East Coast Fall 2021 – Henderson and Home

November 22-26

We broke camp Monday morning to make the drive to Kim and Marty’s in Henderson, where we would stay until Friday and celebrate Thanksgiving with them and a household of others, an event they have held annually and are now resuming after taking a Covid break the last two years.  This would be a low-key visit, with much preparation needed to handle the sizable crowd that was expected.  To get prepared for the work ahead, we of course stopped at O Happy Bread, that good French bakery in Pahrump. 

Stovepipe Wells to Henderson

We split a Ham and Cheese Parisienne and a decadent slice of chocolate cake and picked up at least one other bakery item to take with us to Henderson.  Along with a big latte it would easily fill us up until dinner later that night. 

We then stopped in Henderson to pick up our contribution to the Thanksgiving gathering, a large Honey Baked Ham.  We figured that by doing so on Monday to pick up our pre-order it wouldn’t be crazy busy at the store, but we couldn’t have been more wrong.  The line stretched out the door and once inside it separated into pre-paid orders and those just placed online.  Guess which was the longest?  You’d be right if you guessed ours.  But chatting with others around us helped to pass the time and soon enough we were out the door and on our way.

The Line at Honeybaked Ham

We did get in one nice bike ride in, a 27-mile ramble on mostly flat pavement that included city streets, a stretch on the I-215 East Beltway Trail (part of a larger I-215 trail system with a total length of 22-miles) and connecting with the 7.3-mile Union Pacific Railroad Trail.  It was a gorgeous day for riding, mile temperatures, little wind and the only downside was that much of it was on a path, although separated from any traffic, that ran directly adjacent to the busy I-215. 

Entering the I-215 East Beltway

We didn’t ride all of the Railroad Trail as we were constrained for time, but if we had it would have eventually crossed some bridges over Interstate 11 and the parallel US 95 at the Union Pacific Railroad Trail’s southeast end near Railroad Pass.  From there we would have connected with the 32-mile-long River Mountains Loop Trail that we have ridden twice before. 

Trail Junction

We returned to the house and the rest of the week sped by, culminating in the largest gathering we’d been a part of since the beginning of the pandemic with good food, drink, and much, much conversation.  On Friday, home beckoned as Jessica, Kris and Gemma had come down to our house (they couldn’t make the Thanksgiving gathering) so we were eager to see them after being away for a couple of months. 

UPRC Trail Sign

The drive home went smoothly, little traffic coming out of Las Vegas unlike what it would be like on Sunday at the end of the long holiday weekend, until we hit Barstow for a nightmarish lunch stop at the McDonalds there, with a long wait and mixed-up order.  We soon arrived home and getting to see our favorite family unit made the drive home so much more rewarding.

And that ends our two-month road trip, one that came out far differently than we could have ever expected.  The first month or so ran true to form, with the right mix of being tourists combined with stops to see family and friends.  But that came to a crashing halt (no pun intended) in Connecticut when we banged up the car and only by the grace of some smiling god, did we manage to tie it together and complete the journey in our battered vehicle. 

The Open Road

Between dealing with the damaged car and Joanna’s mother’s housing crisis, we lost a number of days that had been planned for travel, causing us to pull days out of our stays in Charleston and Mobile and completely cancelling a stop in Galveston.  A couple of these stops were going to be tourist based as opposed to our staying with family or friends so the tenor of the trip became more about people we stayed with and not things we could see or do.

Using Those Knots

In and of itself this is not a bad thing, but it can make for less than compelling blog posts when all we report on is meals we’ve eaten and alcohol we’ve consumed.  Then again, that might just be what many folks tune in for.  Regardless, I find I like reporting on an array of activities and promise we’ll try not to crash the car again enabling us to travel as we usually do, mixing a little of this with a little of that.  And that will bring this trip to a close.  In the next couple of posts, we will report on a few winter weekends of travel as a planned trip to South America fell through due to the pandemic.  But big travel will start this spring with a two-month road trip and then one month in Europe in June.  So, stay tuned. 

J and J on the Mesa

Links

O Happy Bread: https://o-happy-bread.business.site/

I-215 East Beltway Trail: https://www.traillink.com/trail/i-215-east-beltway-trail/

Union Pacific Railroad Trail: https://www.traillink.com/trail/union-pacific-railroad-trail/

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