A&A Planning What Comes Next After Gualala | Life Updates
End of Week #66
Gualala River Redwood Park, Gualala CA
Miles traveled since last week's post = 0
Total miles traveled to date = 7,955 with trailer
Hello to you! I'm extra late on this week's blog post - I was saving the content until Tuesday and after traveling all day to Santa Rosa for the last trip to get a stockpile of groceries we ended up gathering with the other workampers and managers here at the park. It's hard to believe it now, but after spending the entire summer together we now only have a few short weeks left before we all spread our wings and hit the road in different directions.
During our drive inland to Costco, we drove through the fire damage on the coast just south of us around the city of Jenner, CA. The coast was completely scorched all the way to the ocean in places and thankfully there wasn't more forest groves destroyed. Overall I think the coast held up pretty well against the flames, and it's just so hard to imagine what it must have looked like just a few weeks ago (or what it looks like more inland).
As of today we have just about 2 weeks left working here in Gualala and then we will be back on the road again. With this time comes a lot of planning and discussing what comes next for us!
Life Updates At The 66 Week Marker
It's been a long summer spent in the Redwoods, and now the season is closing in on us. Our safe haven, our comfortable spot in the forest with campfires and familiar faces is coming to an end. We are definitely starting to have some anxiety about preparing for the next step and preparing to head back out on the road (and by we I probably mean just me). I've been ordering all of our last supplies to stock ourselves back up for awhile - in hopes some main items will last us into October or November before we would need to consider how to order more. A big change for us will be losing the convenience of having an address we can ship things to or have things mailed to us from family. Once we leave here in a few weeks we won't know when we will have an address again and we will have to go back to finding stores and such for our needs. It's been such a long time since we were navigating the covid world while on the road so it will be an adjustment to re-get used to what is open and what is not.
Prepping the trailer
Within the next few weeks we will also be replacing our tires on the trailer... if you remember back to our trip up to Gualala we had shredded a tire on the highway causing some damage to the trailer. The damage to the trailer was repaired by Adam right away, but we have been waiting to replace the tires until it was closer to our departure from Gualala. We really didn't want to have to try to tow the trailer to a larger town to have the tires put on, as we don't know how far we would have to travel to do so, it would cost more in labor, and we don't know how well the tires would last to get us there. So instead we have ordered tires off Amazon, the one trusty way to have items delivered to our rural community on the coast, and Adam will be putting them on himself once they arrive.
We are also preparing a checklist of things to do here with the trailer and van - including some deep cleaning, lots of last minute laundry, and lots of organizing to put things back in storage and secure spots in the van and trailer to prepare for travel. And of course... doing everything we can to prep the cats and make them as comfortable as possible for this transition!
Crossing off the checklist in Gualala
I had a whole list of things still left to do here in Gualala and the surrounding area this summer, but I'm starting to accept the fact that most of it will not be accomplished this time around. In the beginning months, a lot of what we wanted to explore was closed due to covid, then we started working and had a little less time to explore, and now at the end a lot more is closed due to wildfires or it is still closed due to covid. I think the extent of what we have left to experience will involve a day trip to San Francisco, because I just can't get myself to leave this area without a day in the city, and possibly we will soak up some more time on the beach (even if it's chilly or windy). I also have just a few things left to eat here, or eat for a second time - including the best sticky cinnamon roll I've ever had in my life. I've been waiting to eat it again all summer but the place has been conveniently closed on my days off so I am waiting to indulge once the season ends.
On a lighter side of things we still have a lot of fun planned here in Gualala before the season does come to a full end. The workampers will be getting together in the following week or so to do a "trailer crawl" where each couple creates an appetizer and drink at their campsite and we travel around to try them all. We will also have some sort of end of season bash to close things out and say our 'see you laters' to everyone we have gotten to know over the summer.
While we are extremely sad we weren't able to have any family or friend visitors during our stay here on the northern coast, we are thankful to have gotten this opportunity to work and camp in Gualala for all this time. It has truly been an experience that we will take with us the rest of our lives!
Planning What Comes Next After Gualala
... Or trying to anyway.
It's quite difficult to plan the next step, for a multitude of different reasons - the wildfires in California (& other states), the the state of covid in various states and what is open and what is closed, and ultimately we have been trying to secure another workamping position for the winter months and don't yet know where we would end up or on what kind of timeline we would need to get there by. All of this can make for a stressful time trying to organize the next few months of travel. But in the grand scheme of things I do have stops and cities/places planned for where we want to go next.... as our ideal perfect world would bring us to the white, sandy beaches and turquoise waters of southern Florida for the winter.
Creating a travel route
During our route up to northern California this past spring we were unable to stop anywhere along the way or stay at an of our planned destinations due to covid. My hope for later this month is to revisit those places and do some exploring along the way. Key places we have on our list include Lake Tahoe, Yosemite National Park, Sequoia National Park, Death Valley National Park, and maybe even Joshua Tree National Park too! From there we will likely make our way through Arizona again and hopefully up to Santa Fe to spend some time with our friends and celebrate Halloween and Adam's 32nd Birthday. Afterwards I could see us going through some more of Texas and giving Austin a shot since we missed it last time. And after that, regardless of if we have a workamping opportunity lined up for Florida or not, we still might make our way to various parts of it to escape the winter chill.
Here is a link to check out our current route we have taken thus far, up to Gualala, CA: click me!
Adjusting to change
The biggest changes for us are going to be losing all of the amenities and comforts we have had while living in the Redwood forest. We are more than grateful for a free site and hookups the past 4.5 months and that has included free access to laundry too. There is a freezer in the laundry building that we have also been able to store a lot of extra frozen foods, that we will now have to eat down enough so that it fits in our small freezer box in the trailer. It will also be quite an adjustment for us to get used to moving all the time, our packing up process, and our taking off process again after sitting still for so long - the longest we ever have. I am more worried about how the cats will take the adjustment than anything else, but I'm doing my best to remain positive that we will all get back into a groove of things quickly!
Thinking about next year
Looking ahead to next spring there are going to be so many more unknowns. All I can tell you is what we have discussed to this point and we will have to go from there. We will likely try to route ourselves back up through the west - either heading towards Oregon, Washington and Montana first, since we have yet to RV through those states, or we will head towards Minnesota and Wisconsin first to make a stop back through familiar territory with familiar faces. Either way our current plan is to make a loop through the northwest and midwest and hopefully reunite with loved ones we haven't seen in so long! Everything will also depend if another workamping opportunity locks us down somewhere in the west too or if we just choose to go without a workamping experience for the summer. It could all go in so many different directions!
They key for us right now is to stay open to everything that is coming our way. We must be open to receive, open to experience, and open to wherever the open road decides to take us.
- A & A Destination Unknown
I think I finally might be able to squeeze in that travel review of San Francisco next week just in time for a long holiday weekend and #TravelTuesday! As of now we are planning to drive down the city Sunday night and spend all day Monday exploring. Stay tuned for more adventures...
*Currently under construction and paused at this time.*
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