Day 57: Departure Day

Thursday, May 30, 2019:

It’s hard whenever we know we are leaving a loved one’s home. “Departure Day” is so emotionally loaded. We know it’s necessary to keep moving and be reasonable with the amount of time we spend in each location but it would feel so good to stay so much longer!

Time is absolutely the most important factor these days. Well, time and love, but love is endless and so abundant in every moment and with everyone we visit. We know love will be here tomorrow. Time is limited and fleeting, and it’s quantity is such an unknown! There is no gas gauge on Fred. He is confident he has enough left in the tank to make it home and then some. But fatigue is creeping in, a little more each day. We are ready to start heading home.

We know we still want to get down to southern CA and see Fred’s daughter Alissa and his old graveyard partner David Moeller. We know we will need about one week more on the road to comfortably accomplish that. So it all comes back around to time.

We always wake up on Departure Days and then lie in bed, almost dreading to get up because we know it’s going to be an emotional day. We always want to stay just one more day.

We shuffled into the kitchen around 8am today. Nadine is such a great hostess (and makes the best coffee). She was up already and made sure I had the first cup. She also made sure we had our breakfasts before she made hers.

Grant joined us a little later and we all had breakfast together. We chatted until we were starting to risk the 11am take off goal. We loaded up our gear and Grant & Nadine followed us over to the RV at Arlin and Claudia’s place. Claudia came out to see us off.

We are so thankful to Arlin and Claudia’s for letting us keep our rig at their place. They even let us use an extension chord so we could power our refrigerator all this time. That is really above and beyond! They are great people ❤️.

We drove the RV and the Jeep to the main road and got everything hooked up to tow. We said our goodbyes to Grant and Nadine. Grant was great at sprinkling a little humor on the heaviness of the moment. It was well timed and left everyone smiling as we drove away.

The smiles slowly faded away to quiet contemplation for about an hour after we got on the road. There is always so much to reflect upon on Departure Day.

We met our goal of hitting the road by 11 am. I wish we had stopped at the In and Out in Leander, TX for lunch but it just seemed to early under the circumstances. Fred always likes to put some distance in early on Departure Days.

But after we passed up the places to eat in Leander, there was nothing for hours. At least nothing where the motorhome would fit in the parking lot. We snacked a bit on the biggest bag of popcorn I have ever seen…

Then we stopped at a gas station in Mason, TX and had a couple of Costco blueberry muffins that Nadine and I had picked up the other day.

We got caught up in some roadway construction just outside of Junction, TX and sat at a closure for about 25 minutes before we were moving again.

Sitting in the construction zone gave us time to admire all the Texas wildflowers. The recent rains have made them really vibrant and they peppered the road everywhere we’ve been today.

We stopped for a little nap about halfway between Roosevelt and Sonora, TX around 3pm. We rested for about an hour there. Fred found an old Wendy’s frosty that I had put in the freezer and had a little pick-me-up.

I called ahead to the Fort Stockton RV Park to make sure they had space for us tonight. That was our goal destination. We made a reservation.

We were trying to put in some good distance today, so we were still driving around 5pm when we hit a lightning storm in Ozona, TX. We still couldn’t find any decent place to eat so we pulled into a rest stop around 5:30pm and made eggs and toast in the RV. It rained pretty hard on us while we sat there and eat dinner.

It was pretty funny because around 630pm we knew we were getting close to our destination but our GPS didn’t say anything. We passed an RV park just off the freeway and we laughed at how dinky and sad it looked. As we passed it, we realize the GPS was recalculating. Then we realized we had just passed the Fort Stockton RV Park. That dinky little park just off the freeway was our home for the night. We went down to the next exit and doubled back.

The park wasn’t that bad once we pulled into it. There were actually quite a few nice RVs parked there and it had its own little restaurant. The restaurant was closed for the evening but that was okay because we had already eaten. We tag-teamed the RV set up and made quick work of it. The weather was pretty pleasant too.

Then we turned on the NBA playoff game and settled in for the evening.

Today was a very reflective day so I sat and took some notes on my thoughts.

I really am amazed at how close this journey has brought me to Fred’s family. Everyone has been so embracing and open, and strong! We have been able to have important conversations, and share memories, and laugh. I feel so included and absolutely, genuinely loved by everyone. I hope they feel loved by me.

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