Boondocking, Spelunking, and Hiking, Oh My!

We love our life on the road, and one of the perks is meeting other travelers just like us! Us Retty kids find ourselves driving down the interstate pointing out campers and asking, “I wonder if they’re full-time RVers?” Let me tell you, we never thought that way when we were weekend warriors!

Speaking of which, a couple weeks ago we had the opportunity to meet up with four awesome travel families just like us! It was AMAZING, and I’ll tell you why:

  1. First of all, we met some awesome people who travel just like we do. That’s always cool; being able to learn about their adventure and get excited for their future travels.
  2. Second, our boondocking spot “just so happened” to be twenty minutes from Carlsbad Caverns. Other kids sit in a classroom, but we explore caves with other roadschoolers!
  3. There were SO many stars!! One of Ann’s bucket list items that she wanted to do so badly was see the Milky Way, and I think we got pretty close. After it got dark, all the older kids would sit on the fence behind the Range Monster and find constellations. We even found the Big Dipper!
  4. The adults were able to share travel stories and adventures their families had been on. I loved watching them laugh and talk around the big campfire, drinking coffee, and exchanging tips and tricks for future reference.

Now the caverns was a completely different level of cool. I don’t even know where to start! There are two ways into the “Big Room” (heart of the cave). You could choose to hike the natural entrance, or just take the elevator down. We were a big group (twenty-two people!), so we all chose to walk down the natural entrance, and I’m glad we did! It kind of smelled like mold, dirt, and animal pee; but we didn’t really mind. Our main job was just to keep our mouths shut (not the easiest thing for fifteen kids to do), but sound carries for miles down there, so we had to try:) It was pitch black, cold and a little damp down in the caverns, but it was neat to see all the weird formations and remember that the Flood and its aftermath caused that. People, that was not made millions of years ago!! It was made by our great, intelligent, and loving Creator!! We tried to identify all the stalactites, stalagmites, and columns; but it was a real challenge to keep our hands off of them. I love going places in big groups, and I LOVED seeing the caverns. It was beyond fun!! I would totally do that again!

Sadly, we did have to part ways and say goodbye to our new friends. However, even though it had come time for us all to hit the road again, the fun didn’t stop there. While everyone was busy getting their cabin’s ready for departure (that’s what Dad says when we need to prep the rig for the road:), we were delighted to find out that two of the families decided to caravan with us to our next destination, White Sands National Monument. We were so happy! We boondocked on Lake Holloman right outside White Sands, and close to an Air Force base, so we had our personal air show! It was SO loud when they would fly over us, and everyone loved it-especially the boys:)

White Sands was INCREDIBLE!! Picture this: huge sand dunes that are very white. That’s White Sands National Monument. It’s hard to put into perspective, but I’ll do my best. You know the dunes at the beach that look so great to climb all over, but have signs that prohibit it? Picture those, except five times bigger, and completely climb-able! The sand was so fine and cold, it felt good to just bury our legs in it.

After White Sands, we needed a place to recover from boondocking-somewhere with full hookups. We found two campgrounds (Rusty’s RV Ranch and Catalina State Park) that had beautiful mountains as the background and nicely graveled\paved sites. Hiking was so enjoyable in both parks, and though some were more rigorous than others, we saw some beautiful views. There was one scenic drive (read this: truck in 4-low, Dad smiling from ear to ear because the huge knobby tires he had put on the dually were finally seeing some 4×4 action!) that had Mom and I freaking out, and that was when we drove through the Chiricahua Mountains for about a hour and a half. It was beautiful, but I had the side with the drop of sudden death, so I was freaking out! We even drove right through a flowing mountain creek! It was thrilling!

We are having a blast exploring the west. Thanks so much for reading! I hope you enjoyed this post and looking at all the pictures! If you have two seconds, we would love it if you could give us a follow, visit our Instagram account, or check out our last post about Texas: Stars At Night Are Big and Bright. Until next time!

4 thoughts on “Boondocking, Spelunking, and Hiking, Oh My!

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