Things I Notice...
During the first summer, beginning July 2010, traveling north, east of the Mississippi River to Canada and then back to the southeast in fall, America's land use held few surprises. The first winter, however, things changed. Thousands of acres devoted to agriculture were first seen in Yuma, Arizona. I never realized (or certainly had forgotten) how much is still grown here in the good ole US of A. So why is all my grocery store produce labeled "Chile, Guatemala, Brazil, Argentina, etc"?
Many of America's interstate highways are a disgrace. That's no surprise. The surprise is finding how much better ride can be had on federal highways. It didn't take long to learn to choose federal and state highways over the dreary interstates.
More times than we can remember, we happen upon people we've seen other places. Example.... a particularly good (or bad) looking rig parked near us in a campground. The rig or the people are memorable for some reason. Then... voila! We run across that rig again -- sometimes months later. Maybe that's not too surprising to some... but it is to me.
All across the land, the amount of plastic trash is astonishing! During travel through Texas in spring 2014 we heard local news reports about several counties trying to eliminate, or reduce, at least, the number of plastic bags handed to consumers. In Canada, plastic bags must be purchased. Bags aren't the only culprit in the trashing of America, but they are certainly the most noticeable -- blowing in the wind, hanging from fences and snared in trees and weeds along the roadsides.
Seems just a few years ago that America produced very little good wine. I can remember when California began boasting about it's wine and after a short while, we began taking California wine seriously. Other regions joined the fray. Vineyards, wines, tastings, tours and gift shops are now all across the country. I think every single state now has a splendid offering of wines.
Outside the realm of snowbirds and seasonal campers, there are many Americans who are part of the great American workforce while traveling in their RV's. A fifth year update should include the enormous number of parents who home-school children and travel.
It's impossible to be a tourist 24/7, 365 days a year, year in and year out. While I certainly love being on permanent vacation, I grow weary rather quickly of being caught in the crowds of tourist destinations. I rarely tire of staying home, relaxing in the campground, playing with the dogs and watching old movies on TCM with the Wayner though.
Face it, there are places we all think would be loads of fun to visit and then there are places that just don't excite you. At the top of nearly everybody's list are destinations like, Florida, California, the Grand Canyon, New England in autumn, and so on. Those places were on my list too, but I've found so many surprises as we've traveled. The states, cities and roads less traveled stolen my heart. A good example is New York -- State that is, where the scenery is spectacular and the people are friendly. Same with Michigan, where I never thought I'd want to go... it's beautiful. South Dakota, Washington State, Maine... the list goes on. There's something nice everywhere.
There's too much of it. I know people mean well, but frankly, if we need advice, we'll ask for it, thank you very much. Some people can't seem to resist telling others what they should do, where they should go, what they will like and what isn't good without realizing a couple of important things..... #1, I'm not you and don't necessarily like what you like (or dislike what you dislike), #2, We might have already been there, done that or decideded we didn't want to. Unwanted advice covers absolutely every aspect of life too, not just limited to RVing. I wish people just wouldn't do that.