I know. It has been forever since we posted. Like … eight months, to be exact.
When we last left you, we were jaunting merrily off on a trek that was planned to take us, over the course of ten months, from New Hampshire to Alaska and back. We had amazing new gear and a crazy plan to leave our camper behind.
Well, as you may have guessed by now — we didn’t quite make it.
It’s hard to say exactly where our plan went off course.
We had a wonderful trip south to Louisiana — visiting friends, and checking off a national park along the way.
We camped on the beach in Texas …
And once again, Big Bend National Park didn’t fail to bewitch us.
New Mexico was pure magic, and we seriously talked about never leaving.
We were supposed to head from New Mexico into Colorado, but at that point (mid-April) the weather was still looking pretty questionable. (Even though we were already almost a month behind schedule.) We decided to cut west and visit Utah before heading up into the Rocky Mountains.
After a quick detour to the Grand Canyon, we headed to Utah and were immediately awed.
Looking back … Utah is where the plan started falling apart.
We crossed the Arizona-Utah border headed towards Zion National Park in the throes of a raging wind and snow storm that blew through quickly, leaving us hopeful that better weather lay ahead. And while we had many gorgeous sunny days, it was still cold — and the wind and snow quickly began to seriously cramp our car camping style. We had planned an ambitious three-week circuit through Utah’s five national parks, but the crowds at Zion and Arches — combined with National Park Week and Jeep Week in Moab — left us tired and burnt out.
By the time we drove into Colorado on April 15, we were seriously ready for a break. We booked a week at the most comfortable AirBnB ever, and proceeded to spend it catching up on work, doing some serious Netflix and chilling, and eating lots of food that was not McDonalds. It was glorious.
Newly invigorated to hit the road (after plenty of soul-searching on whether or not to keep going), we left Cedaredge bound for Rocky Mountain National Park … only to hit another snow storm on the way.
And while RMNP had us seriously charmed … boy, was it cold.
We headed south, fell in love with Great Sand Dunes and Mesa Verde National Parks …
… but somewhere along the way, we decided to cut our trip short.
Let me tell you — that was a seriously hard decision.
Ahead of us was the promise of sunnier weather in California, and checking Alaska off our bucket list.
But when we sat down and honestly discussed it … we just weren’t having fun anymore. We were tired. We were burnt out. We were frustrated with trying to work on the road, and being stuck in the car during bad weather. We just needed a break from the road.
We made a quick detour to Arizona to see friends and family (and had our decision to turn around reinforced by the 100+ degree weather we encountered there) … then pointed Franklin north.
We made several great stops along the way — including the unexpectedly lovely Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and celebrating our anniversary in Chicago — and arrived back in New Hampshire on June 8. Since then we’ve been spending a glorious, sunny New England summer back in the camper parked at Rebecca’s parents.
So … what does it all mean for Our Streamlined Life? Right now, it’s a little early to tell. Ryan just started a new job he’s very excited about; we’re planning some international travel (Morocco! Thailand!); and we’re starting to talk about putting down long-term roots in New England. On the blog we’ll be reverse-time-traveling to catch up on our adventures over the spring, sharing the tips and tricks we learned on this trip, and chatting about minimalism and living that travel life. (We even have a giveaway coming up soon. Hint: We still love these guys.)