So, how has it been three weeks since we left home?!?! Seriously, this is the start of week four, and it feels like we’ve been on the road ages instead of weeks.We’ve become so accustomed to our new routine of drive, park, see amazing things, dry camp, wake up, pack up, drive, see more breathtaking things, find a campground, sleep, wake, repeat. Let me see if I can look back and do a proper recap . . .
April 1: Drive from Squamish to Lynden, WA to stay the night with Evan & Lindsey.
2: Lynden, WA -> Eugene, OR.
3: Eugene, OR -> Anderson, CA
4: Anderson, CA -> Fresno, CA
5: Fresno, CA -> PALM SPRINGS!!!
Each of these longer driving days, we tried our best to break it up for the girls as best we could, trying to give them breaks, but not too many that it took up the whole day for no reason. We would start our day with a quick breakfast, get ready, pack up, and get driving just in time for Juni’s first nap. Mabel would play, “read” books, watch the scenery, etc. She did so well most of the time! Her imagination really exploded during this time, being forced to be in one place and sit with her thoughts. We would stop somewhere (usually a park or green space of some sort if we could find one) for a picnic lunch (I’ll try to write a food post later to address budget, cooking while dry camping, etc. I’m still trying to figure it out! Haha). During the second leg of driving in the afternoon the girls would take a nap, then when they woke up, we would take a short break, then back in to the car for the last bit. This is usually where they would lose their minds sometimes! So I would climb into the backseat between car seats (yes, it was very cramped) and keep them company, reading books, playing, or watching some “Llama Llama.” Side note, “Llama Llama” is on Netflix and it’s awesome! One of the few shows I let Mabel watch because it’s not annoying.
6-8: We stayed in Palm Springs for a few days, just resting and recouping from the long driving days!
Each of these nights, we stayed at casinos in their truck stop parking lots. It was amazing, actually, because there were so many RVs parked with us! Definitely not as shady as I had originally thought.
In Palm Springs, we spent time resting, reorganizing, doing macrame (me, not Matt and the girls, lol), riding bikes, and going for walks in town. We had parked our car and trailer along the back road next to a casino where there was free overnight parking. It was perfect! However after a couple days rest, we were ready to get out of town and actually go camping.
8-11: Joshua Tree! So so so lovely! But in a weird way. I kept asking myself how a place like this could be real. Miles and miles of dry mountains, cacti, and hard knobby trees with spikes for leaves. We spent one of the days there sitting in the car at the auto mechanic shop, trying to figure out what was wrong with our lemon of a vehicle (all the things, is the answer). But the other days there we spent hiking, driving to see the vastly different areas of the park, riding bikes, having campfires, and relaxing.
11: Left Joshua Tree and headed to Phoenix, AZ. This day was SO hot! It reached 100F, which made our car with no A/C fee a bit like a small oven. We camped the night in the Walmart parking lot, camp chairs outside of the trailer to escape the heat and left the trailer door open to give the sleeping girls some relief.
12: A relaxed day of picnics, parks, and planning the next few days. That afternoon we headed to Chandler, AZ to see a dear friend of mine Heather and her hubs. We parked our trailer in their parking lot and had dinner, showers, laundry, and some heart-filling chat. It was so, so great! It’s amazing to be with folks who are really your people, people who you can share your heart with, who are on the same wave length as you, and you can encourage each other in Christ. Heather, I love ya lady.
13-15: We stayed with my great uncle Harry and Aunt Barb in Peoria , which was so fun! We hadn’t seen each other in over 10 years, so it was great to catch up and be with family. And the girls loved it! Especially Mabel, who took to her uncle Harry so well and keeps asking for him.
15-16: We reconnected with a YWAM friend who we hadn’t seen in five years and went to her church that morning. We met her family, and they invited us to stay at their house that evening. One of the perks of having a loose plan is being able to stay with friends if you want. 🙂 We parked our trailer in their yard, let our kids play together, and had a really great chat. Thanks Stacy, Nick, and family for your hospitality!
16: We headed to Prescott, AZ to try to meet up with friends (which didn’t end up working out), then had car trouble again! We spent an hour and a bit resolving why our check engine light was coming on, then headed to a campground 45 minutes outside of Sedona.
Yes he’s even cute while working on the car, and yes I am an old lady who accidentally puts her finger over the lens while taking a picture.
17: Sedona is so lovely! We spend the morning and afternoon hiking Devil’s Bridge and exploring. Both kids were strapped onto our backs in Ergos, and they were such troopers! Even though Juni had had enough of the carrier in the last bit and needed to be carried the last 3/4 of a mile.
Picnic lunch at the trailer, then we decided to head to the Grand Canyon. Originally we were going to find some BLM land and dry camp, but we weren’t sure where we were going, and it got so cold! We decided a KOA with a pool, a hot tub, and a shower may be better.
18: Grand Canyon. Amazing doesn’t even start to explain or say how vast and beautiful this is. It was surreal just being there! We thought about finding a big hike but neither Matt or I were feeling great, so we decided to pop the girls in the stroller and walk along the rim towards the visitors center. We ended up walking almost 4 miles, because we couldn’t stop walking just to see a bit more! So intense and pretty.
18-20: After the Grand Canyon, we drove to Page, AZ thinking it was only a little over an hour; however, it ended up being almost three hours because we must’ve read our GPS wrong! Oh goodness, tired minds. The girls did so well but were past their point when we were rolling into the Walmart paring lot there, which to our surprise was filled with other RVs! At least the back third of the parking lot was one RV after another, and inside there were backpackers and campers clearing out the prepared food section and brushing their teeth in the bathroom. We stayed a couple nights here to see Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend, both which were breathtaking! Seriously some of my favourite parts of the trip so far.
Horseshoe Bend. Just for the record NO there are no guard rails, and YES you feel like you are going to fall off the edge any second, and YES it is a little bit terrifying.
20: Drove the four and a half hours from Page to Moab. Y’all,there was practically nothing the entire drive, just miles of desert stretched out before us. It was a perfect time for me to say, “Hey, at least the check engine light hasn’t come on yet today!” And then it did, just like out of a movie. I’m not sure how that happened, but I’m not allowed to talk about car troubles in the car again so I don’t jinx things, especially in the middle of the desert. We stayed at a truck stop right outside of Moab this evening.
21-23: Moab! We stayed at a campground right outside Arches National Park, and we had so much fun! The first day was filled with the pool, meeting new friends with kids and joining up for a BBQ, and resting. The second day was full of hiking! We hiked a bit over 4 miles in to see the Landscape Arch and the Double O Arch, which required a bit of rock scrambling and climbing, which was fun with kids strapped to our backs! I have more pictures from that on Matt’s phone that I’ll upload later, but here are a couple of the girls and I resting and having a picnic snack halfway through.
If you’ve made it this far, well done. I’ll try to post weekly instead of every three so I don’t turn out such long novels! Until then, my bed calls. Night friends. xo