On Oct. 7th, 2015 we had just completed the first leg of our journey. We had made it all the way to Southern CA! 503 miles with 2 stops. One in Auburn, the other in Three Rivers to see the giant Sequoias. When we began we had 236 miles of trailer travel under our belts. We had camped a total of 2 times in our new Airstream! Are we crazy, are we completely nuts?
As we sat next to the Pacific Ocean in Manhattan Beach just about to celebrate or 26th wedding Anniversary with Molly & Bill and Joe & Jill, we were so naive. We were so green. We knew nothing about driving a trailer! We knew nothing about what it was going to be like living in 300 sq. ft. for the next year. We knew nothing about where we were going. We flat out didn’t know anything. If we didn’t think we were crazy, our friends and family sure thought we were.
On Feb. 10, 2016 we reached the Atlantic Ocean! 127 days since we sat next to the Pacific Ocean watching our last sunset, 134 days since we left the comfort of our home in Grass Valley, 5727 trailer miles now under our belts, over 10,000 miles on the road, and 901 gallons of gas later, here we are – camping next to the Atlantic Ocean. On March 6th, 152 days and 6240 miles more, we found mile marker 0 in Key West and the Southernmost Point in Continental USA – 90 miles from Cuba. We’ve come a long way baby!
What we’ve learned along the way.
Always run the water from the faucet before attaching it to the coach. You never know what will come out of the tap. Always put up the trailer stabilizers before trying to attach the hitch. Always take off the Blue Ox stabilizers before detaching the hitch. Always empty the toilet bowl and dog dish before traveling. Put the X-chocks in when parking in sand before detaching the hitch! We learned this one on our own when the trailer dropped about a foot as it settled into the sand. When Google tells you it will take you an hour and a half hour to get somewhere it will actually take you 2 in trailer time.
Myth, you can have glass! You don’t have to drink everything out of plastic or eat off of paper. Myth, you will eat out a lot so, don’t bring a lot of frivolous kitchen wares. I brought along a pressure cooker, food processor, and blender – and happy I did so. We eat out but we also still cook a lot. My guilty pleasure – Caleb makes us an espresso coffee every morning made in our Bialetti coffee pot with steamed milk from our Nepresso.
There’s still a ton of stuff we can do better and there’s still more to learn every single day, but I’m no longer a “flat lander”. That’s what we were called when we first moved Grass Valley. I don’t know what the equivalent is for traveling around the country in a trailer, maybe a nomad? All I know is – I live in an Airstream trailer, and I’m proud of it! I also don’t think our friends and family think we’re quite as crazy anymore.
What time is like on the road.
Instead of weeks or months, I tend to think of time in chunks of either 4 or 7 day increments. We either travel on Wednesday, Saturday or Sunday. If we’re enjoying ourselves we stay a little longer, if not we move on. I also look at a map now and see 200 mile stretches. Girls, it’s no longer “oh, it’s just this far (about a inch) on the map”! I do a lot of the driving so Caleb can read to us in the car and I don’t like to drive more then 4 hours so, I’ve gotten really good at figuring out where we want to be while staying within 200 miles or under 4 hours.
Favorite places so far.
Everyone asks, “What’s your favorite so far”. This is hard to answer. We have fewer dislikes then we have favorites. And my favorites are probably very different from Caleb’s favorites.
At the very top of my list is Utah. I love Utah. Well, almost everything about Utah – I don’t like their weird drinking laws. I love their National Parks. I love the colors of Utah. I love the geographical diversity and the hiking. Get yourself to Utah!
Living through the great flood of 2015 in Death Valley. Our magical night on the Polar Express. Christmas with our family in New Orleans. Gib Singleton’s sculptures – the Stations of the Cross. Finding my roots in New Braunfels, TX.
Listening to a Welte player theater organ. Watching Pippin run for hours on pure white sand dunes. Eating boudin. Lazily sitting next to the Mississippi River. Listening to great jazz, blues and country music. Walking along miles and miles of beaches. Reconnecting with friends and family. Eating more boudin. Discovering that my home is and always will be – California.