End of Week #9
Lake Elmo Park Reserve, Lake Elmo MN > Rothenburg Campground, Springfield MN > North Shore Campground, Fort Thompson SD
Miles traveled since last week’s post = 398
It feels like it’s been longer than a week since I last wrote to you all. The last week has been very busy, and quite emotional. We have traveled just about 400 miles since the last blog update, and stayed in 3 different campgrounds! We have also said a bunch of ‘see you laters’ (again?!), wrapped up our last loose ends, and actually left our home state of Minnesota, once again – but this time without knowing when we will be back again.
We laughed, we cried (a lot), and we’ve covered some serious ground. All things considered, I can officially say that I am a nomad now. WOW. It’s hard to believe that it’s all for REAL now, not that it wasn’t before, but it most definitely is now.
In the past week of life I have also had more intuitive hits than I have had in months. We have trusted the Universe in ways that are both scary and exhilarating at the same time. Random opportunity. Turn of events. Destiny. Fate. Free will. Adventure.
Lake Elmo & Loose Ends
Aside from sleeping, I think we honestly only spent a few hours in Lake Elmo Park Reserve last week. As I mentioned in our last post, we changed our plan of action and decided to come closer to Woodbury to finish things up, and spend some more time with our families. Our schedules were fully booked from the moment we parked our tires at site #13 in the modern campground. Luckily, being in Lake Elmo Park allowed us a lot of flexibility in making things happen. Looking back now, I can’t even imagine how we would have done it all if we would have stayed in Edelweiss and drove down for just a day. Not to mention we wouldn’t have gotten to see our families then either!
In the beginning of the week we ran errands, got Frank the Tank an oil change, went to Target, stocked up at Costco (we have a membership now, YAY!), and went to our old townhome to check on things, do a few loads of laundry and a whole lot of other things I can’t even remember now. We spent our nights having dinner with our parents, and soaking up as much quality time as possible – a few nights staying out way past our bedtime and having to use a swipe card to get back into Lake Elmo.
It was busy, a total blur, but it was all necessary in order to enter the next stage of our lives. It’s really hard to look your parents in the eye and tell them you don’t necessarily know when you will see them next, but at the very least we made sure all of our parents have now learned how to video call to stay up to date with us as much as possible!
‘See You Later’ Woodbury
Adam and I lived in Woodbury for just under 8 years, first moving in with each other in October of 2011. Much of those 8 years we rented, bouncing around different corners of the city. In July of 2016 we purchased a townhome on the south end near Colby Lake and have lived there for the past 3 years. [In fact, TODAY marks 3 official years since we closed on that space and moved in!]
We listed our townhome for sale on May 24, the same day we packed up our entire life and moved it to Stone Lake, WI. We knew we weren’t going to live in that townhome forever, and it was built in 1980 and needed a lot of updating that just wasn’t in our budget to do. But it treated us really well and was the homestead to so many memories and firsts for us.
Thursday July 25 we officially closed on the sale of our home! We went to the title company, sat with the buyers, signed our name a million times and left with the most expensive check I’ve ever held in my life. The moment we had been waiting for the last 2 months was finally here. The moment I so often found myself doubting would even ever happen. We had setbacks, we had roadblocks, and we had to alter our listing price, but we made it to the end!
No more mortgage. No more HOA fees. No electric or water bills. No car payments. No 9-5 jobs. No alarm clocks. No specific agendas. We are really FREE, in ways we have never even imagined.
A lot of people ask us how we even made something like this possible. I tell them it all dictated on selling our home. Fortunate for us, we did not have other outstanding debt so if we could just get through that sale rightside up, then we were golden. All of it took a lot longer than we thought it would, and challenged our abilities to stay focused and positive, but that end result is what allowed us to continue to pursue this dream!
[We took our mega check straight to our shared checking account. We deposited that bad boy and paid off Frank the Tank’s loan, and we will plan to live on the rest for as far as it takes us. In estimating no other income at all, we should get by for about 9 months to a year, but you just really never know. All you can do is try to plan!]
Intuitive Hits in Springfield
I’ve always been one to trust the Universe in everything I do. Spirituality is incredibly important to me and a journey I’ve really evolved on in the past few years. One of my most recent spiritual tasks has been to trust my intuition more. Listen to it. Open up to it. Pay fucking attention. I’m a Cancer zodiac, already highly intuitive by nature, but I’ve been prone to let myself be overcome by doubt, fear, and anxiety. Allowing myself to open up to the intuitive hits the Universe is trying to send me is one huge way for me to level up spiritually speaking and reach a higher state of consciousness in this lifetime.
While we were in Lake Elmo we wrote a list. We looked at maps, websites & apps, and wrote down a list of 10 different places we could plan to camp at next. Where we would end up was going to be based on how well the drive was going with the cats. I had changed up a bunch of things in traveling with the cats while we were at Lake Elmo, and wasn’t sure how it was all going to turn out.
[Traveling with bengal cats is much like having 2 overactive toddlers, I don’t care what anyone says. They whine, they scream, they climb, they freak out, and you have to babysit them every step of the way. They also pee themselves and throw up!]
Right now transitioning from location to location is stressful and draining. It’s a process to get used to what it feels like and how to best maneuver pulling a 32ft travel trailer behind a 1-ton express van. It’s also stressful to know the best roads to take, how best to not get in an accident, other cars driving by you, drift, and so on. (Again, not even to mention the cats!)
Our goal was to reach Lake Benton, MN, as we were confident we were not going to make it over the border that day. Plus why rush it when we really don’t even have to! After driving for a few hours, we realized we weren’t even going to get to Lake Benton. It was super hot out, the drive takes way longer when you have to go a slower speed, and it was almost late afternoon, not allowing us much more time to figure things out.
The right choice at the right time
I called all 10 places on our list and struck out on every one of them. Answer machines with no information, websites with no information, and hosts informing me they were completely booked out for the weekend. I continued to search on the route we were on to see of any other upcoming places we may have missed in adding to our original list, and tried calling them too. No luck. I felt drawn to just expand my search and look a little south on the map to see if anything else would come up as an option. I saw a campground called Springfield-Rothenburg a bit south from us, but the turn to go south was coming up pretty soon so I figured to keep looking elsewhere. For some reason in a split second decision I went back to that campground on the map and decided to just call them quick. Screw it! A very nice woman answered the phone and told me we were in luck, she had some cancellations that day. She said she had a great spot for us and would get us set up. I quickly told Adam of our new course south and with bengals meowing, and stomachs growling, we both knew we just had to stop somewhere – ANYWHERE at this point.
Never in my life have I heard of the town of Springfield, MN, but it is situated on the Cottonwood River and had good reviews. For $50 and 2 nights we figured why not, as this would allow us more time and comfort to figure out the steps from here. The town was small, we saw just one main street as we were coming in, but the campground was warm and welcoming and had a lot of flowers and décor as we crossed a bridge over the river. We were site #36, across from a shower house, and on the end corner by the street. We had shade, nice trees, full water and electrical hookup, and we even had a 50 amp for the first time ever! Honestly I don’t think we could have been happier with our choice, we truly felt it really worked out and it didn’t even matter that we changed our route that day. Springfield was quaint, but absolutely perfect at the time. Across the street from us was a bunch of sporting fields, a community pool center, and a park/picnic area.
A sign from the Universe
Saturday was a recharge day and we also did some exploring on the paths by the river. By evening we were just going to wind down and cook dinner, and I was going to sneak a quick workout in while Adam prepped the chicken. Several things set me back in starting my workout, aside from the usual ways I stall, and I had sat down to write some things down, do some research, and whatever else. I don’t even remember what time it was by the time I got started outside, but I remember thinking I was probably going to get stares from nearby campers and cars coming down the main road. Specifically I was thinking to myself “that car that just drove by probably is thinking – what the hell is this girl doing working out in this heat on a Saturday night… blah blah blah.” Not even minutes after that thought I remember feeling like possibly the same car just drove by twice (something we noticed happen a lot the night before), and then I swore I heard it pull up to our ‘driveway’. Great, I was going to have to give directions or answer a campground question or something… and I turned around and saw MARK from Edelweiss! WHAT. Pure shock of emotion as he jumped out of that car and came running towards me.
WHAT ARE THE CHANCES. Mark is one of my Dad and Carrie’s good friends from Edelweiss. Mark and his Husband Kevin have a camper up there and we spent a lot of time with them the week we were in Edelweiss. We have known them for several years now. Mark is FROM SPRINGFIELD, of all freaking small towns in Minnesota, and was home this same week/weekend to spend time with a bunch of his girlfriends. That night, him and his friends Shelly, Pam, and Amy were heading downtown Springfield to go to a few bars. Apparently at the exact moment they were driving down the road, he recognized me on the corner doing a workout (as I did the same thing outside the camper in Edelweiss) and recognized our van and trailer combo. He told his friends to stop the car. They thought he was out of his mind creeping on random people and not a fat chance in hell he knew us, but somehow he convinced them to stop. We all stood there in front of our camper, stunned at the randomicity of this entire encounter. WHAT WERE THE CHANCES.
Mark and his friends talked to us about our journey, (Pam mentioned a lot about wanting to be mentioned in the blog) and they invited us to join them downtown that evening. I was honestly too stunned to even finish the rest of my workout so we ate and changed and met them downtown. There we also met a handful of their other friends including Shannon and Sandy and sat and chatted for a few hours with great people. Amy told us about her own travels through South Dakota and Montana, reaffirming our plans to travel on highway 14 (instead of interstate 90) and to get near the Chamberlain area by the Missouri River. Pam asked a lot of questions about our journey, and Shelley told us how crazy she thought Mark was when he said to stop the car.
I don’t believe in coincidences, and I honestly never have. Everything happens for a reason, for an order, fate – destiny. We all have free will to make our own choices each and every day about everything we do, but it all works out exactly the way it is supposed to. I could have chosen to do my workout earlier and not stalled so much in the trailer. I could have skipped it entirely. They could have drove by us and Mark might have been looking at his phone and not even noticed our van. This story could have went so many other ways, but it didn’t. We did not plan to go to Springfield, MN, but we choose it out of desperation for a break. We could have not been in the end spot, and been hidden in the campground, but we weren’t. Mark saw us, and it was a sign. It was a sign that no matter what happens along the way, where this path takes us, everything is going to be okay. We are going to be fine. We are going to continue to make the best choices we can for ourselves and it is going to be okay. There will be good people no matter where we go, and maybe even more familiar faces along the way. It was our destiny to go to Springfield, MN, and I am so grateful for how it worked out.
We trusted that my random choice in campground would work out. We got there and were optimistic, hopeful, and most importantly grateful. In turn we were blessed by the presence of an old friend, new friends, and a wonderful night out. I want to carry this energy with me wherever we go, across the whole United States. I wish for random opportunity and turn of events every step of the way. I wish for deep human connection, and to learn the story of those that I meet. This is what I want my life to be known for.
Always put your trust in the Universe, for it knows best.
Entering South Dakota – Fort Thompson
More to come on this location next week! As of Sunday July 28 we have landed in North Shore Recreational Area of Fort Thompson – reservation land on the Missouri River, after 253 miles of travel over the course of 7 hours. This campground is in a beautiful location, completely FREE of charge, and is our first experience in boondocking – parking without any electrical or water hookups at all. We will be here until tomorrow, Tuesday 7/30 and will update more next week!
Intro to boondocking (water rations, no hookups, generator, lights, charging electronics, showering). I will also review the South Dakota campgrounds we have stayed at so far, and talk about our next stop at my Grandma & Aunt’s land.
Coming soon: let’s talk about FEAR, and the journey we are on to conquer it. It’s scary to think about where we will sleep at night, how we will get there, and if we can handle this. But it’s even scarier to think about if we didn’t do this now.
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