Moving around from one city to another and changing states always keeps life interesting. You get settled into routines and jobs while gathering favorite spots to hang out and meet good friends you hate to leave. Our first jobs at Amazon allowed us to meet travelers like ourselves so as you waved goodbye you hoped it was true when you said “until we meet again”. In August, with Charleston in the path of totality for the solar eclipse, we managed to make those parting goodbyes come true. We met Gary in Boyd, Texas, he was parked in the same campground just a few spaces up from ours. Gary was the guy who informed us about South Padre and we also became campground neighbors there. Having familiarity in a strange place is very comforting. Fast forward 15 months and Gary hopped on a plane to come visit.
I sat at my desk one day, unhappy, contemplating what job I would find rewarding. At that time my love of the National Parks had just begun and the idea of a Park Service job became a dream. This was all less than three years ago and my love of the National Parks is still strong and I get to enjoy being a park rangers’ wife for the time being. We typically plan our trips around visiting National Park sites and the seed for this alternative lifestyle was planted during a tent camping trip visiting multiple NPS sites. That being said it wasn’t a surprise when we decided to seek employment as a ranger and Jamie was the lucky one/guinea pig. Continue reading
Reflecting on the past year sends a tornado of thoughts and images through my mind. What a difference a year can make! I struggled to write our first year’s journey because we had just began to glimpse what this last year’s challenges would be. Our lives last year didn’t envolve shiny new campgrounds or multiple state road trips but it did test us in many ways and strongly reminded us that life is precious and we needed to enjoy it while we can.
“Travel. As much as you can. As far as you can. As long as you can. Life’s not meant to be lived in one place.” ~Unknown
Over nine months ago we drove to South Carolina from South Padre Island, Texas, dragging our massive travel trailer behind us. You can in fact drive from one planet to another or so it might seem from destination to destination. I love the newness of it all. We are not full-time RV travelers but move from location to location and find jobs along the way. Six month stays were always the planned timeframe for each location so needless to say I have “hitch itch” as RVers like to say. I have failed on this blog with updates but before we begin a new adventure I feel like I should share our journey here.
The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience. ~Eleanor Roosevelt
A couple of years ago, I began to think about what I wanted to be when I grew up. As I grew up, I slowly shaped into something completely different than I had always imagined. I assume, in some of the opinions of friends and family, I have “grown down” not up. When we made a decision to live in a camper and leave our jobs, I’m sure all sorts of people thought we were crazy, irresponsible, running from things, etc. I spent a lot of time trying to think about what I could do for work and pay the bills, but also be happy. During this same time period we developed our love for the National Park Service and quickly I had a dream job, to be a park ranger. When the camper’s wheels rolled away from Asheville, NC, a little over a year ago, we planned all of our trips since around National Parks. At this moment, we are a one ranger, camper household and I don’t mind being Mrs. Ranger. Since my/our decision to embrace all things NPS, I have befriended on Facebook, twitted on Twitter, followed on Instagram, subscribed to email… all things NPS related. A couple of months ago I received an email talking about the National Christmas Tree Lighting. The what? I didn’t even know a such thing existed. After seeing the star-studded line up I quickly thought about how expensive those tickets must cost. I kept reading and was shocked to discover tickets were given out via a lottery. Well shucks, I never win anything, so click click and I entered the lottery. Checking my email one day, I was shocked to see the words, Congratulations you have been chosen to view the lighting ceremony of The National Christmas Tree. Well shit, oh shit, how am I suppose to get to D.C.?
The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate. ~ Oprah Winfrey
Tabby out on the prowl. This cat is the energizer bunny of cats, she turns 17 this year. When I met my husband he had a Doberman and I had three cats, the story has always been interesting since Sadie, our Doberman, hates cats. We managed to survive living in a house and unfortunately over time lost two of our cats. Tabby the lone survivor and the oldest was blessed with the chance to go on the road and become a traveling cat with her beloved Doberman sister Sadie. To this day we still keep them separated which always keeps life interesting.
It is life, I think, to watch the water. A man can learn so many things. ~Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook
The last stop of a trip always brings excitement of what new life awaits us. Trying to enjoy the moment, torn with not wanting vacation to end, but anticipation on getting settled in. We stayed at Lake Corpus Christi State Park a beautiful park not far off the road , great pull through sites and close to the lake. Shortly after setting up, the deer arrived and thankfully these deer weren’t as camera-shy as the last few we encountered. We saw deer stroll through our campsite in Waco and saw multiple deer in Austin but the lighting and or distance just never made for a post worthy photo. One day I will break down and upgrade my equipment so I don’t have to make this excuse in the future. The first female emerged and then three more followed, I was so busy watching them exit the brush and run across the field that I almost missed the male, wow what a sight! Continue reading
There will be a few times in your life when all your instincts will tell you to do something, something that defies logic, upsets your plans, and may seem crazy to others. When that happens, you do it. Listen to your instincts and ignore everything else. Ignore logic, ignore the odds, ignore the complications, and just go for it. ~Judith McNaught
We arrived to our campground without any story to tell except we enjoy these short trips and we made it down the very steep mountain in Austin. Happy to know the brakes work well and the truck seems to be fine after the short check engine light issue that the dealership couldn’t find a reason why it had come on. We don’t normally do too much after a travel but when we arrived we learned the river walk was being drained so if we were to even catch it with water, we needed to get a move on. Good news, the bus picked up right in front of the campground so there was no need to drive, find parking or try to navigate a new city.
Oh I, I want to be with you everywhere. Fleetwood Mac
When we moved to Texas we had committed to a four-month job with Amazon with no idea where we were headed next but that’s the life of a traveler. We have places on our bucket list but since we didn’t win the lottery and are not wealthy people we go where the money is. I swore when we started this process that we would always have jobs lined up before we moved, it was a good plan, just one we decided not to follow. One of our fellow campground friends had spent a bit of time in South Padre Island, Texas and planned to return after our time at Amazon. He spent nights talking about warm winter weather, the beach, and a decently priced camp ground. So with nowhere to go we said why not go to the beach and enjoy warm weather for the winter.
My favorite thing is to go somewhere I’ve never been. Diane Arbus
Being so close to Mammoth Cave National Park we decided to take a detour through Kentucky. Seeing that the campground at the park doesn’t have electric we opted for Nolin Lake State Park. We made a great choice, this campground was practically deserted and absolutely stunning. We scored a lakefront spot with no reservation.