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SATURDAY - Tricia and I are sitting here in THE POD this morning thinking back on what the past year looked like for us. This was our third New Year's Day on the road and it's also the third time we spent it inside the state of Florida. Why not, it's warmer here than almost anywhere else in the country right now.

Back in November of 2019 Tricia's mother developed a health condition that had us rethinking our plans to visit Alaska in the summer of 2020. We easily decided to not venture outside of the lower 48 states and instead made plans to visit the awesome National Parks and National Monuments all over New Mexico and Colorado.

In February of 2020 we went ahead with our scheduled appointment to install a major upgrade to our solar power equipment which we had planned to use up in Alaska where the sun shines 20 hours a day in the summertime. After the install we went down to the Padre Island National Seashore in Texas for two weeks to test out the new setup. It worked flawlessly. It turns out this would be our only National Park Service camping experience for the entire year.

In March of 2020 Tricia had flown home to Fort Lauderdale to attend a friend's Retirement Party. While in Fort Lauderdale the whole COVID pandemic started to blossom and she decided to cut short her visit and fly back to Texas a couple of days early. Less than a week later most of the Federal campgrounds all over the country (Army Corp of Engineer-National Park-National Forest) began closing with little advance notice.

The first week of April 2020 we were camping in a Texas State Park when they gave us a 6 hour notice that all their state parks would be closing by the end of the day. We were fortunate to be able to check into a private campground for two nights which was located just outside of the state park's front gate. We needed to stay in the general area of Amarillo, TX for a service appointment we had the next day to get a few last minute repairs done to THE POD before our two year factory warranty ended the following week.

Immediately after the repairs on THE POD were completed we began a 4 DAY - 2100 MILE journey from Amarillo, TX to Cape Cod, MA. Sadly, just 4 hours into our first day of travel headed towards Cape Cod, Tricia's mother passed away. While she was in the hospital receiving treatments she was exposed to COVID and in her weaked state it wasn't long before she was gone. We spent the next three nights on the road sleeping in two Rest Areas and a Welcome Center. After arriving in Cape Cod, we spent the rest of April, all of May and the first week of June (8 weeks total) camped in Tricia's family back yards and driveways.

We spent most of June, all of July and August, camping in the National Forests and State Parks in Vermont and New Hampshire. Then we returned to Cape Cod for two more weeks of driveway camping and left right after Labor Day Weekend in early September.

We spent the months of September, October, November and December slowly making our way back to northern Florida, arriving on December 27th. Along the way we visited a dozen new cave tours and spent some time visiting with my son Michael in North Carolina.

All in all, Plan A (Alaska) didn't work out, Plan B (New Mexico and Colorado) didn't work out either, but Plan C still provided an enjoyable year on the road. Tricia was able to continue working part-time for the entire year and we even managed to save a little money on expenses over what we spent the previous year.

Thanks mostly to the ten weeks of FREE camping in Cape Cod we spent $2500 less on camping this past year. By not eating out in restaurants this year we save $1100 on our food costs. With gasoline prices being at an unusually low price most of the year we saved almost $900 on our fuel expenses. That $4500 will go right into our Alaska Savings account to take a big bite out of expenses when we finally do get to go, possibly in 2022.

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