Friday, April 13, 2018

Let the road trip begin!

Winter in New England can be a roller coaster ride but this one had more corkscrews than normal. We had what seemed to be a great start to winter with good snow but then it was super cold! It was so cold that when Brook peed outside it froze before it even hit the snow. We thought we were going to run out of wood! I've lived in VT for 12 years and never experienced a cold spell like this one! We survived and we didn't run out of wood. 

Here's some photo's during the first part of winter.

Cross country skiing is a great activity in the cold! 
Family visits are always fun especially when they visit you at work.

Brook and her best friend!

My little niece Stella taking a nice snowy nap outside. Brook is on guard.
Bryn and me hanging out while Jeff plays music.


In typical New England fashion we had a mid-winter thaw. It went from frigid to mild temps and rain. The snow was melting and rivers started to flow. Not many were ice free in February but there was a lot of water flowing under the ice. It caused a mess in a lot of places with ice dams but 
the Deerfield River was ice free and flowing. It was safe to paddle so we were able to get a few runs in this winter.

Here's some photo's during the thaw.
Brook and Laya enjoying a 70 degree day in February!

The water was cold but it was so worth paddling!
NRS gear keeping me warm and dry.

Oh hi train!

The Sherman Reservoir was ice free for about a mile.

Jeff and I had a great paddle on one of the warm days.
Loving life with my new Seals Sprayskirts!

I love it when Jeff paddles with me!

A visit home to my parent's and I picked up my niece Noelle to hang out with me for a few days.
A big storm rolled through and knocked over a bunch of large trees in the park.

A couple of other things that happened this winter was getting a new sponsorship with Seals Sprayskirts. The best skirts I have ever worn and locally made in NY. I also, had the pleasure of being interviewed for an article in Vermont Sport Magazine titled The Spawning Grounds. That was pretty neat. Click the link and give the article a read and browse the magazine. Lot's of great articles are in it.  

Then winter came back in full swing by March. It was Nor'easter after Nor'easter. The snow piled up and winter sports were enjoyable again. The begining of March was crazy with all the snow and packing for our 3 month long road trip. It's pretty hectic when you have to pack, work and get the house sorted out to be empty for 3 months but we have it down. 

Here's some photos from our last couple of weeks at home.

The snowboarding was epic!

So much snow Brook was swimming in it!

The RV is loaded up and ready to go with chains on the tires!
We are currently on the road now in our RV with Brook (our dog) and Laya (our cat)! 

Road tripping is pretty fun but can be tricky with a dog and cat. If it's something new for them it could be stressful on them. Our pet's have been doing it for a long time and are used to it. We were lucky that Laya was totally fine with being in a car. Laya loves being on the road. She gets into her routine in the RV and is a happy old lady. She is an indoor cat by her choice so it makes it easy for us on the road. We don’t have to worry about her running outside. Although, we still have to keep an eye on her because one time in Reno we left the door open and she jumped out of the RV. Luckily, we were right there and grabbed her. I have a leash and harness for her so when we are at a quiet place I will put it on her and bring her outside and she will roll around for a few minutes and then will want to go back inside. I think the thing with traveling with a cat is to have a couple of safe places for them to hide. Jeff made a dinette with a large drawer under each seat. One is for tools and the other is Laya’s lair. She spends her time in there when we are driving, if something spooks her, or when she wants to be alone. She has another hiding spot under our bed that she occasionally uses. Her litter box is in the shower and you must clean it everyday! I clean her litter at home everyday because she’s a princess so it’s nothing new to me. I like using the unscented Arm and Hammer clump litter it works really well in the RV and at home.


Laya in front of her hiding place.
Laya chilling out!
A dog is easier to travel with than a cat for sure. Brook has always been a great traveler. She is getting old now so we stop more and let her stretch her legs out. Brook has three beds in the RV. One is upfront in between the driver and passenger seat. That's where she likes to be when we are driving. The other bed is her bed on the floor of the RV. She uses that at night to sleep and the third bed is our bed. She loves our bed! She can look out the windows while laying down and see all the goings on outside. When she's in the RV that is where she spends most of her time on our bed looking.  

Brook's bed in the cab.
This winter Jeff made a new bed in the RV. The original bed was pretty low and we finally decided to raise it up so we would have more storage space. The new bed is pretty high so Brook can't jump on it so we built her a ramp to get on and off. Laya loves the ramp also! The ramp slides in and out from under the bed saving space. The goal is to keep our girls happy, especially the cat! No one wants a mad cat in tight quarters!

The ramp to get on the bed.
Brook saying hi!
We've been doing some pretty neat things so far on the trip and visiting new places. I'll tell the rest through photos.

We started our trip visiting family.
First we went to Delaware, North Carolina and Georgia.

Jeff's aunt and uncle live in a historic house in GA.
We decided to go to Columbus, GA for a few days to get some warm weather paddling in.

We did some SUPing and swimming in the whitewater park!

We headed to New Orleans and got our eat, drink and music on!

Bunting gave us his longboard and Jeff discovered a great way to use it.
We saw baby alligators and large gators at the Sabine National Wildlife Refuge.
If you look close at the photo you can see babies.

On our way to Texas we stopped and took a nice walk at the Gulf of Mexico.

SUPing at Pace Bend State Park in Texas.

Spent a weekend in Austin.
Home Slice Pizza was legit! 

Jeff and I touristing around Austin.
Easter Brunch at Blue Dahlia in San Marcos, Texas.
Chocolate and Strawbery/cheese Croissants were insane!
Seriously, the best brunch I have ever had!
I might have to move there because of this place.

Dirtbike shuttle and longboard trailer worked great at the Guadalupe River.
Here's a video of the trailer in action.


The Guadalupe River was pretty awesome!

Get out of there Jeff!

We never saw the Easter bunny but we saw the Easter Armadillo.

Next up on Tour de Campbell was the Monahans Sand Hills in Texas.
There was sand and wind. 

We made it to Arizona and spent a few day's with my uncle.
Brook on a little hike on Mount Lemmon.
We are still in Arizona and working our way to California for the first competition of the season. I'm competing in 5 events during our road trip. We’ll be at the Kern River Fest in California, Reno River Fest in Nevada, Big Fork Fest in Montana, GoPro Games and FiBark Fest in Colorado.

Can't wait to get back in whitewater but I have been enjoying our touristing!



Till next time,

Elaine Campbell