What’s Next?

Apr 20

What’s Next?

Three weeks. It’s only been three weeks since our last post yet so much has happened.  We made our beeline home and arrived on time. We cleaned up and unpacked the Tardis and I was home for a whole day before I flew to Oklahoma City for a little storm chasing. It was just a couple of days but after spending months on the road, I loved the idea of just being out for a couple of days instead of a week or more like we usually do. Also, I would much rather be in someone else’s van when the big storms roll across the plains than towing an Airstream! After a couple of days of chasing through Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri and Arkansas, I flew back home and the next chapter began. When we started this trip, we had a number of questions that we wanted to answer but the biggest one was also the most vague. That questions was, “What’s next?” Leslie had finished writing and had published the book she had been working on for several years. I was finishing a long term project at work. We had sold our big house that we raised our kids in and they were both in (or through) college. With all of the distractions and familiarity of home, though, we couldn’t really get ourselves very far into that question. We needed to really shake things up – tear ourselves away from the familiar and jump into the discomfort of different. So we embarked on the planning and then the execution of the first leg of our travels in the Tardis. When we got home, we knew we were pretty close to being able to being able to answer the question but we needed just a little more time to process what we had learned. Here are some of the big lessons. We love Whidbey Island, and Langley in particular. While we were on the road, I wondered “What if we lived here?” about every place we visited or thought about visiting. While lots of the places we saw were fascinating or lovely, none of them matched what we love about the Seattle area and Whidbey Island. Am I done with work?...

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The Beeline Home

Mar 29

The Beeline Home

“Once a journey is designed, equipped, and put in process, a new factor enters and takes over. A trip, a safari, an exploration, is an entity, different from all other journeys. It has personality, temperament, individuality, uniqueness. A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us. Tour masters, schedules, reservations, brass-bound and inevitable, dash themselves to wreckage on the personality of the trip. Only when this is recognized can the blown-in-the glass bum relax and go along with it. Only then do the frustrations fall away. In this a journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.” ― John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America I love this quote from Steinbeck. Both Leslie and I read this book while we were on this trip. I first read it when I was in high school and perhaps something about reading it back then was part of the inspiration of our journey. At the start of our trip, we had plans for how it would work out. We also were very explicit that we would not plan how it would work out. That we would let it unfold organically and go where we felt like going and see what was there. Steinbeck set us straight that even our plan for being gone from 4 to 16 months was us trying to control the trip and that just doesn’t happen 🙂 After Big Sur, we spent a few days in Petaluma where we got to meet up with Kevin and Laura from Riveted, who we met (in person) for the first time on the first day of our trip back in January. They introduced us to David and Ann, fellow Airstreamers who live on a lovely little farm in Petaluma. We extended our stay in Petaluma for a few days so we could meet up with them and it was great fun to sit down to a delicious lunch and chat about trailers and David’s and Ann’s Airstream renovation project. After Petaluma, I had a plan for...

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Big Sur, California

Mar 21

Big Sur, California

After our stay in Morro Bay, we drove up to the Monterey Bay area for a couple of nights in Marina, California. There’s not a lot to say about Marina this time – it was a quick break to get some shopping and laundry done before heading down to Big Sur. On Wednesday morning, we packed up and headed down the coast to the Big Sur Campgrounds and Cabins right in the middle of the Big Sur area. This little campground is awesome! We were parked right under a couple of big redwood trees and a few feet from the Big Sur River. The campground is family oriented and they have a strict quiet time policy between 10pm and 8am but that was no problem because the fresh air and the sound of the river burbling by had us in bed and asleep by 10 each night. THIS is what we’ve been waiting for. After spending way too much time in parking lots, it felt great to get back to a campsite in the middle of nature. Maybe it’s out Pacific Northwest background that makes us think that it takes big trees and rivers to be “in nature” but this place has lots of it. The other part of being “in nature” is that there is NO connectivity at this campground.  No WiFi, no cell service, nothing. It was really interesting to completely disconnect for the first time on this trip. There was no email to be had and no web to look things up on, so we read and walked and went for drives to see the epic Big Sur coastline (where we would occasionally get little bits of connectivity, but not enough to get caught up again). We spent the first evening just enjoying the campfire by the river  and the second evening reading.  Very relaxing. I got up early on Thursday morning to go shoot some sunrise photos along the coast. I forgot to take into account the fact that the mountains were east of us so a 7:00 sunrise didn’t really “happen” until around 8:00 and it was windy and kind of cold, but it was totally worth it. After the bridge, I drove by...

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RVillage – Connect with other RV’ers

Mar 17

RVillage – Connect with other RV’ers

A new social network for connecting RV’ers launched this week and we’ve been using it to connect with other folks near us. It’s called RVillage and is at least partly written by our friends (who we’ve never actually met, but feel like they’re old friends) at Technomadia. Just like most social network sites, you can create a friends list of other members but the thing that makes this specific to RV’ers is being able to check in at your current campground and see who else is already there. It also keeps track of the places you’ve checked in at so you can keep a history of where you’ve gone. The site is brand new and there are still a few kinks being worked out but it shows a lot of promise to become another essential tool for the part time or fulltime RV’er, making it easier to connect with other folks out on the road in a single place rather than scanning a few dozen blogs to see where everyone is now. They also have groups that you can join, like Airstreamers or Bloggers so you can find other like-minded travelers to connect with. If you’re living the RV lifestyle, or just thinking about it, head over to RVillage (Our Village, get it?) and grab a free account today. Ours is, as you would imagine,...

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Morro Bay Photos

Mar 16

Morro Bay Photos

As I mentioned before, we tried to stop in Morro Bay back in January but we didn’t quite make it. This time, though, we planned ahead enough to get reservations at Morro Dunes RV Park which is situated right next to the beach. I love being able to walk just a few hundred yards to get right down to the ocean. The town of Morro Bay has lots of great seafood restaurants and we’ve met people who just love coming back here time after time.  I can hardly blame them, it is a lovely place and close to everything that the central Californian coast has to offer. Today we drove up Route 1 to Hearst Castle. The tours there are really well done and while the trip up to the castle itself is a bit of a harrowing ride, the bus drivers know how to do it at quite a clip. Most of the rooms that we visited could house a dozen Airstreams like our Tardis. In the spirit of “a picture is worth 1000 words” I’ll leave you with these last thoughts on this...

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