Shannon here: Gayla K. Hiss shares more of her RV adventures with her husband. Comment or answer the question at the end of the post to enter the drawing for an e-copy of her Romantic Suspense, Wildfire – book 3 in her Peril in the Park series. Deadline: Aug 18th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Gayla:
Our First RV Snowbird Adventure – part 2 of 2:
After leaving our first snowbird destination in Southern California, my husband Jeff and I traveled to a huge RV park near Phoenix, AZ. With over 300 sites, a swimming pool, pickleball court, large library, and numerous activities, the park was like a small city. We stayed there for three and a half weeks while I worked on edits of my latest book. It was a convenient place to be with wifi and plenty of television stations available. Soon, however, we needed to move on, but to where? We didn’t have any reservations for the next month.
That’s when Jeff began digging out maps and spending a lot of time on his laptop computer. What was he planning? Finally, he let me in on his secret. He’d been researching national parks and revealed to me his plan for us to tour the ones that were on our way to Florida. Intrigued and excited, I welcomed the idea, and soon we were on our way.
Our first stop was the Petrified Forest National Park in northeastern Arizona, where we explored the beautiful Painted Desert and hiked trails with crystallized logs from trees dating back millions of years to the time when the desert was a tropical forest. Our next stop was another national treasure—Saguaro National Park in Tucson. From there, we traveled to Carlsbad, NM and visited Carlsbad Caverns National Park and Guadalupe Mountains National Park across the state line in Texas. I loved how Jeff had combined our snowbird trip with a Southwestern national park tour, especially since I write books set in the national parks. It was the perfect opportunity to visit those exciting destinations, and traveling with our RV made it even more memorable.
The final stop on our national park tour was Big Bend in Texas. After traveling miles in the desert, I expected a dry wilderness with scrub brush and cacti. The park does have plenty of desert, but also spectacular mountains, vast canyons, green forests, and the scenic Rio Grande River. I was amazed by the diverse landscape with elevations ranging from 1,800 to 8,000 feet. It truly is a gem in the wilderness. As we walked along the Rio Grande and hiked to awesome views in the mountains, I felt refreshed and renewed.
From there, we journeyed to Florida, then Tennessee to visit family, before heading back across country, through Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington State. Traveling home, I was filled with wonder and awe at the vast, beautiful country in which we live as I reminisced about the amazing journey we’d made. By the time we returned home, Jeff and I had covered 9,600 miles in 77 days. During that period, we enjoyed fantastic hikes, romantic starlit nights, fun family visits, and fascinating adventures in exciting places like the Southwestern national parks. It goes to show that sometimes the best vacations are not the ones with every moment planned to a tee, but those with time left open for spontaneous surprises.
About Gayla: Gayla’s writing journey began with her hobby painting landscapes. In her imagination, characters and scenes came to life as she painted beautiful natural settings. Her inspiring novels combine her love for the great outdoors with romance, suspense, and mystery. Gayla and her husband often tour the country in their RV, visiting many state and national parks. She enjoys hiking, camping, and traveling, and lives in the Pacific Northwest. She’s excited to announce the August release of WILDFIRE, book 3 in her Peril in the Park series. Learn more and connect:
About the Book – Wildfire:
Will Rachael and Dylan escape the fire’s fury, or perish in the flames?
Sparks fly when wildfire researcher Rachael Woodston clashes with firefighter Dylan Veracruz in Rocky Mountain National Park. The June fire season has just begun, yet a long-standing drought has already turned the park into a tinderbox. Rachael’s computer data indicates the fire Dylan’s crew is fighting is about to accelerate, but he doesn’t believe her—until the fire suddenly gets out of control and they have to evacuate.
Suspecting arson, Rachael and Dylan join forces in search of answers and soon discover that chasing fires isn’t all they have in common—they’re both survivors of deep loss. However, their difference of opinion about faith keeps them at arm’s length, despite a growing attraction. As the danger escalates, Rachael and Dylan soon find themselves in a firestorm they cannot escape. All seems lost until Rachael has a profound encounter that restores her faith and gives her hope. The close call also fuels her determination to stop the fiend behind the flames. But can she and Dylan solve the mystery and extinguish their enemy before disaster strikes again?
Can’t wait for the drawing? Get your copy now: Wildfire – Amazon
Question for Readers: What is your favorite Southwestern U.S. destination and why?
Come back Aug 14th for Jenny Carlisle!