UnBoxBoardom Subscription

UnBoxBoardom

Being on the road 24/7/365 is exciting… most of the time! But we get bored sometimes!

We don’t have a TV, but we will stream on our laptop 🙂

Our favorite shows are baking and cooking shows, but we are fans of most reality type shows (well, not dating shows, sorry!)

We play cards, but with just 2 of us it does get old fast! And we switch back and forth between two games, Uno and Phase 10 ! We look for other card games, but haven’t found one we thought we would enjoy!

So I was thrilled when UnBoxBoardom wanted to work with me!

I LOVE board games!! And Zach likes games in general, so this is going to be exciting to learn and play new games together! Well, truth be told, we are SUPER SUPER competitive! (like Zach will cheat ~ make up rules that only he can follow ~ you gotta watch him 😂) I’m excited to also play with our other Skoolie friends ~ both adults and kids 🙂

Because we are so competitive, we tend to bend the rules on games we know well! Maybe not bend, but let’s face it, we all have our own set of “family rules” for most games! I can think of 4 different ways (or more, who’s keeping track 😆 ) that I have played Monopoly! And Uno! Every one has a few extra rules or rules simply omitted! So new games that we actually have to learn the rules together will alleviate the “the way we played” rules!

Undoubtedly that won’t last and one of us will suddenly remember the rules differently

Here is an excerpt from their site!!

It’s time to unplug and play! With an UnboxBoardom subscription box you can easily discover and enjoy the hottest and best new board games. The risk of buying board games that are not fun or too hard to understand is minimized because we do all the research for you. We know which are the best board games because we’ve played them with our own families.

↘And this statement right here is huge for me!↙

Also, because we want everyone to be able to enjoy the thrill, excitement and personal interaction from playing board games, for every 10 new board game subscription box signups, we’ll donate a board game to an organization that helps kids who can’t afford one.

UnBoxBoardom

So what kind of games do they send out ?!?! Here are last months choices!

They actually have 2 subscription options (which you can change by emailing them and letting them know in advance of your next shipment!)

The first option is picking the game yourself or “I want to be the Expert” 😁 With this option you will get an email at the beginning of the month with three different games (with descriptions of each) for you to chose from. You then have 5 days to chose your game!

The second option is “Trust The Experts” ~ you get a surprise game each month instead of picking it out yourself!

Here is how the boxes shake out  ~ You have three choices on how often you want a box!

UnBoxBoardom Subscription Options

From here, you have three choices on how you can pay 😊


The Gaming Guru (Monthly Game)

 


The Casual Gamer (Bi-Monthly Game)


Board Game Beginner (Quarterly Game)

With any option combination, the games are sent out on the 15th of the month (unless, of course, it falls on a Sunday!)


Our Readers Receive FREE Shipping on their first box at UnboxBoardom.com with Code: USFAMILY or you can click HERE for the coupon!

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UnBoxBoardom Things to Know!

~ Shipping is $6 (after using the coupon above for free shipping on first game)

~ Love the game? It’s yours to keep 😀

~  DON’T love the game? Contact support and they will make things right!

~ Have a Trust the Experts Subscription and you receive a game you already have? Just reach out to customer service within 7 days and they will walk you through returning the game (unopened!!) and they will send you a replacement game or refund you, whichever you prefer!

~ Have a chose your own game subscription and you don’t like any of the featured selections? Again, reach out to them, they will have alternative options from the previous months!!

Seriously, all you have to do is reach out to them and they will assist you with whatever issues you have!



Part 12 ~ The Mad Max Catio ~ Phase 1

The Mad Max Catio ~ Part 1

We knew we needed to change the back of the bus dramatically to make it not only escape proof but also accessible from the inside! So the Mad Max Catio was born 🙂

We had two obstacles that prevented it from being escape proof!

Since we knew we were stationary until the escape proof part was completed, that’s where Zach started

~ The No Escape Plan ~


First, the back deck! In driving mode, it’s folded up and secured and then in park mode, it can be lowered to make a deck. It worked, until we needed to keep sneaky, slinky cats from going through the openings on the sides. Zach needed to not only create an insert to close the gap from the back deck part to the top, he had to secure the sides as well!

We needed this entire back section to be 100% escape proof!

Deck In Drive Position
Deck in Park Position

Second, the lift! Another area with large gaps for kitties to slip through! Zach had to create a plate to attach to the sides of the lift that created an enclosed side when in the driving position. 

Lift in Driving Position
Lift almost in park position!

Above all, safety is key! So here is how Zach made our kitties safe!

😻

Here’s What He Did

First and foremost, we needed metal! Which would be super easy if we had a truck! But we found a great company in Oklahoma that not only delivered, but the price point was, well, on point! If you need metal in the Indiahoma, Oklahoma area, check these guys out! Click the metal cat trio to check them out!

Mad Max Catio Technical….

Zach built some basic hinges to support the top enclosure section so that it can be opened when we are stationary. The top enclosure is made of angle iron and expanded metal. It closes and then the lower deck folds closed, locking and sealing it up. The expanded metal that is attached to the bottom of the lift is just that, attached. He used inch and a half angle iron to prevent any escape. 

Basic Hinges
Fully closed top section

Random pics of his build time 🙂 ⬇

Now I know that statement above made sense to him, and to others as well! For me, it’s all about the finished product, I trust Zach and his designs!

I also firmly believe that I have the capacity in my brain for a certain amount of knowledge, so if Zach has that knowledge to build a catio, there’s no need for me to also have that knowledge! I know other things, like toilet paper math 😆  and baking science 🎂


Finally,the finished product! At least for phase 1! Being fully enclosed was the main goal, and we wanted to get going to our next destination before we started Phase 2 of the Catio Project!  That is coming soon!! They will be able to go in and out of the bus without getting down on the ground! Of course, that’s if we don’t want them down! We have some alternate means of getting down planned, that can be in use or hidden away!! 

There are a few more things that need tweaking, like holding the insert in the up position when we have the deck down! But it’s an easy fix!

The lift has wings now 🙂

Zach added in metal sides so that when it is in the up position, it lays flush, creating a seal!  Probably my most favorite part 😬


Last but not least, Our littlest guy loves to be in the middle of the action! He was Zach’s right hand kitty! He is polydactyl on his two front paws, but still couldn’t manage to hand Zach the tools he needed!😂

Mad Max Catio
Phil Loves to Help!

Stay tuned for more Mad Max Catio Phases….


Missed a few parts of the story?? Catch up here!!

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 9.5 Part 10 Part 11 

Love the hats we wear? Zach makes them! Check out his work here

Part 9.5 ~ Our Pets ~ The Insanity

Our Pets

I’ve mentioned our pets here and there in the story, but they are a big part of our lives!

We have 2 dogs ~ Louie and Jemma!  And 4 cats ~ Pebbles, Scabbers, Heddy and Phil!

Let’s start with Louie

Also known as ~ Louis, Lou Dog, Ridiculouie, Louis Navidad 

I adopted Louie in May of 2020, from a rescue in Lake Fort Worth, Florida! He is about 4 years old! 


Next comes Jemma

Also known as ~ Jemma Dilemma, Beetlejuice, the Brown Clown

Zach rescued Jemma from a neighbor who had her tied out, about 2 years ago.  (he had permission to take her with him). She is about 3 years old!


Our first kitty, Pebbles … she is the leader of the Cat Pack! 

Also known as ~ The Queen, the boss, or anything of the like 🙂

Zach adopted Pebbles when she was a baby.  He knew her momma, so he has known Pebbles her whole life


And now for Scabbers .. I only mention him first because he was born first, but Heddy is his sister 🙂

Also Known As ~ Scoober Doo, Oreo, Scoob, Scabber Dabber Doo

I owned his Momma, Milky.   So I’ve had Scabbers since birth!

And that brings us to Heddy

Also Known As ~ Hedwig, Muffin, Toupee, Heddylicious

So as with Scabbers, I’ve had Heddy since birth also. 


So our last little guy is SUPER new ~ Phil

Also Known As ~ Tiny Bits, Philodendron, Phil in the blank

We just adopted Phil from a fellow nomad, Bob!  His cat Smokey is Phil’s momma


So now that you’ve met them, let me tell you more about them as a family of pets.

When Zach and I were headed out on this journey, I had to make a tough decision with Milky, my momma cat. 

The Milky Dilemna

First, before I could get her spayed, she got pregnant again. Not a problem really, since I knew we could take care of them and find good homes. The second problem was that there is no way she would have traveled well. I was fearful she would run off and not come back.

What to do…

I knew a woman who absolutely loved Milky, as much as I did! So I reached out to her and told her the situation and she immediately said she would be happy to have Milky come live with her. As much as I love that cat, I knew it was not best to be selfish and to let her live in one location. I cried, a lot. But she gave birth to 5 kittens the day we set out from Florida!  Talk about timing!!

So that means that Louie has known Scabbers and Heddy since they were born

He’s like a big brother to them


Jemma and Louie were best friends from the moment they met! There was never a growl or mean word between them!

Our Pets


The Dynamic of Our Pets

Now comes the real test!  How do the ALL of the animals get along??  Do they fight or play? Amongst the dogs, the cats, or a mix of cats and dogs fighting??

Nope! Contrary to what most think, they all get along fine ~ despite their species and age differences Well, maybe Pebbles gives the little guys a bit of a rough time, but I think she’s just teaching them!  

So here is our crazy mix of pets, clearly having a blast hanging out with each other!

And of course, Our Pets Videos

And now for some rare footage of Scabbers going into Dog Mode (ok, it’s not rare footage, he plays with them all the time, and we video it almost every time!) This cat is ABSOLUTELY safe during this video, in fact, he started the fight 🙂

And Scabbers has been training the new kitten as well!  He is such a great big brother!

And a couple of random videos of our pets being themselves!


And after a hard day being our pet, Jemma sums it up the best!  Sounds like she is having a good dream


Our pets play a huge role in our lives! We base our stays on where there is safety for them, above all! Our cats like to explore the outdoors, so we need less busy roads, and definitely no predators (there will be times when we can’t guarantee that no predator thing and for that reason, we are building an enclosed catio on the back deck!)

                 

Missed a few parts of the story?? Catch up here!!

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 

Love the hats we wear?  Zach makes them!  Check out his work here

Part 9 ~ New Adventures in a New State!


SO… We made it out of Arkansas!  But not too far, we were waiting on some important things in the mail so couldn’t go too far!  But!  We were officially in Oklahoma!! 

I wanted more Garden time, so we found a cute little spot to satisfy by need for pretty things!  The Papilion in Honor Heights Park in Muskogee, Oklahoma!   It was super cute, lots of art sculptures ~ which I LOVE ~ and flowers! 

      

Sad that the Butterfly House wasn’t open when we were there, but timing is everything on those things!!

Click Here to see more pics from The Papilion


We had a bunch of down time, but no major projects in mind, so we just went sightseeing!  We found some cool stuff!

In Tulsa, We found the World’s Largest Bottle of Hair Tonic

Click above to see more of our Hair Tonic Pics!


We took a day trip out to Catoosa, Oklahoma to check out a Big Blue Whale! 

We were not disappointed!  He was huge, and cute, and we could actually go inside and check it out!  Click for More Pics!


After a few days just hanging around the bus, cleaning, cooking, baking, just relaxing… We were ready for more adventure.  Big stuff, factory tour, something!

And what we found next was in Sepulpa, Oklahoma 🙂

Is that regular or diesel ?

The World’s Largest Gas Pump!   Now, we went on a day the museum is closed (we somehow forgot to check that ), so we were only able to see the Pump through the fence!  Bummer!Click the Pump to see our Pics


So, I read somewhere that in Tulsa, was the “Center of the Universe”. WHAT? I could be standing at the center of the universe. The whole dang thing? I’m in ….

Click This Pic For More!

BUT, I’m not sure the people who set it up got the memo, or we weren’t in the right place? Because this was not as spectacular as I had hoped. I can say I was there though, but I’d have to do some more research before I believed that I was standing in the center of THE UNIVERSE!

Echo?? What Echo?

It was also pretty cold that day! And WINDY!! So this was a quick stop! We tried to hear the echo we read about when standing in this spot, but just couldn’t! Maybe the wind??


And on the way home, we hit the mother load of HUGE things… I’m not sure why some towns have an abundance of this weird stuff, but we LOVE it!!! 

This was Meadow Gold District!

Click any of the pics to see what else we found in the District!

We found cute shops in the mix of all the big stuff!  The area is full of small shops, big art, murals and more!


Continuing our BIG things theme for the day ~ check this dude out!  He is The World’s Largest Driller! 

And HE IS HUGE!  I look like an ant on his shoe

He stands SEVENTY-FIVE FEET TALL!   I don’t think we’ve seen anything this high in the sky yet!! 

Click the Driller for more pics!


Done for the day ?  Not quite!  We found The World’s Largest Praying Hands in Tulsa as well!  The patina on the hands was amazing, making them look worn! 

This was simply beautiful, I’m so glad we stopped by! But finally, this was our last stop of the day!


So before, during and after our Big Things Stops, we visited a bunch of nurseries in the Tulsa area. Clearly, we have a bit of a plant obsession! I’ve lost count (I’ll get on that!) but we have a LOT!! 

I’m a big fan of Pothos, and Zach is a big fan of Hoyas!  

But if I’m being completely honest, I am a big fan of ALL plants! 

Here is our bounty from the day !

Hoya Australis


That was definitely a BUSY few days in Tulsa!  When we got home with our nursery plants, I wanted to inspect them a bit further (we’ve had issues), but our dogs weren’t having it!  The big girl (Jemma) got in my lap first, then the little guy (Louie) jumped on Jemma, then to me! 

We enjoyed our time in Tulsa, but it was time to move on! Where to? I don’t even think we knew!

Till Next Time….

Missed a few parts of the story?? Catch up here!!

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8

 

Love the hats we wear?  Zach makes them!  Check out his work here

Part 8 ~ Will We Ever Leave Arkansas?

Will we manage to Leave Arkansas??

Well, we were still in Arkansas!  We actually love the state, so why try and leave Arkansas?  Being travelers, we like to move around.  Being in one state for this long ….

Here’s the deal…

We travel in the bus… but we pull a vehicle also! From the start it was a 1991 Ford Ranger …  Zach also had a Dodge pickup that was parked at a friends house in Georgia. Only need one vehicle, so Zach had to make the decision on which truck to keep.  For many reasons, he chose the Dodge. 

So now comes the swap. Zach needed to sell the ranger and pick up the dodge, however that worked out. Well, it worked out perfectly that the friend who was housing the dodge, wanted to buy the Ranger.  

Solo Road Trip for Zach. Or was it ?

Nah, he took our dog Louie for the ride. He’s a good companion on the road. Or mostly he sleeps and ya talk to yourself, but he’s there for you to pull over and walk him. And stops on a road trip aren’t always bad!

Road Trippin’ It

So, 850ish miles one way. I didn’t envy him. I don’t mind road trips, but not by myself! 

He did it in 48 hours.

That gave me 48 hours to totally reorganize the under floor storage in the bus! It was just a mess! I bake a lot, I mean A LOT, so I have lots of supplies. I also really love to cook, so lots of stuff for that too.  I knew the one compartment was all on me, but the other 2 were Zach’s areas of WHAT THE ….???


 

I got so much organized, that I did the entire front of the bus. Closet, above the bathroom, drawers, cabinets and under the floor. Once I got started, it was actually easy to organize! 

The first pic is completely done, and while there is room for improvement, I fit every baking and cooking need in that space. Everything in a findable location! Always a work in progress!


 

Back to Zach and his 1600 mile marathon run in 2 days. All went well! He got back and he thought Jemma (our other dog) would be thrilled to see him, but it was Louie she was excited to see. She did zoomies for that boy

Spent some more time exploring Mt Ida when Zach got back! After that, we really didn’t have a game plan, so we didn’t rush leaving!  Looked at trails, did some geocaching, riding, hiking, walking, whatever! Just took in the scenery.

We tried to Leave Arkansas, really…

Then we tried to leave. And the bus wasn’t having it with pulling the dodge. It was just too heavy. Stop. Rethink. Couldn’t go far unless I drove the truck separately, which neither of us wanted.

We hightailed it back to the Alma area until we figured it out. Zach’s parents are close by, so why not park there and spend more time with them! 

Follow That Bus!

I ended up having to drive the truck behind him in the bus. Sounds easy enough, until he is struggling up a hill and I’m struggling because I’m driving a manual, up a hill, behind a bus 🙂

Leave Arkansas?
Follow That Bus!!

Zach ended up trading his truck for a teeny tiny car! 

It’s cute, and completely functional! The gas mileage is out of this world, and it’s super light! 

….Still In Arkansas….

Here’s the thing though – we were stuck in Arkansas until we could get all the vehicle stuff transferred from Oklahoma (where the car came from) to Florida (Zach’s residential state). So for a few weeks, we just did much of the same as the last time we were in the area. 
Revisited A to Z, same grocery stores, a bit boring.

Until I found this guy ~ in Fort Smith ~ not sure how we missed him the first time around, but I’m glad we came back!!

Now this is me sitting with “the little nut”, Check out the Big Nut here!


Zach took the stationary time and made us a curtain for our most intrusive window. Intrusive by lights anyway, headlights, morning light, there was always something blinding us ! So he made adjustable curtains. We can have them all the way, halfway down, or all the way up! Genius !

They are also reversible so we can change up the pattern! And now we have a prototype for the other windows! 


Guess what, he wasn’t done there!  He designed a yarn storage area for the brow.  It’s his yarn, by the way He knits hats, scarves, dog sweaters, and lots more!  Click here <   > to see his work!

There was a very fine line between the wall of the brow and the bed, so when it is in the driving position, it has to come up to about the shelf level.  That’s about 8″ of space

But it fits perfectly!

Ready to Leave Arkansas?

Top of Bed
Top of Bed
Bottom of Bed
Bottom of Bed

Here is the bed in the driving position, under the bed is the drivers seat, so it goes up enough for Zach to drive and me to sit next to him

 

Bed in the parked position.

 

 


This concludes our time in Arkansas! Overall, we love the state!  The weather got a bit hot, but we were there in the middle of their hottest time of year!  Zach and I just needed to move on to a new state, so we hopped over to Oklahoma! 

Till Next Time….

Missed a few parts of the story?? Catch up here!!

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 

 

Part 7 ~ Gardens, Rockhounding and More

Gardens, Rockhouding and More is what was in store for us ! I was super excited to get out of Arkansas!  Not because the state is anything but fabulous, we had been in Arkansas for a WHILE !

We had been in Bentonville, more specifically, for far too long.  Lots of great places to visit, and I know Zach had an absolute blast at Amped Electric Games.  But we needed to move on.  Not just from Bentonville, but from Arkansas. 

Not quite out of Arkansas…yet

But we had a few more locations to check out before we officially headed to our Winter Location (which we had no idea where that would be).  But we needed to slow down.  We needed a place to wander around, that was quiet (sorry, but Amped was, as expected, loud and energetic) .
I needed some grounding

So we stopped at the Botanical Gardens of the Ozarks.

  

This was simply beautiful to walk around!  Fun stuff to look at, beautiful plants and sculptures, quiet and serene!  Just what we needed!  Even if Zach sometimes forgets to slow down!

Check out more pics from this beautiful garden here 

 


Friends…

Our next long term spot was Hot Springs and Mt Ida!  But we took our time getting there!  We were able to see some friends along the way!  Fellow nomads, friends, family.   Always amazing to be around kind of people! 

We saw a family we hadn’t seen in a minute, as well as another friend who we hadn’t seen in almost the same amount of time.   We spent time in our small circle before heading down to Hot Springs!


Rockhounding…

I had wanted to go rockhounding since I found out we would be in Arkansas!  I have no idea why this state sparked that interest, but it did!  So we headed to the popular digging site, The Ron Coleman Mine!   Not a free dig site, but a very well put together location.   We took the tour (of course 😆 ) and it was informative!  We got some digging tips, and away we went…..

We had a blast!  It was hot, and we were sitting in the beating sun for the entire time!  But so much fun, and really quite addicting!  

Check out all our pics from this location

 

We wanted to go more places, and find more gems!   We tried a few “free to dig” spots, but were met with No Trespassing signs.   We attempted Jim Coleman Mine, but that dirt was SO SO hard that we had to beat it with a shovel to even loosen a tiny bit.  So, we mostly just stuck to what we had found at Ron Coleman.  


We took a break from rockhounding and decided to check out Garvan Woodland Gardens!  I’m always in for a stroll around a garden! 

In checking the place out online, I realized how we could never do it in one day.  So I priced it out for 2 days for us, and it was almost as much as a Yearly Pass.  The Pass also gives you free entry into a TON of reciprocal Gardens across the United States!

 

Check out the list of participating gardens thru the  American Horticulture Department

So we can go and stroll for free!  And honestly, we never just go stroll, they almost always have some kind of plant shop going on..  And we are suckers for any kind of plant 🙂 

The Gardens

Now the first time we tried to walk around, I got overheated quickly and we retreated to the bus!   We chose to just wait a few days for the temps to go back down under 90°F (the day in the garden it was closer to 100°F). And since we had passes, we could actually make this choice 🙂  

When we finally got a cool day, we packed some waters and set off to check the place out.  It was amazing!  They were in the process of setting up for the Holidays, but nothing that took away from the beauty!  

Check out more pics from this beautiful garden here


We had all but given up on rockhounding for free, or relatively cheaply!  Until we stopped in this little store, where we asked about local digging sites.   She gave us a map of all the mining places, most cost something to get the permit needed to dig.

*You don’t actually get any kind of permit, more like a receipt, but that’s ok, we live small, we don’t need something we’d want to keep

We decided to try Crystal Vista Trailhead since it was listed as a Free Site in the National Forest, so we felt safe with the fact that we wouldn’t be trespassing!   We started the hike, with very little gear.  Water 2 small shovels A bag to collect in .   I’m so glad we packed ultra-lite! 

Ready… Set…. WHAT??

The hike UP the mountain was steep, and steady!  There were no parts of that trail that weren’t some form of incline!  And the further we went, the further we had to go!   We didn’t want to turn around only to find out that we were “that close”.  

All in all, I think the trek UP (did I mention steady incline?!) was about a mile, maybe a mile and a half.  Not long, just steeper than anticipated.  

I think we can, I think we can!

Gardens, Rockhounding and More

I know this doesn’t LOOK steep, but it is! And that’s what it looked like the entire trip up!

BUT…. we made it to the top!!  Then spent about 2 hours in that area digging around.  It was easy to dig in, but suddenly we had gotten picky in our “keeps”!  Could have had something to do with the fact that we had to trek back DOWN the mountain! 

 

And it’s at this point that Zach had to make an 850ish mile trip to Georgia to swap out vehicles…. Stay Tuned for that story and where we landed next!

Missed a few parts of the story?? Catch up here!!

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 

Part 5 Part 6 

Part 6 ~ Bentonville ~ We Have Arrived!

Well, we were finally in Bentonville, Arkansas.  The trip from Alma to Bentonville was only about an hour, but I’m telling you, we made it in record time. Up at the before crack of dawn, packed and on the road before we are usually finished with breakfast.   Mostly because Zach was a tad bit excited about the Amped Electric Games Or maybe it was the hype about the trails in the area

Word has it that the Walton Family puts a lot of money into the area, since Rogers is the birthplace of WalMart.  And the Walton grandsons love mountain biking.  So the trails are amazing and well kept!

Just a little preview of Zach in his race gear!  I’ll get to the Games in a bit!


Our first stop though, was Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.  I’m such a sucker for outdoor art!  Especially things that are larger than life!!

I loved the trails here!  Very easy to walk on, even if we got “lost” a few times.  We get sidetracked easily, so we go off course a lot

More Pics Here


Birthday Celebration

So now we come to my Birthday!  I was celebrating my 50th!  I’m not much for Birthday celebrations, but I wanted to do something.  So I left Zach in charge of the plans.

He did great!  Our first stop on the Birthday Excursion was War Eagle Caverns.  It was a walk through, and had some “you have to duck really far under one spot, but you should make it” areas that made me want to kick Zach (kidding, but I really do hate small spaces)


So our next stop was for food, of course 🙂   I had an inbox FULL of FREE food for my Birthday and I was aiming to get the Krispy Kreme Donuts!!   They give you a FREE DOZEN!!  Glazed, of course. But you can plan it for when that Hot ‘N Fresh sign is ON!   They melt in your mouth!!  You can check out my page for Birthday Freebies , there are over 250 of them, so have at it!

 


The rest of the day we spent together. In between and after the cavern and the donuts, we hit a bunch of thrift stores and nurseries, my two favorite places to wander around.  We also spent time hanging out in the bus, eating donuts   He made me a wonderful dinner (BLT’s, my favorite and requested, don’t judge me ). 

It was an awesome Birthday that I wanted to half share, half keep to myself!   And honestly, it’s just a day!  We make everyday awesome!


And now for the main event…

And now what Zach had been waiting for, and what I had been hearing on Live Streams from the Founder of the Amped Electric Games for weeks

It was a full week of riding, whether on pavement racing, or on the trails, also racing 😀  .  I don’t ride, so I baked all week!  Kept the riders full of sweets! 

We saw riders who could do amazing things with one wheel, people going faster than fast, and a rider jump a bus

There were all levels of riders, from beginners to advanced! All willing to teach, and all willing to learn.  It’s definitely the place to go if you want to check out what the EUC World is all about.

These videos below are of Zach at the Thunderdome Mountain Bike Trail in Coler Mountain Bike Preserve,  where the off-road races were held.  This portion of the event had been postponed for a few days due to heavy rains, closing down the trails. 

Zach’s Heats

Here is a gallery of Pics and videos from the week at Amped. (click on the little pic of Zach below)  Some are mine or Zach’s, some are from the other riders!  It was a pretty amazing week, I saw so many different styles of riding!  Does it make me want to get on one??  Not quite…..


And after a few weeks in the Bentonville area, it was time for us to move on.   We had no game plan from here, so we just headed south to go check out Hot Springs and Mt Ida!  We were interested in doing some rockhounding and found these places were pretty active in that aspect!

Till Next Time!

Missed Part of the Story?  Catch Up Here!

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 

Part 5

 

Part 5 ~ Heading To Arkansas

Our Journey up until now hadn’t included any events.  So Zach signed up for an EUC Event called Amped Electric Games in Bentonville, Arkansas. 

We had about a month to get there, so here is what we did from Springfield, Missouri to Bentonville, Arkansas!

Our first stop was to see Zach’s parents in Arkansas.  We parked close by to them and a bunch of other things we could see while we were there. 

We visited this little town, Alma, hoping to find the World’s Largest Spinach Can, but unfortunately it had been painted over. I didn’t find an explanation as to why it was painted over, or that it even had been painted over.  So I’m glad we stopped by!

But we did find this gem of a park 🙂 

  

Popeye’s Garden

Check out all of our pics HERE

While we were in Popeye’s Garden, we noticed this across the street, so we needed to investigate.  

 

Turns out it is a memorial to Henry D Humphrey.  He was on Patrol as the Town Marshall overnight when he was shot and killed by Bonnie & Clyde.


We spent a good amount of time in Alma while we were in the area.  Checking out the local stores and stuff.  We found a super awesome supply, craft, hardware, pretty much a little bit of everything store called A To Z.  And they are not lying, they have everything from A to Z !!

 


Just outside of Alma, in Fort Smith, Arkansas, is this cute little guy.

 

The World’s Largest Christmas Pickle!  The water tower next to it was painted really pretty as well


From here we headed to Bentonville!  It was a week away from Amped Electric Games and Zach was itching to get into the area to check out the trails.  So we headed over that way early.  I had plenty planned for us around the area, and I knew he would spend a few hours (daily) on his wheel. 

Until Next Time….

A Picture Tour of The Bus

I thought it would be a great time to show you what the inside of the bus looks like.  This is how we travel full time, and live a very normal life. Just a little Picture Tour of the Bus!!

 


This is the split view from front to back.  Under the bed is the driver’s area.  The bed raises and lowers with the front lift of a fifth wheel. SLOWLY (4ish minutes start to finish) So when we are stationary, it is down just about to the seats (they fold down, so pretty low)

I’m sure at this point in proofreading Zach will tell me just how far it is from the floor of the bus (and that won’t give an accurate description  because the floor we walk on isn’t the floor of the bus 😕 Confused yet? ~ I’ll get to that) BUT, the driver’s seat is in the original bus position, my seat was added in and does fancy stuff like swivels from the window to next to Zach) 

Edited to add before publishing ~ Zach said that between the bottom of the bed and the raised floor is 28″.  The raised floor has the grey carpet runner on it ! 


I consider this my “Kitchen Side”  Full size gas range (yup, FULL SIZE!!).    The Iceco was our refrigerator/freezer until we got an early Christmas Gift of an upright freezer.  That part of the build is a little further down 🙂  And lots of countertop space.  I’ve since put a few coats of Polycrylic on the tops, and we plan to replace them with something like butcher block.  Another on the list project. 🙂


 Our Bath and another kitchen area.  Plants are easy enough to pop out when we need to shower.  Some even stay in there since the shower head is on the ceiling.  The tub is partially sunken into the floor to give plenty of head room.  The cauldron is our sink, and while the faucet looks amazing, it’s not particularly functional for us.  The sprayer really loves to SPRAY :/  So that will be changed out at some point.   It’s on our list! 


The back deck and shop area.  The deck area folds up against the bus during travel.   The back deck area is about to get a MAJOR renovation, but we have lots to do before that can begin!


Let’s talk about this range!  It’s full size.  That’s not common for a Skoolie.  But I’m so glad Zach decided he needed this in his life.  Because now I do a good portion of the cooking and all of the baking, and it certainly makes my life easier!!   It’s a gas range, so that presents some challenges for me since it has been a LOT of years since I cooked with gas.   Trial and error.  And Zach doesn’t mind being the taste tester 🙂


So here is the Upright Freezer we were gifted early.  It’s the perfect size for our needs and the space we had for it.  The bed is not hindered from going lower than before (the dresser we had there was wider than the freezer, so it prevented the bed from going down another 6″).  This makes a big difference when getting out of bed! 

The amount of food in the freezer is what we had in the IceCo when we split it between fridge and freezer.  And it was jammed in there.  So we gained a lot of freezer space with this gift, plus doubled our refrigerator.  We converted the freezer side of the IceCo into a refirgerator (it’s as easy as adjusting the temp)


“Storage for days” – Kyle Baker

He’s not wrong 🙂  There is a ton of storage under the floor.  The space is 94″ wide, 156″ long and 12″ deep.  There are 3 doors that pull up from the floor to access the space.  I call each one a compartment even though they are one continuous unit.

This is my pantry compartment. One of three storage compartments under the floor.  The middle one is random stuff, bedding and mason jars and gigantic community meal sized pots.  The third is mostly our batteries.  And our toaster, Vitamix and Instant Pot. 

And we have room to spare!  Lots of spare room!  This area just went through a major cleaning a few weeks back, so it’s been organized by me, which means if we need something, I generally remember exactly where it is!

 


Can’t travel full time without a bathroom.  This has changed a bit (there are about 5 plants in there now 🙂 )

So this entire build is Zach’s vision and work.  When Zach and I met, it was mostly finished.  I’ve helped with the buttoning up of things.   And decorating (the plants were my contribution to our lives).  We’ve made improvements together, revamped things that didn’t work (because you don’t know what will work and what won’t until you are on the road!!)  and have ideas to make things more functional! 

We are currently in remodel mode!  Some major renovations coming!! 

Part 4 ~ Where Did We Roam to After St Louis?

St Louis was a lot of fun, we saw so many cool things, but we had been in Missouri for a minute.  Our usual “in one place” time frame is about a week, give or take depending on the situation.    Plus, Zach had an EUC event coming up in Bentonville, Arkansas in the beginning of September, so we needed to move it along.

Our first little stop was at a cute, HUGE Rocking Chair, the World’s 2nd Largest to be exact.   Check out the Chair Here!  We even brought our littlest kitty, Heddy, for a quick photo in her backpack (I know, she seems terrified, that’s just her normal look 😆 )

Our next stop was Springfield, Missouri for a few days to rest and recover from travel days.  We found lots of large things there.  The World’s 2nd Largest Fork is there.  Funny we keep finding all of the SECOND largest things.  But, this fork was huge !  Randomly placed in front of an office building of sorts, and no real explanation.  Strange.  But cool.  Check out the Fork Here!

So then we found some other strange things going on in Springfield, Missouri.   First of all, Kraft has a factory there.  With a HUGE Noodle (apparently this is not unique for Kraft factories, which just makes me want to go find them all).

And while this noodle is kind of strange, in the big things world, it’s not the strangest thing about this place.  Apparently there are underground CHEESE CAVES.  Wait, what?   Ok, in reality, it’s a huge underground (about 100 feet) warehouse.  And when I say huge, I mean 3.2 million square feet. 😯  It’s a cheese warehouse (I read 1.4 billion pounds of cheese 😮 but who knows), but it’s also home to 50 different companies, including Kraft, Pepsi and Vital Farms.  I’d be freezing, since the average temp down there is 62°F.   BRRRR!

Maybe that’s not strange, just a great way to utilize an old limestone quarry.  This is the Springfield Underground website, but it’s pretty lacking.   History section is nice 🙂   I read you can’t get in to the cheese warehouses, but that you can get into the Underground.   I guess the strangest part of this whole place is the lack of information I could find on it.  All outlets had the same few bits of info!   Next time, Springfield Underground, Next time!!

Back to places we actually went to (I should have talked to some locals about the underground place, drats!)

After the Fork, we found Springfield SculptureWalk!  I’m such a huge fan of outside art.  Things made out of other things, or themed art.  Like a town with a bunch of bears, or butterflies, or bison, decorated how the artist envisioned it.

Just a few from the Walk 🙂  There’s more here!!

We decided one morning to go for a walk through the local Japanese Garden and then have an early lunch.  Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden didn’t disappoint!  It was quiet and serene.   So unlike us, but so needed by us!  

Our last stop in Springfield was an amazing cavern.  Fantastic Caverns to be exact.  While most of our excursions run on the frugal side, this one cost a bit more, but really was worth it.   We got to ride through the cavern in a jeep-drawn tram. It is the only ride through cavern in America. Our tour guide was this quirky little lady who seemed to just love driving through those tiny little spaces talking about the cavern.  There were a few places where we needed to duck, but even that was funny! 

And from here we were heading to Arkansas!  Did we make any pit stops along the way?  World’s Largest something on the side of the road? 

Until Next Time….

Missed Part of the Story?  Catch Up Here!

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

 

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