Alabama

 

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9 States and 2 countries in 2 weeks. A Picture Story from Road Map to Nomad

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June 6 Austin, Texas-Launch off from Pecan Grove in Austin, Texas.

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June 7 Norman, Oklahoma-We came to Oklahoma for this wedding. My brother and my new Sister in Law.

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June 9 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Stuck for a few days because of the truck saga and bought this new truck.

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June 10 Near the Oklahoma/Kansas border- Back on the road again after a 3 day delay and Zoe is digging the new truck.

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Kansas-We pretty much drove straight through this state as fast as we could to catch up to our regular scheduled Colorado.

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Plus, I grew up in Kansas and had seen enough of western Kansas to last me a lifetime. At least Derek let me drive the rig across the flat lands.

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June 10 Denver, Colorado-Cherry Creek State Park.

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June 11 Loveland, Colorado- Derek’s first day back at work, looked something like this.

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Stop talking to me Sign…….I already know this.

Loveland, Colorado We spent some time with my cousin Sara and her husband, but for the life of me I can’t remember if we took any pictures. Oh well, we had good times discussing the worlds problems.

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June 13 Wyoming-How on Earth, in the middle of BFE Wyoming, the least populated state, does this guy pass us on the highway? *Disclaimer: I may or may not have worked for this company in my previous corporate life.

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Wyoming: Indian for wind storms and runs with windy beards. We had to pull over a few times.

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Zoe is unphased by our white knuckle driving.

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June 14 Utah- Great place to pull over and go for a little hike.

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Zoe didn’t like the view from the top. She said, “It was no Colorado view.”

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Utah-We had every intention to stay in Salt Lake City for a few days, instead we drove through in order to have a couple extra days in Idaho. So all we got was this lousy picture. *grin*

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June 15 Boise, Idaho We had to dry camp for one night. This is what the travel trailer looks like when we can’t put out the slide.

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We found a nice little brew pub downtown Boise after the farmers market. Enjoyed a sampler of beers.

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Zoe insisted on trying one of daddy’s siiracha and lime hot wings. Oh, honey do you need some milk? Parent Fail.

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Zoe’s first baseball game

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Another Parenting Fail. Zoe grabs Dr. Pepper, runs around for 5 minutes, lays down and falls asleep immediately. Great……A picture of Zoe’s first soda experience.

June 19 Oregon-Only drove through the northeast tip, but plan on spending a week there after Canada.

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Eating stamps from an activity bag I made her, I should really keep a better eye on this kid. Parenting Fail AGAIN.

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June 20 Somewhere in Washington- Stopped traffic on the highway? People walking their dogs, riding bikes and helicopters flew over. Zombie Apocalypse? No just some standard rock blasting that lasted 2 hours!

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Don’t worry, Zoe is going to drive us the rest of the way to Seattle.

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June 21 Seattle, Washington- Say something witty about the space needle.

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Music Museum in Seattle-Outfits from musicals and muscians.

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Labyrinth

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I have confession. I love Britney Spears, there I said it. This is the outfit that changed everything for her.

Zoe drumming it up with Derek

Giant Splash Pad

June 22 We left Seattle on a low note, we were suppose to spend some time with Derek’s old friend, however she had some tragic news and had to fly out immediately.

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Crossing the border. Super stressful. 

Truck Saga Part Deux

Well I left you with a cliff hanger, last you knew we were in a pickle with no towing truck. Thank you to everyone who left comments and took our poll, everyone was quite concerned. 24 out the 37 votes from our readers thought Derek brought home a new truck and you were right! He totally got me and I should have known better that he would bring home a truck. Do not delay a man from his mountains he will turn into a bear.

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Awesome truck, right? Just kidding. Although, I would have loved to own this truck. I have a mild obsession with the Zombie Apocalypse and it has its own Facebook page. I guess I am going to keep dreaming about the Zombie truck.

Drum roll please……..

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Derek brought home a Black 2008 Ford F250 4X4 Diesel 4 door truck. I feel like we just added another room to our house. It has so much room compared to our single cab 2003 Ford F250. And on top of more room, Zoe now has a whole back seat to herself. I feel like it is much safer now that she is in the backseat. The truck is rated to pull 12,500 lbs, which is much higher than what our trailer weighs. Honestly, I can’t even feel the trailer behind us when we are driving.

So we are back on the road again after a 2 day delay. We had to finish up some paperwork at the dealership in Oklahoma City and we were able to leave at noon. Next stop, DENVER! Want to help us name our new truck? So far we have Black Sabbath(since it was bought on a saturday) and Black Widow. Leave a comment below with your suggestion.

Guess who is a happy camper again?

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We Are Stuck In The Red Mud….Norman, Oklahoma

We are currently parked at the Thunder Bird State Park. Home of the red dirt and red dirt makes red mud and red mud makes red lakes. Derek is out truck shopping at this very moment. Let me go back a few months to catch you up on what has been going on with our 2003 Ford F250 . Back in October 2012 our truck problems began with a “popped” spark plug. I am no mechanic and do not claim to understand anything about vehicles, but apparently this is a common problem with Fords from 2003. So we have replaced the spark plugs four times now,  happened in October 2012, February 2013, June 4 and now June 7. So after speaking with several mechanics, we have come to the conclusion that we need to replace the truck. One of the good things about being “stuck in the red mud” is that Oklahoma has a lower sales taxes on trucks than Texas or Kansas(Our next stop on our trip was suppose to be Hays, Kansas) and the added time with my little brother, his wonderful new bride and family.

So back to the story of our lives.

TUESDAY JUNE 4 4:30 PM (2 days before on launch off date)

Derek calls me and asks that I pick him up, another spark plug “pooped” and he had to take the truck to the shop.

WEDNESDAY JUNE 5 3:30 PM (the day before our launch off date)

Pick up said truck from the mechanic. Everything looks to be good and we were told we should be good for at least 3 months.

THURSDAY JUNE 6 7:15 PM

Leave Austin, full of excitement to get our road trip on the way.

FRIDAY JUNE 7 NOON

We arrived in Norman, OK , after our first night of boon docking at a Wal-Mart parking lot in Denton, Texas. Our plan was to get dressed quickly and head to Oklahoma City for my little brothers wedding at 3:30 PM. As Derek was backing the rig into our water front spot, a huge gush of liquid dropped from the truck and another plug had popped. SHIT> What are we suppose to do now? Quickly call my brother, he will meet us at the mechanics shop in town and let us borrow his truck. At the mechanic shop, my brother quickly hands over his keys(remember this detail, it will be funny later) switch out the car seats and we are off to OKC. My brother was late to his wedding by 3 minutes, luckily for everyone involved it was a court wedding and lasted about a total of 7 minutes.  So we head over to the “reception” which was in downtown OKC. I use reception in quotes because it was more like our whole family had dinner.

FRIDAY JUNE 7 6PM

Leaving dinner, Derek, Zoe and I are strolling through the parking lot, glad that we actually made it to the wedding. I think we have got everything figured out.  Truck in shop, truck will be fixed, we can continue our trip and only be one day behind. I knew things like this would happen and I was expecting that it would. Maybe not so early into the trip, but I knew it would happen.

We get into my brothers truck and all of sudden the ALARM goes off. We can’t get it to STOP. Put the key in the ignition, does not work. ALARM STILL GOING OFF. Try unlocking several different ways, STILL ALARMING>>>BEEP< BEEP>BEEP.  Try to turn the truck on, the engine has killed itself for safety reasons. It will not start. BEEP > BEEP > BEEP Called my brother and he tells me to use the alarm remote to turn it off. Wait….what? We don’t have the alarm remote, we only have the KEYS!

Oh no….. alarm remote is in Norman….30 minutes away.

I lose it, I start to cry. HULK MAD, HULK SMASH EVERYTHING AROUND. This day has been to much for me and I am at my boiling point.  Our family piles into my fathers truck and we head back to Norman, with two undriveable trucks under our belt for the day. I need a glass of wine and a new day to start.

SATURDAY 5:30 PM

We slummed at my brothers house all day waiting for the mechanic to call us back and tell us that the truck was fixed. Waiting….turned into waiting longer….our New plan was to leave as soon as the truck was fixed and at least make it to Wichita, Kansas. Mechanic calls and he basically says truck is fixed,  but you should go trade it in while it is still worth something.

SATURDAY 7:30 PM

Did you know that in some states it is forbidden to sell a car on Sundays? I see that as “we are going to have to wait until Monday” to even begin looking at trucks. Derek sees that as a challenge. So after 30 minutes of research, he is off to go find us a truck. Luckily for him, he already knew exactly what he wanted. Car dealerships close at 9 PM on Saturdays. His plan to find the youngest, smallest  sales guy, the one who has spiked hair and is dressed to the nines. Find him, because he probably has a place he wants to be after work and wants to start his night of partying, not heckling with a bearded man twice his size.

SATURDAY 10:20 PM

I just got a text “On my way home, coming back empty handed.” Dang it, we will have to wait until Monday. We are going to be stuck in the red mud for a few more days until this is all figured out.

Saturday 11:45 PM

I just heard Derek pull up…..his truck oddly sounds different….different like a diesel.

TO BE CONTINUED…

Note to Blog

Why is there red dirt in Oklahoma? In central Oklahoma, the ground around the area is brick-red in many places. The red color comes from small amounts of ferric (iron) oxide mixed in with the clay and other materials that form the red dirt. Apparently the ferric oxide was present in the same rock formations as the other materials that weathered over the years to form the soil and mixed in with it, giving it the red color. Incidentally, it is very good for growing many crops. If there is ample rain, that is good farm land.