Well it’s been just over a week on the road and I thought I’d give you a lil’ update!
Both Andrew and I, while driving around in epic National Parks, keep looking at each other and saying, “I can’t believe this is our life. I can’t believe this is for real.” I feel very humbled that I get to do this. Every morning I wake up to mountain light gently streaming through my window and I just can’t believe it. This is for real. I am so, so thankful for Andrew’s hard work that is enabling us to do this. He gets up every morning before sunrise (and in the mountains that means he’s getting up around 4:45 am…) goes out shooting then comes home and does his computer work. Which is setting up websites for people to purchase prints. Responds to emails, reaches out to new potential sponsors, edits his images, works our budget and a bunch of other stuff. I respect him so much. He is making this dream come true for both of us!
I am absolutely loving our new home. We named our travel trailer Gertie after my grandmother Gertrude. She was a spit fire, strong, stubborn, loved real, real big kind of lady. Her spirit is still very much alive in the women of my family. She died when I was in high school and I still think of her often and miss her. I know she would have loved this crazy adventure that we’re on. And I know she would have looooved Andrew.
When Andrew and I have gone on our two week road trips, what always makes me want to come home is I want a shower, to be able to cook my healthy nut food and I miss my animals. Now I have all of that with Gertie!! We have a little shower that is working just fine. Turns out you don’t need a lot of space to rinse off. When I want a real long, hot shower I use the ones at our RV resort or the State Parks. This is totally do-able. I don’t know why I’ve never tried the community showers before and just stunk for weeks. I take my lil’ shower flip flops and a bag of my stuff and soak in the water for a while. It’s pretty nice.
Our kitchen is small but it has everything we need. A three burner stove, a little oven and microwave. My whole day revolves around my meals, always has, and when we were road trippin’ without Gertie we ate a bunch of bar food. This starts to really wear on me after a while. Food definitely affects my emotional and mental health as well. So it’s nice to be able to cook my lentils, toast my bread and roast my veggies. The appliances run off of propane, and we have two tanks, so I’ll still be able to cook off the grid as well, which is where we plan to spend most of our time in the mountains.
We had high hopes of camping off the grid (no hookups, no running water, no electricity, no AC) on our way up to Wyoming but didn’t plan for the 95 degree desert Utah temps. Just a reminder, we’re in a lil tin box and it gets pretty toasty. So we decided to stay at a RV park for a little longer than we planned. Nice RV parks run about $50 a night. I’m just trusting that the Lord will continue to provide, he knows our needs. We’re leaving town today and heading up to the mountains where it’s cooler and easier to live off the grid. That price is exactly $0 a night, so we’re looking forward to that.
I know you’re dying to get an update on Bubba the Cat and Islay the Aussie. Bubba Love was in the truck with us on our first leg of the trip. Annnnd he threw up and pooed in the truck. I was prepared for that and had a towel over me. We pulled over at Whataburger (our last opportunity for that glorious chain) and moved him to the trailer. We checked on him every time we stopped for gas and he was just as happy as a clam. He found a little dark spot in the back of Andrew’s office area, between a mattress and the computer. He was much happier there and that’s where we’ve kept him when we travel.
Islay (Eye-luh) Blue is in her happy place. We named her after our favorite island in Scotland, where they happen to make the best single malt scotch in the world. She gets to go on long hikes every day then comes back to an air conditioned home. We got her at just the right time, when my dear Hunter Trek was sick, and she has brought so much joy to our little family unit. She does this thing when she gets excited. She doesn’t just wag her tail, she wags her whole booty. Love her. She, on the other hand is happy as a clam riding in the truck with us, resting on the center console between me and Andrew.
So that’s it! Our little family is just truckin’ along. We’re currently in Moab, Utah exploring Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park. Arches is full of these, you guessed it, amazing arches and balancing rocks. It looks so other worldly. The dirt is so red and the trees are so green, the air so dry and warm. I’m loving every last opportunity of heat before we get up to the mountains. Canyonlands is miles and miles of deep canyons, just like the Grand Canyon. I was surprised at it’s scope.
I wake up every morning, have my quiet time, cook my breakfast, drink my coffee and stare out our dining room window. I just can’t believe this is real. During the heat of the day, when the light isn’t right for photography, Andrew and I go on a long hike. Then we come home, play Rummycube and cook dinner. It’s a simple life, working with just the necessities, and I’m lovin’ every minute. Internet is slow and unavailable a many spots, so I’m having to learn a little bit of patience with that. So far, that is the only city convenience that I’m missing. But you are not hearing any complaints from me!
I mentioned this in my last post, but I’m still settling into this new feeling of joy and contentment. Things move at a slower, quieter pace, there’s more staring out the window, taking our time on hikes to smell mountain flowers and soak in the vistas. I find I still got a lot of city girl in me where I feel like I have to rush everywhere, always be connected and be most efficient with my time.
Nature has a way of lulling you to be still. It requests your attention and persuades you to breathe deeper. We were on a hike yesterday and while down in the pit of a canyon a storm rolled through. It was terrifying, the thunder and sheer strength. We made our climb out and I left with with deeper respect for nature and it’s Creator. It never ceases to amaze me. I look forward to exploring the wealth of landscapes we have here in grand ole’ America!