my little green flags | Bruneau Dunes State Park, ID

About a year ago I started flagging places in my Google Map—places that sounded fun, unique or exceptionally beautiful. I am not building a bucket list, I’m crafting an itinerary of possibilities; mentally acknowledging that no matter where we are, there are amazing things to discover.

When I see an Instagram picture of a breathtaking scene, I create a flag. If I watch a YouTube video and see an amazing experience, I flag. I flag it and forget it until it’s time to create our next travel itinerary and then, like an airliner landing at night, those little flags help light my way.

My map is quickly filling in, populated by little green flags representing places we’ve encountered and others we’ve yet to explore. (Yellow stars indicate locations where I’ve found RV family friendly volunteer opportunities.)

MULTI-PERSONALITY IDAHO

Bruneau Dunes State Park is stop number one on our before mentioned travel map and was inspired by one of those little green flags in Southern Idaho.

Like so many western states, Idaho has many personalities. What you discover in the panhandle differs drastically from the central valley, and the valley is not at all like the southern region. Continue reading “my little green flags | Bruneau Dunes State Park, ID”

a place of transition

This is a transitional week. Mentally, I’m shifting from thoughts revolving around our shocking dental visit toward meal and trip planning. That last little blog post I wrote about being kicked out of the dentist office created quite the stir. Typically I’m thrilled to hear from a small handful of you in the form of a comment or email. I wasn’t prepared for the avalanche of thoughts, opinions and advice that poured in. Over 200 comments accompanied the 40,000+ page views.

NO COMMENT?

I typically take the time to respond to each blog comment. However, I gave myself a pass on this one due to both the volume and, in some cases, the sheer lunacy shared. I have a hard time engaging in assaulting conversations so I simply tapped out on a few of them. Chances are, if you are still reading my blog now, you did not leave one of those comments. However, I did add a few notes of clarification to the dental post as there seemed to be some confusion over our motives. Feel free to click over to read the updates if you felt we might have been after fame or money (spoiler alert: we weren’t).

Finally, in an attempt to bring some closure to the topic, we were able to locate a dentist in the Phoenix area who comes highly recommended by a trusted friend. We’ve made appointments for all four kids (on the same day—hallelujah) and look forward to experiencing his laser (no shot, no drill, no anesthesia, no cursing–just seeing if you are paying attention) dentistry technique in a few weeks.

MOMENT OF SILENCE

Physically, we have transitioned back into our RV after a month of living with friends while warranty work was completed. Can we just take a brief moment to acknowledge the four families who willingly housed us over the last month? I mean truly, you know you’ve got die-hard friends when they let your dirty laundry intermingle with theirs and don’t mind when you walk into their kitchen with morning breath and bed head. Tschida, Hembry, McKee and Swan families: you win top hospitality awards! We are truly, madly, deeply grateful to call you friends! Continue reading “a place of transition”

the day my dentist called the police to remove us from his office | Chief Joseph Dental Clinic in Lewiston, ID

Yes, you read that title correctly. Alternative options included:

My dentist taught my child his first curse word.

or

How to get kicked out of your dentist office.

Shall we just dig right in?

LET ME SET THE STAGE

We’ve been standing on home turf in Idaho since the sun had it’s big event last month. Prior to that we’ve been on the move traveling full-time with our family of 6 in our 5th wheel RV. In the last 12 months we’ve gone from Idaho down to Florida, northward to Prince Edward Island and back to Idaho covering a total of over 16,000 miles. Coming back to the Pacific Northwest has been like slipping into a favorite pair of jeans. It just feels right.

In the extra spaces of time between seeing family, visiting old friends, floating the river, searching for huckleberries, kayaking, starting school and RV repairs, we’ve been catching up on doctor, eye and dental appointments. Due to our insurance plan, these things are both cumbersome and costly to do out of state. Therefore, I made myself sticky notes and phone reminders to set up appointment times well in advance. Remember the month of July when we were stuck in Canada? I used my spare time to make caramel corn and set up dental appointments for the kids (don’t think about that too deeply).  I was not, under any circumstance, going to miss making appointments during our Idaho visiting window because I’m type-A like that. You can imagine my glee when I scored new patient appointment times for all four kids on the same day.

IT’S DENTIST DAY

Fast forward to September 13, 2017. We are up early. Our dental appointment time is at 9:30 and Lewiston is a 90 minute drive. Tanner is especially excited. A year ago he missed out on a dental appointment due to scheduling complications right before our launch. I help him brush his teeth while he informs me, “I’m just so excited to see the dentist today!” Neither of us could guess that in the coming few hours we will both be sitting front and center to a full-on display of Dr. Potty Mouth DMD. Continue reading “the day my dentist called the police to remove us from his office | Chief Joseph Dental Clinic in Lewiston, ID”

dirty air | Kamiah, ID

It’s only 3:30 in the afternoon, yet the daylight slowly filtering through the thick, smokey air feels misplaced–as though evening accidentally arrived 3 hours early. On a day which was predicted to reach three digits, the thermometer instead flirts with 80 degrees. The majestic Idaho mountains typically visible in the distance are completely concealed in a cloak of secrecy.

dirty air

MISGUIDED CONFIDENCE

This morning my 8-year-old confirmed the eire sky when he confidently declared that the sun forgot to rise. “I’m serious mom, when I go outside, I don’t have a shadow. The sun hasn’t even risen!” I didn’t correct him. Instead, I tucked the memory of his precious, misguided confidence into my heart and reflected on its startling significance. Continue reading “dirty air | Kamiah, ID”

path of totality | Weiser, ID

This is no quotidian* day. It’s been marked in our mental calendar for over a year. After all, how often does a total solar eclipse occur on your 18th wedding anniversary?

Not very.

For this momentous occasion we have positioned ourselves within the path of totality by boondocking at a lovely Harvest Host location in Weiser, ID. Surrounded by fruit trees, family and some serious astronomical sun chasers, we are in good company.

THE SOLAR SUPER BOWL BEGINS

A solar telescope is set up. Eclipse glasses are within reach. Pinhole viewers are being crafted. Plastic lawn chairs face east. Excitement is building. The solar super bowl is about to commence and the spectators are fully unified. Continue reading “path of totality | Weiser, ID”