Happy Holidays to all our Friends and Family
Is it really almost 2007? Here's what we've been up to in 2006:
Most of our friends and family know we've been on sabbatical traveling the U.S. and Canada since December of 2005. We've been on the Adventure of a lifetime. Many have said they were jealous, but they would never have the guts to do this. Many have said we were crazy; why leave a perfectly good job and a nice comfortable house to live out of the back of a pick up truck? All we can say is... it HAS been an adventure!! Below are a few videos we worked on.
We began our traveling in December of 2005, first heading down to Florida to visit with Andrew's grandmother Rose in Boca Raton and ALL of Teresa's family in Ft Myers, Jacksonville and Orlando. We were also leaving our dog Simon with my sister Dianne while we were traveling. This was probably the hardest part of the trip. We rang in the New Year with our friends Donna and Gautam on Cape San Blas in the Florida panhandle. We visited several other parks in the panhandle and tested our traveling arraignments. We spent some time with our friend Colbert in Georgia before moving back thru Atlanta to drop off perhaps four boxes of stuff we decided we really didn't need.
After a brief stop in Birmingham to store more things in the attic of friends, Anita and Phil, we headed north to the Lake of the Ozarks, MO. Dropping back thru Kansas and out to Colorado. By February we stumbled into the Coors Brewery tour in Golden, Bishop's Castle, Earthknack and the Very Large Array in Colorado and New Mexico. Then traveled thru Pikes National Forest where we awoke to a 10 degree morning and had our water bottle freeze before we could finish brushing our teeth. By the end of the week, we were in Big Bend National Park in south Texas, on the Rio Grande. We explored the depths and heights of New Mexico in Carlsbad Caverns and summiting Guadalupe Peak, the top of Texas. We also found the most amazing ancient petroglyphs and Anastazi cliff dwellings. In Arizona we slipped across the border into Aqua Prieta (Dark Water), Mexico, saw the majestic Saguaro cactus and the wonderful Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum. We also stopped by the San Xavier Mission, an adobe church built in the 1700's and stayed a few days at the Crazy Woman campsite in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument where we ran into the Yodeling Poet (transcript).
In southern California we experienced the crazy, Dr. Seuss-looking Joshua Trees and visited family outside of LA and HAD to drive thru Hollywood! We found paradise in Santa Barbara, CA, but with a price. Median priced homes were going for $1 million! We spent the night 50 feet from the famous San Andreas Fault in Carrizo Plains National Monument where a riverbed makes two 90 degree turns as a result of an earthquake in the 1800's. We explored the diversity of Death Valley and saw the "Rocks That Move". We explored the "Wildlife" in Las Vegas, saw a movie being filmed and did some hiking in the Valley Of Fire State Park, NV. We visited the Triple Crown of National Parks: Zion, Bryce and the Grand Canyon.
Next we ran thru Capitol Reef, Grand Staircase-Escalante and Goblin Valley Parks before meeting up with Andrew's parents in Moab, UT to see Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. We spent a little time in Colorado as we searched for land and found our piece of heaven in Cotopaxi, CO. Taking off for the Northwest leg of our trip, we started with Colorado National Monument, saw the Mormon settlements in Capitol Reef and explored the back country of Cathedral Valley. We continued north to Crater Lake, the freaky Oregon Vortex and did more "research" (burp!) in Newport, OR at the Rogue B&B (Beer and Bed). We saw the awesome power of the earth at Mount St Helen's National Monument and the magnificent Mount Rainer with wildflowers blooming. Our time in Olympic National Park was spent in the rainforest, on the rocky Pacific coast and in the rugged snow-capped mountains where the great Mount Olympus graced us with a view. We spent a few days in the Seattle area before heading even further north.
Our fourth wedding anniversary was celebrated on a ferry along the Inside Passage of Alaska as we hop-scotched up the many small, remote towns. Alaska was beautiful and we found a great glacier boat tour on the Lu-Lu Belle and saw lots of marine animals. But the weather was not our friend as we traveled thru the worst rainy season state has seen in thirty years. When we arrived in Talkeetna, just south of Denali National Park, two bridges washed out along the road between us and Denali. We determined Alaska just didn't want us there right now, we'll have to come back another time. We headed out thru the funky little gold mining town of Chicken, Alaska before moving on into Canada. We discovered there's a LOT of Canada between Alaska and the lower 48, but we enjoyed the historic towns, the beautiful scenery and the incredible remoteness of the Yukon Territory. When we got to Glacier, Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, more than 20 fires burning in the surrounding areas obscured the views of the great mountains and we felt we were ready to stop traveling for a while.
We found a 26 ft travel trailer to live in while we build our dream house in Colorado, but it was not without it's own adventures. After replacing and repairing all sorts of things, it's finally feeling like home, at least temporarily. We also ran into a few issues with developing our property, so we have our trailer in an RV park in the valley on the beautiful Arkansas River. We are looking AT the mountains instead of being IN the mountains.
We are back in the Deep South for the Holidays and will continue into Florida again to visit Andrew's grandmother and Teresa's family over Chanukah and Christmas. We will be returning to Colorado by the first of the year with a U-Haul full of tools and our dog Simon. We've missed him a lot!!
As for what the future holds for us, we bought the aforementioned land in Cotopaxi, Colorado, 7.3 acres in the mountains between the small towns of Salida and Caņon City. While our construction is on hold, we will be telecommuting, working remotely on contract projects, likely utilizing office space in Salida. Once the ground thaws, we should be able to put our construction plans into motion.
Peace and happiness to all of you in all of YOUR adventures!
Teresa & Andrew
PS Although our home is not built yet, we'd certainly welcome any friends or family to come and visit with us... and if you aren't up for camping, there's plenty of lodging nearby. :-)