We Made It!

We were starting to think that perhaps we should take up residency in Wyoming. After we finally made it out of Gillette, we did not make it very far at all before we had to stop again, this time for blowing snow and ice. We decided that a night in Wheatland was in order, and hoped that by morning, the wind would stop and the interstate would be a little less treacherous. No such luck. As a matter of fact, the interstate became so bad that they closed it from Wheatland, down to Cheyenne.

Once the interstate was reopened, we decided to stay put until about 11am, giving the sun as much time as possible to help clear the roads. Still, the road to Cheyenne was very slow going. Eventually, though, we made it, and from there, the roads were clear through Colorado. I cannot tell you how happy we were about that! We made it down to Pueblo, CO before we stopped for the night.

We had planned on taking the highway once we hit New Mexico, but decided to stick to the interstate instead. We had had our fill of ice covered roads, and were hoping to avoid running into any more. We hit more snow just before Trinidad, CO, but it did not last for too long, and then it was smooth sailing on dry roads.

It took us a little longer than planned to make the trip down, but we made it in one piece, and that is what really counts. We arrived in New Mexico on February 5th, which also happened to be Remington P. Cat’s 18th birthday. Since then, we have enjoyed nothing but beautiful sunshine and blue skies.

I am amazed every time I look out the window because it is so incredibly beautiful. It feels so good to be here. So good to be… home.

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Hello, Wyoming!

Our drive started out great yesterday. By late morning, we were on the road, which is what we had hoped for. The roads were all dry with little traffic. Everything went smoothly until about 30 miles or so outside of Gillette, where we ran into blowing snow and icy roads. It took us almost an hour to finish up that last bit of the trip. We were really happy to get off the road for the night!

This morning it was still snowing. Schools were all delayed, there was black ice in all directions, and no travel to the south. Sooooo, we are going to hang out in Gillette for the day! We are not in a big hurry, and do not mind staying put, especially if the alternative is ice and snow!

The speed sign on the freeway made me laugh. I do not think Waldo could go 80mph even if he wanted to! Pretty sure there was no chance of us speeding through that area. 🙂 Ah, but those dry roads sure were nice!

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Gotta love Montana!

Next Stop…

After what has felt like months of pacing and wondering, the wait is finally over! Rob has been selected for a permanent position in the mountains of northern New Mexico!

We have done extensive research on the area and there are countless outdoor activities that everyone will enjoy. With everything from hunting and fishing to hiking and horseback riding, there is definitely something for everyone. Not to mention all the National Parks in the area and the opportunity to explore more states.

Since Rob will be the on-call guy for emergency response and snow removal, occupancy is required, meaning we will be moving out of Waldo and into a house. Everyone is really excited about this. When we moved into Waldo over four years ago, the kids were all pretty small, so we had a lot of room. Now, we are slowly running out of space, and everyone is looking forward to having a little more elbow room.

Perhaps what we are most excited about are the schools. They are all top rated, with every sport and activity the kids could imagine. The teacher to student ratio is impressively low and they seem to put a lot of effort into their special education program. All of these things will only benefit the kids as they continue their education.

With the kids getting older, we all agree that we need to stay in one place for the rest of their school years. So we are moving not with a traveler’s mentality, but with that of a resident. New Mexico will be our new home. We will set up shop, we will become part of the community.

Rob is scheduled to start in early February, so we will be leaving North Dakota at the end of January. I have a little over a month to get things cleaned out and organized. Almost everything in Waldo needs to join our storage unit in Great Falls for easier moving. Even though we will no longer be living in Waldo, he will still make the trip with us. We will find a nice place to park him and we plan to take him along on road trips around New Mexico and the surrounding area.

This is a really big move for us. When we began the full-time RV lifestyle over four years ago, we had no idea how long it would last. Our plan was to travel until someone decided they no longer wanted to do so. Now here we are, thousands of miles and almost two dozen states later, and our RV life is coming to an end. One never knows what the future might bring, but we are all really excited about this move. I cannot help but think that everything happens for a reason, and we are on our way to where we are meant to be.

Pleasantly Surprised

My parents came for a visit not long after we arrived in North Dakota. We spent a few wonderful days exploring the area and I found that it is really much different than I had originally imagined. There is much more texture to the landscape than I expected, and the river valley is quite beautiful. Yes, it is relatively flat, and no, there are not many trees, and yes, there are oil fields dotting the landscape, but there is so much more than that. I was pleasantly surprised at how beautiful the area is, and there is still so much more to see. I had forgotten just how big the sky is in this part of the country, but perhaps most of all, I am simply loving being back in an area with wide open spaces.

Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. ~Khalil Gibran

We Made It!

All right, enough slacking on my part. We left Hopewell Furnace a month ago today and so much has happened since then that it is about time I begin filling you in. So where do I start? Well, I guess it is best to just start from the beginning…

We had a great drive from Pennsylvania to North Dakota. We had originally planned on just driving straight through, but later decided that we would take our time, stopping and enjoying places along the way. One of our favorite places was Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. As a matter of fact, we liked it there so much that we stayed for five days. The kids spent their days building sand castles and swimming in Lake Michigan, and we relaxed in the evenings with a roaring campfire, spooky stories and enough marshmallows to sink a small ship.

Another highlight was being able to visit with my cousin, whom I had not seen since 1992. The kids had a blast playing with her daughter and it was great to just be able to catch up after so many years. We enjoyed a wonderful meal and great conversation. My only hope is that it does not take another 20+ years to do it again.

As an added bonus, we were able to add several new states to our map. We cheered as we entered Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and last but not least, North Dakota. (Sorry Wisconsin! We will fill you in as soon as we can!) Almost two weeks and 2,000 miles after leaving Pennsylvania, we arrived safely in North Dakota.

We pulled onto our RV pad and settled ourselves in. We arrived two weeks before Rob was scheduled to start work, so we had some time to explore and get familiar with the area. That brings me to the next part of our story, but that will have to wait until next time…