Posted in: Animal Sightings, Car Ride Games, Exploring Florida, School, Sightseeing

Key West: The Drive and A New Car Ride Game

Since we were in Miami, we decided to do an overnight in the Keys. We had looked a few months ago for RV parks, but they were completely full. We decided to just drive down and stay in a hotel for night. We were excited to see the Keys; we had heard such good things and the pictures looked amazing.

No one prepared us for the drive.

I-10 is a long two lane highway, which at times gets down to a single lane each way. Maps/Waze claimed the drive should be about 3-3.5 hours. They were wrong.

We were stuck in bumper to bumper traffic, often standstill or 5 mph in Key Largo. It was a Tuesday morning in February! The Main Street in Key Largo was lined with dollar stores, sandal outlets, and snorkel shops. You could not see the water at all. Drivers were aggressive and we were in slow moving traffic for an hour and a half. We went 3 miles in that time. We even saw people turning around through the hilly grass median.

We had our bottle of Blue Lizard sunscreen out for Ben to put on his arm (he was driving for the first part). It turned a deep blue right away. (If you are not familiar with the brand, their bottles or caps turn blue in “harmful UV light”). The sun is intense here in Florida!

Once we got out of Key Largo, it seemed to clear up a lot and we were also treated to the gorgeous views of the water. It did rain on us for a little bit of the drive down.

The drive back up was much the same, steady movement until around Key Largo where we ran into more traffic.

The boys were working on school work during the drive, so they were occupied. Once I switched to driving, I kept Ben occupied with a new car game: Find The Coolest Mailbox! Florida had some crazy mailboxes. We saw one in Miami that was a horse rearing up on it’s hind legs while holding a mailbox.

We missed capturing the outboard motor mailbox and the horse in Miami.
Posted in: Car Ride Games, Exploring Wyoming, Rest Stop/Welcome Center/Visitor Center

Moving Day and Boondocking

On the road again. Our app said it was 12 hours to our next stop, so we were going to break it into two days of driving. One of the first rest stops had a Rattlesnake Area sign. We didn’t stay there long. Wyoming was pretty desolate in terms of rest stops. I would say 3/4 of the rest stops were closed on our path. If you are driving through soon, stop when you see gas and bathrooms when you can, because there were incredibly long stretches between available stops.

We had bought a bag of Jelly Belly jelly beans on Friday and played “Name That Jelly Bean” a couple times during the car ride. Ben was the game show host and tossed a jelly bean to a person. They had to guess the flavor of the jelly bean. If you got the flavor right, you got to go again. As the game progressed, Ben became more strict with the names of the jelly beans.

We tried going through Cheyenne, WY for food and to stretch our legs before calling it a night. There were several neat looking spots, but no place really big enough for us to park while we were towing the RV. We had called several Walmarts, BassPro, Cabela’s, and even Mendard’s, but none of them near us offered overnight parking. Most cited city ordinances.

We finally found a Welcome Center/Rest stop outside of Cheyenne. It was located off of 25 (5611 High Plains Road, Cheyenne, WY). It was a really large welcome center. Although we arrived after the lobby closed, the bathrooms were still open. There is an RV dump station, a pet exercise area (with poop bags), WiFi in the lobby, and 20ish parking spots for trucks/RVs. There is also a car parking lot. There is a walking trail around the outside area, and a nice flat area by the RV/truck parking where we had a picnic dinner. The rest stop also maps available. To make it easier for guests after hours, they had envelopes made up by the doors that contained a Wyoming Travel Guide, Highway Map, and a Road Trip Guide.

Welcome Center/Rest Stop

Originally, it was going to be a boring peanut butter sandwich dinner since we were unable to stop in Cheyenne. However, Uber Eats delivered there! It was amazing to have hot food delivered to the rest stop.

The rest stop was brightly lit and felt safe. We all had pretty good night’s sleep for heading out for our next campground.

Settled In For The Night

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