As mentioned on our last post, we begrudgingly left our friends on Spencer Farm. In all honesty, we deliberated a LOT on where to go and what to do. Our Alaska trip was cancelled and due to COVID, many of the things we set out to do aren’t really options these days with the lack of open museums, visitor centers, ranger-led programs, and more.
We asked ourselves if it would be worth it to keep traveling at this time or should we throw in the towel and buy land and/or a house somewhere again? If we did this, our full-time travels would be finished as returning to a home would mean full-time jobs for us and school again for our quickly maturing tweens. Jason and I grappled with these questions quite a bit during our stay on Spencer Farm. The COVID-19 pandemic, as much as it messes up our travel plans, actually gave us the answer. Due to the economic situation we don’t currently have a job to return to, and the only reason we really wanted the kids back in school was for socializing and extracurricular activities (both of which have been cancelled indefinitely). So we figured we’d give the COVID-19 road-trip a try!
At this point, we received a letter indicating it was time for a routine check-up back in Michigan. With this check-up in the back of our minds and the desire to offload some weight from The Beast to our storage unit, our path suddenly became clearer. We would make the trip up to Michigan! As a bonus, we’d get to see family and could maintain social distancing by using our RV and hanging with family outside.
It was fortunate that the weather was finally nice enough back in Michigan for a few outdoor picnics! According to friends and family, winter seemed to linger this year and while we were experiencing great weather in TX, MS, and AL this February – May, Michigan was cold and chilly. We were able to spend a couple of days with the Kellers, then transition to the Hart area and spend some time with Dan, Bernice, Amber, Chris, the kiddos, Sandi and Joe. Everyting was quite GREEN, the weather was lovely, and we were able to get 500+ pounds out of the RV, a few projects done (washing/polishing the oxidized RV cap, creating an “attic” in the kids’ bathroom for extra storage, making a water bottle holder, etc.), and the routine check-up worked in as well. It was difficult trying to maintain 6 feet distancing with family, not gonna lie, but EVERYONE is dealing with difficult situations these days.
Some of the things we enjoyed while “home” were the many picnics (we even had our first take-out pizzas in months!) with family, hiking at Gale’s Pond, rides in Nana and Papa’s new Polaris at dusk, walks around Jason’s boyhood property, and watching the kids work on their fort and catch fish/frogs in the creek at Nana’s. We also used our down time to figure out next steps. Our potential farm stay in Colorado didn’t end up working out, but another farm in Vermont contacted us via WOOF USA and wondered whether we’d be up for working on a farm in the Green Mountains of Vermont. The hosts seemed very accommodating and we decided that this particular farm would have the potential for new experiences for us and the kids. So, plans being dynamic and all, that’s where we’re heading!
En route to Vermont, we’ve stayed at a winery in Ohio, a small campground in Eastern New York, and a city park in central New York. All were lovely, but our favorite spot was a city park in Bainbridge, New York. There was camping there for $15 a night (electricity and water) with our Passport America membership AND we scored a sweet spot on a bluff overlooking the Susquehanna River (I think we were one of 4 campers at the city park!). It’s somewhat strange to be back on the road again with restrictions (14-day quarantines in some states, limited amenities open at campgrounds, masks at toll booths, etc.), but we’re trying to embrace the opportunities we can, instill a love of travel and learning, and make some family memories EVEN amidst a global pandemic.