My husband Mack and I have been living in our RV full-time for 19 months. The uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the craziness of the world in early 2020, caused us to stay close to our home in Florida. In the first 9 months of 2021, we mostly camped along the East Coast of Florida and Alabama. We then reserved a spot at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas for the end of October. It was to be our longest trip to date. Our excitement and nervousness were mixed together as we set out on our cross-country journey.
My husband handles campsite bookings and as a disabled veteran, he focuses on military campgrounds. In September, we departed from Patrick Air Force Base in Cocoa Beach, Florida, for our trip to Nellis, where we plan to live until April.
During our trip across the U.S., we experienced a stuck slide, a leak in the bathroom—that miraculously fixed itself—and damaged lights in the kitchen. We were thankful for the skilled mobile RV technicians and warranty that covered these repairs along the way.
We were financially and mentally prepared to deal with mechanical issues, so we didn’t let these minor mishaps dampen our spirits. However, we weren’t expecting a short hospital stay. After we reached our destination in Las Vegas, I became ill with high blood pressure and a torn chest muscle. Thankfully, I recovered and feel great now.
On the road, the highlights of our journey have far outweighed any issues we’ve encountered. Here are just a few.
The beach in Destin, Florida, was the perfect place to celebrate our 16th wedding anniversary.
In Hattiesburg, Mississippi, the African American Military History Museum taught us about African Americans serving in the military.
We walked along the Mississippi River in Vidalia, Louisiana.
The Oklahoma City National Memorial Museum was one of the most well-done memorials we’ve seen. We also enjoyed spending time with family while in Oklahoma.
It was fun to be picked up by a limousine at the Big Texan RV Park in Amarillo, Texas, for dinner at the Big Texan Steak Ranch. This spot wasn’t scheduled—we had failed to make reservations in Amarillo and didn’t realize it until we got there. Even though our original choice was booked, everything worked out and we had a great time.
Staying in New Mexico during the Balloon Fiesta was an unexpected pleasure. When my husband booked our spot at the Kirtland Air Force Base, we had no idea we’d be staying there during the festival.
In New Mexico, it was very cold while hiking Sandia Peak. The golden fall foliage was stunning and made up for the low temperatures.
We encountered some amazing street art in New Mexico.
Neither one of us knew that a meteor hit Winslow, Arizona, 50,000 years ago. Meteor Crater was an interesting place to visit.
This was our second trip to the Grand Canyon, so we decided to travel by train, which was a lot of fun and included an old-fashioned train robbery.
The weather was perfect for hiking at Lake Mead in Nevada.
Now, we spend our days hiking and exploring all that Nevada has to offer. Once the sun goes down, we enjoy the nightlife—Las Vegas provides the best of both worlds. The journey has been very rewarding, and we look forward to taking full advantage of being in Nevada in the months to come.
Our experience of traveling across the country in Big Baby, our home on wheels, has shown us that it is a blessing to be able to experience the U.S. in an RV.
Here’s where we camped along the way:
- Patrick Air Force Base in Cocoa Beach, Florida
- Madison Golf & RV Resort in Madison, Florida
- Raptor Ranch Tyndall Air Force Base Fam Camp in Panama City, Florida
- Destin Army Recreation Area in Destin, Florida
- Blue Angel Naval Recreation Area in Pensacola, Florida
- Okatoma Resort & RV Park in Hattiesburg, Mississippi
- River View RV Park and Resort in Vidalia, Louisiana
- Barksdale Air Force Fam Camp in Bossier City, Louisiana
- Winstar Casino RV Park in Thackerville, Oklahoma
- Tinker Air Force Base Fam Camp in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
- Big Texan RV Ranch in Amarillo, Texas
- Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico
- Meteor Crater RV Park in Winslow, Arizona
- Grand Canyon Railway RV Park in Williams, Arizona
- Lake Mead RV Village in Boulder City, Nevada
- Desert Eagle RV Park at Nellis Air Force Base (final destination)