Yesterday marked our six month anniversary of RV life. It’s a crazy milestone – we’re feeling both “Wow, it’s six months already?” and “It’s only been six months?!”.
Our driving route to reach Mount Rushmore – a little bit squiggly, but we made it!
It’s been an incredible six months. We knew we were embarking on a pretty wild adventure, but we’ve found ourselves in places we never expected (cliff jumping in Michigan, horseback riding in Indiana, rock climbing in Texas, whitewater rafting in Montana). We’ve visited known highlights (Grand Canyon, Graceland, Nashville, Kentucky Bourbon Trail, Mount Rushmore), and found quite a few spots we never knew existed in the United States (White Sands National Monument, Natchez Trace Parkway, Pictured Rocks, Sleeping Bear Dunes, Bighorn Canyon, Minuteman Missile Silo Site).
Cory’s driving hair. You didn’t think we could get up to such speeds, did you?
Click through for some highlights, recaps, and pictures from our journey so far!
The number one question we’re asked by friends and family (or strangers!) is “What’s your favorite spot?” Inevitably, we end up looking at each other, and respond with “White Sands National Monument. Or Beartooth All-American Highway.”
Then we start backtracking: “Well, Sleeping Bear Dunes was incredible.” “Natchez Trace Parkway was such a surprise.” “Oh, I loved Kentucky.” “Our entire month in Louisiana was incredible.” “Texas is fantastic.”
And so on, and so on. Obviously, it’s incredibly hard to pick just one favorite spot!
Before climbing the stairs to stand UNDER Niagara Falls…
And after! The spray was so powerful I could barely open my eyes!
(And no, I’m not smuggling a baby under the poncho. Unless you consider a large camera a baby, which I sort of do, so yes, I did wrap my camera-baby in excessive amounts of plastic to protect it from the rain.)
Visiting friends in Chicago
A present from the brewmaster himself – Wisconsonite straight off the Lake Front Brewery bottling line!
Prepping to go whitewater rafting down the Gallatin River (Montana).
Every place that we have been able to meet up with friends or family has been wonderful. We’ve loved having the chance to see our family and friends in their hometown (or current town), and experiencing what they feel is the best that city has to offer. We’ve gone tubing down the Guadalupe River in Texas, out on the college bar scene at LSU, on a bowling bar hop in Derry, PA, and found our fair share of lake time in Michigan.
Many of the new friends we’ve made have been of the canine variety. This fella’s name is Boba.
It’s a known fact that vuvuzelaing in the water makes for great male bonding.
Some friends have been kind enough to let us dress up and run through their corn fields. These are the types of friends you want to keep around.
And some friends let you wakesurf in an American Pride dress. These friends, too, you should keep around.
I also love the variety of new knowledge we’ve gained. In Texas and Louisiana, we learned all about the gas and oil industry. Mississippi and Gettysburg gave us greater insight into the Civil War. Kentucky was one big lesson in horses and bourbon!
Just me and Abe, hanging out.
Just me and the Fonz, hanging out.
Just me and White Castle, hanging out.
Has the trip been hard? Yes, definitely. We’ve felt the strain of being so far away from our family and friends. We struggle to find our happy-medium between traveling and working, and are just now feeling really great about our fun-work balance! But when we start to feel cramped or frustrated about a little portion of RV life, we just have to look out the window to remind ourselves of the adventure we are on.
Nope, I’m not walking onto a yacht! This is the gorgeous architecture of the Milwaukee Art Museum.
Making it to Lost Lake after a tough hike. (Custer National Forest)
The surreal sunset waters of East Twin Lake, MI.
Nope, nothing suspicious going on here. (Niagara Falls, NY – Rapids hike)
Gnomeo felt at home in this mountainous landscape. (Apparently he’s of the mountain-variety of gnomes.)
Marveling at the landscape of Pictured Rocks.
Getting my mountain biking on in Marquette, MI. Cory never goes mountain biking with me; he’s no fun at all.
Okay, he’s a little fun.
Here’s a little rundown in numbers and specifics so far:
Miles Traveled: 16,653 miles! If we were driving straight along the equator, we’d be two-thirds of the way around the world. We’ve only driven 0.07% of the distance to the Moon, though!
Cricket’s been a trooper, crossing state lines like a champ.
Sometimes I help out and carry her, though.
Gallons of (diesel) gas: 2,050 gallons. Yes.
Thinking about that much gas is no fun, so here’s a picture of a flattering mirror.
Number of states we’ve passed through: TWENTY ONE! (California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvannia, New York, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana!)
Casually crossing state lines on a hike.
Touring the most beautiful state capitol building in Madison, WI.
Number of states we’ve had family or friends in: 14
We’ve realized why people think California is weird and full of hippies – because we can buy liquor any day of the week!
Favorite local foods: Po’ boys in Louisiana! Olga’s in Michigan (a favorite of Cory’s parents), “burnt ends” barbecue in Kansas City, Nashville barbecue (we went to Jack’s Barbecue on Broadway), the absolute BEST bacon ever in Derry, PA, and the delicious chili lobster dinner prepared for us in Michigan. And lots and lots of local wine and beer!
Delicious ice cream from the Land of Dairy! Also, this is the student union for the University of Wisconsin, Madison. IT IS SO PRETTY.
Favorite camping spot: By far our favorite place would be the Crazy Horse Ranch outside of French Lick, Indiana. Other highlights: outside Alamogordo, Big Bend National Park, Natchez Trace, Badlands National Park, Bighorn Canyon, Lake Fork primitive camping in Custer National Forest. And all of our “two-track lane” camping spots when visiting friends in Northern Michigan!
This is not just a picture of a moose. This is a picture of a moose that was 100 ft from our RV. This moose later galloped through our campsite while we were eating dinner. Crazy moose.
Pretty places, crazy poses (Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness).
Figuring out that whole life-travel-work balance thing.
Cliff jumping in the UP.
Cory would like it to be known that these are sissy cliffs, and he’s totally jumped off of way higher, super hardcore cliffs.
What we still have to look forward to: Friends visiting us in Montana, family coming out to spend time with us in Yellowstone and Grand Tetons, Boulder/Denver, a friend-filled weekend in Park City, Utah, and mountain biking in Moab.
Cricket creating a wake behind her during one of the many rainstorms we’ve experienced!
Thanks for following along on our adventure! I love having a place to share all of our silly photos, and write down what we’ve seen. It’s amazing to look back on the 80GB of photos and videos, and remember our travels. Yes, EIGHTY. Eighty gigabytes.
Note: Cory would like to add a statistic:
Number of pictures Cory has forced Lindsay to take that she doesn’t want to, because she’s “embarassed”: THOUSANDS.
Number of above-mentioned pictures Lindsay ends up loving: 100%.
Writing, eating, loving, laughing, and enjoying where life takes me.
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