As our blog title suggests, we've had an incredibly busy traveling year! The purple highlighted routes on the map below show where we drove our little Honda CR-V in 2014. We managed to hit most of the US aside from New England, southern California, and Florida!
The red line shows our flight path from Atlanta to our current winter abode on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. (The dark blue lines are highways added by the mapping software; you can ignore them!)
Following the map above, we closed out 2013 on the coast of North Carolina at Ocean Isle Beach. We then took a southerly route and headed west to North Padre Island, near Corpus Christi, Texas, for the month of January 2014. From there we drove to southern Arizona, where we spent February in Tucson and March in Patagonia. Monthly rentals save money and give us a chance to really get to know an area; but in most cases we're happy to move on when the month draws to a close.
After avoiding the worst of winter, we headed back to Kansas City area for April and half of May. We did see a brief dusting of snow once, but for the most part, we really did skip winter, and that was wonderful! We enjoyed our time in Prairie Village off and on over the course of a year, but it was time to move on.
From KC we continued eastward to Hickory, North Carolina to visit Emily's mother and step-father for awhile, then due north to Dover, Ohio to stay with Barry's parents for the remainder of the month.
In June we began a full "westward ho" month of short hotel stops, following the northernmost line on the map through the upper midwest to the central plains to the west and finally to the Pacific Northwest for the first time ever for both of us. Montana and Idaho were also new states for Emily. All along the way we did lots of bicycling, especially riding rail-trails and other paved bike paths we'd researched and chosen ahead of time.
We checked out the Seattle area for a few days before rebounding to our main summer locale, Walla Walla, Washington, in the eastern part of the state. We spent a full two and a half months there and really enjoyed it. After so much traveling it was great to feel somewhat settled again for awhile. The weather and the road cycling were both excellent. We rode our bikes nearly every day and actually both hit new lifetime mileage records here!
Finally, the days were starting to get shorter and the nights much cooler, and in mid-September, we headed back to the west coast while starting to trend southward as well. The Oregon coast was absolutely breathtaking! We spent a few days each in two great bicycling cities, Portland and Eugene, before continuing southward to the north coast of California to see and even cycle among the spectacular coastal redwoods. What a great experience that was!
From there we followed the center line eastward, through some other cities we'd never visited, like Salt Lake City, Utah and Durango, Colorado, briefly meeting up with old work buddies in both places. Next it was on to Albuquerque, New Mexico, a favorite city of ours, to take in the awe-inspiring International Balloon Festival. That was a bucket list item we recommend to anyone!
From Albuquerque we made a bee-line across the country, making sure to get to Arkansas as it was one of two remaining states we needed to visit to hit all fifty. (Alaska is the last!) We spent a couple of days in Little Rock, then continued east, riding more bike paths along the way in Mississippi and Alabama. We ended up in Atlanta for a couple of days (and more cycling) before returning to Hickory for some rejuvenation, family time, and re-packing before our winter travels.
Finally, we left our Honda, our winter clothes, and all our bicycles with Emily's folks in Hickory and drove back to Atlanta in a rental car for our November 1 flight to Mexico, with Paisley in tow, of course!
Our approximate mileage totals for the year:
By car: 15,000 (not including rental car to Atlanta).
By bike: 13,000 for Barry and 7500 for Emily
There are loads of posts and photos of our various destinations if you want to check out any of the places we visited over the past year. Just click on the locations and links in the right column.
We hope this missive finds you enjoying your holiday season!
Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad, and a very happy, healthy New Year to All!
With love from the Traveling Twosome, Barry and Emily
Emily & Barry
We're a long-married, early-retired couple who are currently traveling as nomads with no fixed home base. After years of living in North Carolina (Emily's home state), we spent 18 months living oceanfront on Ambergris Caye, Belize, a year road-tripping the US in a Honda CR-V, a year in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and are now roaming North America in our 32' motorhome, Pearl, following warm weather whenever possible.
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