USA (mis)Adventure Day 26

Monday morning we should have been on the road again on our way to Dallas, TX.  Instead our van’s misadventure continued as Tobin took it back to the shop who had done the work in order to see why the problem was not fixed.  After a couple more hours and 4 different mechanics looking at our van it was determined that 60% of the work that was done the previous day was completely unnecessary.  The good news was that some of our money was refunded but we still did not have the problem fixed.  We did get the recommendation of several other mechanics and Tobin began interviewing mechanics.  After much prayer we settled on a mechanic and made the appointment for first thing Tuesday morning.

We went back to the river walk and completed our tour.


USA (mis)Adventure Day 25

We have been so blessed and thankful that everything has gone so well for us on our trip.  But one thing I have not mentioned is that just as we came into San Antonio, our van began making a very bad grinding sound.  So we found ourselves in the very bad predicament of trying to find a mechanic on easter sunday.

Well, we did find someone and here our misadventure begins.

Thankfully not too far from our mechanic was a really nice hike/bike trail.  So for the next 2 hours we hiked around while our van was being fixed.

Once we got our van back we headed to the San Antonio river walk.  We decided to do the river boat tour of the river walk.

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DSCF9509 (600x800) DSCF9510 (800x199) It rained just before our river tour.  We learned that the river canal is regulated by 2 water gates that stop the flow of water or let the water out at varying speeds in order to maintain the water levels.  But as it can happen, unpredictable weather and human error can cause problems.  Today we experienced both.  The rain came down hard but was short-lived.  The gate operators, anticipating an overflow of water opened the gates too far and they actually began to drain the canals too low.  The canal is only about the 3 feet deep and soon our tour boat was beached at the bottom of the canal.  We were given a rain check on our ticket and can come back for another tour.  Don’t know if that will happen this time.DSCF9498 (800x600)A nice end to a day that started out very frustrating.  But although we had smiles on our faces and enjoyed a fun afternoon and evening, Tobin and I were still very worried because the after hours of labor and several hundred dollars worth of work, the van was still making the same grinding sound.

Where in the USA are the Dodges?

I realize that my last post was vague and gave the impression that our trip might be at an end.  Our van was repaired and we have continued on our journey.  It is amazing to realize that we have been on the road for 60 days today.

In order to catch all of you up and to continue the daily chronicle that I have started I will post individual posts for each day.

USA Adventure Day 22

day 22


Day 22 we began bright and early on one of our most unique adventures on our trip so far. We were ready to explore the Carlsbad Caverns.


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There are several options for exploring the caves.  You can hike down to the bottom and ride the elevator back up or you can ride the elevator down, explore “the big room” at the bottom and then ride the elevator back up.  We decided to hike down the cavern and then ride the elevator back up.

The entrance to the cave is very impressive.  Evidently a rare bat lives in these caves and at dust out of the mouth of this cave you will see a most spectacular sight as hundreds of bats take flight for their nightly meal of insects.  We did not see any bats because they are all in Mexico right now for their winter vacation.

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Pictures do not do justice to the amazing hike down this cavern.  In order to see the children we had to use flash photography.  It is very dark with only a few lights to guide your path.

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The formations we saw where just amazing.

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At the bottom of the cavern is bathrooms, a deli and gift shop and the elevators.  We took a short break before beginning the 3 mile hike around the “big” room.

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We simply have too many pictures to share and I have not shared some of the more spectacular ones because they have not been resized for web purposes yet.

DSCF9463 (640x480)Finally, the kids received their second junior rangers badge at the end of our day.  It was a great day and we felt like adventurer’s exploring uncharted territory.  Okay so the Carlsbad Caverns have been well charted but because it was such a new experience for us, it felt uncharted.

USA Adventure Day 21

day 21


Bright and early we said goodbye to La Vida Mission and headed down the road.  We were so thankful for our visit to La Vida.  The slower pace was refreshing.  But we are only 21 days into our trip so we have to keep going.

It was a long had day of driving but we made it before sunset to Carlsbad RV Park and Campground and quickly pitched out tent.


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We are getting quite efficient at setting up camp.

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Here we have a couple of supervisors;)

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So thankful for safe travels and an early night to rest up for our adventure tomorrow.