It’s been a while since I’ve been behind the keyboard. A serious case blogger's block has taken hold of me. But I’m back and ready to write. So you may be wondering where have we been? What have we been doing? I decided to recap our adventures from the past few months. Let’s catch up.
We spent Thanksgiving, our first big holiday aboard Edna- in Durango, CO. Residing on a breathtaking horse ranch, surrounded by hundreds of acres of woods and open plains. With not only the all the beautiful horses and landscape, but also with an amazing group of people. Our friends, the Willyard family and their parents, quickly became family. Such kind hearted generous people who took us on an some wild adventures. Off roading, snow trekking, and walking downtown. Durango will always be a special place to us.
Tucson was our first boondocking experience on BLM land and definitely an adventure. The best part, it was this time almost exactly a year ago when we really decided to movie into a traveling lifestyle.
We met some friends that we would end up spending well over a month and a half with. Those few days out in the desert, no hook ups, was the beginning of a beautiful relationship with true freedom.
Tucson, AZ (part II)
As wonderful as our boondocking was, it was short lived. We had an appointment in Tucson to get Edna fixed from her accident back in Texas. Soon as we got to town, we had to say goodbye to our rig and move into a hotel room for a week.
It. Was. Brutal.
Yes the shower was nice, but the room was too big. All we wanted was to get back to our home. However, while Tony flew out for the week for work, the girls and I had some pretty great adventures. Going to Saguaro National Park West, help to feed the homeless, and we even went to a Christmas light festival. It definitely got our minds off of being homesick. Before we knew it, it was time to get back to Edna, and we didn't hesitate.
Saddle Mountain, AZ
Christmas time, and for us that meant back to the desert for more boondocking. We settled in near Saddle Mountain. Met some of our now best friends, warmed up around the fire pits at night exchanging laughs, sharing stories, and just enjoying the simplicity of the quiet night. Then came Christmas morning, which with two kids you can imagine how that goes. They sprang out of bed, with excitement and optimism in their eyes, as Tony and I sort of dragged ourselves out of bed. The sounds of shredding wrapping paper and the delicious smell of cinnamon rolls filled the air.
As we were just settling in to a quiet afternoon of a delicious dinner, we saw in the distance, black smoke billowing from something. Tony and our friend John jumped in the jeep and took off quickly realizing that it wasn't just something, it was an RV engulfed in flames. The Reeves family's RV. In a matter of a few short minutes, their home and everything in it was gone. Luckily however, they were safe. At that moment for us, everything changed.
Our group sprung into action, booking hotels, gathering supplies, and cooking food to bring to their room into to salvage their Christmas, even if it was just for a few hours. Just like that though, our time on Saddle Mountain was up and it was time to move on. What we gained from that experience on Christmas Day, was better than any lesson I could've taught our kids. Watching them selflessly jump in and donate their Christmas Day to helping out a family in need, without even hesitating, left me in tears of pride by the end of the night.
Tony and I weren't sure what to expect when we drove into Quartzsite. This was our first toe dip into the community of working class, like minded, RVer's called the Xscapers. A group we are now so proud and happy to be apart of. This was the New Years Eve meet up. A week convergence of making new lifetime friends and yes, even more hilarities around the fire. We rang in the new year and the kids had their own 8 o'clock celebration. Along with their "little sis" from Pullen on the Road, who taught them all about "Happy NuNu". (we love you Pullens). Before we knew it, we were onto our next adventure, but not alone.
Lake Havasu City, AZ
See, most people from the NYE Xscapers were on their way to the 2019 Annual Bash in beautiful Lake Havasu City, AZ. Over 200+ RV's packed into the local Rodeo Grounds, for a week long celebration of all things travel life. The kids made new friends and grew relationships with old friends. We danced, laughed, and networked with all our fellow traveling friends.
The best news, we actually got to know the amazing crew at Battle Born Batteries, and were able to leave with a new fabulous system for Edna. This news alone is a post all on its own. Stay tuned for that!
Saying goodbye though, was one of the hardest things we had to do. We had found travel family and separating was difficult. But as life goes in the traveling world, our hearts were full of love and our optimism that we would cross paths again made the pain of goodbyes a little less intense. It was onto California after all.
One word: DISNEYLAND! Back in Saddle Mountain, one of the girls' Christmas presents was a promised trip to Disneyland as Tony attended NAAM in Anaheim. Being huge Disney fans, and having never been - this trip was magical. The Dumbo ride, spinning teacups, and meeting the characters were just the surface of our festivities in a few days there. Not to mention every night we got to watch the fireworks from Disney, right from our front window thanks to Anaheim RV Park. Of course on our way out, we made a run to Hollywood. Drove down Hollywood and Sunset Blvd and even had dinner downtown.
San Jose, CA
The drive to San Jose left Tony and I stunned. It was beautiful and confusing. Confusing in that just a couple hours prior, we were stuck in bumper to bumper traffic in LA. But to emerge to a wooded wilderness of lush grass and pine was exactly what we needed.
You may have seen in one of our recent VLOGS our fail/win attempt to get to Sequoia National Park. There we stood in front of General Grant Sequoia tree, standing a 267 ft. tall and over 1600 year old, in complete awe. The smell of the trees with the crisp fresh air, was like a cure we didn't realize we needed.
Santa Cruz, CA
Before we headed out of California, we made a quick day trip to Santa Cruz to see the coast. For the girls and I, this was a first time experience seeing the Pacific Ocean. It didn't fail. There is something magical about the Pacific. Something enchanting lies in the water, something very unexplainable and slightly crazy sounding. But what I can say is... I get it. I get why people love it. We couldn't leave Santa Cruz without stopping at the Saturn Cafe. A fusion of delicious food and friendly people made for the perfect end to our adventure in California. It was time to head to the PNW.
Eureka, CA - Portland, OR
Which brings us to today. On our way out of California, we crossed the Golden Gate Bridge, which I then crossed off my bucket list. And we took the Coastal Byway to get to Portland and on our way to Washington. It was nothing short of breathtaking.
These four month feel like ages ago. That's the thing with travel. You have to enjoy every journey, every up and down. It's all about the experiences and the moments created solo and with the people you meet along the way. I take everyday I have with our amazing lifestyle with a grateful heart. We as a family, created an incredible life and are loving every millisecond of it!
Love you all
- XO the Hippie