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Road Trip 2013: Don and Rochelle’s Next Adventure
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Road Trip 2013: Don and Rochelle’s Next Adventure

Road Trip 2013: Don and Rochelle’s Next Adventure

road trip car camping

Don and I are back at it! When we got back from bike tour last fall we knew we weren’t going to stay in Portland for long. Portland is wonderful, but neither of us are city people and we both love snow and the mountains too much to be over an hour drive away from all the goodies. We knew we would be moving, and we figured wherever we ended up, we would want to stay. We would get jobs we loved (it will be hard for Don to find something as fitting as Next Adventure, but I am not into the retail scene and will be happy to get back into education), would get a dog, and would find it hard to fit in all of the traveling we still wanted to do. So we made a decision to work another year in Portland while saving money, and then take off on a couple years of travel and adventure before settling into a small mountain town that we could call home. In the months to come, we plan on using this blog to update our Next Adventure family on our travels as they unfold.

road trip car camping

The last year flew by. We saved approximately $800 a month between the two of us, sold all of our furniture and our car for even more money, and ended up with enough time and money to drive around the United States for 6 weeks and then backpack around South America for approximately 10 months. Living in South America has always been a dream of mine. I had the chance to travel to Peru in high school, and Guatemala and Costa Rica as an adult, and I’ve always wanted to go back for an extended period of time. One of my life goals is to become fluent in Spanish, but I also look forward to learning about other cultures and experiencing different ways of life. Don has never been out of the country, with the exception of Canada, so the trip for him is all about new experiences and an expanded view of the world. The road trips’ primary purpose is to visit family whom we might not see for awhile and to check out a couple places that we might someday imagine ourselves moving to. We also just love the United States, and since we biked through the middle of it, we figured it was only fitting that we now drive through the north and south.

road trip car camping

The weeks leading up to our move from Portland were filled with stress, worry, and lots of difficult good byes, but now that we’re on the road, we’re all smiles. We are already experiencing that live-in-the-moment peacefulness that comes with following your dreams. We drove all of our remaining belongings down to my mother’s in Northern California on October 1st, spent a few busy days with her, and then drove our first long stretch all the way into the forests of Montana on Friday, October 4th. Our first week on the road has been full of long miles in the car, cozy small-town coffee shops, jaw-dropping photo-ops, and cold nights spent either in our tent or the back of the car. Our original intent was to camp and backpack while in Montana and South Dakota, but unfortunately frigid temperatures and unusual weather have thwarted our efforts. Instead we are taking in as much as we can on our way to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where hopefully the sun will make an appearance and we can “grow in the open air, and eat and sleep with the earth.” (Whitman)

road trip car camping road trip car camping road trip car camping

We have seen and experienced far too much in our first week on the road to put it all in one paragraph, so I will summarize and then let you know that I am keeping a personal blog at life-well-traveled.com with many more details, stories, and photos. This week’s highlights include a 3-mile canoe trip in Seeley Lake, Montana, a 5-mile hike to Morrell Falls in the same area, exploration of the beautiful mountain town of Whitefish, and the picture-perfect campsite that we had all to ourselves at Hungry Horse Reservoir just southwest of Glacier National Park. Somewhat ironically, we are currently road tripping through a country with a “closed government” so many of the usual stops (specifically the National Parks and Memorials) are being skipped. We’re not too bothered because as far as we can tell, there is already more in this country to explore than we can even hope to see in such a short time We will be posting about our trip here occasionally, so stay tuned for more photos and stories from Michigan, Louisiana, Texas, Colorado, Utah, and eventually South America!

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