Week Two On The Road
We’ve officially made it past most peoples’ expectations (I can’t count how many times I’ve heard “I give you 2 weeks in that thing”)
We’ve logged 1,380 miles, total.
This week we spend $140 in lodging fees (half of that was one night at a hotel… totally not worth it either!)
This week we spent another $80 on gas.
We crossed another state line (Colorado).
Where We’ve Been:
The first night of this week we stayed in a hotel. After four days of off gridding we felt we needed a good shower and justified it with their laundry facilities. Which didn’t really exist. So we spent some time at a laundromat, payed half of the weeks lot fees in one night and got a ‘sorta ok’ night of sleep. Denver was VERY happy to get a queen size bed to stretch out on but for the rest of us I think the consensus was that it wasn’t worth it…
After that we went to Starvation Reservoir in Utah and stayed a couple days. It has two camp sites, the beach one looked WAY not worth it, it was covered in litter and had nothing fun for a dog to do, it was also coated in bugs in the evenings. We stayed (fortunately) up top on the butte. It was great. Beautiful views, a short walk to the beach, above all the bugs and it got wifi (the beach spots did not!). For the same price it was an easy choice to stay up top. Also, EVERYONE picks the beach sites (it sounds more appealing?). Those spots were full and the neighbors were close, most of the two days we were there we were alone on the top. We had the whole place to ourselves and there were great spots to play soccer and run the dog. Nice showers too!
Then we carried on. We opted for a Walmart stay the next night, partly because there weren’t a lot of appealing options for camp sites and partly to make up ground on our budget after our hotel stay. Taking a tip from a fellow fulltime family and made it a rotisserie chicken night! We stocked up on groceries and found our way the next day Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
We went mudding to a spot that we were told had free camping, it was closed. But we tested the bounds of the camper and the Pilot! (I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little scared). Since the kids were asleep for nap time we decided to find our way back down and go toward another spot we had heard about. Full. third time is the charm though and we found ourself at Hinman Campground about 30 miles north of Steamboat Springs. At ten bucks a night and with beautiful surroundings we stayed for three nights! We drove into town one of the days and made lots of friends. A great dane is a great ice breaker. Our kids played with other kids on the playground for hours, we had a great dinner at a brewery in town and had great conversation with another familythat were in town after finishing a 758 mile long bike ride!
Also, we met another fulltime family as hey were leaving, we had a short conversation since our daughters had become fast friends, they told us we looked and acted like locals. I’m not entirely sure what that meant BUT I will take it as a huge compliment after 3 days off the grid! Andything above ‘you look like a dirty freeloader’ is a great compliment to me these days 😉
Where we are heading:
We aren’t sure. We’re attempting to make it to our first National Park this week, Rocky Mountain National Park. I say attempting because Susan (what we have named our Pilot) is having a hard time with hills and RMNP is nothing but hills. We’re going to make it to Fort Collins and take her to the car doctor. We have an error happening with hills and our VSP Stabalizer (I don’t know if I am remembering that correctly. Any time we go up a decent grade though our car feels like it breaks and then lights come on. We can reset it but it’s happened 3 times and we need to treat Susan right so she treats us right too! We looked it up and it sounds like it is a defect of our Pilots model year so maybe Honda will cover the fix but we can’t be sure. We’re also going to upgrade our transmission cooling system, we aren’t over heating but after reading the manual closely we figured we should. So pit stop in Fort Collins soon.
As it turns out:
4 people and one dog have everything we need to be on or off grid in 84 s.f. it would be hard to believe if we weren’t living it! We’ve been off the grid and away from water for four days (we carry in our own). We have one 100watt solar panel for power. LED lights. A pump for the water and I cook almost all of our meals in the camper (so far we are still on our first 20# tank of propane, surprisingly!)
With that we have been able to keep up with our jobs (online), play with our dog and our kids and stay clean, fed (healthy) and happy. Our kids haven’t once asked to go home. Hazel gets excited to keep going, she constantly tells us to ‘Just keep driving’.
We even had our first fight on the road… but got over it fast enough ).
There is a learning curve to this thing but it’s actually far easier than I anticipated so far! The camper cost $4,300 (we designed and built it ourselves). We’re trying to keep our ‘rent costs’ (parking fees) around $600 a month (we have found that free spots, while plentiful, have a fair bit of ‘Sketchy’ about them ). I’d rather pay $5-20 a night for some peace of mind. That said there have been some awesome free spots too! (Tonight we are in a free spot but the catch is that a train goes by every few hours… the kids LOVE trains though, and the adults can deal… There is free WiFi and free water 😉)
To see pictures from our adventures this week check out our instagram HERE
(sorry, it takes too long to transfer them over with the 3G internet)