We Launched!

Bessie and Tranquility are ready to roll!
Happy Campers!

Yesterday we launched! The last week has been intense and exhausting as we finalized downsizing for now, moved what we’re keeping to our 10′ x 10′ climate-controlled storage, loaded the truck and trailer, and cleaned the rental home in order to pass along the keys to our wonderful landlord.

We underestimated the time for the above, thus left Denver at 1pm MDST with our truck, Bessie, and trailer, Tranquility. Last month we made campground reservations for the first few days, knowing that we wanted to stay put for several days to catch our breath. 

Adrenaline kept us going the 400 miles/9 hour drive to our campsite. It was difficult to set up camp in the dark, yet we did so in record time of 30 minutes! The inside of the trailer was quite the scene because we loaded the last of the clothes, toiletries, extra bedding, books, etc in record time a.k.a. “not a tidy situation.”

Just after midnight we seemed to fall into bed as solid as weights! We fell asleep to the pitter-patter of rain with windows open for a breeze.

We slept in this morning. Enjoyed our French press coffee and oatmeal. Walked the campground. Read and napped. And… left the campground to seek out cell service in a small Kansas town in order to contact our children. We are taking the opportunity to share this post and also make posts to Facebook and Instagram.

We will create posts as we travel based on cell service or free Wi-Fi at public libraries, coffee shops, or restaurants that offer it. Our Hotspot service was used too much this month, so we’ll be “throttled” to a slower speed for our Wi-Fi portion of the plan.

Our best to you!

Traveling full-time at “Life at the Speed of Sanity”!

– The Felt’s

 

Countdown to Launching!

Filling up the storage unit!

We’re quickly approaching the final days to launching full-time in our trailer, Tranquility, and truck, Bessie. Our time, energy, and attention have been devoted to many tasks these last weeks. We’ve not shared a post on 12mph recently as we need to remain focused to complete our downsizing while at the same time preparing to live in our trailer full-time. Once we gave our notice to the landlord four weeks ago, it placed a stake in the ground and claimed a date on the calendar!

We have experienced a fair amount of success with Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and Next Door to advertise household items for sale. Plus several family members and friends have acquired some of our treasures. What doesn’t sell by the middle of next week will be donated. If we had a time lapse video running, you’d see the household shrinking! It’s pretty remarkable. We will definitely post more details in retrospect once we have added time.

A few weeks ago we rented a 10’ X 10’ climate-controlled storage unit. It’s the same place we used several years ago and find it clean, easily accessed by elevator with dollies that they provide, secure with the manager living on site, and away from the worst of the traffic, making it fairly easy for schlepping a number of loads.

A reminder to everyone that we have moved to a virtual, traveling mailbox. Thus, we’re unable to receive actual mail. We’ve gone paperless, which will also save some trees! You may email us at speedofsanity@gmail.com.

Our launch day is Sunday, July 29. We will begin our adventures by heading east into the heat and humidity of the great Midwest. May our air conditioner work faithfully for us!

As we get into a rhythm, we will share posts with you more often. If you’d like to follow our journey closer, with almost daily posts, you may find us on Instagram as speedofsanity.

Woo-hoo! We’re ready to enjoy “Life at the Speed of Sanity!”

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Thanks for your support and encouragement!

 

We have names!

After careful consideration and having a bit of time with our truck and trailer, we have given them names!

Bessie
Our 2011 Ford F-250 pickup is now known as Bessie. She is named after Diane’s Great-grandma Bessie May McClester Vale. Bessie was of Irish descent (McLaughlin and McClester). In the family archives, Diane’s Mom Betty wrote some biographical information on Bessie and Great-grandpa John Vale, Sr. The story goes that “John was traveling down the road in the farm area near Clinton, Pennsylvania when he was forced to take the side of the road to escape collision with a team of spirited horses being driven by what appeared to be an equally spirited young woman with red hair.” Later in the story, “If John was feeling adventurous, they would hitch up Bessie’s matched team and enjoy an invigorating and exciting race across the countryside with Bessie at the reins.” They married in 1899! Bessie also served as the business manager for John, who was a portrait artist. She would frequently tuck a hand-tooled leather portfolio beneath her arm and meet with potential clients (including Andrew Carnegie) to arrange for John’s next commissioned work.

Bessie May McClester Vale & John Webster Vale Sr – 50th Anniversary, 1949

Our truck’s “personality” is such that it is spirited with the turbo diesel engine. There are times when we’re on a rough road that she gives us an invigorating ride across the miles. Recently we took her on a 4-wheel drive adventure with Diane behind the reins on a forest service road in Pike National Forest. Bessie gave us an exciting trip up, over, down, and seemingly all around. She took to the trailer easily and pulls it up mountain passes and over boondocking terrain with very little effort. Since we purchased the truck on March 8, 2018, International Women’s Day, it seems fitting to honor Diane’s Great-grandma Bessie.

Tranquility
Our 2018 Northwood Nash 26N is now known as Tranquility. On July 20, 1969, the first lunar landing took place on the Sea of Tranquility on our beautiful Moon where the first human footprints were made by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. We both recall this spectacular event as we nestled around living room TVs in our childhood homes with our parents and siblings. While visiting the Great Sand Dunes National Park on September 21, 2012,  we patiently waited as the park ranger set up a powerful telescope one evening and pointed the scope at the moon, focusing on the Sea of Tranquility. It was a quiet night except for the gasps and comments of those peeking through the telescope.

Superimposed Super Moon over Great Sand Dunes by DianeFeltPhotography.com

We anticipate many incredible adventures led by Bessie pulling Tranquility. Earlier this week, they took us to a very tranquil location where we set-up camp without any hookups (it’s called dry camping or boondocking). The view was stunning during the day with the snow-capped mountains in the distance, at twilight with gorgeous sunsets, and in the dark of night with the star-studded sky.

Spirited and tranquil all in one package. Happy Trails lie ahead! We anticipate launching to full-time RVing status by the end of July.