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Nomad Blog

Epic Conference

I’m at Epic in Verona Wisconsin this week for a conference. The Epic campus is this wild, wacky, colorful playground for grownups. I remember the first time I came here I was in awe with glitter in my eyes. Everything was just a visual feast. Now, after my sixth time the novelty has quite worn off, and I just can’t wait to get back home to my cozy little bus and my favorite person in the whole world. I miss them terribly.

First Night

We spent our first night in Washington State at a state park campground near Mount St. Helens. What a perfect place for our first night. It was lush, ferny, drippy, densely forested, with mushrooms growing everywhere. We listened to the sound of fat raindrops splattering on the bus roof all night. It was amazingly peaceful, and so perfectly “Washington”. So this is what freedom feels like! We keep hugging each other, laughing like kids, and throwing each other random fist bumps. 👊

Game Time

Game time! We’ve discovered a couple of board games that are really fun to play. There isn’t space to store a lot of big board game boxes, so we just have these two, plus some cards and dice that don’t take up a lot of room. I’d like to find some good paper and pencil games that can be played anywhere also. Suggestions welcome.

Letting Go

Letting go of things is hard sometimes. Yesterday I sold my car. I loved that little car, but it was very impractical for my lifestyle and I barely drove it. As a minimalist, I couldn’t justify keeping it and worrying about where to park it, paying insurance, etc just for the occasional need. So, while it is bittersweet, I can let go of this last thing that is tying me down in preparation for our new life in Washington. Focusing on the good things – the bus, my partner in life and everything, becoming a full time digital nomad, and the freedoms that we have worked so hard to achieve. Life is good!

Blackberries

While wilderness camping we stumbled across a blackberry patch, and like the opportunists we are, picked a pile of them and made some blackberry cornbread (in the instant pot, of course). Then made blackberry syrup to pour over pancakes the following morning. We laughed like kids with our fingers stained purple. Life is so much fun, and very very delicious.

Thunderstorms

Yes!!! It’s been cool and rainy the past couple of days, with some pretty impressive thunderstorms. I love it so much. The 100+ degree heat that we’ve been having (in a bus with no AC) is just awful. I hope there aren’t many fires that were sparked from the lightning, but the air smells so fresh and the sound of rain on the roof is like a lullaby. Feeds my soul.

Mt. Shasta

Found a nice little spot in the woods to park the bus. Isn’t she cute?

Brad saw a big, blonde bear while I was inside, and it spooked and ran before I came out. This area by Mt. Shasta has a lot of bears. We’ll be sure to keep the door locked so none of them decide to come inside for a little snack.

Paradise

It’s so peaceful and beautiful here in our new home, with the green foliage pressed against the windows and creating shady breezes, red roses growing in the trees and birds chirping. It feels like we are in paradise.

Mt. Hood

Get a load of this view! We were so high above the clouds, and in the distance you can see Jefferson poking through. It was fun skiing until we were tired, then went back to the bus for a nap, some food, and evening entertainment (finished up season three of The Expanse). Also, I made a cinnamon cake in the instant pot. 30 minutes to cake time with no noticeable drain to our power. I think I love this life.

Tilly Jane

There is a very fine line between overheating to the point of stripping most of your clothes off, and freezing your buns off… We had an amazing time skinning up to the Tilly Jane A-frame cabin. The snow wasn’t great, mostly frozen over, but that’s life in the backcountry. We didn’t get to summit, conditions were too bad.

Skiing back down with a heavy pack was a new experience for me (we call that Type II fun – not fun in the moment, but super fun in recollection). But near the bottom we came across a perfectly groomed ski run that took us right down to the road. It was such a bonus and we ended the trip on a high!

Avalanche Gulch

Yesterday was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of a day! We skinned up Avalanche Gulch at Mt. Shasta (aptly named), where there was a massive D4 avalanche last weekend. The debris field was spectacular. You can see the incredible force it would have taken to bring down trees in its path, and the snow was as hard as concrete. It’s good to be in awe (with a healthy dose of fear) of these forces of nature.

We mostly had the mountain to ourselves. It was a good day for some backcountry skiing in variable conditions, away from the stress of the world.

Birthday Week

Day two of my birthday weekend at Mt. Hood, we got turned away from Timberline because parking was full. So we spent the whole day backcountry skinning and skiing, which was amazingly more fun (and more of a workout) than the resort would have been. I can’t remember the last time I worked up such an appetite! The only thing missing is the Cuddlebus parked at the trailhead to come home to – with a fire in the wood burner, hot food, and a movie. Soon!

Balance is Everything

Took a day off from the bus to go skiing. We’ve been feeling burnt out a bit and need to remind ourselves why we are building out the bus in the first place. It’s to facilitate our lifestyle of climbing mountains and skiing and being happy in the outdoors. Those are our stress relievers, but we’ve created new stress with the bus and not had that outlet. Even a single day skiing some tough runs was enough to get jump started again. Balance is everything!

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