Waking up in Chaco was hot, really hot, so it was a relief to finish out the day in the cool evergreen forest at Mancos State Park, Colorado. The next day before we hit the road we had a fun time doing some yoga, taking photos and relaxing. As ready as I was to get to our destination and get our dogs and cats out of the RV and into a more permanent living situation, I had a lump in my throat as we took down our tent and prepared to leave. The soft forest floor of Mancos had been so inviting!
The road to get there was 21 miles of washboard purgatory (why not hell? well, we didn’t know if we would ever arrive…), but the arrival was cool moonlight silhouettes of astounding buttes. Coyotes howled all night and the burning sun woke us in the morning. This was my first real experience of the desert.
The Wichita Wildlife Refuge was one of the few destinations that were on our original travel plan that we actually made it to. It was exciting to be arriving just around sunset and to have a wide choice of campsites to pick from. Also, we were finally out of the humid forests of the Southeast and into a different type of habitat – open canopy woods.
Arriving at Tishomingo State Park in Mississippi late on the second day of our cross-country honeymoon trip was exciting because I was out of known territory. The camp sites were nestled in around a lake, and we drove around in the dark trying to pick the best one (ie, the one that was both close to the bath house and away from other people). Our night there started out well but became harrowing when one of the cats escaped. Luckily the next morning we were able to relax, go for a walk by a stream, get our paws wet and hit the road again feeling poised.
After making the big decision to get married and move me across the country, we had to decide what route we would take getting there. Earlier that June we had driven a quick, direct line from Utah to NC passing through Kansas. This time we wanted more parks to stay in on our trip. Our initial route required a little adjusting once we got on the road. This is what we ended up traveling:
Day 1: Charlotte NC to Victoria Bryant State Park, Georgia
Day 2: Victoria Bryant State Park, Georgia to Tishomingo State Park, Mississippi
Day 3: Tishomingo State Park, Mississippi to Village Creek State Park, Arkansas
Day 4:Village Creek State Park, Arkansas
Day 5: Village Creek State Park, Arkansas to Devil’s Den State Park, Arkansas
Day 6: Devil’s Den State Park, Arkansas to Wichita Wildlife Refuge, Oklahoma
Day 7: Wichita Wildlife Refuge, Oklahoma to Oasis State Park, New Mexico –
Day 8: Oasis State Park, New Mexico to Chaco National Heritage Site, New Mexico
Day 9: Chaco National Heritage Site, New Mexico to Mancos State Park, Colorado
Day 10: Mancos State Park, Colorado to Home (Roosevelt Utah)