I had envisioned spending the whole summer in one spot. Enjoying a sense of peace and quiet. Savoring our little slice of Island Life nestled amongst the trees, with its peek-a-boo view of the bay. Summering on the southwest side of Fidalgo Island. To being stationary for a while and reclining into a day-to-day routine that did not involve packing and unpacking, sightseeing, and lots of driving. I was looking forward to having the time to start and finish some much needed projects inside and outside of Betty Jo.
We have been back for three weeks now and I am feeling - ANTYSY! This surprised me, how much I needed to be on the road. I had a little inkling of being antsy while we spent a month in one location in Florida, but there was so much to see that it didn’t really take hold. Now, however, in a place familiar to us, it is hitting and hitting hard. I find myself craving to hitch up and just go. I have to often work hard to calm the antsy down. We had planned to do some short trips over the summer, but I was craving more than that…I wanted to hit the road and never turn back. Life doesn’t always cooperate and allow what we want to happen, as much as I want this, now is not the time.
The practical side of me says to be patient. To take this time to take care of business. I tell myself to be grateful. With gas prices soaring, the wild weather of Mother Nature roaring across the country, I tell myself this is where we are meant to be and to ride out the storm. The road will still be there come Fall. But still…the twinges of antsiness pinches me, reminding me — I am not finished, not yet.
For now, I will satisfy myself with short jaunts, looking back, and planning for what is to come.
In the meantime… Here is a look at some of our favorite spots.
After months of being stagnate, a moment of excitement bubbled inside. We had been mostly stationary for a little over three months as we wintered in Florida and South Carolina. My travel-day-anxiety reared its ugly head as we left Charleston to hit the road, but once the routine set in, it calmed down.
We traveled up Hwy 55 into Missouri, heading towards Hwy 44 and Route 66 on Sunday, March 6th. A storm was due in that evening so we wanted to travel while there was a break in the weather. Our first stop was in Pacific, Missouri for the night. Just a little west of St Louis, this is where we would start our trek west.
As we got closer to the St. Louis area, excitement washed away any cares. We were finally getting close to our journey on one of America’s nostalgic road trip treasures. I was very young when Route 66 was a big deal and I put it in the back of my mind to someday visit. The idea of doing Route 66 got lost over the years - family, jobs, life, all pushed it away. Then in 2021, the opportunity to hit the road happened. We divested ourselves of all our belongings and purchased an Airstream. Here it is a year later and we are finally adding the Mother Road to our lists of places we have traveled
Our blog is called, Stories from the Front Porch, so it only seemed fitting to start this adventure at the World’s Largest Rocking Chair on Route 66. Chairs, for me, represent stories passed on for generations and what better start to this story than the World’s Largest Rocking Chair on Route 66. The chair was erected on April Fool’s Day in 2008. It weighs 27,500 lbs and is 42’ 4” high. It was once the largest Rocking Chair in the World, but lost that honor to someone in Illinois in August of 2015. It is now the second largest in the world
We drove briefly through Cuba, Missouri on our way to the chair, captured a few photos but it was freezing cold so we didn’t make too many stops
Our next stop - the township of Uranus. A brief stop for some Uranus Fudge and a few photos.
There is a Route 66 Welcome Center just before Marshfield (if heading west, if eastbound it would be right past Marshfield.) They have a huge parking lot and invite visitors to rest.
Our last stop for the day was the town square in Marshfield, MO where a replica of the Hubble Telescope is displayed. Dr. Edwin Hubble's hometown.
We ended our first day at the RV Express RV park in Marshfield, MO, just off hwy 44.
“I want to ride on one of those someday.”
As we grow older our childhood dreams fade away, forgotten as life takes over. Since I was a child I wanted to ride on an Airboat and when we hit the road with Betty Jo (the Airstream) and ended up in Florida, I remembered that dream and made plans to make it come true.
I wanted the “experience” of being on an Airboat, not a quick tourist ride. I searched and located a company committed to providing their customers with an experience — not just a ride. Their mission is to invite you to discover the beauty and the nature of the Everglades and absorb its beauty. There are no “touristy” shows, no crowded boats — just you and nature — the way it was intended.
Our guide is the sixth generation in the area and was passionate about the Everglades and introducing people to it. We picked the company, Down South Airboat Tours, because of their personalized service and because they also have access to parts of the Everglades than most of the others in the area. It was worth every penny.
The ride was more than the thrill of skimming along the water on a fast boat. The natural beauty was beyond anything I could have imagined. I was mesmerized with what this earth truly has to offer — and how much we need to respect and appreciate it.
I was surprised by the diversity of the area — from grass to forest to swampland. And by its beauty and my reaction to it.
The Everglades is an intricate system of subtropical wetlands, lakes, and rivers, originally covering more than 4,000 square miles (10,000 square kilometers) from Lake Okeechobee to the southern tip of Florida. However, due to development, the Everglades has been reduced to less than half of that size,
While sometimes thought of like a giant swamp, the Everglades is technically a very slow-moving, shallow river. Because sawgrass marsh dominates this river, it was traditionally called the “River of Grass.” In fact, Native Americans living in the area called it Pahayokee, meaning the “grassy waters.
The Everglades: River of Grass
It was more than a ride on an Airboat — it was a history lesson, a deep appreciation for the area and its diverse offerings to the world, and a memory to be treasured for many years to come.
When we started this journey with Betty Jo (the Airstream) we knew there were a few places we wanted to visit, but as the journey unfolded, so did the dreams of where to next. We did not start with a Bucket List — it just evolved and keeps evolving — as does the journey.
Safe travels to all, and may you find your Bucket List dreams do come true.
As we roam the roads and highways, looking for that next fantastic stop, keep track of our travels in our Airstream - Betty Jo