October 20, 2016 I was escorted out of the Witte Museum and my eight years of working there had come to a close. “Escorted out?!!” You say. Well, unfortunately there’s no story there. It happens to everyone. Just precautionary for museums when you leave they make sure you go! I might have hung on to the pillar outside our office building too, but I was beyond excited for the year that was ahead. While I knew I would miss my Witte family and the only job I was ever good at, I knew there were bigger things in store for my little family. So I had one last hug from everyone and jumped into the brand new truck we bought one month earlier in preparation for getting the travel trailer. Wyatt was asleep in the back seat so Rodney was waiting for me in the truck. When I got in, he asked how I was doing and I started to cry. My emotional moment was cut short, and why will have to be a story for later. So, it was only fitting that today, literally one year later, my son decided to make the day extra special for me. You see, we drove over to Port A from our spot here in Rockport. We stopped at the beach for just a second, we were not planning on staying. Of course Wyatt gets completely soaked in the ocean. So he is in his wet underwear in the truck and as soon as we pull onto the ferry he has to pee. Of course. Pee like in that very moment or else all hell will break loose all over the back seat. So he peed in an empty water bottle. Nothing says celebration of a year on the road like pee in a bottle.
If you have been following along this year you know all about our adventures across the western United States and Canada. We have visited a total of 13 states and three provinces in Canada. We have driven 50,000 miles in one year. We have learned what it means to be a full-time RV family and what it means to boon-dock. We have experienced every emotion on the road that a human can have. We have tasted what near freedom from the world is like. We have had some close calls that left us talking about “what if”. We have visited places that left us saying, “what if we lived here…”. We have also left some places saying, “what if we never come back here… no really, why did we come here?”
People often ask us about the small space we live in. “Are you tired of it yet? Too much closeness? Ready to strangle each other yet?” The answer has been no all year. You see, all three of us are pretty much complete weirdos, if anyone else was on the road with us, I’m sure they would have had it by now. But, we truly enjoy eachother’s company and love spending time together. Now, of course we have those moments when the trailer feels extra small because Wyatt had too much sugar and all of his toys are on the floor and he’s about to rock the trailer on it’s side with all his sugary excitement, but those would be just as bad in an actual house, because then he would just follow you around screaming out songs emo style. We have decided that we for sure want to travel again next year. The only questions now is how. We love our travel trailer and may keep on going in the same fashion. But, we have also discussed going smaller. Which sounds bonkers after the sugared up Wyatt comment, but hear me out. With a smaller set up we would be able to reach better off the grid book docking spots. Which means camping away from all the people and experiencing nature in a better way. Then, on the other hand, we have talked about finding something larger that could accommodate our growing child and his excitement. So, who knows really! We are ready for whatever comes our way.
The end of this year marks another exciting life benchmark. Rodney will be celebrating 20 years of professionally playing music. In 20 years he has released 11 albums and toured all over the world. I am so proud and in awe of the singer and songwriter he has become. The way other artists respect him and his songwriting is what makes legends grow. I have no doubt people will be looking to him the same way they look to the greats like Guy Clark, Townes, and Don Edwards. His voice and songwriting have never been better and will continue to deepen and enrich our listening experiences.
It really is hard to believe that it has been a year. It was only July of 2016 that we came up with this crazy idea on a trip back from Colorado. One thing that has been interesting for us is how much we have experienced without the influence of the media. Often we would not have service and not really know what was going on. We haven’t really seen network television in over a year. When we get the news, we read it and move on. We have not had the constant barrage of news in our face all day every day. Not only has this contributed to the lower stress levels but allowed us to enjoy our fellow man. We have met the nicest people this year. We have seen so many people all over the western U.S. being kind to one another, helpful, caring and smiling. (Ok, well no one smiles as much as we do in Texas, but the other states are trying) People are genuinely kind to one another. No matter what the media says. Except for that one lady at the laundromat earlier this year. Or maybe she was having a bad day.
Another perk to this year of travel was our National Parks Pass, thanks to Rodney’s sister, Jennifer and her husband Page for that perfect Christmas gift! We ended up in 12 National Parks and 1 in Canada. What a great way to be reminded of the beauty of this country. The United States is truly beautiful people. Majestic. WE MUST TAKE CARE OF IT!!! I can’t tell you how many times we came across trash out in the wild, where trash does not belong. Every time, Rodney would get mad and I would sigh and say maybe it was an accident, but you know what? Probably not. No way can there be that many accidents people! Pick up after yourself, wherever you go. Even if it’s the Wal-Mart parking lot!!
I will leave this one year anniversary post with this plug. Wherever you are, come down to the Gulf Coast. Particularly Port Aransas and Rockport and Aransas Pass and surrounding areas. These communities are doing great work getting back up and running after terrible hurricane Harvey. As you may know these are all very small communities that depend heavily on tourism year round, so don’t postpone or cancel any beach plans you may have had this year. Keep them. Or make them. There are places opening up everyday ready for you. If you are going to spend some money on a little vacation, why not here at the beach? It’s gorgeous and even in the winter you can spend time with your toes in the sand. We will be setting up shop in the Port A area for a few months I believe so come say hello!