Thanksgiving on the Southern States Tour and finishing the lower 48 in 2020

Hey! You're back! We're so glad you made it! We are aiming for South Dakota to check that state off of our 2020 list. From Oklahoma we entered Kansas and searched for the US Army Corps of Engineers campgrounds. This is Thanksgiving Day, we wanted to get groceries and find a nice place to camp. Pomona Lake served up just want we wanted. There are several in Michigan Valley Park near Vassar, Kansas. We had the entire place to ourselves. Since this is off-season there were no showers open and the water was turned off but we did have electricity. We are solar powered but like to top off the power by plugging in occasionally. Our power system is awesome, we have the Apex by www.inergytek.com.

Our Thanksgiving meal was grilled steak, onions and zucchini. We roasted marshmallows for dessert then sat and enjoyed the fire and sunset. We had so much to be grateful for and we try very hard to always remember that.

From Kansas on 75 North we reentered Nebraska and took Hwy 2 to I-29 North in Iowa up to South Dakota 50 to Yankton. We were expecting the USACOE campground to be closed for the season so we had a back up plan. Yankton was the original Capital of the Dakota Territory, this little town is rich in history. The Missouri River flows right through to provide visitors and life-blood to the economy, but not without its ups and downs. The USACOE campground was indeed closed but the Pierson Ranch State Park at Gavin's Point Dam was open on Yankton Lake. We had a great view for the night.

The next morning we dropped back into Nebraska and headed for the SW corner of the state. Primarily the Rock Creek recreation area between Haigler and Benkelman. If that sounds familiar to you it's because that is where we left my Grandmother's stool near the beginning of this journey. Now this story would blow your mind if we told you we drove right back to the same campsite and retrieved our stool! Well, we did drive back and we did get to the same campsite but the stool was not there. We were expecting to see the stool. This campground is way off the beaten path down several miles of dirt roads. But the stool was nice and if anyone saw it they would surely take it.

The next morning we saw Dasher training for the upcoming Christmas season.

One state left to to finish the lower 48, New Mexico. Here we come. However, Colorado comes first so we reached out to a customer and van builder Joe with Vans by PropToro. Joe and his team build adventure vans that are over the top, very well planned beasts to provide Van-lifers or weekend warriors with the ideal home on wheels. After a nice visit with Joe we headed south and stayed at Cheyenne Mountain State Park.

Full disclosure... we usually don't do many campgrounds because we are self-contained. However, we haven't installed a heater yet and we are using the campground electricity to power a space heater that we bought on the road. Heaters are energy hogs so having supplemental power is ideal for that. AND, these campgrounds are big and relatively empty.

The next morning we aimed for a USACOE campground in New Mexico, unfortunately it was closed so we opted for a local campground in Santa Fe. The Santa Fe RV Park was a nice park, not our favorite due to the amount of occupants but we did laundry and took showers before hitting the road again. New Mexico had been checked off our list, mission accomplished.

Albuquerque is on our route home and Darin wanted to show me the Candy Lady shop. He first told me about the shop during the final season of Breaking Bad. We were a bit disturbed by people oohing and aahing over the blue 'meth' candy knowing how meth has devastated so many families. During this visit we took on a slightly different perspective and learned more about the shop and the show. Breaking Bad brought an enormous amount of business to the city and the shop. You really have to take the bad with the good. Anyway, back to the candy. We didn't buy any blue meth but we did buy some dark chocolate covered glazed orange slices. These were so good that while on the road home I placed an online order for 5 pounds! I sent out a few for Christmas gifts and kept a couple for myself.

We entered Arizona and opted for a KOA, it was sketchy and if I were traveling alone I likely would have kept driving... The next day we visited Flagstaff and Williams, Arizona. Williams and Flagstaff are great towns to visit. This whole area has so much to offer. We enjoyed a great breakfast on old historic route 66 and motored on.

During a previous trip we went to the Laughlin casinos and won enough money to cover that entire trip so we decided to try our luck again. Not so lucky, we lost $80 and got back on the road.

Home was reachable at this point so we set our sights and made it home after a 10,210 mile journey. We have wonderful friends that took care of Boxer while we were away.

After all these miles and weeks on the road we had decided we needed a few modifications to the van. We also needed to restock our K.I.S.S. Airflow inventory. Please join us again to see how we remodeled our home on wheels.

Here is an overview of our travels:



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