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 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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Part 3 ~ Our Journey Continues In St Louis, MO

Sometimes in the journey, you need a few days break from the drive!   So we decided to take a few days and explore St Louis, MO.

Our first stop was at Anheuser-Busch for a quick tour and tasting (we don’t drink, so we shared ours with others) It was a pretty entertaining tour, our tour guide was fun!  We got bottles “off the line” to take home, but we just poured out the beer and kept the bottles to use as prop stations 🙂

Oh, and the pretzels were amazing!  I’m a BIG fan of soft pretzels, so I’m super picky.   I’d buy these again, even if it cost me $8 for those alone !!  Check out more pics here (BEER)

 

Our next stop was The World’s Largest Chess Piece 😆  It was fairly close, so we stopped and took some quick pics! You can check them out here (CHESS)

And well from there we did one of my favorite things ~ we toured a CHOCOLATE FACTORY!!!  We had the pleasure of touring Chocolate! Chocolate! Chocolate!  The tour was awesome, our guide really did know his stuff, and the tasting was my favorite part!  Check out more pics here (CHOCOLATE)

Whew!  We were sightseeing freaks for a while there!  OH WAIT, we weren’t done ! 

We headed over to Herbaria for a tour of their factory too!   This was a very small shop that started in someone’s kitchen, so it was really nice to see a hometown store tour!  The place smelled heavenly too 🙂  See more of our pics here (SOAP)

Journey

We were exhausted but had one more stop in mind.   A repurpose store.  It’s a thing.  We need to stop.   We can’t help ourselves.  Especially when they turn out to be a hidden gem.  We’ve come across a few, but this one was pretty cool too!

Check it out here ~ Refab ~ there are some pics, plus a link to their site! It’s pretty amazing in there!!

We called it quits in St Louis after our few days of sightseeing!   It was fun and we found some really unique places to shop as well!  But it was time to say “See ya, St Louis!”

Missed Part of the Story?  Catch Up Here!

Part 1 Part 2

 

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Part 2 ~ Bus Life and Internet Issues

Well, for the past 3+ months we have been traveling around the Midwest.  And for me, that meant having very sketchy service, if any at all! So I’m going to do a catch up to our almost current location all in one post. 

Back in August, we left The Mitten of Michigan and headed to the Upper Peninsula (UP). 

~Check out Our Michigan Page to see what we were up to in The Mitten!~

  Unfortunately, one of our three cats (Scabbers) escaped the bus while it was running (a BIG no-no as this usually scares them from coming back).  We tried for hours to get him.  HOURS.   Fortunately we had been in that location for a few months and had made some friends. 

We weren’t going far the first night, in fact we just went about 15 miles away.   So we left for the night to get the bus parked and secured, and headed back in the morning.  Again, failing to catch him.   This had been an ongoing issue with him since he got a rocky start on the road (he was traveling temporarily with someone else who left him behind)  It took Zach a very, very long time to convince me to leave without Scabbers.  But we did.   And headed to the Skoolie UP event.  We left our carrier, one of my sweatshirts, food, and his bowl.  And the people we met while there were going to be there until the end of the season and were going to catch him for us.

IT TOOK THREE WEEKS!!!!  It was the longest three weeks of our lives.  I have had that cat since birth, and I was really missing him.  This cat is a unique dude.  He plays with our dogs, Louie and Jemma.  And I don’t mean he bats their tails when they walk by, I mean he BITES them, and then roughhouse right back!!  It’s hilarious.  He’s our CatDog.  Here’s a little video of the “three dogs” at play 😆

But they finally got him in our carrier.   We left the event early to go get him and get moving southwest.   We had plans to be in Arkansas in September, and we just wanted to get going. 

We were so happy to see him.  Tears were shed.  Our other pets were happy to see him.  Well, maybe not Heddy, his sister.  She hissed at him when she saw him.   Maybe she was yelling at him about taking off like that.  

But we got him, so we left on our journey.  First stop after we had our full house back was Kalamazoo to see some friends.  While there we did bus work.  Just a bunch of random things we had been talking about for a while.  Zach replaced some parts on my seat and I made the bus more travel ready. 

We also visited a lovely Arboretum (Leila Arboretum)

From there we stopped for an overnight in Hudson, Illinois. 

While we were there, I was poking around for something to do.  We had some down time, and I didn’t want to spend it in the bus.  Well, The World’s Largest Square Knot popped up as being a few miles away.  We went to go check it out, but to our disappointment, we found no knot, just a plaque.  

 

But an idea was born.   The World’s Largest …whatever.   A few weeks before this, Zach had gotten me an electric scooter.  One that I could go off road with.  Well, I took a pic of me on it and sent it to my 15 year old daughter.  Who said I looked “TINY”.  

Well.. my response was “My size is just a figment of your imagination, and I am, in fact, quite tiny.  Like an Oompa Loompa”    She had also just given me a pair of huge round glasses, white, with rose tinted lenses.   So, The World’s Largest Journey began!  (you can check that out here!)

And from Hudson we set our sights on St Louis , MO where we had a TON of stuff planned!!   Stay tuned for that journey next week!

Missed Part of the Story?  Catch Up Here!

Part 1

 

Part 1 ~ The Way Will Appear

For most of my life, I felt like I was on a perpetual non-journey journey.   Moving, but going nowhere.   I have a fantastic Aunt that always says to step out on the way, and the way will appear.

Well…. Back in January, I met this really great guy at a mutual friends house.

He had come to stay in his Skoolie before an event .

We ended up going to the event together, and the way appeared

We left on our Journey to Michigan on March 28th, 2022.   Him in his bus, and me following in my SUV.  I had to fit everything I was taking completely in that vehicle!   That was a challenge, but in the end I donated a LOT, purged through boxes that had been boxed for years, and in the end it felt amazing to do! 

⇓⇓ It all had to fit in THIS !! ⇓⇓

Our first stop was in Jessup, Georgia.  We intended to stay a few days, but it turned into a week after we had to do a little cat rescue.   We had to make the trek back to Florida (350+ miles  😕 ) to get my cat, who was left behind by another nomad.

Our next stop was Columbus, Georgia.   During this time, we realized that me driving behind him wasn’t working.  We were traveling together, yet apart, and it was costing us extra in gas at a time when gas prices suck!!!  So Again, another “few day stop” that turned into a week+ to get a seat in the bus for me!   But in Zach’s defense, he built me this amazing seat for the bus (along with the help of another member of the Skoolie community) .

Now earlier I joked about downsizing all I had into my SUV.  Now I had to downsize into his already full bus!   I challenged myself to one drawer in a medium sized dresser.  I absolutely succeeded.  I packed ALL of my clothes in that drawer and donated the rest.   All of my kitchen items got donated since he has a fully equipped kitchen and a full size range.   I have one under the bed storage tote for sentimental items.   In the last 3 years I’ve gone from a 2800+ square foot house to sharing 200 square foot of living space.  Was it easy?  Heck no!   I was sooooo attached to my junk at first.   Storage unit after storage unit just to keep it.  For no purpose.   Because it’s all just stuff.   So I packed my SUV and headed to the local Goodwill and brought in bins of stuff to them!    It felt liberating!  And to this day, there is not one thing that I said, “shoot, I wish I kept that!”

 Okay, Maybe my lemon zester!!  😆 

Finally headed out and made our way to Faulkville, Alabama.   And yet again, a few days turned into a week.   Bus upgrade to the rearend gearing took a little longer than anticipated, but in order to actually make it up the hills in Michigan, a change was definitely needed!

The next month sucked.  Simply put, it sucked.   Our stays were rough, our cats weren’t always safe outside the bus, noise levels were insane.   We were bummed, because we made it to Michigan,  but it was a complete letdown up until this point.

We finally made it to what we thought was a safe haven, and it had been mostly good.  Quiet, on the lake (kinda), and our animals were safe.   We just stayed longer than we should have.   We got a little comfortable, and planned on heading out on the road after 3 months of being parked.  

We found some amazing trails to hike and ride through, cute shops, and met some great people!   We learned a lot about ourselves during this stay, so in the end, worth the stop.

We have an ENTIRE freaking garden, greenhouse included.   So, now I’m going to have to work on keeping flowers, herbs and vegetables alive on the road.   We stop for a while at most locations, but there are stretches of driving that take days.

We are heading to an event in the UP in Michigan.   We have about a month to get there.   So we plan on putting our adventure into high gear and hitting some trails.   Either on foot, or on our electric toys.

Stay tuned for more of the journey!  Including a Skoolie Event and an EUC (Electric Unicycle) Event!   Should be interesting to see what we find to explore in the future!

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