The Adventure Begins – Step 1!

Quitting our jobs was the easy part. Packing a house and moving…not so easy.

There is a surprising amount of stress in sorting, packing, throwing away, and cleaning a house with years of accumulated stuff. So. Much. Junk. I don’t know how anyone could do everything to downsize and move while working. It was more than a full-time job! Tell me again why I have an entire set of mailbox numbers stashed in a basket? Why do we have 14 outdoor extension cords? Why do we have entire rolls of old developed film? Film! In any event, we suffered through a yard sale – if you ever wanted to know how to make hundreds of dollars, just start with thousands of dollars worth of things and have a yard sale – we took about 20 truck loads to the dump, and we took about 10 full truck loads to the Salvation Army, Goodwill and Families in Transition. We also spent bunch of time painting and fixing up the house to get it looking good to put on the market. We even added granite counter tops to the bathrooms and then wondered if maybe we should stay just to enjoy the new look!

Finally it was done. The  photographer came to take pictures for the listing and it was as clean as it was going to get, or has ever been while we lived there.

After all the purging and staging, the house didn’t feel like our home anymore. Even Sara was ready to leave. Obviously we could not stay because we would just make more of a mess so it was time to hit the road. The listing went active and we packed up the truck full to bursting (I hereby challenge anyone to a game of luggage tetris) and loaded the roof and had the bike rack and had the four of us in the extended cab. Sara even had to ride with a box on her lap to Burlington where we were dropping off some more things. It was a tight fit!

Our route to Oregon was across Canada, down into the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and across I-90 to Spokane, WA before dropping down to Oregon. We just missed sunset at Painted Rocks National Seashore in the UP on Lake Superior, but we still saw the beautiful shoreline. Tanzi was on the lookout for Yoopers, but I don’t think she knew what to look for.

In South Dakota we took a more scenic day – visiting the Badlands NP, Mt. Rushmore, and racing to catch sunset at Devil’s Tower in eastern Wyoming. In the Badlands it was rainy, cold, and windy, but still beautiful in an other-worldly terrain.

Mt. Rushmore was fun and the blue sky came out just as we were leaving so we dashed back to get a few more pictures.

Finally we headed through the Black Hills and Deadwood, SD to eastern Wyoming. We got to Devil’s Tower about 20 minutes before sunset and it was a beautiful evening.

On our final day we made the 789 miles from Billings, MT to La Grande, OR. Trip total was 5 days and 3300 miles. Now it’s time to start the real adventure!

We made great friends in New Hampshire and although we are ready for a new chapter, we will miss all of you. Thank you for being there to support us, challenge us, hang out with us, and make us laugh. As J.R.R. Tolkien wrote, “Not all those who wander are lost.” We expect our friendships to continue and look forward to seeing you all in the future. You are always welcome to come west to visit us in the van (as long as you stay someplace with a shower we can use)!



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *