Roughing it

Adventure has been our theme the last year or more, so, we decided to take it to another level. This weekend we went camping about 90 miles North. I thought we would be on a lake but we were actually on the Priest River – which is only 10 miles from Priest Lake in Coolin, ID. The adventure began for me when Mick came home and announced he had agreed that we’d go camping with a guy from his work, which to me translated as – strangers. (I had an opportunity to meet two of the seven prior to Friday, but still, does he know me at all?!) Although both Mick and I enjoy camping/the outdoors/roughing it – it’s not something we have actually done together. When we began our original moving adventure, we sold a lot of our belongings and/or gave them away – this included Mick’s 15-20 year old camping gear. We had about three weeks to figure out what we would need, where to buy it and how to fit it in the Subaru. Thankfully we were loaned a tent and a cooler and the rest we scraped up via Amazon and our local outfitter store.

ASIDE: The BEST purchase was our MSR Pocket Rocket stove – it is the coolest thing and literally pocket sized. It was bought all in the name of coffee – boils water in 3 minutes or less – sweet! Having that little guy enabled us to bring our kettle and chemex and enjoy some hot organic coffee. Our upmost amenity. It somehow tasted better out there – it could have been the lack of civilization/bathrooms/running water – whatever, it was heaven each morning firing that thing up.

Anyways – We camped in the national forest – off a 2-3 mile dirt road that went up and then down a mountain to a river bank. There were no bathrooms, running water, organized sites – you make it your own and leave it better than you found it. Digging a hole to use the bathroom was a new experience for me, but I managed just fine. It’s a site only known to locals and boy did we get a taste of local flavor. I think the neighboring site – which was about 200 yards away – probably shot about $1,000 in ammo into the water – just cuz. It was not only obnoxious but a ridiculous waste of money. We were privy to a stellar domestic dispute at 3 Am – you mother effer, you just effing told me you are going over to the next campsite to eff some skank whore *kicking his car* if that’s your plan you better get me off this GD Effing mountain right now – I can’t respect that! I’m going to DO someone in our group, what do you think about that you piece of S – and I bought that effing booze you piece of  S?!

It made for great breakfast conversation. This was all to the back drop of gangster rap on one end and terrible country on the other. Good times.

All in all – it was really awesome and breath taking. Some photos –

The drive in

the drive in

our camp site view

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Mick

short & sweet update

I believe we are finally settling in. Not only did we survive seven days in the truck but we also survived two time changes. We are thirty miles over the MST timezone and into the PST timezone. We had one day to adjust to the three hour time difference before “falling back” another hour. We felt the toll on our bodies but weren’t expecting to have happy hour in the dark. With the snow clouds and the time change, the sun set by 4:30 – this will take some getting used to.

Today our cubes arrive – we will try to unpack them tonight and have the empties picked up tomorrow morning. I am looking forward to having all these frayed ends tied off. I also look forward to functioning somewhere outside survival mode and exploring this new life. Buddy is adjusting well – it doesn’t hurt that we have three neighbor deer for him to disrupt and about two acres for him to explore. He currently is laying in front of the wood stove muttering curse words that it’s not on. Spoilt. Mick starts his new job today – basically the HR side of it. He’s probably the best dressed carpenter to ever fill out paperwork. These one sentence updates are fairly boring but I’m all about facts at this point.
We cannot verbalize our thankfulness to family and friends for housing us, feeding us, and entertaining us during this transition. We are so blessed and cannot imagine ever repaying the generosity and hospitality we were  shown over the last three plus months. We are overwhelmed when we stop to think on the kindness and selflessness of so many. We are working on proper thank you’s but our brains are so full with moving logistics, they will come. Promise.
:: Some iPhone photos from the drive ::
[our beautiful country, me & bud, our new place]
photo 4 photo 3 Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset me & bud photo 5

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.