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  • Writer's pictureJen

Do We Have a Plan?

Updated: May 12, 2020

“A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving” Lao Tzu

This quote resinates strongly with me, and the realization of this hit me in August of 2018 when we spent three weeks in Iceland. Three weeks in one country, a large island at that, seems like forever to some, but we quickly realized Iceland easily had more than 3 weeks worth of hikes, waterfalls, glaciers, and landscapes to be seen, oh, and did I mention a few ice cream shops to be tried. Iceland is both vast and remote, you won’t find a Holiday Inn around the corner, and so knowing this we booked all of our Airbnb’s well in advance so that we’d have a warm bed every night. What we didn’t expect was how much we’d want to see between each stop. There were a few times we contemplated sleeping in the car and skipping out on the already booked Airbnb. We felt we were constantly rushing from one spot to the next because we had a reservation to meet, because we had a “plan”.

A lot of people have asked if we have a plan for this journey we’re on now. We do, but a very loose one. We’re en-route to New Mexico, but don’t need to be there till mid-October. Campsites with electrical hook-ups have been booked in both Zion and Moab, both are parks that we don’t want to miss out on, and in areas where roasted cat could be served for dinner because their home is a tin box with a minimal amount of insulation. Tonight we’re between places and are taking our first stab at “Boondocking”, which I believe Steve described in a previous post, but to summarize, you’re staying “off grid” on some random side road or land owned by the government, and in tonights case, there is zero cell service. It took us a few tries to find the “perfect” spot tonight. The first attempt was up a 6 mile gravel road, a mile in we decided us and the trailer weren’t up for the risk of a 6 mile gravel drive to find no spots or cruddy spots, the second spot looked like the road took a dive off the side of the cliff and was narrow at best, the next few spots we found were turnouts on the side of the highway, all of which were a bit to close to the highway for our liking, the next spot was going to be the “one”, and was the one, but it took two tries. The first time we blew by the turnoff, and with a 24’ trailer you don’t get to stop quick, so we slowed down and caught the next turnoff. I hopped out and helped Steve back the trailer up, all the while scared I was going to step on a rattlesnake in the warm evening heat.

Once the truck and trailer were parked Steve handled the setting up and Lila and I ventured off down the road to see if we had any neighbors, the only neighbors we found were the crickets and Malheur River next to us, what an insanely peaceful way to end the day, and even though I told Steve I really wanted to boondock, I’m not going to lie, I’m a bit creeped out knowing there’s absolutely no-one between us and the passing cars on the remote Oregon highway next to us.

On a side note, and super random, cause that's how I work.....we did stop at a DQ today and Lila ordered her first Hot Fudge Sundae and as we’re walking to the car she tells me, “Wow, Mom, the fudge is really hot!” Hhhmmm….

Update to last nights first boondocking sleep…. I’d have to say it wasn’t quite as glamorous as I had hoped or dreamed of. We parked late, we were tired, and once settled into the trailer to play a card game, we found the inside of the trailer was infested with a thousand little bugs near every light that was on. We hurriedly turned all the lights off and hopped into bed, where I not only had a lot of time to think about who might be driving by us and wandering around in the middle of nowhere on a hot summer night, but the boys, i.e. Trouble and Bob, had some serious energy that needed to be released and all those little bugs kept them going for quite a while and kept me wide awake listening to them scramble around the trailer trying to catch their next meal. Well, good news, no one was wandering around, and all was fine when we woke up the this morning.

First night boondocking on the Malheur River


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