Love in Loveland CO

Roger: I have to admit that I have missed Colorado a lot. I grew up in the mountains close to a place called Vail, it was a rough childhood. I went to university in Boulder and then moved to Arizona after graduating in 2000. All of my family have left the state but a few friends are scattered here and there.

When Kate and I met we started travelling to Colorado and then her friend, and mine, Jen moved to Fort Collins giving us a perfect excuse to visit and drink local beer. Jen recently bought a home in the small town of Loveland which is south of Fort Collins by 20 minutes or so. I always knew Loveland existed as a point on a map but had never visited. Since Jen has a big enough driveway to fit our trailer we accepted her invitation to visit for as long as we like.

Loveland Trailer parked Jens House

Loveland is a lovely town. So far we have been able to walk to numerous shops, restaurants, and bars very easily. Henry’s has great dinner options including a vegan burger and curry and fried pickles. The Coffee Tree has good coffee and bagels, but no hummus. If you want a beer and some good company Burk’s Tavern has you covered.

Loveland Jen and Kate

Loveland Cadillac

Loveland Street

Loveland House

Loveland Sign

Loveland Zeke Snoozing

Loveland Sunflower

Loveland Police Department
No need for alarm. We wanted to see the metal work that Jen’s BF Eric made for the police department. Thats what those metal trees are.

Loveland Sugar Beet Elevators

Rolling with Grass in the Mile High State on Highway 285

Roger: We made it to Colorado! Yesterday’s drive from Bernalillo, NM, just south of Santa Fe, was awesome mainly because we got off of the Interstate! It turns out that we aren’t in as much a hurry as everyone else and if there is one thing to remind you that everyone is in a hurry it is the Interstate.

Once we got on highway 285 it was a good amount of climbing up onto the Colorado Plateau until just south of the Colorado border. The wind was kicking up pretty good which makes pulling a 35 foot trailer fun in a not so fun kind of way.

We stopped for lunch at the top of the Climb and got this photo:

Rolling with Grass top of Colorado Plateau on Highway 285

After lunch I added the sway bar to the hitch and magically, or through the power known as leverage, the wind effect was dramatically reduced and the joy of driving returned.

We stopped for gas in Alamosa and headed up the 17 to straight shot across the San Luis Valley. If you are pulling a trailer I do not recommend taking this road as there is a strong crosswind, no shoulder, and the overall condition of the road is quite rough. Instead stay on the 285 which goes more to the West around the valley and then makes its way back East and eventually up to Poncha Pass.

Rolling with Grass from Bernalillo MN to Alamosa CO

map view of san luis valley campground

Our campground was just south of the pass at the San Luis Valley Campground which is a nice small RV park with full hookups and amazing views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to the East and Bonita Hill and Flagstaff Mountain to the West. I took a few photos…

kate and zeke at sunset at san luis campground colorado sunset over flagstaff mountain at san luis campground colorado zeke at sunset at san luis campground colorado zeke at sunset at san luis campground colorado kate at sunset at san luis campground colorado kate and zeke at sunset at san luis campground colorado kate and zeke at sunset at san luis campground colorado kate and zeke at sunset at san luis campground colorado kate and zeke at sunset at san luis campground colorado kate and zeke at sunset at san luis campground colorado kate and zeke at sunset at san luis campground colorado kate at sunset at san luis campground colorado kate and truck at san luis campground colorado happy kate at san luis campground colorado flowers in sunset san luis campground colorado Happy Hour at San luis valley campground colorado Rolling With Grass Truck and trailer at san luis valley campground colorado

Day One

Roger: I am writing this from the trailer in a park north of Albuquerque, NM trying to get a grasp on what we have done. So far its mostly just a long vacation and I am doing some work along the way, but just beneath the surface is the reality that we have committed ourselves to living fulltime for at least one year. The house has been rented and we sold or gave away all of our furniture.

The going away party over Labor Day weekend was fantastic and Kate, Zeke, and I want to thank everyone who made it. We truly appreciate the sacrifice you made to spend a long weekend with us in the woods and we hope that you had as much fun as we did.

If you were there then you know I took a lot of photos. I am still processing them and need to figure out how I want to post them here. The photo at the top of this post is from the campfire on the second night after we left our stick and brick house behind.

Overall its a strange feeling not having a fixed home but also very comforting in that everything I own fits in a 30′ by 8′ space that I also work, eat, and sleep in. As we continue down the road I am thinking more about how we lived with so much excess of space and stuff and how relieving it is to pare things down. We are still living incredibly comfortable lives compared to a lot of people and keep that in mind all the time.

Sometimes we are asked what our plan is and we just shrug and say ’70 degrees’. Meaning that we are planning to be where ever the highs are in the 70’s and if that means packing up and moving then so be it. We are now migratory humans travelling across the American landscape looking for adventure while maintaining an income that allows us to keep going.

One of the first lessons we have learned is that its best to hit the road in the morning. This makes packing up camp easier as the temperature is lower and it gives you more flexibility if you want to stop for lunch or take photos. Finally its always nicer to get into camp with some daylight so you can see what the surroundings have in store for you.

The plan is to boondock as much as possible since we have a fairly large solar system that can keep everything going for a long time. So far we haven’t hit that goal yet as we are under the gun to get to Colorado by the end of this week and we need internet connection so I can keep my clients happy (you are happy right?).

As we progress I plan on making posts about the trailer and solar setup we have. I also plan on talking more about day to day trailer life and most importantly how we are making this happen (small secret: we saved up a nice bit of cash, made smart purchases, and took the leap).

Please feel free to let us know if you have any questions and more importantly suggestions about Rolling with Grass.

Solar System Install Initial Phase in Parks AZ

We spent the weekend at an undisclosed location near Parks Arizona where our friends Bruce and Bill helped us start the installation of our solar system for the trailer. We got the panels installed on the roof and ran wiring to the Solar Charge Controller. There will be more posts highlighting our system once it is complete. In the meantime enjoy these photos to understand why we want to be on the road meeting new people and enjoying beautiful places.
Parks AZ RV Solar Panel System Install Trailer and House Shot

Parks AZ RV Solar Panel System Install House Porch Shot

Parks AZ RV Solar Panel System Install House Sunset Shot

Parks AZ RV Solar Panel System Install Sunset Shot

Parks AZ RV Solar Panel System Install Sunset Shot

Parks AZ RV Solar Panel System Install Sunset Shot

Parks AZ RV Solar Panel System Install Sunset Shot

Parks AZ RV Solar Panel System Install Sunset Shot

Boondocking in Chicago

One of the first destinations for our grand road trip is to the Clio Conference in Chicago in Sept 22nd and 23rd 2014. The problem is that the closest RV park is over 50 miles from the conference hotel downtown at the Radisson Blu Hotel which would be a sucky way to start the two days of the conference. So I did some Googling of ‘boondocking in chicago’ and found this PDF talking about the McCormick Place Marshalling Yard:
Boondocking in Chicago PDF McCormick Place Marshalling Yard
McCormick Place Marshalling Yard
31st St and Lakeshore Dr.
312-808-3138

RV Camp Review on the Chicago McCormick Marshalling Yard

RV Network discussion on staying at the Chicago McCormick Marshalling Yard

$30 a night should be plenty of room.