Well now that was exciting. It has been exactly 9 days (almost to the hour) since we pulled out of Ozark, MO. We have been busy. But oh what an amazing 9 days it has been. The trailer towed fantastical and my only real complaint is that Arizona Transportation needs to work on the stretch of I-40 between Flagstaff and Kingsman. It was rough folks. We stopped to sleep twice on the way to California and on the third day made it to Oklahoma, CA (aka Bakersfield). That was where we had our first real night in an RV park. We stayed at the River Run RV Park which seemed like a really great park. We will stay there again. But this isn’t a review post.
I have family in Bakersfield. A lot of family in Bakersfield and it was good to get to see most of them. There were a few that we missed but we were only there for something like 18 hours. So to you few I missed, We will see each other next time we come down. But those 18 hours were just what we needed heading into what ended up feeling like the longest leg of the trip.
From Bakersfield we drove 306 miles to Auburn, dodging road construction, slow semi trucks, and overly important drivers who thought it was a personal affront to have us and our trailer sharing their road. In Auburn we picked up the three missing pieces to our little tribe. “The Boy” eldest of the three, “The Girl” middle and lone defender of those who love pink, and “Little Man” who just turn 4 and his favorite catch phrase is “I do it my own self.” I can’t describe the joy of having them yell “DADDY” as they all ran and pounced on me.
From Auburn it was another 218 miles to Fort Bragg. Including the stop for dinner in Sacramento the whole trip took almost 14 hours. And we finished with a 33 mile stretch across HWY 20 by far the snakiest road I’ve driven in a long time. It took us a little over an hour. But we made it was gorgeous and we eventually made it to the coast and to our little spot here in Fort Bragg at The Sportsman’s RV Park.
It took a day or two to get really setup. There is a bit of a learning curve when it comes to leveling a trailer and all the in and outs of organizing for such a small space. But we are having a blast and have really made “The Moving Castle” our home. It has really been an amazing week here now too. But that will wait for another post. (Which will probably come later today)
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I have a love affair with the ocean that began the very first time I stood on a shore. Though I was thirteen at the time, I can still remember looking out over the waves and feeling overwhelmed by how beautiful the ocean is. The water was too cold to really swim, but I waded in anyway. I loved the taste, the smell, even the sticky sand that coated everything. I knew then that I wanted to live by the sea. And then I went back to land locked Arkansas.
Through out my life, given the choice of a trip, my first pick is always a beach. The season isn’t even important. Neither is the drive to get there. Just let me sit, listen to the waves and read and I am a very happy lady. Unfortunately, I haven’t been to the ocean in almost three years. This is actually the longest I’ve gone without seeing the ocean since I was thirteen. (I just realized this!)
So because of this more than anything else, I am so excited about my first assignment that I feel like I am about to burst. Into song. Really at any minute. Think The Sound of Music.
The moving castle is headed to Fort Bragg California!!!!
A town I had never heard of until this week. The Pacific is on one side and redwoods are on the other. This won’t be my typical gulf beach. The average highs for the months we will be there will be in the 60s with the average lows in the 40s. But just in pictures Fort Bragg is breathtakingly beautiful.
And the location won’t be the only big change. I will be going to a critical access FOUR bed ICU. To put that in perspective, I currently work in a 27 bed neuro trauma ICU at a level 1 trauma and stroke center. I think our hospital has 60 critical care beds total. So this will be a huge change. But nursing is nursing is nursing. And I have worked in small hospitals before.
I still kind of can’t believe this is real. I mean really real. I am getting to be a travel nurse, which I have wanted to do since I was in nursing school. And I will be living next to the ocean. I’ve had that dream for twenty years. I am still constantly having “I can’t believe this is my life!”moments. And none of this would be happening without the support of my amazing husband who listened to my day dreams and said “Why not! We can make this happen!”
So the downhill slope is getting a bit steeper as we approach Departure day.., From now here on referred to as D-Day. This past Tuesday Red payed for the trailer. Today I went up there with my Dad and picked our Moving Castle up. And I couldn’t be happier with it. We are now the proud owners of a Forest River Wildwood 33BHOK.
She’s 37 feet from bow to stern with 33 feet behind our Ram 2500. We pulled her 200+ miles today from the dealer to where we’re docking her (don’t ask about the boat analogy… I don’t know.) till we load her up and roll down to our first assignment. The master bedroom is in the front and there is a kid’s room with three bunks in the back. The outdoor kitchen is one of my favorite parts. Gives me a bit more confidence in not killing us all as I take on the cooking role.
So this is the Moving Castle. And that red beauty in front of it is Cal. If any of you all get that reference let me know. You’ll win a prize!
I remember when I was 4th or 5th grade I got to go on a week-long school trip to camp K.E.E.P. This was a big deal. A rite of passage. It was a nature camp that kids who lived in my area of California got to go on. For those that know the area it’s by Moro Bay and Pismo beach. Anyways I have a very clear memory of a nature hike we took to the beach. We where going through this sand dunes and when we crested them there was the beach. This part of the beach was national park so there was no one else there. Our councilors told us we could run down the dune to the beach if we wanted to. And that’s exactly what we did.
It was exhilarating. I was convinced that I had never ran that fast before. It seemed my stride covered a mile at a time. (I was 11 and prone to exaggeration.) But as I started to approach the end of the sandy slop and the rocky beach loomed massive in my view I realized I no longer had control of my feet. They were still doing their job but neither I nor them had any clue on how to slow down. Time seems to dilate at times like these. I knew that if I tried to stop I’d lose it and go tumbling to my death. (I had a flair for the dramatic also.) That’s when I heard one of the counselors yell. “Don’t stop! Keep running!” I listened and was amazed at how my feet managed to keep me up right and not get into a fight with each other as the slop shifted to the level ground. I ran another yard or so before I felt I could slow down. Managing to stop breathing heavy, smiling from ear to ear, and looking at the raging waves in front of us.
That was a lesson I learned well. When your running and things seems to be moving faster than anticipated don’t fight it. Lean back keep your balance and run it out. Your feet know their job. That’s how I feel right now. Like I’m sprinting downhill. This is good because I can’t wait for what’s at the bottom. But boy are things picking up speed. Tomorrow the lovely Red, is going to the dealership and giving them the check from the bank for our 5th Wheel, A Forest River Wildwood 33BHOK. Friday the 5th wheel hitch will be installed in the bed of the truck and Saturday I go and pick the trailer up for its maiden voyage. Then there is only the culling of stuff and the packing left to do. Our launch date is mid July. And it feels like we only recently decided to chase this dream.
I’m amazed at how fast this is all coming together. And at the same time reassured. Things only work like this when it’s the natural progression. So if you here a boyish yell of exhilaration, with only a slight hit of fear that I might forget how to operate my feet, don’t worry that’s just me. And I’m loving every second of it..
As I start to really embrace my role as the major domo on our new adventure I realize I don’t actually have a clue as to what we’re doing. And I’m not sure I’ll figure it out in time. I mean I’m pretty sure we have all the big things covered. Red thinks she’s found a recruiter she can trust and that she likes, we’ll have the 5th wheel secured by the end of this week, we’ve got a brand new truck for our tow vehicle, and everything is looking like it’s falling in step with our plan.
But… what don’t we know? What are we going to find on the road? Do we really know what to expect at an RV park? How can I help her if she catches a lot of static from CA Union nurses? What rookie mistakes are we going to make and how can we minimize their effects? This list keeps going. However, it all circles back to the same driving thought in my mind, how can I ensure that this adventure is the best it can be for Red. This wonderful woman who pulled me from the very pit of despair and gave me a life that surpassed my dimly lit dreams? This is my chance to help her realize a dream she’s had since she graduated nursing school.
Please Lord let me do this right.
And for the rest of you . Any and all advice on everything will be greatly appreciated.
Overwhelmed… Yup I’m going to go with that. I mean excited works too, but that only tickles at the surface of the emotions I’m feeling right now. I feel a bit like a pot that is just about to start a rolling boil. I can see the signs of activity but it all looks pretty calm… but any second and I’ll just be a flurry of emotions. (Hmmm I’ll get better at the analogies I promise.)
But introductions first I guess! I’m David and this blog is going to be my place to chronicle the adventures of being the lucky husband of an amazing woman, I’ll call Red, who is an amazing RN with a decade of ICU experience, as we embark on the adventure of travel nursing.
And now back to the boiling pot!
We are currently past the “Hey this could be fun” stage and have entered the “Okay we’re doing this! How the hell are we going to do this!” As I write this our financing for the 5th wheel trailer we’re going to buy is in the air, we’ve only just now found a recruiter Red likes, we have the monumental task of culling a three bedroom apartment down to fit inside of a 32 foot 5th wheel, a trip to pick up my kids in California fast approaching, and we’re still waiting for a part to get the actual hitch installed into the truck!
The heating element on the burner is RED!
But! Then we breath… we’ve got this. We know the financing will work. The money is set aside for the hitch. The trip to get the kids will be a mini vacation, and possible maiden voyage of the trailer. And we are actually really looking forward to downsizing. WE’VE GOT THIS! And I get to be the man who has helped make my wonderful wife’s dream come true.