The Daily Grace
The Daily Grace

What has surprised us along the way.

Apr 2, 2023 | travel & adventure | 4 comments

TODAY IS DAY 4 of our Westward Ho! RV adventure, and it’s a big travel day for us. We’re crossing Arkansas edge to edge, east to west, and covering 290 miles. We’ll also hit our first 1,000 mile marker, not too far from Fort Smith. Some surprises, so far, along the way? Particularly for those who know me well and would express exactly zero shock at my admission that I spent my planning time obsessing over really important things like Whatever shall I knit? / How many art supplies can I get away with? / Which are the perfect audiobooks for a trip like this? / I MUST MAKE AN ULTIMATE RV TRAVEL PLAYLIST! Yes, all of that took an inordinate amount of brain space and time, and here is my report. Nearly 1,000 miles and there has been very little of any of the above. For starters, RV travel is noisy, something I just didn’t consider. There’s road noise, wind noise and a certain amount of bumping and rattling even with all our stuff secured, wrapped, or otherwise handled. It’s not unpleasant, so this not a complaint. In fact the sound is more like white noise, which I love, a way of muffling one of the senses and rendering the others more acute. Plus on a trip like this, it turns out there’s a lot to talk about, not bare-your-soul conversations but little discussion poofs that are relevant, timely, and location specific. For instance. We’re often taking the backroads, and while Tim keeps his eyes on the road and two hands on the wheel (a first for him, I promise you), I google whatever small town we’re approaching and read to him anything of interest. Which means I spend a good bit of time on my phone, looking at the map, double-checking our route, trying to find an RV-friendly parking lot at our next destination near whatever dog-friendly restaurant Tim has already scoped out. And let’s just say being Vice President of Social Media for the big RV trip comes with its own set of demands. All that photo cropping. All that image management! Not to mention I have to reference “Instagram Stories for Dummies” every time I post.

There’s a lot to be taken care of, is my point, which is why Tim is the Manager in Charge of Everything Else which includes such things as driving the RV; maintaining the RV; understanding the RV and how the RV works; routing, navigation, and re-routing, when necessary (I am Second Chair Navigator which he assures me is a Very Important Position and one that also happens to require a lot of iPhone time); the art and practice of 18-wheeler drafting when on an interstate; Stella/all things related to Stella; meeting and talking to all the nice people who stay in RV camps, many of whom, we notice, are retired; fuel, fueling, and monitoring the MPG ratio (we’re currently at 9.7 miles per gallon, which is approximately 60% better than expected); all spreadsheeting of all things and, I might as well say it, a good bit more other stuff I probably couldn’t name. He’s good at these things, which I can’t help but notice, and he enjoys doing these things, which I can’t help but appreciate, and so I find it both reasonable and efficient to let him have at it while I stare out the window or do all this photographing or write or sketch or paint, what with my commitment to #the100dayproject each day.

There is so much to take care of (plus all that love sweet Stella requires) and we know we’ll get better and faster at all these things as days go by. As it is, we’re figuring things out and having a grand time doing it. We love the size of the RV and—I’m not kidding here—mention regularly how convenient it is to stand in one place and be able to reach anything you might need. Even the bed is to our liking, full-size, cozy and comfy, tucked tight within three walls and with nary an inch to hardly stuff a sheet. Last night we slept for 10 hours, no joke.

There’s a great deal more to share, and I’ll get to it all in coming days. For now, here are some photos of our adventures, Days 2, 3 and 4! Next up? Weatherford, Oklahoma, then Amarillo, Texas, then Santa Fe, here we come!

with my sweet friend, Kristi Stephens Walker, in Nashville
Then THIS happened. We were to meet my lifelong Wise, Va friend, Scott Hatcher, for a cookout, but a line of tornadoes was whirling toward us, and we were meant to be driving right into the storm, and so we had a too-brief visit with Scott then hit the road. We were also relieved to be in a Comfort Inn that night! (I’m so sorry I don’t have a photo of us with Scott. I was totally discombobulated and so heartbroken to miss the party and to have my time with my friend cut short. 🙁 It’s been the only disappointment (even if it was a gigantic one) of the trip so far.
in the Comfort Inn
New day!
Sunny but lord was the wind blowing us around on that interstate!
a fun stop at the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center (and Tina Turner museum!) in Brownsville, TN
our overnight spot beside the Mississippi River in West Memphis, Arkansas
Stella overseeing cleanup and prep the next morning
JOY! Our first time for the first-time RVers’ greatest fear: sewer flushing
I helped!
Our first RV lunch—very marginal at best. Like I said, we’ll learn and do better as we go!

Until next time ~

Westward ho!


  1. Lisa Roberson

    I love the “photo enlarged to show detail”!! Quite the RV team you have created! Looking forward to future posts!

  2. Julie

    I am so here for this tribute to Tim Monetti’s many strengths. We stan a SPREADSHEETING RV-MANAGING KING!

  3. Jean

    I am enjoying your journey, it’s a trip we are going to take.

  4. Jean Griffin

    How fun to follow y’all in this adventure! I recognized your OOFOS as you helped…I’ve lived in them for years and don’t know what I’d do without them. What joy, what comfort, all day! (No, I do not receive reimbursement.) Looking forward to the next installment!

Cathy Rigg Headshot

Hi. I’m Cathy.

This is a blog about writing, creative living, and grace in the everyday. It’s my hope this little spot on the internet will be for you a place of quiet and reflection, a source for inspiration, and a reminder there’s beauty all around—we simply need to keep our hearts open to see it. Thank you for being here with me.

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