Wyoming brought us into lonely highways lined with streams and mountains. The terrain was expanse and majestic. Rest areas were far and few between but we managed to find a place to rest a few hours overnight while it rained. The weather grew cooler with the elevation. We were excited to break out jackets for the rest of our drive.
We arrived to the Solitude RV park in Dubois Wyoming early Thursday morning. Our friend and his son were scheduled to fly into Jackson Hole about an hour from our camp at noon the next day. We were able to get our laundry done, rest and reorganize for our Yellowstone trip. We had left Texas in a rush, we threw most of the odds and ends left in the house into our towed car. I was able to discard of three bags of belongings that were not serving us. The clarity that comes with a fast-paced, keep-moving lifestyle is intense to say the least. The stress is real. Thankfully I had the honor of hosting friends to keep my emotions in check. This period of adjustment has been stressful and super enlightening. This occasionally chaotic, frequently physical and richly rewarding lifestyle is not for the faint of heart. If I could sum up my daily, inner dialogue it would sound like: move this, pick up that, this is trash, that is dirty, pack the snacks, fill the water bottles, move this again, that might fall, enjoy the scenery and repeat.
I am not innocent from losing my patience, going a little batty or throwing the occasional tantrum. We all threw tantrums, except my husband. Ryan is the cool as a cucumber, solid and steadfast, rarely-riled man of my wild and free dreams. He makes me brave and confident and anything that comes our way will be conquered because he can fix anything and doesn’t know the meaning of “I can’t.” My husband’s type A, organized and focused tendencies have been key to our success. He also has an aversion to anything financially risky, unplanned or spontaneous. He is a man of research and restraint which is why it took us six years to finally start traveling. I am the reason it didn’t take ten years. I wanted to leave the second we had the idea. I would have crashed and burned. I would probably lying face down in a ditch somewhere because I dive headfirst throwing caution to the wind. There were so many different reasons why I was not ready for this lifestyle back then. Acquiring stuff and lack of communication are a few of the areas I needed work. How is my stuff acquiring tendencies? Getting better. Most people underestimate their ability to communicate, that’s me: most people. How are my communication skills now? To be determined.
For most the laundry can be a daunting task while traveling. I was excited to get a week’s worth of laundry finished in one day no less in a few hours while we grabbed groceries. It was our first laundry mat experience for the family. It was not the cleanest or fanciest place, but it was no less exciting for my crew. Nicholas pushed laundry carts around, while the girls were fascinated by the coin machine that turned dollar bills into gold dollar coins. Ryan gave his first lesson on using a coin operated washer and dryer. We crammed all of our laundry into two heavy duty washers. The spin cycle sounded like a train was running through the building. It was scary and hilarious at the same time.
The next morning we planned to run the rocky hills that the girls explored yesterday but the rain kept us inside. All three of our girls worked together to get to the top of the hill and up close and personal to the cool formation called Hamburger Rock. We took a much needed rest inside the RV as the showers drummed overhead and brought cooler temperatures to our camp. We were cozy and content and this small glimpse into what rainy days can look like for us, warmed my heart and gave my weary mind some much needed peace.
Those that know me, know that I am extremely outgoing and I always have a plan for a field trip, play date or party. I love to go and stretch our schedules to the max most days. I had filled our days with so much busyness that I’ve taken attention away from the things that matter most, my family. I’ve come to realize that no matter the lifestyle, it can all be overwhelming and stressful. I shouldn’t need rain to force myself to sit and be still. Albeit I am grateful for the nudge to stop and savor. The last few years have been a slow transition to a less busy, more intentional lifestyle. Traveling may seem hectic but there are many more opportunities to spend with my family and really giving them the attention denied to them in recent years.