When I first started writing about our travels I wanted to keep things chronological, and I wanted to write about every single place we stopped along the way. Even the mundane…although my goal was to find the extraordinary in the ordinary. I think every place has something special to offer and, if there’s not, then it’s more of a reflection of our own prejudices and expectations than it is a fault of that particular place. But as I get closer to wrapping up the last of our fulltiming RV travels I find myself procrastinating…as if typing out these last few posts puts the nail in the coffin of that part of life. As much as I love our new adventure, the farmlette/homesteading one, it’s difficult to give up the title of “Fulltime RVer” and “nomad”. There’s a little Ego tied up in all that.
But, I really, really want to tell you guys about some of the best days of our nomadic days.
These words capture a few moments in time from July 2015-October 2015.
|Hiking Crow Pass to Raven Glacier with Nellie. Photo by Nikki Wynn. Also on this hike: Jason Wynn and his mom, Mary.|
I won’t go all the way back to where I left off to write individual posts. Instead, I’ll kinda give you the gist of our last few months on the road and highlight a few of our favorite adventures in separate posts (I’ll be writing more detailed posts about Highway 395, Prescott, KOFA, Ajo and Truth or Consequences). Let’s see…oh yes, we were in Alaska. My last official fulltiming post had us hiking on a glacier in McCarthy, Alaska with our friends The Learning Banks and Gone With the Wynns. From there we made some other stops together, shared some meals, caught a lot of fish, laughed til our sides hurt, met up with a few other nomadic friends and then, of course, the accident occurred…the one where I suffered a severe ankle break on the side of a mountain and had to get rescued. You can read about it here.
|My temporary splint in the Seward ER while waiting for the medevac flight to Anchorage.|
Needless to say, our Alaska trip was cut short by about a 6 weeks. We spent two weeks in Anchorage between my surgery and follow up appointment with the surgeon who would then give us the go-ahead to start heading back to the Lower 48. During that time we camped next to the Wynn’s on a lake in Wasilla. Sitting on the dock sharing Annie’s animal crackers and local craft beer we joked that the fancy house across the lake, the one with a float plane tied to the dock, was probably Sarah Palins. I looked it up later…it was. Nikki brought me homemade lattes and took Nellie (our dog) on walks with Singa (their cat). I think those two fell in love. We feel very fortunate to have had that time with Jason and Nikki…especially now that we’ve all traded in the RV life for different adventures (for the time being).
|Campground mane taming courtesy of Nikki.|
There was no reason to try to squeeze any more adventures in since I had to keep my leg elevated and couldn’t be up on my crutches for more than a few minutes. So, we “missed” a planned trip to Homer where new family members live (our niece was marrying their son that Labor Day weekend). We missed Denali National Park. We missed many more hikes and hot springs. We flew Clark’s daughter, Gina, and her wife, Ashley, up to Alaska so they could ride in the RV to Washington and help out. Their assistance, and company, was a godsend. We traveled the same highway down to Bellingham as we did coming up…partly because we knew all the stops which would eliminate the stress of finding new ones but also because we already knew how beautiful it was and we wanted to share that with the girls.
|This is about sums up the next several weeks of travel…In the distance: Gina, Ashley, Clark and Nellie taking selfies somewhere in the wilds of Alaska. In the foreground: Das Boot…my captor and prison guard.|
If you didn’t know, traveling with a broken leg ain’t no picnic. There’s no more hopping out of the RV for a quick photo or running into a gas station to stretch your legs (and check out the knickknacks) or hiking around your amazing boondocking area (not even to get photos for all the campsite reviews you want to do). But there are some positives. Like…we had a huge “dashboard” in the Mutiny that was perfect for holding a pillow with which I could prop my leg upon to keep it elevated while we drove. And the walls are close enough that even if my crutches slipped I would generally fall into a wall instead of on the floor. And everything’s so close together that I could manage to make my own cup of coffee and slide it to the end of the counter, crutch a step, then place the cup on the table, crutch another step and then slide the cup to the side of the table where I liked to sit all day. Brilliant! Oh, and our shower was the perfect size and set up for me to use with the cast (and a shower stool). See, there’s a positive in almost everything, right?
We still took 3 weeks to travel from Alaska to Washington. We got there just in time to hang out with family in Bremerton and Olla for our niece’s wedding. We also said goodbye to Gina and Ashley. By now we had decided that I would do my rehab and physical therapy in Bend, Oregon. We have friends in Bend and Sisters and, with 6 weeks of P.T. in mind, we knew we wanted to be somewhere we had people to hang out with…and somewhere we knew we loved to be.
|Come on man…how you can not be inspired in a spot like this? (Somewhere in Bend, moochdocking with the kindest people in the world).|
As much as we love Bend it was our 3rd or 4th time there so I’m not making a separate, detailed post*. It’s a mecca (of sorts) for nomads (at least in our circle) so there are a plethora of blog posts covering all of the fabulous things Bend has to offer (including our own here). Since I was rehabing most of our activities including going to and from the Athletic Club for PT or to our friend’s houses. We were invited to stay at a fellow RVers property where we boondocked the entire 6 weeks. It was absolutely the most generous and gorgeous stay to date. I swear the reason I rehabed so quickly and so well was because we were in the most picturesque spot with the kindest hosts one could ask for. As per Bend, the food was great where ever we ate and the coffee was above par. We not only had Bend locals to hang out with but also some fellow nomads. We spent an evening with Dave and Shannon of 2 Wander Away and visited with solo-traveler, Jill, of Vespa and a Laptop. Wealso met up with Chris and Dani (Sundown Sessions Studio), whom we met way back in 2012 in Cedar Key. Dani was pregnant at the time so we finally got to meet their daughter, Leni!
Bend almost became our permanent home but we knew there was somewhere else calling us. And we had a few more places to be wowed by. Knowing we wanted to check out Colorado as a place to live…and knowing winter was settling in, we had no choice but to head to the southwest to ride out the next few months until spring graced us with warm weather once again.
We left Bend in mid-October and had a lot of miles to cover to get somewhere “warm” for winter.
|Cardamom lattes and Ocean Rolls at Backporch Coffee Roaster (Bend, Oregon).|
*More places we recommend in Bend not included in our previous post (yes, I realize they are all food places but I couldn’t do much more!!):
Backporch Coffee Roasters (my favorite drink: Cardamom Latte)
Sparrow Bakery (Ocean Roll…it’s famous and you can’t go wrong. Also available at Backporch if you get there early enough)
Laughing Planet (such good food…including GF and vegan but also plenty of meat for the omnis)
Spork (so many great food options and a fun place to meet up with friends)
Kebabs (great Indian food and ambiance)
Parrilla Grill (if you love burritos but not everyone wants Mexican food this is your place…a crazy variety of unique burritos that will blow your mind. Vegan and GF options along with a wide omnivores selection. And, get this, $1 PBRs all day, every day. But don’t worry, they also have kombucha on tap, several craft beers, wine and margaritas)