Monday, May 22, 2017

Roadrunner Reflections: Our Travels in 8 Years on the Road

After eight years on the road, things run together a little bit.  We launched the Roadrunner about this time of the year.  We have covered a lot of ground over that time.  We can usually remember if we've been to a place and sometimes remember the year -- but often times it is a guess.

I have wanted to put a map together showing our travels for some time but it was only recently that I learned how to use some of the map overlay features in My Maps (Google).  I am limited in entering only 10 locations per overlay.  Once I put a couple of overlays together, i have a couple of sets of locations A-J.  It's a little bit confusing on that point but it conveys the general idea.

If any of you out there have a better way I can represent this on a map, please advise!

First six months:
May to December 2009:

It was only seven months, but we went coast to coast, border to border.
Some notable places we saw in our first six months on the Road:
  1. Home of Chet Atkins, Kenny Chesney and Pam's sister and brother-in-law.  - Maynardville TN.  Their place became the location of the Roadrunner RV Resort and Campground (private).
  2. Lake Huron/Bruce Peninsula/Tobermory Canada - Beautiful summer cottages on Lake Huron and Miller Lake Campground
  3. Mackinaw Island, Michigan - most popular tourist attraction in all of Michigan
  4. Winnebago Factory Tour - Forest City IA
  5. Mount Rushmore/Crazy Horse Monument/Black Hills - SD
  6. Badlands of South Dakota and Wall Drug Store
  7. Habitat for Humanity build - Santa Fe NM
  8. Volunteering with NOMADS - Pontiac IL and Galveston TX
  9. Tiffin Motorhomes Factory Tour - Red Bay, AL
  10. Desert Trails RV Park - Tuscon AZ
  11. Tombstone, AZ
  12. Christmas in San Diego Area
June - December 2009
1st Full Year on the Road:
2010 January to December

We also went coast to coast, border to border again for the second time.
Here's some highlights:
  1. 29 Palms / Joshua Tree National Park - stark beauty
  2. Boondocking in Quartzite AZ and La Posa Bureau of Land Management - got to do it at least once.
  3. Crossing the border into Mexico at Yuma AZ - Dental work and interesting place
  4. NOMADS Disaster Relief in Galvestion TX - Katrina followup still
  5. Haas Lake outside of Detroit MI - nice place to spend a few months
It was a tough year with the passing of our daughter-in-law Meghan, at the age of 28.  She lived in Petrolia Canada and our son moved to Michigan to be with her during her last few months.

January - December 2010
2nd Full Year on the Road:
2011 January to December

In our third coast to coast, border to border year, we went from Key West to Vancouver, British Columbia.  Here are some other highlights:
  1. Moss Point MS - More NOMADS Disaster Relief Volunteering
  2. Big Bend National Park - Long way to get there but a beautiful place
  3. Habitat for Humanity Volunteering in Santa Fe NM - my hometown
  4. Salt Lake City UT - beautiful town and state capitol
  5. Glacier National Park - need to spend a week there at least
  6. Pacific Northwest: Vancouver BC - Stanley Park is great
  7. Victoria BC - fun ferry ride and beautiful
  8. Mount Rainer National Park - picturesque
  9. Spokane WA - Reunion with my brothers and wives 
  10. Key West - can't beat the Sigsbee Campground at the Navy Base for a few weeks.  Lots of history in KW

January - December 2011
3rd Full Year on the Road:
2012 January to December

Once again we went as far south as we could, but this time, we went to Northern Maine and into Canada.  Some highlights:
  1. Savannah GA - great place to see and the best shrimp and grits I've ever had!
  2. Boston MA - so much history
  3. Bar Harbor ME/Acadia National Park 
  4. St. Augustine FL - the local bus trolley tour was great!
  5. Habitat for Humanity Build - Macon GA
  6. Everglades National Park FL
January - December 2012
4th Full Year on the Road:
2013 January to December
  1. Savannah GA - 
  2. Augusta GA and the Masters Golf Tournament - lifelong dream
  3. Florida Gulf Coast - Pensacola, Fort Walton Beach, Destin
  4. Texas Hill Country - Fredericksburg TX/LBJ Ranch
  5. Monterrey CA - Aquarium, nearby John Steinbeck Museum
  6. Redwood National Park CA
  7. Pacific Coast - California/Oregon
  8. Cheyenne WY - Frontier Days - 
January - December 2013
5th Full Year on the Road:
2014 January to December
  1. Quartzite AZ - Gathering of thousands in BLM  
  2. Organ Pipe Cactus National Park - magic of the Sonoran Desert
  3. Tucson AZ - hiking Sabino Canyon / Catalina State Park
  4. Sedona AZ - more Arizona beauty
  5. Phoenix Botanical Gardens - wonderful Chihuly glass sculptures
  6. Grand Canyon - still the most scenic of them all
  7. Fort Worth - reunion with my brothers and wives 
  8. Mt Airey NC - Andy Griffin's Mayberry
  9. Monticello VA - seeing Jefferson's plantation home

January - December 2014
6th Full Year on the Road:
2015 January to December
  1. Lancaster PA - Amish Country
  2. Myrtle Beach SC - golf 
  3. Charleston SC - lots of history here
  4. Nashville TN - State Capitol and Country Hall of Fame
  5. Mesa Verde National Park - Cortez CO
  6. Monument Valley UT - Fantastic setting of scenes from the Old West/ Gouldings John Wayne Museum
  7. Zion National Park - hiking and biking
  8. Bryce Canyon National Park - hoodoos and pictures
  9. Capitol Reef National Park - beauty in the canyons
  10. Arches National Park - arches and formations near Moab

January - December 2015
7th Full Year on the Road:
2016 January to December

Some highlights:
  1. Cedar Keys FL - quaint fishing village with history
  2. North Fort Myers - Another memorable Habitat for Humanity build
  3. Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks - 
  4. Arnold CA - Reunion with my brothers in the Sierras  
  5. Big Trees State Park - giant Sequoias
  6. Oregon Coast - scenic to say the least
  7. Lewis and Clark encampment - Astoria OR
  8. Columbia River Gorge/Multnomah Falls OR
  9. Little Bighorn National Park - Custer's last stand
  10. Memphis TN - Graceland and Gibson Guitar Factory
January - December 2016
8th Year on the Road
2017 - January to June

So far in 2017 we've spent our entire time in Virginia Beach.  This makes the longest time we have stayed in one town.  We've moved campsites and campgrounds a couple of times to be here with our daughter, son-in-law and two grandkids.  The second grandson was born in January and we stayed for  post birth surgery our daughter needed to remove a tumor.  Thankfully it was not malignant and she is fast on the mend.

We'll be hitting the road toward the end of June, stopping in Red Bay AL again for some upgrades and repairs.  Then on to see some state capitols and participate in a couple of Habitat for Humanity builds.  One is in Lansing MI and the other is in Sioux Falls, SD.

Thats a quick summary of some of the places we've seen over our travels.  It took 1200 blog posts so far to describe our life the last 8 years, with another 100+ posts I started and haven't finished.  At any rate, the maps give an idea of the routes we've taken.

Those of you that have been along for the entire ride - Thank you!  And those of you that recently found the Roadrunner Chronicles, hope you find something useful or entertaining or interesting.  Or all three.

Thanks again for joining us as we begin Year 9 in the Roadrunner.


  1. Randy nice job with the maps. I have that on our blog under the tab "Our Travels", but I don't like the way Google Maps changed a couple of years ago and only allows a limited number of stops on each layer. The "old" Google Maps was much easier to use, I thought.

    1. Thanks Steve. I agree. It was nice while it lasted and I haven't found a good substitute. Other maps require tech savvy that I don't have...

  2. Hey Randy, just aquestion as to how many miles per year and total since you began traveling?

    1. Hey Sam -,Averaged about 10,000 in the Motorhome and another 15,000 in the car we tow behind.

  3. You have a great 8 years traveling in the Roadrunner and you have both covered a lot of ground and seen much of your country and a little of ours. Nice job on the maps and covering all your stops, that is a lot of work. Looking forward to seeing where your travels will take you this year.

  4. Great review👍 . We also enjoyed the Oregon coast. Have yet to drop into Florida.

  5. Loved your summary of the years. There is so much out there to see and experience. Our lifetimes aren't long enough. Love the maps.

  6. Love the maps and summary. We've been following you for have the best military CG posts!! Very useful, thanks!!

  7. We also have been following you for years and met you in Albuquerque NM as we crossed paths. Love your maps and stops. I have been doing this on paper map and would like to put it on computer much as you have done. I started drawing our routes from different years on the same map with different colors but it soon became a mess. 9 years with 49 states and 6 provinces can look like a plate of spaghetti. We blogged for 4 or 5 years but stopped when computer crashed and never took it up again. Thanks for your dedication to share your blogs

  8. Great job on the maps. I like the highlight recaps.

  9. That surely was a lot of travel! Bet the oil companies profits increased with all the diesel fuel you used. :c)

  10. So many miles, so many people and places and so many wonderful memories!!
    Great blessings!!