When we started this journey, there was no end destination in sight. The road was the goal, and we had accomplished it. The new plan was to figure out how to keep the vision going. I figured that with careful planning and budgeting, I could probably make our money last for a year.
Things that I didn't account for in our budget (that maybe I should have):
- Dad's birthday
- RV Bootcamp
- Losing a sideview mirror
- My birthday
- The brakes failing
- The Great Data Crisis
- Jason's 21st birthday
Unexpected experiences are a part of life, and the lessons that we learn along the way make us who we are. I don't regret any of the things that we spent the money on, or the life lessons that we picked up along the way. But now, faced with depleted resources, we had a decision to make: was it time to draw this chapter of our life to a close?
"Flow like water" ~ Bruce Lee
When you are flowing like water, your path changes many times. This lesson applies so broadly in my life, from our financial situation to our travel itinerary.
Anya took on the task of finding us jobs, while I tried to rework the budget to stretch our dollars "until the eagle screams" (credit to my wise father for that turn of phrase.) Online searches for opportunities yielded lots of results, but not many that would work for us. We have some needs beyond the financial, and we believe that the perfect job will meet all of them. Encouraged by this initial foray, we planned to continue our westward trek, still chasing that warmer weather.
We left Lake Arrowhead in high spirits, spent a couple of amazing nights at Copper Breaks State Park, and got refreshed by nature and rejuvenated during our time of being unplugged. We had planned to hit up Caprock Canyon and then stay at Palo Duro Canyon for a week, where we were going to really delve deep into nature, and commune with the buffalo. However, having disconnected so completely from society, I was unaware that we were running into Texas Spring Break crowds, and both of the campgrounds that we were going to visit were full. So much for my careful planning!
My hours of meticulously planning out the trip, mileage, driving conditions, and budget all went out the window. When am I going to learn that on this journey, when you wake up you may not know where you are going to sleep that night? Gazing into my crystal ball (Samsung Galaxy S6) I sought the answer to our dilemma.
For anyone that is going to take a trip in an RV, or anyone that likes to go camping, I highly recommend the AllStays app. Using it, we traced a new route, still westerly (albeit more northerly than before) and found a few places that would offset the extra gas by actually being cheaper (a couple were even FREE.) The silver lining in this cloud and the confirmation that we were on the right path: three of the four new stops featured 18-hole disc golf courses!
Gone were the canyons, but say hello to small town Texas!
We spent three nights in Childress, which had a beautiful city park with a great disc golf course, a playground, and great LTE coverage. This facilitated the job search, and we actually got to do a phone interview while we were there.
Our next stop was the McClellan National Grassland, balancing our nature needs after three days in town. Serene in the extreme. Also had just enough cell service to get a job offer email, which we accepted. We now had an actual destination!
Disc golf stop in Pampa, on our way to camp out in Borger. Free camping in Borger, with water and electric hookups, is a deal that can't be beaten. They also had one of the most exciting disc golf courses that I have ever played. This is a picture of me walking along hole #9, what you can't see is the canyon drop off just to the right.
After Borger, we stopped in Dumas for a night, and then Dalhart for disc golf and our final night in Texas. Having a deadline and a destination is a bit foreign to our style, but we are flowing with it. Figuring out the budget for the rest of this chapter of the trip was an interesting endeavor, trying again to balance what we had with what we need. But, as always, we know that we will always have enough, because that is the Way of Things.
Of course, this is still just more of the Best Laid Plans that are subject to change. :)