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I imagine a few people may believe we’re somewhat prepared or know what we’re doing. Maybe we’re mechanically inclined. Why else would we think we could handle a monster truck and a house on wheels? Obviously something is missing from this story, right? NOPE. Forget any preconceived idea that we are “handy” people. The last few days have been full of lessons, or as my dad calls them “Leadership Opportunities”. When you’re standing on the side of the highway in nowhere Montana, covered in sweat and dirt holding your small child you don’t feel like a leader. It’s a cute thought though, thanks Dad. Day two started off as days typically do when you’re grossly confident people. We got up, feeling high and mighty after our successful first day. Look at us, we fixed a leaky sink last night, we rock! Let’s crush day two! We start cruisin’ with high hopes of making it to Billings, (spoiler alert, we do not). We left Twin Falls, Idaho nice and early. As we pull into Idaho Falls we notice our Truck has a notification that our brake lights aren’t working. Off to our second home, Camping World! After 2 hours of prying things apart and trying to replace the brake light on the fifth wheel, we realize the connection is actually a minor problem with our truck, super quick fix if you know what you are doing. As previously mentioned, we do not. Two hours behind, ok, we can stop in Livingston for the night. No problem, I have budgeted extra time for things like this. 

We get back on the road and make it to Montana. I jump in the back seat to feed the tiny human. This is an incredibly glamorous task, as you can see. Pumps attached I feel a BOOM. I look out the window and see part of our house flapping around and the remains of our tire. Oh great, I felt like 8 tires was excessive anyway. Thank goodness we are in the middle of nowhere. Husband handles the 7 legged beast like a champ and pulls us safely to the side of the highway. Alright, we have planned for this. We have roadside assistance just a phone call away. After an hour back and forth with the insurance company they inform us they are now searching for a tow company to come change our tire. An hour? Just to confirm our coverage. Thank goodness we weren’t stranded in the middle of nowhere with a baby on the highway, oh yea, we were. An hour and half later our tow company shows up. This is a rural Montana tow company, which means it’s two cowboys in a pickup. They could not have been nicer! Our NASCAR pit crew drove about 45 minutes just to get to us. They got our tire replaced and the side of the house taped up and sent us on our way. After 3 hours and only one meltdown (hint: it was not the baby nor the Husband) we were back on the road… for one whole mile. We found a Grocery/Laundromat /Candy Store/Gas Station/Post Office/ RV Park and decided to call it a day. 

Day 3: We woke up nice and early to really conquer the day. Apparently deciding that day 2 was just a fluke. Determined to make it to Billings today we set out. Success! We make it, find a great campsite and have our egos back in full force. We handled day two and came back stronger, ready for anything now. We’re like Rocky, in any of the 100 Rocky movies. ADRIAN! We decide to reward ourselves with hard cider and fish tacos at The Last Chance Pub in Billings. 

Day 4: Now off to Rapid City. It’s incredibly important to us that our 3 month old, who can’t see past 15 feet, sees Mt. Rushmore. We make it to Gillette, Wyoming and Husband asks me when Sturgis is. Not understanding that he is asking about the massive motorcycle rally, I look at the map and tell him it’s in about 90 miles. Total goob! “Uh, no, the motorcycle rally”. I don’t know, who cares… OH! Oopsie. A quick google reveals we are right in the middle of it. Driving our massive vehicle with a hundred blind spots. Who takes they’re maiden voyage in a house on wheels through the largest motorcycle rally in the country? These guys. Alright, we can do this. Our hometown has a huge rally every year, we know the rules. After a harrowing 2 hours we make it to our campsite. Thank goodness tiny human woke up just in time to serenade us with the music of her people the entire way. All totally worth it, she was very impressed with Mt. Rushmore. 

So why do we keep pushing on? Ah, because we are from the generation that received trophies for everything. We are just naturally great at all things we try. Everything we screw up is served in a positivity sandwich, hidden between all the things we actually do well so we can’t see our mistakes. This is what too much praise turns into people! Overly confident, naive morons. 

We’re just glad our child is young and cannot fully understand how little her parents know, we have to keep up appearances. 

I do want to note that we do take safety very seriously, even though it may not appear that way. We took lessons on how to drive our vehicle from my grandfather, the runner up in the Trucker Olympics (he was robbed of first place, politics). This experience, while hilarious, is truly making us better people. Everyday is something completely new, we are learning so much and loving every minute… even the tough minutes. 

 

Whew! How the heck did we get here? 7 weeks ago this idea that we’d live on the road for a year was just something the Husband and I joked about. Who would actually do that? We have a very small child for crying out loud! In the words of the Great Barney Stinson, challenge accepted.

A little history. ¬†Three months ago we welcomed our first child, #TheGreatScoutdoors. Three weeks after she was born I had a meeting in Dallas. Yes, I could have said, “hey I just had a baby I’m not coming”, but it honestly didn’t occur to me that getting to Dallas from Reno, NV, with a fresh, out of the package human would be that big of deal. The real challenge was how to get there. We did not want to take our brand new baby on a trip in a germ infested tube flying through the air. So we decided to rent a camper and drive. It’s a mere 1,700 miles, no problemo! Turns out renting one of those bad boys is a pretty penny. So, long story short we bought a mini Winnebago trailer called The Grasshopper. IMG_2056We were able to snag it exactly 2 days before we were set to leave. Fortunately, we had an 11 year old Honda Ridgeline with 210,000 miles that was just aching to test out it’s towing abilities. With our bright green trailer, ancient truck and 2 week old newborn in tow we set out for our first adventure as a family of 3.

It should be noted neither myself nor Husband have any experience towing. Along with our vast experience (of a whole 2 weeks) being parents this entire adventure was a test of our sanity, survival skills and overall decision making. Good news is we had an absolute blast! Every day was a hilarious mess. Our first night in Grasshopper we had no power and no water. One week and several trips to Camping Worlds along the way we made it to Dallas. Success! After a few nights in a Fairmont we loaded back into Grasshopper and hit the road home. With our newly gained skills we decided to truly test the limits and boondock at a Walmart (a common practice amongst camping folk). Ah, what a humbling experience, waking up in a suite at the Fairmont and going to sleep that night in a Walmart parking lot. After nailing that we pretty much decided we are professionals and can do anything. You could smell the stench of arrogance on us. Husband even gave a pointer to someone at a Camping World. Really? Who do we think we are? Fortunately, our cockiness was really shoved in our faces in Kansas City. Unable to get a pull through spot we settled for a back in. No problem, we’re awesome! We stayed one night in a parking lot so we can obviously handle anything! Bah! Turns out backing up a trailer is NOTHING like backing up your car, AT ALL! After an hour, yes an hour, we settled with Grasshopper partially in the spot, mostly on the grass and using the campsite picnic table as a step in front of our door. At this point #TheGreatScoutdoors has developed a knack for screaming bloody murder during these tense moments. We imagine that she actually has all the answers but lacks the language skills to communicate them.

As our journey home continued we actually did get better. Lessons learned the hard way really stick with you. For instance, Husband will never again open the black water before making sure the hoses are connected properly. Our last day on the road we realize this was the last hoorah for our sweet Honda Ridgeline. We begin the end of car life plans and discuss our next vehicle. We half heartedly say we could get a real setup and just live on the road. No joke, that is how this started. I guess neither one of us said “haha, that’s silly” or “just kidding” so we just went with it. After 12 years together we shouldn’t be surprised that if one of us comes up with a crazy idea the other one will not only be on board but will assist in finding ways to add to the craziness. We got home, found the fifth wheel we liked and started shopping for a truck. We LITERALLY have only owned these items for 2 weeks. In the last couple of weeks we have liquidated our belongings, told our parents we are living like vagabonds with their first grandchild, packed what possessions remained in our fifth wheel and hit the road. While most people with a new baby settle down, buy a lot of stuff and begin a routine we have done the exact opposite. Not to be outrageous or antiestablishment. We put out these half baked ideas that sound amazing and just do what we can to make them happen.

So here we are. Day one of our new life on the road. Our home is a mess. We’re still figuring everything out, like how to hang things on cardboard thin walls. We laughed a lot today as we pushed buttons and pretended like we knew what we’re doing. Thanks for following our journey. I’m not a writer, so please excuse any typos, grammatical errors and sentences ending in prepositions. I don’t think this blog will be particularly inspirational, educational or funny. I’m hoping it’s a little bit of all three, but no promises.