Happy New Year! Our Year in Review

Well actually, this is our year in review since June 1, 2014, the day we ‘launched’ on this two-year road trip. The above map shows our overnight stops from the time we left Chicago seven months ago to our current location – a hotel in Jupiter, Florida, where we rang in the new year with some of Fred’s Navy buddies.

I’ve been tracking some fun statistics and updating them from time to time on the sidebar of our website.  Here are our stats as of December 31st.  I can’t believe we’ve driven over 21,000 miles!  Math wizard that I am, that equates to over 3,000 miles a month!  [Now you know what a statistics geek I really am!]

# of miles driven: Charley = 7,870 & Toad = 13,382
# of miles hiked = 236
# of miles biked = 116
# of miles canoed/kayaked/rafted = 25
# of different places stayed = 71
# of Walmart parking lot overnights = 8
# of states visited = 25
# of gallons of gas for Charley = 1,174

We set a goal to hike 1,000 miles and bike 1,000 miles while we’re Out Here, so you can see we have some catching up to do!  We’re not really worried, though, as nearly 70% of the national parks are in the West, and we haven’t gotten to those yet – we anticipate doing a lot of biking and hiking in the next year-and-a-half.  I’ll spare you all of my other statistical analyses and observations, but it shouldn’t surprise you that I have done some other number crunching.  :)

I’ll wrap up my year-end summary by saying this:  there aren’t really words to describe how incredible this journey has been, but descriptors like awesome, amazing, grand, splendid, remarkable, tremendous, astounding, and marvelous are a start.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… we are so blessed to be able to make this trip together.  Our good health allows us to be active and not needing to see doctors regularly.  Our families and friends support us in being away from them.  We haven’t been without a few troubles (two flat tires – one on Charley and one on Toad), a few challenges (arriving at a couple of campsites after dark), and a few difficulties (our smart phone GPS that doesn’t zero in on our destination and we have no idea where to go), but throughout everything, flexibility, laughter and knowing that we have each other and we’re doing this together keeps us on the road.

We look forward to 2015 – a year that will find us moving slowly west, then north – way north to Alaska.  We will spend 6-7 weeks up there beginning in July as there are eight national parks in that state that we need to visit.  Those stories and all the rest of our adventures will be featured on these pages throughout the coming year.

So until then, Happy New Year!  We wish you all good health and plenty of happiness.

xo –L&F