So we are officially rving in winter or at least winter temps. We have been staying at Boyd Lake State Park since we been in Colorado. Weather has been VERY nice upper 60’s to lower 70’s. Woke up Monday morning to 64 degrees outside by Monday afternoon temperature had dropped over 40 degrees. Monday evening we were in the teens. We have been using a radiant heater with furnace set to about 60 so not to use so much propane (this may not have been a good idea). Sunday we knew colder weather was coming so we put window plastic on 90% of the windows and weather stripping around door. By 6pm Monday night we decide to go to Walmart and purchase another small heater. Our rv runs on a 30 amp connection. This sucks when trying to run two small space heater. We were constantly popping breakers. Late Monday night half of our water lines are frozen (the bathroom half). First thing that happens when your lines freeze is panic. Second thing is search Google to find out what to do. We turned the furnace up to about 72 degrees and opened all cabinet doors to get warm air to water lines. We finally decide there was not much more we could do at this hour so grabbed our blankets and went to bed and figured we would deal with it in the morning.
Woke up this morning to about 15 degrees outside. Kitchen water lines still work bathroom lines still frozen. Ran an extension cord from the power pole and set the new small space heat in the bottom compartment of rv to try and thaw the frozen waterlines. The power pole has a separate breaker so I could run both heaters without popping breakers in the rv. So far lines are still frozen but hoping that after heater runs for awhile they will thaw out. At this point we wait it out and use the campsite facilities and hope the weather warms up sooner rather than later but I think the cold weather is here for at least the next few days. I guess this is part of living the rv dream if your living it in northern parts.
Not feeling well sucks to begin with but not feeling well in an RV is a new experience all together. For the last few day I have not felt well at all. So finally I decide it was time to go see a doctor because I was feeling worse everyday. The problem is, I have not seen another doctor in almost 15 yrs. I would normally call up McFarland Clinic and ask if I could be seen. Now I am out of my home town and even out of my home state. We got a new insurance company at work and haven’t had to use it any where but at the same clinic I have been going to for years. The insurance is called CoOpportunity Health. I created a web account before we left home so I could look up medical centers in our network. Once logged-in to the site I went to find a network provider, set the location, and clicked on search and a list of doctors came up. One thing I noticed out here in Colorado is the medical clinics are open a lot later and a lot of them are open 7 days week. I called to make sure they would take my insurance and then tried to make an appointment. Since it was a Saturday all appointment were walk-ins. We arrived at the clinic mid morning filled, out all the paper work for new patient, and gave them a copy of my insurance card and drivers license and in about 5 to 10 min I got in to see the doctor (Nurse Practitioner). I am glad I went! I found out I had an ear infection with bronchitis. Hoping for a speed recovery, it’s no fun feeling sick. At least I know how my insurance works and how to find a doctor now that we are traveling. We also got to test our dental insurance as well. Our youngest son, Sam, has also just moved out here to Colorado. A few weeks before we left to come out here, Sam had all 4 of his wisdom teeth pulled. About 4 or 5 days after he got them pulled he was still having pain so he went back and found out he had dry socket. They gave him something for that and everything seemed to be good. The 3rd day we are here he tells us his mouth is sore and his cheek is all swollen. We found a dentist office and made him an appointment for the next day. He got something in one to the holes where the tooth was pulled and it had gotten infected. They had to get some of the infection out and then sent him home with antibiotics. They took our insurance but didn’t know what would be covered so we had to pay for the service and they will reimburse us a check when they find out how much our insurance covers. Needless to say, this as been a new experience…just not the one I was hoping for when first starting out. Also Sam is doing well.
We decided to stay at Boyd Lake State Park for the first week and a half. This would give us time to get the RV more organized and scout the area for a more permanent spot until January. We spent the first day putting the rest of our stuff away and figuring out where everything is going to go. One thing that we both realized pretty quickly is that we’re going to have to pick up after ourselves frequently because it doesn’t take much to make this small space seem messy. 5 dirty dishes makes it look like the counters are full of dishes waiting to be washed (pretty sure I’ll be missing my dishwasher very soon.) Laundry could easily start taking over the place if not done frequently. As we travel more we’ll probably soon be able to give reviews and locations of laundry mats across the country.
Sadie, Reid, T, and Heather all came here to spend a few days with us and Brooke and Ben live in Fort Collins so we decided to invite them over and have our first official family dinner to break in the place. Plus we had a jar of Apple Pie Moonshine that we got from Molly that needed to be cracked open! After pouring a round for all of us legal drinkers, it was gone pretty fast! I kept telling everyone we were going to have our first family Thanksgiving dinner in the RV and everyone was skeptical (except me of course!) There were 9 of us total and no one had to sit on the floor so we learned two important things: We will be able to accommodate this group plus 5 dogs for the holidays and Molly is going to have to send us more moonshine!
We’ve had some really beautiful weather here so one of the days we decided to take a hike up the trails at Horsetooth Mountain Open Space. When I say hike up the trails the operative word here is “up” because we did hike up….A LOT. Some of the trails we’ve been on will go up, then level off a little, then up but not this one. We’d hiked here before when we visited Brooke & Ben last summer and we chose the trail to Horsetooth Falls which is an amazing hike that ends with small natural pools that waterfalls from the rocks above flow into. It was a hot day so there were quite a people just hangin’ out, wandering through the water, hammocking, or just sitting there enjoying the space. This time Sam and Reid wanted to climb to Horsetooth Rock so we went the other way. All the way up there are breathtaking views and I find it difficult to take it all in at times.
One of my favorites of the day was this photo where I was able to capture moon and the sun in the same picture. I was trying to get a picture of all the different peaks and didn’t see it until I looked at it later. I love it when you get a cool shot of something that you weren’t trying to get.
Sam and Reid wanted to climb to Horsetooth Rock which involved a little bit of climbing so Jason, Heather and I headed back down about 1/2 mile or so before the rock. I blamed it on not being used to the altitude yet…definitely not age related! Sam sent this picture after they had reached to top of the rock.
The next day was a bit of an emotional day for everyone. It was our 20th wedding anniversary so taking a day to remember one of the best days of our lives is always a good thing for which I can feel nothing but complete happiness. Sadie and T had come to Colorado to go to a concert the evening before but now they had to go back to work in Iowa. Reid and Heather were riding with them so they were leaving too for school and work as well. When they came to say “Good Bye” I think we all kind of tried to ignore that they were going to be 2 states away but its tough to leave the people you love and start a whole new life no matter how much you want it. We’re hoping to see them all at Thanksgiving which is only about 3 weeks away so that helps. And of course we can all remain hopeful that they’ll decide to come live here one day.
Although our plan was to spend the day just relaxing and doing absolutely nothing, we spent the rest of the day moving the RV to another space in the campground but that is a whole other story that we will share later.
It took us little longer to get everything packed up and into the RV than we originally thought. Our plan was to hit the road by about 1 PM but leaving just before 3 didn’t put us too far behind. With right around 700 miles to go my travel buddy and I settled in for the long drive. For those of you that travel with small-ish pets, this little basket was a god send. Normally, traveling with Lucy involves constant jumping from seat to seat (her..not me) and me trying to get her out from under my feet or under the break. I got this from Amazon for about $20 with free Prime shipping and it attaches to the seat and has a place to secure her so she has to stay put. After a few minutes whining, she finally settled in and went to sleep.
The drive was pretty uneventful for the most part which was fine with me. It was long and we drove along Hwy 30 for the first half, but since we didn’t have to worry about the people racing along the interstate next to use it allowed me to take some time to enjoy the Midwest scenery. I love these railroad bridges and there were quite a few along the way. This is the one that crosses the Missouri River.
I had a mixture of emotions and fears as we drove away from what had been our home for 24 years. I was so looking forward to seeing Brooke and spending some time with her in Colorado, but as happy as I was to be seeing her soon I was also that sad knowing that Sadie will be living in Ames, IA. I worried about Sam as he left his friends and would be starting a whole new life on his own (with the help of his big sister) As much as I know that Colorado life will suit him with better snowboarding, mountains and boulders waiting to be climbed, and just the general atmosphere of the place, I know he’s going to miss his friends and might feel a little alone for awhile before he settles in and starts working and meeting people. It takes a lot of courage to move away from the only place he’s known and I really commend him and Brooke for that. When I was cutting hair and working in a college town, it allowed me to meet people from so many different countries. One of the conversations I had more than once was how people from other countries come here and many of them see more of our country in a couple of weeks or months than a lot of Americans do in their entire life. That stuck with me all of these years and I didn’t want to be one of those people who only get so see a small fraction of this country that is ours. I don’t want that for my kids either. Its always been important to us is that our kids never lose that sense of curiosity and adventure and not be afraid to move away from what might be considered “normal” if it means finding a way of life that is just for them.
When it started getting late, we ended up staying in Kearney, NE at a Roadway Inn. I have to mention that as we have traveled the last few years we have been surprised that some of the best and cleanest places to stay have become hotels like Super 8 and Roadway Inn. We’ve had some of the worst stays in some of what would be considered higher end hotel chains. Here is the last view as we drove through Nebraska looking for our spot for the night. Who said there are only cornfields in the Midwest?
After a decent night’s rest and some free breakfast, we hit the road again anxious to get to our campground. We drove the interstate the rest of the way finally stopping at Boyd Lake in State Park in Loveland, Co. We were then faced with the task of unloading all of the kids stuff from the RV to the truck and then taking to Brooke’s place in Fort Collins. We were looking forward to getting our space set up and the RV organized so we could finally stop moving for a bit.