This is the page where I intend on speaking my mind, so don't expect anything PC here. My entire first post was modified because I was explaining why we are doing what we're doing. I wont be censored here. Read at your own risk.
June 25, Kalispell MT
I had no idea that all the money we'd save from not having a mortgage or rent would go to gas, lodging, groceries and restaurants along the way. This skootcher business is expensive. There is probably a much cheaper way of having this much fun, but since this is my first time out and we went big I guess I can't expect much.
We are becoming close as a family, for sure. The kids are probably getting to see a little more of mom and dad than they wanted. Real life, welcome to it gang. So I got to razz my dad for playing demolition derby with Jenn at the stop, but I know he feels really bad. I hope he knows how much we fear him following us now. Just kidding. We are busy discussing our plans and needs for plans when we get a chance.
I am really happy that my dad is doing the paleo eating and sticking with it. He's dropped about 15 pounds since April. That doesn't sound like much, but he looks good. Jennifer told him he needs new jeans since his butt disappeared. His belt makes a wrinkled mess at the back like mine did, and does when I wear my old clothes. Darlene is even making a go of it.
I told Darlene of my thoughts for a Montana site that popped into my head on the way in. A trailer on an acre of land with a yurt in it. Come up in May, pop the yurt up and spend the summer fishing, hiking, and doing whatever, then fold it up and head back to warmer climates for the winter. What do you think? Let me know in the comments section.
The other thing about this trip is that for all the "time off" I have, I rarely have time to do much of anything. The trip is awesome, and we're having fun, but we're so busy there's no time to plan (really), read or work out. I went running for the third time since May 1 yesterday, and the 7000 foot elevation kicked my butt. The air was sweet though, so sweet it burned my lungs for about an hour afterward. It was worth it. I need to work on my weights, body weight exercises and movements more though. I am holding at 170 weight wise, but that's because of the diet. I'd like it to be muscle still by the end of the trip, and I can feel my performance dropping and the altitude excuse won't last forever.
July 1 - So yesterday dad ran out of gas. Apparently he blamed me because I was in the lead. This is despite the fact that we had stopped at a Pilot Travel Center where they had diesel to use the restroom, but he opted not to get fuel because the lines were too long. When I checked his fuel level over the phone leaving town I said I have just over half a tank and he said he had "half a tank", but in reality he had less than that. His truck gets about 12-13 mpg, where mine gets about 8. If he had half a tank he should have been able to make Madras without fuming out.
Apparently, I was the brunt of the frustration (while I wasn't there), but he didn't let me have it when I showed up with 8 gallons of fuel in what amounted to record time. I don't think he read a chapter in his book before we were there. Anyway, Jennifer was worried that he and I would fight, or that I would take offense to his blaming me. I didn't. It wasn't my fault he ran out of fuel or that we couldn't communicate out of cell phone range or that none of the towns had diesel along the way. I guess the thick skin developed in Naval Aviation over the past 15 plus years has an upside. Certainly, when the chips are down and things aren't going well I am comfortable and able to function when others are frustrated and freaking out. I get the feeling this will be an important skill while living in Oakhurst. I just wish he would have called uncle and pulled over before he fumed out, which is what I think I would have done (especially since I carry extra diesel with me). He had been running on empty, with the idiot light on, for miles. They lost power going down a hill which took out the power steering and brakes! Somehow they didn't crash, regained power and made it to the top of another hill where they finally died. Yikes! Shannon was with them and heard some pretty inventive expletives, although Darlene said he took them to the back of the trailer out of earshot for the most part. Stuff happens, or as dad likes to say, life is messy.
Nevertheless, we really enjoyed traveling and camping with them. Dad is pretty experienced with the camping schtick and handy to have around. I like Jennifer's moral support though, she and I are rarely if ever upset or frustrated at the same time. Darlene is rarely if ever upset, at least not noticeably, so she compliments dad well. Thank you Darlene for all your patience, and thank you Jennifer, Shannon, Jessica, Samuel, Thomas, Rookie and Swoosh for all of yours as well. Stupid Service tryouts are over, and needless to say - we qualified! That's all for now. Cheers.