444 Nomadic Days
"You guys are gypsies...I love it! You're living the life I want."
We hear that a lot. Most recently from our waitress at BOIL in NOLA. We returned there because Jordan loved the seafood boil he had while we were at Mardi Gras. It was worth the extra drive and airings night's stay in Louisiana. A much different experience than the last time we were there.
We went through Louisiana, traveling past where we had to stay when my old truck first broke down last April. Mansfield has a lovely RV park that thankfully had a spot for us then.
This time we continued past to Eunice (which was just of our original route when I planned it... that was before we headed north in Texas to deliver a portrait). We've added a few extra miles on the new truck because I didn't reschedule our stay.
But, we had to visit the area where my Papa grew up... and visit his mom in the cemetary. We didn't know if she had family buried near her... we found numerous siblings. It was a very cool experience. I had tears flow, just because I know how happy he'd be that I took the time to make the trip.
Storm clouds are rolling in here in Florida. Our spot is a short walk to the beach. The waves are crashing. Jordan is our playing in them as I sit, feeling the first rain drops fall.
I love the Florida rain. It's warm. Not like back in Idaho. It washes the soul, refreshes and cleanses the spirit.
It isn't our forever home but definitely our winter home.
We just have to get used to the idiotic drivers 🤣
4 states in 1 day... but oh so happy to be here.
I might have a gypsy spirit but a place to call home is beginning to call to both of us. We've seen most of the US... and will see the rest before we find a place to call home. But, that doesn't mean I'll settle into a sedentary life. Seeing more of the world is still a must... the RV life, isn't our forever though.
We've noticed strange things lately. Pieces of trim working themselves loose. An unlike of the weekend warriors who have no respect for rv park rules. And the roads... oh my goodness. The Louisiana roads rattled the SHIT out of our home. Made the cats literally shit from the shaking (we have one that poops or pukes when she's scared...I think that's what happened the other day).
Plus, in getting tired of dumping our shit. Literally. You don't even realize what you take for advantage as a home owner...or renter... until you leave the stationary life.
I'll never stop traveling and doing what my heart desires... but I know that the RV life is not permanent.
But it sure is damn wonderful right now.
You do not have to wait for everything to be perfect. When I started this journey, I really had NO idea where I'd go... or how I'd be able to make it happen (financially). But, everything works out as it should when you're following your passion.
You can do it to. You just have to believe, and trust, that everything is going to work out exactly as it should.
So stop waiting. Jump in. You'll experience things you've dreamed of. Help people along the way. And inspire many of you just go for it.
Life is short. Stop waiting for everything to be "perfect." If it's something you've felt called to do... it's perfect now. Do it.
........ Which Wolf Will You Feed? ........
Just yesterday we were in New Mexico.
It's been a hell of a long day, two days in a row.
Carlsbad was a bust because New Mexico shut down the day we arrived. No caverns open... which was the point of going there.
Crossing Texas... we left NM at 10 am and didn't arrive at our camp spot until almost 8 pm (thanks to crossing time zones and shitty roads) ... only to find out that one of the cats (we're sure it was one of the sisters) took a MASSIVE ...
AND I MEAN M.A.S.S.I.V.E. dog sized 💩 on our bed.
One pillow lost. One set of sheets - and possibly the comforter - destroyed.
So that needed cleaned up before we delivered the Words Matter portrait (the whole reason we headed to that part of Texas). We finally arrived at Margy's home about 9:30. After talking with her for a few hours, we headed home (stopping to try Whataburger ... beats In-N-Out HANDS DOWN). Finally settling in at home at 12:30... falling asleep around 2 am.
The cats no longer get free reign while we travel. Unfortunately 2 suffer because of one but we cannot have them pooping in our bed. Little shits.
So, we had to figure out if we could load everything and keep the studio for closed for the drive.
It was a squeeze getting our bicycles in there through the studio door, but Jordan got it and the cats were locked in the back with my art for the trip.
Shitty roads again. Louisiana has some of the worst roads we've driven.
That, coupled with little sleep (we were up at 7:30 am ... and I didn't sleep well ... and this girl NEEDS her sleep) and lack of a good breakfast and cup of java... I may have lost my cool when navigation got all screwy.
Weird things were happening with the truck computer and my phone after we ate at an AMAZING Texas BBQ joint (an extra hour drive but soooo with it - if you're ever in Tyler, TX go to Stanley's Famous Pit Barbecue).
We finally arrived in our spot in Louisiana at 7-ish.
Parking in the dark... in a back in spot... between trees... after 12 hours is not great fun.
But, we're settled in.
Tomorrow, we will go see my Papa's birth town... his mom's gravesite (I never got to meet her, she died when he was little)... and whatever else we feel led to explore.
Tonight, we're going to relax and watch a movie, The New Mutants. We deserve it after two long days.
The movie starts by talking about an old Indian proverb. This... they call it the two bears but, there's a Cherokee Legend about the two wolves...
"An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. 'A fight is going on inside me,' he said to the boy.
'It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.'
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, 'Which wolf will win?'
The old Cherokee simply replied, 'The one you feed.'"
YOU choose which part of you that you feed. Are you full of anger, frustration, negativity? Starve these. Stop feeding it and you will find yourself full of peace.
Today, I focused on all the wrong things. I focused on the frustrations...I fed my anger. I fed my fear (seriously...I was afraid the rough roads were going to tear the trailer - our HOME - apart).
I did that. I chose to feed that wolf. Just as I did most of my life - when I felt I wasn't good enough. I fed that. Sometimes by myself... sometimes by the people I chose to surround me.
It happens. It's easy to slip into old patterns. Strength and growth comes in recognizing it and moving forward.
Which wolf will you feed?
I could focus on the trials of the last few days... or I could focus on the amazing life we live.
Which wolf do you think I'll choose to feed?
438 Nomadic Days
New Mexico is quite barren. I do not recommend going to Carlsbad if you can't get in the caverns. We arrived the day after they were shut down... again.
Good timing. Thanks for that NM Governor.
So, either the masks and distancing doesn't work or NM just didn't give a rip and no one was doing those things. Either way, we received an emergency text to shelter in place. Grocery stores had lines yesterday and are closed today. A curfew has been put in place - without calling it a curfew ... they're just forcing any "essential business" to close early.
What a weird time this is.
I'm ready to get out of NM. We're fed up with our plans getting changed because of someone else's decisions. Time for us to get to our winter home.
I'm sure there are some people out there who frown on our travels during COVID but remember, this was my life well before this virus was known.
I wasn't about to let the fear mongering end my adventure. This is my life.
If you don't like what we're doing, don't watch. We're careful - much more careful than last spring/ early summer... so don't worry about us. But again, if you don't like it... mind your own business.
The point is, live YOUR life. Stop trying to control others. And don't let anyone else control you. Be respectful, but don't let their opinions or fears rule you. You have work to do on this planet. Ours happens to be spreading love, light, hope and inspiration to those we do meet.
Yes, these are strange times. But, it is possible to make the most of it.
Getting "locked down" the past few days has allowed me that painting time I've been yearning for.
Plus, it's time to get my book in order and to my editor.
And, of course, Christmas is near so I have orders rolling in.
Life is too short to not go for it. Stop waiting for everything to be perfect. So many of my friends have joined me in the nomadic life - or simply have moved to a location they've dreamed of. The world will continue to spin.
Tragedy, social injustice, government control - don't use these as a reason to stay stuck in a place you can't stand. Just leap.
Everything will work out exactly as it should.
We did get to wander (and sled) at White Sands National Monument. What a surreal place. If we could've gotten away from all the people (like we did at Goblin Valley State Park) it would've seemed like we stepped into another realm. As it was, that place is definitely otherworldly!
If you go, there are trailheads to explore. We made our own path. Careful to be aware of where we left the truck (it would be very easy to get lost out there).
We, of course, had to climb the highest dune for our sunset view. Which, of course, was a draw for other people with sleds because of the steepness of this dune. But, once the sun started going down, those people found other places to go.
The sand is very soft and cool. The gypsum sand retains water so there is a moistness in it. I could imagine, in the heat of the summer, it may be hot to walk on but in November, most people were walking barefoot and it was chilly.
Don't leave your shoes in the car if you're staying for sunset.
The temperature drops dramatically when the sun goes behind the mountains in the distance. That moist sand then feels like snow on your feet.
I had brought my shoes. Jordan's were in the truck. By the time we got back, he couldn't feel his toes.
If someone got lost out there, it would be a very uncomfortable night!
Tomorrow, we head to Texas to deliver one of my Military Edition Words Matter portraits. I am looking forward to meeting this Gold Star mom. For now, we'll stay hunkered down... maybe we will find a place in nature to explore... but I have painting to do a well.
Please, live your life. Do the things your heart desires (just stay safe). Stop waiting for everything to be perfect ... you may not have enough days left for that "perfect time" to arrive. Sending lots of love and light... this world needs it.
Nomad life, 432 days...
Oh the obstacles...
We were leaving the RV park to go to Joshua Tree and could see the smoke. It was quite a ways away, however, the wind was howling... and blowing directly toward the park.
We didn't feel comfortable driving an hour away. So, we didn't get to explore Joshua Tree National Park. The final two days at Catalina Spa & RV Resort were quite stormy... then there was that fire in the final day.
Evacuations were ordered a handful of miles down the road, nothing for us.
Odd that we are, once again, restricted from something we want... but, now I believe I know why we were kept from putting more miles on the truck. But I'll get to that in a moment.
Monday the 9th, we left for Silver Strand State Beach. Exactly one year after Jordan flew out to meet me on the Outer Banks in North Carolina, we were once again on a small strip of land, the bay on one side, the ocean on the other.
Funny how things all work out.
We stayed the night then hit the road to start our treck east.
Interstate 8 takes you very close to Mexico. You can see the wall. We saw the Cabazon dinosaurs as well and bought my grandson a book from inside the belly of the dinosaur. Kendall, my step-son from a previous marriage, was obsessed with dinosaurs when he was a kid.
It was a longer drive than it was supposed to be when we finally arrived at the High Chaparral RV park... an hour outside of Scottsdale. We were scheduled to stay 2 nights so that we could visit friends in the area.
After dropping the trailer and doing some laundry (it had been a while) and getting a bit of work done... we went to sleep to prepare for the next day's get togethers.
On our way to Scottsdale, the "DEF fluid poor quality" light came on... again. This is what I paid $1K to get fixed the last time we were in AZ. Seven mechanics now, in 4 states, in 2 months have had their hands on my truck.
I meet with my friend Brett Labit while Jordan goes to get new DEF (we're hoping it's just low and the light will clear like the first time in our way to the South Rim of Grand Canyon). It doesn't clear.
Brett takes my to Fashion Square to see his 2nd Scottsdale gallery (checkout Creative Gateways if you're in Scottsdale or Sedona) and my second "get together" meets me there while I start making calls about the truck and Jordan comes to pick me up.
I find Van Buick GMC and Rick says they'll squeeze me in but wouldn't have an answer until later that afternoon.
We're supposed to head to Tombstone on the 12th.
Frustrated beyond belief, I have to cut my second meeting with the beautiful Tricia Green (a former student and friend) short, and end up canceling the next two. Extremely upset I don't get to connect with Kat's mom, Kat is one of the original 7 portraits of those lost to suicide that I created for my Words Matter exhibit. Sad beyond belief I don't get to see one of my "warriors", a former student who I can call my friend, Rebecca.
Angry about my truck...I walk around the lot looking at trucks.
And of course, the salesmen pounce. Pablo listens to my frustrations and says "let's see if we can get you taken care of."
There are no trucks on the lot with camper shells so I say "that won't work." You see, I have a lot of stuff stored in the back of the truck.
They say "what if we find a truck you love and install the shell for you." Ok, I'll look.
7 hours later, I own a 2021 Chevy Silverado 2500. She's beautiful, only 19 miles on her when I climbed in for the rest drive.
I'm not at all excited to have a car payment again; but, I'd been spending $1000 a month on the old truck lately anyway. Now I have a reliable vehicle that tows like a dream.
The camper shell has to be built specifically for the truck. So, the dealership provides a tano cover (which I don't think will work). We move everything to the new truck in an hour. Only getting rid of a little bit, between the back seat and the bed, everything fits. AND... it turns out, I really like the ease of the tano cover. While in Tombstone last night, we needed more warm clothes and I easily got into the winter clothes bin.
So, I know everything worked out exactly as it should. Just wish I could've seen Becca and Cindy while I was in Scottsdale.
Tombstone is very cool. We went into the mine, we saw all the places where the historical things happened. We went on a ghost tour - although it was more like a history tour...Ghost City Tours - don't do it. Instead, do the trolley tour or the one in the Bird Cage theater. That place is full of crazy energy ... and ghost sounds.
Today, we'll check out Bisbee then we'll be on our way to New Mexico.
Hopefully the storms have passed. I know I'm supposed to travel and spread healing light everywhere I go...COVID and truck problems have made that difficult. I'm tired of these obstacles but Jordan and I can handle it. Just putting the "smooth sailing" vibe out there for the rest of our adventures.
If you're running in to obstacles, just keep moving. Even if you have detours from your plan, you'll get to the destination that is for your greatest good. I know that all will work out exactly as it should.
Nomad Day 426
Yeah, it's been a bit since I've written.
We made it to the famous corner in Winslow, Arizona. It was great to see, however, Winslow itself is very run down. AND, a weird cold front came through so I even had to break out my giant, ankle length, winter coat. There was snow on the ground on our way in. Burrrrrrr!
I don't enjoy the cold!
We then got a warning light on the truck that the Diesel Exhaust Fluid was poor quality. Again. It went away last time when we were near Flagstaff and put new DEF in. So we put more in. No luck.
When that warning comes up, the speed of your vehicle gets reduced after a certain amount of miles. Then if it isn't taken care of, it gets reduced again after a certain amount of miles. Repeat until your truck can only go 4 mph.
So, we headed on our way to Flagstaff to see the dealership. We try to go to the Meteor Crater National Landmark - they wanted $22 a person to see that old hole in the ground. Nope, I'd rather spend my money elsewhere.
Then we try to go to the Indian Death Caves (you see, we're still hoping the light is going to turn off like last time)... nope. The overpass to get to the death caves from our side of the freeway is under construction.
So on to Flagstaff we go. And in a rental car we leave. As Jordan called it "the tampon on wheels" gets us back to our home in Cottonwood... where we get to wait and hear the outcome of the truck.
We didn't want to drive the rental much so we stayed home. We'll have to go back to Sedona to get the rest of the hiking in that we wanted.
Thankfully, the truck was repaired in time. We picked it up Wednesday and left for Vegas Thursday morning. Turns out we picked up some bad DEF. $1000 later thanks to some store stocking bad product. Frustrating! But we were back in the road again.
Vegas...all I can say is wow. We checked out a little of the strip Thursday night. Dan (our buddy from Idaho), Brandon and Sarah (old friends of Jordan's) all came to Vegas too.
People everywhere, although not as busy as Vegas typically is, it's a chaotic energy. Not really our cup of tea. But, Jordan had never been to Vegas so we had to do it (plus, it's Halloween weekend... but I'll get to that).
Friday the 30th, a day I will never forget because I got to race on the Las Vegas Speedway in an Aston Marten (4 warm up laps) a Ferrari AND a Lamborghini (5 laps each). Those were so fun to drive, I want to do it again. My fastest lap only got up to 170mph completing the 1.2 mile course in 1 minute, 6 seconds. The track is inside the ring of the Speedway. It weaves around with 9 turns. I took a few of those at 90 mph.
I was just getting in the groove on my last lap... you pit before getting your lap time... I bet that lap would've been my fastest. I'll have to compare the times on the video.
As far as the cars go, the Aston Marten and Lamborghini were easy to drive... the Ferrari gave me issues because the gas and brake pedal were so close together but it was powerful! And OH SO FUN!
Then, I rode 2 laps as a passenger in a Camero with a professional driver. Drifting around corners, Dan in a car with his driver we were drifting side by side. Nearly touching. It was wild!
So, if you're in Vegas, I highly recommend Dream Racing. It was so much fun... I'll do it again if I ever go back to Vegas.
After the adrenaline rush, it was time for lunch. We found this place called Dirt Dogs. Jordan and Dan had the best hotdogs ever, I ate Carne asada fries. Then we went to the stratosphere. Wow! It was a bit dizzying at first but we settled in before riding the roller coaster on the top. It's called Insanity. The full moon was over the horizon, the sky was pink and we were spinning in open air 1000 feet above the ground. It was awesome!
We ended up going back to the strip for dinner with Brandon and Sarah. The boys ate scorpions. They were disgusting according to Jordan. It was entertaining to watch their faces.
We watched the fountains at the Bellagio and wandered a bit before returning home.
Saturday, Halloween... we got out of town and went to the Valley of Fire State Park. This too is a must of you're in Vegas and like to hike. Our day ended with a climb to sit on top of Rocks at the white domes section of the park where we watched the sunset. It was glorious!
Then it was home to get into our costumes and go to Freemont Streer. Hello Mardi Gras with fewer people! It was wild! People kept getting their pictures taken with us... Jordan was violated by some bimbo during one of those. 🤣 Which he didn't tell me until later because he didn't want to upset me. Stupid woman touching my man. 😤
Anywho, we had a blast. But after a while, I was exhausted and ready to go (I only had one drink while we were down there, someone had to drive home). Not surprising I was tired since we didn't get home until 5 am. Jordan could've kept going but I needed sleep.
Well, my stomach didn't appreciate something so I was awake in two hours. No fun. That made for a mellow Sunday. We went to Hoover Dam. Saw some giant fish. I drove across the dam. Guess that's something that is a bucket list item for people.
It was pretty spectacular.
After a bit of rest, we went back into town to do the Fright Ride. A haunted house venue. Well, it was cool. Not scary though. But I don't scare easily. I'm too intrigued by the special effects and the craftsmanship of them. I am usually the one who goes "oooh, that's a cool mask" while the actor is trying to be scary. It was fun.
Then we were on our way to California. Desert Hot Springs to be exact to see Joshua Tree National Park.
That drive was desolate. We had to check GPS multiple times to make sure it wasn't leading us astray. Never have I seen so many run down homes and barren land.
Dan continued to CA with us. He didn't see Joshua Tree (besides driving past it) because he left yesterday. We're going to the park today or tomorrow... we'll at least drive around in it... the weather has turned. I had to get some work done yesterday so we didn't go anywhere. It was the last nice day for a while.
But, I hadn't worked for a few days and was feeling anxious to get something taken care of. And of course, I lost track of time. Time has always been irrelevant to me.
Oh well, I have to keep reminding myself everything happens exactly when it should.
So we have a few more days in California then we're heading east. We went to Huntington Beach and Crystal Cove State Park Thursday and saw an epic sunset. Explored Palm Springs a bit Wednesday (we tried to go to the art museum but COVID has it shut down... but you can go in the shops in the main strip and get your souvenirs...). We did get to see the air museum... and of course, we ate at Lulu's.
I think a soak in the hot springs water is necessary now. This was a long post to catch you all up. I'm sure I've left out some details but you get the gist.
Just live. Go do the things you dream of doing. The universe has a way of making everything work out.
I've been living in an RV, traveling around the US for 414 days now. I have no plans of stopping anytime soon, however, there are little things that're getting old.
Having so much crammed into small spaces. The pots and pans, Tupperware, etc are a pain in the ass to get out sometimes. I knew this would be a thing... it's just something I have gotten used to.
Then there's the weekend warriors at RV parks who don't respect the RV park etiquette. My daughter once said "mom, I worry this will make you hate having neighbors even more." There have been some great people we've met but many loud obnoxious ones as well.
It is what it is.
We've been in the Sedona area a little over a week. Our park has actually been nice and quiet (until last weekends neighbor). We had gotten spoiled and weren't prepared for loud talkers. 😆
Sedona is absolutely beautiful. It is all you've heard (except there are SO MANY people). We haven't gotten to explore as much as we would've liked because I've had some work to do but we still have a few more days.
A few days ago we got up early to do a sunrise hike. By the time we got to the Bell Rock parking area, it was bright enough to not need the headlamps. There were a handful of people on the trail but all were quiet. As we trucked along, through colder temperatures than were used to, the birds started chirping.
Good morning birds.
Continuing further, we climb the Rock and I am immediately hit with a dizzy spell. Almost enough to sit me down. I look down and there's a tiny rock sculpture. Perhaps someone else did have to sit here for a bit.
We climbed higher and got to a spot in the trail where we either needed to go left or right. Jordan's gut said left...I remembered seeing people on the trail to the right. At the point, we know we took a different path than typical.
"Your path is your own" plays in my head.
A young man with green hair comes walking up from the left. He claims he's hiked to the top of bell Rock before. He says that going to the right leads you to the top. Both Jordan and I are skeptical but we go his direction.
"Your path is your own..."
We follow him until he points out a small bell looking rock across the way and says "there it is" (he was pointing at a formation on Courthouse Rock) then starts to scramble off Bell Rock. Straight down the side.
Both Jordan and I decide that is not the way for us to go.
However, now we're doubtful that we've even climbed partially up Bell Rock.
Frustrated, I pull out my GPS. GUESS WHAT, those get all out of whack when you're near a vortex.
We were led astray.
We did get to see the sunrise from Bell Rock but I did not get to sit and meditate as I planned.
The sunrise though.... it was glorious seeing the first light of the day work its way into the red rocks. Giving them a magical glow. Feeling the sun hit my skin while standing on Bell Rock I felt an overwhelming sense of peace.
Then we continued on our path that was not our intended path to the top of Bell Rock.
It was an odd morning.
We did see Hot Hair Balloons in the distance. Really it was beautiful and my disappointment arose from expectations that were not met.
They're always the bane of happiness.
We're going to check out Winslow Arizona today. I must get going. In another post, I'll tell you about my cliff jumping experience. 😁
Have a wonderful day! And get rid of those damn expectations!
Days 399 - 402
Rolling over Hwy 550 was a breeze. We visited Mesa Verde National Park then hit the road again.
We're now traveling through Arizona for the next few weeks.
National monuments are closed sporadically (we couldn't go to the 4 corners). There are trails or natural wonders we want to see that are closed.
It's frustrating for sure to constantly have to change our plans.
But such is life.
Our current RV park has people squeezed in like sardines. It reminds me of Boyd's Key West... without the island vibe.
We are ready to move on to the Sedona area where we'll be free to hike the natural wonders of the area.
We DID visit the South Rim of the Grand Canyon yesterday. It was a beautiful day so there were thousands of people there. We were still able to keep our distance though. But holy cow... the massive amounts of people talking and sometimes invading your 6 ft bubble is getting frustrating.
Those from other countries have been the worst, but I'm sure they feel that way when we visit their countries.
We are just trying to live our best life. Creating a life many dream of. All the people exhaust us.
If they weren't so rude, it wouldn't be so bad. Thankfully, there are still some people on the planet who renew our faith in humanity. If there weren't, Jordan and I would happily become hermits. Although, I think he'd get quite bored only having me to harass. 😁
It's been an odd ... and wonderful ... adventure thus far. With multiple truck problems along the way (we both thought yesterday - OK girl, if you don't knock this shit off, we're trading you in)... we've had our share of frustrations and moments of thinking "what the hell is going on."
I'm not sure what the lesson is, perhaps we're both needing to learn more patience. Patience with ourselves...but REALLY patience with others.
There's a lot who are requiring our patience.
I had to remind myself yesterday that today is a new day. We can continue to carry the annoyances of previous days OR start each day fresh. Full of gratitude for all the things we have. Gratitude for all the things we get to do. Gratitude for one another.
That is the only way to get through these strange times.
I am thankful for you.
Much love and light out to all who need it. Talk to you again after a day or two in Sedona.
Days 394 - 398
We haven't gotten to do a whole lot during our stay in Ouray because once again, we had to get the truck looked at.
PLUS, the Unstoppable Influence Summit was the last three days. Which I'll get to in a moment...
Besides a drive the first day to show Jordan the area, then a great 4x4 drive after setting the mechanic, we stayed around the house.
We had about a month of laundry to do.
We didn't go on any of the epic hikes we planned.
So we'll definitely make our way back here, perhaps in the summer.
We arrived just in time to see the autumn leaves, it was absolutely beautiful.
So beautiful. I always feel like all worries (known and unknown) simply leave when I drive highway 550 ... it's so absolutely breathtaking (the altitude is too 😁).
I didn't get to visit with all the people I had hoped to see while in the area, but we saw a few (Uncle Willy, Aunt Chris, and Fetch) so it wasn't a complete loss.
COVID has created such a strange time. The trains didn't run all summer in Silverton... yet, as soon as they were out of lock down, business boomed. There were 600 people a day on ice lake trail... which isn't big enough for that many people.
The roads over Hurricane and California passes were extremely beat up from the thousands of atv and otv users. While it was definitely a boost for the economy here, the earth paid the price.
I understand wanting to get out...but please, PLEASE take care of our earth. She needs our love.
Now, the truck... this summer, I had taken her to my mechanic in Boise and asked him to get her ready for this next adventure. Well, simple things (the fuel filter and air filter) were not changed when they really needed it. Not sure why they were overlooked but they were. So a filthy and ill fitting air filter was the cause of the check engine light on Tuesday. At least we hope that is the end of the issues.
It's frustrating because you put so much trust in people (and I really do think my mechanic is a wonderful human) and little things like this are not taken care of. Not sure why the next people who changed the oil didn't catch that air filter either.
We are grateful for great service at Sunrise Auto in Ridgeway. One fellow there grew up with the Tookey and Willis families in Silverton, so as soon as they learned I knew all of them - they were my family for 20 years after all (some still claim me as family) we were treated as locals.
So, now we prep to roll our home over one of the most extreme stretches of highway. Please send all the good vibes that that air filter was, in fact, the final issue with my beautiful truck. She ran great over the passes on Friday afternoon.
That drive caused me to miss my favorite presenter of the UI Summit, Joseph Clough. But, we had to test the truck to be sure the check engine didn't come on again because if it had, we would have has to be back at the mechanic yesterday. So, it is what it is.
Saturday's sessions were what I truly needed. Breakthroughs occurred. I have not been very disciplined in my work since leaving Boise last year... really, since 2017 before things shifted for me. I have done meditation, hypnosis, affirmations, all the things to shift my mindset back into the productive artist I was then. But to no avail.
I discovered why. I still have blocks against discipline. I won't go into the why because it'll hurt someone I love dearly. But the awareness is the first step to solving the problem. So, here's to an amazing 4th quarter. It's time to go to the next level!
First, we have to get over the pass.
Much love to you all! Have a beautiful day!
Days 392 & 393
We are worn out from that 13 mile hike. We did drive around (and climb around) the viewpoints in Canyonlands National Park. Then, we saw a dirt road to drive while at the viewpoint near the visitor center. We asked the visitor center people and they said it brings you back to Moab on Potash Road.
So we did it. Took a bit over the hours but the views back there were incredible. It's definitely 4x4 and high clearance travel... there were some very sketchy spots as far as the bumpiness of the road goes but I just took it slow.
I was so tired before we hit that dirt road... then once on it, I was wide awake and in my element. The more technical it got, the more fun I had. I love 4-wheeling!
One day we will get a RZR or something to really enjoy these roads (and not add unnecessary miles or wear and tear on the truck).
I highly recommend this road if you have the right vehicle! It was a blast. Then, once we got back into Moab, we stopped for dinner. We were thinking Mexican food so we went to the first dine in place we found, Fiesta Mexicana.
This, I do not recommend. The food was sub par, at best. The margaritas were the only good thing. We paid more here, for less food - and MUCH worse food - than we did at the Brewery. So, skip this restaurant for sure!
Day 393 had us back on the road. Jordan washed the truck and RV at the wash near our spot at Shady Acres RV Park. If you're in Green River, this is a great little park.
Now we're in one of my favorite places on the US. The San Juan Mountains. It's been 3 years since I was here last... so much has changed. Including a fire that took out half the block of shops in Silverton. Thankfully no one was injured.
The aspen trees are bright with color, the air is crisp. We're off to hike a bit. This is such a wonderful journey. I'm so happy to have someone who loves me to share it with!
BTW... if you're in this area in October. Set up base camp in Ouray. There's lots to do... and the pizza at the Mineshaft is delicious!
Days 389 - 391
Patience and the ability to be flexible are absolutely necessary in life. Especially in the life of a nomad.
Day 389 we decided to go back to Green River and use that as our base camp. Searching for a boondocking spot in Moab just didn't sound like something we wanted to do.
We discovered why on day 390.
The same thing happened with the truck when we tried to leave for Arches National Park. It turned over fine, but before I could put it in reverse to pull out of our spot... it turned off. Completely shutting the engine off. There's power, it'll crank, but there's no turn over.
Beyond frustrated because now we know we HAVE to get it to a mechanic, we are at least pleased that we are very close to the one that was recommended to us.
We actually walk down to the mechanics and Ken says "yep you get it here and I can take a look at it today." Little did he know, he was going to have an abnormally busy day. But,he still had time for it's.
I call insurance for the tow. After waiting over two hours, I give up and call a tow myself. Which arrived in two minutes (the owner is actually currently residing in our RV park until his apartment is ready... thank you Steele Towing). We cancel the roadside assistance with the insurance (although their system is mixed up and after the cancelation, I get a call that they found someone). Who I have to cancel. 🤦♀️
We get to Interstate America and Ken starts troubleshooting. Testing the fuel pressure in the lines, he thinks it might be the pump. The intake or the ignition pump. Hoping for intake because the other is a $3000+ fix.
Turns out though, even though the part came up in the list, my truck doesn't have an intake fuel pump. Chevy didn't put those in until 2017. So Ken chats with people who work on diesels all the time - they suggest replacing that 9 day old fuel filter.
We took the truck back to that mechanic that put it in and said it was taking longer to turn over. They checked the batteries (which were fine) and said "it sounds normal." I assured him it wasn't, that it was taking longer to turn over, and he assured me it sounded normal to him.
It was slow to start the very first time Jordan picked it up from them.
Well, Ken calls us back down to show us how to replace the fuel filter. It's something we can do roadside if we had to.
He pulls it off and boom, problem found.
The O ring that should be on the top is missing.
Ken says "it can happen to anyone" when I say I'm ready to call and chew out the other mechanic. You see, I called them when we had the issue in Goblin Valley and the receptionist said "it's not fair you're blaming this on us, it could be something else."
Well, it wasn't. They screwed up. Jordan called them because I was too fired up. They refunded our money. Good.
New filter on, truck is running.
So, after a day of staying put, we went to Arches FINALLY on day 391.
Oh my goodness. Absolutely awesome place. Definitely a must see. We weren't super excited about going on a Saturday but it wasn't too horribly busy. The trail head to the Devil's Garden was VERY busy but we were doing the long, difficult hike so we knew most of the people would not be doing that. And we were right. It was quiet on the back side.
It was a lovely but long (10ish miles) and difficult hike - climbing and clambering over rocks. If you decide to take the primitive trail and do the whole loop, go right at the sign at the trailhead... it's much nicer to end on rocks than in sand... and all the crowds go left.
We completed it (it was quite hot towards the end, and I don't do well in the heat so I was slow ...BUT we still finished in 3 hours) and we drive up to the Delicate Arch trailhead which is not a technical path - labeled moderate - but it's 1.5 miles of very steep climb. And it was hot.
My heart rate was definitely in the red zone. We had to stop multiple times to get it to come down. But, we made it. Of course.
Neither one of us are quitters.
I took my shoes and socks off up there. We sat and relaxed for a bit but we were starving... and honestly annoyed by the screaming children and constant talking of everyone.
It seemed we were two of a very VERY small portion of people capable of just sitting and being in the moment in such an awesome space. People are so concerned about other things, they can't just BE.
I've never been much of a talker though. I'm perfectly happy sitting in silence. Or hiking in silence. Geeze, some women talked the entire hike in, the whole time they were there, and they were still talking on the way out.
It's time to listen to nature. Listen to the universe. You'll find answers, you'll find peace. If you'll just stop yapping. 😁
I had a wonderful time. Today, if we aren't too sore after yesterday's 13 miles, we want to check out Canyonlands. We shall see what the day brings!
Much love and light to you all! Remember, every moment doesn't have to be filled with noise. It's ok to sit in silence.
I had a dream that I was traveling all over the world. In less than 6 months, I sold almost everything I own...bought a Toy Hauler (the "garage" is my art studio) and am now living wherever, whenever...just me, my art, and my cats.