Where We’re Going

We’ve really enjoyed our little Jayco trailer.

Sure, the geriatric Pathfinder struggles a bit with it, but it does nearly double its weight, so that’s understandable. Add its age to the altitude and multiply by the grade of an uphill climb and we sometimes struggle to stay above 35mph.

Our wee home away from home.

Anyway, even if we can only get away for a weekend to the State Park that’s only 3 miles away, we consider it a worthwhile trip.

We’ve so far been in temperatures as cold as about 24F and as hot as 90F. As long as there’s electricity, it’s pretty comfortable for us.

There are a few things we’d like to change on our little trailer. Memory foam mattress toppers, some bunk-end covers to take the edge off on both the hottest and coldest days and nights, a larger tow vehicle, maybe one of those awning-screen-room add-ons.

We’ll get to them as finances for our house and time permit.

Last September, we went up to St. Vrain State Park north of Denver for a weekend. I wasn’t feeling well and was a bit additionally stressed out by work.

That Saturday evening, while pondering aloud after possibly imbibing in one too many bottles of carbonated, fermented goodness, I cracked open my Chinese takeout fortune cookie (hey, sometimes you just don’t want to cook)…

One wonders how many ideas were the result of slightly too much porter with a fortune-cookie catalyst.

“What if we were to do this full-time?”

“What do you mean?”

“I wonder if it would be cheaper to just have the RV than just the house. What if we were to sell the house and live in an RV full-time for six months… or a year… or two?”

She knew I wasn’t talking about this specific trailer. Sure, it’s entirely possible to live in it full time, but I don’t think our kids (or Daisy’s sanity) would tolerate it.

“We could move back to Washington,” she added, “Be closer to our families.”

“Or at least we’d certainly not be tied down by the house so we could get up there more often.”

The next weekend, which happened to be when the torrential rains were overtopping dams and flooding much of northern Colorado, we started looking at larger and larger travel trailers. I think she was spending more time looking than even I was.

It was then that we decided which course we wanted to take. We don’t know exactly what the roadmap looks like yet and we don’t know exactly when it will be, but we are absolutely convinced that right now, home ownership, here, isn’t for us.

It’s time to downsize dramatically for what we would consider a psychological reboot and a drastic change in our current lifestyle.

But how do we really start?

The Story So Far

“Well, let’s see. First the earth cooled. And then the dinosaurs came, but they got too big and fat, so they all died and they turned into oil.” — Airplane II

One of the things we always wanted to do was buy an RV. My folks have been RVers since I was in Jr. High and their love of the lifestyle seemed to rub off on me. A lot. They’d even share stories of the Airstream that my grandpa towed with the family sedan — a 1960-something Bonneville.

For all the years Daisy and I have been together, I’d dragged her to the local RV shows and we’d gazed at the assortment of tent trailers and travel trailers and motorhomes and accessories.

“Just wait until we buy a house,” we’d always say.

Our mentality was that once we do the responsible thing and buy a house, then we could justify the luxury.

So, we set about the path and bought a fixer-upper in suburbia whose fixer-upper costs started to climb. The RV was postponed again and again.

February, 2012, my dad called to tell us that mother was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer. It was hard news to hear, especially because of who was afflicted, but additionally so because I understood the prognosis.

We packed the kids into the car, or rented minivan, or I on my motorcycle, and made as many trips back up to Washington to see her as we could.

After the inevitable, a year after her diagnosis, while on the road home from the final farewell, I had an uncomfortably long time alone with my thoughts and wound up rationalizing just buying an RV.

Well, a travel trailer.

We had no savings, not much in the way of disposable income, and not a very large parking area for when it wouldn’t be used. But we did have reasonable credit and my mental justification that if I don’t just go do it, then it’ll never happen.

A week later, we found ourselves on a dealer’s lot examining travel trailers — and I considering carefully all of the advice that my parents shared about such things over the years.

I signed the paperwork on our wee little Jayco UltraLite that evening.

We didn’t get a chance to use it for about a month when the weather warmed a bit.

Oh, and the first thing I added to it: a picture frame for mother’s picture.

Where Are We?

Here we are… 2014 is just around the corner.

We’re in our early 40’s with two two pre-schoolers. There’s the dog and two cars in our small, fixer-upper house in a generic suburb, in a city near Denver, Colorado.

I work a fair number of hours as a Sr. Unix Engineer for a multi-national company. The compensation is reasonable, but the hours can be rough. Fortunately, I do get to telecommute regularly. Unfortunately, that means that I get an earlier start and a later stop on telecommute days.

Daisy holds the urban homestead together. The hours there, too, are long.
While our little family has our little house, we feel like we’ve become slaves to everything in and around it. The mortgage. The maintenance. The bills. The community.

It’s time for a change…