Some quality Eric and kiddo time

Eric, Gabe and Jill enjoyed a few days alone at Lake Hattie while Ethan and Joe spent time with their dad and I spent time with my sister and tied up some more loose ends back in Colorado.

They enjoyed pizza and rode bikes around our new site. Jillian sported some of her new birthday clothes even though it was a bit cold and windy for the summer gear.

Eric found a momma, we think fox, and her pups who hung around the bathrooms and trash scavenging. The sanitation group hadn’t picked up trash in a while, so it was overflowing and easy grabbing for the fox family. I hope they ate their veggies.

Then, mid-June…it snowed at the lake. Inside the camper they popped some popcorn and cuddled up to watch movies and watch the slow fly outside. Thankfully, the heater works great and they were cozy and warm.

The next day, the sun came out and although it warmed up some, it was a typical windy day in Wyoming. Eric made extra efforts to make sure camp was wind secure so we lost a minimal amount of stuff. RIP blue chair cover.

The sunset was absolutely beautiful that night, and Liberty gleamed like a post card.

Eric has Gabe and Jill convinced that he makes THE best macaroni and cheese. There is no doctoring, it’s literally followed directions on the box of plain old Kraft macaroni and cheese. The actual gourmet stuff that I’ve attempted to make them, with cream and cheddar and al dente noodles just isn’t as good to them…Dad makes the best, I won’t even try to argue with that one! Makes me laugh every time.

“The World’s Best Mac and Cheese” by Kraft & Eric

In other news, Eric lost the finger split, so he used his resourcefulness and put a small comb as a brace and taped it up. It does the job, and if he has any messy knuckle hair, it’ll be taken care of also.

While at the AT&T store to get more sim cards, Eric met Chris and Crystal Pohl, a kind couple who owns a mobile RV & Automobile repair business. They offered to come out to the site and take a look at some of the damage from the ‘incident’. They came out and helped install the new brake controller. We were so grateful and wanted to make sure they knew how much we appreciated them coming so we invited them for dinner whenever it worked for them. If anyone is in town and needs some mobile repair work done, we highly recommend them. Here is a link to their Facebook page with their company information

Help from All Season RV & Automotive Mobile Service in Laramie, WY

It was a dark and stormy night…

Quite an eventful weekend in the books. We knew to expect some drama, but just knowing it’s coming doesn’t prepare a family completely.

Friday was our leaving town day. Since I will be working remotely, and will be coming into the office occassionally, we’re trying to find boondocking spots to stay within an hour or so of the office.

Eric wanted to be sweet and tear down and set up camp while I was at work. We looked for spots on the motor vehicle use map (MVUM) downloaded from the national forest/state forest/blah blah app called Avenza. The spot I’d found looked great. It was about an hour from my office and in Idaho Springs, CO. The dots are the areas designated as dispersed camping spots, road says it’s for all vehicles.

As Eric headed up the mountain, I got the following text “Umm…”

Rough road, many hairpin turns, probably not the best way to start out our boondocking adventures. And then as we decided we’ll look elsewhere and turn around…I got another text from Eric, “emergency…call”

We had our first accident. Trying to turn around a 60’+ rig setup on a narrow road meant a nice deep jacknife to avoid falling off the cliff.

Chief and Liberty did not obey the current social distancing rules. Chief got scuffed, Liberty got dented and the trailer break emergency break-away thing engaged our trailer brakes. Thankfully, Eric is great at backing and backed down the road about a mile to a spot he could get turn around. Unfortunately, he also broke his hand by jumping out of Chief when they were partially dangling off the edge.

We spent the night at a KOA in Central City where we had full hookups and wifi to research a different boondoscking/free spot. After waking up early the next morning and scouting around, we decided we can’t use the MVUM maps. The spots we thought were spots didn’t exist for RVs. We decided we’ll need to just go on to a lake in Wyoming that a blogger had posted about being free and beautiful. Fingers crossed it turns out to actually be there.

But first, it was Jill’s birthday so we woke her up with our angelic-birthday-song-singing voices, ate (a very smiley) chocolate cake for breakfast, and headed to Chick-fil-a, one of her favorite places to eat. Happy birthday, Sweetheart!!

On the way, we encountered a severe thunderstorm, listened to Ethan’s weird and goofy Ethan-style happy birthday wishes over the phone for Jillian, which made her laugh hysterically of course, and was advised to pull over by a trucker.

After literally putting out a fire in the break-away box (I’d never actually seen a fire extinguisher working in real-life before this, so that was kinda cool), and duct taping an unlocked and flappy open window, we headed to the store to get ice cream and breakfast items to make for Jill’s birthday dinner.

After the store, we were only 20 minutes from our destination. However, Google maps guided us to a private entrance only and it ate up all but a sliver of daylight for us to find the location. We found our oasis. We were so happy to FINALLY have found a place to park for a bit!

The next morning we woke up to a beautiful view and a fresh start. A friend of mine once told me that she find heart-shaped rocks when she’s immersing herself in the moment. She would often say, “we are human BEINGS, not human DOINGS.” Ever since then, I’ve found heart shaped items (many times, rocks) and love taking a picture of them to remember those moments I was just simply “being” in the moment.

Chief picking up Miss Liberty

We pull out of the RV Sales lot and hit our first curb. No damage, just a bit of adrenaline, phew.

Less than 5 minutes later, we pull onto the highway and something flies off the trailer. We narrow down the possibilities and it’s confirmed once we arrive at the Walmart parking lot. The propane tank lid now lives off the side of the highway. Welp, that was quick to have some adventure!

Here’s our train…36′ of trailer, plus a few feet of hitch, plus a 24′-ish bus. We’re quite the sight!!

As we’re arriving home for our first night with the new family members, we got a double rainbow…what does it mean? (In case you don’t know the reference, here’s the video: ) It’s hard to see in the picture, but it was there, I promise.

What is Chief and Liberty?

Chief and Liberty are our vehicles, both literally and figuratively, for our new lifestyle of exploring everywhere we can drive with our family. Wherever we go, there we are!

We are both thrilled and terrified of what we’re about to do, but our goal is to show our children that the world is filled with so much more than the screen in front of them. With the ability to slow down our go-go-go lifestyle, we would like to tap into what being alive is really all about…connection. Connection with each other, connection with nature, connection with ourselves, and connection with this beautiful thing called life.

Welcome to the journey – we have a feeling it will be anything but boring.