A few years ago, I never could have imagined us camping in the same area for six weeks. Our house has wheels so that we can move. Why would we stay put for a month and a half? I think it has to do with a lack of urgency. When we owned a house and went on trips in our truck camper, there was always an end date. Whether the trip was a week long or a month long, there was only so much that could fit in to our limited timeframe. We traveled with the mentality that we had to see as much as we could with the time that we had. So we drove…a lot. Now there is no end in sight. We’re not on vacation and there’s no need to rush. In fact, rushing would likely lead to burn out. Slow travel, as we’ve learned, is the key to making this lifestyle sustainable for the foreseeable future.
While we spent 6 weeks in the Verde Valley, we still relocated every 2 weeks to comply with the rules of the National Forest, as well as give ourselves a fresh new area to explore. To my surprise and delight, every spot got better. The Sedona/Cottonwood region is a wildly popular area for RVers and Vanlifers so I wasn’t expecting much when we arrived. With each move Mark got more comfortable taking our home deeper in to the forest, affording us more and more privacy with each spot.
Our time in the Verde Valley was made that much sweeter by all the people we shared it with. Just like in Ajo, we enjoyed a handful of unplanned hangouts with friends. Something that will never cease to delight me. And the icing on the cake was the three weeks we shared with Claire & Brandon. As Claire put it, it’s as though we formed a little traveling neighborhood this winter. Knowing we were saying goodbye for good this time made our last night together incredibly bittersweet. We’d become a part of each other’s COVID bubble, their trailer being the only home I’ve been inside since we sold our house last summer. We shared 8 collective weeks together over the last 6 months and formed quite a bond because of it. When they left there was an obvious void. But the memories we made this winter will be with me forever.
In addition to the company, three separate snowstorms made our time in the area even more memorable. It was unexpected but beautiful and also a good reminder of what I’m not missing in Colorado. I’ve been so grateful for just how comfortable our little home is on the days that we’re stuck inside. I knew it was coming though, I knew the weather was about to flip, like a switch. Only a couple of days after the last snowstorm, temps soared in to the 80s. We knew right then, it was finally time to head to Utah.