In spite of all the conveniences that the digital world brings, I find myself on the floor surrounded by maps and the atlas, making notes on a yellow pad. Charting out the next three months seems very overwhelming.
I start with the month one goal; get to California before March 1. Month 2 goal is easy, sit on the beach in Cabo. Month three is really the one that I get the most excited for, up the coast of California, to the wine country and then to Paradise to meet up with my nieces and nephew. From there we head back to the coast and follow the ocean all of the way to Portland where we will meet our good friends. Capping the adventure will be the magnificent trek through the northern Rockies. Wow, seems like an amazing retirement adventure to me. I am feeling very grateful and very excited. Feels like a dream.
Getting a smooth take off is very important. We have done a fair amount of travel over the years and it seems that the mood of the first few days seems to set the tone for the whole trip. Planning for me seems to shake out the early missteps. I list the major stops between here and California; Waco to see Britt, Albuquerque to see Kris, somewhere in Arizona getting to California before March 1. Determining the mileage between each of these will help estimate the time needed for travel and help estimate the timing of each major stop. I want to give our hosts a general idea of the timing of our arrival. I think that we can get between each major stop in 6 days. This is really coming together.
MINNESOTA to TEXAS
The First Leg, bringing us to Waco. I really want to get as far from the cold as soon as possible so the first day needs to be a big travel day. Looking at a 450 mile radius from Minnesota I see Kansas City. Hmmm… ribs, for me, food is right up there on the list of important things in life to enjoy. Seems like a good first stop. I will get a couple of ideas for great BBQ from Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.
Looking on the map for interesting places to see, I notice the marker for Hot Springs National Park. That sounds like an interesting stop. It is a little out of the way but that is what this adventure is all about. We will want to spend some time here so I think two nights makes sense. It looks like we can find plenty to do.
The direct path from Hot Springs, AR to Texas is less than 400 miles. I would like to take a less traveled path and leave the final decision on the exact roads to the night before we leave Arkansas. I do want to plan for two days though, just to give us time to explore.
If we want to get to Waco by the weekend, we will want to leave on Monday. Yea! We will plan to leave very early, to get out of town before rush hour. Although, with temp expected to be -23, we may be the only people out on the road. Lucky us!