Colorado is Home!

October 15, 2015

No matter where we go, what sort of volunteer work we do, this area of Colorado will always be home. I’ve been trying to figure out what is it about Colorado that makes it home?

Colorado has beautiful mountains, no doubt about it. Colorado people hold onto their independence just like Alaskans or Idahoans. Colorado people pay more attention to diet and exercise and look fit. Those are some of the generic answers.  For me, I feel at home when we are driving and we don’t need to use the Garmin for directions. I don’t need to orient myself in the grocery store. The news comes on at the right time and I don’t need to search the channels to find the news. The real Broncos (not the ones that play for Boise State!) games are on local TV and we aren’t forced to watch the Seahawks games. A change in town is spotted – a new store has popped up or an old store went out of business or an entire indoor mall was leveled and a new outdoor mall is being built in the rubble. We note the change with interest and know that people behind the change are a part of the community and are seeking to improve the city of Longmont. We are enjoying our brief time “home.”

One of our chores for this visit was to dive into our storage shed and “find” a few missing items. Easier said than done! With a little help from son David and soon-to-be-daughter-in-law Christine we found almost everything on the list. We sold both of our houses and whittled our belongings down to what we thought was almost nothing. Well ha, we should have made a deeper cut, sold more, given more away, etc. as we are now left wondering why we kept so much stuff. Oh it is so hard for us spoiled Americans to part with our stuff!

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We are staying at St. Vrain State Park and the fall colors are still holding on and it is beautiful to the west. We notice the traffic noise from I25 and miss our quiet summer nights in Fairbanks. The weather is more summer like with near record temps in the upper 80’s. We are on the fast track with appointments, visiting with people, going to church, shopping to restock the trailer and getting ready for the next 6 month adventure in the southern states. Our apologies if we miss seeing you, we will be back in May for David and Christine’s wedding.

We caught this picture on the way our of St. Vrain State Park early one morning.

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Cliff and Cyndy

 

Right in our own Backyard!

December 9, 2014

We spent almost 7 months traveling through British Columbia, the Yukon and Alaska  – all popular areas and known for their scenic beauty and wildlife. We look at our pictures and marvel at what we saw, feeling blessed to have made the trip. We note the ways we have changed and what bubbles to the top as important these days.

We find ourselves living closer to the outdoors, picking where we will go based on the weather and what we might see in that location. In the coming year we will travel back to Alaska, to the Oregon coast, down south to Texas and even explore a bayou in Louisiana. We have developed more of an interest in the wildlife we share our space with and who would have thought we would care so much about a flock of wild turkeys?

Right now we are home in the St. Vrain State Park by Longmont. If you look out your windows on the east side you see I25 and endless traffic. But with your trailer parked right next to one of the many lakes and looking to the west you have a beautiful view of the mountains and lots of wildlife.

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The view this morning from our kitchen table saw two bald eagles.

Bald Eagles – we have seen up to 6 in this tree!

Maybe what we learned over the 7 months was to be content, be more observant   and get to know even the most unlikely of God’s creatures, wild turkeys!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Cliff and Cyndy

 

 

Sidebar – Would we do it again?

Now that we are back in Colorado, having spent over six months on the road I have been evaluating our trip. These are some of my thoughts and I thought I would share.

First, would we do it again?  Would we sell our house and become full time RVers and would we drive all the way to Alaska for the summer. This is the easy question and the answer is, “Yes in a heartbeat.”  In fact, we plan to return to Alaska next summer and we are glad that we sold the house.  Of course, it helps if you’re married to a woman like Cyndy.  Actually it was Cyndy who first suggested that we go full time.

The second question that I’ve been thinking about is did we buy the right RV, in our case a 40’ 5th Wheel by Lifestyle. The answer again is, “a resounding YES.”  We have pulled it nearly 15,000 miles over some pretty rough roads and through some pretty bad weather so we have some strong thoughts regarding how to shop for a RV.

For several nights during our return to Colorado the temperature dropped to single digits, but we stayed nice and cozy. Understand that trailers are designed for many different purposes and when I bought my first trailer they said it was a “four season” trailer.  In RV language that means that if you are camping in the deep south you’ll be fine, but if you experience really cold weather like we did you better buy a RV designed for “full timers.”  There is a big difference.

You also might think that living in something this small could cause claustrophobia but for us you would be wrong. For Cyndy, who struggles with walking, it’s great and both of us would agree that it’s just cozy.

Of course some of the real benefits of living the RV lifestyle are getting to camp where it is warm or if you don’t like your neighbors you just move on. Today we had some great neighbors:

The view this morning from our kitchen table saw two bald eagles.

The view this morning from our kitchen table –  two bald eagles.

As we look at this journey, the odds were against us. Married again while in our 60s, blended families, set in our ways, but I love this lifestyle and love this woman.

Best regards,

Cliff

Back to Colorado!

November 21, 2014

As Cliff and I were getting married we went through a questionnaire designed to discover our areas of compatibility and areas of concern. Cliff discovered that his new wife has barnacle tendencies, she does not like to be moved! And here we are, traveling around the country in our fifth wheel and living the life of gypsies! The barnacle is now attached to the trailer and enjoying that the scenery changes now and then!

We returned to Colorado today after our 6.5 month adventure to Alaska and Idaho. We made a few new friends, ones that we will want to visit again next summer. We traveled the Alaskan Highway through British Columbia and the Yukon, marveling at the beauty and handiwork of the Creator. We found ourselves volunteering and expanding our sense of community and giving back some of the blessing given to us. We had surprises and a few disappointments but the journey was incredible.

We made fun of our trips across I80 in Wyoming as they have been mostly snowy, blowing snow with blizzard like conditions. This time we sailed right on through the state, listening to a book on tape and spending the night in Rawlins.

We are excited to see our family and friends and to attend our church.

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We are not excited about the snow and cold weather and will head to Mesa in early 2015 to bask in the sun! In the late spring, we are off to the Oregon coast to volunteer in a fish hatchery before we head back to Alaska for the summer.

Thank you for reading our blog! Your comments have meant much to us and have helped us to feel connected back to you. We will continue blogging so check back now and then!

We stopped to take this picture as we drove south on I25. It is good to be home!

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Cliff and Cyndy