Happy Sunday! This is the last day of our first week on our grand RV adventure. In many ways it feels like we’ve been gone so much longer. Our days seem to stretch much further than they did at home. I think it is because we get up much earlier on the road and we actually DO things. I am ashamed to admit that way to many of our days at home were spent in front of screens and on the couch. To say we are loving it is an understatement. Here are updates of our life on the road and what we have experienced this week:
Life On the Road – Dragging Miss Daisy
The part of this trip that I was most nervous about was driving and parking my trailer. Thankfully, it has been much less of an issue than I had built it up in my head. The tires on my trailer are rated for 65 mph so that is where I drive. The speed limit is MUCH higher so people generally pass me. Knowing that I can’t keep up with the flow of traffic actually makes it a much more relaxing drive. I just toodle along soaking in the scenery and let them do what they want.
Driving is a very enjoyable part of our trip. We are listening to the Harry Potter series on Audible (my affiliate link. If you join through this I get a small fee without it affecting your cost). We’ve finished the first book and have moved on to book 2. I didn’t have a free book credit so I had to buy it. Still worth it. Evan is really enjoying listening while enjoying the scenery around us. I also found some public domain books on Librivox that you can download as audio files as well. We have listened to half of Book of Dragons.
Out our window, we have seen endless prairies, tall mountains, steep passes, lodgepole pine forests and rolling foothills. We’ve also been stuck in the midst of a cow traffic jam while they’ve been moved from one pasture to the other. We’ve shared the highway with bison in Yellowstone National Park and spied pronghorns in passing pastures. There is always something to see!
Life On the Road – Campground Life
Even though we’ve only been on the road a week, we have realized that all campgrounds are NOT the same. The fees charged and services offered vary wildly depending on where you are. We’ve stayed at two just ok campgrounds where the wifi sucked or was non-existent and the bathrooms were either dirty or required you to pay to shower. On the other end of the spectrum, we stayed at an RV park in Shelby, Montana that was nothing to look at but had amazing wifi, spotless facilities and you could pay $6 for the breakfast buffet in the hotel it was behind (and the food was actually good).
Most of our week has been spent in the Rustic Wagon RV Resort & Cabins in West Yellowstone. We love it here (other than the snow). Ken, the site manager is a gruff but lovely guy who truly cares about the people who stay here. On the first night he let us know where to go in town for food, what to see in the parks and more. He has also checked in on us every evening we have been here inquiring about what we’ve seen during the day. Plus the bathrooms are SPOTLESS and they have an awesome retro laundry room that takes me back to my childhood.
Life On the Road – Camper Life
Our trailer is TINY. I have come to grips with this….mostly. I make sure I make up the bed every day so we have one small part of our lives that is non-chaotic. The rest of the trailer…well, it looks like a bomb went off. There is just not that many places to store things.
We have tried to balance eating in the trailer with going out. I know that eating in saves us money but sometimes I NEED to have adult contact so we spend the money. Overall, the camper is totally functional (other than the bathroom…it is TINY and I never see myself taking a shower in it. EVER).
Life On the Road – Homeschooling
I am trying to figure out a flow for homeschooling but right now I would say we are mostly winging it. Evan journals every day about what we did the day before. We also look for learning opportunities where we visit. This week he has completed both the Junior Ranger and the Young Scientist programs at Yellowstone National Park. We are also reading Espereanza Rising for the Brave Writer program but we have yet to do any of the actual work that goes along with it. I say “Get to Work” at least 1000 times every day.
Life On the Road – Cooper
Cooper is still not sure what is going on. He doesn’t mind the trailer too much. He snuggles in with Evan and I and snores up a storm. He also doesn’t seem to mind when we have to leave him behind. We leave the heater on so he is warm and toasty while we are out. I hate leaving him behind but I would rather him stay in the trailer than in the car. He has food, water and toys there which is way more fun than the boring (and cold) car. Evan has taken on walking Cooper as one of his jobs while we are traveling so they seem to be bonding more.
Life On the Road – People
Neither Evan nor I are shy so we’ve met some fun people in our travels. Highlights include:
- the man in Helena who couldn’t decide which pizza slice he wanted. I told him to get the curry cauliflower and he gave me a pocket knife as a thank you.
- Ken, the manager of our campground.
- Jasper and his family. They are worldschooling and traveling for a year. They live in the UK (mom is English and dad is Swiss) and are traveling in the US, Mexico and Asia. You can follow their adventures at Jasper’s World.
- Wiggles, one of the dogs in our current campsite that Evan made friends with.
- The greeter at the Running Bear pancake house. She is a big Alabama fan so we bonded over her Bama shirt.
Overall, the first week on the road has been AWESOME. Now on to more adventures!