So.... Why do I feel the need to visit new places instead of just following the same route I took last winter? The only thing I can come up with, besides the fact that I enjoy seeing new places, is I don't want to get stuck in a rut going to the same places and doing the same things year after year and getting so comfortable that there are no challenges to overcome.
Now there's absolutely nothing wrong with living a routine comfortable life, in fact most people want to live that way, and given the opportunity WILL live that way. But to me the very reason that I wanted to be a full timer was to travel, live as free as I was able to, and most of all, not get stuck in the kind of rut that your in when you live in a house and do the same things, over and over, every single day.
Now I don't need to go to a new place every day in fact I'm very comfortable staying someplace for a couple of weeks or more, which fortunately fits right in with some of the rules that govern my boondocking lifestyle. And I have no problems with going back to a place I stayed several years ago, because with my memory, after a few years it's like I was never there. But I'm trying to avoid retracing my route year after year.
There's a fine line between something that's challenging and something that causes dread and fear, and I'm looking for something a little challenging, not something that keeps me awake at night dreading it. And going to a new place will usually offer just enough challenges to keep me on my toes and my brain functioning at its current level, and keep it from dropping below the limited ability it already has.
So how does going to a new place do that? And what kind of challenges am I talking about? Well..... I've got to find a place to stay. And that can be as difficult as visiting three RV parks and finding them all full. Or as simple as pulling into a Walmart parking lot and spending the night. In a new place I will have to find the grocery store, the hardware store, and a place to buy propane. All these things are not difficult but can be considered challenging. I will usually scout around to find a suitable boondocking spot in the area. This might be pretty simple, or it might be impossible, either way it's a bit of a challenge.
On the other hand if I do the same thing I did last year, I drive straight to my well-known boondocking spot, stopping at my favorite Walmart along the way to pick up some groceries. Pull in next to the same Saguaro I parked at last year, and settle down deep within the rut that I've created for myself. Maybe one day that may be the life that I need and want, but at this point in my life I need a little bit of a challenge.
If that's the case it makes perfect sense to spend this winter in the South, after all I was in Arizona last year, Texas the year before that, so it would seem like the South is a no-brainer, and I'm an expert in no-brainer decisions. So why am I having problems making a decision to go to the South? I think I know, and I will talk about that tomorrow.
This summer, as is usually the case, there have been forest fires in Colorado, and if the wind is right we will get some smoke. This is the sun at 5 o'clock yesterday afternoon Filtered through the smoke.