We have been on the road since last Thursday, and I am finally making time for a blog post. Sadly, this one will be without pictures. My camera cord was left at home, so all of my pictures are trapped on the camera for the moment. I will probably get a new cord in the next town, and put some pictures up at that time. For now, words will have to do.
We drove through North Carolina and Tennessee very uneventfully with just a few stops. Our first night was spent at a campground in Camp Kentucky Lake, TN at a freshwater pearl marina. Nova woke up at 5:30 in the morning, and we watched the sun come up together. We were back on the road by 8:00, and on our way to Arkansas.
The Hot Springs National Park campground was very beautiful. The kids spent lots of time playing in the creek behind our campsite and riding bikes. We also went to a nearby quartz crystal mine to dig for crystals. We found some very nice ones. Tim made "camp stew" on the grill, and we took a shower under the stars with the camping shower that we have hooked on to the back of the bus. Clover and Tim made up a shadow puppet show for the boys to enjoy. They chased fireflies before going to bed for a nice long night of sleep.
The next day, we made it all the way to Shamrock, TX before stopping for the night. The bus was beginning to act a little funny at that time, but Tim thought that we were running the cruise control too much. We ate at a funny little diner and spent the night in a hotel with a hot tub and pool. There was really nowhere to camp in that town. We loaded everyone into the bus early (7:00 the next morning) and hit the road. We drove through the heaviest fog I have ever seen. About one hour after leaving, one of the front tires blew up on the bus. It was crazy! Everyone woke up (ofcourse) and we spent two hours at a gas station before getting back on the road. We drove on a spare tire to Amarillo, TX and got the tire fixed.
We made it to Oklahoma one hour later. Oklahoma was a fairly uneventful state. The kids loved looking at the huge windmills and I was amazed at the flatness of it, but it is definitely not a place worth visiting. We pretty much drove straight through with a few short stops.
New Mexico was an amazing change of scenery. The huge rocky hills are so beautiful. There are scrubby little bushes all around, lots of wild sunflowers, and we even saw some antelopes on our first day here! Even the clouds are so different. We made it to Albuquerque, and went out to Whole Foods to celebrate Tim's 32nd birthday. He had chocolate cupcakes, and we spent the night in a hotel again because it was so late and we couldn't find anywhere good for camping.
This morning, we started out of NM with the goal of reaching CA by night fall. Unfortuntately, the bus was refusing to run properly. We finally got in touch with a mechanic in Grants who was willing to work on Labor Day. The bus is in the shop right now, and we are (once again) in a hotel. It has been a little disappointing for me and Tim, but the kids are living it up! They had ice cream and got to go swimming, and they are amazed by how different it is here. So, hopefully we will be out of here by tomorrow and back on the road.
I will try to post pictures soon!!