The best (and worst) memories of our 2022 are found sitting on my phone. It is a year in photos, just like the now-defunct Life magazine’s “The Year in Pictures.” I scroll through thousands of 2022 photos on my phone reliving our wonderful travels, a few times of deep sadness and an unforgettable RVing “oops.” It is so easy to forget what wonderful experiences we have had this year. Last January seems so very long ago.
Scrolling through a year of photos is not only a walk through memory lane but also a great opportunity to delete and open up more space on my phone or “the Cloud.” As I am flipping through, I see highway shot after highway shot. Where and why I took all those, I am not sure. Delete, delete, delete!
I had photos out of focus, 10 duplicates of the same thing, photos of people that would be embarrassing if ever posted, photos that despite the location information I am clueless as to what or where they are. How many sunsets do I really need? Delete, delete, delete!
National Park after National Park
I force fed my husband every National Park and Historic Site close and not so close to our route. We got to Glacier National Park and took the shuttle on its last day of the season, viewing the rapidly melting glaciers that may not survive the next generation. I hung on tightly to a cable pinioned cliff-side as a small child raced around me unfettered by fear.
And yes, we did pay $198 a night to stay at a luxury KOA Park near the entrance. And yes, one reader called me rich and stupid for staying there. I am not rich and certainly not stupid but still, mean comments do rankle me for a very long time.
Highlights are walking the gargantuan Redwood forests and getting our photo standing in the middle of a hollow and yet living tree. Not to mention the essential tourist drive through a Redwood.
We hiked in awe through Olympic National Park in a rainforest, moss dripping from the ancient trees.
The list of National treasures goes on until even I was tired of reading one more plaque or historic fact. El Morro National Monument, Bandolero Volcano, Ice Caves, Flint Quarries, Fort Smith, Presidential Libraries, Little Rock Central High School, Hot Springs Bath Houses, Gulpa Gorge… with Shiloh National Military Park the most heart-wrenching.
Harassed by wildlife
Wiley Coyote was a frequent nuisance, begging. Visitors in the park kept giving him food and water until he was so bold as to jump up on the cars and stop in front of them. He met his demise on a front bumper of one of them.
Cows continued to literally bump into the motorhome, looking for greener grass. The owner would round them up and they would break through the fence again. I once moooo’d and a big bull answered. My husband, having been raised on a farm, was adamant about not doing it again. Evidently, that big, fuzzy, sweet-looking bull might charge!
Big, BIG bugs seemed to like us too!
From almost sea to shining sea
We stood on the shore of the Pacific Ocean with the tide coming in and the waves thundering. Drove a meek and underpowered KIA Soul on dirt roads that should have been reserved for 4-wheel drives.
Quirky side trips
We drove down the quirky Enchanted Highway in North Dakota and saw the World’s Largest Buffalo Monument in Jamestown. We camped on the river in downtown Little Rock, Arkansas, watching tug boats and night lights.
We spent three weeks in Red Bay, Alabama, for RV service work. We found fabulous RV techs and RV detailers to get the motorhome back in shape.
Family, old and new friends
Hands down, the times spent with family in Minnesota and Arizona were the best. The time away traveling really does make the heart grow fonder.
When we spent weeks getting service on our motorhome, we made new and fleeting friendships. I even met a celebrity while waiting for our motorhome repair. Exchanged phone numbers and cards with RV neighbors. Met up with old friends at a Harvest Hosts location…
Family and old friends passed away and with every obituary we asked, “How old were they?”—comparing our mortality to theirs.
He’s a winner!
My husband finally (and briefly) won at the casino.
What a great not-really-a-job, job! We met new people and shared stories around the campfire. We met this couple with an electric bike for two!
Got to meet another couple that made a Ghostbuster car to entertain kids.
Inglorious RV “oops!”
Sad as it is, the worst of 2022 comes popping to mind often. We had our first and only RV “oops” and insurance claim. What a doozy. We got stuck over a dip and couldn’t go forward or backward. It took a while before I could even write an article about that sad day.
Wishing you the very best in 2023
If you’re traveling or not, have an RV or not, visiting with family and friends, or just finding acquaintances along the road, I wish you the very best in this coming year.
Despite a very bad RV “oops,” inflation, death and the loss of family and friends—the gains and the joys of RVing override it all.
All photos copyright Nanci Dixon 2022.