August, 22, 2022
Today I am writing from the road. Luke melted the tip off his vape yesterday and I want a skirt steak (which is a specialty item) so I can make barbacoa so we’re off to Cedar City where the stores are. This is roughly a 2 and a half hour drive, but fairly lovely as drives around here tend to be. I’ve been basically working full time lately which is still enjoyable. The guest interaction is so often a really pleasant experience. Most of the guests have been so happy and grateful for everything. It can be really heartwarming. For example, a couple of nights ago I was working the late shift and a woman came into the store to buy some wine. She happily shared that she had made a bunch of new friends hanging out in the lodge and they were having a great time. She said she felt like she was at summer camp for adults, which is essentially what this place is. She had child-like excitement in her eyes. Maybe we should start selling materials for friendship bracelets in the store. I’m happy to be in a place that makes people so joyful. It is also a place where we keep finding cool things in the wilderness.
This is definitely impacting our desire to leave. As we consider our next move we also find ourselves considering not moving for a while. I know I can easily work here again next Spring and we really love this area. We are not considering staying in one place forever yet, but we are considering the possibility of a year out here. We are also awaiting the possibility of an artist residency at Death Valley in January so we don’t want to get too far away from the Southwest and then have to travel a long distance if we are awarded it.
This week brought many rain storms. We did not chase the lightning this week as I was working during most of the good storms, but we did see some good stormy skies and super vibrant sunsets. In our downtime this week we mostly did indoor activities and when it was nice out, we took the dogs to new spots for them to run. Our dogs love all of the different wilderness areas around here so they can run and explore with no people or traffic. I think we end up taking them to a different place almost every time simply by picking a different dirt road to drive down. This week they took a good run at a dispersed camping spot off Burr Trail Rd and another one off of Hole in the Rock Rd. On both excursions we were hoping to see some cool waterfalls or flash floods, but the first time we were a bit too late (they dry up fast) and the second time the road was closed before we got to the washes due to flooding. All of the dispersed campsites we have stumbled upon out here are huge with beautiful views and decent roads leading to them. It seems to be a boondocker’s paradise out here so long as you avoid summertime due to the heat and frequent storms. I witnessed one of the brightest double rainbows I’ve ever seen after one of these storms.
I have enjoyed the quiet time this week. Progress is slow on my miniatures, but I try to get some work in on them when I can. We have probably watched too much TV this week, but the campground has been busy so I needed the time to recharge my social battery. I think we also may have been giving the dogs too many treats from our meals as this happens now every time I sit down to eat at home.
This morning I heard the spectacular news that my niece Hannah gave birth to a little girl. Meet Ayla. She a beautiful little girl that I am excited to meet when I go visit Massachusetts next month.
Luke had a memory pop up in his Facebook feed this morning of our first time boondocking in Pennsylvania last summer. We were on our way home from our first camping trip in West Virginia and planned to just stay on a farm through Harvest Hosts for one night, but they let us stay for a few when we discovered there was a hurricane predicted to hit the east coast the next day. It was a beautiful farm and we really liked the family that lived there and ran the place. I will always have fond memories of feeding the animals in the morning, cleaning rabbit cages with a home made flame thrower, and saving a juvenile chicken that was stuck in the feeder. We are coming up on the one year anniversary of us being on the road full time and I wouldn’t change a thing, though the first couple of months did have some difficulties. Yesterday I met a stranger in the laundry room who asked a few questions about our lifestyle and then shared that she found it inspiring and asked if there was a blog about our travels she could read! I often feel that we are so very lucky to be living our life this way.
Jennifer MacNeil is currently traveling the US with her husband and two dogs. She loves to have adventures, explore, meet fascinating people, and see amazing places. She strives to learn every day and spread kindness to others. She documents the journey through her photography and blog to share with others.