December 31, 2017 – Roy and I just completed our fifth year of living on the road and at home in Amite, Louisiana. As in past years, we saw many of the beautiful sights God blessed America and us with. We traveled 5,172 miles through many of the central and western states, traveled Route 66 from Williams, Arizona to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, then headed home to Amite, Louisiana! Here is a map of the path we traveled this year, 2017.
Each year putting this particular blog post together is a big undertaking. However, each year this blog post reminds me of the wonderful adventures Roy and I were blessed to experience during the year. As always we are excited to share it all with you.
I had a difficult time this year putting this together. Places we stopped at and things we saw are not really in exact order. Even a couple of blog post topics I just knew I wrote about, I learned I didn’t.
Here it is! Our 2017 in one place!
Each month of the year below is a link to Dora and the Explorers posts for that month. If anything below makes you want to find out more, please click on that month’s link to take you there! It will open in a new window so you can always come back to this page.
The most important thing that happened to the United States in 2017 was the Inauguration of President Donald J. Trump!
Roy got more involved in remote airplane flying and built a box in the truck bed to keep his new remote control plane in.
We had a leak in the top of the passenger side slide out in our motor home. Roy worked diligently to fix it and this is me giving a little help!
Roy continued his construction management job in Baton Rouge.
Roy developed pneumonia which really took a toll on him. After several rounds of antibiotics and lots of rest plus lots of prayers he got well and was able to get back to living his life!
Chip’s wife Misty, his daughters Kallie and Madisyn and myself drove to Vacherie, Louisiana to visit Oak Alley Plantation on the banks of the Mississippi River. We enjoyed lunch there, toured the plantation grounds and the plantation itself. We had such a great time of fellowship that day!
We celebrated the love of God and His love through our lives on Red Sunday at our church, Trinity Baptist Church. Roy and I are on the fifth row from the front.
The Chauvins from Amite went with the Chauvins from Ponchatoula to uptown New Orleans to ride a streetcar and see a Mardi Gras parade. The streetcar ride going and coming from the parade was very cool. We saw many of the huge mansions along St. Charles Avenue. I haven’t ridden a streetcar since I was much younger. After putting this blog post together I was reviewing it and realized I put several pictures for this one event. Couldn’t decide which to cut out so here they all are!
I created handmade birthday cards and handmade Easter candy for our family this year.
Dora was treated to a whole new set of shoes (tires) this month.
Roy dug a 150 foot trench to our storage building so that we can have lights, an outdoor spotlight aimed towards the pond, and an indoor electrical outlet.
We had our last Sunday with Bro. Bob and Mrs. Janice Adams at Trinity Baptist Church. Their genuine love for our church members has shown in everything they’ve done during the 18 months of dedication and service to our church.
Dr. Valdes added Toujeo (insulin injection) to my diabetes medicines. At my visit with Dr. Noguchi (eye specialist) the scans of the back of my eyes show the macular hole that previously appeared to be growing was now getting better!
Me passing out, an ambulance ride to the hospital, a 5 day stay filled with several tests, and two units of blood resulted in finding out I have a bleeding ulcer. Our original plans were for us to leave Louisiana a couple of days after I was hospitalized. This postponed getting back on the road by several weeks.
Jeff Craddock, owner of Absolute Auto Glass replaced Dora’s two front windshields!
For Mother’s Day Chip’s family brought a huge box of boiled crawfish, potatoes and corn. Misty’s mama Vickie and Misty’s brother’s children Haylee and Connor (who live with Vickie) joined Chip, Misty, Madisyn, Kalie and us for our family Mother’s Day.
After over a year of searching for a new Pastor at our church Trinity Baptist, the search committee presented Bro. Avery Dixon to our church in June of this year. He preached a Sunday morning sermon and we shared a delicious meal together. Afterwards there was a time for the congregation to ask them questions and the church voted to call him as our Pastor. And he said yes!!!
This month was my introduction to and falling in love with painting and hiding rocks to bring happiness to others. Some of the first ones! This hobby became something I’ve done almost every day this year!
I became lightheaded earlier in the year and with everything else happening I didn’t address it until now. I had another MRI, a Holter Monitor test and a carotid artery ultrasound. It turned out the lightheadedness was due to my dementia medicines so I had to get off of them.
My sister’s family came to visit one day and we had so much fun!
June 22nd we had the last visit to all three doctors and were given the okay to get back on the road!!!
Here we are getting ready to pull out and get back to our traveling!
First stop was Chicot County RV Park in Lake Village, Arkansas
On to Hot Springs National Park – Gulpha Gorge Campground
We went to Garvan Woodland Gardens, the 210 acre botanical garden of the University of Arkansas is nestled in the picturesque Ouachita Mountains of Southwest Arkansas.
We headed to Shirley, Arkansas. It is near Mountain View, Arkansas which we love! We stayed at Golden Pond RV Park and visited several places while there. First was the Chow Hall BBQ which is right in the RV park!
Natural Bridge near Clinton, Arkansas was beautiful and very historic.
Once again we visited Mountain View, Arkansas strolled around downtown and enjoyed listing to the music played there all around town! We enjoyed eating again at Kin Folks BBQ and having ice cream across from the town square.
Roy’s plane got stuck in a tree at the flying field. After several unusual type attempts to get the plane out he finally got it out using a fishing pole and line.
We had to replace the hitch pin that holds our TOAD (the truck we tow behind the Motor Home) locked in place. We also had to replace the rear air conditioner blower motor. We also had a flat tire so we purchased two brand new tires which makes all four tires new on Boots our Toad.
We visited the College of the Ozarks in Hollister, Missouri where students work to pay for their tuition. While there we visited the Keeter Center which houses a lodge, dining room and fresh ice cream shop!
We also toured the Ralph Foster Museum at the College of the Ozarks. We saw the original Beverly Hillbillies car, very cool. We kinda looked like hillbillies that day so we felt right at home! We hid several painted rocks around the campus!
We explored downtown Branson where we found Dick’s 5 and 10 which is a unique place with gifts you won’t find anywhere else, one-of-a-kind collections spanning generations, toys from yesteryear, items for the home, games, hobby supplies, sewing, an aisle of the quirky and fun and so much more.
We love Colorado Springs and were so happy to be back there! A friend of mine from high school in New Orleans and her husband (Sue and Lou) were staying at the same RV park (Colorado Heights) as us so we got to visit with them and had a nice time catching up!
Ghost Town Museum was created in 1954 from a desire to preserve Colorado’s Wild West era for generations to come. This ghost “town” is an indoor collection of the very structures that were left to decay around the Pikes Peak region, all looking much as they would have 100 years ago.
Our friends, Sue and Lou, and Roy and I met up again in Pinedale, Wyoming where we again stayed at the same RV park. We all went to the Pinedale Aquatic Center which we loved from our last visit. It’s a pool, lazy river, super slide and hot tub!
We were blessed to be able to see the Rocky Mountains and Mount Rushmore in the same week. The first photo below is from a beautiful location we enjoyed going up the Rocky Mountain.
Roy bought a cool windmill for me while we were in Wyoming for my birthday. It will go in our garden when we get back home.
When we went from Wyoming to Utah you could immediately tell you weren’t in Wyoming any longer. Wyoming has some mountains but mostly hills. Utah is one giant mountain after another and is so beautiful.
We took a trolley tour of Salt Lake City which included the Mormon Tabernacle. The trolley was a great way to see a lot while letting someone else do the driving!
From there we went on to Bryce Canyon National Park, in southern Utah. It is known for crimson-colored hoodoos, which are spire-shaped rock formations. We took the free (for Seniors) Bryce Canyon shuttle bus to see as much of this beautiful place that we could!
We stopped at the Jack Rabbit Trading Post on Highway 66.
We next spent seven nights at Hidden Valley Resort in Tijera, New Mexico. We drove through the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert in Arizona.
We discovered our first Trader Joe’s in Santa Fe and loved it!
The Blue Hole in Santa Rosa. The Blue Hole is one of seven sister lakes connected underground by a vast system of water.
The Blue Swallow Motel brought me back to the times I’d go on vacation with my parents.
At Jack Sisemore’s Traveland we enjoyed seeing all of the really old and some famous RVs in the RV Museum. This is the Gornicke’s RV from the movie RV.
Back we went to Golden Pond RV Park in Shirley, Arkansas. Roy flew with the remote control group there, we both gathered a couple hundred rocks from the creek we like and we enjoyed BBQ from Chow Hall. We even brought home some BBQ Ribs, Baked Beans and Potato Salad.. There was no water in the creek this time!
While in Shirley, Arkansas we also went to Clinton where I got a metal Cow for our garden!
When we got back home in Amite we visited with both our son’s families and were so happy to get back to our home church family.
Here’s some of our metal yard art in our rustic fence garden.
Roy installed a system (he designed it) that will lock all the drawers when the motor home’s engine ignition is turned on. This solved a big problem we had while on the road traveling.
Here’s the rocks we collected during our last stay in Arkansas.
God gave us a very surprising and unusual winter snowfall. We had six inches of snow which made everything here so beautiful. This is down by our pond.
Roy and Chip pressure washed our rental house and it looks great!
Our neighbor Daniel gave us his paddle boat. We’re waiting for some warm weather to take it out for a spin around the pond.
I had a three-day video ambulatory EEG/EKG to see if I was having seizures and the results show I am not!
Our granddaughter Madisyn sang in the 3rd-grade chorus at Ponchatoula’s Christmas Lighting. We were there and were so proud of her! We had hot chocolate afterward at the Methodist church with Madisyn.
Our oldest granddaughter Kallie made a profession of faith, giving her life to the Lord. She was baptized at their church and we were blessed to be there! The absolute highlight of this year.
Christmas at Trinity was very special this year. It always is! The Children’s Choir and the Adult choir put on beautiful musical presentations.
We were also treated to an evening of songs sung, instruments played, and a lot of Christmas music blessings. Even Ms. Louise Traylor sang for us. The hit of the night!
Christmas Eve 2017 was spent at our son Chip’s home with his family and our oldest son’s family. The hugs and sweet voices of our six grandchildren were the very best part of my Christmas! They are also the very best medicine Roy and I could have!
In case you’re curious, Yes I still am very happy that President Trump is leading this country. More on that in a separate blog post!
Louisiana is experiencing below normal temperatures as this year closes. The first of 2018 will see lows in the teens for several days!
Louisiana is also very excited about the amazing play of our New Orleans Saints. It’s been exciting to watch them this year. At this time we know we’ll be in the playoffs but not if we’ll lead the division. Either way I just know they’ll make it to the Super Bowl again and make the beginning of 2018 oh so exciting!
Our plans for the future are simple. Not as much traveling. We’ve seen everything we wanted to see, some of it twice.
Links to our Reflections on God’s blessings for 2018, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, and 2012 are below.
Happy New Year everyone from Roy and Rosalyn Chauvin!
We are looking forward to all that God has in store for us in 2018!