I’m GOING HOME!

Sometimes it feels like life is really just out to kick you when you’re down. Last school year was that time for me; I went through a divorce, I was starting a new career, had to change schools, and didn’t do myself a lot of favors in terms of staying active and being positive. That is not how I mean to live my life.

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Fortunately, when school got out last year, I launched myself into my county highpoint project driving a lot of miles around Colorado with Francis the FSJ. For me, a road trip is almost always a mood lifter and a time for thinking about life. (Lissie’s cover of “Pursuit of Happiness” was the soundtrack to many a long dark mile last summer and excellent reading for this post.) I landed in a great school for this year and made some real strides as a teacher. I tried to embrace my situation to make the most of this year.

My heart, however, remained nestled in Ridgway, my little town at the base of the San Juan Mountains. Out loud, I told my family and friends that I was resigned to a couple of years of being away but I knew that I had to try to move back sooner rather than later. It was getting harder and harder to keep my focus in the present than on how and when I could find myself back home. I only became more convinced as time went on that I was doing the right thing by working towards a forever home here.

Fortunately, I was recently hired for the 2016-2017 school year at a district much closer to Ridgway. In fact,it’s within not-insane commuting distance meaning that things are back on track for eventually building a home on my property. I want to see how things go at my new school year and continue to improve my financial situation before I build but the wheels are definitely turning.

Next week is my last week in De Beque. I’ve had fun exploring and being located on I-70 was convenient but I’m overjoyed to be going back home.

This summer is definitely one of transition. I’ve acquired a summer job (that I’ve been working hard at over the last month already!) at a restaurant in Ridgway working towards some of those aforementioned financial goals. I’ll be splitting my time between my property, a friend’s place in Montrose, and the road (of course!).

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Because I’m tied to Ridgway quite a bit with a job (no complaints here!) most of my adventures will be tied to Colorado which is just fine since my main summer goal is more progress towards (finishing? maybe?) the Colorado County Highpoint list (I’m currently at 70.3% and itching to get out and do more)!

Return to Colorado

About a week ago, our little family loaded up the camper, hitched up the Jeep, and headed east on I-84. Destination? Ridgway, Colorado.

Mt. Hood gave us a lovely goodbye:

Mt. Hood

And then we continued through the Columbia River Gorge:

Columbia River Gorge

Columbia River

And then across Eastern Oregon:

Central Oregon

Baker City, Oregon

We slept in Ontario, Oregon before crossing the border into Idaho the next morning. I couldn’t help but giggle a bit as we definitely wouldn’t be going 80 mph fully loaded:

Idaho, Speed Limit 80

Hours later, we crossed into Utah:

Welcome to Utah

Northern Utah

The Spanish Fork exit on I-15 is one of my hopeful places, gateway to Moab and southwestern Colorado:

Windmills at Spanish Fork, Utah

South of Price, Utah, we paused on our homeward mission to watch a thunderstorm:

Rainstorm, US 6 in Utah

Book Cliffs, Roan Cliffs

Camper on flatbed towing jeep. Cummins.

And then, finally, we crossed the border into Colorado:

Colorful Colorado

Hello, Colorado. It’s good to be home.

 

3Up Adventures: Gettin’ It Done, Part 2

Just when I thought our Jeep-Scamp-ATV trailer was a bit much, we moved everything that we had left in Idaho in one trip. It was a long drive but we made it despite a tire blow out on the trailer 80% of the way home.

Loaded van and trailer

Loaded van and trailer

As it turns out, everything we own can fit in the Jeep + ATV trailer and the van + pickup box trailer.

October 7, 2010-October 6, 2011

Today marks a year of living in the Silver Valley. I cannot believe how much has changed in our lives.

Moving: A year ago today, I’d just finished up moving all of our stuff (Forrest’s tools and bikes included!) from Missoula to a storage unit here. I’d arranged to live in the basement of a real estate agency for three weeks while we waited to move into our rental house (we were picky and wanted a place we could heat with wood). I was waiting for Forrest to come back from North Dakota.

Sprocket is a lazy packing helper

Continue reading “October 7, 2010-October 6, 2011”

Books!

When Ezra was here last week one of the projects he took on was building me some bookshelves. One of the things I love about old houses is the built in storage nooks. We used the area behind the guest bedroom door and instead of it being wasted space, it’s now home to my book collection!

The collection is much pared down from what it used to be but as I unpacked the books last night I remembered that I have a kick ass collection of awesome books. (The books have been packed away since we found out we were leaving Missoula almost a year ago.) And somehow, just having them and seeing them makes me happy. The shelves still need to be painted, along with all the other trim in the house, but they’re there and they’re being quite useful.