Going on an adventure
We just got back from driving an RV across the United States to see the Grand Canyon in Arizona. And it was awesome.
We rented a 30-foot class C motor home to take us on our journey. When it got delivered, the whole family excitedly piled in to check out the new ride. You should have seen the looks on my kids faces.
I asked them if they were excited. And with extreme zeal, they shouted, “Yes! We are going on vacation!”
I had to inform them that we were going not on a vacation but on an adventure. I explained that a vacation is all about getting to where you are going quickly so that you can enjoy the destination but that an adventure is about enjoying the journey. Adventures have lots of stops. They have ups, and they have downs. But each part is an experience to savor.
That little mindset shift made for great attitudes on the five-day drive from Calhoun to the Grand Canyon and a conscious effort on their part to relish each moment.
On our first travel day, we made it from Georgia to about the middle of Mississippi and camped at Roosevelt State Park. We pulled in after sundown and I had to figure out how to hook up the bus to power, water and sewer in the dark. Finally, I did and we all settled in for our first night of sleep on the road.
We awoke to a beautiful sunrise over the lake beside our camp. The kids got to play in the water as Ashley made breakfast. And it was just an enjoyable time savoring the water, the really big pines and the cloud-laden sky. This was important because as soon as we got out of Louisiana, which was only a few hours later, we didn’t see a proper tree. Nor did we see clouds, for two and half days. As we entered Texas, the air got drier. The trees got smaller, and then, they vanished. And we started seeing interesting things like tumbleweeds crossing the road.
We had an interesting experience outside of Amarillo, Texas, at a place called Palo Dura Canyon. First our baby got ahold of a prickly pear cactus fruit. As it turns out, the pear itself has tiny hair-like spines all over it, and poor Eliyab got two handfuls. I tried to remove the spines with duct tape, but Ashley had to remove each one with tweezers in the end. That was one of the downs.
But at the same location, we had another experience that was an up. As I was walking to the dumpster in the dark, I noticed something round and black moving towards me. I shined my head lamp on it, and y’all, it was a sure-enough, you-betcha tarantula. They apparently move about this time of year, and everybody but my daughter piled out of the bus to check it out — that was really cool.
It took two more days to get to the Canyon from there. We stayed at Santa Rosa State park in New Mexico one night — home of everything prickly and pokey (we literally got three flat bike tires there) and then Holbrook Arizona, home of the Petrified Forest. We went back through there on our way home to hike in the Painted Dessert, to climb mountains together and to see the Petrified Forest — words can’t describe.
When we pulled up to the RV Village at the Grand Canyon, we were immediately meet by elk and their young. We saw herds of mule deer and coyotes in broad daylight. That was beautiful, but I was not prepared for what I would see at the rim.
Once again, my words cannot describe the awe-inspiring beauty that is held in the place. The oranges, pinks and reds mixed with the greenery is just beautiful. No matter where we went on the rim trail, we stopped and were awestruck.
I had two favorite happenings at the Grand Canyon. The first was when we rented bikes and took the whole family on a 7-mile trip around the rim to the Kaibab trailhead and back. And the second was when my daughter wanted to go into the canyon at the bright angel trail. We were all tired and feeling the elevation. But when I hinted that it would be better if we didn’t go, she looked up at me with expectant and adventurous eyes and said, “But Daddy, I want to enjoy the journey!” “Yes ma’am” was all I could say. And we hiked down to the see the petroglyphs.
This trip was nothing short of amazing and I feel so blessed that my family and I were able to go. And you want to know something cool? We were gone for over two weeks. And during that time, our income didn’t change. It didn’t stop. You see our rentals kept paying us even though we were 2,000 miles away. If I was tied to a job every day, I don’t think this trip would be possible. But I’m not. I have rentals that work for me. And because of that, I got to see this adventure take place in the eyes of my children.
Joe and Ashley English buy houses and mobile homes in Northwest Georgia. For more information or to ask a question, go to www.cashflowwithjoe.com or call Joe at 678-986-6813.