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  • Writer's pictureLaurie

Week 42: Where to go for Christmas, Decals, and Riding a Tough Trail

Updated: Mar 22, 2021

This week we tossed around ideas of different places to go for Christmas. Western Colorado seemed like it was still going to be pretty chilly, even in the desert and we have to drive through the mountains where it is already snowing. We researched and talked about going to Austin, Texas instead since it is about 10 degrees warmer than where we are now, which is north central Texas. We also mailed our Christmas cards and presents to family.

Wednesday we put a big decal on the driver's side of the RV. It has mountains and a wolf. We are customizing our RV to look how we want it to. We removed most of the decals that came on it from the dealership as we aren't really into swishes. We also discussed possible states that we may want to spend an extended period of time in at some point. We thought about Georgia and Colorado. Georgia would put us about two days closer drive to our family while still staying warm and we have seen pictures of amazing campgrounds. There are also a lot of mountain bike trails in the northern part of the state.

Thursday we opened our Christmas adventure search to Arizona and Florida. We are looking for warm weather, trails and good cell service. It is turning out to be a really tough combination. We are willing to drive up to 1 hour for trails but the warmer winter weather and the other 2 criteria are not matching up. Most trails are, as you'd expect, in the mountains which even in the south are surprisingly cold in the winter due to the elevation. We did not expect to have this much time spent on research to travel. Looks like sticking around the Appalachian Trail and the Rocky Mountains in all states they run through are going to be our best bets. Outside of the those ranges, it gets hard to find trails to ride. We know every state has trails though, we just have to find them.

We rode a trail that we have checked out before on Saturday, Isle de Bois at Ray Roberts Lake. We call this trail "The Bike Breaker". It has a lot of rock gardens, boulders, loose rock, and climbing. Our bikes ate it up this time with the longer suspension. We had never ridden the whole trail before and had skipped most of loop D due to it being a black diamond, the 3rd from hardest rating. This trip we resolved to riding the whole trail and walking any sections that were outside of our ability to ride. We ended up riding a lot more of the trail than we previously had and we had a good time doing it. We even found the elusive second half of loop E. This trail has five loops, A through E with each one becoming more difficult and E going back down to a blue square rating. You ride half of each trail then come back and ride the other half to finish. The entire trail finished off at 11 miles. We each brought 3L of water, some energy blocks, and granola bars. We drank almost all of our water, a few energy blocks and a granola bar. Packing food is important to keep your energy up and having enough water is critical but the most important thing is bring everything back out with you. "Pack it in, pack it out". We keep a reusable ziploc bag for the trash in my backpack. It folds up small when empty and gets washed out when we get home.

After our ride, lunch and showers; we headed to REI to pick up some of Dom's Christmas presents that got delivered to the store as they weren't going to be available before Christmas if they got shipped to us. We have kept wish lists on Amazon for years. They allow us to get presents that we want and need and still get surprised as we don't know what off of our list has been bought. Once shopping is done, we aren't allowed to look at Amazon until Christmas. Once we saw the amount of space the gifts started taking up as they came in, we debated about how to handle them. Should we wait till Christmas morning by keeping them in the Jeep or should we just open them as they come in since we really don't have a lot of room for all the packaging.

Sunday morning during coffee we decided to open the presents as we were drowning in Amazon boxes. We couldn't walk through the trailer and we needed the Jeep empty for next week as we had bought new wheels and tires to help us drive better in the snow and sand as well as tow better. More on that next week. It was a cold and rainy day so we took it slow and got some things done around the RV. We cleaned up, got groceries and moved the bikes from the back of the Jeep to the back of the RV since the trails were going to be closed for a while after all the rain. We finished off the week watching some movies. I worked on crocheting a scarf now that the weather is getting cooler. I like to make scarves and have decided this year to donate them to women's shelters. Now I need to find a local women's shelter.

We can't wait to share with you again next week!

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