month 2: getting the hang of it

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State map

We’ve visited seven states in our first two months on the road.

Wow, our second month on the road flew by! We covered a lot of ground, visited some wonderful places, learned some things and spent time with family. Seems like we’re getting the hang of this full-timing gig.

Here are the facts and figures, the highs and the lows, and some random fun stuff from our first two months on the road. We’ve…

  • Been in seven states: Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, California, Oregon and Idaho.
  • Camped in 14 places: Steamboat Springs, Twin Lakes, Taylor Park, Rifle and Golden, Colo.; Laramie, Wyo.; Wendover and Reno, Nev.; Medford, Charleston and Albany, Ore.; Caldwell, Idaho; and Garden City and Salt Lake City, Utah.
  • Driven more than 6,500 miles since leaving home.
  • Camped at 9,300 feet above sea level and at sea level.
  • Experienced temperatures as low as 28 and as high as 101.
  • Been on the tops of mountains, in the desert, on a volcano, beside a glacial lake, next to a rushing river and on the beach of the Pacific Ocean.
  • Been to jail – the Wyoming Territorial Prison in Laramie, that is.
  • Camped in the middle of the national forest, in state parks, on the beach, in a gravel lot and in some awfully nice RV parks.
  • Seen moose(n), whales, seals, deer, elk, bald eagles, coyotes, marmots, chipmunks and a pelican, which I did not expect to see in Idaho.
  • Toured lighthouses, museums, an art exhibit at a botanical garden, historic districts and wineries.
  • Tasted local fruit, seafood, vegetables, wines, beers, ciders, mead, cheeses, butter and chocolates.
  • Visited with one uncle, one aunt, one son, one daughter, one brother, one father, one sister-in-law, one niece, one nephew, two cousins and three cousins once removed.
Idaho wine country

Idaho wine country

Some things that we’ve learned:

If Scott knows something, there’s no need for me to remember it. Like whether it’s cousin once removed or second cousin.

Idaho has a wine country. I did not know this. We chose Caldwell as a destination because it was on our way and the RV park looked nice. It turned out to be a wonderful visit.

We brought too much stuff. Downsizing and packing up the house in 40 days was tough, and it’s all kind of a blur. Some things were included because I couldn’t imagine not having them, like the crockpot and immersion blender. I’m sure I’ll use them as we head into fall. I’m starting to crave stew and chili just thinking about it. I brought too many shoes, coats and jackets. We haven’t tossed around the football yet, either.

Chihuly Exhibit at the Denver Botanic Garden

Chihuly Exhibit at the Denver Botanic Garden

Make a lot when you cook. That’s always been my philosophy, but even more so in the RV since I’m not overly fond of washing dishes. I brined four large chicken breasts and Scott grilled them. We split one for dinner, cut the rest in half and froze them. Three more chicken dinners ready in a snap. Same goes for browning ground beef and making soups, when I finally put that crockpot to use.

I can work just about anywhere. I’m writing this in the truck as we head to Utah on our way back to Colorado. I’ve worked in laundromats, libraries, coffee shops, restaurants and RV park game rooms.

My office in the RV is quite comfy, and it’s easy to be productive there. The table is large enough for my laptop stand, second monitor, lamp, keyboard and trusty Franklin Planner. Yes, I still use an actual calendar. Going strong since 1987.

My office on the road

My office on the road

You should make sure you have Skype downloaded before you try to use it to talk with your kids. We couldn’t see them while we were trying to figure it out, but I’m sure there was a lot of eye rolling going on at the other end. Probably some snickering, too.

Most importantly, I learned that you should never travel with a brand new jar of salsa on the top shelf of the fridge without securely tightening the lid. This shall henceforth be known as the Salsa Fiasco of 2014.

Month three will be another busy one as we stop in Colorado for some meetings, Wyoming for our son’s graduation and Missouri to visit family and attend my brother’s wedding. We’ll wrap it up enjoying lobster and the fall colors in Maine. I guess it’s time to start practicing my accent. Bah Habah. I hear it’s wicked pretty.

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for more Tales From the Empty Nest.

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