BOOM! We made it!! It only took us 13 days! We are in the final stages of getting all settled into our new home. For those of you that were wondering where in the world we were going to park our tiny house when we finally got to our end location, wonder no more. Well, our realtors are fabulous. They contacted some of the previous buyers that they had sold to. We were lucky enough that one kind man agreed to let us stay on his land until we can find our own land to purchase. Turns out he is awesome and we are very lucky.
So, backtracking…the last leg of the trip went very smoothly, it just took a lot longer than planned due to extreme heat. I mean was between 100-110 degrees F for a good 4 day stretch through Wyoming and Eastern Montana. The dogs were miserable and so were we, so a lot of our driving days were cut short. Oh well, we survived.
We also survived the dreaded mountain pass in Butte, Montana. After checking, rechecking and talking to as may truck drivers and RV owners as we could we determined that there was no way into Kalispell (our final destination) without going over 1 or more mountain passes. Thankfully, everyone out west is super friendly and talked to us in great length about this and gave their opinion on our best bet to get there safely. So after saying fifty thousand prayers we ventured up and over the pass. It was a slow go with very steep mountains, but we made it! Also, Jake can now say that he independently towed our house from West Virginia to Northwestern Montana! Now that we are here I think his heart rate and blood pressure have come back down to a normal level.
Second (and last) Week of Traveling/Getting Settled Into Our New Home
- Places we have slept: ONLY KOAs!
- It was glorious. Showers and electric everyday! If it were not for the extreme heat and the fact the Montana rest stops do not allow overnight parking this would not have happened. I am so thankful it happened.
- Ranking of rest stops from best to worst, by state:
- Montana…at first on the eastern side of the state I was very skeptical. However, by the time you get to the middle of the state they are wonderful. They even have fenced in areas for dogs! I have also found out today at the dog park that apparently Washington has the best rest stops for dogs with huge runs and fenced in areas at every stop.
- Average speed while traveling: 45mph. Sometimes we went crazy and it was 55mph. That house is heavy and it is very windy on the highway.
- Average gas usage for Jake’s truck pulling the house: 7 miles/gallon. The house is not aerodynamic. Jake says that if he could change anything he would have made my closet (which is the part that overhangs on the top portion by the truck bed) angled, so that it would have been like “pulling a brick wall”. However!, after the mountain pass in Butte he was getting 11 miles/gallon all the way into Kalispell! To put this in perspective, all of the RVers that we talked to were getting an average of 8 miles/gallon. So, all in all it is shocking, yes, but not horrible.
- Number of jacks supporting our house right now: 10
- Don’t worry Jake made extra sure this baby is not going ANYWHERE.
- Number of days we have been without running water: 21 days
- To be honest, this was rougher on the road than it is now. The land we are staying on right now had a water pump that is to a shallow well that is ~100 yards in front of our home. The guy that owns the land has his own electric, water, sewer, etc, but it is up on the mountain where he is building his house and therefore not accessible to us. So, we have super heavy duty filters that we take down to the well and pump water into, so we can use it to cook, clean dishes, drink, etc. We joined a gym almost immediately upon arrival, so we shower there since we work out at least 6 days of the week.
- Number of days we have been without full electric: 21 days
- The electric SHOULD be in full us by this weekend! We have a generator, but it is expensive to run in full time since it is off gas right now. We only run it as needed and we have been keeping our food in coolers. The solar panels and batteries are scheduled to be delivered by this weekend, so we should be fully running this weekend!
- Number of days we have been without propane: 19 days
- After multiple days of converting the stove from natural gas to propane, Jake was finally able to give us propane access in the house for the tankless hot water heater and the stove! It was a long, hard process, but he did it and I believe an “OH F%$^ YEAH!” was shouted from the kitchen when the burners lit on the stove. We had our first home cooked meal in OUR house last night and it was delicious.
- Number of things that we have built/installed since parking the house: 4
- We installed the garden window in the kitchen.
- Jake finished the gutters on the roof.
- We installed our “closets”
- We installed kitchen shelves and UNPACKED! If you know us you know the majority of our belongings are kitchen stuff and outdoor stuff, so that’s why we needed such a big kitchen with lots of storage!
- Number of times we have been to Home Depot/Lowes since getting here last weekend: a million.
- I swear sometimes 3x a day. Getting settled in with the house has been rough. However, the trip into town is only 10 minutes compared to the 45 minute trip we previously had. That is a major plus.
- Number of times the dogs have ran away: 3
- Since we do not have full electric, they do not have their electric fence. Which, by the way, is the ONLY thing that has worked for those husky babes. The first time was while we were installing the window. The second and third were when they decided they could chase deer from the yard in front of the house up into the mountains. All times bear spray had to be carried by the search party (Jake and I) because that is is norm out here when entering or living at all near the woods/mountains. All times they were found/came back. All times I had a heart attack and ended up crying at some point in the search for them. All times they came back happy as clams, “smiling” their husky smiles and panting like they ran a marathon.
We finished up our last full week off of work by going to the Dragon Boat Races on Flathead Lake, which was a big deal with participants from all over US and Canada competing and lots of food/beer tents on the lake. It was pretty cool. Then we went and drove the “Going To The Sun Road” through Glacier National Park, which was beyond words beautiful. We were going to go hiking, but the going to the sun road will only be fully be opened for another week or two according to locals because of snow in the mountains. We learned that just last Sunday they got over 4 inches up in the top of the road and had to shut down that part to clear it!
Jake started work today. I will be starting tomorrow and I will start teaching PiYo at the gym within the month, so this workless life we have lead since August 5th will be coming to an end. We will be returning to our employed lives. It will probably be a complete shock to our systems, but our bank accounts will be much happier. We shall see…the adventures have just begun!