written Tuesday, January 06, 2009
Last year we left Sandollar on January 8th and killed a week or so around San Antonio before heading west into the high country of West Texas. It didn’t take long to discover that winter in the high and dry west can be cold. I pulled out our charter, the document that guides our travels, and found right there in black and white: “Prime Directive #2 — Strive to find warmth and sun.” While the high country gets high marks for sun, in January and February it falls short on the warmth part. We were in clear violation of the charter.
There are really only three areas in the contiguous U.S.A. where you’ve got a good chance at warmth in the Winter — South Florida, South Texas, and parts of the extreme Southwest. I’ve been told that snowbirds and others fleeing Northern Winters tend to stay in their longitudinal area; that is, people from the New England States tend to winter in Florida, people from the Midwest go to Texas, and people from the West and Northwest go to Southwest Arizona and maybe, if they’re a little wacky, Southern California. I guess that all makes some sense which may be why we feel at home here in Rockport. We’re surrounded by many people from Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Missouri, and Nebraska.
I haven’t been a big fan of Florida and we haven’t been there with the bus-house yet. I’ve heard it can be very expensive and crowded — two big strikes against it right off the bat as far as I’m concerned. Likewise, we don’t have a lot of experience with the Southwest having spent only a few weeks near Tucson and Quartzsite last year. I’ve heard Yuma is nice but there are a lot of people crammed into a small area, meaning crowds again. All things considered we’re mostly satisfied and comfortable with the Rockport area of Texas.
This year our plan is to linger here in Rockport a bit longer. By staying South for most of December, January, and February, I’m hoping we’ll have the core of Winter behind us and we can start exploring new areas in relative warmth. When we do leave we’re thinking about going East this year, along the Gulf Coast to the Panhandle of Florida, then generally north into the Carolinas and other Mid-Atlantic States before bending West again to the Midwest. Of course, as always, this is just a plan and subject to change with any new whim.