the road’s end

3,000+ miles, eleven states and seven days later, we have arrived safe and sound. What an awesome trip – this country is freaking amazing! We saw a heard of buffalo, prong horns, cows [a lot of them], a dead coyote, two different types of sheep and a bunch of hawks. Such an epic experience.

After a lot of difficult, tear-filled goodbyes, we headed South. Our first top was Tennessee to visit family…I have some of the coolest family. They all live on a 187 acre farm, each in unique, self-made homes some from scratch or from moving old homes onto new foundations. They raise cows, goats and horses. The kitchen counters are scattered with fresh picked figs, almonds, walnuts, eggs, and farm raised meats. They are so generous and there’s never a dull moment. The day we arrived their water pump broke and there was a spaghetti pot with potable water for washing, brushing and flushing…for five people. Thankfully it was fixed by morning. My Uncle, who is also an ER doc, and cousin stayed up till 1 in the morning repairing the pump. These were the only two days my Uncle had off after a 36 hour hospital shift! Farm life. We left with a box of homemade zuchinni relish, garlic marinating with hot peppers [can’t open for 2 years], a hot pepper medley for fish tacos, kettle corn, and hummus. Score! From there we drove three hours west to Franklin, TN to visit very dear friends – we had the best time carving pumpkins, trying to update each other on the last seven months [in less than 24 hours], and the guys had a ball creating cocktails. I love them a lot.

After a delightful time in Franklin our real trip West began. We drove through Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana and ended in Idaho. We are SO tired, we both need to see a chiropractor, Lil Buddy is done with car rides for awhile, and adjusting to the three hour time change is proving difficult.  Still so pumped to be here. I hope to have my wits about me by Wednesday…thankfully it’s set to snow so I will only be able to relax.

I hope to have the pictures up soon!

so many details

The final preparations are falling into place. In less than two weeks we will be packing up and sending off our belongings. We are using UPack to ship what we didn’t sell or donate. They are a nationwide company offering rental trailers or relo-cubes. We opted for the cubes and crossing our fingers we only need two. It’s not the cheapest way to move but in the end it costs about the same as renting a truck and paying thousands in gas [rental trucks only get about 8 to 10MPG]. It also frees Mick and I up to enjoy the drive, taking in the beauty of our country and checking off a bucket list item.

Once we arrive in Idaho we will store our stuff temporarily until we figure out our long term housing [upack does door to door delivery, another bonus]. In the meantime we are renting an awesome barn house month to month. We cannot wait to settle in and have our own place and unpack our things. One of Mick’s many lovable traits, he is a minimalist. He doesn’t ever need anything [except food and gin – another reason to love him]; he is content with little. I have learned a lot from him re: minimalist living – I have a longer way to go but I look forward to enjoying the simpler things. I will probably take that all back the day I get to unpack my kitchen.

The cross-country drive is a whole other animal, literally. We will be traveling in style – GMC 3500, crew cab style – massive four door truck, quite different than my Prius. Mick may have to manage the gas pedal so I can see over the steering wheel. Our current route [weather permitting]: MD, VA, TN, KY, MO, KS, CO, WY, MT, & ID. I’m pretty pumped – I have not been to MO, KS, WY or MT and I can’t wait to see the different landscapes.
Another important piece to this drive is Lil’ Buddy and hotel stays. I found this helpful website – trips with pets – and they show you pet friendly lodging along the route. It seems that La Quinta Inns will be our best bet. Most, if not all, of their hotels are pet friendly up to 80 lbs and they have rather affordable rooms. Any suggestions re: places to stop along said route or tips for traveling with pets? Lil’ Buddy is a pretty good traveler but 6 days in the truck is a lot on pup.

Future deets to organize – healthy, homemade road trip snacks/meals. Save some pennies and some calories/sugar/grease overload.