Our itchy feet are soon to be rewarded as our compass once again heads southward. The last seven months is the longest we’ve stayed in any one spot for the last four years and we are feeling it! Luckily, having negotiated a 59-day leave of absence each winter allows us to stay in touch with the wanderlust that is core to our true selves.
Four years and 17 days ago we drove away from Jim’s parent’s house in Salem, Oregon heading south. The plan was to spend a couple of years driving the PanAmerican Highway, working on my writing, and explore in-depth a new-to-us continent. As the sun sets on one decade it is clear that having such a plan rarely works out exactly as we expect. Today I write this from a campground in Coos Bay, Oregon somewhere we never thought we’d end up having not yet made it to South America. As the saying goes…the best-laid plans.
One of my favorite quotes from “Sweet Home Alabama” is when Reese Witherspoon’s character is told “You can have roots and wings”. This is a difficult concept for me. Those who follow our social media are well aware we followed the road back to Oregon and the questions have been many. In truth, we never planned on leaving Clio’s and the stunning Sierra Nevada’s early. We loved the managers and our co-workers and the chance to explore a new region. However, the truth is also that for two years we have been searching for a paying camp job in Oregon or SW Washington, something that is far harder than you might imagine.
Our friends, Bryan and Jen along with their wonder dog, Karma, AKA The Dangerz, have a philosophy. Each day they wake up and ask themselves “Are we perfectly happy where we are with what we’re doing?” If they don’t like the answer they make changes…immediately. As we have followed their eventful journey these last few years we have been forever inspired by their willingness to completely change up their circumstances in search of happiness. This general outlook on life has served us well.
64. That is the number of different campsites we experienced between October 14, 2018, and April 7, 2019. If you’re doing the math you’ll notice we moved on an average of every 2.8 days. When you consider we spent nearly two full months lazing in Los Barriles the numbers are too exhausting to calculate. A truly crazy busy last six months saw us traveling through eight states (two of them twice) and up and down Baja twice. It was also an amazing winter filled with friends both old and new, many places both old and new, and grand adventures. However, we are, needless to say, road weary by now.
Here is our annual, and this year exhaustive, list of where we stayed from the day we left Coeur d’Alene to our arrival at our new camp in the Sierra Nevada’s. Because of the number of stops I’m breaking this down into more than one blog post. We begin with the fall adventures from our departure in CDA to our arrival in Los Barriles.
Mexico is our safe place. That sweet spot we head to when we need to heal weary minds and hearts. When Jim’s sister passed away in 2003 we found solace in Mazatlan. When my mom passed away in 2005 we almost immediately grabbed Ron & Dario and headed to Puerto Vallarta. This fall, rather than take the planned drive around the USA, we knew that a couple of months renewing on the beaches of Baja was what was called for.
As full-time rv’ers, our reality is that we spend an enormous chunk of time searching for places to stay. In some cases, we follow familiar paths and are pretty sure we know where we’ll end up, but we thrive on exploring and finding new adventures and this is where Harvest Hosts comes into play.
As we made the long trip from Camp to Utah and Nevada towards Oregon we were greeted with some of the most astonishing cloud formations we had ever seen. The skies daily offered up a stunning mix of clouds and sun brightening everything around us. Reminding us that life has ups and downs and sunshine and rain but is ever resilient.
“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky” ~ Rabindranath Tagore
At Bryce National Park a cloudy day rendered just enough sun and contrast to further enhance this awe-inspiring natural beauty.