As outlined in my last post, Carrie and I successfully hit the road and made our way to Colorado in the month of June. It was a hectic few weeks, but it was great to start traveling again. We recaptured some of the excitement and adventure we felt last summer when we started this trip and spent our first month as full-time RVers wandering around the North-east.
After a restful and awesome few weeks in Colorado, we are already on the road again heading to California. Right now I am sitting in a small town in South-west Utah enjoying a day of catching up on work and resting after three days of driving. Last week Carrie had the good fortune of securing a new job that lined up with our plans almost perfectly, so we headed out. With luck we will be spending the next 4 months in Sonoma County in Northern California… we just have to make it to Santa Rosa by July 21st!
Before I get too far into future plans, let’s talk a little more about the past month and a half…
Alabama to Colorado
The highlight of our travels from Alabama to Colorado was a visit to New Orleans – neither of us had visited the city before and despite spending only a short 3 nights there we had a great time, and can’t wait to return. In a flurry of typical ‘tourist’ activities we took a bus tour, visited the World War 2 Museum, enjoyed a riverboat cruise on the Mississippi, and did a walking tour of a public cemetery and the city’s garden district. We also ate some delicious food (including two visits to Cafe Du Monde!) and spent a bit of time walking and people watching in the French Quarter.
We then made our way into Texas, stopping for a very brief visit in Austin (another cool town that we barely had time to see), before heading to San Angelo and then Odessa/Midland to visit with two of Carrie’s cousins and their families. Texas in late June was challenging strictly due to the heat, but we survived and had a good time regardless.
After leaving Midland we drove through the Texas panhandle, made our way over Raton Pass and into Colorado, and spent a few nights in the incredibly scenic San Luis Valley. We visited Great Sand Dunes National Park, and really enjoyed the beautiful views from our campsite.
A Brief Visit at Home
Our travels paused in Longmont, Colorado where we stayed for two restful and comfortable weeks in the driveway of my aunt and uncle’s house (we love moochdocking – thanks Steve and Laurie!). I was very happy to be in town for my grandmother’s 90th birthday party, and I got to see a lot of my family at the party. We went to my sister Liz’s house for a fun Independence Day celebration, and spent quality time with my parents (visiting from Georgia) and my sisters. Phoenix also celebrated his 12th birthday on July 4th – he’s getting up there, but he still has so much youth in him, and we’ve been so grateful to have him along on this trip and excited to see him adapt so easily to RV life.
While in Colorado we also took care of important business and prepared for more traveling. Much to Phoenix’s dismay (he loved our few weeks of *not* moving and free range living), we left Longmont last Friday with a short timeline to make it to Santa Rosa before Carrie’s new job starts. Our visit home also stirred quite a lot of homesickness for me – it was really great to be back, see friends, and get temporarily reconnected to our lives in Colorado, which made it harder to move on as planned when the time came. Despite this feeling, I am still overall happy that we’ve decided to stay on the road until next year, and I am looking forward to what’s next.
Even though we’re in a bit of a hurry to get to California, we’re thoroughly enjoying our drive through Utah, and we’ll be spending two nights in Las Vegas where we’ll have the luxury of seeing Carrie’s brother and another of her cousins + family – we might even have time to lose a bit of cash at a casino! It has been really satisfying to align our cross-country travels with visiting so much family.
4 Months in Northern California
Carrie’s assignment is a new type of physical therapy job that she hasn’t done before: home health. She is excited to learn fresh skills and expand her experience – she will be driving to patient’s locations and helping them at home, rather than working in a facility. We both feel really lucky to be heading to the Santa Rosa area – it looks incredible, and we’re excited to be stationed there for 4 months. We’ll be within easy driving distance of San Francisco, the Pacific ocean, and the Redwood Forests. The cost of living will be much higher than we were accustomed to in Alabama, but we’ll make it work.
It was incredibly challenging to find RV accommodations in the area, and what we have lined up isn’t even a guarantee at this point, but we’re fairly confident that we’ll make it work one way or another. It seems every RV park within an hour of Santa Rosa is pretty solidly booked, or is tailored specifically to wine-country tourists. We have our first two weeks covered, and hopefully everything will fall into place after that. With luck we will be at the same campground on the Russian River (north of Santa Rosa and near the small town of Cloverdale) the entire 4 months.
Traveling so often has at times been downright exhausting, and it’s a challenge to keep up on everything else in life with so much driving, so I am really looking forward to switching back to stationary life for a little while. If you have any recommendations for things to do or see while we’re in the area, please let us know. Until next time, please wish us luck and happy trails!