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!
We finished that day off by visiting the church I grew up in, Roy and I were married in, and we all went to until we moved to Hammond, Harbor Community Church (previously Lakeview Baptist Church.)
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.
Madisyn had her 8th birthday at the local bowling alley.
Kallie had her Sweet 16 boiled crawfish birthday party.
Three of the houses Roy was restoring were completed. Here’s one of them
Roy’s one month follow up x-ray from when he had pneumonia came back clear!
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!
Roy completed replacing parts on the wonderful zero turn radius one of his house remodeling customers gave us. We added a hammock to our little slice of paradise in Amite
Roy and I began getting our medicines in MedPaks from Thrift Town Pharmacy in Amite.
Chip and Misty got us a new mini motor bike to ride around the various RV parks we visit.
We picked blackberries down the road from us and in one picking almost filled an 8 quart pot with them.
It’s always a fun time when we get a visit from my sister Harriett, and brother in law George! We’re two sassy chicks!
Our sons and their families gathered at a nearby campsite for dinner and fun. Roy, Madisyn, Misty and I went to the Strawberry Festival in Ponchatoula.
Roy and I enjoyed a lot of delicious crawfish this month, mostly at B&J Seafood in Hammond.
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!
Roy put up a rustic fence for me! We plan to decorate it with metal art on the fence and in the garden.
We took some of the time we had to stay in town to attend church with our son Chip and his family at Soul’s Harbor Church in Hammond.
I developed a staph infection in my elbow which resulted in six doctor visits, having it drained many times and a lot of pain and strong medicine.
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.
Roy added a Search feature to our Dora blog!
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!
We called this our Route 66 journey. We started out heading north then west and then getting on Route 66 in Arizona going eastward to Oklahoma City, then we headed home.
First stop was Chicot County RV Park in Lake Village, Arkansas
On to Hot Springs National Park – Gulpha Gorge Campground
We visited Hot Springs Mountain Tower
Roy removed a broken slide motor and put in the new slide motor.
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!
Roy discovered a local remote control flying club called Lake Area Fun Flyers Squadron. They let him fly there and he enjoyed it a lot!
We discovered an amazing creek called Weaver’s Creek where we gathered a lot of rocks for painting!
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.
We went to Clinton where we found The Pottery Shop and picked out a cool piece of metal art for our garden back home!
We went to Cherokee Village, Arkansas to visit some life long friends and family, John and Barbara Tate. We had a really nice time of visiting and catching up with them.
This was when we changed our travel plans from traveling Route 66 from east to west to doing the exact opposite later in the year when the weather will be cooler there.
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.
Roy made friends with several guys at their local flying field, this one is Rick and to say he is a talented flyer does not do his flying abilities any justice. We both enjoyed watching him fly.
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.
Next we went to Branson, Missouri where we stayed at Treasure Lake RV Resort for almost two weeks. We’ve stayed there before and really enjoyed it both times.
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!
While in Branson we also went to see the show and eat at the Dixie Stampede.
We also went to the Sights and Sounds Theater to enjoy seeing the production of “Moses.”
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 then discovered Peter Engler Designs. Roy found him a new buddy! He costs $22,000 and took 5 years to carve!
In Ozawkie, Kansas we stayed at Perry State Park for two nights. They are right on a huge lake which was simply beautiful.
We then stayed at Fossil Creek RV Park for three nights, one night in Sutton, Colorado and then two weeks in Monument, Colorado at Colorado Heights RV Park.
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!
Focus on the Family welcomes visitors to the ministry’s Welcome Center in Colorado Springs.
We revisited Garden of the Gods’ to see that amazing and natural creation of the one and only God.
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.
The Colorado Springs Flea Market was the biggest, best organized flea market we’ve ever seen!
Pike’s Peak was a highlight of our last stay in Colorado. This time there was very little snow, low clouds, and hail. It was still a wonderful trip up the over 14,000-foot high mountain.
We also went back to Santa’s Village at the North Pole, the amusement park located on the way up and down from Pike’s Peak.
The Manitou Cliff Dwellings are comprised of Anasazi ruins that date back 800 to 1000 years.
Magic Town in Old Colorado City is a 3,000 square/foot, 1/6 scale miniature city. Simply amazing and fun!
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!
Terry Bison RV Park in Cheyenne, Wyoming was a very cool one night park we loved!
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.
The next is a panoramic photo from the top of the Rocky Mountain road called Old Fall River Road.
We stayed in Three Flags RV Park in South Dakota. This is one of the views from our trip to Mount Rushmore. We got up close and personal which was a surprise!
While there we went into Sturgis, South Dakota to see the city famous for their annual motorcycle rally. Roy brought our mini bike with us just so he could take this picture!
There is an awesome place called Wall Drug in Wall, South Dakota. We spent hours going through the place which was nothing like what I expected.
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!
We toured the Utah capitol building where Rosalyn addressed their congress!
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!
Here’s what we saw leaving Bryce Canyon, going through Red Canyon on our way back to Paradise View RV park in Panguitch, Utah.
Next we went towards the Grand Canyon and boondocked over night on the road between the North and the South Rims. There is no better place to boondock than this!
We only visited the South Rim this time. Every inch of the Grand Canyon is amazing and took my breath away yet again!
This is when we started our real Route 66 journey! Route 66 starts in California and goes all the way to Illinois. We drove the portion from Williams, Arizona to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
We stopped at the Jack Rabbit Trading Post on Highway 66.
Holbrook, Arizona where the Wigwam Motel was a motel chain in the United States built during the 1930s and 1940s.
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 saw many lava beds along the interstate. That is what the black hole is in this photo.
Sandia Peak Tram in the Cibola National Forest affords an 11,000 square-mile panoramic view of the Rio Grande Valley and the Land of Enchantment.
We really enjoyed the Musical Road which is part of Route 66 where you ride along it at 45 miles per hour and hear “America the Beautiful”.
We enjoyed dinner that night at the Route 66 Diner in Albuquerque, NM
At Gabriel’s Restaurant in Sante Fe we enjoyed having guacamole fixed for us at our table!
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.
Route 66 Auto Museum also in Santa Rosa, New Mexico. Many old cars and Route 66 memorabilia.
The Route 66 Museum was closed but we did get a photo!
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.
National Route 66 & Transportation Museum in Elk City, Oklahoma was one of the last Route 66 sites we saw before leaving Route 66 to head south!
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 found out the cataracts in both eyes are at the point they need to be taken out. The first eye will be done in December.
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.
Had my first visit with a possible new neurologist, Dr. Patricia Morgan. I’ve seen her a few times since then and am not a fan.
Here’s the rocks we collected during our last stay in Arkansas.
Madisyn’s school had a Veterans Day service were Roy and other family members that were in the military were honored. Roy is speaking and Madisyn is standing up in this photo.
Misty, Kallie, Madisyn and I helped our Misty’s church’s Thanksgiving Servolution putting together 1,200 meals.I’m the only person in pink. They all have red SERVE tshirts.
We enjoyed a family Thanksgiving get together with Misty’s family first and then with our oldest son’s family at Chip’s house.
Misty, Roy and I went to Ponchatoula High School’s presentation of Annie to see Gracyn and Kaylon Willoughy! They and the play was awesome!
We had dinner with Chip’s family for Misty’s birthday at Mi Patio!
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.
Roy’s first cataract surgery, on his right eye, was Tuesday the 12th.
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!
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