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The long road to Voyageurs

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We didn't rush to leave Indiana Dunes the next morning, since it was out first time breaking down camp. Mike & I wanted to make sure we didn't forget to do any little step since we knew we had a long road ahead of us. We were hoping to reach Duluth, MN or thereabouts by nightfall.
The drive was smooth, but long, making our way northwest through Wisconsin.  The state is very green with rolling pastures and lots of farms & silos. At one point we counted 20+ silos groupings, like the one below, out in the distance in just one section.
Now if you asked me a couple weeks prior to what states, or lakes, bordered Wisconsin I would have laughed and said, "No clue!". Now I'm a pro 😜, with mental images of the landscape and all. By the end of this trip, I shouldn't ever have to ask Geography Master Mike another question about US geography again. 😉🤞
Around 5:30pm we stopped in Rice Lake, WI for dinner.  I suggested a cute little down-home cooking place called N…

Indiana Dunes National Park

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Despite our short setback in Virginia we still made it to our original destination for the night, Xenia, Ohio. Granted we drove until 11 PM, but that particular Walmart was the most welcoming per our app AllStays (user feedback in the app tells where the quietest, safest, and most welcoming Walmart lots around the country are located).  Xenia also gave us the shortest drive next morning to the park. I wasn’t super thrilled to be staying at a Walmart outside Dayton, OH though as both a Walmart in Texas and a nightclub in Dayton were the scene of two mass shootings resulting in 30 dead just the day before. While the two are unrelated it still felt very eerie.

 We set out early the next morning and hit the road by 6:15 AM to beat the Dayton morning rush. We were successful and made it to the Dunewoods Campgrounds at Indiana Dunes National Park in Beverly Shores at noon, exactly as planned! 🙌

Our first trip with the trailer fully packed and stocked was most certainly a learning lesson. …

First Day, First Hiccup, Serendipity at work!

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Everything started out as planned. We got a good nights rest after Dad's retirement/birthday party, had hot showers and a delicious danish for breakfast, thanks to Grandma & Grandpa Becker. ☺️


On the road by 8:30 am.
Could not have asked for a better start.  As we left North Carolina and started into our first state, Virginia, everything was smooth, kids were behaving, and no traffic.  Then we hit the Blue Ridge mountains, specifically Fancy Gap. It's where the climb begins.  The truck is struggling, seemingly begging us to stop torturing it with this long pull up the mountain.  We don't.

The check engine light starts flashing at us, meanwhile, the engine is bumping around trying to get out of the hood.  We finally see an exit and our GPS says there is a service center just around the bend. For a minute we almost stop at the nearest gas station but figure we'll be better off if we can just make it to the shop.  Following the GPS instruction, we take a left on a 2 la…

Our Crazy, Exciting Dream!

It was typically one of those two adjectives we'd get when we first started telling family & friends we were going to rent out our house, buy an RV, and travel for a year. 


You're Crazy! or That's Exciting
Most people exclaim that there's no way they'd survive a year in a travel trailer with their spouse or kids. And sometimes I can't help but agree. LOL! As exciting as it all is, there's definitely been times where I've thought "We must be crazy for wanting to give, or pack, away our belongings, downsize to a 300 sqft space and be in close proximity to each other for a whole year." Haha!! 

It certainly has been a gradual process building us up to make this decision. When the girls were toddlers and wanting a free & productive way to entertain them, we started visiting all 120 parks (72  playgrounds) in the City of Raleigh. This began our love for being outdoors together and exploring our natural world. While this goal is still ongoing …