Colorado to Utah, with a few hiccups in between

It’s been a busy week.  I’m happy to say that we’re currently residing at a gorgeous site in Southern Utah and the weather could not be better.  But first, a recap of the last week.

On Friday the perfect weather that we’d been reveling in at our property was coming to an end.  With snow in the forecast and lows dipping in to the teens, we knew it was time to begin migrating south.  Not quite ready to leave, we moved our trailer from the interior of our property to the edge of the cul-de-sac for the night.  This would eliminate any possibility of us getting stuck in the mud but allow us one last night.  I’m so glad we stayed because the scene we woke up to on Saturday morning was breathtaking.

Our niece Mackenzie had just shown up the night prior as her travels around the West were intersecting with ours.  On Saturday her and I enjoyed a nice hike at Colorado National Monument in Grand Junction while Mark picked up a few last minute supplies from Home Depot for our property.  We were on the fence about posting No Trespassing signs on the three roads that enter our property and ultimately decided it was probably a good idea.  BLM land lies beyond our back property line and our newly cut driveway looked a little too inviting to someone that may not realize that it’s private land.  We’re not terribly concerned about it as the area is quite secluded and off the beaten path, but it felt better to have some signs up making it obvious.

On Sunday we moved to Junction West RV Park for two nights.  The only thing keeping us in Colorado was our DMV appt to get our driver’s licenses and re-establish residency.  This has been a complicated debacle since we returned to Colorado in June.  (I’ll spare you the details).  Our appointment was set for Tuesday in Delta but on Monday I decided why not go over to the Grand Junction DMV and see if by some random chance we can get in so that we can get on the road sooner than later.  Sure enough we were able to get in without an appt (that I totally thought was required) and in an hour had our new driver’s licenses.  We were finally officially done with re-establishing ourselves in Colorado and were free to head south!  

The plan was to get to Hurricane, Utah but Grand Junction to Hurricane is a 378 mile drive and towing the trailer that far in one stretch makes for a long day.  We opted for an overnighter in Green River, a short 1.5 hour drive from Grand Junction.  About 10 miles from the Green River exit, Mark noticed the tire pressure drop rapidly on one of the trailer tires and pulled over to discover the tread had come off.  Just as he was finishing up putting on the spare he noticed that the violent flapping of the tread, before it came off entirely, had punched a hole in the floor of the trailer.  There was pieces of exploded plywood all over the inside of the trailer and even the metal ammo can, that was sitting on the floor where the tread broke through, had a dent in it.

We set up camp at a gorgeous spot 10 miles north of Green River a little uncertain of what the next day would look like.  Green River is little more than a place to get gas (and an excellent burger) along Utah’s loneliest stretch of interstate.  And for the 213 miles between Fruita, CO and Richfield, Utah, the only civilization is Green River.  We probably couldn’t have been in a worse place to be in need of a new trailer tire.  While we had a spare, we had no idea how old it was or for how long it would hold up.

Mark patched up the hole in the trailer floor with copious amounts of duct tape and unable to solve any other problems at that exact point in time, we didn’t dwell on it and instead enjoyed the setting sun and the stunning surroundings.  This is what I love about Mark.  He doesn’t get riled up or frazzled or upset.  When a problem can be solved, he does whatever needs to be done to reach a solution.  If a problem cannot be solved, he doesn’t stew on it.  The problem obviously wasn’t getting solved that night and so instead of stressing about it we enjoyed a really beautiful evening that was that much more fun because we were getting to share it with Mackenzie.

The next morning our goal was to get back to Green River (we were camped about 10 miles out of town) and begin researching our options.  On the way there, a different trailer tire went flat.  My dad later told me that once one trailer tire fails, the rest probably aren’t far behind, and instinctually in the moment I had a feeling this was the case.  Leaving Green River wasn’t even an option for us at this point.  Mark called the local truck stop and low and behold they had five of the tires we needed.  They got to work the moment we pulled in the driveway and an hour later we were back on the road with all new tires.  I am still shocked that we got so lucky.  That debacle could have been a much, much bigger headache for a number of reasons.  And it’s extra stressful when your RV is your home.  We really lucked out and I couldn’t be more grateful.

Our drive from Green River to Hurricane was still a long day.  We arrived in Hurricane just before dark.  Once again we lucked out in that we told Mackenzie where we were hoping to find a campsite and she found one and held it for us.  Had she not done that, I’m not sure where we would have ended up.  The BLM area here, where we’ve camped for years, has gotten increasingly popular and spots are hard to come by.  It felt damn good to pull right in to the spot she had saved for us, at the end of a long day, without having to go on an exhausting search.

Setting up camp began with cleaning up some glass in the trailer that had broken in route, followed by the discovery that our thermostat was broken and consequently we wouldn’t be able to run our furnace.  All just trials and tribulations of living in a home on wheels.  We took it all in stride and once again I was reminded of my love for Mark as he unpacked our Little Buddy propane heater that we we carry as a backup heat source.  In no time we were nice and toasty.

All that bringing us full circle to me sitting here in a camp chair beneath the 70 degree sun soaking up unobstructed and breathtaking views of Zion National Park. 

Regardless of the mishaps we’ve experienced this week, I look around and all I can think is…what a wonderful little life we live.

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We’re Mark & Michele, modern-day nomads perfecting the art of slow, full-time travel.  Our tiny home on wheels and slow-paced travel style allows us to minimize our expenses while maximizing our freedom.  May our unconventional way of life inspire you to design a life that you love.


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