As we reach the end of the year, I thought I would write a post highlighting our travels in 2018. It was a big year of travel as we journeyed through the South, covered all the states along the Eastern seaboard and into the Appalachian states. We finished up the year back in California where we started in August of 2017. Our travels will continue in 2019 when we leave California in February and head for Arizona. At this time our plan is to focus on several southwestern states before heading up to the Midwest, our focus from late spring through fall. For now, follow along with us for a monthly summary of where we landed this past year.
January found us in Alabama staying in the city of Mobile for a while before heading south to our two-week campsite on Mobile Bay near Gulf Shores. In Alabama we enjoyed Gulf Coast beaches, a nature preserve and great shrimp. Highlights were a visit to the U.S.S. Alabama ship and Mardi Gras museum. The third week of January we headed to our next camping spot for two weeks in the Florida Panhandle and our first look at the turquoise waters near Panama City, a sight I will not soon forget. Above is a sunset photo from Gulf Shores, Alabama.
In February we enjoyed exploring Florida State parks along the Gulf, visited the Pensacola Air Museum and on the 10th of the month arrived to St. Augustine on the Atlantic for two weeks. This was one of my favorite camp spots and cities we visited this year. As the oldest city in America, there were more attractions and things to do here than any other place we visited so I was kept quite happily busy. Above is a photo of Flagler College, a favorite architectural gem in St. Augustine.
March found us in the beautiful cities of Savannah, Georgia and Charleston, South Carolina. People like to debate which of these two southern cities are their favorite. Mark preferred Savannah but I fell in love with Charleston, although I found Savannah very nice too. Exploring those cities on foot was a highlight and seeing all the azaleas in bloom made me very happy, especially at the plantation gardens near Charleston. Above is a photo of azaleas at Savannah’s Forsyth Park, our favorite park to hang out in that city. It was difficult to leave the South with the huge live oaks and hanging moss that I so enjoyed seeing every day. Below a photo from the Wormsloe Estate in Savannah which features a 1.5 mile entrance of huge live oaks.
April found us spending four weeks in Virginia, two in Williamsburg and two in Charlottesville. We saw lots of colonial history in Williamsburg, Jamestown and the Yorktown Battlefield. In the Charlottesville area we visited the homes of three former presidents. Spring in Virginia was gorgeous with green fields, hills and lots of blooming trees. Below a photo of the fife and drum corp marching in Colonial Williamsburg.
In May we camped a week in Maryland, four nights in a state park in Delaware and then to New Jersey for our base camp while visiting Philadelphia. Our family (Shannon, Jonathan, Luke and Levi) came out to join us for a wonderful week in this incredible city. We walked the city seeing lots of historical sights and eating great food. Mark and I then headed to the Amish country near Lancaster, Pennsylvania for a few weeks, an area I found fascinating to visit. Below a picture of Independence Hall in Philadelphia. Little Levi is dwarfed by the building.
June found us in Gettysburg where we toured the historic battlefield, the amazing National Park museum and the neat town of Gettysburg. Mark and I had seen a number of Civil War sites in other states before arriving here and this turned out to be a perfect grand finale. We got to camp here with our son and daughter-in-law, Matt and Emma. In mid June we traveled to the lovely Finger Lakes area of New York, camping again with Matt and Emma. We finished up the month in New York’s Hudson Valley where a highlight was visiting Franklin D. Roosevelt’s house and museum. Below is a photo of Matt, Emma and me hanging out at Lincoln’s statue in the town of Gettysburg.
We spent the whole month of July in Maine, one of our favorite states. Could this be the most beautiful state we visited this year? After arriving it looked so good that I added on another week stay for us, making the total five weeks. While staying at three different campgrounds we explored much of the coastal areas including Acadia National Park. The lobster rolls were pretty good here too.
August found us in New Hampshire for a week staying in the beautiful White Mountains. We explored waterfalls, rivers, a scenic byway and I took a tour up Mt. Washington, the highest mountain in the Northeastern U.S. We next journeyed to the very green state of Vermont for a week before moving on to Massachusetts. In the Berkshires we visited the museum of one of my favorite artists Norman Rockwell as well as a very cool Shaker farm. Moving to another campsite in Massachusetts we explored the sites where the Revolutionary War started and hit the Massachusetts coast too in Gloucester. Below, a photo of me near Glen Ellis Falls in New Hampshire.
In September we landed in delightful Newport, Rhode Island, another favorite city and some of the best weather on our trip – a whole week of sun and no rain! Here we found history, beaches, coastal scenery, sailing, fancy homes to tour and a nature preserve to walk. September also found us in Connecticut with much to explore including a trip highlight, the wonderful Mystic Seaport Museum. We next headed to the rugged mountains of Eastern West Virginia where we had some of the funnest days of our trip enjoying several different historic train trips. Below, a tall sailing ship in Newport, Rhode Island.
In October we enjoyed the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and North Carolina, driving the Blue Ridge Parkway. We had a great time listening to old-time mountain music and explored Smoky Mountains National Park, the most visited park in America. We also traveled and stayed for a week in southern Kentucky where we saw our first moon bow and then finished the month in Tennessee with visits to the Appalachian Museum and other scenic sights. Below, late afternoon along the Blue Ridge in North Carolina.
In November we started driving west with a stop on the Mississippi River and the city of Memphis as well as a stay in Oklahoma City. We made our way through the Texas Panhandle, New Mexico and Arizona followed closely by snow storms and freezing weather before finally arriving back in California. We had a smoky drive north through the state, the result of the Camp fire in Northern California as well as other fires to the south. We enjoyed a stay in Chico visiting with my parents and a very nice Thanksgiving with family. After Thanksgiving on to French Camp RV park where we have been ever since. Below, Mark enjoys a sunset at our Mississippi River campground.
I hope you enjoyed a look back on our year of traveling. Wishing everyone a very happy New Year!