We left western Pennsylvania this week, and while we are beyond excited to continue our adventure, this goodbye was harder than any previous one. This is the first time we have left without having a return date on the calendar, so it feels a little more definite. As sad as it was to say goodbye to our family, they will be meeting up with us along our journey, which helped dry our tears.
And now we head west!
We will steadily make our way to the West coast between now and mid-August. We are heading into new time zones, new terrain, and moving further away from “home” than we have gone so far. In many ways, this leg of our journey feels like we are setting out on an entirely new adventure.
Our time spent in Pennsylvania was spent purging the things we no longer need (if we have not worn it or used it in 9 months, it simply had to go!) and adding a few things we needed (we added a basket to the back of Cate to carry accessories to help us boondock for longer periods).
While I am excited to visit the towns where I was born, where I grew up, and where I went to college, as well as to visit with friends and family along the way, I am even more excited for the all new experiences that await us, even in these very familiar places.
We will be adding new states to our map over the next few months, crossing borders and taking hikes to make sure we can tally the states where we are not physically staying.
We have a long list of National Parks to visit, including some old friends (Yellowstone, Grand Teton) and some highly anticipated new ones (Rocky Mountain, Badlands, Olympic, and Mount Rainier, among many others).
We only have specific plans into August, but the road will certainly not end there for us. Even though we set out with a goal of living this fulltime lifestyle for a year, we have realized that we truly love this lifestyle and there is so much more of this country we need to see. Will our journey go through the end of this year? Into next? We are trusting that we will figure that out along the way.
If you have recommendations for favorite hikes, restaurants and coffee that cannot be missed, or any other must-see-and-dos along our route, please leave a comment below or send us a message. If you live along the route or will also be visiting these areas, give us a shout—we love faces other than our own!
We are looking forward to putting our knowledge of the past 9 months to the test and trusting God to lead the way. No matter where the road takes us, adventure awaits.
For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, they are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.Jeremiah 29:11