February 1, 2015

What Day Is It? It's Finally That Someday!

"A Cambrian Sea breeze had arrived...bringing with it the lure of new adventures yet to come and whispering of those uncharted shores, peaks, forests and rivers I will get to explore. "
Words of Sydney 2015

Turning the pages on a new calendar, we now allow the universe to unfold our next adventure toward those open spaces and draw us yet again to a few unique storytellers and life long mentors.

The countdown is now and we are on the tarmac with our checklist preparing for take off.

Notified that our new Arctic Fox was ready for delivery, we scheduled our pick up date and walk through on March 30th. As we have been outfitting our new trailer for many weeks, the last step was just to do a double check of all our inventory and load up the truck. We were quite surprised of how much space our "treasures" took up in the bed of our truck, but the Ram did not even flinch or sag under the added weight. Awesome truck!

We chose to take three full days to reach La Grande, Oregon, allowing us just a bit of time to check out a few points of interest. Although our set course was not the most scenic route, it was the most direct. We did treat ourselves by spending our first night in one of our favorite Eastern Sierra hangouts...Lone Pine, CA and them Alabama Hills. We drove out to Tuttle Creek Campground and made note of a few remote sites in Alabama Hills. A return visit to "them hills" will be with our new trailer.

Another quick stop we made while enroute on Nevada's Highway 95 was Sportsman Beach Campground at Walker Lake. Fellow wanderers have written reviews of their camping experience there and almost all were positive. The campground offered some large pull-through gravel sites with a shade shelter, fire pit, picnic table and a great lake view.

We reached La Grande, Oregon as planned and could not wait to catch a glimpse of our new trailer, so we drove out to Thunder RV. Unfortunately, it was not featured on the lot...but probably garaged...snug and clean awaiting our pre-delivery inspection the next morning. No doubt we will probably be waiting in front of their gates before they open...a big event for us!

At Waypoint 45.336438°-118.056408°

Head 'em up and move 'em out,... git along little dogies.

"When you come to a fork in the road, take it."
Yogi Berra

Preparing to pick up your new travel trailer across state lines and then spend almost 10 days putting it through it's paces cannot be accomplished by simply packing a clothes bag, ice chest and camp box...we wish it was that easy.

We began the process of outfitting our new rig back in September 2014. I wanted to ensure that we would be thorough, qualitative and most importantly take our time. A new travel trailer is a big investment for us and so is the new gear for that rig. But the main reason for taking our time was this preparation is the foreplay of our future adventures and we enjoy planning it together. 

We started with taking inventory of which rv supplies/gear we still had from the Country Coach days and then created a very comprehensive list of what gear we believed we still needed. Then we asked questions...a lot of questions, from friends who own travel trailers, experienced rv'ers in our Northwood RV Owners Association, our own Arctic Fox dealer, fellow bloggers and when needed, we even "Googled It".

You may ask, what is the big fuss? Just pull what you need out of your home. Not so fast...we still need those things in our home for daily living and who wants to outfit your trailer before every adventure. Nope, other than perishables, we wanted our rig ready for literally a moment's notice to take off. And... a Honda Generator, Equal-i-zer Weight Distribution Hitch, lightweight patio chairs, table and mat are not normal things you use around your home.

As we could not just "duplicate" our household items due to the minuscule amount of storage space we had. We had to first determine how much cabinet, drawer, closet and exterior storage we had to work with. Not a lot, but more than enough for long term trips. As we backpack, we know what it is like to leave those "luxury" items behind. So only the necessary essentials were gathered and boxed. Any extra space in the rig would be used toward our "passions" i.e. hiking, fishing and camera gear, food prep, "pupu hours" and grilling.

Imkelina's idea to separate our trailer into sections and then gather and box up the necessary gear for each of those areas worked perfectly. Bedroom, bathroom, living/dining room, kitchen and exterior storage tubs are being filled to capacity. These days you can get almost everything in "Travel Size", so we went miniature when we could. 

As of this date we are almost completed, but still have almost two months to fine tune our inventory. During that time we will probably change our mind a few times of what we should take for our initial "shake down cruise"...and probably add a few more happy hour essentials.

Imkelina's fork in the trail came this year ... and she's decided to take the one that leads to retirement!!!  She let the powers that (wanna) be know that this will be her last year of teaching. 

Many of the staff have become such dear friends and not embracing their daily greetings will be missed. But we are comforted in knowing that true friendships endure despite the separation of time and distance. There will be many happy hours ahead with opportunities to celebrate and talk story.

And than there are the kids. How do you replace their daily dose of vibrance, innocence, curiosity, joy and yearnings to learn? Yes, this wonderful school will be left with a temporary void, some huge shoes to fill upon Imkelina's departure, but it will continue to thrive as it always has and always will.

As she has been a light in my life, I know her sunshine will be missed on her beloved campus of so many years. Selfishly, I am glad that she will be able to take some time to Recharge, Re-energize and Relax...than and most importantly Research and Reconnoiter all those possible adventure spots.

Our lives are dotted with changes...there will be loss, there will be growth and always...there will be choices to which path to proceed. 

At Waypoint 35°33'03.60"N 121°05'11.40"W…holding pattern.