The last few months have been pretty routine, with a few notable exceptions. As I mentioned in my last post, we are currently in Sonoma County California, enjoying a relatively cheap lifestyle in swanky wine country. RV living continues to be comfortable and easy, and business at Kevin Udy Digital Marketing is going well (October was a record breaking month for me!). Honestly, life has settled into a routine where time is sometimes flying by faster than I appreciate, but everything is good.
A Job Extension for Carrie
Our original timeline was to stay here for ~4 months and then move on to one last job assignment for Carrie, but instead she has accepted a 2 month extension at her current assignment, keeping us here until the end of January. If we stay for the entire 6 months we will have been here longer than any of our other RVing destinations so far. This extension is great for a few reasons – first, Carrie can continue to earn good money without a gap. Second, I can continue to stay focused on my work. Last, we get more time to enjoy the mild California weather as winter settles in and we can continue to explore the area. We decided it would be best for her to take an extension if possible due to some recent changes in the physical therapy industry that seem to be causing a drought in travel job openings.
We won’t have time for her to do a final assignment before our planned return to Northern Colorado, but our tentative plan is to instead head south to the Arizona desert to finish out the winter (more on that in a bit). Carrie also negotiated the week of Thanksgiving off with her contract renewal, so that we can drive down to San Diego and spend the holiday at her aunt and uncle’s house – it will be nice to have a little bit of a break for the both of us, and I am excited to maybe try more San Diego tacos!
Visiting San Francisco
We did a day trip to San Francisco at the end of August and quickly decided that day trips aren’t ideal at this distance. We are just far enough from the city that it feels like you’re turning around to head home almost immediately after you arrive. Despite the rushed trip, we still had a good time and got a decent amount of sightseeing done by getting tickets to a hop on/hop off bus tour. We saw a lot of the city (albeit briefly), had a weird lunch in Chinatown, and had a windy ride over the Golden Gate Bridge in an open-top double-decker bus.
We have a 2nd visit to the city planned for next weekend to celebrate Carrie’s birthday, and this time we’re staying at a hotel for 2 nights. I am excited to get a little more embedded, and to not rush around as much. We plan to go out to a nice dinner, and tour Alcatraz Island. Given that we have a few more months before we’re slated to leave the area, we may have to plan a 3rd trip.
A few weeks ago our friends Adam and Adrianne, who also live and travel in their RV full time, came by to visit (check out their blog – Evolving Escapades). They recently left Washington headed toward Arizona for the winter, and we were lucky enough to see them as they made their way down the coast. They planned a stay at our campground, and we had ~1.5 weeks to hang out together before they continued their journey. It was fun to take turns making dinner for each other, and to have someone to visit with regularly. We hope to possibly meet up with them in Arizona in February, and spend our last month “on the road” hanging out with friends.
Power Outages and Wildfires
As you may have seen in the news, California is really struggling this year with wildfires. Due to dry conditions and lack of any meaningful rainfall, there is a high fire danger across much of the state. Due to the heightened fire danger, we’ve lost electricity a few times in the past month – most recently for 5 days in a row. The power shut-offs are considered a safety precaution when high winds are forecasted. Despite the power shut-offs, the recent Kincade fire was sparked just south of us, and destroyed a lot of buildings, homes, and businesses in the area. We are thankful that the fire didn’t spread toward our campground, and we didn’t have to evacuate, but it was a week of heightened anxiety and disruption to everyday life.
Living in an RV has some advantages in this environment – during power outages we still have functional lights, refrigerator, stove, oven, heat, and plumbing. We also have a great neighbor who let us plug into his generator for a few hours every day to keep our electronics and house batteries charged, basically keeping me in business. Because Carrie extended her contract, and we don’t want to mooch off of the neighbor in case of future power shut-offs, we finally bit the bullet this week and ordered a generator of our own. The gadget nerd in me is excited to have another RV toy to deploy when necessary, but we were hoping to avoid the expense. Luckily, it should also come in handy to have it when we head to Arizona – we may try some true boondocking for the first time!
The Kincade fire is getting under control and our power has been restored, but we will remain vigilant and ready to roll at a moment’s notice in case of any additional fires in the area. And as soon as the generator arrives we should be prepared for as many power shut offs as they want to throw at us before we leave.
Outside of the every day routine I find that more and more of my attention is being drawn to planning our arrival and re-integration into life at home. We have a lot of potential ideas and plans that differ from what we were thinking a year ago, and a lot of unknowns to sort through as we transition out of the RV next year. Look for another post in the next few weeks detailing all of my ruminations and concerns about that transition.