering each site and we crank up the heat and enjoy the woods and wilds in the dead of winter. There's snow shoeing, cross country skiing, igloo building and lots of fun around blazing campfires.

Here's a video on the first one – https://youtu.be/-mUa76Pqph0   Here's a story, video and pics from last year's event – http://roadtreking.com/3rd-annual-roadtreking-winter-campout-day-one/   

This event is handled a little differently than our other gatherings. You make your reservation directly with the Michigan DNR site and pick your site from their reservation page at https://www.midnrreservations.com/   After you do that, we ask you go to this page on Eventbrite and register (free) so we know you are coming and what site you will be in. This helps us plan our socials and dinners.

There may be a couple of openings, though this year’s gathering up there looks like it will fill the entire campground. We can hardly wait!

The second gathering takes place about 1,200 miles due south, on Feb 12-16 at Manatee Springs State Park in Florida. This gathering will get us into the warm Florida sun and give us a chance to see the winter location for hundreds of gentle Florida manatees.

There will be kayak rentals available, lots of exploring, socializing, nature programs and a wonderful catered meal by our friends at Sunshine State RVs in Gainesville, FL, who will even have an RV technician come by to help with any minor issues anyone may be experiencing. Last I knew, it was sold out. But there’s a waiting list and there are always cancellations so if you are interested, sign up and you still might get in.

We have Roadtreking gatherings just about every month throughout the year but there’s no way we can make them all.

So after the manatees, we plan to go into serendipity mode, where we will explore and do unscheduled travel wherever we feel the winds taking us. Maybe we’ll head deep south towards the keys, to see how all the Florida parks are looking now that most have reopened after last year’s hurricanes.

The color at Biscuit Basin in Yellowstone's ar-northwestern Upper Geyser Basin is a photographer's delight

Or maybe we’ll follow the gulf coast west, into Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana into Texas, where I’d like to see the Bluebells and spend some quality time at Big Bend National Park.

As we begin our seventh year of RVing this spring, we’ll undoubtedly head up to Yellowstone National Park. We visit every year. We’ll make our way there through Utah and Idaho, taking our time and wandering the most diverse landscapes you can find in all of North America.

Glacier National park

That, of course, depends on us not being seduced by the lures of Colorado and the Rockies.

Then there’s Wyoming and Montana. For sure we’ll be at Glacier National Park in June, site of our annual Roadtreking Photo Safaris. That’s another place we can’t get enough of and visit each year.

After that, well…. we’re so close to the Canadian Rockies that we’d be crazy not to cross over and head to Banff and Lake Louise.

Lake Louise

Hmm… after seeing those awesome Canadian National Parks, we’d be in a great place to launch out off to Alaska. Hmmm. Jennifer?

I can’t even begin to think about fall. Though I know we do have to be back in Florida from Nov. 4-7. We’ll be joining a bunch of other Roadtekers camping at Fort Wilderness on the grounds of Walt Disney World. That, I predict, will become a new tradition.

So the New Year awaits. So many places are calling us.

Here’s hoping you have great plans and adventures to look forward to. Jennifer and I hope to meet you out there this year.

Happy 2018!