Spring road trip….April/May/June.2019

I’d been planning the first week of this road trip since last September…I was excited! I’d been a guest on the Girl Camper Podcast last fall & had been asked to speak at the Wonderful Women of Waxahachie in Texas in April.  And now I was on my way!

Day 1 4.22 
Hello Texas!
I started the trip early, heading to Dallas for a couple of days to see Jill & her family.  I have my new Thule riding on top of the 4Runner…joining us on our trip.  I swear I looked up at through the sunroof about 100 times on the way down!  I got to Jill’s about 2:30 & we just started chatting.  I learned something new about my friend since junior high school…she is an avid over the top hockey fan!  The Dallas Stars were playing tonight, so she settled in to watch the game…I settled in to watch her watch…both were very entertaining!

Day 2 4.23 
We drove over in the morning to visit her little teardrop trailer she calls Tramper.  The babes been sickly ever since she got her, but Jill loves her & is sticking by the cute little trailer no matter what!  After we did what needed done there, we drove over to visit her grandkids.  They are so cute & we had fun going from room to room, as they each showed me all their stuff!  After an hour or so, we left for lunch at Bumpershoot BBQ.  We ate there last year before our first event in Waxahachie…maybe we just started a new tradition.  It’s pretty yummy & such good atmosphere!

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Then we hit the grocery & liquor store getting ready for our event with all those fun women!  After buzzing by the house & unloading all the food, we met Jill’s neighbors for Taco Tuesday.  Then we went to a school performance with her two oldest grandkids.  There, I also got to visit with Jill’s Mom, Dorolyn, whom I hadn’t seen in a long time.  That was great!  A storm would be blowing in soon, so Jill went back to the storage unit & hooked up the trailer & brought it home.  It was road-ready for in the morning.  I ended the evening, sitting on their lovely back porch, watching the lightening & talking to both Luke & Danny on the phone.

Day 3 4.24 
We headed out mid-morning & stopped at Bucee’s—a super famous Dallas truck stop-- on the way to the event.  I have heard all about this place, but it’s truly the best truck stop you will ever visit.  Jill can’t seem to stop there without buying some really cute pillow…they really are adorable & look right at home in Tramper.  I loved their .89 cent ice!!

We finally made it to Waxahachie with intermittent rain.  We were coming in a day early, as were a couple of our other friends.  Our friend Jo Lynn showed up in her big Class A rig, then Jill got her trailer backed in & leveled (no easy task), then I was last.  The three of us went to lunch at a mexican place in town by the square, then headed back to camp.  Just as we got there, the rain came in buckets.  We all retreated to our ‘campers’ for a bit.  Later, that evening our friend Mary Ellen from Flagstaff showed up & Jo Lynn invited us all over to her rig…it’s like an apartment!  It was perfect for sitting around visiting while the rain continued outside.  It was really great to be back here with these women again!

Day 4 4.25 
The sun was out this morning & no rain!  There were giant puddles in the middle of the park, but the weather forecast was for ‘beautiful’ for the next 4 days.  

This event, the Wonderful Women of Waxahachie, is the brain child of camper Janine Pettit.  It’s purpose is to bring all kinds of women campers together, learn something from each other, make new friends & spend a lot of time laughing & talking!  Many of these women belong to Sisters on the Fly, but not all.  Janine’s tag line is, “There’s no wrong way to camp”.  She also put on a Camper College for those who were interested in things like: How to Tow an RV; How to Back Up an RV; Safety Things to Know:, etc.

Jill set up her trailer with it’s cute decor & I got out my chair…we were ready for the party to start.  

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I made coffee & we sat on our ‘porch’ (the space between our campers) & watched all the RV’s coming in.  There were lots of new ones, but more vintage trailers; there were about 4 tents, a few van campers & one other SUV camper besides me.  Us early arrivals, went to the hospitality tent & helped stuff the swag bags for check in later this afternoon.  There’s a wonderful little 2 mile path that goes from the park—where we’re camped— right into the main square of the cute little historic downtown.  We all ate a sweet little gift shop/restaurant named the Dove’s Nest.  Jill & I decided to walk back; the others took an Uber, so we went in & out of a couple of shops on the way back to the trail.  Thank goodness there’s a convenience store about a block away from camp…I needed ice (don’t I always?) so I walked up there & bought my first bag.  (One of many, many, many to comesad face.)

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The event tonight would kick off at Happy Hour with a talk by Gail Bable, who is a camp host each summer in a state park on the east coast...it was really interesting.  She would be one of three speakers during the event…I was super stoked to be one of them too!  But my talk, wasn’t scheduled until Saturday morning. We all strolled over to the VIP tent to grab a bite to eat.  I should mention there is a big film & music festival scheduled for this weekend too & both are included in our event.  We ended up taking our food back to camp, grabbed a picnic table & began some wonderful visiting.  Jill checked out a bit early…there was another Stars game (they are in the play off’s) & she’s able to watch it on her iPad.  Jo Lynn & I walked around the park, visiting with the other campers & checking out their trailers.  It’s a lively group of women…there was a 100 year old attending her first camp event.  When we walked by that group, they were all playing cards under twinkly lights & laughing joyously!  We met up with our friend Barbara from Philadelphia who is traveler-supremo as well as a ball room dancer!  I love following her travels & she is truly one of the most interesting women I’ve ever met.  She’s embracing growing a little older, retirement & traveling all over the world!  We joined her on her ‘porch’ next to her Roadtrek van she travels in, for a glass of wine.  She’s got some major big travels coming up & listening to her talk about it was fantastic!  We strolled back to our campers afterwards & said good night to Jo Lynn & Jill was smiling about a Stars win!

Day 5 4.26 
I was so excited to attend this mornings breakfast chat with Mary Ellen Arndorfer.  I’d met her last year at this event & was immediately in awe of her.  She’s a former river guide in the Grand Canyon & currently lives in Flagstaff, AZ with her 16 year old daughter & husband.  Her talk today was mesmerizing, moving, informative & over the top wonderful!!!  She runs a camping website named Campergroove…check it out!  

Then we just hung out in camp for awhile visiting with other campers, each other & enjoying the wonderful weather.  We  walked to town, ran into Mary Ellen, Jo Lynn & the other Jill, so we grabbed more chairs & all ate lunch together.

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Once back, Jill & I made our Jalapeño Cucumber Lemonade….& we made enough to share!  Mary Ellen opened a bottle of champagne & so we made our camper version of a mimosa…it was delicious! Afterwards, I hit the showers for a quick clean up.  Jill wanted to see one of the films, so she headed in that direction & Mary Ellen & I stayed behind & just visited.  Dinner was catered Mexican in the park at the gazebo.  Some women went to the concert (I love musicbut I can only last about 2 minutes at these concertsnot sure why. )  The rest of us roasted marshmallows over smokeless fire pits that were set up by one of the vendors attending the event.

In the pic below, I was crazily trying to use my marshmallow stick as a wandit wasnt working.

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I ended the night with a beer & good conversation.  Its really cool to look all around this park at all 100 attendees different set ups; with twinkly lights glowing throughout; the concert music just loud enough to hear; the fire pits burning in the middle of the park & the sweet sounds of women voices laughing in the distancewhat a nice way to end the evening.

Day 6 4.27 
Yikes…this morning it was time for me to give my little breakfast chat.  I don’t mind public speaking, but I’m never sure if what I write is understood by the listeners in the way it’s meant to.  And, this is mostly a group with RV’s…not sure how interested they are in car camping…but, oh well, here goes.  Since I can’t seem to load video on this page, if you really want to read my chat, here it is:  Solo Travel, Boondocking & Car Camping.

It all went fine…well mostly.  I’m sure I could pick it apart, but there was some laughter in all right places, questions were asked & some very nice women came up to me afterwards with nice compliments & praise.  Thats all good enough for me!

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I sat & just chilled out while Jill & Barbara went to one of the films.  Then I walked to town with a new friend named Trish & we ate at an iconic Waxahachie old fashioned burger place complete with yummy root beer.  At dinner that night in the gazebo, there was a raffle & none of us won anythingwed all put our tickets in for the same item.  It was a quilt made by one of the Girl Campers & was really cute.  I was hoping to win it & give it to Jillshe LOVED it!  I tried to attend another concert, but after one sad country song decided to go back to camp.  If thered been dancing, I would have stayedbut there wasnt!  Eventually several women made up group & we all just spent the rest of the night chatting away!  Tomorrow everyone would be packing up to leaveso heres some more pics from the event!  Im sure Ill be back next yearI cant wait to see my friends again & meet new ones!

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The Wonderful Women of Waxahachie!

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Day 7 4.28 
After a night of thunderstorms, the skies were clear, bright & dry this morning.  There were a gazillion hugs all around..we loved seeing our old friends & meeting new ones.  There were women from 17 states at this event & I think it’s safe to say everyone had fun.  We watched as one by one women hooked up & towed away all these sweet trailers.  Jill has learned so much about her trailer, towing, solar power, safety features, etc.  But, somehow, she managed to bend her hitch plate.  She’s quite talented at doing this…I think it’s her 3rd one.  But, always with a smile on her face when it comes to Tramper, she hooked up & was ready to go.  One big hug & goodbye later (we won’t be seeing each other on our annual July trip this year —sad face—, but she’s got two awesome solo trips planned & I’m so happy for her!) (PS:  take extra hitch plates!), we both drove off about 10:30 am.  Jill heading back to Dallas, & I was headed west for my summer road trip!

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I hit the highway & drove till 6:30pm which was really 5:30pm because I had now crossed into Mountain Time Zone.  
Hello New Mexico!
I’d read about a dispersed campground near Carlsbad & turned off the highway following my directions.  It had a big campground sign…but it was really just a giant gravel parking lot.  It did have 4 trash cans (never underestimate the luxury of not having to haul your trash out).  Danny & I face timed & he thought it was ugly.  I’ll admit, there wasn’t anything special about it, but it was a place to sleep for the night, I had the Guadalupe mountains in the distance, wildflowers growing nearby & a pretty sunset to watch.  I tried my first dehydrated meal, & while it was about as special as the parking lot, it worked just as well.  Sweet dreams!

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PS:  The sad thing (for me anyway) that I left out of this story, is that I missed a trip home by Sara, Kevin, Claire & Emma.  They really came home to see Phyllis, who is dealing with some medical issues right now.  Danny was taking the lead at though with a giant smile on his face, sending me pictures of all the fun that was being had while I was away.  These were wonderful little connections & I was super happy for both him & Phyllis to have those sweet babies to hug, play with, read to, laugh with, bake cookies with & run outside!  If that marshmallow wand had started working, I would have made me be in two places at once!

Check back later on this trip…as Plan B might happen & it involves the little girls, Sara, & the boys!

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