Ahhh, contentment. This was a picture I posted on Facebook as we settled into our cozy new spot in the bluegrass state. A few hours later I was a ruthless fly killing machine! The sound of these little buggers buzzing in your ear, landing all over your food, and swarming the dogs like dairy farm livestock is enough to drive the average person crazy. However, Continue reading
First Year on the Road!
Click on “View Larger Map” at bottom to see the interactive map of our stops around the country!
Alachua, FL- We had torrential downpours on our first day on the road. We ended up at a hotel for the night and also did quite a bit of damage to our camper. Read all about our rough start at The First 24.
Destin, FL– Ahhh, beautiful Destin Beach. Our first real camping experience. White sand, blue water and sunshine.
Robert, LA– Yogi Bear campground and our first birthday on the road. Sadie turned 4 years old.
Duncanville, TX– A visit with great friends and another rookie lesson learned. Read about our Ant Invasion.
Abilene, TX– Looked like a nice campground on the website that we pulled into after dark. Wowzers! When we woke it resembled a Russian prison camp. Burnt rubber getting outta there!
Carlsbad, NM– Carlsbad Caverns, a spectacular underground natural wonder and a must see.
Tucson, AZ– Our first time through Tucson we visited the Sonora Desert Museum and explored this amazing city drenched in Mexican culture.
Cottonwood/Sedona, AZ– Swam in freezing cold waters at Slide Rock, hooped at some vortexes, and met a nice family of other full timers.
Henderson, NV– First time dry camping in a Walmart parking lot. We awoke to a group of homeless dudes outside the camper asking for food and money. We did what we could to help.
Tonopah, NV– The only civilization between Vegas and Reno. Make sure you stop here for supplies because if you don’t, you may not find another place for miles and miles!
Reno, NV- “The Biggest Little City” We love it there! Kids saw their first snow ever, Pete connected with a school for troubled teens who had him as a guest speaker and purchased signed copies of (Dear Lilly) for all the residents. We went to gorgeous Lake Tahoe, spent Halloween and Zoe’s birthday there and celebrated a non-traditional Thanksgiving at a casino. Made lifetime friends in the local homeschool group and enjoyed many sights. We also got a good feel for cold weather and snowy RV life.
Casa Grande, AZ– We rushed here a few days before Christmas and spent the holidays in the warm sun. One speaking gig for Pete, and then it was time to move on.
Yuma, AZ & Winterhaven, CA– Spent 2 months working in Yuma and living in Winterhaven. We saw a lot of Old Western historical sites such as Quartermaster Depot and Yuma Territorial Prison. Visited a small zoo called the Camel Farm, attended our first Native American Pow Wow, and frequently played at an awesome castle park nearby. Pete was teaching writing at a school in Yuma until he discovered he was not a good fit for the establishment. You can read more about that at Taking a Stand in AZ.
Tucson, AZ– Back to Tucson for the Roadschool Rally where we met a lot of other full time families with children. What a blast! We also saw where many western movies were filmed at Old Tucson. We drove up Mt. Lemmon (the mountain was so high that our chip bags popped open), visited the International Wildlife Museum, hiked and took a dip at Sabino Canyon, spent a day at Reid Park Zoo (because we loved the name), and made a second visit to the Sonora Desert Museum and Saguaro National Park. Perfect timing for the Tucson Book Fair and while we were there we stopped at the Arizona State Museum. It was an action packed month!
Verde Valley, AZ– Truck troubles landed us at a nice campground here.
Flagstaff, AZ– More truck troubles but lucky to be stuck in a cool town. Read about our miserable Mental/Vehicular Breakdown.
Grand Canyon, AZ– Pete’s Wally World! As tourist trappy as it may be, it will still take your breath away. Another must see.
Back to Reno, NV– After a streak of expensive repairs and little work we returned to Reno where our good friends gave us a job and tons of support. The job required lots of West coast travel so it was right up our alley!
Tule Lake, CA– Creepiest library ever.
Klamath Falls, OR– Alpaca farm visit and a super fun day.
Merrill, OR- Great taste of small town living. We spent our 13 year anniversary at a local restaurant decorated with ducks everywhere. The kids sat at the table next to us so we could pretend to be “on a date”.
Ashland, OR– Great music and fun times with a new friend at the Wellsprings. See how we learned that sometimes the best plan is to have no plan at all. Carpe Diem
Crater Lake, OR– Most beautiful sight of the trip. Crater lake is such a perfect creation that it looks unreal. Nearby was Toketee Falls where we took a short hike to a gorgeous waterfall. We also stopped at Diamond Lake where I took one of my all time favorite pictures of Pete and the kids.
Arcata/Eureka,CA–The kids first Pacific Ocean experiences, Humboldt National Forest, Fern Canyon, Trees of Mystery, Drive-thru Tree, Avenue of Giants, the Eel River, Moonstone Beach, Trinity Beach. We enjoyed the company of friends here and had a beach bonfire on 4th of July weekend. Great weekend farmer’s market with music and hoopers 🙂 Organic everything! Loved this place. I could live there if it were not so far from family.
Ferndale, CA– We took a great hike in the woods and saw a spooky, hilly graveyard. We enjoyed pie and brownies at a cute old-fashioned café. It’s a nice little town known for its beautiful Victorian painted homes.
Healdsburg, CA– This was as close as we could get to camping in San Francisco. The campground had a great river to swim and play in.
San Francisco, CA– We did the typical tourist spots here: Golden Gate Bridge, Painted Ladies, Fisherman’s Warf, Golden Gate Park, 710 Haight/Ashbury.
Sacramento, CA– Our first taste of the death heat of the west… 107 degrees!
Truckee, CA– Spent the night at a rest area that was more beautiful than most campgrounds. Also where the infamous Donner Party met their untimely demise.
Wells, NV– Welcome Station RV Park was one of those unplanned pleasures. It was just a place to stay for a night to rest but when we got there, it was so peaceful and friendly that we stay an extra two nights.
Echo Lake Reservoir, UT– We saw this place as we were driving by and just needed to stop and stay. A bit scary pulling our home on the beach, but well worth the trouble.
Golden/Denver, CO– Old Crow Medicine Show at Red Rocks Amphitheatre and a visit to the Buffalo Bill museum. We reunited with friends we met in Tucson at their restaurant in Denver. It was a great meal and visit.
North Platte, NE– Flat Tire, blah!
Chicago, IL– Pete had some fun at a Phish concert. The rest of us enjoyed a kid friendly KOA. It was a win x 6.
Mt. Gilead/Columbus, OH– Our favorite campground, a Yogi Bear full of activities. Waterslides, kayaks, paddle boats, playgrounds, pools and more. Also our 1st Tornado Warning! I flew to a wedding in FL and Pete stayed here with the kids.
Niagra Falls, NY– Beautiful falls and very dog friendly. It was great until Bear saw a squirrel and wrapped me around a tree! I’m not sure what was worse: the pain or embarrassment from my ridiculous forced tree hugging.
Geneseo, NY– Another wonderful flat tire.
Ithaca, NY– Had our first driveway stay at a friend’s beautiful farm house. Grandma and Grandpa from Long Island drove up to visit us. We went to Taughannock Falls and several local parks. We really enjoyed the community in Ithaca. We could totally live there if I didn’t despise the cold weather.
Mentor, OH– And another flat tire, grrrr!
Campbellsville, KY– We left our home on wheels here for some free style visiting with truck only.
What are we up to now?
We are currently returning to Kentucky and will be winding down with 3 more months of RV living. We are staying at a campground with horse stables, so we hope to learn a lot about horses while there. I will be exploring some work at home opportunities for our next move. The kids will be doing some extra schooling, and Pete is work camping for Amazon as a seasonal job.
It may also be the beginning of a co-authored Growing Rootless ebook. But we need your help! What are you most interested in hearing about?
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Leaving our new friends in Tucson was sad, but we were excited for the next leg of our journey to see the Grand Canyon. After a couple of hours driving, the truck started feeling shaky and was not pulling the camper well. Continue reading
One of the questions we get often on our blog is, “How do the kids like traveling full time?” Continue reading
There have been many changes over the past 7 months while traveling with my family full time in an RV. As we continue this journey we are discovering what matters most to us, what we need to live, and what makes us happy. Some discoveries have been about homeschool, our relationships, financial needs, logistics of small spaces and others have been personal revelations. Continue reading
This journey to a simpler lifestyle and minimizing our material possessions required a lot of sacrifice from our kids. They had to part with many of their toys that would not fit in our new small space. I had my concerns, but as it turned out, Continue reading
Last year, like many others, I was so devastated by the Sandy Hook shooting. I wrote in part of a post:
“In the last few days I have hugged more, shown much gratitude and felt so much pain and love. Patience with my children has been abundant and my to-do list has been trivial. Thank you beautiful angels for inspiring us to do better.” Continue reading