Where we have been

Originally Posted August 14th, 2014  View original post and comments here.  Last night we experienced our worst parental fears in the life of an allergy kid.   I guess we knew it would happen eventually, we were just extremely proud of our 3 year track record of defending our little angel from the foods her body considers toxic.   To set the scene she is allergic to (in order of severity) Dairy, Egg, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, Shellfish, Fish, Wheat, Soy. Based off the 3 rounds of skin testing, and backed up with a thorough blood workup we are able to assess the severity of her allergies, but the top line reaction we were hoping to never experience.  (BTW she is allergic to cockroaches based off her blood work, lol ) We can’t even begin to explain our methods of keeping her safe on a daily basis.  

Initially, we were only going to stay near Big Bend National Park for only two days.  (I know that is not nearly enough time)  Had we stuck to our original plans, we would have missed the most challenging and rewarding hike of our journey. We intended to possibly squeeze in one full day hike which we did at the Lost Mine Trail  and a couple of other half day hikes.  Then it was on our way west towards California.  The weather on our intended route was horrible, not to mention dangerous.  (Well everywhere except where we were in Terlingua, TX)  Only 1.5 hours northwest was seeing wind gusts of 30+ mph and above, heavy rain, flash flooding etc.  As any seasoned RV'er knows, wind gusts that high and crosswinds especially can be detrimental to a tall, lightweight trailer box.   We had to adjust plans, recalculate, and determine that it was best to stay where we were for the next 3 days until the storms passed. After checking availability at the RV park for extended days, we regrouped and changed our agenda.  

We had initially set aside 2 full days at Big Bend National Park. (Dangerous weather changed our plans, however; more on that later). Of course, we ALWAYS underestimate the time we need, but part of the curse of trying to see the whole country in a few months is to set aggressive timelines and hope to stick to it. After our quick hike the day before to Balanced Rock, we were looking for something a little more challenging for our all-day hike. Jen REALLY wanted to hike Emory Peak, but that is nearly 10 miles and a max height of over 7800 feet and I really didn't think the girls could handle it.

This post is partially narrated by Leighton and Shayla as part of their homeschool, writing practice, typing practice, and spelling practice.   As the title suggests... We asked ourselves the same question when we first were looking for an easy late day hike in Big Bend National Park.  Is Balanced Rock worth the trip?  For us, the answer was definitely yes.  We arrived just outside of the park and stayed at BJ's RV Park in Terlingua Texas RV Trip to Balanced Rock

So after our  Yeah, you should fit.  The Cul De Sac of Hell.  experience (click the title to read that post), we were scrambling to find a new location to set up camp for the next few days.  All we had to do now was travel outside Joshua Tree National Park, to get some cell phone service and we would be all set.   Well, I swear Joshua Tree is the size of Connecticut.Joshua Tree National Park Good thing we had a full tank of gas headed into it. After about 45 minutes of driving we began

For the past year, I've been prepping myself with information on what it takes to sustain camping in an unplugged, self sufficient location.  Everyplace we've camped to this point has been at paid campgrounds with full facilities and hookups.   With Arizona's plethora of free BLM land,  we knew we wanted to at least try boondocking somewhere in AZ if only once.
Boondocking or Dispersed Camping is the official terminology for camping without hookups (No Power, Water, or Sewer)
Some of the most incredible locations in the country are in or around places that allow you to camp for free or next to nothing; so long as you can be self sufficient and leave the area in the same condition you found it. 2016-04-18_0001As we drive into and through Arizona, it becomes

After our impromptu extended stay in Texas we hit the pavement bright and early towards Las Cruces, New Mexico.  A 543 Mile trip.  It was a double length trip since we opted to stay 2 days in a place we hadn't planned.   Consider the long drive a "penalty" for fun and spontaneous behavior.  Thank you Fredericksburg, Tx! [caption id="attachment_2045" align="alignnone" width="1920"]White Sands National Monument Our Travel Map so far (only places we've stayed overnight in).[/caption] Our plan was to stop over in New Mexico for the night and head out to a boondocking location in Arizona.  

After our four day stay in Columbus, Texas; we headed directly west a couple of hours to Medina Lake, Texas.  Getting out and hitting the road bright and early has not been as easy as we were hoping for.   It seems that always on the days we want to get out early, there are all sorts of drama and time wasting which sets us back.   I'll chalk it up to getting out of the house with two girls.  :-p  Bandera Texas Medina Lake RV Travel 0001The route to Medina Lake (on the other side of San Antonio) was