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Saturday, February 18, 2017

ROADSIDE STOPS FROM MURFREESBORO, TN TO BUCKEYE, AZ

ROADSIDE STOPS FROM MURFREESBORO, TN TO BUCKEYE, AZ

26 Dec – 6 Jan

I wanted to try something different this trip and blog about the places we stop along the way. The way a Full-Time RVer travels from one place to the next is done differently than the "normal person" in their everyday travels. With so many people speeding trying to get somewhere as fast as they can, there is no time for them to stop and smell the roses to take in the history or beauty that's right in from of them in their everyday commutes. Don't get me wrong, some RVer travel that way too and every RVer has their own way of traveling. However, in our case most of the time we don't have a set time we have to be somewhere. We travel to see and do thing along the way. I just want to show that if you take that extra mile and get off the beating path you can find that hidden gem that so many people never get to see. 


First and foremost is planning. It's hard to find something that others have not found yet or that is not a big (pricey) tourist spot, but still have its own value. We stop at State line visitor center and grab flyers & travel books, watching a lot of Full Time RVer YouTube videos, reading a lot of RVers blogs and listing to stories from other RVer on where they went. When something catches our attention I write it down and when we are in that area I have it on my to do list. Currently our must are baseball stadiums, National Parks and Capitol Building.  It might seem a little weird, but lately we also have been visiting famous people grave sites. We have seen Ty Cobb, Bruce and Brandon Lee, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain (park were some of his ashes were laid in the river) just to name a few. Sometimes when we see Historical Markers we just pull off the side of the road to read them and see what took place.

This trip was no different than the others we took, except that the weather is colder along with Christmas and New Year’s Holidays where most attractions are closed. We’re still bound to see something new. 

BASEBALL STADIUM
We had three more Minor League Stadiums on our list, but when I called to see their hours they were closed Dec 24 - Jan 2. Bad news no ball parks this trip. I’ll have to get them the next time around.

However, we did find some places that were open between Christmas and New Year’s. The next eleven days and 1,979 miles these are the places we visited and things we did.

FRIENDS
First we stopped to meet friends in Texas for the New Year before driving the rest of the way to Arizona. These are the place we stopped.

NATIONAL PARK
To read about our three day stay at Hot Springs NP, Little Rock Central High School NHS and Arkansas Capitol Building  CLICKHERE.


HUNT FOR DIAMONDS
I always wondered why Arkansas had a diamond on the license plate; well this place has answered my question why? Crater of Diamonds State Park in Mufreesboro, AR. Parking spaces is big enough for RV. They also have a campground, but we only stayed a few hours before getting back on the road. Fee was $8 a person on 37 acres you can search for diamonds. Since 1972 visitors have found over 30,000 diamonds. I keep talking about finding that hidden gem; this is the perfect place then any to at least try. Whatever we found we could keep. When we return to the visitor center we got a free appraisal to see if we “found that hidden gem”. Sadly, we only left with a bag full of rocks.





ROAD SITE MARKER
Just ten miles off of I-20 on a rural road just outside of Gibsland, LA with no one in sight for miles is the site where Bonnie and Clyde were ambushed and killed by law enforcement on 23 May 1934. All that remains as a reminder are two markers. One made from stone that is rattled with bullet hole giving the sight & date of the ambush and a brass maker dedicated to the law men who shot and killed them.





MILITARY BASE
One of my favorite bases I have come a cross since Full Timing is Fort Bliss Army Base in El Paso, TX, about 25 miles from the New Mexico State line (I 10 to US 54). We drove on base with the RV and had no issues. One of the few bases that I have seen that got it right with FreedomCrossing . Everything that a military personal would ask for and they have it here. Freedom Crossing looks like a small city were personnel don’t even have to leave the base to get what they can off base. There is even a FAMCAMP 3 miles down the road on the other side of the base. If you are active, retired or DoD you must stop if not to just take a look.  One of the most dangerous cities in the world Juarez, Mexico border crossing is only a few miles a ways where you can see the border wall and city from I 10.


SNOWBIRD HOME
Only a few hours out from our final destination just outside of Phoenix, AZ I was following behind a big rig and saw him pass over a shredded tier, I swerved to miss the first piece, but hit the bigger second piece with the back wheel of the tow dolly. First the good news there was no damages to the RV or car. However, the dolly took the bulk of the damage as the tire broke the dolly tire cover in half. I pulled over at a rest stop and the tire cover was not hitting the tire so there was no worry of blowing a tire. The piece looks easy to replace all I will have to do is find or order the part before we hit the road in April.

I-10 and I-17 interchange in Phoenix at 4:00pm is the worst. Driving like a turtle and cars cutting in front of us at the last second almost getting hit. It was so bad our sink covers flew off hitting the back of Hiromi's seat. Lesson Learn: Next time I will take I-8 and go around. It might take longer, but not as much traffic and I would still have my dolly tire cover.

We have arrived at our new home for the next four months at Leaf Verde in Buckeye, AZ. This marks our third season here where we were welcomed from friends we have made in the past and hopefully make new ones when we leave.

I did a review of this park in 2013, the park is under new management, but very little have changed. If interested in seeing the review CLICK HERE.




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