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Category: Travel Story

An Announcement and an Eclipse

An Announcement and an Eclipse

First Things First We don’t want the announcement to get eclipsed (see what I did there?) so let’s start with the reveal. No, we didn’t get a dog. Sorry to disappoint. Our announcement is that Tom’s starting e-learning development work again on a contract basis. We’re extremely excited about this because it’s the first big step in making this new lifestyle sustainable for the longer-term. So what does this mean for the blog? Well, I’m going to take over more…

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Smoke on the Mountain – Mount Rainier National Park

Smoke on the Mountain – Mount Rainier National Park

We had one main goal for our visit to Mount Rainier National Park: See Mount Rainier. We lived 3 hours away from the mountain for over a decade and the most we’d seen was a glimpse of Rainier’s snow covered top from a distance. We’d never been up close and personal with the behemoth. Seeing Mount Rainier sounds pretty easy right? It’s a giant mountain after all—just look up! Well it didn’t turn out to be quite that simple. Wildfires…

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All Around the Olympic Peninsula

All Around the Olympic Peninsula

The Olympic Peninsula. Home to Olympic National Park, Olympic National Forest, 24 State Parks, 73 miles of protected primitive Pacific Coastline, amazing beaches, and the most northwestern point in the lower 48. That’s over a million square miles of mountains, coast, and rain forests! Yeah, I sound like an infomercial, but it’s really that awesome. It seems like you could never stop exploring the Olympic Peninsula. We only scratched the surface in the 8 days we were there. Our most…

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Secrets and Surprises in Washington State

Secrets and Surprises in Washington State

We experienced déjà vu driving through eastern Washington on our way to North Cascades National Park. It reminded us a lot of North Dakota. There’s a similar abrupt change from farmland to rocky dry wilderness. We were initially worried that the free campsite we’d selected was in the middle of a giant wheat field. I’m talking wheat in all directions as far as you can see. Suddenly the wheat fields turned into rocky craggy formations. We found our camp in…

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Things Go Wrong on the Road – Glacier National Park Part II

Things Go Wrong on the Road – Glacier National Park Part II

Glacier National Park. The park that we were most excited to explore. Amazing lake hikes, beautiful waterfalls, and the most spectacular white peak mountain views. Glacier is also the park that kicked our asses. We cracked the radiator getting here. Our computer broke. Stan popped a tire on the bumpy roads and needed new brakes from all the mountain driving. And I suffered a mild case of Bell’s Palsy. Part I of our adventure had its ups and downs. Determined…

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Things Go Wrong on the Road – Glacier National Park Part I

Things Go Wrong on the Road – Glacier National Park Part I

We made it! Glacier National Park may be the place we were most excited to go as we traveled the country. 1 million acres. 130 lakes. 200 waterfalls. The Rocky Mountains. How can we go wrong? We decided on a primitive campground on the southeastern edge of Glacier National Park called Cut Bank Campground. It was down a 5 mile dirt road. We didn’t realize it was a super rough dirt road. While Stan makes for a cozy rolling home,…

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Weird and Wild Adventures in North Dakota

Weird and Wild Adventures in North Dakota

Our first two days back on the road and heading west started well and seemed to help us achieve our balance goals. The first day we made it from Green Bay, WI to central North Dakota. The free campsite we’d picked turned out to be exactly what we needed. Our day ended by watching the sunset over the rolling grassy hills of North Dakota. Enchanted Highway We pushed to cover a lot of ground the first day so that we…

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Seeking Balance in the Midwest

Seeking Balance in the Midwest

After completing the first leg of our travels we spent a few weeks in Wisconsin. It was an event filled time. We visited family and friends, celebrated Tom’s father’s birthday, and my baby sister got married! Congrats sister! We also worked on Stan a lot. We made improvements to help with organization/storage, replaced some broken or malfunctioning items, and installed a solar panel. If you missed it be sure to check-out Tom’s full tour of Stan the Tan Van. The…

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A Cave and a Conclusion in Kentucky

A Cave and a Conclusion in Kentucky

Caves have always fascinated me. When I was a kid I dreamed of living in a cave next to a large waterfall in the tropical rain forest. There would be delicious fruit trees outside my cave door where colorful birds sit and sing. Oh, and of course then there’s my pet tiger that guards the entrance. Hey, let a kid dream;) Cave Facts Well Mammoth Cave is really nothing like the cave I dreamed of as a child, but it’s…

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On and Off the Beaten Path at Great Smoky Mountains National Park

On and Off the Beaten Path at Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a must stop when in Tennessee or North Carolina. Hey, could 11 million people be wrong? That’s right in 2016 the Great Smoky Mountains was the most visited national park with over 11 million visitors. This was more than double the number of visitors at the Grand Canyon—the number 2 visited park. Our stay in the Smoky Mountains was full of wildlife, history, and some of the most amazing views we’ve encountered. There is…

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