Our Maiden Voyage

By Mela & Don | Adventure

We packed all our belongings into the bus and before we knew it we were leaving Los Angeles. Don driving the bus while I was driving behind him in the Jeep with all 3 cats. It took us just over a week to drive to the Midwest, mostly along the historic Route 66.  We limited our drive days to 4-6 hrs which was perfect. We didn’t have time to do any site-seeing except in Sante Fe where we took a day off from driving in the middle of our trip. This trip was not about experiencing different places but about just getting to our destination safely.  We did just fine glamping in our bus, we slept really well at night, the cats seemed quite at home, the parks we stayed at all had nice facilities, but our set-up was not ideal so we didn’t want to prolong this trip more than necessary. We wanted to get to the place where we could turn this bus into our ideal home.  

Each RV Park we stayed at offered something different. I think Sante Fe Skies was our favorite park. We had an amazing view from our parking spot, an easy trail to walk around the property and stretch our legs (much needed after so much driving), spectacular sunsets, bunnies and large metal sculptures.  It was also the only park that had a kitchen we could use to wash our dishes and offered recycling. Yup, none of the other parks collected recycling only landfill trash, this was something I was surprised by.

Day One -Glen Helen Campground, San Bernardino, California

Glen Helen Campground
Located at the base of the chaparral covered hills of the Cajon Pass with scenic views of both the San Gabriel and San Bernardino Mountains in California.

Day Two - Blake Ranch RV Park & Horse Motel, Kingman, Arizona

Blake Ranch RV Park & Horse Motel
If you’re passing through northern Arizona, and you need Fuel, Food and a great place to camp or board your horses for the night, then come visit us. Blake Ranch RV Park offers the best darn place to park your rig, with all the conveniences you would expect!

Day Three - USA RV Park, Gallup, New Mexico

​​​USA RV Park
​Centrally located on the Historic Routh 66, the park is a short distance from spectacular national and tribal parks including Mesa Verde, El Morro, Window Rock, Zuni, Four Corners, Monument Valley, and the Painted Desert.

Day Four and Five - Santa Fe Skies RV Park, Sante Fe, New Mexico

We went into town for our day off and explored the galleries on Canyon Road. There are more than 100 galleries, boutiques and restaurants along this ½ mile stretch. We fell in love with the distinctive architectural style in Sante Fe. No other city in the country has so many low-slung, earth-colored buildings made of adobe bricks, which consist of a mixture of sun-dried earth and straw. We thoroughly enjoyed our time here and will definitely come back to explore more!

Santa Fe Skies RV Park
Santa Fe Skies RV park is located just south of Santa Fe city rested on the top of a hill. Visitors can enjoy the wonders of the nation's oldest capital city and take in the spectacular beauty of the region. Enjoy our beautiful panoramic view of the total Santa Fe area with unobstructed sunrise and sunset views from the Turquoise Trail!

Day Six - Oasis RV Resort, Amarillo, Texas

Oasis RV Resort
Amarillo's NEWEST, FINEST & LARGEST RV Park!

Day Seven - Mustang Run RV Park, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Mustang Run RV Park
​Whether you plan on just passing thru or visiting the State Fair, the National Cowboy Hall of Fame, the OKC National Memorial or catching a Thunder basketball game, Mustang Run RV Park is conveniently located to meet your needs.

Day Eight - Lamplight Lane RV Resort, Waynesville, Missouri

Lamplight Lane RV Resort
John & Barbara Roser, proud owners and operators of Lamplight Lane RV Resort! It's not an empty sentiment when we say that we "Wish You Were Here" since our goal is to offer the kind of amenities and hospitality that make every guest's stay with us a first class experience!

Our bus definitely attracted attention at times.  We were once asked if we were a band on tour. Kids wanted to take photos next to the “American” logo on the side.  Truckers would pass us on the highway just so they could point at our bus and give us a thumbs up!

The drive went mostly smoothly and we loved watching the terrain change from state to state, like Texas being flat for miles and then being struck by the rolling hills and green trees of Oklahoma contrasted against their red clay soil. Driving with the cats in the car was tough. They climbed over me and under me and everywhere they possibly could in the car.  By the time we got to Texas I was just done with it, and felt it was too distracting. So we bought a dog crate which we bungyed onto the bus walls and put the 2 younger cats in the crate while driving. This worked out much better for myself and Zuri (our 17 yr old cat) who became my perfect travel buddy.  

When we arrived at the RV Park in Sante Fe, Don went in to registration and when he came back out the bus wouldn’t start.  Of course we had a moment of panic, how could the bus be breaking down on us already! Don started calling bus mechanics in town, he found a really friendly mechanic who helped him troubleshoot over the phone.  Turns out that you have to make sure you put the bus in neutral before turning it off. If you don’t, it won’t start. With a little convincing and some luck, Don managed to get the gears into neutral and the bus started, followed by a big sigh of relief from both of us and some giggling.  We ran into a few learning curves like this but our big black bus got us safely to the Midwest!

 

Up Next
Before we start our bus conversion, we give you a quick tour of inside the bus and how we “glamped” over the week.

Fact Check

​Sante Fe Architecture - SanteFe.org

Canyon Road - VisitCanyonRoad.com

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About the Author

Mela and Don are sharing their journey as they make conscious decisions to live a more healthy, environmentally friendly life together.

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