Monday, September 5, 2016
Thoughts on our Adventure and Life on the Road
Our trip exceeded our expectations in every way. It truly was a trip of a lifetime, and I'm so grateful that we were able to do it at this time and with our children. This country is magnificent in so many ways and I feel blessed to have seen so much of it. I think that we all have been changed by the things that we've seen, the education we received and the time we spent together.
I've had a lot of questions about our trip so I thought I'd try to answer some of them...
Did you get tired of each other?
No, believe it or not. Of course, everyone had their moments but in general we got along splendidly. In fact, Bryce and I think that it was one of the best things we could have done for the children and their relationship. The inside jokes, the shared experiences, the laughter and the ways that we got to know each other is something I will always treasure.
Did the Airstream start to feel small?
The Airstream was perfect for us and felt like home. Also, we had wide open spaces outside our doors so we were really only in the Airstream in the evenings and mornings. We all slept really, really well. It also helped that we had air conditioning, a bathroom and a kitchen. We weren't exactly roughing it!
Did you wing it or schedule the trip?
We had the vast majority of our campgrounds scheduled by February. The unfortunate truth is that the National Parks and many State Parks fill up really quickly. These are always our preferred places to stay for both aesthetics and financial reasons (commercial campgrounds get pricy!).
How did grocery shopping and laundry go?
This was something I was really concerned about before the trip but it turned out to be fine. I scheduled us at a commercial campground enough that we could do laundry about every fourth or fifth day. We were also pleasantly surprised to find a few parks that had laundry facilities.
Grocery shopping was a bit of a chore but we cooked very simply, lots of dutch oven cooking and grilling, so we didn't have to worry about exotic ingredients or lots of time in the store. We did get incredibly tired of sandwiches for lunch though!
Did you eat out a lot?
The vast majority of our meals were in the Airstream, but we did try to eat at local restaurants when we could.
What was the biggest problem?
By far the hardest part of the trip was keeping up with regular life. Bills still had to be paid, emails needed to get answered, the house needed to be kept up with, etc. We often had terrible wifi so that made it all the harder. We were super lucky in that family helped with mail and bills (my sister would snap a picture of the bill and send it to us) and they, along with friends, kept an eye on the house. It took a village!
Also, there was a time that we had to stop for an oil change in Washington and the boys had to get a hair cut in North Dakota. Obviously, these weren't things that we could schedule ahead of time so we had to be a little flexible.
Are you teachers? How did you get the time off?
Bryce had the opportunity in May to leave his job- so he did.
Towards the end of the trip, we had an experience that has stuck with me. We were in Craters of the Moon and we met a gentleman and his family who were traveling from New York State. As we spoke to him he said, "I just love it out here, don't you? It just makes me what to move here." It felt so good to realize that I don't. I love where we live and while I appreciate, and love, the beauty, vastness and the wildness of the places we visited, it felt good to come home.