Six Months On The Road: Our Five Favorite Memories
The six-month mark of our travels is a good chance for us to step back and look at where we’ve been, what we’ve done, and the people we’ve met. Yesterday, we told you about 5 things we’ve each missed while we’ve been living in a truck.
Trust us though, there’s far more good than bad about our travels. Today, let each of us tell you about our five favorite memories from the trip, thus far.
The past 6 months have been INCREDIBLE! We have met countless new friends, seen so many breathtaking sights, and had so many amazing experiences. It is quite a challenge to only pick out 5 of my favorite memories! Here are the 5 that jumped out to me.
Chilling by the Gulf – We hit Key West right around the time we’d been on the road for one month. Sitting by the water, drinking wine (yes, the whole bottle between us), talking to each other and the friendly camper that came over, and looking at the gorgeously clear night sky filled with stars…that was when it hit me that we were really doing this thing. It was almost surreal to realize that it wasn’t just a vacation, it was life for the time being.
“Family” Dinners for the Holidays – We were away from our families on both Thanksgiving and Easter during the past 6 months, two holidays that traditionally involve food and family. But never fear, we still celebrated the holidays in style – with plenty of incredible food and new friends that became our family for the day. On Thanksgiving, we helped prepare a feast with our Georgia WWOOF family, including a tasty smoked turkey courtesy of Scott. On Easter, we joined our Arkansas Couchsurfing host and some of her friends for a cookout with plenty of chicken, beef and wine. Both holidays were filled with lots of fun, food and laughter.
Practically Flying – Most of the time we rode horses on the Texas WWOOF farm, we wouldn’t push them too much harder than an easy canter. But one morning, Scott decided to take a break from horseback riding so it was just me and our WWOOF host. We got to a large, dry clearing on our route and she asked if I wanted to really let the horses run. Of course I did!!! So we let them really run the whole length of the clearing instead of keeping them slightly reined in – I felt like I was flying! Now if only I could find a way to start every day riding horses again…
Goats, Of Course – It is hard to pick one particular moment with the goats from our HelpX stay in Gila National Forest as a favorite memory. Between putting out all of the goats in the morning, milking Europa, putting up the goats at night, and holding baby goats throughout the day, I pretty much LOVED every moment I got to interact with these adorable critters. However, there is actually one moment I remember and love more than the others. I was out in the goats’ yard, taking pictures (again…) of the cute little babies, when the adorable little calico girl butted her little head against my legs until I picked her up, and then happily sat in my arms and chewed on my hair. Gross to some, perhaps, but I thought it was freaking adorable.
Colorado Morning – I have pretty much always been a morning person, so when we had to roll out of bed at 5 a.m. on our first morning at our HelpX in Colorado, it wasn’t a problem for me. Unfortunately, our drive to the service station that early in the morning was completely in the dark…so I didn’t get to see a bit of the scenery for our new surroundings. Luckily, our host forgot her cell phone, and I got to drive back to the ranch to get it. It was still early when I headed back, and the sun was still fairly low in the sky, but it provided enough light to see the beautiful mountains in the distance and the creek winding alongside the dirt road. It was one of the most gorgeous and peaceful drives I can remember.
It’s not easy to pick out only 5 things from the trip, but here are 5 that jump out at me when I think back on what we’ve seen and done and who we’ve met over the past 6 months. The things I picked are actually a bit surprising. I wanted to travel to see and do, yet a good number of my favorite memories have come directly from the new friends we’ve made.
Story Time – Our WorkAway stay near Albuquerque included so many entertaining stories from the man of the house. When a 61-year old man wants to tell you stories of hitch-hiking across country, goat herding, living in communes, living and working in Switzerland, building the house you’re sleeping in with his own hands, and much more, you sit there and take it all in. Learning about the lives of other people has been one of the most rewarding parts of the trip and he was one of the most entertaining and kind-hearted people we’ve met.
Mardi Gras Partying – Like I just said, meeting new people and learning about their lives has been one of (if not the most) rewarding parts of our trip. In east Texas (near Houston), we had the good fortune of working on a homestead with two people that quickly became friends. We showed up to help with their farm and before long, they were taking us to events around Houston and Galveston. One of those was a Mardi Gras party that entailed too much wine, plenty of barbeque, music, and dancing. What a great time that was.
Driving the Jemez Mountains – On Valentine’s Day, we took off for a day to ourselves, including breakfast and 200 miles in the Jemez Mountains of New Mexico. It was an incredible day to spend just to ourselves with Knox, driving through some of the most scenic countryside that we’ve seen.
Movie Nights in Gila – Our HelpX stay in Gila National Forest was with a young family. We spent probably 3 of every 4 nights with them, swapping travel stories over dinner, then polishing the night off with hilariously bad movies. It became a mission to find the most awful, yet entertaining movie we could think of. Groans and laughs always ensued.
Beer at 8000 feet – The day we took our scenic drive around Taos, NM, we stopped at Comanche Creek Brewery on the suggestion of my friend Daniel in Taos. There’s nothing like sitting outside 8000 feet up in the mountains supporting a small brewer that makes great beer.
The Real Story from Knox
The road has been good for this pup. I’ve now seen 18 states, more than most of my lesser brethren, and I’ve sniffed the butts of other furballs all around the country. But out of all that I’ve seen and done, here are the things that I’ve enjoyed the most.
Pictures with Santa – That’s right, my fellow canines…I got to meet the Big Man In Red in person! Who knew that he took vacations to Key West just a few weeks before heading out to deliver all those presents? I understand though. That has to be a stressful time for ol’ Santa, so a little fun in the sun and picture time with furry friends like me is probably just what the doctor ordered.
Chasing the cat – For two fantastic weeks in Colorado, I got to chase the cat all around the ranch. I’d come out the front door and chase the cat. I’d get out of the truck and go for a sprint right on that feline’s tail. Unfortunately, the cat wasn’t as interested in playing as I was and gave me a good swipe on the snout once, but you know what they say about a good workout: No Pain, No Gain.
Running with the horses – Back in January, Mommy and Scott took me to a small farm in Texas. The best part was the morning run with the horses. And I’m actually talking about the equines, not the 4 Great Danes that were the size of small horses. Every morning, we went out for a long run with the majestic Sammy, Wicket, and Sarge. In typical lazy human fashion though, Scott and Mommy rode on the back of the beasts while us dogs to run.
Barbeque – There’s a reason it doesn’t bother me when the humans leave me in the truck to go into a restaurant. It would be nice if more restaurants accommodated my kind, but I know that my humans love me and they almost always bring something back for the best looking member of the family. Between Georgia, Tennessee, Texas, Missouri, and Kentucky, this pup has had a lot of barbeque. Brisket, mutton, pork, and cornbread…I’m down for any and all of it. A note to Mommy and Scott though…you humans need your vegetables more than us dogs, so eat the green beans yourselves and bring me an extra knot of beef.
Bouldering Up Pinnacle Mountain – It’s hard work being the most agile, athletic, and physically capable member of this family. Sometimes we get in situations that demand that I take charge and show them the way. Pinnacle Mountain State Park was no different than the norm. When we encountered the 1/2 mile of boulders, I leapt into action, picking the best path, and showing my humans the way to the top. Every once in awhile, I’d let them get ahead just so they didn’t feel bad though. Aren’t I sweet?