The best word to describe the week...amazing. It seemed like there was always something new to see or do....and more things to add to the list of things that we want to see and do. Our list for future adventures is even longer now than when we started the trip.The adventures that we had were full of stuff that we will remember forever.
- Time with family : This was a big part of why we planned the trip. Lloyd was able to meet some more of the extended family and spend some time with them, and that time is something that we hold to be very precious. Dinner around the table...relaxing on the patio enjoying conversation and the view...getting to spend time with people we love and admire...these alone would have made it worth the drive. (All 4800+ miles of it.)
- Fort Huachuca : We often laugh because it seems like whenever Lloyd gets a pass or leave to get off post, we always end up back on base. (With the exception of holiday block leave when he's in Green Bay.) We had been joking that this would be the first time that I came to get him when we wouldn't be doing just that.....and then we decided to go to Fort Huachuca. So much for staying off the Army base. :) At least this time though, it wasn't his regular post, and we were able to be much more relaxed. We took care of some stuff at the PX and the clothing exchange before finding our way to the museum. They have tons of stuff there on the history of the Army's presence in the southwest as well as stuff on the Buffalo Soldiers.
- Tombstone : The Town Too Tough to Die was also too cool to only visit once. We spent a few hours there early in the week and then decided that we had to go back for a full day. We saw the shootout, the historama, museums, shops, Big Nose Kate's Saloon, the Crystal Palace, and the Boot Hill Cemetery - and barely scratched the surface of what was available. There was still a lot that we didn't get to see. We'll just have to go again sometime soon. We'll probably need to get a couple of more memory cards for the camera though. Lloyd managed to fill the whole thing without even trying.
- Time for the two of us : This is something that we definitely needed. We were able to talk and enjoy time together. Sure, a fair bit of the time came while we were driving, but we also were able to have relaxing time at the clubhouse doing laundry, on our short hike in the desert near the RV park, and even just lounging around the casita watching Harry Potter movies.
- The Arizona wildfires : Not all of the week in review is fun stuff. The Monument Wildfire is burning very close to where we were as was the Antelope Fire while it was burning. An estimated 10,000 acres of Fort Huachuca burned two days after we were there. (It's a good thing that we went on Monday instead of waiting.) The fires had reached the edge of Sierra Vista and threatened the cute little town that we had gone through to see the church that K&T had helped construct through their time working with Laborers for Christ. We have continued to watch updates from a local TV station out of Tuscon and pray that those battling the blaze will get help from the weather.
- Freedom RV in Tuscon : Most people probably don't go to an RV dealership as one of the sights to see on vacation. We aren't most people though. We looked in dozens of RVs to see what all is out there and get a picture of what we would like to have in our future. We checked out lots of different floor plans and were able to get a good look at some of the features that we really like and others that we do not want. Straight up, all of them were nicer than our house, and the 45' rig with 4 slide outs probably had almost as much square footage as what we have (although towing it would be a challenge).
- White Sands, NM : We only got to see what we could take in from the highway. We'll need a return trip to see more. On the bright side, we managed to NOT get ourselves into any restricted parts of the facility, so that was a plus for us.
- Roswell, NM : Another location that had its time cut short. (Something about a 6 hour delay in heading out due to a leaking water pump just messes with travel plans. At least we found it early enough that we could drive it to a repair shop instead of being broken down in 100+ degree heat in the middle of the desert somewhere.) We did manage to get some pictures though, and we have a bit better idea of some of the things that we would like to see when we are there next time.
- Groom, TX : We highly recommend that if you're driving down I-40 past here, you stop and visit. It is awe inspiring and thought provoking. We had intended to make it a lightening fast stop as we were behind schedule but realized in only a few minutes that we needed to take more time.
All in all, it was a wonderful week, and we feel very blessed by all of it. Thank you to all who sent up all the extra prayers that got Lloyd's leave approved and kept us safe in our travels.