Hitting the Road Again!

We are two days away from leaving for our Summer 2016 travels. This time we are doing things a little different.

First off, we are leaving the RV behind. We originally wanted to Airbnb a house for a month in Colorado, but it was going to cost upwards of $6,000 for 4 weeks. We have spent months researching, looking and acquiring new camping gear and have decided to tent camp across Colorado. So that is the first BIG reveal…..we are tent camping this summer!

Second, we are traveling way less this time, usually we are on the road for 3 months but things didn’t quite work out in our favor. Since moving into the house in October 2015, that has taken much of our cash flow, so we knew our travel would need to be shortened to afford everything. Plus, with Derek’s work schedule he could only be away from work for 2 weeks. Well that wasn’t going to work for me(Monica). So Derek will head back to Austin and I will continue on in Colorado for a total of 4-6 weeks in Colorado.

But do not worry, I will not be alone with two little kids in the woods, my dear friend Mackenzie and her family is coming with us! She has twins,  boy Hudson and girl Ellisa. Once the dads head back to Austin after two weeks in Durango, the Purma family is jumping in the truck with me as we head on down the road. We are quite excited to have them on the road with us this year. It will be their first long summer road trip.

On our last day in Austin last year, Mackenzie said to me “I am going to figure out a way to do this next year.” And guess what, she made it happen! Super proud of her for taking the leap and going on this crazy adventure.

And that is not it …..we were obsessed with planning this trip, thats all we could talk about for months. Our other friends probably thought we were so annoying. Well we must have talked about it too much, because another mom caught the camping bug and is meeting up with us too.

So that is 3 moms, 2 dads and 6 children…… we are going to be riding the crazy train.

First stop……..Durango, Colorado! Hopefully to literally ride the Durango Silverton train.

Bucket List Check!

 

 

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Yellow Brick Road to the Golden Road.

First two weeks on the road have been spent with mostly family. We stopped in Wichita, Kansas for a week where we spent time catching up with Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles, Cousins and plus all the Great-relatives. 

The girls and I explored the exploration place, rode a ferris wheel at Riverfest and spent a hot afternoon at a splash pad. 

Osage Splash pad with cousin Lilly

Most nights in Wichita were spent with my brother and his gang. Shameless plug, please click on the link if you would like to support and help my brothers family purchase a new van for their two handicapped children, Hannah and Maddy.

GoFundME for Hannah and Maddy.

My niece Titus with my dad.


I met up with my Uncle Hammer and Aunt T for some yummy fried chicken at Strouds. I haven’t been to that restaurant since my senior prom.  My Aunt T brought me this present!

 

Most would look at this and find it ugly but to me this is a glimpse into my childhood. Many days were spent at our family lake cabin, and this Mexican folk art was hanging in the common area. I remember looking at the colors and the yarn, remembering how beautiful it was. It now holds a special place in my heart because the mother in this artwork is baby wearing and has braids. If you have ever met me than you will know I am always wearing a baby and most days I am sporting braids. My easy mom hair do.  

By Saturday we were ready to hit the road again. 

We have a new rule this summer. We are not traveling more than 4 hours per day and no setting up in the dark. We learned the hard way last time we traveled for the summer. With the new baby this seems more realistic for our family. We travel 2 hours, take a break, gas up and than travel 2 more hours. 

With only travel 4 hours a day, we landed ourselves in Oakley, Kansas at High Plains RV parkThe wind was horrible in Western Kansas and we welcomed the break. The RV park was what I would expect to see in Western Kansas and served its purpose as a place to stop on our way to Denver. A little hidden gem is the restaurant pub located in the RV park called Cap’n Jacks. The drinks were great and the food was even better. It was a nice little surprise. 

My sweet family at Cap’n Jacks in Oakley, Kansas.

On Sunday, we made our way to Golden, Colorado. A nice little town right on the foot hills of the rocky mountains. More famously known for the Coors brewery in town. We have been staying at Dakota Ridge RV Resort and although I was skeptical about this park, it has been really nice. Side note: during my planing process of where we are going to stay in the RV, I first head to the GoodSam website and than from there I read the reviews of the Rv park on rvparkreviews.com. The reviews for Dakota Ridge were either 5 stars or 2 stars. It was either the worst park someone had stayed in or the best. We tend to stay in parks closer to bigger cities, so we are used to small RV spaces and less shade.

Dakota Ridge RV park has its own little “mountain”

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View from the top of the little mountain.

We also chose this park due to its proximity to Arvada (small suburb west of Denver), where my cousin just recently purchased a house. It sounds like the Denver market is super competitive just like Austin. 

I was also able to catch up with an old high school friend. Who just happened to name her dog…..Zelda! Go check out her handmade wares including yoga bags, earrings and small purses at KatMandu Designs. It so cool to think that pretty much every state we go to, we can find a friend to hangout with.

Baby Zelda meets the puppy Zelda.

Catching up with Mandy from high school.

Yesterday was spent at Heritage Park, where instead of paying a park entrance fee and then riding all the rides you want, their concept was to pay for only the rides you wanted to ride. Which was perfect since baby and I could only ride the train and the carousel.

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Train ride at Heritage Park.

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Carousel ride at Heritage park


We have spent most of our last day in Golden catching up on life and getting ready to move the RV tomorrow. Two more sleeps until we are in Jackson, Wyoming with our friends!

If you liked this post or want to hear more about our nomadic  to stationary life, please subscribe to the blog or send us an email at roadmaptonomad@gmail.com.  If you would prefer to stalk from a distance, head over to our Facebook page and “Like” it. 

Pssstttt…..did you also know we are on Instagram as roadmaptonomad. Come follow us and I bet we will follow you back! 

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.