Happy anniversary!

Today is our official, one-year “full-time living on the road adventure” anniversary.  One year ago, on April 29, 2023, we walked out the front door of our house in Portland for the last time and spent a night in our 5th wheel for the first time.

That first night feels like it was so long ago, a different lifetime ago, and at the same time, with everything we have done over these 12 months, it feels like the time has flown by very quickly.

Here is the map of everywhere we’ve been during year one…

The letters mark our stops along the route in alphabetical order (starting with the “A” in Portland in the top-left) but restart with each new leg of the trip

Over the first year we traveled a total of 5,626 miles, spent time in 9 different states, and visited 11 national parks (bringing our total visited together up to 22). We spent the most time in Texas (128 nights) followed by Oregon (70), Colorado (63), New Mexico (48), Utah (21), Arizona (15), Nevada (9), Wyoming (6), and California (5).

We have a lot more data we tracked along the way, like what types of places we stayed at and how much we spent on gas and repairs and campground fees, but I’ll save all that for anther post.

Oh, and speaking of posts, we know we haven’t been updating the blog very much recently.  We’re sorry.  Part of that is because we haven’t been traveling; we’ve been in the same general area of Texas since January 1st.  And the other reason is that things have been incredibly busy; there just hasn’t been much time to step back, take a breath, and write everything down. But, we’ll be leaving Texas next weekend and getting back on the road, so I’m sure the updates will be coming more frequently again soon.

As for a quick overview of the last 4 months…

Let’s see, we spent most of January exploring this area of Texas and researching/visiting tracts of land for sale to find a few acres we could call our own and use as a winter stopping ground every year.  After we found an ideal spot, we spent most of February working through the purchasing process and signing all the documents.  And in March we worked with a local contractor to get a road cut in, a landing spot for the 5th wheel leveled and excavated, and a septic tank put in.

Our first view of the initial progress from above
Stone steps we built leading to the overlook and a big flat stone (on the right) that we’ll turn into an outdoor table

April feels like it has been our most hectic month of 2024, so far.  At the beginning of the month we drove east out near Austin to see the solar eclipse (and lucked out with clear skies just as totality hit). 

Obligatory “looking up at the eclipse” picture

Then Lauren had to fly to Philadelphia for a work conference and to Denver for some medical stuff.  While Lauren was away my friend Michael came to visit from Portland and we did hikes in Big Bend National Park during the days and watched sunsets from the property at night.

Reaching the end of the Window Trail hike
From the banks of the Rio Grande River in Santa Elena Canyon
Sunrise on the way up the Lost Mine Trail hike
View to the east from the top of the Lost Mine Trail hike
Sunset picture time

In the middle of all that we finally moved the 5th wheel from the RV park in Terlingua out to our property and we have been staying out here ever since.

Remote and isolated, yes, but also peaceful and serene
Home sweet home
Early sunset casting shadows over the mountains to the south with the Chisos Mountains of Big Bend NP in the far distance
Sunrise over Nine Point Mesa to the east
Sunset painting the sky over one of the mesas to the west

It’s an absolutely beautiful and tranquil spot and we couldn’t be happier with it, but this area of Texas starts to get really hot by April.  Days in the 80s are lovely, but we’ve already had days over 100 and more than a few in the upper 90s.  While we’d love to spend more time out on the property, especially since we’ve only had a few weeks out here to enjoy it, it’s definitely time to hit the road, head north, and find some cooler climates.  Although we know as soon as we leave we’ll already be looking forward to coming back “home” in November.

The plan for next weekend is to head back to Tucson for a few weeks so we can get the 5th wheel and truck serviced and take care of some much needed repairs and upgrades.  From there we’ll be heading north into Utah and, possibly, southern Idaho and western Colorado to start looking for the 2nd plot of land we want to purcahse.  2024 is shaping up to be our “land grab” year and the goal is to end up with a spot in Texas for the winters and a spot in the mountains of Utah/Idaho/Colorado for the summers.  If all that goes to plan, we can spend 2025 and beyond getting back to traveling to places we haven’t explored yet and checking more national parks off our list.

As much as we have enjoyed our time in this area of Texas, and love the piece of land we found, we are really feeling the itch to get moving again.

Onward to year two!

4 thoughts on “Happy anniversary!

  1. Judi

    Wow! Already a year! And you’re still happy about how it’s going. That’s important.
    Your sunsets are breathtaking and the landscapes so interesting. Love your steps and outdoor table.
    Looking forward to more blogs!

  2. Alicia

    Happy Anniversary!🎉 Happy to see these updates and looking forward to hearing about the next year! We heard you had quite an adventure with a rogue leveling leg, although a blog probably couldn’t do justice to the buffalo’s story with demonstrations. 😀


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