Week 13 and 14: Missouri to Virginia

After running into our generator problems in Colorado, we began heading east a little more quickly and directly than we had originally planned. We traveled a day and a half before stopping at a campground deep in the heart of Missouri.  Despite ending up there partially by accident and because of a broken generator, we certainly didn't fare too poorly. Actually, it was one of the nicest campground we've stayed at.  It was located on an enormous property with two lakes, countless little playgrounds, a jumping pillow, basketball and tennis courts, indoor and outdoor pools and even a little movie theater. 
We celebrated Dad's 50th birthday here - not a bad place to celebrate either! David's 13th birthday came later in the week, and though we were traveling for the day, we stopped for a fun dessert and then dinner several hours later. Yes, in that order. 
 busy making happy birthday banner for Dad






 David at the mini movie theater
Whitey got a bath in the little RV shower and was not happy about it!

After staying there for a week and not having any luck with generator repairs, we packed up and continued east.  After a couple days on the road, we arrived in Blacksburg, VA, excited to visit family.  Kaden has been talking about visiting our cousins over and over again throughout the trip, and we decided not to tell him our plans until we had arrived. Boy was he surprised! We had a wonderful couple days visiting with them, and then headed to the lake to visit grandparents for a few more days. 

 I joined Nathan and Justin (yes, both younger but SO much taller) for their job at an apple orchard. Unfortunately, it was rainy and quite chilly outside.  We pulled through, however. Picture for proof!



 We found the cutest cupcake samples while grocery shopping. Seriously amazing forms of sugar.



The end of our trip is quickly approaching, and as thankful as we are to have had a wonderful few months, we are more than ready to get back home.  Here we go, week 15. Finish the trip off well. 

Week 12 ~ Rifle Gap, Colorado

Week 12 ~ This week has definitely been one of our slower, more relaxed weeks.  We spent it at a state park called Rifle Gap, camping next to a lake.  We drove the short distance to the visitor center on Tuesday for the eclipse, getting to hear a ranger program dedicated to it while it was happening.  We got about 89% totality, though it didn’t get nearly as dark as we had expected.  It did, however, get very still and we noticed a drop in temperature. Though it wasn’t dark, the warped shadows were fun to see and the light looked much more like late afternoon shadows than 11am.  




Much of the rest of the week was spent at the state park itself, many of us going out kayaking or fishing.  Some even tried swimming and braved it well, though they came back half frozen.  We also visited a local fish hatchery - what a unique place that was! Very near the hatchery, we enjoyed a short hike around three gorgeous waterfalls. There were several caves around the falls, and we had a fun time exploring those as well. 








 
















Friday morning we backed up and left for an area close to Vail, CO.  We woke up Saturday morning hoping to explore Vail Village, but quickly realized we had run into a problem that would alter a good portion of our plans.  The RV generator decided to quit on us, and we spent much of the day trying to fix it.  To complicate things, local repair shops didn’t have any openings for almost three weeks.  Though it got warm in the RV, we were incredibly thankful that we were in the humidity free, cooler temperatures of Colorado.  Saturday evening we went to visit Dad’s cousins who live in the area, and really enjoyed seeing them.  Our great aunt, Gandy’s sister, was also there. When Kaden exclaimed, “Around you, it feels just like Gandy’s here!” we could only nod our heads in agreement.  It was so nice seeing her and nearly having Gandy in the room. After church Sunday morning, we tried making a pit stop at another state park while we searched for someone to work on the generator, but again there was no availability.  So we’re on a little adventure – heading back east and somewhat making it up as we go along.  Come on week 13 – for once, we hardly know what you’re going to bring.  Let the adventure begin!