Our Snowbird Travels Finally Begin

Cold winter weather is inevitable. But there is an escape.

Along the Apache Trail, east of Mesa, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Along the Apache Trail, east of Mesa, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Residents of the northern half of North America have long found respite from winter’s chill by fleeing to the southern half. As refugees from the frozen north, snowbirds avoid winter’s bite, snow and blowing snow, and treacherous icy sidewalks and streets by migrating southward.

The snowbird migration has begun! The RVs are fueled up and beginning to head south.

Since we have chosen to be reasonably warm year-round, we are snowbirds.

With the cooler weather heading south has strong appeal. Retired Americans and Canadians often desire the best weather months wherever they are.

When it’s snowing and blowing with temperatures hovering around zero degrees, snowbirds want to be in somewhere where it’s a sunny and a pleasant 75 degrees. When Arizona hits 120 degrees in the summer or Florida’s low temperature for the day is 90, they want to be in New England or the Pacific Northwest where it’s a pleasant 75 degrees.

Joshua Tree National Park in southern California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Joshua Tree National Park in southern California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Every year when I hear the honks of the Canada geese overhead, something in my genes starts pulling my inner-compass to the South. And an inner voice whispers: “Surely you’re as smart as a goose.” Feeling that I am at least as smart as a silly goose, we line up the motorhome with that compass pointer and head for the Sun Belt.

But where to go and what to see.

All summer we keep our possible snowbird travels in the back recesses of our mind and formulating possible routes and stops along the way.

The U.S. Sunbelt is huge. Face it. Despite any plans you make—despite the number of winters you flee the snow and freezing temperatures of your northern home—you will probably not be able to explore it all.

Along the bay at Rockport, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Along the bay at Rockport, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

We started our snowbird lifestyle 18 years ago spending over a month in the Coachella Valley. For the next several winters we would return staying at membership parks in Desert Hot Springs and Indio as well as explore other areas in Southern California and Arizona including snowbird roosts along the Colorado River.

Extending our wings we explored central and southern Texas, varied regions of Florida, the Alabama Gulf Coast, Louisiana’s Cajun Country, and New Mexico.

The journey, and not the destination, is the joy of RVing.

The closer it gets the firmer the plans become until eventually we have a pretty good idea of when and where going. The choices are endless.

Life’s a journey. Take the scenic route!

In the words of photographer Diane Arbus, “My favorite thing is to go where I have never been.” And so it is with us.

Checklists shorten, lines strike through all but a few “To Do’s.”

We’re on the road again…and I say to myself, “Wow, what a life!”

Pointing the nose of our rig southward, and we’re in search of the sun.

Back on the road.. and it feels great!

Ahh… the freedom of the open road! Miles under our tires being made. Washing squished bugs off the windshield (oh wait, maybe that part isn’t so great.. but we’ll take it!)

Along the the Alabama Gulf Coast © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Along the the Alabama Gulf Coast © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

There are thousands of wonderful destinations available for snowbirds looking to escape the northern freeze. Focus your search and identify your ideal Sunbelt retreat…one that has the climate, landscape, population, and social opportunities to help you make the most of your time down South.

It doesn’t matter where you go, what you do, or how you enjoy your RV— just as long as you’re out there making memories and living the RVing dream.

Worth Pondering…

The Itch…with me, it’s like an itch. But this persistent twinge is not where I can reach it, not even with a backscratcher. No, it tickles the inside of my head, just above whichever cortex controls curiosity. Intermittent at first, the itch becomes more insistent the longer I ignore it. Each day that our motorhome sits turtled on its parking pad—ratchets up the intensity of the itch until I eventually have no choice but to acknowledge it…and I must hit the road again…

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