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Full Version: Goodbye Southwest, heading back to Florida
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This has been 3 months of amazing, great and not so great.  I am very glad I came out here.  Thank you to all you wonderful folks on the forum and especially those I have met in person, who have helped me so much.  I now have solar on my van, a good generator and knowledge that will sustain me on this marvelous journey.  All because of you, wonderful tribe members.

I will remain a full-timer, as my van is my home now.  And I never in a million years thought I would say this, but there is too much sun here and not enough shade.  I miss shade and trees.  Oh, there was plenty of that in the High Country around Flagstaff and that was beautiful.  I had such a wonderful first month up there.  Alas, I learned the elevation is too much for my breathing and it is very cold in winter.  

I have been to areas of the high desert that were spectacular.  Arizona and New Mexico are simply stunning.

I feel like I have been on a wonderful vacation and it is now time to go home.  

Right now I am at a truck stop in Deming, NM, right off I-10, contemplating West or East.   I thought I wanted to do the whole winter thing around Quartzsite and Yuma, but that thought now turns off a light inside me.   I just don't see myself staying out here after it gets warmer in the spring.  It feels like a chore to endure.  

I need more populated areas for work opportunities, selling life insurance maybe, flea markets maybe...and medical services.  And trees and shade.

If anyone here has insights that would help me in Florida, I would appreciate the info here or PM.   I am a people person so camping solo is not for me.  I have found the Florida post here with the different camping areas, and that is a great start.  Now I will look for truck stops, Walmarts also until I get this going.

Are there groups of you who travel the East?  

Does anyone know a better way of getting to Florida than I-10?  Even if I have to go a little out of the way North.... I-10 seems so lonely for so long of a stretch through Texas.  The route I followed out here via I-40, 20, etc., was good but seems really far from here to do that now.

When Florida gets warmer in Spring, I plan to go North.  This living in my van full time is new and I look forward to the next chapter.  Thank you, all.  Heart
(10-03-2016, 07:57 AM)pamerica Wrote: [ -> ]Does anyone know a better way of getting to Florida than I-10?  Even if I have to go a little out of the way North.... I-10 seems so lonely for so long of a stretch through Texas.  The route I followed out here via I-40, 20, etc., was good but seems really far from here to do that now

The best way IMO, is to take any road on the map that is going more or less in the right direction that is NOT red...ie an interstate.

Take the blue roads on the map (and maybe some of the brown roads) and let them wander you through all the small towns along the way. If you need to go near an interstate it should be for the purpose of crossing over/under it, not for getting on it.

Yes, it will take you a whole lot longer but unless you've got a deadline, you'll be less stressed with the lower speed limits and less traffic AND you get to see a whole lot of America (the real America) that way!!
Can't imagine choosing FL over the Southwest (I just moved back to IL from FL), good things this great big country has something for everyone!!

BTW - if you're in Deming and are hungry, try Si Senor, very tasty chow! Are you planning on checking out Silver City and the Gila before you go??
Thanks Lady Arabella and Queen.  I like the idea of the little roads off the Interstate, just wondering about the safety of doing it in this area. I checked out my allstays app and at least one of the campsites along here it says we don't recommend staying here because it is a heavy trafficking and smuggling area.
I like to stay at truck stops and other places where people are around all night. But I will see if I can do that - I would like to see more.

Queen, while I would like to see those places and more around here, all I can think of now is getting back East and I will see plenty along the way.  If I stop in town Deming again I will be sure to go to that restaurant.
There's a KOA on the west side of Las Cruces that offers some of the best views of the Mesilla Valley you can image, at night the lights in the valley just sparkle! It's an old park and wasn't very fancy when we were there last,but the view was truly wonderful. We ordered pizza and sat outside freezing our butts off eating pizza and drinking beer late into the night.
I can understand the altitude thing. I love being on the mountain tops but the last time we were up there I felt altitude sickness for the first time in three decades. On the other hand going down to sea level feels like some one unchained my lungs there is such a difference.
(10-03-2016, 07:57 AM)pamerica Wrote: [ -> ]...
Does anyone know a better way of getting to Florida than I-10?  ...

(and)

... all I can think of now is getting back East and I will see plenty along the way.  ...

FWIW:
Driven I-10 a few times in both directions all the way across or near it.  It is not only the most direct and fastest route to Florida from your current location, it is the southernmost route.  Less important now than it will be in 30-60 days.  Probably too soon to worry about this, but in November one year as I recall, I drove E-to-W, and chose I-10 on purpose to stay out of the colder weather to the north.  Slept one night in El Paso, TX (on the border with Mexico).  Woke up the next morning to about 4" of snow on the roof of my car.  Yeah, in El Paso.  Didn't even realize it was possible.

If you go a bit farther north now, or take state roads roughly paralleling I-10 as has been suggested, you'll probably still be fine.  However, don't assume that you're out of bad weather areas until you get to San Antonio or so.  

And speaking of San Antonio, if you've never been, it was worth an overnight in my experience, just to take your time eating supper and walking along the River Walk downtown.  Night time is best.  If you happen to see a cafe along the River Walk there called Kangaroo Court, go in and see if they still have the 4"-high cheesecake covered in fruit topping.  Ahhhh.

Good luck on your trip.

Vagabound
Rather than I10 I turned left at Las Cruces and went North on 70 to Roswell.  No, I didn't see any aliens but it was a nice route.  There is some elevation.  I think the highest going that way is about 7000 feet.

I found I10 in Louisiana to be really rough pavement.  Again, I went North and took lesser roads.

In Melbourne, East of Orlando, it has rained all morning.  This afternoon will be humid, dripping wet humid.  Matthew is supposed to be near here on Thursday so take a slow scenic route unless you really want rain. 

You don't need to wait till spring for Florida to get warmer.  August is in the rear view but it is still warm.

Welcome back to Florida.
When heading east from the southwest, I travel along the gulf shore. I start in TX in the CC/Padres Island area and follow the intercoastal highway and migratory bird trail. Every once in awhile I get lost and have to find I-10 to get my bearings or avoid a city. It's a lovely ride.
Oh! If you're on facebook there's kind of a roaming SE gathering all winter
Part one is coming right up
"... The official Fall SE GTG has been decided. The middle 2 weeks of October at Tumbling Creek recreation area, Cherokee National forest, near Copperhill, Tn. We have had several GTGs at this spot, and it's one of our favorites..."

They're on facebook
https://www.facebook.com/SE-GTG-931565530233197/?fref=ts&hc_location=ufi
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