month three: these are a few of my favorite things

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McCall, Idaho, on the shore of Payette Lake.

McCall, Idaho, on the shore of Payette Lake.

We’ve been on the road for a little more than three months now, during which we’ve been to 17 different states and traveled more than 12,000 miles. Coast to coast, Portland to Portland, Newport to Newport. In honor of our first three months, here are my three favorite… Continue reading

from sea to shining sea

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We’ve been on the road for three months and have already traveled from sea to shining sea! We spent the morning exploring Acadia National Park, had lunch at Thurston’s Lobster Pound, visited the Bass Harbor Lighthouse, and enjoyed a tasting at the Atlantic Brewing Company with ribs from the Mainely Meat BBQ. I’ll write more about this magnificent day soon, but here’s a look at what we saw.

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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… Continue reading

campground review: White Star Campground at Twin Lakes, Colorado

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Whitestar Campground at Twin Lakes

White Star Campground at Twin Lakes

Why camp here? Tucked away in the San Isabel National Forest on the banks of the Twin Lakes Reservoir, the scenery alone makes it a destination in and of itself. Throw in the largest glacial lakes in Colorado, excellent fishing and proximity to Leadville, Buena Vista and Aspen via Independence Pass, and the better question is “why not camp here?” There are trails for hiking, biking and OHVs, boat tours to the historic Interlaken Resort, kayak and canoe rentals and the well-stocked Twin Lakes General Store. The Dayton Room at the Twin Lakes Inn is a real treat; call ahead for dinner reservations during July and August. Continue reading

i am NEVER going camping again!

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Camping at Taylor

Roughing it at Taylor Park Reservoir

Oh, the irony. Sixteen years ago this month, we embarked upon our first family camping trip. Much like the Griswolds, we were ready enjoy the open road with the kids. Our destination? Taylor Park Reservoir, a dirt-bike-riding mecca that friends and family members have been enjoying since the 60s. The same spot where I’m sitting right now, writing in our camper.

This took place in 1998, so the kids were 4 and almost 6. The perfect ages to get them started on the joys of camping in the mountains, right? That was the plan. We lived just north of Kansas City at that time, in Smithville, Missouri. Escaping the heat sounded pretty good. Continue reading

saying goodbye

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View from our Home

The view from our former home.

Leaving home is always tough, but leaving home and completely changing your lifestyle is a doozy. We’ve been full-timers for a little over a week now. I’ve been thinking about this post the whole time and believe I’m ready to write it without crying. If you don’t know this about me, I cry a lot. Television commercials make me cry, along with buying greeting cards and seeing anyone else cry. Don’t even get me started on weddings, babies and funerals. (Watch for upcoming blogs posts, “Things That Make Me Cry, Parts I, II and III.”)

Traveling around the country in the RV is a long-time dream of ours. It’s on the official bucket list. I am truly grateful that we have this opportunity while we’re this young. That being said, it’s still a lot of change. Change is good, right? Continue reading

campground review: Yampa River State Park

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Yampa River

The Yampa River near Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

Why camp here? We camped here because it was the closest we could get to Steamboat Springs on one of the busiest weekends of summer. Our daughter was playing in the Steamboat Doubles volleyball tournament, and the Steamboat Springs Hot Air Balloon Rodeo and Art in the Park were also going on.

Although this wasn’t our first choice since it’s 45 minutes west of town, the Yampa River State Park Headquarters Campground is a nice option. Our experience in Colorado State Parks has been very positive over the years, and that proved to be true for this campground as well. Lots of upsides, but a couple of downsides to point out as well: mosquitoes and a train that runs regularly right next to the park. We got used to the train pretty quickly, but the skeeters were an issue. Our site was located near some ponds, so the sites closer to the river might be a better option. Continue reading