Steep Adventure: RV Life Lessons about RESISTANCE

October 22, 2018

Steep Adventure: RV Life Lessons about RESISTANCE

Week Two Mantra:  Resistance is Everywhere

Before I continue I need to be clear on three things:

  1. We have first world problems.
  2. We chose these first world problems willingly.
  3. The events, the people we have met and the places we have seen have been awesome!

    Please keep these in mind as you read and maybe question my sanity in choosing to take on this tour.  If you all did not know, this was MY idea:) I know, crazy:)

    Into week 3 of our tour and we have come up with many labels and hashtags.  Aside from #thiswasthehardestdayofmylife, #Resistance has been a fav.  (Again, remember my first declaration at the top). Scott started throwing this term around a few years back after reading the War of Art and although resistance is omnipresent during any creative effort, it's really up in your face when you're living the #RVlife.

    As for me, I can sum up the last couple of weeks through a dialogue I had with Braden.

    ME: “I think we should just go home.”

    BRADEN:  “Mom, that is not a growth mindset!”

    Yes, my eight year old threw out a #growthmindset at me!

    Our Bicycle Playdates and interactions with amazing people have been the doses of sanity that we needed over the past week of RV life craziness.  These moments have been like reset buttons.

    I will try to paint a picture here of what RV life looks like for folks like us that meet the following criteria:

    • 3 people living full time in a 24ft RV
    • Have a Start-Up children’s media company
    • Homeschooling your kid
    • Bed-wetting training your kid
    • Dog that never settles in
    • Parents that NEED regular exercise (Or mommy goes even crazier.)
    • On a budget.
    • Have a big foot print (RV and 14ft trailer)... we are huge.

    I would say that most of these criteria do not fit the picturesque, famed lifestyle of the #vanlife movement! That lifestyle apparently doesn't include stories of soaked bed sheets, waiting for days to finally get to a laundromat, picking the one machine out of 20 that is going to quit before the rinse stage and then dragging soaking wet, soapy, flannel sheets to another machine that requires you dump in another $7.25. That story is not usually the 'my life is so awesome' image and story you see prior to a #vanlife post.  However you do see that prior to a #Resistance post :)

    Actually, we made ourselves feel better one day when we came up with our new hashtag, #atleastwearenotlivinginavan.  Braden loves to say this now.


    RV LIFE LESSON - DON’T LEARN TO RV IN CALIFORNIA

    This past week has added some new war wounds to our RV (aka Loop-D-Loop, as we are always re-circling around to get anywhere!).  

    Though the Mercedes chassis RV’s are narrow and quite maneuverable, they are super tall and we continue to find ourselves in tight situations!  Adding the 14ft trailer on immediately takes away any maneuverability we may have as well and turns us into a beast on wheels. We have learned that you need to add on an extra 1 to 3 hours on to most ETA’s as we never quite know what we may be up against..

    .

    Folks have been super gracious in offering their property for us to park.  We do enjoy this as it allows us to feel normal for a bit and hang with some good folks. Often, these are families with young kids and Braden enjoys the time with other little people.  

    Graton CA

    Matt Fritzinger and sons

    However, we have realized that unless we send a photo ahead of what we really look like with our rig, and REALLY stress our size, it is not worth taking the chance.  #weshouldhaveparkedatwalmarttonight...oh wait, most Walmarts in Califonia don’t let you park! Here are some photos of the situations we have gotten ourselves into!  I think these photos speak a million words….mostly profanities...

    We birthed ourselves out of this spot!  Talk about a rough labor!

    A Madrone just at the end of this driveway almost took out our awning.  That poor awning hates it's new owners!

    Our friend Josh here guided us in at night.  I wanted to take video but I was to gripped as we had to maneuver over a super narrow bridge...

    The guys are standing on the narrow bridge we headed over in the dark.  The daytime made it a bit easier!

    Heading to Bicycle Playdate events have had their own set of surprises as well!  

    Not only does the stress of driving in the city streets of San Fran and the Bay Area keep me up at night, but you never know what chasm you may have to bridge to get the trailer up into a parking lot, how many trailer brake release cords you may bust when scraping the ground, and how long you will plug up the street and have folks honking at you (all while your kid is repeatedly saying he is hungry!)!  

    Ok, I’m exaggerating a bit as people were generally pretty nice to us, as we are hauling around a trailer logo’d with KIDS stuff.  And, we certainly have been able to check off a few ‘homeschool lesson’ boxes in these situations: Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, Coping in Stressful Situations, What To Do When People Are Yelling At You, What To Do When Mommy Has A Melt Down (again).

    Don't worry Scott, It's gonna be great!

    RV LIFE LESSON: Just when you think you can relax and maybe ride...you can't!

    Living in a mountain town for 23 years (and not being RV people) has NOT really set us up well with skills for navigating ‘CITY’ living in an RV.   Things like locking everything you own, finding a ‘somewhat’ safe parking space where your vehicle might not get broken into, where to dump black and grey water (Ew!), don’t come easy to us.

    We have taken for granted a bit how easy life in the Tetons can be.  We rarely lock our home, pretty much NEVER worry about break-ins, usually are aware of where toilets are and if not, you can usually just pee in the woods.   

    SIDE NOTE:  Scraping ice off your car in the AM when it hits 20 below zero sure gets old and NOT easy.

    Just when you think you have a day to focus on some work, school and exercise, the Black water tank alarm goes off and then you have to spend 3 hours researching where the nearest dump is which in California is always further than you want.  AND, many times you can dump in one place, but then you need to go elsewhere for freshwater (unless you are ok to fill up with the water right next to the dump station...sorry, can’t do it), and then propane is somewhere else. You can burn an entire day just filling up on the essentials!  It’s insane.

    Therefore, the moments we do get out for a family ride feels like a MAJOR accomplishment and makes it that much sweeter:)

    RV LESSON:  THANK GOODNESS FOR GREAT FRIENDS

    Lucky for us we have amazing friends along the way.   In between the parking lots and side of the road camp spots they provide us a safe place to park our trailer for a few days, park comfortably outside their house with access to electric & fresh water, and we even are lucky enough to get some yummy food, great wine, backdoor access to mountain biking and lots of laughs!  You all know who your are...wink:)

    All that said, there's a way to take control of Resistance. You name it, recognize it, and accept it. It's always part of life, it's especially part of RV Life, and it's not going away. It's me, Scott, Braden, Lander, and our pal Resistance out for a little jaunt through the good old USA. At least it's not boring!



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