12.08.2020

FLASHBACK POST: Our girls roadtrip/camping trip through Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona... screw 2020 (quarantines) in my mind I'm back on the road!

Good Morning Coffee Friends!  (... and anyone new stopping in - hello!)

A year ago this month (December 2019) I was planning my 2020 camping and hiking trip.  

I researched, got the destination points in mind, mapped out a driving plan and timeline.  I didn't have anyone to go with me.  (My husband does NOT camp, travel, hike or sleep in tents.  Ever.  Evvvver.)  And we live 1000+ miles away from all friends and family right now except one.  But once I convinced her to just hike with me once, she was hooked.  And once I convinced her to go a camping/hiking road trip, she was hooked so she was/is my travel buddy!

But... she and her husband decided to start their family and went and got pregnant.  Hmph. There went my 2020 road trip buddy.  She was DUE the same week I had planned the trip.  (Bah ha ha ha).

So with no travel buddy in mind, I forged ahead with my planning anyway.  Decided I'd either do it solo (not crazy about that idea for obvious safety reasons... single blonde female traveling solo across the country and camping/hiking in places where no one can hear you scream...) or I'd get it all planned and get the reservations and needed permits for some of the places I wanted to hit up and then I'd convince my brother or another family member to meet up with me in some state between us and do the trip with me.

But as I got the National Park Pass ordered and was literally getting ready to finish the last of the permits and reservations (you had to wait to try to get lucky and be the first to grab a spot as they opened reservations 6 months to the day of your hoped for dates) QUARANTINES STARTED.

So there ya go.  Travel plans dead in the water.   

Some of the places I wanted to hit up opened but as 'nature' is the only place you really could visit this year doing social distancing... it's packed.  Like, parking issues, walking a mile through parked cars to get to the trails, having to get permits ahead of time to ride a shuttle from trail to trail type stuff.

And so many of the smaller stops I'd planned were apt to be closed, or were opening and closing willy-nilly at the whim of their state or city local authorities.   I couldn't be sure of any of my sleep stops, my destinations, rest areas on interstates, or really, anything. 

And then add in the crazy assed riots, looting and violence that was happening with all the Black Lives Matter 'protests' that were really just a 'steal what you can carry' fest.  And the violence against white people just simply stopping in to get gas or food at a gas station or getting knocked out as they simply walked down the street - even frail, elderly women just because they were white...  scary as fuck out there.   

So yeah, I stayed home all 2020.

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So this morning is me reminiscing about one of my trips.  This one was 2018 and had a rough, 'oh crap, now what' moment when we started it but ended up being a favorite trip of ours.

We started our trip by wanting to get to the first destination - which was day 3 on our schedule.  It was there that was going to 'start' our real trip so all we did the first couple days was drive... drive... drive and drive.

Our first destination was about 30 minutes from the Mexico border - and is 45 minutes from food, water and gas so we stopped, gassed up, and sent our last text to family, as cell service cuts off as well so we would have no communication for 3-4 days.

As we were turning onto the last road to head to our hiking/camping destination we saw this....

CLOSED DUE TO FIRE.

The road was closed (with ZERO warning before this sign...  so it was a complete shock to us).  Apparently there was a huge 1200 acres fire raging that we couldn't see yet but we could see some 'white' in the distance but had assumed it was clouds or desert dust.  Nope.

It was a fire. And driving back to where our cells had service I did some internet checking and then looking up phone numbers and calling around and in the end - found out our first destination (a National Park area) had been shut down - the people forced to evacuate and leave their tents and campers - and we were now in the middle of a state we'd never been to before, about an hour from the Mexico border, we knew no one, had no place to go, no place to sleep and were wondering what to do.

 

BLOGGER LOADED MY PHOTOS IN WONKY WAYS AND THEY ARE NOT IN ORDER...

I've got ZERO time to cut and paste all of them and I've got about 2 minutes before I hurry to get dressed and rush out the door so I'm going to type fast and call it 'good enough'.

Just ask me questions in the comments if you have any.




 


 




 


  

 


  

 


   

This is how you get out of the cave...  if you've seen the movie The Descent (with the women friends that meet up for their annual girls vacation and go caving and camping that year)  it was JUST LIKE THAT.  LOL.

 

 



 

This was one of our not-so-favorite stops... we looked for a couple hours for a place to sleep/camp that night.  This is a dispersed camping area and it was 'ok' but if you recall my story at the time when we returned from this road trip I told about the weird breathing and huffing and shuffling noises I heard during the night literally next to our tent... that whole story.  LOL.


And it was SO DANG COLD.  I think it was down into the high 30's that night but we had not anticipated this cold so all our gear was 'warm weather' gear.

Our toes were literally numb in the morning.  It was the only night we froze on this trip.
 
 

 


  

 

My camping partner was so excited... she'd never seen these in real life so that was one of her "MUST SEE" and photo op goals for this trip.


  

THIS is where we ended up choosing to camp after finding out the forest fire had left us stranded in an unknown state with nowhere to be for 3-4 days as our original hiking/camping destination had been evacuated.  We drove across the state, and didn't know what to do or where to go but looked up some spots others had shared online for coordination's for others who had to boondock.

Ended up being one of our all time favorite camp spots.

 

Our FOOD.

We come FULLY self-sufficient on our trips.

Food, water, battery, inverter, even a portable toilet and options.

We can literally be away from all humans and any services for a couple weeks at a time and need absolutely thing.  We can cook, clean, whatever.  We have everything we need. 


  


 

 


 

 



I had planned on a much more organized and better written and better detailed post but I'm now 9 minutes LATE and have to run!!!!

These were on a stop in Arkansas where we did a 9 mile hike... mostly up hill.  LOL.  It was awful.  :)  But this first photo was our 'back yard' where we slept so... nice place to sleep and wake with that view!



 

 

At time, most everything you see by way of gear was bought off Amazon - which I was posting reviews of on Coffee Talking so most of our items like shoes, tents, backpacks, food, cooking gear, camp stoves, portable toilet options, etc. is all on Coffee Talking over the past few years for all the road trips and camping trips I did.

 

 Out of time!!! 

 

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