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Life on a peaceful farm in Texas.

I am addicted to the feeling of freedom! The open road is a beautiful gift in my life, and I am so grateful for the giant smile on my face.

My music is on! Life is good!

I plan to drive only 100 miles to the Atchafalaya Welcome Center today, so I am still close to the body shop in case something isn't working right.

What a fantastic, fun welcome center! It’s definitely worth stopping. As I am about to enter the theater, a tall guy with a big mustache is sharing his happiness and joy for just getting married to his partner. I can't stay silent and commend him for his vulnerability. After all, where do you find an older guy expressing his emotions so openly? Yes, a conversation started between Ann, Tom, and I. Both Ann and Tom lost their spouses recently and got to know each other when Ann came to visit her dying friend, Tom's wife. Today, they are traveling in their RV, creating a new beginning for the second time in their lives. What a beautiful story to show that it is never too late for love!

We say goodbye with a hug, and I continue with my exploration of the area. There are a few hiking trails to explore in this section of the  Atchafalaya Basin. I take the dirt road to the Indian Bayou trailhead.

The trail belongs to me as I am the only one here. The wonderful sounds of nature are the music in my ears. Well, except for the mosquitos buzzing around.

The sun's rays beaming on the standing green water create a bright and happy green, and the contrast of the cypress trees adds to the beauty around me.

Holly cow, my heart is racing right now at a high speed! It only took a second to be so scared; I did not see it coming. In the corner of my eye, a huge alligator dove into the water fifty feet away from me. His speed astonished me, and I am so grateful he was more afraid of me than being hungry.

It takes me a few minutes to get my heartbeat back to normal. Now I am more alert and cautious as I continue walking along the happy green river. When I saw my second alligator relaxing on the water, I decided it was time to turn around.

By the time I returned to the Welcome Center, it was only three in the afternoon. Tomorrow is a long driving day for me. One of the things I love about freedom in my life is that I can make decisions on a whim. I decided not to stick around and continued driving to the first visitor center in Texas, which is two hours away.

I enjoy driving. It is another place where I let my thinking take over me. I love it when I get to recognize the beauty of a blessing in a good lesson. Sometimes, you need distance to make you aware of your emotions and feelings.

I reflect on the last three weeks' challenge I just left behind me. I recognize the gift in its power.

I can still keep truthfulness within myself while letting two conflicting emotions play in my head. I can still extend a compassionate heart as I struggle with frustration and powerlessness. Thank you, Linda, I needed that lesson. I will miss you, my friend.

Welcome to Texas, Google Maps announces. How lovely! Texas is welcoming me again with a full moon. I let my wonderful memories of last year's adventures through Texas flood my soul. The month I spent last year in Texas was for sure magical! 

One thing I don't want to remember is the Texas giant mosquitos. I am much prepared this time, and I now have a zapper racquet. So, instead of roasting marshmallows, I will roast the uninvited mosquitos in my van.

Overall, I had a good night's sleep with all the traffic noise.

One of the biggest lessons I learned last year traveling through Texas was refilling my gas tank before it reached halfway. Man, that was a close call for disaster.

I stopped to fuel and go to the bathroom. As I enter the bathroom, I laugh at my life with the lady washing herself in the public bathroom. Life on the road, for sure, has no room for luxury, but I promise you there are many benefits if you are willing to embrace it.

Amanda is a badass in my book. She is a truck driver enjoying her love for the open road. I love meeting beautiful souls; they enrich my life.

I have only four hours of driving today to reach Destinee's farm. Road Trip Her is one of the Facebook groups where I post. Jess, the creator of this group, created a map where women who belong to her group can offer their driveway as a safe place to stop for the night. Destinee is on my travel path, so I reached out to ask her permission to stop at her farm. 

I plan to get to Destinee late in the day, but for now, I am searching for a local library. Writing is becoming a pleasing time of my journey. I love it when I search for a library that brings me to discover history. The town of Columbus, Texas, is over 200 years old. The old section is charming with so much character.

I ditch I-10 for the local road. I feel nostalgic for last year's trip through Hill Country in Texas. It is so peaceful here, with cows and horses grazing in the vast meadows on the lush green rolling hills. Driving here makes me feel like I am nowhere, just floating in the quiet magic of farmlands.

I stayed two nights at Destinee’s farm (to respect Destinee's privacy and safety, I will not mention the location). What a powerful name for a beautiful soul. I do feel I am destined to be here! 

I enjoy spending time with Destinee and her crew, Radar and Francis, the cutest donkeys, Rosie and Billy, old sweet goats, and the many roaming chickens and roosters (lol, not the most restful night).

It is priceless to let a local show me around. Destinee is driving us on backroads to the tiny town of Round Top. Twice a year, there is an antique fair. It is something to consider if I ever return to this area.

Round Top is a tiny, charming town that I am happy I can experience when it is quiet without many visitors. We sat down for dinner, and I tried my first fried green tomato. What a divine taste! Thank you, Destinee, for your beautiful hospitality. Thank you for sending me off with fresh eggs, yummy.

Staying an extra day to enjoy life on a peaceful farm means I have a long driving day tomorrow...

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