A Pat on my Back — Route Planning Perfection

When I was in my writing group and was working on my first novel, I often found I would read a passage and think, “Damn, that was pretty good.” Then I would ask myself, “Are you sure you wrote it?” I would tell my friends, it was the characters — surely I would not write like that. LOL

Learning to RV, whether full-time or not, can be stressful, but it can also be WONDROUS!

When we left home last August, I learned a lot about traveling and our limitations. I was over-ambitious, and we experienced travel fatigue quickly. I had regimented our schedule and planned our trip east without much flexibility. As newbies, I had found it hard to be too flexible. All you hear on YouTube and read online is how crowded campgrounds and RV parks are and to plan early, so I did.

After wintering in Florida, I started to plan our trip back to the Pacific Northwest. This time, with some flexibility. But, I had one major factor dictating our route home — Weather. Most weather forecasts only go out about 10 days and even then, it changes daily. I allowed us about 3 1/2 months to return and the only thing that was definitive — was Route 66 from St Louis to Needles, CA. Every other route was up in the air.

I wanted to start Route 66 in early March, hoping winter was close to being done and it was early enough to get through most of the route before the spring storms came. I watched the weather closely, scrutinizing routes and how the weather behaved in those areas.

I knew I did not want to be on the road when bad weather hit, so I planned our routes around weather windows where we would have a good traveling day. And we would stay put during not-so-good weather days.

Surprise Blizzard on the first day of Spring in Amarillo, Texas

The original plan was South Carolina to the Florida panhandle, up through Alabama, and north to Missouri, but we scraped that route due to weather and Mardi Gra. We decided on a more direct approach from South Carolina to Missouri. Watching the weather closely, I would find a good travel day. We would stay a couple of days or so, depending on the weather, and then leave on the next good travel day. And so our routes went as we headed west. Sometimes we would delay leaving because the weather changed, and we would wait it out.

As we enjoyed our time on Route 66, I did the same thing, I looked out about 10-days, and found a good weather window for traveling. We would hang out to sightsee and wait until the next good travel day.

As we ended Route 66, we again had to scrap our plans of going up highway 395 due to high fuel prices in California and the winter storm weather forecasted for Mammoth Lakes area. Instead, we opted to explore places on our bucket list in Utah — Zion, and Bryce. While in the Bryce area, my husband wanted a lazy day, but I told him we had to go to Bryce that day because high winds were in the forecast. I was right. The weather was just perfect when we went.

Instead of our usual way back to Washington State from Idaho, we opted to explore an area we were not familiar with — It was worth the change in course. One of the most beautiful scenic drives we have traveled.

All of our travel days were just right. Most were sunny and mild, with the exception of some high winds on Route 66. In the places we explored, the weather was just perfect, and the crowds were low.

Yes, I patted myself on my back for expanding what I learned, educating myself on weather, and planning almost perfect routes from the east coast to the west coast. And for exploring somewhere new in just the right weather.

I could not have timed it better.

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