Every day I realize that I’m doing a lousy job of blogging – and every day I intend to sit down and update everyone….but then life sweeps me away, and time slips through my fingers, and I have to set it aside. We’ve been so busy planning & preparing – and keeping up with work/school/life!
Huge life change always feels like a whirlwind, and I’m happy to share that in the time that’s passed since my last update we have settled on big decisions and plans are in motion in ways that feel Real & Exciting!
BIG UPDATE #1 – Our Camper!
This is now the view from the front door of our house! In my last update I posted a video of the Imagine 3000QB, after we walked through it as a family and we all felt a spark! You know, when a family of 4 is united on something, it’s good – so we bought it! AND WE LOVE HER!!!! She’s everything we need – and almost nothing we don’t. I promise to post a video tour, just as soon as we have a warm & sunny day here in Indiana. February has been grey, cold, and sometimes snowy – and we do hope that March will bring warmer weather! For now, there are some great pictures of our camper on the Grand Design Manufactures website.
BIG UPDATE #2 – OUR TRIP!
So, what you’re seeing is Part 1 of our The Pilgrimage! I’m using several online tools to help us research & reserve camp sites, and my favorite so far is RV Trip Wizard. This site shows an almost overwhelming amount of information – from campgrounds to Cracker Barrels (which let travelers stay the night in the parking lots behind their stores). One thing I’ve really come to value from RV Trip Wizard are the reviews that other users leave. The information posted by other Travelers makes us feel like we’re not totally flying blind when choosing a place to spend some time.
We are planning several stops – and leaving the days in between loose for travel days & for the pure joy of flying by the seat of our pants!
Right now, Part 1 of The Pilgrimage looks like this.
STOP 1 – Custer State Park – South Dakota. Custer is going to be our basecamp while we explore Mount Rushmore, Wind Cave National Park, and whatever else we decide we want to do!
STOP 2 – Buffalo Bill State Park – Wyoming. Buffalo Bill State Park is located about 40 miles from Yellowstone National Park. We totally wanted to stay at Yellowstone – but when we tried to book an RV site in early February, they were all ready completely booked up! We could go ahead & try to drive in & hope something opens up….that does happen sometimes, but it felt like a way better idea to go with the sure thing & just plan to take good day trips.
***We will probably be heading to Grand Teton National Park before we head to Glacier – and we hope to do some “boon docking“. If you don’t know what that is, or what it entails…..boondocking is when you are off the grid, totally self sufficient, and camping for free! There are zillions of places that you are legally allowed to do that in the US, and we are just now learning about how to find those place & navigate those waters. I’ll write more about that once we have some firsthand experience.
STOP 3 – Glacier National Park – Montana. Just this morning I started looking into several private campgrounds around Glacier National Park. I’m not sure where we’ll camp, but we really want to find a place that has easy access to Glacier, as well as laundry facilities and hiking trails.
***We have about 4 weeks of travel between Glacier & Denali. And we plan to NOT PLAN! I’m sure there will be some really great stories and mishaps along the way & I’ll be sure to share in a future post.
STOP 4 – Denali National Park – ALASKA! This will be the first National Park that we actually stay within. We were fortunate enough to secure a spot for 4 nights at the Riley Creek Campground. We’ll set up camp the evening before my birthday, and I’ll be celebrating my 40th trip around the sun with my family on a Ranger-led hike through one of the most amazing places on the planet.
***We plan to leave Alaska sometime in August, and spend September/October in the North West – October/November/December in the South West – We’ll be coming back to Indiana for orthodontist appointments & vet visits & to ECSTATICALLY SQUEEZE our nearest & dearest before we head to Florida for January & February.
IT’s REALLY GETTING REAL!
If you have any ideas for stops along the way, or things we should do – please leave a comment on this site & let us know! Commenting here will help me find the info when we need it & might help someone else along the way!
BIG UPDATE #3 – Our Family
There is so much more to share, and big changes happen every week at this point in our journey. Before I wrap it up today, i wanted to share one more little update.
In my last post, about a month ago, i was heartbroken to share that our sweet Airedale, Willard Monroe, passed away unexpectedly. We were all devastated. He was such a big part of our family.
Jeff and I spent some time talking about how best to handle moving forward, and we made the decision to open our home and hearts to our newest love.
Millie Mae Monroe.
It was so precious to see that puppy choose my kids. She came out with a herd of her brothers & sisters to climb right up on Sam’s lap and lick his face! Millie Mae will be just old enough to get all of her necessary vaccines & vet records before we leave. She is already a beloved member of the family & I know that this year with us will shape her into an amazing dog.
Everything in our life is changing – and fast. And it’s GOOD. And God has been opening doors for us, answering prayer in big ways, and keeping our spirits strong & joy filled – even as our to-do lists seem to grow and our time seems to shrink.
12 weeks until the rubber meets the road.
Love you all.