Vacation to Helen Back

After being home for a few months and getting a new rig, we were excited to get back on the road for a shorter trip before the kids started school.

How Low Rider rolls these days…

This time, the destination was Helen, GA and then North Carolina to meetup with some friends.

Welcome to Georgia Sign
Welcome to Georgia Sign

The trip started off great. Our first stop in Georgia had a nice pull through spot for us as I was getting my bearings with a 40 footer from a 26 foot.

New big rig in a pull through
New big rig in a pull through. This big rig stuff is easy…so I thought.

But when we arrived to this really well reviewed campground in mountainous region in Georgia is where the problems started…

Truck in the GA mountains
Truck in the GA mountains

First when we arrived the tree clearance didn’t seem great for our 13.5 tall camper. Fortunately we were able to make it to the gate without an issue.

Next, the gate guard didn’t really know where we should go for our campsite but was nice enough to mention that the office was closed. Mind you that it is like 3pm on a weekday and the office was closed already? I was really shocked by this.

We drive up the mountain and find one of the areas with campers so we drive through to see about finding out camp site. 

We locate one that seems like it is ours but it isn’t well marked so we aren’t sure. We decide to drive through to make sure.

What we didn’t realize is that the decline down the mountain was 7 degrees, the road was very narrow, the incline back up the loop was 10 degrees, and that a rain storm was hot on our heals…

Backing into a narrow spot

We go to loop around back to what seems to be our spot but there is an acute 30 degree turn we must make to get back into the camping area with a stop sign on one side and a cabin sign and trees on the other, down a narrow 1 way street.

It sounds like I’m making this up but it is the truth. The angle was the equivalent of the tip of a slice of pizza.

As we roll up to our spot we felt like goldilocks and the three bears. Someone was now parked in our spot.

We were only gone for 10 minutes.

After knocking on some doors we found the owner of the SUV and got it moved. 

By now, the rain had begun.

I tried a couple of times to get into the selected spot but here were the problems:

  1. All of the spots were very narrow (8 feet wide exactly). Well my rig is also 8 feet wide.
  2. There is a cliff on one side and a hill on the other side.
  3. The spots were all very shallow. In other words I couldn’t backup further than I wanted to be, then straighten out by pulling forward.
  4. The road was narrow and winding.
  5. There was a large tree directly adjacent to our spot so I wasn’t able to spin my wheel properly while backing in without slamming my front fender into this tree.

The two neighbors (also worked there) and I tried this for 10-15 minutes with no luck.

We couldn’t fit into our selected spot.

As the rain picked up, one of the neighbors suggests we pick another spot and take it up with the office the next day.

The person who picked our spot obviously didn’t read the notes about our rig size.

We move on down the hill slightly to a new spot that looks a lot longer.

However, as we are backing in we realize that although the spot is longer and there are no trees preventing my truck from turning, there is a WiFi pole right at the edge of the spot.

As I mentioned previously, each spot is very narrow. About the width of most large campers.

Why would they install the WiFi pole right there.

Internet Pole at campground
Internet Pole at campground that almost tore a hole in the roof of our new rig.

After about 30 minutes trying to back into this spot, we decide that it isn’t worth scratching the side of the camper or knocking down the pole.

We even tried ratcheting the pole to a nearby tree to give us 6 inches more clearance.

Nope, we couldn’t fit into our second spot.

The rain is pouring down at this moment in time. 

Everyone is drenched and frustrated at this point.

We look at the next spot down and it appears to be more parallel with the direction the road goes. 

So if I get the angle just right, I should be able to go straight back (in theory).

In practice, it wasn’t quite that easy. But we did get her backed in.

Third spot is a charm! This is where we landed. The decline was between 7 and 10 degrees according to my truck.

Decided to grab a towel and open my emergency “Tall Boy” beer from a brewery we stopped at. 

Pro tip: when buying a camper for the first time or upgrading your, always carry an emergency beer. Keep it by the fire extinguisher and first aid kit but in the refrigerator.

It was the most delicious beer.

Emergency Beer
Emergency Beer!

The problems don’t end there

I’d love to say that is where our problems ended but that is not the case.

Some of these things I normally wouldn’t complain about but we had kind of a bad taste in our mouths about the not so “big rig friendly” aspects of the campground thus far and the lack of ability to get in contact with the office due to their odd hours.

While we were there many things were shut down at random times.

The locals said that they were having a tough time finding people to work.

For example, the day after we got there the kids wanted to go to the pool and try the water slide on site – something we paid extra for, mind you. 

We got dressed and drove there but both were closed.

The only thing open was a jam packed indoor pool up a big hill at the entrance. 

Later that week, I told the kids I’d build a fire for s’mores but the camp store with the firewood had closed at like 2pm. Awesome.

Little things like that kept popping up all week which made it annoying and not super relaxing.

But we stayed and made the best of the campground. There was a nice fishing spot and a quick hike to a creek with waterfall. Those were nice.

River for fishing

Of course these are all first world problems.  Eventually we right-sided the trip. The kids had fun. We finally made it to the water park when it was open. And hit up the Cabbage Patch Kids “hospital” in nearby Cleveland, GA.

boy on a slide
B on a slide
Girl on slide
H on slide
hiking stick
H finds a hiking stick / fishing pole
Cabbage Patch Kids Factory in Cleveland, GA
Cabbage Patch Kids Factory in Cleveland, GA

We eatin’ good tonight – The kids found some escargot (AKA Snail)

But from now on I’ll make sure a campground really is big rig friendly with Google Maps before committing.

Fort De Soto, 4th of July, and Red Tide

We decided we o try the new rig close to home at Fort De Soto park in St. Petersburg beach.

After all, some of our favorite beaches in the state are just due south of here in Manatee and Sarasota counties.

Plus, we had never been to “the fort,” but have heard good things.

The good, the bad, the ugly

As luck would have it, we decided to pull the new rig through heavy rain the day we arrived.

One of the joys of living in a tropical climate is rain every summer day by 3 o’clock.

Call if Florida happy hour where the sky must drown out its sorrows. Let’s make it a double.

Our main route was closed to construction so we took US19 straight down.

Needless to say with a 17,000 rig I got to use my trailer break a bit in the stop and go traffic.

Then when we arrived, I had to dodge some low lying trees in this old Florida campground.

Hopefully the entire weekend is this fun.

Dog Doo Beach & Red Tide

Often when the weather starts to warm up there is a occurrence called Red Tide in Florida.

Basically a bacteria is introduced in the water and causes some fish to die and wash ashore.

It’s like coronavirus of the sea.

Unfortunately we arrived at the tail end of the season so there was some fishy smells washed ashore.

Red Tide

But that wasn’t the worst of it as most of the red tide was in the bay now, not in the gulf side.

The worst was the dog beach here.

The first day, we realized that we had forgotten Low Rider’s crate that he stays in when we leave the house.

So we decided to check out the dog beach and bring him with us.

After all, we had a really good experience at the last dog beach in South Carolina, and ever since our other dog passed away, Low Rider doesn’t like being alone.

In our 1.5 hours there, we saw over a dozen dogs relieve themselves in front of us, in the water or on the beach. Yet not a single dog owner cleaned up after their dog.

“Shame on you owner! Bad owner! Bad…”

I wanted to rub their nose in it but didn’t feel it was appropriate.

That in addition to the rotten fish smell definitely kept us out of the water.

No Full Hookups

We have become used to campgrounds with full hookups.

Ah, yes. We live the high life.

So with a price tag of $40 per night, Kristi and I didn’t even think to look up the hookup situation.

We assumed they did have full hookups.

Turns out that all sites are electric and water only.

It wouldn’t have been a problem but we didn’t plan for it.

After the first two days of mud, dog doo beach and red tide, we got a little too shower heavy and filled up one of our grey tanks.

Tote Tank

The park doesn’t have sewer hookups at each site, but they have 2 dump stations.

So I had to hunt down a local place that had a large enough dump tank so that I didn’t have to do too many runs to the clean out.

Most places like Walmart only carry the smaller ones in stock.

Our tanks are quite large so that wouldn’t work for us.

Amazon has them but it wouldn’t get delivered until we were home.

I did track one down and Kristi’s grandfather picked it up for us in route.

Proud new owners of this 28 gallon tote tank.

Being that we moved to a 5th wheel, I also forgot my hitch. So he brought his. Thanks Pa!

The sun finally shines

The weekend finally turned for the better after Kristi’s mom and grandfather arrived.

Kristi’s mom remembered to bring a table cloth. It happened to be the wrong size so we called it our “table runner”
H showing off her reading skills

We still saw some rain but we’re able to get a couple of days of fishing and beaching in.

This time on the gulf side where we didn’t have to dodge both red and black tide (if you know what I mean).

We also got to check out the fort, see some stingrays and dolphins (even though they scared our fish away), and a bonnet head shark which Brayden really wanted to catch.

Camping at Fort De Soto

If you camp at Fort De Soto, come prepared to dump at a central dump station, don’t come during summer, avoid red tide, and the dog beach if you have kids that want to play in the water and sand.

Instead, go to the regular beach, and come when the weather isn’t so rainy.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Happy Independence Day everyone.

What size truck should I buy for a Fifth Wheel or Travel Trailer? Buy Once, Cry Once.

“What size truck should I buy for a Fifth Wheel or Travel Trailer?”

This is an age old question (or some variation) that many people have asked in forums across the Internet.

To give my best advice, I’ll tell you a story:

After taking the long trip out west and living in our camper over the course of 3 months, Kristi and I both realized things that we now really wanted and other things that we had but didn’t need.

For example, we originally thought that having a toy hauler would be super useful for pulling out golf cart around to campgrounds.

However, we quickly learned that this would only be useful for local camping trips around the state where we were simply there to camp for a week or two.

Since the kids bedroom also dubbed as the garage, it was impractical to think that we’d haul the golf cart on a long trip, only to have to back it out and lower the bunks each night.

Just imagine a golf cart sitting outside of a Camper in a Cracker Barrel parking lot.

Not for short people

Plus, the downside of having a toy hauler with high ceilings is that all of the storage is up high. This is done intentionally so you have more room for ATVs and things. 

But as a family of short people (K is 5 feet tall), I would be the one who always had to get cups down for anyone to get a drink, to get plates from the top shellfish, and to grab extra supplies down from the overhead compartment.

That started to become a pain.

This was just one example of many including the desire for a fifth wheel instead of a bumper pull after our scary cross winds in Texas.

Kristi falls in love (not with me).

So Kristi and I agreed if we could find the right camper and get the right dollars out of our current one, we’d pull the trigger.

We walked away from one at LazyDayz but found another that Kristi fell in love with at Campers Inn, where we originally bought our last camper.

So we signed the papers.

What about the truck?

There was just one little problem, according to our payload specs, we were just a tad bit over once loaded.

Once we added a generator and loaded up, we’d be a bit more than a few pounds over.

So we needed to upgrade the truck as well.

The good news was that due to the automotive chip shortage of 2021, lightly used 3/4 ton trucks were getting a premium at car dealerships.

In fact, they paid us OVER sticker for my used truck which we didn’t pay in the first place.

That actually made us money on the trade of both the camper and truck!

So after less than a year but thousands of miles with our Momentum 25g and F-250, we upgraded to a 40ft Solitude fifth wheel and F-350.

1 Ton truck with 5th wheel
1 Ton truck with 5th wheel. Had to upgrade both.

Although we ended up on top, it wasn’t without a struggle. We lucked out due to market conditions and shortages. 

Moral of the story: As the old saying goes “buy once, cry once.” If you are thinking about getting a camper, aim a little higher than you are intending to land. This will help you future proof your setup.

Buy Once, Cry Once

For instance, a 1 ton truck doesn’t cost much more than an 3/4 ton. And sometimes the larger dual tire trucks even cost less than a standard 1 ton. I just didn’t want to play the parking game at say an airport with a dually. Parking at the airport was tough enough with a long bed.

Long bed in the airport parking lot
Parking at the airport was fun with a long bed truck. Notice how my rear tires barely clear the parking spot.

Although it is not a big truck world, if you are buying a camper and think you might like it, get the biggest truck you can get. You can never have too much truck. Otherwise you might find yourself upgrading both your RV and your truck.

Wolf man and Our Southwest RV Itinerary

We made it back home, and Kristi us had a long road in recovering from COVID.

And in the couple of weeks it took us to get home, take care of Kristi and the kids, and run a business, all of my personal grooming went by the wayside.

As a result I got home, looked I the mirror only to notice that I slightly resembled the wolf man.

One man wolf pack

Thankfully, none of us contracted it except her. Or at least if we did, we didn’t have any symptoms.

Now that we are back I wanted to post our RV travel itinerary from Florida through north and south Texas, to New Mexico, Arizona, Southeast Utah, and Southwest Colorado.

Tallahassee, FL to Lafayette, LA

Lafayette to Houston, TX

Houston to San Antonio, TX

San Antonio to Fort Stockton, TX

Fort Stockton to White Sands, NM

White Sands to Gallup, NM

Gallup to Sedona, AZ

Sedona to Page, AZ

Page to Durango, CO

Durango to Albuquerque, NM

Albuquerque to Amarillo, TX

Amarillo to Fort Worth, TX

Fort Worth to Calhoun, LA

Calhoun to Jackson, MS

Jackson to Mobile, AL

Mobile to Florida

Overall we had 16 total travel days and were on the road for 66 days.

Other thoughts

Travel far distances for 2-3 days at a time

Whenever we had to go far distances, we traveled for 2-3 days back-to-back but never more.

By the end of day three I was pretty wiped out and didn’t feel like traveling more.

If I was driving solo that may be different but with kids you never know when you are going to have to stop for the bathroom.

Although our kids did really well (because we forced them to swallow their spit instead of giving them drinks). Sometimes nature called unexpectedly.

300 mile rule

My dad was a driver. He drove 24 hours straight through from Florida to Maine or Maine to Florida too many time for me to count.

Naturally, I have the inclination to do the same and push it.

My wife, on the other hand, tends to get restless an hour into the trip. Although she has gotten better, by hours 4 and 5, she gets a little antsy.

So I’ve had to learn to adapt to this and change my driving habits.

I’ve had to learn that you don’t always have to max out your mileage/daylight drive time…

Our goal was around 300 miles a day. Some days it was 250 (when there are hills and mountains).

Yet other days it was more like 350 (when you are driving flat and straight).

There were many drive days when we stopped at 3 or 4 PM because that is where we planned to get to and we made it there.

I know many people that might say, “we still have 3-4 hours of daylight, let’s push it more.”

That mentality might work without kids but we found that the afternoon stops were actually better for us. Here’s why:

  • First, once we stop, we still have to feed the kids, the dog and ourselves.
  • Second, many of these stops is where we still had time to play a card game or watch a good movie.

This time was actually some of my favorite. And it allowed us to do 3 days travel, back to back without hating each other or ourselves due to burnout.

So if you are in an RV, pump the breaks a bit and enjoy the ride.

Plan the main stops, not all the stops

When we first started planning, it felt very overwhelming.

So instead of planning every detail, on a second pass I just planned the main stops, must do’s, and things I had to book way in advance.

That not only took the edge off, it also gave us some flexibility in our travel schedule to “stay a little longer” or “leave early.”

Plus, some of our favorite things were the things we DIDN’T plan, and we wouldn’t have seen had we have been rigid.

Kristi and I agree on this point.

I Perfect length of stay

Another thing we felt we did really well that we’d recommend to other families is to use one of those main stopping points as your home base, then take day trips.

When you are RVing with kids, disconnecting and setting up your campsite only to tear it down a few short nights later can take a bit effort.

If you are going to stay a night then don’t disconnect or set up, but if you are going to stay more, then stay a week or so to maximize your time and minimize effort.

We found that 1 night was great for the back to back travel days.

1 week (5-7 days) was good for places that only had a 1-3 things we wanted to do.

2 weeks was good for main attraction areas.

This also gives you time to stretch your legs, do laundry, restock at Walmart, or do something spontaneous.

By doing so you might actually catch your breath, and find a hidden gem that becomes the most memorable part of your trip.

Southwest Colorado Beer Post

Colorado is known for beer. There are too many breweries to visit without people thinking I have a problem.

I call it a solution, but that’s just my opinion.

So this post is focused on the few (the very few) microbreweries I visited or drove past while staying I a southwest Colorado.

Ska Brewing

This brewery is located in Durango and has built the brewery from shipping containers.

Kristi was talking to the beer man at the grocery store and he recommended this seasonal beer. He said it was very popular.

I wasn’t expecting much by the can but I was very surprised.

If this was Bud-Light, I’d totally drink Bud-Light. Quite good “daily drinker.”


We visited Steamworks after our train ride in Durango.

Their beers weren’t bad but the unique ones (you know, the ones to write home about) were not my style – one made with green chilies and hot peppers, and a sour.


This one was my favorite from the flight and tasted like a Kolsch – exactly what I would expect. I like German beer so I enjoyed this very much.

Pain Pils

This was decent but nothing too unique or to write home about.


This was a bit fruiter thank I expected. Not bad, just reminded me of a mix of cider and wit.


I didn’t care much for this one. I did drink it though so it must not have been that bad.


This was a very strong red.


This was one of the most unique beers I’ve had. It was made with green chilies and hot pepper.

You know that circus person that can shove a flaming sword down your throat?

That is exactly what it felt like to drink this.

Personally I hated it. But I can think of several people I know who would love it.

I give it a B+ for creativity.

Dolores Brewing

This brewery was only 4 minutes down the road and they have a cool logo so I was excited to check it out.

One thing I loved about this place is that although they don’t have the best selection of beers, many were German and Bavarian origin – a brewery after my own heart.

The place was really cool, right in a little historic downtown, in a historic building with a nice courtyard, and wood fired pizza.

Here are a couple of the brews I got to taste before COVID showed up and ruined the party.

Who invited that guy anyway? Such a jerk.

Less is more…and a pottery store

So how’s Kristi, you ask?

Well, a couple of days after arriving in Texas, I had to take her back to the ER due to shortness of breath.

Sure enough, pneumonia in both lungs.

As a souvenir, she was prescribed a steroid, antibiotics, antinausea just in case and something else in addition to the 5 or 6 medications she got in Colorado.

Finally, yesterday was the first day in 18 days where Kristi didn’t get worse or exhibit new symptoms, and 10 days since she tested COVID positive.

She still felt awful but today we were able to have a conversation outside without her being short of breath.

I’ll take that as a small win.

COVID is sneaky

You know that song “heads, shoulders, knees and toes?”

That’s kind of what COVID did to her.

Except it would be “head, throat, tongue, nose, veins, skin, phalanges, chest and gut.”

I know, it doesn’t sound as good as the nursery rhyme…

For Kristi, it started as a headache, then got more intense than any migraine she’s ever had.

That lasted 8 days before we brought her in.

Then a few days after she tested positive, it moved to her throat and a cough developed like a cold.

She then lost her taste and smell.

Then parts of her body got a weird pattern on it – not a rash but you could see her blood vessels – almost translucent skin. Very weird.

Then her fingers and toes turned purple for a couple of days.

Serious stuff

Then she started being short of breath.

Then chest pain started. We found out that this was related to the shortness of breath, not her heart.

The meds have helped heal those symptoms.

Now her stomach hurts but we don’t know if that’s COVID or the meds.

Then exhaustion set in. Walking 10 feet can make you question your choice to use the restroom.

One day she slept 16 hours, the next she slept 17.

Like slept – out cold. I tickled her feet a few times each day to make sure she was ok.

I definitely see how COVID can become more serious for folks if they don’t pay close attention to their symptoms.

How are the kids and I?

The kids were pretty scared for the first several days so I kept it mostly lighthearted.

We went to the Fish Hatchery in Colorado (before Kristi was COVID positive, she just had a migraine).

This was really cool. They release rainbow trout into the river every year for fishing.

But you can go there and feed the fish.

We even got to see the train drive by that we rode the week prior.

We did one more mountain biking trail but had a rain/snow storm on our tail so we couldn’t complete the trail.

In Texas, instead of “Don’t mess with Texas” our motto was “less is more.”

I just let the kids use their imaginations while Kristi was trying to recover.

Red clay

There was red clay so the second thing they did after mud slinging with their bikes is applied their knowledge of mud that they have learned during our recent travels.

All along our trip to New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Colorado they have learned and actually seen how natives built things out of red clay and water.

Pots, plates, jewelry and even buildings.

So they made a bunch of clay pots out of the local mud.

It was actually pretty impressive – the mud was the perfect consistency the first few days (it had recently rained), and it dried rock hard.

Like you can drop it and it won’t break, hard.

Take that, corningware.

Child’s play really…

Enough with the puns, Eliot.

Clay pot business

Anyway, they decided they decided to turn it into a business.

Much of the rest of the week they say by the road on our campsite, at the clubhouse, and even at the stop sign “because then people have to stop, dad.”

Duh, that is just good business sense.

I’ve never been so proud.

Closed for lunch
The kids talking to an unsuspecting victim, er, I mean customer.

The funny thing is, that after a few days the kids made over $70 selling these pots to people at the campground.

Crazy right?

Grant it, $25 was from mom and dad, but still pretty impressive in 4 or 5 days. About $10 a day.

Grandmas – hide your wallets, the kids are coming back to Florida soon with some handmade pots.

Settled dust

Anyway, I say all of this now because I feel that the dust has settled a bit.

It was actually pretty scary at times.

Four doctors visits, two of those the ER, 6 pharmacies, and a bakers dozen prescriptions.

Plus, we’ve all had a year of horror stories in the news that messes with your psyche.

In addition there is the loneliness and seclusion – Kristi doesn’t like that.

Although Kristi has a ways to go to be 100%, I feel like there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Just wanted to give everyone an update. We are ok but treading lightly.

3 Days To Texas

Our time in Colorado ran out without much to show for it. We did get to do a few things:

We took an incredible train ride in Durango.

The kids and I rode some great mountain biking trails.

We took a glance at Mesa Verde National Park.

But Kristi didn’t get to do much.

Now what?

We were 1 week from heading home anyway. So we decided to cut that one week out of our trip, and instead head back to Texas – the halfway point – in case it got worse or the kids or Eliot got COVID.

So we skipped Carlsbad Caverns until next time.

This would buy us 2 weeks time to figure it out and let Kristi rest.

After all, her headaches started feeling better with the meds. So we thought we were over the hump…

Sights and thoughts along the way

It took us 3 days of driving to get to the Fort Worth area but it could be done in less.

With the kids in tow and Kristi not feeling well we didn’t push it.

300 miles a day is pretty solid when you are pulling 12,000 pounds.

I-40 > I-10

The first thing I noticed from the drivers seat is that the stretch of I-40 from Texas to New Mexico is way better than the same stretch of I-10.

Once we hit Lafayette, LA on I-10 driving turns into a game of Fogger where you have to dodge idiots, potholes (remember Dukes of Hazard?), and miles of construction.

Anyway, with Kristi sleeping and the kids having their long awaited internet time, I had a lot of time to think and observe…

Here are a few of the sights along the way:

Hot air balloons of Albuquerque

Windmill fields

Buffalo farm

“What did the father Buffalo say to his kid Buffalo?”


You can keep that one in your back pocket.

Oil pumps

Angus Beef farm

We passed the largest angus beef farm I’ve ever seen.

Texans do love their steak after all.

Cadillac Ranch

Note: I did t take any of these photos as I was driving…

Now that we’ve parked in Texas, we are going to try to wait out COVID.

We are nearby hospitals and the DFW metro if things go south.

COVID in Colorado (and Mesa Verde too)

A lot has happened during the past 36 hours.

Went to a national park. Had a couple “shitcidents.” And had a confirmed case of COVID.

Where should I begin?

Kristi has had a migraine pretty much since we arrived in Colorado, so we haven’t really been able to enjoy the sights as much as we’d hoped.

We’ve had a good day or a fun afternoon here or there but less than what we expected.

Migraine at Mesa Verde

Finally on Sunday, Kristi got tired of it and we decided to venture to Mesa Verde National Park.

As we started to climb in elevation her headache got worse and we had to turn around and drive the 20 miles back down the mountain and out of the park.

This is the one photo we took in the park while letting the kids have a bathroom break before heading out.

Telehealth and Insurance are jokes

We called our telehealth to try to see if they could prescribe something for a migraine. No big deal, right?


First, the Walgreens pharmacy in our area happed to be closed on Sundays. We didn’t find that out until after they called in the prescription.

So she called back and had them transfer it to Walmart. Problem solved, right?


She called the Walmart to find out that they didn’t have the medication in stock. It would have to be ordered and wouldn’t arrive for 2-3 days.

No bueno.

So we called the next pharmacy – Safeway. Hurray, they have it in stock. So we call back and transfer again.

We get to Safeway only to find that insurance has a pre-approval notice on that medication. There is a minimum 3-14 day approval process and nothing that we can do. No reimbursements or anything.

We plead with insurance. Sorry sucker.

We plead with the pharmacist. Nothing they could do.

We have really good insurance so I hate to see what bad insurance looks like.

The medication was crazy expensive without insurance (think thousands) so Kristi opted out.

It was almost Monday at this point where she could schedule a telehealth with her primary.

Playground Poop

On top of all of this, we stoped at a park while we were trying to figure all of this out to let the kids play.

I sat down on a bench and a bird pooped on my head from the tree above.

True story.

At that point it was my confirmation that today wasn’t going to go our way.

Persistent Migraine

The next morning her migraine was unbearable so she asked me to take her to the urgent care or hospital so she could get some relief.

As we are trying to walk out the door in the wee hours of the morning and amidst the chaos, the dog vomits everywhere.

I can’t make this up.

At that moment, I knew then that today wasn’t going to be our day either.

Confirmed COVID

These days, it doesn’t matter what you go in for, they are going to test you for COVID.

If you walk in with a missing leg, they’ll still test you for COVID.

As it turns out she tested positive for COVID and the doctor claims that is the cause for the intense migraines.

COVID wasn’t even on our radar.

Thankfully, she left the doctors feeling a lot better thanks to the Presidential cocktail they gave her to relive the symptoms.

They didn’t write a script though so we still had to figure out a regular doctors appointment in Florida to get something in case the migraine came back.

Later that day, she almost missed her appointment since she never got a conference invite. But after several calls back and forth to the doctor, we got it worked out just in time.

She got her meds!

Multiple urgent work issues

As soon as I arrived back at the camper, and while the telehealth visit was going on, I received 2 frantic phone calls from team members about two separate, unrelated urgent issues I had to help resolve.

All this while trying to calm the kids about mommy having COVID thanks to the media.

The reason why I mention all of this is to illustrate that even though we are on an epic road-trip, life doesn’t always work out in your favor.

Needless to say, it was not our week. But we are ok.

Durango Train Ride, Snow, Brews, and Views

We took another train ride today. This time from Durango, Colorado up the Animas River into the San Juan National Forest to Cascade Canyon.

The views looked like this…

View from the front of the train to the back as we headed back to the train station.
Emerald and Hazel river

Snow flurry

As we pulled into Cascade Canyon for lunch, we went from sunny weather to a snow flurry in the matter of 10 minutes.

This is why you should always bring a jacket kids…

Snow started coming in around the river bend.
Snow flakes not lice
Rainbow from the steam engine
Catching snowflakes

Railroad and Durango Museum

Back at the train station they have a free museum featuring Durango train and local memorabilia.

This was surprisingly cool.

Look out for that moose
Harper’s private coach
1928 Ford Model T
Rail Bike

Steamworks brewery and restaurant

We finished the day at a local brewery and restaurant.

One final note on this. Their French dip was actually a freshly smoked beef brisket…wait for it….with Swiss and smoked bacon. And it was amazing. It has joined the ranks of the top 5 sandwiched I’ve ever had. I just wanted to put that out there.

Mountain Biking Colorado

We arrived at our new campground in Colorado this week.

The first thing Harper said when she got out of the truck was “I’m gonna get some grass!”

“Like hell you are,” I thought to myself.

True story.

Thankfully Harper was just talking about the grass outside at our campsite, since our last two stops in Arizona and Utah were lacking grass.

For those of you that don’t get the joke, pot is legal in Colorado.

Anyway…I digress.

Ever since Harper lost her training wheels in the fall, I’ve been slowly and secretly conditioning her to ride further on her bike with the hopes that this day would come.

Selfish, I know. But necessary.

Brayden, on the other hand, has been a biking ace since he was like 2 with his Stride bike – the balancing one without pedals that Nana got him.

Thankfully they both have learned to love biking.

As luck would have it I found a great beginner / intermediate mountain bike trail for the kids and I to ride 10 minutes from where we are staying in Colorado called Phil’s World.

It was single track. mostly flow, with a couple of rocky obstacles. Nothing too technical. Definitely kid do-able if they are decent riders.

It ended up being a really fun trail.

Definitely going to hit it up again while we are here.