So life continued in good old Winnemucca.
Fall was approaching soon and with the seasons’ change comes lots of other changes. Michael and his good friend and boss, Pat, decided to amicably go their separate ways. Meaning, Pat and his crew would stay in Nevada and work, and Michael (and we) would go to another job elsewhere. We are all grateful to Pat for not only being instrumental in Michael being hired into the company, but also a close friend and mentor as Michael learned the industry. After 2 years of friendship and working side by side, it became apparent to them that a “mutual breakup” was in everyone’s best interest. Michael took a few days off and we stayed in Winnemucca and waited for some guidance on what our next steps would be.
At first it seemed like we would be headed straight from Nevada to a new job kicking off in Morenci, Arizona. Unfortunately there were a few delays with that job and Michael’s boss (much higher up than Pat) told him to stay put for awhile and not waste time and money driving down to Arizona if the job wasn’t ready.
This is the difficult part of the industrial construction trade. It isn’t a 9-5, Monday through Friday job. The money is great — when there is work. There isn’t always work lined up. The end of one job and the beginning of another don’t always coincide. This could mean days or weeks without a paycheck. Plus, the jobs and contracts are everywhere, meaning you need time and money to get to where you need to be to even start work!
Needless to say, this was a stressful time for us as we wondered “Are we doing the right thing leaving this crew in Nevada? How long before there’s a new job ready? Can we afford this? What comes next?” For a planner like me, this lifestyle is frustrating and scary. Through my marriage and commitment to this life, I’ve had to learn to trust that things will work out and that God has a plan that is better for us than we could dream up ourselves.
After a week of anxiously waiting instructions, Michael’s superior gave him word to head to Tremonton, UT (sound familiar?) to work at the shop until another job had an opening. If you recall, Tremonton is where we stayed at the lovely Crystal Hot Springs when Michael did some work at the shop before. I wasn’t at all disappointed about going back. Not only do I adore Utah, I really do like the campground.
So we pulled up stakes, figuratively, in Winnemucca and headed east to Tremonton and stayed at Crystal Hot Springs again. We settled in and started getting used to the cooler weather. One of our first few nights there, we had a relaxing fire and made s’mores.
We decorated for Halloween with a straw bale, Norah’s pumpkins that we brought from Nevada, and some fun creatures.
Our first weekend in Utah, we decided to take a day and go to Salt Lake City and do some sight seeing. One of our favorite things to do is go to RV dealerships and check out fifth wheels and travel trailers. We drool over all the ones that we love and make plans for “one day” getting a new one, since our current is so tiny and outdated for us. Well I will make a long and boring story short by saying that we found one that we loved (let’s be honest, I was in love with it right away, and it took Michael some time) and so we bought it! It’s a 36 ft bumper pull (travel trailer, not 5th wheel). It’s a 2013 Dutchmen Kodiak 300BHSL. Here is a stock photo of the interior. It has 3 slides and it feels like triple the space we are accustomed to!
It took about a week of paperwork and phone calls to get the financing completely done, plus we ordered extra awnings installed on the slide-outs. And wouldn’t you know, that the day before we were scheduled to pick it up, Michael gets a phone call from his higher-up saying that the job in Morenci, Arizona was ready and we needed to head there immediately. Geez, nothing like urgency to light a fire under our butts!
After spending hours and hours at the dealership (long story) on Friday that Michael took off of work, we finally got back to the campsite late Friday afternoon. We had to buy a 2nd camp site adjacent to our current one so we could “move in”! So we began the exhausting process of emptying the “old” trailer and moving into the new one. This took our entire evening Friday. We got up Saturday morning and finished what we needed to, winterized the old one, and hauled it to the shop, where Michael had gotten permission to store it temporarily. We finally hooked up the new one and I loaded the kids into my car, following Michael & the trailer and we hit the road! But not before saying goodbye to these guys:
eggs that our duck friends left… a new one every morning!
time to pack this new one up!
So Saturday afternoon we started driving from Utah and we went as far as we could. It was about 10 or 11pm by the time we stopped driving and got a hotel in Arizona. We slept and hit the road again as early as we could Sunday morning. Driving through Arizona was extremely stressful with both kids and I was counting the minutes until we arrived to our destination. I do have to say that the scenery as we drove through Arizona was some of the prettiest I’ve seen since we started our trip out west.
The last entire leg of our trip was spent straddling the Arizona/New Mexico border, which was about 2 hours of driving through Gila National Forest. The view was just phenomenal, despite tight winding curves that even at 15 mph, felt scary.
I won’t say too much about our RV park for the time being, except that it’s very rustic. And rural. The town we are in is Duncan. It’s SMALL. I grew up in a small town, but this is TINY. Highlights for us: Family Dollar, public library, park, bakery, and laundromat. That’s about all we have used here so far and about all we plan to. The closest Walmart is 45 minutes away so we are back to our trend of once weekly trips for groceries etc, just like when we lived in Battle Mountain and had to drive to Winnemucca every weekend.
this pic is of the “bunkhouse”, the rear bedroom in our trailer. It has a set of bunkbeds on the left– norah sleeps on the bottom and the top houses her toy box, books, laundry basket, and a tote of clothes that are too big for zeke. to the right is a small dinette which folds into a bed (although i can’t imagine us every needing to use it as a bed), and another bunk on the top. that bunk stores a laundry bag and basket, zeke’s bathtub and a few baskets of random things. this photo was taken mid-unpacking so excuse the atrocious mess. straight ahead, you can see the small wardrobe and drawers which house all of the kids’ clothes. the top dresser holds our 32″ TV, the ps3 and norah’s movies.
taking the cushions off the couch makes for better sleeping space
through the magic of facebook, i was able to meet some moms in the area who have graciously invited me into their “groups”, including a trunk or treat halloween event.
And just because I have no good way to end this blog post, I’ll share a photo of my grizzly husband, fully embracing No Shave November. Isn’t he a stud?
Hopefully that does it for catching up over the last few months. I promise I will try much harder to stay on top of this! Regardless of whatever drama or depression or sudden frantic moves get in the way.