Happy New Year!

Our 2016 began in a hotel room in Effingham, Illinois. After a wonderful couple of weeks back in Illinois and Wisconsin visiting family and friends for the Christmas holidays, we are now making our way back down to San Antonio, Texas, where Charley’s been parked out next to our friends’ shed since we left him there back on December 2nd — it truly seems like ages ago!

As I did last year, I thought it’d be fun to take a look back to see where all we’ve traveled and how much more of America we’ve seen.  To that end, here’s our Out There By The Numbers  tally as we closed out 2015:

  19 months on the road
  53,904 miles driven
  44 states visited

  745 miles hiked
  176 miles biked
  29  miles paddled
  176 different places stayed
  14 nights in a Walmart parking lot
  2,949 gallons of fuel for Charley

In this past year we’ve driven 32,652 miles, visited 19 more states, hiked over 500 miles, stayed in 104 different places, replaced Toad’s four tires and one of Charley’s, and chalked up visits to a whopping 25 national parks including 6 of the 8 up in Alaska during a fabulous 5-week trip up there.  Incidentally, Alaska is now my favorite state in the Union!

I am being a broken record here, but we are extremely blessed to be able to travel around like this to see this great country of ours and visit spectacular national park units that are each fabulous in their own way.  We are filled with gratitude each and every time we set foot into an NPS Visitor Center and place yet another stamp in our passport books.  It is most often with awe that we look out at the grandeur of whatever park unit we are visiting, and we continue to remember in the back of our minds the story of how these parks came to be.  If you haven’t seen it, make it a point to watch the PBS series, The National Parks:  America’s Best Idea by Ken Burns and David Duncan.  We would bet that you, too, will come away from that series wanting, as we did some six years ago, to get Out There yourselves.

Enough, for it’s time to hit the road again.  We wish everyone a very happy, healthy, and prosperous new year!  It’s been an amazingly-fabulous year for the Jolly Adventures and we hope it has been the same for each of you.

Signing off from Effingham,