Thursday, May 16, 2019

#LeapFrogs: Pre-Order Our New Release and receive Bonus!

I'm so excited for this day to arrive!

Official Release Day: July 15, 2019

Go West, His Momma Said



Go West, His Momma Said will include a detailed travel journal of the first leg of our #LeapFrogs journey - from Georgia to the Grand Canyon and back. The book will include our blog posts from here, but so much more, including maps, full color photos (some familiar, some as yet unpublished), snippets from personal letters to family, friends, and our prayer team, links to attractions, sights, restaurants we visited, reviews of campgrounds, hotels, overnight stops, packing (and re-packing) lists, tips, suggestions, recipes, and more!

Today, we're offering a pre-order special with a bonus offer that will only be available a short time, and will only be available through me directly. Later, the book will be made available for pre-order on Amazon, but the prices will not be as low and the bonuses will not be included.

When you pre-order the Kindle version now, for $10 (retail price will be $16.95), you'll receive the Kindle version when it releases on July 15 and a bonus 8x10 photo art poster of somewhere along our travels.

When you pre-order the printed paperback version, for $45 (retail price will be $54.95) you'll also receive your choice of a bonus: an 11x14 photo art poster OR a set 10 notecards featuring 10 different art images from our travels (with a choice of various courthouses in charcoal, or an assortment of full color art pieces of my choosing).


Choose Bonus Option

Thank you for reading along and considering our books. Please help us spread the word by sharing this blog post on your social media pages.

And stay tuned for more #LeapFrog adventures as we stay on the move!


Recent Posts:
#LeapFrogs: A New Journey Begins
#LeapFrogs: Wacky Experience in Albuquerque
#LeapFrogs: Discovering Arizona
#LeapFrogs: The Grand Grand Canyon
#LeapFrogs: Grand Canyon Bound
#LeapFrogs: Mountain Fears and the Saguaro
#LeapFrogs: On to Arizona
#LeapFrogs: Speeding West Again
#LeapFrogs: A New Tent and a Little Time to Breathe
#LeapFrogs: Running from the Weather
#LeapFrogs: A New Town and a New Ministry Idea
#LeapFrogs: A Desert Experience
#LeapFrogs: Exploring Carlsbad's Treasures
#LeapFrogs: Settling into New Mexico
#LeapFrogs: Change of Terrain and a Midnight Visitor
#LeapFrogs: Covering a Lot of Miles
#LeapFrogs: Holy Ground in Kerrville
#LeapFrogs: History Comes Alive
#LeapFrogs: Johnson City and the LBJ Ranch
#LeapFrogs: From One Pioneer Town to the Next
Finally Heading West and a Glimpse of the Old West
San Marcos and Lonesome Dove
#LeapFrogs on the Move: Austin, Texas
#LeapFrogs on the Move: San Antonio!
#LeapFrogs on the Move: On the Way to San Antonio
#LeapFrogs on the Move: Rockport and Mathis
#LeapFrogs on the Move: Kemah, Houston, Wharton
#LeapFrogs on the Road: Fort Anahuac Texas
Technology on the Road
Crossing Louisiana
From Alabama through Mississippi
First Leg of our #LeapFrog Journey
Preparing for Camping on a Long Road Trip
The Beginning of a Dream Realized

Recent Posts from TMP Books:







Get your #LeapFrogs Merchandise here:







Tuesday, May 14, 2019

#LeapFrogs: Guidestones and Santa Meets Santa Claus!

This slower-paced travel has made me a slower-paced blogger! I'm going to try to get caught up over the next couple of weeks - we're having some great experiences.

When we left Cartersville, we drove to Elberton to explore a little. During a Production class in school, I had to create a production schedule and budget for one of my scripts, and chose Elberton as the filming location even though I'd never been there. (I did some research on real estate websites and Google maps to find a town that fit my vision, and Elberton worked well.)





Then Zach, my older son, reminded me that the Georgia Guidestones were in Elberton, so we had to visit!








We met a very nice couple there and we exchanged recommendations and suggestions for our travels - they were on their way to Florida.

As we stood at the Guidestones, the rain hit hard again so we headed to Macon, because I needed to meet with a client about her upcoming children's book. We'd visited Macon several times the last few years - and my dad was born there - so we didn't spend much time in town because of the rain. We pushed on south to try to escape it.

Glancing at the map during a rest stop, I saw the town of Santa Claus and knew I had to take my own Santa Claus to visit! Once there, I couldn't figure out why I'd never heard of this town before. All the streets had fun Christmas names, and we drove through them just to see Dasher, Candy Cane Lane, etc. I thought that was it - just streets, but as we left, I discovered this:


A beautiful chapel surrounded by Santa Claus Gardens.








From Santa Claus, we continued toward our intended campground, but when we arrived, we discovered a massive construction project underway, with bulldozers and dump trucks and cement trucks all over the place, and not a campsite in sight. 

We decided to move on to South Carolina for the night. 


Recent Posts:
#LeapFrogs: A New Journey Begins
#LeapFrogs: Wacky Experience in Albuquerque
#LeapFrogs: Discovering Arizona
#LeapFrogs: The Grand Grand Canyon
#LeapFrogs: Grand Canyon Bound
#LeapFrogs: Mountain Fears and the Saguaro
#LeapFrogs: On to Arizona
#LeapFrogs: Speeding West Again
#LeapFrogs: A New Tent and a Little Time to Breathe
#LeapFrogs: Running from the Weather
#LeapFrogs: A New Town and a New Ministry Idea
#LeapFrogs: A Desert Experience
#LeapFrogs: Exploring Carlsbad's Treasures
#LeapFrogs: Settling into New Mexico
#LeapFrogs: Change of Terrain and a Midnight Visitor
#LeapFrogs: Covering a Lot of Miles
#LeapFrogs: Holy Ground in Kerrville
#LeapFrogs: History Comes Alive
#LeapFrogs: Johnson City and the LBJ Ranch
#LeapFrogs: From One Pioneer Town to the Next
Finally Heading West and a Glimpse of the Old West
San Marcos and Lonesome Dove
#LeapFrogs on the Move: Austin, Texas
#LeapFrogs on the Move: San Antonio!
#LeapFrogs on the Move: On the Way to San Antonio
#LeapFrogs on the Move: Rockport and Mathis
#LeapFrogs on the Move: Kemah, Houston, Wharton
#LeapFrogs on the Road: Fort Anahuac Texas
Technology on the Road
Crossing Louisiana
From Alabama through Mississippi
First Leg of our #LeapFrog Journey
Preparing for Camping on a Long Road Trip
The Beginning of a Dream Realized

Recent Posts from TMP Books:







Get your #LeapFrogs Merchandise here:










Friday, April 26, 2019

#LeapFrogs: A New Journey Begins

After the brief hiatus in Alabama with my mom and sister, we are on the road once again. We made some changes in our travel plans, and our travel gear.

For one, we culled enough stuff to eliminate the rooftop carrier - yaay! - and because of that, also the step ladder - double yaay!

Organization became a big issue for me when we set up camp, so that was a top priority as we set out again. We purchased a small, rectangular folding table - lightweight to carry, but sturdy enough to pile stuff on it inside the tent. We found some cheap cloth storage bins that I thought would be handy for organizing stuff inside the tent, but I think in the next week or so, we'll be hunting for other options, because they're just not sturdy enough. I had thought they'd be good because they break down and fold up, which takes up minimal space in the car. But after the first time, we decided the worked well packed, so we just load and unload them without unpacking. So soft sided isn't going to work long term.

We travel on a very tight budget (entirely too tight to actually make sense), and hotels do not fit our budget. Thanks to generous gifts from very special people (friends and family), we stayed in hotels 10 nights over the course of our first 64 days on the road, tent camped for just over four weeks total during that time. The rest of the time we car camped, and all of that has to change. (This wouldn't be as much of an issue with a small Class C or conversion van - we're keeping our eyes open, but until then, we'll be tent camping.)

Our first stop on our new journey was in Cartersville, Georgia to visit with the kids for a bit. We stayed at the McKaskey Creek Park, a Corp of Engineer property on Lake Allatoona. I'd made reservations in advance, but when we got to the campsite, someone had vomited all over the site and parking area. We went back to the office, and they found another place to put us. The spot cost slightly more, but we had no other choice, so I paid the difference. Because of Tim's National Park Pass (accepted at most COE properties), we got a 50% discount on the current rates, so we ended up paying $14 per night. The increase in price gave us water and electric on our site, which allowed me to work during our time there.

I also took the time to settle into the camping routine, which I'd not done before. Friends have commented that I seem less stressed this go round. Couple of reasons for that: I don't feel like I'm constantly fighting the weather - it's warm enough for me to wear one layer of clothing most days, and we've had many more days of sunshine so far than we did all 64 days before!




And a campfire is always good therapy for me.

The pollen in GA was on high alert the whole time we were there.


Rubbing my hands in the yellow powder and walking barefoot in it as much as possible has continued to serve me well in avoiding any problems with it.


Tomorrow, a fun surprise we found on the road.


Recent Posts:
#LeapFrogs: Wacky Experience in Albuquerque
#LeapFrogs: Discovering Arizona
#LeapFrogs: The Grand Grand Canyon
#LeapFrogs: Grand Canyon Bound
#LeapFrogs: Mountain Fears and the Saguaro
#LeapFrogs: On to Arizona
#LeapFrogs: Speeding West Again
#LeapFrogs: A New Tent and a Little Time to Breathe
#LeapFrogs: Running from the Weather
#LeapFrogs: A New Town and a New Ministry Idea
#LeapFrogs: A Desert Experience
#LeapFrogs: Exploring Carlsbad's Treasures
#LeapFrogs: Settling into New Mexico
#LeapFrogs: Change of Terrain and a Midnight Visitor
#LeapFrogs: Covering a Lot of Miles
#LeapFrogs: Holy Ground in Kerrville
#LeapFrogs: History Comes Alive
#LeapFrogs: Johnson City and the LBJ Ranch
#LeapFrogs: From One Pioneer Town to the Next
Finally Heading West and a Glimpse of the Old West
San Marcos and Lonesome Dove
#LeapFrogs on the Move: Austin, Texas
#LeapFrogs on the Move: San Antonio!
#LeapFrogs on the Move: On the Way to San Antonio
#LeapFrogs on the Move: Rockport and Mathis
#LeapFrogs on the Move: Kemah, Houston, Wharton
#LeapFrogs on the Road: Fort Anahuac Texas
Technology on the Road
Crossing Louisiana
From Alabama through Mississippi
First Leg of our #LeapFrog Journey
Preparing for Camping on a Long Road Trip
The Beginning of a Dream Realized

Recent Posts from TMP Books:








Get your #LeapFrogs Merchandise here:







Wednesday, April 24, 2019

#LeapFrogs: On to Tupelo and Beyond

Our goal by this point was just to get "home." We still wanted to explore as we traveled, but we only had one particular stop in mind between Broken Bow, OK and Alabama. We also chose to drive through the country side of Arkansas, instead of sticking to interstates.

We learned one important lesson almost as soon as we crossed the state line: apparently, skunks like Arkansas and drivers do not. We passed at least a dozen skunks in less than 20 miles - it was awful, but in an odd way, pretty funny, too. (At least we didn't hit one ourselves! Whew! Phew!) What a memory to have of southern Arkansas.

We had finally escaped enough south to avoid the coming storm (the next day, it earned the name Bomb Cyclone Blizzard! Grateful we weren't anywhere near it!) but we pressed onward. We drove through Hot Springs, but did not stop to visit. The town had an interesting layout and looks like a place I'd like to return in the future for an in-depth visit.

We arrived in Tupelo ahead of a rain storm, and Tim finally got to shake Elvis' hand.



From Tupelo, it was a quick trip to my Mom's and sister's. 

Several have asked if this is the end of the #LeapFrog's journey, but, I'm happy to say it is not. As I write this, we're already back on the road!

Tim got a clean bill of health from the doc, and learned that he'd lost 14 pounds on our journey (the bum!) We decided it had to be the Juice Plus - he began taking it the day we left home, and the doc said the travel seemed to agree with him, because all his blood work and tests showed he was in better health than before! (Doesn't give us answers for several things, but ... I'm glad to have the good report!)

During our brief hiatus, we discussed how we'd change our future travel, and our new direction and plan took shape. So far, it seems to be a workable plan. More on Friday!

#LeapFrogs on the move once again! 

Recent Posts:
#LeapFrogs: Wacky Experience in Albuquerque
#LeapFrogs: Discovering Arizona
#LeapFrogs: The Grand Grand Canyon
#LeapFrogs: Grand Canyon Bound
#LeapFrogs: Mountain Fears and the Saguaro
#LeapFrogs: On to Arizona
#LeapFrogs: Speeding West Again
#LeapFrogs: A New Tent and a Little Time to Breathe
#LeapFrogs: Running from the Weather
#LeapFrogs: A New Town and a New Ministry Idea
#LeapFrogs: A Desert Experience
#LeapFrogs: Exploring Carlsbad's Treasures
#LeapFrogs: Settling into New Mexico
#LeapFrogs: Change of Terrain and a Midnight Visitor
#LeapFrogs: Covering a Lot of Miles
#LeapFrogs: Holy Ground in Kerrville
#LeapFrogs: History Comes Alive
#LeapFrogs: Johnson City and the LBJ Ranch
#LeapFrogs: From One Pioneer Town to the Next
Finally Heading West and a Glimpse of the Old West
San Marcos and Lonesome Dove
#LeapFrogs on the Move: Austin, Texas
#LeapFrogs on the Move: San Antonio!
#LeapFrogs on the Move: On the Way to San Antonio
#LeapFrogs on the Move: Rockport and Mathis
#LeapFrogs on the Move: Kemah, Houston, Wharton
#LeapFrogs on the Road: Fort Anahuac Texas
Technology on the Road
Crossing Louisiana
From Alabama through Mississippi
First Leg of our #LeapFrog Journey
Preparing for Camping on a Long Road Trip
The Beginning of a Dream Realized

Recent Posts from TMP Books:








Get your #LeapFrogs Merchandise here:











Monday, April 22, 2019

#LeapFrogs: Wacky Experience in Albuquerque

After such a beautiful day in Arizona, it's hard to believe we were still trying to get ahead of the weather. Snow and cold were barreling down on us, so we were trying to get east first, and then south, so we'd cover more unexplored territory yet get us closer to home base.

We stuck to the interstate after we left the Painted Desert, and just kept pushing. A loved one gifted us with a night's hotel stay and dinner, so I made reservations (again through Hotwire), for a hotel in Albuquerque. We arrived  around 8 p.m. bone weary after driving for almost 400 miles. But when we pulled into the hotel parking lot, we sat at full alert.

I went to the office to check in, and the door was locked. The clerk motioned me around to the night window (at 8 p.m.?) and when I told him I was there to check in, he motioned me back to the door and met me there to unlock it.

The smell of pot and meth almost knocked me over. The clerk was spaced out and could hardly function. Because we were both so tired, I went ahead and checked in and got our key. I asked who delivered food, and he shrugged and pointed out the window, drawing out, "Denny's?" like he was asking me. I also asked when breakfast was served and he said, "No breakfast."

Tim and I decided to go to Denny's before we lugged stuff to our room on the 3rd floor. As we walked across the lot, some guy in a pickup truck was calling out to a woman standing on the hotel's sidewalk. I didn't pay attention to their conversation at first, but then he said, "$50? Okay, be at my room in 1/2 hour."

After we ate (attentive and hilarious server - he's been with the company 19 years!), we grabbed our backpacks and found our room. I went to the bathroom and flicked on a switch. The light fixtures in both the bathroom and the sink area blinked on and off. Intent on using the facilities, I didn't think anything of it at first, but noticed the room had no toilet paper. Thankfully, I noticed ahead of time.

There was also only one towel in the room.

When I tried the other light switch next to the first one, the lights again blinked, but this time, something sizzled. I quickly turned them both off.

I went to the phone - Tim was still standing by the door, backpack in hand. I think he was already escaping the place in his mind. When I picked up the phone, I discovered noisy static. I dialed '0' anyway, and heard the clerk pickup, but could not hear a word he said, and couldn't even hear myself speak because of all the static.

I called Hotwire while still in the room.

I explained the entire situation - no breakfast (which was advertised), the sizzling wires, no toilet paper, the meth/pot smell, and the parking lot characters, etc. He put me on hold for several minutes, and when he came back said that the hotel had confirmed that they did not offer breakfast like advertised (no one was concerned about sizzling wires!), so they would refund my money. But it would take several days for it to be returned. He gave me a confirmation number for the refund, and we hung up.

We left the parking lot so frazzled, so tired, and without another plan, so we just kept moving east. We ended up car camping at a rest area between Albuquerque and Santa Rosa.

We made a quick stop in Amarillo, for one specific purpose: Cadillac Ranch.





From Amarillo, we drove to El Reno, to head south through Oklahoma on Hwy 81. In El Reno, we met a very kind couple who invited us to share their table in a crowded diner. We learned they cotton-farmed 1,000 acres and his wife was a school teacher. They are the heart of our beautiful America, and it was such an honor and delight to visit with them.

This Oklahoma route was personal - years ago in another life, I lived there, and my children grew up there. We haven't been back in 24 years, so this part of the trip was a bit emotional for me, as I showed Tim farms and businesses I used to own, and the hospital where my younger son was born, the schools my older son attended, the house we lived in before we moved back to GA. Memories flooded my heart as we moved from town to town. 

We made the decision to cut through Arkansas instead of Texas to get back to my Mom's house, where we planned to stay a few weeks to work, schedule, plan, visit doctors, etc. We stopped for the night in Broken Bow, Oklahoma, thanks to the gift of another loved one (money from the first fiasco was still tied up with Hotwire.)

I mention Broken Bow for two reasons. The Microtel we stayed in there had a very sweet desk clerk. We asked her for some food recommendations, and she told us about a convenience store down the street. I laughed and asked why she'd recommend a convenience store. She said it was her favorite place, some of the best country cooking, and great prices. 

We went to our room (with a huge smoky mirror the length of an entire wall - sort of creepy!) and finally, growling stomachs sent me to get our dinner at Bunch's Convenience Store. Along with everyone else in town! 

The store was basically gutted of regular convenience store shelving (the coolers were still there, and a couple of small shelves of snacks to one side). A large hot bar stood along one wall, manned by several busy workers. Several tables were around for anyone choosing to dine in, but most everyone was taking their food to go. The menu was basically a meat-n-two option - choose one main entree, and two sides to go with it, plus a choice of cornbread or hot rolls to go with it. The entrees changed daily, but that day included fried chicken, chicken tenders, goulash, fried fish, chicken fried steak, ribs, and Indian tacos. Sides included potatoes served several different ways, fried okra, mac & cheese, greens, corn, green beans, coleslaw, and baked beans. The selection was great, and the price even better - only $6.29 a plate! But the food went fast. I was stunned at how busy they were, and took my time ordering - letting a couple of people go ahead of me. By the time I was ready to order, the fish and chicken fried steak were already wiped out. The food was great and homemade. Definitely a must stop if you're in the area.

Wednesday, Tim meets (kinda) a favorite!


Recent Posts:
#LeapFrogs: Discovering Arizona
#LeapFrogs: The Grand Grand Canyon
#LeapFrogs: Grand Canyon Bound
#LeapFrogs: Mountain Fears and the Saguaro
#LeapFrogs: On to Arizona
#LeapFrogs: Speeding West Again
#LeapFrogs: A New Tent and a Little Time to Breathe
#LeapFrogs: Running from the Weather
#LeapFrogs: A New Town and a New Ministry Idea
#LeapFrogs: A Desert Experience
#LeapFrogs: Exploring Carlsbad's Treasures
#LeapFrogs: Settling into New Mexico
#LeapFrogs: Change of Terrain and a Midnight Visitor
#LeapFrogs: Covering a Lot of Miles
#LeapFrogs: Holy Ground in Kerrville
#LeapFrogs: History Comes Alive
#LeapFrogs: Johnson City and the LBJ Ranch
#LeapFrogs: From One Pioneer Town to the Next
Finally Heading West and a Glimpse of the Old West
San Marcos and Lonesome Dove
#LeapFrogs on the Move: Austin, Texas
#LeapFrogs on the Move: San Antonio!
#LeapFrogs on the Move: On the Way to San Antonio
#LeapFrogs on the Move: Rockport and Mathis
#LeapFrogs on the Move: Kemah, Houston, Wharton
#LeapFrogs on the Road: Fort Anahuac Texas
Technology on the Road
Crossing Louisiana
From Alabama through Mississippi
First Leg of our #LeapFrog Journey
Preparing for Camping on a Long Road Trip
The Beginning of a Dream Realized

Recent Posts from TMP Books:








Get your #LeapFrogs Merchandise here:

















Friday, April 19, 2019

#LeapFrogs: Discovering Arizona

As we left the Grand Canyon, we headed back east once more. We'd decided the previous night that we needed to get Tim back home for a doc visit, and I needed some work and think time where we weren't constantly on the go. Although we were going to make a quick trip getting back to Alabama and Georgia, we knew there were several towns we wanted to visit along the way - several of those "roadside attraction" kind of places that make each state unique.

But before we went too far, there was one place I had to see in Williams, AZ.



Zach had reminded us about Bedrock City when we first arrived in Arizona, and we passed it on the way to the Canyon, but didn't stop. Today, we did. Somewhere in between Zach reminding us and the day of our actual visit, I learned that the property was closed down, and that it is up for sale for a cool $2 million. I know there's someone out there who could make this campground a success! And what fun it would be doing so!



Next up, Winslow, and of course, we had to go stand on the street corner.



In Joseph City, we had to stop at the famous Jack Rabbit Trading Post, which earned its reputation during the glory days of Route 66.



And then Holbrook. I knew there were a couple of things in Holbrook I wanted to see, but couldn't remember them when we arrived. Then I saw one:



All the wigwams have classic cars parked in front of them.

And then the other:


Holbrook is surrounded by dinosaurs in all shapes and sizes. I think we could have spent an entire day tracking them down all around the area. But the weather was pressing down on us, so we stayed focused.

One food I didn't want to miss introducing to Tim was an Indian Taco. When I lived in Oklahoma, one of the civic organizations in our town would hold periodic fundraisers where they would sell Indian Tacos - taco style ingredients served on top of delicious fry bread. One of my favorite foods that I've missed since we left OK.

Somewhere along the way, searching for Indian Tacos, I learned they have a Navajo origin, so I thought perhaps we'd find them once we entered Navajo country, and Holbrook is where we found them.

The cafe where we landed was recommended on several websites as having the best fry bread around, so we thought we were safe. But I found something in my water glass when she refilled it, and it was so gross, she comped our ticket without us saying a word, and we left. But by that point, we'd already eaten. So, we had our Indian taco (it lacked any seasoning at all, so not my favorite, even before the water glass incident, but Tim covered his with all sorts of sauces and thought it was great) and it was free. But at what cost? Thankfully, none that we could tell.



As we left Holbrook, we kept seeing signs for the Painted Desert National Park. Even though it wasn't on our original plans, we decided to stop, and I'm glad we did.


This place had never even been on my radar. What a sight we would have missed!






We were sad to leave Arizona - so much more to explore. We had a few days of sunshine while we were in the state, and that always improves the state of mind, doesn't it?

Continuing our eastward journey ...

Recent Posts:
#LeapFrogs: The Grand Grand Canyon
#LeapFrogs: Grand Canyon Bound
#LeapFrogs: Mountain Fears and the Saguaro
#LeapFrogs: On to Arizona
#LeapFrogs: Speeding West Again
#LeapFrogs: A New Tent and a Little Time to Breathe
#LeapFrogs: Running from the Weather
#LeapFrogs: A New Town and a New Ministry Idea
#LeapFrogs: A Desert Experience
#LeapFrogs: Exploring Carlsbad's Treasures
#LeapFrogs: Settling into New Mexico
#LeapFrogs: Change of Terrain and a Midnight Visitor
#LeapFrogs: Covering a Lot of Miles
#LeapFrogs: Holy Ground in Kerrville
#LeapFrogs: History Comes Alive
#LeapFrogs: Johnson City and the LBJ Ranch
#LeapFrogs: From One Pioneer Town to the Next
Finally Heading West and a Glimpse of the Old West
San Marcos and Lonesome Dove
#LeapFrogs on the Move: Austin, Texas
#LeapFrogs on the Move: San Antonio!
#LeapFrogs on the Move: On the Way to San Antonio
#LeapFrogs on the Move: Rockport and Mathis
#LeapFrogs on the Move: Kemah, Houston, Wharton
#LeapFrogs on the Road: Fort Anahuac Texas
Technology on the Road
Crossing Louisiana
From Alabama through Mississippi
First Leg of our #LeapFrog Journey
Preparing for Camping on a Long Road Trip
The Beginning of a Dream Realized

Recent Posts from TMP Books:








Get your #LeapFrogs Merchandise here:






Thursday, April 18, 2019

#LeapFrogs: The Grand Grand Canyon

Before we left Granbury, Texas, I made reservations for three nights at the Mather Campground in the Grand Canyon. While we'd been stationary in Granbury, doubts plagued us about continuing our journey but after a little rest, we shook off those doubts, knowing there was so much more to see. Making the reservations gave us more of a plan than we'd had in weeks, and a goal to work toward to keep us moving forward.

After our great night's stay (cheap!) at the Bellemont Days Inn, we headed to the Grand Canyon.

Tim wasn't feeling so well, and not getting around very well, so we weren't sure of our plans once we got there. I'd checked the weather forecast and it kept changing, getting colder every time I checked. (For new readers: I'm blogging this trip after-the-fact, it is not real-time, so weather I write about here is not current to the day you read this post.)

A special guest was waiting to greet us as we arrived at the Mather office: Mama Elk. And yes, we noticed snow still on the ground, too!


The campground employees were helpful and kind. When they saw Tim was having trouble getting around, they changed our campsite to one near a restroom to make it easier on him. The campground was great - peaceful, spacious, beautiful. The restrooms were clean and maintained. Because it was still early in the season, not all the restrooms in the camp had been opened yet. The park also had pay shower and laundry facilities in a building close to the office. 





Once we saw our campsite, Tim suggested we just start sight-seeing before the weather got too bad, and we decided we'd just car camp for the night. We put our nametag on our site post, then headed for the Marketplace - we were told we could park there to catch one of the shuttles.

The shuttles allowed us to see so very much in a short time. Tim could handle getting off and on the buses okay, but not much hiking. The winds were brutal so they made it a little more difficult for him, too. 

[Side rant: One thing that amazed me during our visit - people's sheer stupidity. The wind was blowing so hard, everyone was having a hard time walking along some of the paths. We saw several folks unsteady on their feet, and if the wind was powerful enough to knock ME about, you know it's some strong wind. Yet, at every stop along the way, someone - different each time - had to take a selfie or have a picture made with them in a precarious position. One man balanced on his toes on a rock outside the guardrails, just so his partner could take a photo of him "in" the Grand Canyon. At the same stop that the wind almost knocked me off my feet on flat ground. So when you read about the deaths at the Grand Canyon - of people falling over and dying - this should give you a clue. Rant over.]


You can tell by Tim's face the wind is hitting him hard on the left side. 



My favorite part of the Grand Canyon South Rim was Hermit's Rest. The history behind the building - since 1914 - was amazing, and the views were incredible. The fireplace was a welcome sight, and hard to leave once we were there. 







We traveled every loop the shuttles took us, and explored many of the stops. 


Tim still fighting the wind.





Once we'd made the full journey, we took refuge in front of a fire in the Yavapai Lodge lobby where I was able to get online and check the weather. 

Notice the clouds and haze in some of the photos. That's snow moving in. 

We checked out the market, scored a whole roasted chicken (delightfully warm and fresh) for only $4, and took it back to camp for our dinner. 

While we ate, we discussed all the possibilities, our current needs, and a timeline. And decided we'd take off the next morning to try to outrun the snow once again. The park refunded the remainder of our stay when we checked out, so that was a blessing. We hope to return to the Grand Canyon again some day - hopefully, in warmer weather. 





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