Record Snow…A Water Leak…A 2022 Move and Relocation

I wonder, did the title of this post catch your eye, especially if you have followed our posts over time? Bear with me as I share the fairly current details as part of our ongoing journal at 12mph.

Snowfalls over roughly four weeks in December and early January accumulated 25 inches of snow here in Pullman. From what we’ve read, it’s not typical. Ultimately, the area had a record amount of snow for December. We really don’t mind snow IF we can get out to play in it. We had some snow walks in our neighborhood until the plows covered the sidewalks.  At times with warmer temperatures snow thawed to slush and then froze. The footing became unsafe. Fortunately, the City Parks & Rec department tended as best they could to the paved trails throughout town. We settled into a pattern of driving to the City Playfields where we parked and then walked. Early on, we used our Ice Trax strapped to our boots for traction through the shaded and icy spots.

As of today, January 28, the bulk of the snow and ice in our complex has melted from the primary drive and driveways. The large piles of snow that accumulated as part of the plowing efforts are slower to diminish. And, my trusty Sorel snow boots that I’ve had for 15 years split apart. I guess it’s time for warmer weather! The downside is that we didn’t get out to snowshoe because I have a Frozen Shoulder. Hopefully next year once the shoulder is resolved and new snow boots are ready to go, we will resume snowshoeing fun.

Walking on the Bill Chipman Palouse Trail, Pullman, WA.
For accumulated snowfalls, we ended up with nearly 25 inches in four weeks.
Despite having a snow removal service, Steve still needed to shovel our driveway.
The Palouse Hills as we drove the 10 miles between Pullman, WA and Moscow, ID.

A Leak
If you followed our bizarre experience at our first abode in Pullman, one might ask, “Say it isn’t so?” Indeed it is. This is our second home in Pullman in less than two years and yes, we have a water-related issue, yet again. Maybe we should play the lottery with these odds! Fortunately, the water issue has nothing to do with the structure of the townhouse nor the drainage. Unlike our first Pullman home, there isn’t mold or mildew. While it took nine days for the maintenance company and property management company to really roll up their sleeves on this current issue, it’s on the way to being remedied, thankfully! 

It began on January 15, when I noted a dark spot on the side and bottom of an archive box. Adjacent to the box was an IKEA bookcase purchased last summer, which I saw some of the vinyl paper curled away from the bookcase. My heart leapt into my throat as I frantically took the archive box upstairs to investigate the damage. Because I didn’t want to keep this box with its one-of-a-kind treasures in the garage with the bulk of the archives, I opted to move it to the office/lower bedroom a month ago, thinking it would stay dry and safe. I placed it on the floor next to my genealogy research library held on the bookcase. (Side note: the garage remains roughly 50 degrees Fahrenheit and a relative humidity of 45-55% since it’s beneath the upper floor of the home. The door to the utility room where the furnace is located, stands ajar so that residual heat helps warm the garage).

Archival Box that held genealogy and family history information. This box soaked up the moisture from the carpet and carpet pad beneath it.
The new IKEA bookcase soaked up water too.

Tears flowed when I pulled out the contents of the box only to find historical genealogy for our family feeling damp or noticeably rippled. The oldest of the history dates back to 1785! Years ago I removed the genealogy pages from several old family Bibles. The Bibles having seen better days were actually unhealthy due to the centuries and decades introducing mildew. Steve and I immediately laid out the papers across the dining room floor, turned on our small space heater, and prayed with all of my heart that this precious family history wasn’t damaged. Thankfully, I discovered evidence of water soaking into the carpet just in time. Had it gone unchecked, this could have really been disastrous.

Thank you space heater!
Carmitchel family history dries out.
Community history and family history, including the Patrick’s dated 1785.
Some of my Dad’s military papers and history that needed to have moisture removed.

On January 26, the maintenance company discovered the source of the leak. Moisture that had collected in the furnace, didn’t properly drain through the small PVC pipe that runs from the furnace to the floor drain. Instead, it was dripping onto the floor beneath the furnace. Then the water continued beneath the furnace and then along the floor towards the back of the furnace where the utility room and bedroom have a shared wall. The water slowly seeped beneath this wall. Consequently, once into the bedroom, the carpet pad and carpet served as giant sponges. With the issue remedied on the furnace, their next step was ridding the carpet of the moisture. They pulled back the carpet, removed the affected portion of the carpet pad, and placed an industrial fan, along with our fans, to dry out the carpet, floor, and base of the wall. Yesterday they came to check on the drying progress and to spray mold retardant on the dried carpet, base of the wall, and carpet tacking strips. We anticipate that sometime next week, they will finish the work and we can resume using the room.

The leak came from the utility room,
The rust spot beneath the condenser and pvc pipe indicate moisture having been dripping over time.
It was sogging to the touch!
The affected carpet was peeled back, the soaked carpet pad removed.
Drying out the carpet, baseboard, and floor.
Mold Retardant was sprayed on the carpet tack strips.

A 2022 Move and Relocation
Yes, you read that correctly. On January 16 (the day before the leak was discovered), we sat in our comfy recliners, talking about the year ahead and mentioning how nice it is to be in a place that was turn-key with no outside maintenance so we could head off to camp and make some trips this year. Last year’s moves interfered with lengthier trips to see family and friends. We also reflected at how nice it is to be near our Pullman family, the paved trail system, good medical providers, public library, etc. “Isn’t it nice that we don’t have to move this year?” we concluded with big sighs of relief. 

Hahaha! On January 18, just two days later, we received a Lease Non-Renewal letter. The odd timing of this at first led us to think that perhaps the letter was due to the water leak because the notice came mere hours after we reported the leak. In a call with the property management company the next day, Steve learned it was because the owners of the townhouse will be selling it. Well, that felt like a very swift kick in the britches for us.  (Needless to say, with the water issue resolved, this home will sell quickly once it goes on the market).

Now what? Well, something that we’ve attempted to be these last few years is FLEXIBLE. Our nearly two years of full-time RVing brought many lessons in flexibility! As we typically do, we’ve spent several days first to get over the shock of this news and then consider what this means. First, we are grateful to have options. While this is a major inconvenience, we can manage another move. It’s old hat by now! LOL! Secondly, we have determined that instead of moving to yet another place in Pullman, it’s time to relocate elsewhere. Pullman has a tight rental market, especially with Washington State University being a major part of the community. Our family here will be missed immensely, yet we know that being retired, we can travel several times each year to Washington to see them and hope that their travels will bring them to our next location. Perhaps we’ll determine a good midway spot to set aside time together.

Colorado was home or homebase for 10 years so seems like the best option. We considered other states: Utah, Oregon, and Western Washington. Yet the bonuses of returning to Colorado include having family and friends there, proximity to ample recreation opportunities, and an international airport for air travel. Becoming more centrally located again to family in the Midwest, Southwest, Northwest, and Southeast, will be more convenient. 

We’re casting a broad 180-mile net for a rental home. We’re considering the area from Fort Collins south to Canon City. This long stretch adjacent to the Rocky Mountains is part of The Front Range. We’re following several rental apps and Craigslist. The perfect scenario would be to find a one-level house or townhouse with two bedrooms and ample space for our household belongings in order to avoid a storage unit. A garage would be great to accommodate our numerous bikes, extra camping gear, and workbench. Because of Colorado’s increasingly hot summers and challenged air quality at times, we need air conditioning. A large enough driveway on which our 15’ trailer could be parked so we could avoid RV storage, would be fantastic. Not all communities or HOAs permit this arrangement though. 

NOTE: If any of our readers of this post have recommendations or referrals for suitable homes that fit our needs, kindly be in touch.

The Plan
We will spend a month in April camping along the Front Range to visit potential rental homes, spend time with our Denver family, and hopefully return to Pullman with a lease in hand that begins on June 1. Needing to move ourselves throughout June, we foresee making several trips back to Colorado towing a U-Haul trailer each time. (The price of a U-Haul truck has nearly double since July 2020 when we moved the household from Colorado to Washington). Our lease concludes in Pullman on June 27. Currently, we are in the process of downsizing even more thanks to Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and Next Door (social media for neighborhoods). We’re ready to begin packing up boxes, after having unpacked just six months ago. Part of flexibility involves a degree of preparedness, where much of what we possess except essentials can be boxed up sooner than later in case an opportunity arises to move sooner. Thankfully we have a system in place and can reuse many of the boxes.

The all-too-familiar U-Haul moving boxes are ready to be used again.

We are extremely grateful for having resided in Pullman nearly two years. The goal in 2020 was to have a safe home base during the pandemic after the heartbreak of leaving our full-time RVing journey prematurely. The highlight has been our proximity to and time with our Pullman family. They have served as our buddy bubble for the past 20 months. Admittedly, it will be difficult to leave as we’ll miss them dearly.

Our fervent hope for you is that you’re having a more gentle beginning to 2022. More than anything, we pray that we all stay healthy in the ongoing COVID pandemic.

Our best to you,

Diane (and Steve)

We’re Happily Retired at the Speed of Sanity (even during periods of upheaval)


Our New Trailer Has a Name!

Our 2022 Rockwood Geo Pro 15TB has a name! We promise that it will be divulged at some point in this post. Hang with us and read along.

Assigning names to objects is kind of intriguing, isn’t it? Have you named your car, truck, bicycle, motorcycle, skateboard, airplane, etc? If you have an RV, have you named it? As those who’ve followed our former full-time RV lifestyle read from early posts, our first trailer was a 2018 Nash 26N made by Northwood Manufacturing. We named it “Tranquility”. Not only were we anticipating some tranquil times on our travels and surrounded by the beauty of our country, we also recall watching as youngsters the Apollo 11 Lunar Module landing in the Sea of Tranquility on the Moon. Our first truck that towed the Nash trailer was named “Bessie”. My paternal great-grandmother was named Bessie. When my great-grandfather John first laid eyes on Bessie, she was seated on a buggy at the reins of a spirited horse. As she zipped down the country road, my great-grandfather asked his friend who this young woman might be. An introduction was made in short order. We could envision our 2012 Ford F-250 being at the reins of “Tranquility” and spiriting us on our way around the country.

April 2018 – Tranquility the Trailer with Bessie the Truck

Naming provides identity. It also insinuates a type of bond. Perhaps the bond is related to a particular activity to which your object is tied. For example, my parents adopted the 1963 Chevy Suburban that first belonged to my aunt, uncle, and cousins. It was a battleship gray. They called it the” Gray Goose”. The Gray Goose went on many adventures with my aunt, uncle, and cousins and came to us with that history. So, we kept the name. It would be the first vehicle that became our primary wheels for getting to and from school when my younger sister, Char, and I didn’t take the school bus, especially with after school sports and clubs. The Gray Goose also had numerous adventures, including a 1973 girls’ trip to go camping in Wisconsin. There were other escapades reflecting some immature teenage choices. (I won’t go into details). Needless to say, Gray Goose was a fun and happy name!

August 1973 The Gray Goose, our old 1963 Suburban, en route to camp in Wisconsin with my sister and two friends.

Fast forward a few years with a growing family, Steve and I had one of the first mini-vans made. It was a 1984 Toyota Van Wagon. In fact, we read about it in a car magazine when we needed to replace our Datsun B-210 Hatchback. Then we visited the local Toyota dealer to ask about the Van Wagon.  Interestingly, they didn’t even know about the Van Wagon. We showed them the magazine article. We placed an order and waited a couple of months until it arrived. While we didn’t assign a name immediately, over time as our kids became older and more movie aware, they thought that “Yoda” from Star Wars would be a good name. You know, ToYOTA sounds a bit like YODA. Yoda took us 200,000+ miles of road trips, car pools, camping, bike trips, and more. We should have been a poster family for this vehicle because it was such an anomaly at the time. Countless times during the first years that we had it, we gave strangers a tour due to their curiosity. Top question: where is the engine located? Our answer: beneath the driver’s seat. They couldn’t believe their eyes when we’d unlock the driver’s seat, lift it, and show them the engine!

October 1984 – Yoda our 1984 Toyota Van Wagon

Okay…change of subject. Raise your hand if you like s’mores? Hands-down we LOVE them. All of the years of camping, our marshmallow roasting sticks remain a staple in our camping kitchen. Steve has such a knack for building wonderful campfires. He’d get a nice roaring campfire going. Then Jeremy, Stephanie, and I exercised patience as we gradually watched the flames give way to the perfect embers for roasting marshmallows. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as a s’more or two or three.  Graham cracker square topped with a Hershey’s milk chocolate square, topped with a hot, roasted marshmallow, and lastly topped with another graham cracker square, Gently press to get a bit of oozing from the roasted marshmallow. OH YUM!

May 2021 – Roasting Marshmallows over a Campfire, Dworshak Reservoir State Park, Idaho.
Essentials for S’Mores (plus new roasting sticks)!
Ready, Set, Go for S’more Making!
February 2019. – Steve roasts a marshmallow at City of Rocks State Park, New Mexico.
June 2005 – Diane roasted a PERFECT marshmallow, Grand Lake, Colorado.
March 14, 2020 – It’s PI Day. We made a S’More Pie at Kartchner Caverns State Park, Arizona.

So…why tell you about s’more making? We invite you to take a good look at the photo of our 2022 Rockwood Geo Pro 15TB. Our imaginations say, “Hmmm….it’s the shape and white like a marshmallow!”  Does your imagination see a marshmallow?

Check this out carefully!

Then we look closer at the decals on the side of the Geo Pro. There’s two horizontal stripes, black and gold. Then there are swooches much like giant parentheses at each end of the side. Do you see a side view of a square of Hershey’s chocolate? This is the black stripe. Now how about the gold stripe beneath it? It sorta, kinda looks like a side view of a graham cracker square. See it? Now stay with me here. The half-circle decal swooshes at either end of the trailer’s side look a bit like a roasted marshmallow being squished as if pressed down. Well, this sure sounds like a S’MORE! 

Folks, meet our new trailer named S’more! With S’more, we can make SOME MORE memories. Plus, it will help us SEE MORE states, state parks, national parks, perhaps the southern tier of Canadian provinces, plus family and friends! What we’ll look forward to doing is sitting by a campfire at some point, roasting marshmallows, and making luscious, gooey, melt-in-your mouth s’mores. Even better would have you join us at our campfire! Stay tuned as 2022 brings some camping trips and we’ll share more of S’mores travels. Now…what to name our Toyota Highlander SUV…any thoughts?

Take care everyone ! Cheers to s’mores and S’More! May you have a Happy Thanksgiving next week.

Diane (& Steve)


We Have Our New Trailer!

Well, we did it! We now own a 2022 Rockwood Geo Pro 15TB! These little trailers are extremely popular and quite the challenge to locate them. RV manufacturers of most any brand and type of RV across the country are working frantically to meet the demand. Of course, we anticipated this when we sold our 2018 Nash so quickly back in late August.

We're ready to drive away from D&D RV Center in Helena, Montana with our new 2022 Rockwood Geo Pro 15TB by Forest River.
On October 26, ready to drive away from D&D RV Center in Helena, Montana with our new 2022 Rockwood Geo Pro 15TB by Forest River.

A few days after we returned from our late September road trip to scout out potential trailer brands, we began creating a spreadsheet for RV dealers who carried Forest River’s Flagstaff E-Pro 15TB or Rockwood Geo Pro 15TB. (15 indicates the interior length of 15’ and TB means Twin Beds). Both of these are essentially the same trailer except for the exterior decals and interior decor. The primary filters for this research were distance from home, prices, and approximate delivery date of the unit from the factory.

Geographically speaking, we decided that we would consider Colorado, Montana, Utah, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. As we applied the filters, it appeared that the larger dealers and those in the Seattle area may end up with the higher prices. We sat down with the spreadsheet and what jumped out at us was D&D RV Center in Helena, Montana. Why? This is where we purchased our 2018 Nash 26N by Northwood Manufacturing in April 2018. We already know the quality of their service department. They gave us a thorough tour of all systems of the Nash before we could even leave with it. Additionally, their website indicated that they had a 2022 Rockwood Geo Pro 15TB on order. There was nothing about “Sale Pending”, which would mean that someone had already ordered. This meant that it was up for grabs and looking for a buyer!

October 8, 2021 THIS RV IS ON ORDER...this caught our eye!
THIS RV IS ON ORDER…this caught our eye!

On Friday, October 8, Steve called D&D to inquire about the Geo Pro on order. D&D didn’t have a buyer yet. Within 15 minutes, Steve told them that we would like it, thus a sale pending situation was established! They would notify us when our 2022 Rockwood Geo Pro 15TB arrived from the manufacturer in Indiana. They had no idea when that would be. According to a Geo Pro 15TB Facebook group, some people were waiting several months for their unit to arrive from the manufacturer.

October 8, 2021 SALE PENDING! Because we called and offered to purchase it!
SALE PENDING! Because we called and offered to purchase it!
October 8, 2021 SALE PENDING TO WASHINGTON....this means to us!

In the meantime, we tried to wrap our brains around 79 square feet of interior living space versus the 250 square feet that we enjoyed in our Nash 26N! Folks, this is a really big deal. The game we’re playing is trying to recall the days of tent camping (just four short years ago). We had the two-person tent, our Toyota RAV 4, and during the last year of tent camping we added a Coleman screened gazebo that was larger than the tent. The RAV 4 hauled everything. Now we shift our brains to this small trailer hauling much of everything. The Highlander will still need to carry some items due to the lack of storage in the Geo Pro. For instance, the zero-gravity recliners and folding Zamp solar panel that is stored in a special suitcase. Bicycling, hiking, and swimming gear will likely join those large items in the Highlander.

Just five days after calling D&D, Steve received a call from them on October 13 that the trailer had been delivered and would be ready for pickup the following week. Unfortunately, our schedule was such that we had to wait until October 26. This gave us time to continue sifting through our stash of trailer accessories and purchase some essentials in order to hit the ground running.

Keeping an eye on the ten-day forecast and knowing that we’d have several mountain passes during our trip, Steve purchased two pairs of snow chains for the Highlander. We had clothing, kitchen items, bathroom items, bedding, camp chairs, and some food all packed into the Highlander. It was a very stark reminder that we no longer had a massive pickup with a topper enclosing the pickup bed. From just behind  the front seats to the tailgate, we were loaded. Thankfully Steve is a packing whiz!

We left on Monday, October 25, and drove to Helena. The drive on I-90 and U.S. 12 was gorgeous! Once in Helena, it was nice to have a night in a hotel for a good night’s rest. Plus we ordered for pickup from a favorite of ours, MacKenzie River Pizza. Between splitting a small pizza and a delicious salad, we were all set for the night. There’s nothing quite like watching a movie while eating in bed.

The Larch Trees were in their glory along I-90 in Idaho.
Larch Trees were in their glory along I-90 in Idaho.
MacKenzie River Pizza & Salad dinner in bed at the Hampton Inn, Helena, Montana
MacKenzie River Pizza & Salad dinner in bed at the Hampton Inn, Helena, Montana

On the 26th we had a noon appointment at D&D. After breakfast that morning, we found a trail at Nob Hill to hike, which was refreshing and provided beautiful views. We knew that once we had the trailer, there’d be no time for a walk or hike.

The View from Nob Hill Trail, Helena, Montana
The View from Nob Hill Trail, Helena, Montana
Heading into D&D RV Center in Helena, Montana.
Heading into D&D RV Center in Helena, Montana.

At D&D, we were completely finished by 2pm. Completing the sales transaction and resulting paperwork, touring the trailer (really much less involved than the Nash), purchasing several essentials using the $100 store credit at D&D, and hitching up. Before we left the parking lot, we called our State Farm Insurance agent’s office to provide the details on the trailer and make sure it was covered. Unfortunately, Good Sam Club’s Roadside Assistance was experiencing technical difficulties so we had to delay contacting them until Wednesday.

Our first stop was Walmart before heading off to camp. For the week prior to this trip, Diane had a growing list for a Walmart stop. Because we’ve purchased a trailer in Helena before, we knew that the Walmart was conveniently a few blocks from the RV dealer. Parked safely in the back of their big parking lot, we went into the store to grab what we’d need for several meals and anything necessary for the trailer.

Drawing on our full-time RV experiences, we knew that between late September and late October, many campgrounds have closed until the traditional camping season next year. Because we needed to have access to electric, water, and sewer in order to adequately test out the new systems on the trailer, Diane checked to see what KOA campgrounds within an hour of Helena might still be open. When we bought our Nash in April 2018, we stayed at the Canyon Ferry Lake KOA between Helena and Townsend, Montana. Thankfully they are open year-round and if the temperatures held, we would have a water hookup. 

Our mirror extenders work great!
Our mirror extenders work great!
The Missouri River swells into the reservoir, Canyon Ferry Lake, Montana. The Big Belt Mountains are shrouded in clouds.
The Missouri River swells into the reservoir, Canyon Ferry Lake, Montana. The Big Belt Mountains are shrouded in clouds.

Off we went to the Canyon Ferry Lake KOA. Diane reserved for one night. Although high wind advisories were forecasted overnight and into the next day. That night the wind buffeted our little trailer, rocking us to and fro. With no foresight on our part, it just so happened that the nose of the trailer was pointed into the direction of the wind. Thus, we really were spared worse wind gusts.

First night set-up was accomplished as the sun was setting behind the mountains.
First night set-up was accomplished as the sun was setting behind the mountains.
Cheers to successfully setting up camp!
Cheers to successfully setting up camp!
OTucked into our sleeping bags on our twin beds, we watched The Pirates of Penzance that we checked out from our local library.
Tucked into our sleeping bags on our twin beds, we watched The Pirates of Penzance that we checked out from our local library.

The 27th arrived and we double checked the wind forecast and sure enough, it was going to be relentless the rest of the day and into the night. As KOA wasn’t busy, we were able to extend our stay by a day. This was a perfect situation as Diane’s sister, Laurie, drove up from Bozeman for a visit and to see our tiny trailer. We saw Tom and her back in June when we were in Denver on a trip and they just happened to be traveling between Montana and New Mexico. While both visits were short, they certainly were sweet.

Yay Sisters!
Yay Sisters!

As it turned out, It’s a good thing that we stayed a second night. Evidently, Diane dropped her trailer key either in the Walmart parking lot or inside the store. Plus, the new 15 foot sewer hose was too long to fit into the hose storage beneath the trailer. Whew! Steve discovered this before using the hose! After Laurie left to visit friends in Helena, we soon followed and headed back to Helena too. Thankfully, a kind individual found the key and we retrieved it at Walmart’s Lost and Found. Fortunately, D&D had a Rhino Flex brand 15 foot sewer hose that really compresses nicely into the hose storage tube. To end the day, Our Creator provided a magnificent sunset to soak up.

The sunset, sky, mountains, and high elevation vegetation made for a perfect photo.
The sunset, sky, mountains, and high elevation vegetation made for a perfect photo.

On the 28th, we became more acquainted with breaking up camp and hitching up this little Geo Pro to our Highlander. While we consider ourselves seasoned RVers, when working with new equipment, not everything goes as planned. We shook our heads as we rolled out at noon!  In order to go to our destination of Missoula, we returned to Helena. Stomachs feeling hangry and the fuel tank nearing ½ full made for a timely pause for fuel, lunch, and coffee before hitting the road towards Missoula. Once our appetite was satisfied, hot coffee was tucked into the cup holders, and the gas tank topped off, Diane drove us on U.S. 12 West.

Looking good and looking little! Canyon Ferry Lake KOA
Looking good and looking little! Canyon Ferry Lake KOA
We're beginning our climb towards MacDonald Pass!
We’re beginning our climb towards MacDonald Pass!

We drove this route from I-90 to Helena on Monday so we were familiar with it. It follows the Little Bigfoot River and affords such beauty between the canyons, valleys, ranches, river, and BNSF railroad tracks. The autumn colors were probably 75% spent, yet there were swaths of golds and russets. The most remarkable aspect of the drive from Helena to where U.S. 12 intersects with Interstate 90 near Deer Lodge was MacDonald Pass. The average percent grade was 8% and a long eight mile stretch to the summit of the pass. Diane had the Highlander at 52 mph with 5200 rpm for a brief period, where the transmission shifted up and down from 4200 to 5200 rpm. After having first a Ford F-250 and then a F-350, both turbo diesel engines with the Nash, towing the Geo Pro with the Highlander was tested. With the Highlander, we can enjoy 26 miles per gallon without towing. We soon dropped to 10.5 miles per gallon the three days of towing the trailer on this trip. Thankfully we take regular gasoline rather than diesel.

In Missoula, we stayed at the Missoula KOA. It reminded us much of the KOA in Salt Lake City since we were within walking distance to stores and restaurants. Many KOA’s are located near major roads and railroad tracks. This one lived up to the rumble of trains. As they’d experienced colder overnight temperatures, we didn’t have a water hookup. We filled our fresh water tank back at the Canyon Ferry Lake KOA, so we were all set.

Itsy-Bitsy Trailer and Tow Vehicle, Missoula KOA, Missoula, Montana.
Itsy-Bitsy Trailer and Tow Vehicle, Missoula KOA, Missoula, Montana.

On the 29th, we were up and on our way to Pullman. This would be our longest day of driving. We had two ascents and descents, Lookout Pass on the Montana and Idaho border and Fourth of July Pass in Idaho. The grades were more manageable than U.S. 12 at MacDonald Pass. This was still a good test because now on the interstate, the traffic tends to be heavier, speeds are higher. As it turned out, we had heavy rain, resulting in standing water, and risk of hydroplaning in many spots. Steve drove the passes in order to get a feel for towing. He really gripped the steering wheel at times. We’d been keeping tabs on the weather forecast and knew that rain was forecasted. Even more importantly, was noting the upcoming temperature overnight lows, which could easily have snow on the passes instead of rain. Friday was our window of opportunity to get home without concern of snow.

We made it up Lookout Pass at the Montana and Idaho border.
We made it up Lookout Pass at the Montana and Idaho border.
We stopped at the historic Snake Pit Restaurant in Kingston, Idaho, for pie and coffee to go.
We stopped at the historic Snake Pit Restaurant in Kingston, Idaho, for pie and coffee to go.
The Snake Pit Restaurant, Kingston, Idaho.
The Snake Pit Restaurant, Kingston, Idaho.

With daylight hours diminishing this time of year and especially more evident at our latitude, we were relieved to gain an hour coming from Mountain Time to Pacific Time. Happily we can report that with very little effort, our new trailer at 16’4” exterior length fits readily on one half of the driveway at our townhouse. Because it’s not as wide as the Nash, we can easily pull the Highlander onto the other half of the driveway and into the garage.

Unhitched and it fits on the driveway!
Unhitched and it fits on the driveway!

The past five days have been a flurry of activity. The trailer interior has been thoroughly cleaned. To continue tackling the off-gassing odor, an air purifier ran for three days and we ran the furnace and fan. We’ve sifted through the many items from the Nash to attempt to reuse as much as we can. For what we need, we shop locally when we can and then order on-line those items that we cannot find.

On Monday Diane arranged for RV storage and Steve moved the trailer to its spot. The next few days we’ll season the outdoor griddle that came with the trailer. We’ll move the trailer back to the driveway early next week to get it loaded up and fresh water tank filled. Our goal is to head out to camp two or three days next week, weather permitting. It will be good to get even more acquainted with our little Geo Pro and appreciate a much smaller space.

Because there was much to commit to “paper” for this journal/blog post, we will delay sharing the name of our new little trailer until our next post. Hopefully it will be penned in just a few days.

“Happily Retired at the Speed of Sanity”

Take care everyone!

Diane & Steve