Holy moly! What an amazingly awesome ride 2016 has been. When we rang in the new year (I was asleep by 10PM) I had NO IDEA we’d be packing up all of our things, buying a (newer) Airstream and hitting the road. It’s stuff dreams are made of, y’all. Lets take a little trip down memory lane, shall we?
At the beginning of April is when this great journey began. We spent one of our last nights in our sticks and bricks house scrambling to get everything in storage (including the old Airstream) and out of the house. Our tenants were moving in to the house in just eight short hours.
We spent a few nights parked in a friends driveway where we learned that we would need an alternate transportation option for the generator. Thankfully we had time to grab a Thule rack while we were still in our hometown.
Once we left Austin for our maiden voyage, we spent a few nights parked in Dad’s driveway. Little did he know this was about to become a trend. We’ve spent many nights parked in that very comfortable driveway, utilizing his fancy washer and dryer, and even washing our house on wheels in his driveway. Thanks, Dad!
White Sands National Monument
May is when we really started to learn the ropes. We had replaced all four of the tires on the Airstream at this point, changed the (broken but not really broken) converter, and realized that this GIANT TIN TUBE gets really really hot when the temperature rises.
We experienced our first national park in May. It was overwhelming, awesome, and fueled a fire we didn’t know existed. We hit our first milestone of tiny living for 30 full days, without any accidental deaths. All in all, May was a great month!
Yosemite National Park
June is when we were introduced to Bend, “real” boondocking, and when we determined we really did need a more powerful tow vehicle. What an expensive discovery that turned out to be, but we do love the power behind the diesel.
We also visited our second National Park which turned out to be absolutely gorgeous and not busy, at all. Crater Lake National Park was partially closed in certain areas due to snow still on the ground, in June, so we were only able to explore on foot and bike.
Deschutes National Forest – Bend, OR
Crater Lake National Park
Come July we were needing to move on from Bend, so we ventured to the Oregon coast. While it was lovely, we weren’t a huge fan of the dreary weather so we turned our rig back around to make our way back to Bend for the fourth of July weekend.
At this point I wasn’t real sure we were going to make it any further in our journey and I was completely fine with it. However, we insisted we move on, so we did and boy am I glad we did! Our next stop was Seattle to visit friends and family.
We spent our evenings taking the ferry from Bainbridge Island into Seattle to dine in great company. Our first ferry experience was, um, not our brightest moment. We just got on a random ferry that was leaving the port in Bainbridge Island, and I quickly realized we might not have gotten on the right ferry. Thankfully, after asking a couple, we were informed that we were in fact on the right ferry. We loved spending time with Aunt Leta and seeing the sites of a big ol’ city.
Smith Rock State Park
Ferry from Bainbridge Island to Seattle
August was when things really started to get interesting, as if they weren’t already. At this point, I was adamant that Bend, OR was going to be our favorite place but here comes Montana and Glacier National Park. Wow. What an amazingly gorgeous, friendly state.
Glacier National Park is where we encountered our first Grizzly bear, mountain goat, and weird giant beaver looking animal. It’s where we fell even more in love with the life we were leading. It’s where we acquired our first National Parks Pass. It’s where we dusted off our passports and headed into another country, aka, Canada.
As we made our way south, we spent some time on the outskirts of an adorable little town on the border of Montana and Wyoming. We were able to boondock right on the Yellowstone River all while being just fifteen miles from Yellowstone National Park. At this point, we are just knocking National Parks off of our list. After work, we’d venture into Yellowstone National Park and partake in some mini hikes. We saved a good ol’ mountain biking trip for a weekend and it nearly killed me. Fortunately, I survived and we headed onto Grand Teton National Park.
There is this awesome little boondocking spot right outside of the park that over looks the Tetons. And holy moly, it was hands down the most gorgeous spot we had yet to stay. Needless to say, we were starting to love Wyoming as much as we loved Montana.
Glacier National Park
Grand Teton National Park
September is when we started to really head back south. After leaving Wyoming, our next big stop was Colorado. This is where I really started to feel the affects of the altitude. You’d think I would be used to it at this point, but for some reason it became even harder for me to breathe.
Anyway, we spent some time in various towns throughout Colorado with our favorite being Pagosa Springs. We had visited a few years ago to ski and loved the fun, vibrant little town so we were excited to be back in the summer.
After leaving Pagosa Springs, we headed to Taos, NM to visit some friends from college. They were kind enough to let us moochdock in their driveway and then take us downhill mountain biking. We had just acquired some new sweet mountain bikes so we were excited to put them to the test. And wow. They aren’t the type of mountain bikes made for downhill mountain biking, but they got the job done and we had a blast. Taos is an adorable little town and we hope to visit during ski season!
At this point we were wrapping up our journey and hadn’t been swimming ALL summer. Which is unheard of for a couple of Texans so I begged to turn our rig southbound straight for the beach. Given a love for the white sandy beaches of Florida, we didn’t object. We spent a few days driving a ridiculous distance to get to our favorite little campground in the Southern United States, Grayton Beach State Park.
Pagosa Spring, CO
Angel Fire, NM
Grayton Beach, FL
October was the month that we were expected to arrive back in Austin, TX so we tried to make the most of our final days on the road. We made our way to Tennessee because I really wanted to visit Nashville. We found a great campground right outside of Nashville to spend the week. The spots were GIANT and the leaves were starting to change which was gorgeous.
After leaving Nashville, we made our way to Arkansas which is such a beautiful state that I believe is underrated. One of my favorite little towns in Arkansas sits right in the Ozark Mountains with a fun little downtown area and great hiking all around.
Eureka Springs, AR
We are incredibly grateful for the time we spent exploring the beautiful western United States and cannot wait to see what the eastern portion has to offer. It’s fun to think up all of the places we can (and will) go. One major adventure I have in mind, includes turning this adventure south and heading through Mexico into South America.
One of my favorite things about our journey is sharing adventures with our family and friends. Our parents have been nothing but supportive and I’d have to say my Dad is our number one promoter. I mean, he is the reason we have so many subscribers.