From Bakersfield we had to cross the Tehachapi Mountains to get to the Mojave Desert and on to Needles, California. The first hour of the drive was beautiful with lots of climbing. Once we made it to the Mojave it was well, lots of desert. I took my first couch nap on this portion of the drive. I’m not sure it’s legal to sleep on the couch while the vehicle is in motion, after all, I wasn’t wearing a seatbelt, but it was nice to be able to stretch out.
Our spot for the next two nights, right on the Colorado River before Lake Havasu. Pirates Cove is a resort that was built for off-road enthusiasts (and people who like boats and tropical beverages). Each RV spot is located on a beach on the edge of the river. Most of the coves have 3-4 RV spots each. There were three RVs parked at our cove when we arrived, a truck camper that left that evening and two RVs full of kids and their parents enjoying spring break. We think this would be a great place for a gathering. Maybe friends, maybe family, maybe both, maybe other Jeepers? We could take over a whole cove!
This place has just about everything. You can bring in your own RV. You can bring in a tent. You can rent one of their cabins. You can even rent a trailer from them and they will bring it to your spot. They also have a restaurant, souvenir (and beer) shop, and rent out boats and jet skis!
Continue reading “Jeepin’ at Pirates Cove”
We saw a lovely sunrise as we left Folsom lake bound for Bakersfield, California. Like many of our stops on our trip down to Texas, Bakersfield was going to be a quick overnighter. We picked a well-reviewed park on the way out of town that had access to wifi and laundry. Priorities.
The park was called “A Country RV Park” and it lived up to its reviews. It was an exceptionally neat and tidy park with everything you would need for a stop over to clean up and replenish. Unfortuntatly, there isn’t much to do nearby. This park is probably the crowning jewel of Bakersfield. But all we really needed was to wash the graveyard of bugs off our windshield, do some laundry, and dry out. Mostly dry out. It seemed like everything we owned was full of water and we were ecstatic that it had finally stopped raining. When we got to Bakersfield we opened up every single exterior cabinet, pulled out all of our lawn chairs and carpets, and let everything take a moment to air out.
Continue reading “Bakersfield, California “
From Ashland we drove five hours south to Sacramento, California. We knew we were in the Bay area when the interstate turned into a seven lane artery of commuter traffic. We were planning to spend the weekend at the Folsom Lake State Recreational Area (SRA). The drive south had been brutal. It rained the entire time and we fought high winds the whole way. The RV acts like a sail in high winds and we get pushed all over the road. Brandon had to drive in the right lane so that we wouldn’t hit anyone if we got pushed by the wind coming over the port bow. The wind also knocked down the LED awning light strip we attached to the side of the RV and the rubber vanity cover that goes around our cabin door. The Weather Channel has been calling all of this rain on the west coast the “Western Deluge”. We had fun with the name for a few days but we are so over it at this point. We’ve spent the last four years dealing with the Pacific Northwest rains and all we want is to dry out and warm up a but. But the rain is just following us south. Continue reading “Soggy Days at Folsom Lake SRA “
Your regularly scheduled blog post by Jenny has been hijacked by the cunning male operator of all these wonderful machines… Thats right, I Brandon will try to follow in Jenny’s blogging footsteps and try a post or two. Now, you’ve all been swooned by her elegant sentence structure and style, and by damn she’s good. Well this will not be your normal night of theatre… So for now you’re stuck with me! It’s time to talk about a man and his Jeep. Continue reading “Get Your Jeep Off The Street!”
We have spent some time talking about the route we intend to take on our journey around the United States, but the only concrete decision we have made is that when we leave Texas we plan to turn right, heading East toward Florida. On our way to Florida we will tour the Southern states and eventually head North and drive up the East coast. I imagine many of our route decisions will be based on weather patterns and the seasons. When your home is mobile there is no reason to suffer through terrible weather when you can just drive somewhere nicer! We plan to keep an open mind and let our route develop as we go. One of the most beautiful things about this type of trip is not having a plan. We will have the freedom to stay somewhere as long as we would like and leave when we are ready. We also aren’t required to follow a direct path. We can backtrack and zigzag, or drive across half the country and back again in a month if we really want to. Brandon actually predicts that I am going to break down somewhere along the way and demand that we make a pit stop back in Texas because I miss our dog and cats. He’s probably right. I love them dearly and will miss them terribly. Luckily, I am going on this journey with an amazing man who says that he is happy to drive me home to see them, not matter where we happen to be. Awwww : )
Although we are keeping our route very flexible, we are trying to get some good ideas about great destinations along the way. We have come up with an initial list of places and things we would like to do, but would love your suggestions!
Please help us add to our list with a suggestion in the comments below.
- New Orleans
- Lake Havasu, Arizona
- Key West
- Washington D.C.
- The Grand Canyon
- Yellow Stone National Park
- Natural Bridges National Park
- Myrtle Beach, North Carolina
- Lake Powell, Utah
- Zion National Park
- The Kentucky Derby! (Yes, I would wear a ridiculous hat.)
- Mammoth Cave
- Quebec, Canada
- New York City
- Savannah, Georgia
- Harry Potter World!
- Las Vegas
- The Bahamas (Yes, we know we can’t drive there.)
- Somewhere cool to take our ASA 104 sailing class
- Victoria, British Columbia
- The San Juan Islands, Washington
- San Francisco
- Burning Man
- The Great Lakes
- Baja, Mexico
- Somewhere with great off-road trails for the Jeep
- Your Suggestion Here!
Even though our journey doesn’t officially begin until after the wedding in April, I suppose today is day one on the Alpha 1. As of today we officially live in an RV. Better yet, we actully left the dock. Sailors that live on their boats, cruising the islands (or the world), joke about wannabe cruisers that never actually take off to go see the world like they planned. They just never manage to leave the dock. There is always something else that needs to be fixed before you are really ready. You can always save up more money. And sometimes life just gets in the way. Plans to run away in an RV can go ary in the same way. You buy the rig, work on it every weekend, but never actually leave. We’ve even met some of those people. This is actually one of the reasons that I started this blog a full year before we planned to leave. I wanted us to be held accountable so we didn’t lose the dream. Long story short, I am so thrilled that we made the jump and left the dock. Continue reading “Portland to Ashland: Land of the Free-Range Hippies”
Oregon has been very good to us. This was where Brandon and I owned our first home, the first place we lived together without roommates. This is where I went to law school, got my degree, and had my first professional-type job. I suppose this is where I started to feel like a “real” adult. This is where Brandon and I discovered RVs, and Jeeps, and grew to love state parks. This is where we were when we decided to go on this crazy adventure. This is where we were when we decided to get married.
We’ve grown a lot and learned a lot while living here and we’re genuinely going to miss it. But we’ll be back. Oregon is a beautiful state. I can’t think of anywhere else where you can just randomly stumble across a waterfall because there are so many of them that they aren’t all marked. The Mexican food may be terrible but the wine is lovely. The nine months of rain are almost as bad as people say they are but summer is perfect. Flowers bloom and the farmers markets are packed with fresh veggies because everything grows here so well. But I miss the Texas heat, and swimming holes, and we both miss breakfast tacos. Seriously, every time we look around at how beautiful and green it is here and one of us says “Why are we moving again?” the other will inevitably respond, “Tacos.”
But we’ll be back. We’ll be back because there is still so much that we haven’t done. We bought the Alpha Uno because we wanted to get out more and see more of this amazing state. We truly thought we would just be weekend campers. Well, we all know how that went. Weekends just aren’t long enough. So we’re leaving Oregon having never been to Crater Lake, having never been to Mount Hood when there was snow on the mountain, having never been anywhere at all in Eastern Oregon. We want to come back and do all of those things and hopefully more. We want to come back and see all of the friends we made while living here. Brandon wants to come back and conquer Firebreak 5 (the off-road obstacle at Brown’s Camp that continues to twart him). And we will. Oregon is still on our route even though we already lived here for four years.
But for now we are gearing up to head south. The moving truck is packed, the house is empty, and we are on board the Alpha 1 with Rudy and the cats. We are staying the night at Champoeg State Park, our favorite lunch hook and an easy exit out of town. We leave for Ashland, Oregon in the morning.
I started this countdown clock on my phone nearly a year ago. It has been counting down the days until my final day at work ever since. I have celebrated the major milestones. Finally making it to the double digits, under 50, under 30, etc. Then last week someone asked me what was going to happen when it reached zero. I realized I had no idea. I had never tested the app to see what it did when you reached the end of the countdown. I just set the date and waited. Ever since, I had been secretly hoping that it would do something cool, like send me a congragulatory text message or at least make a loud noise. It turned out that the countdown clock just showed “O” days left and then started counting up – the number of days since you hit zero. No alarm, no message. It just kept on counting. Although I was super excited to wake up and see it say zero, I found the clock to be a bit anti-climactic. Continue reading “The Final Countdown”