Saturday, October 27, 2018

Life changes and New adventures!

A blessing in disguise!
 The last year and a half has been a little too interesting at my second home -work! After an ownership change and now having my position eliminated I find myself looking at new options. I wasn't completely surprised but I still never imagined it would really happen! It is a hard way to leave a 31 year career! So after a few weeks of getting over being mad about the situation I am looking forward to options and most likely my own business and a more open schedule:-)
I think this is my dad and mom's doing(they are watching over us from above, Dad retired/left his 35yr career  at the same age) even though I am not retiring. Just moving on to a better option!
Time for the important things in life!

Family, travels and new adventures!

Four days after I was let go we had a scheduled trip to Minnesota's north shore of lake superior. 
we had a fantastic trip as far as the weather goes. We had just finished polishing and tuning up the Airstream, Nellie looked great. 
We spent two nights in Duluth, MN.

I purchased Nellie 10 years ago for $700, the Prevost diesel pusher in 2003 was $2,500,000
1954 26' Airstream 4500 pounds, 45' Prevost 45,000 pounds
What will the Prevost look like after 64 years????
 I think we will keep the Airstream!
We love camping here and watching the ships come off the lake!

Then we moved up the shore to Grand Marais, Mn. we love this town. The campground gets a little busy sometimes but with it being on the edge of town it's in a perfect location for great walks into town!
Sweethearts bluff above the campground.
 First stop in town is always the donut shop!

 Had a little carving time!

The campground has about 20 sites in the first row by the lake that are non-reservable 
so we always check for openings when we get there and we ended up in one of the best sites we could have asked for!

Also as another surprise and a first for us, there was a plein air artist painting event going on in town with over 100 artist painting scenes around town. Nellie our 1954 vintage airstream was painted four times. It was a lot of fun to visit with the artists and watch them create!
Mary, artist #1

We were not going to purchase any paintings but a close friend surprised us with Mary's painting, now she will travel with us!

Stephen Artist #2

Night-time painting by Stephen
Artist #3

As well as everything was going on this trip we were a bit on edge with our new life change and not sleeping well so after 7 nights we decided the best place to be was home.

It was a very interesting trip regarding the people that we met. People kept asking us how long we had been living in our airstream and how comfortable it was. We talked to more people and gave more tours then we ever have. There was definitely some new energy around us!

Now with grandchild number five coming any day and a new business with a more flexible schedule we are looking at brighter days ahead! 

After regrouping and settling into this new life a bit, Guess where we went next??

Stay tuned, the new adventures will be great!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Utah 2018

May 2nd we left to go adventuring through Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and South Dakota, 3800 miles, 24 nights and one new starter in the truck. Lot's of good miles and lot's of challenging miles. 
We avoided a couple close calls with other cars in the congested cities and we managed to stay on the road around all those hairpin white knuckle curvy mountain roads!
It's probably worth driving an hour out of the way if it means avoiding driving the truck and trailer through a busy city.

People worry about being safe traveling but most things that could happen on the road could also happen at home, the key is just being aware of your surroundings.  Slow and easy and leave plenty of space, I'm always working on this!  If something or someplace doesn't seem right just move on, that's why we're on wheels.
We met many people on the road and it is always fun to learn about their travels and adventures!

One couple we met at a rest area in Kansas were coming back from a two week honeymoon. It was the first time camping for the bride-the groom had been camping all his life,
we think they were in their early 80's and had almost a 100 grandkids between them:-) Very nice that they could find new companionship with each other and keep enjoying life!

It ended up that we didn't have as many free camping nights as we thought we would but it was hotter then we normally like so we wanted to stay in sites with power.
We did only stay in 2 private campgrounds and they were both expensive and disappointing but better then driving any farther.
Still learning, I learned that until we travel on a more extended open ended and budget conscious schedule we don't need to bring a generator.
Also don't need to bring much firewood,maybe just enough for a couple fires but I really hate buying firewood but I hate that I had wood left over also. So I hauled it 
3800 miles just for fun.  Bring less stuff that is the key! 
I do need to bring more carving things and spend more time sitting outside carving-widdling on something.

I did worry about my job a little to much in the first half of this trip but by the end of the trip
I was comfortable with knowing that we will be fine no matter what happens at work.
Work is not what should give someone peace and comfort, it seams to give me the opposite?
Jobs can come or go with the stroke of someone else's pen, so it is 
better to keep a good home life, so if work changes it won't change home, that's a very comforting thought for me and that was the best part of this trip.  
Stay away from debt,  keep simplifying home and travel life, 
 enjoy family and collect fun useful stuff-it leads to creativity and grandkids like exploring through stuff!!!
We met many interesting people including a couple in southern Minnesota who let us camp in their driveway overnight and use their hot tub, Best free camping spot in Mn.
Pretty nice camp hosts for our first night! Thanks brother Bob and Clare!

Streeter park campground, Aurora,Ne Free camping with water,elec and dump station.
Aurora, Ne. town square- nice walk from the campground!
Free camping in Kansas wildlife area.
There was so much life in this back water pond! So cool to watch and listen! Ducks, geese, Deer, owls, muskrats, fish, frogs and I'm not sure what else but it sounded like natures orchestra was there!
WE found lots of this kind of travel in Kansas:-)
This was our first time to Great Sand Dunes Nat. Park
We only got a few hours here but it would be fun to spend a couple days, the grandkids would love the endless sand box and river!

The Black Canyon National Park-complete with jaw dropping views!

We didn't know this National park existed, another one to get back too!

Another cliff with a great view!
The city if Ouray,Co.A very nice little mountain town with some pretty hikes, the 8,000' elevation was hard on us though! We stayed 2 nights and even got to go to a free movie at the town opera house!
Time to test the brakes, Ouray to Durango, there are 21- 15mph curves with steep grades and a 
strait down cliff at the white line!! I hear it is a beautiful drive if one could take their eyes off the road!
On to Mesa Verde National Park

What an incredible place and way to live! Can't imagine what they would think of us and how we live???
Jan was not looking forward to crawling through the entrance to this cliff house! It was 14" wide and 28" tall and 12 feet long. They think it was built this way for defense if needed!

We found a few nice hikes around Mesa Verde!
I even got Jan out on the edge! Well maybe not too close to the edge, good picture anyway!
I found a few nice cliffs for photos, people ask how I can be so close to the edge? I think it's good to live on the edge! Besides most of these pictures are created more by the angle of the picture then really sitting on the edge:-)

Found a nice photo opp in a wayside just south of Moab, also got to visit with a couple traveling in a 60's Travco motor home-more stories were exchanged!
Climbed the cliff to get above our campsite in Moab. Nice early morning views!

At 3 and 5 Nora and Helen are already great hikers!
With son in law Isaac along we are ready to survive anything!
Found a nice hike with a nice pool for the girls and dogs to play in 
Nice to meet up with Isaac and Ellie and the girls, got in some great hikes and celebrated a 5yr old's birthday. Nora had a great time sharing birthday brownies with everyone she came across!
I love there rooftop tent, it's like a portable treehouse!
Our birthday girl Nora, quite the adventurer!

It was so hot in Moab we left a day early and headed to Northeastern Utah, we went from 90 degrees to 70 degrees, a very welcome change

Had to stop on the road and say hello to this guy, I thought it was a bull snake but my sister thinks it is a king snake?
New hikes!

 We walked for many hours on various trails and along the shoreline of the lake but found no dinosaur tracks but had a very nice walk! We did find a rabbits foot, lucky for us, not so lucky for the rabbit!

Jake and Henrietta  got a nice swim at the lake anyway!
 Jan and I saw some more great country!

 Dam that's a big Dam! What did the fish say when it ran into the wall??? DAM!
 Back to Thermopolis, Wy. we love sitting in these hot pools after a long drive!
Two days before this we were in hot 90 degree heat, when we arrived here it was 50 degrees and raining, perfect for sitting in hot steaming water!
 This is our 3rd time to Thermopolis, always fun to keep exploring! We saw other people on top of this big hill and found the trail, fun and steep hike with great views of the town and countryside!
 We met and chatted with with a young man from California who was getting his intern time in at the hospital. Everyone has a different journey! Below is the hill we climbed.

 Jan almost got eaten by a Grizzly!!!
 We found a horse auction going on in town. Very interesting to watch the horses and people!
This horse sold for $32,000 and the saddle below for $12,000. There were people from all over, Alberta Canada to Georgia to California!

Arrived at Game lodge Campground in Custer State Park, another favorite spot!
Camping right on the creek!

I think Custer State Park has some of our favorite hikes!

 A little tired from hiking, they sure love it though!
Burning memories, too much stuff taking up space and fun to go through it again! Nice to declutter!
We don't need our kids reading our love letters anyway!

We decided not to take the leap off Lovers Leap this time, great views from the top above Game Lodge hotel in Custer.

Had to take a little tour of the Badlands, it's a beautiful area and a nice place to stay when the weather is right!
Lake Cheek State Park-Mn.
Last stop of this adventure and a nice visit with Brad and Jennifer!
This is last years picture but they are still smiling!

Back home, also one of our favorite camping spots!So hard to pick just a couple pictures out of hundreds, so many great places! I think we have more to explore! Hopefully my partner
will keep exploring with me!

This was a big trip and a long post, I think I like it this way instead of breaking
it up into multiple entries?

Where to explore next, so many options! We love reading of other peoples adventures!

Keep streaming!