Our first week ‘on the road’ didn’t feel official. We still owned the house, though we closed that Wednesday. We were still organizing the camper and shuffling loads of things to the storage unit, the thrift store, etc. That and I was still working full time. It was an insanely busy week.
Saturday 8/13, we set sail and moved the camper up to the Apple Creek Campground in De Pere. It was an amazingly family friendly campground with a playground, swimming pool, small arcade, etc. This really helped ease the transition for Crayton and it made the move seem more vacation-like for all of us. Monday night was a great distraction as our friends Robin, Adam and Josh came by to see us off. Robin and Adam are an OTR truck-driving couple, who constantly crisscross the country. We hope to bump into them from time to time in our travels and we hadn’t seen Josh in what seemed like ages so it was a great time enjoying a campfire, some games and some fellowship with friends.
One thing that Pam and I both noted as we were getting ready to leave was just how many friends we actually have in the Fox Valley. Since Crayton came along, we’d both felt isolated and disconnected. More and more of our friends have kids themselves and I knew that it was just life getting in the way, people being busy and not having the time to connect. We were just as guilty of not reaching out ourselves! Still, it was hard not to think that friends were drifting away, that we were losing touch. That very feeling, I think, made it easier for us to make the decision to leave. The reality of our last couple of months in Neenah, though, destroyed that conception. We were amazed by just how many people wanted to come by, go out for a meal, invite us over, etc, just to chat, hear about our plans and wish us well. It felt great, it really did, to feel that much love and support. At the same time, though, we suddenly felt more connected to the very place we were trying to disconnect from! Still, the outpouring of support has helped us feel more like pioneers than exiles and seeing the interest in our adventure was a large part of our desire to create this blog, so if you reached out to us in the months leading up to our departure, THANK YOU!
The bulk of our first week in the RV was spent getting the last few things out of the house, cleaning, cleaning and cleaning some more. I would up taking more PTO than intended just to get everything finished with the house so the closing could go off without a hitch. Mission accomplished, though. We closed on Wednesday and were officially ‘homeless’ in the traditional sense. The last few days in De Pere were spent taking a second pass at organizing our new living space. We trimmed down two more boxes of stuff to leave in the storage unit or give away! Wednesday was also Crayton’s last day in daycare. So Thursday and Friday, while I worked, Pam was able to relax with him a bit in the pool and other amenities of the RV park.
Thursday night we met up with our good friends Hillary and Eric at our favorite Indian restaurant (Sai Ram in Appleton, it’s truly awesome). Hillary is an amazing photographer, having also shot our wedding, and they unexpectedly brought a camera and took some nice family photos in front of our truck as a parting gift to us. A long nice meal with them also helped ease the stress of the last few weeks, especially now that the house sale was finally closed. Some of the stress of the last couple of months was finally starting to ease away and it was fast becoming time to leave the valley and truly take flight.
Saturday morning, 8/20, after one last trip to the storage unit, we hitched up and drove 200 miles or so the the Tribal RV Park at the Lac Du Flambeau Reservation in North Central Wisconsin.