It's tricky to explain the feeling of exploring the Carlsbad Caverns. It's this odd mix: a sense of wonder, intrigue, fascination, and slight child-like hesitation. The landscape was unlike anything I had ever seen before. Sci-Fi movies may come close, but I don't know if they've ever captured the real essence of it. Regardless, this was one of those places you had to see to believe.
After spending about a month back in Buffalo around the holidays, we knew it was time to get back on the road. We were itching to see someplace new, and two main music cities were topping our list: Nashville and Memphis. Our route had us heading south, so it seemed like the perfect time to swing into these cities and take in the sounds they had to offer.
The final push of our loop home was full of friendly faces. Not because we smiled and nodded at a bunch of nice people, but because we had three visits with old and new friends set up for the coming weeks. We were looping our way back East, and three key cities happened to be along our route: Cheyenne, Denver, and Kansas City.
With the sand debacle behind us and my heart full from a trip down family memory lane, it was time to head out of Tillamook. The entire Fall season was filled with family and friends, and now was not the time to make this stop. We scooted up to Portland again for a quick weekend with my family, and while it was tough to only see them for such a short time, something really important to me was right around the corner... my mom was coming to visit!
Since this is our first Thanksgiving in the rig, we thought it would be fun to make a list of the things we're most grateful for. Some are big, some are small, but all of them are meant to remind us that there is so much good in our lives. While there's plenty of things that didn't make the list, this collection highlights some of our favorites from the past four months...
We were super excited to make our way down to the Oregon coast after spending about a month in Washington. Both of us had heard how incredibly beautiful it was and were looking forward to a week in a campground right near the dunes in Pacific City. When PCH 101 finally gave us a view of the ocean, we pulled over for a quick, unenthusiastic look at the water and to snap a few photos (the Bills had just lost so spirits were pretty low). We assumed that we would have plenty of time to explore the coast and the dunes once we got to our site... we were wrong.
Before Cori and I moved into our tiny house on wheels together, I had spent five of the last six years living with the same person: my good friend Max. In fact, Max introduced Cori and I to each other years ago. Needless to say, when I told him that we’d be going on this adventure he instantly came back with “I’ll be coming to visit”.
After leaving Mt. Rainier, it was time for us to make our way to Seattle. This was extremely exciting in a couple ways...
Number One: Flying fish, because for some reason I have always wanted to see Pike Place Market.
Number Two (the more important one): I GOT TO SEE MY BEST FRIEND!!!
Our original plan was to go to small park on the banks of the Columbia River, near Kennewick on the Washington side. Apparently the state of Washington had other plans for us, though, since there was a barbed wire fence blocking our path into the park. There was no real way to tell before we got there, but the park closed on September 12. Bummer, right?
I don't think I could dream a more picture-perfect place than the Grand Tetons. Really, I don't. Waking up there is like waking up in the middle of a postcard, complete with breathtaking views, gorgeous sunsets, and perfectly crisp morning air. Which explains why, when we got there, we instantly decided to extend our stay and push our limited water supply as long as possible.