Leaving the desert

It feels like we’ve been wandering the desert forever.

Ever since we left Denver in September of last year, we’ve spent the majority of the last 9 months in either the Great Basin, Sonoran, or Chihuahuan desert.  And while our next few stops in Utah will technically still be in the Great Basin Desert, we’ll be at elevation and in the mountains most of the time so, hopefully, it won’t feel as much like we’re still baking in the desert sun.  The beautiful landscapes and warm weather were a great way to spend the winter, but I think we’re both ready for some shade and the smell of evergreens.

While we’re eager to start heading north into some cooler climates, this last month in Tucson has been super productive.  As Lauren mentioned in her previous post, we’ve taken care of some 5th wheel repairs and upgrades, but we’ve also been getting a lot of smaller projects done and have been stocking up on supplies to get us ready for our summer travels.  To be honest, I feel like the 5th wheel and truck are in better condition and more comfortable now than they were when we first hit the road a year ago.  We still have a list of projects we’d like to do to make the 5th wheel feel more like a home, but I think we’re in good shape for now.

So, the big stuff you’ve heard about already…  We got a hydraulic issue taken care of that had been bugging us since we got one of our hydraulic landing jacks replaced in Carlsbad back in December.  And we also had a flooring issue fixed and had a new fridge installed.  The new fridge is the item on that list that I’m most excited about.  It draws way less power (better for boondocking and staying out on our property) and actually keeps food cold.  It was way more expensive than it should have been but our old fridge was causing so many issues I’m glad we made the upgrade.  I’m eager to have a week of boondocking soon to see how it holds up when we’re off-grid.

The new section of flooring doesn’t quite match the old, but it’s fixed so we don’t care!
Shiny new fridge (complete with fingerprint marks that never seem to go away no matter how many times you clean!)

Outside of those three big projects we’ve also spent our time in Tucson:

  • Getting the truck serviced and taking care of the things it needed as it recently passed over the 75,000-mile mark
  • Adding a weather station and constructing a pole that can be attached to the top of the ladder (and be taken down easily on travel days)
  • Replacing the waste hose storage compartment that was damaged on the road out to our property
  • Replacing the flimsy, plastic RV toilet seat with a more conventional one
  • Adding some hooks so we can hang some of our plants and free up table/counter space
  • Custom fitting some reflective foil wrap for our windows to keep the inside of the 5th wheel cooler on hot days and to make it easier to put them up or take them down
  • Better organizing our basement storage area
  • Stocking up on a number of supplies that are hard to find in some of the smaller towns we pass through
Now we’ll know exactly how hot and windy it gets wherever we roam
Fitted reflective foil inserts and hanging plants
With everything in the basement more organized we actually have more space than we know what to do with

With all that taken care of, our goal for the rest of this summer is to find a 2nd piece of land somewhere in the mountains of Utah, Idaho, or Colorado to have a place to stay when it’s too hot to be on the property down in Texas.  While the Texas property is one we plan to use every winter while we’re living full time on the road, this 2nd property will be one that is more for the future.  I doubt we’ll do any major improvements on it right away (like the excavation and septic work we did in Texas) and we may not stay on it very often while we’re out exploring other parts of the country during the spring, summer, and fall months.  But it will be somewhere we can maybe build a house and settle down a bit for when we’re ready to not be on the road all the time.

We’ve found a dozen or so properties throughout Utah, Idaho, and Colorado that we’re excited to go see and by the end of the summer we’ll hopefully settle on one and be ready to make an offer and start the purchasing process.

Our first stop is an area of SW Utah near Zion and Bryce Canyon national parks and not too far from the Grand Canyon.  We plan to be in that area for a couple weeks to explore the region and the available properties before we head further north into the mountains outside Provo, Salt Lake City, and Ogden.  If we don’t find anything we like in Utah, we’ve got a few properties in SE Idaho and western Colorado to check out as well.  I think that should keep us busy for the summer!

1 thought on “Leaving the desert

  1. Samantha

    I finally caught up on your posts. So much going on! Congrats on the land! I am sure the foil window covers will make big changes in efficiency. Keep living the dream!


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