Bringing “LIFE AT THE SPEED OF SANITY” blog up to speed! Installment One: January-May 2022

[Note: This is a lengthy post as it also serves as a journal for us and our family.]


After receiving a non-renewal of lease letter on January 18, 2022,  we devoted time to develop a plan for relocating back to Colorado. [See prior post dated January 28, 2022]


We spent the better part of February madly “rightsizing” and selling, donating, or giving to family various household treasures. Being realistic, we anticipated a smaller home in our future. Despite the frenzy, we stuck to a previously planned camping trip to Whidbey Island, Washington. It served as a calming segue to the future pace we anticipated.

We donated Grandparents’ Vale set of china to Palouse Treasures Thrift Store. All proceeds go to support persons with disabilities in the community.
We donated housewares, shoes, books, and clothing to the Goodwill in Pullman.
Housewares, sheets, and towels went to Family Promise of the Palouse in Moscow, Idaho.
We donated several items to RTOP Theatre that they can add to their boutique or to their costume or prop departments.
2022-02-17 Cap Sante Park, overlooking Fidalgo Bay, Anacortes, Washington on Fidalgo Island.

MARCH 2022 

Until the third week of March, we kept packing, donating, selling, and organizing for an upcoming move. 

Steve’s packing up our art pieces.
Furniture that we’re selling has been moved into the garage for ease of loading into purchasers’ vehicles.
Diane keeps busy sorting family archives by category and filling a recycling bin with extraneous records.

On March 23, we embarked on an abode-hunting trip that would last nearly five weeks. Thankfully, we are “old hats” at living in a trailer and traveling. Plus, it was a good way to avoid Airbnb or hotel costs as much as possible. With S’More, our 15’ Geo Pro trailer loaded, we stayed at a hotel in Butte, Montana the first night. Then we had overnight campsites in Sheridan and Douglas, Wyoming before arriving at KOA campground near Fort Collins, Colorado. From this location of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, we explored Fort Collins, Loveland, and surrounding areas. On-line we also kept tabs on Denver, Aurora, and Littleton rental listings. The traffic was intense and rental prices outlandish. In our back-pocket of planning, we kept Grand Junction, Colorado tucked away as a back-up. “Because, you just never know!”

Our one night at the KOA, Sheridan, Wyoming was a bit chilly! Because of freezing temperatures, they didn’t offer water hookups yet.
The one night at the KOA, Douglas, Wyoming provided a beautiful sunset.
It was nice to have six nights at the Fort Collins/Lakeside KOA, Fort Collins, Colorado.

APRIL 2022 

On April 1, from Fort Collins, we shifted gears and drove 90 miles to our next stay at Chatfield State Park near Littleton. We have enjoyed several stays at this state park as full-time RVers. Thankfully we were able to reserve only two months out for a 13 day stay. With spring break vacationers, this state park is quite popular. 

Towing the trailer through Denver’s early afternoon traffic on I-25 wasn’t pleasant. Perhaps we’ve been away from Denver too long! We did this drive with our larger trailer over the years too.
Our campsite for 13 nights at Chatfield State Park gave us views of the Hogback along the Front Range.

Yet despite calling and following up on oodles of listings in the Denver and Metro Area with no success, we placed our gaze and research efforts westward 250 miles to Grand Junction.  Already, we had a list of potential rental properties. Having anticipated going to Grand Junction, we opted to reserve at the Grand Junction KOA while we were in Fort Collins. It’s a good thing as there were no empty sites when we arrived!

On April 15, we left the Denver area for Grand Junction where we had a 7-day stay at the KOA campground. The weather forecast called for more snow in the mountains, so we were prepared and the Highlander did a great job of towing up to the Eisenhower Tunnel and over Vail Pass. Shifting into the manual setting certainly helps the transmission!

Towing the trailer from the Denver area to Grand Junction, we had some snowy conditions on I-70 westbound at higher elevations.

In Grand Junction, knowing that even their rental market was short on supply, we were up at the crack of dawn and reviewing listings on Zillow, Craigslist, and Facebook Marketplace. We drove around the community and past various listings. Each time we’d inquire about availability, we’d hear that the listing was just rented. Finally, we completed an application on Zillow and focused all efforts there.

Before bed we marked our “favorites” on Zillow. At 6:30am the next day, there was a response on a townhouse listing. Within 30 minutes, we had traded messages with the owners and had an appointment for a showing a few hours later. This was just what we were seeking with ample space for our household, an attached one-car garage, central air conditioning, no yard maintenance, and a very nice location.

Our campsite at the KOA in Grand Junction, Colorado while abode hunting.
There’s SO much less traffic in Grand Junction than the Front Range of the Rockies.

On April 22, a week after arriving in Grand Junction, we had a lease signed, renter’s insurance secured through a Grand Junction State Farm agent, utilities transferred to our names, RV storage reserved, and a U-Haul truck reserved back in Washington. We emptied S’More the Trailer of bedding, clothing, food, etc. and off we left towards our Pullman home.

We have our next abode rented! Grand Junction here we come!
April 22, 2022 We placed S'More the Geo Pro in RV storage in Grand Junction before returning to Pullman to finish preparing for our move.
It felt a bit odd leaving S’More the Geo Pro in RV storage in Grand Junction.

Without the trailer in tow, it only took us two days of travel to get back home. We stayed the first night in Park City, Utah. Admittedly, a big king bed felt heavenly after our bunk-size beds in the trailer. Park City brought back wonderful memories of past vacations or stays. After another long day of driving, the second night found us with some slim pickings along I-84 in Oregon. We stayed at the Oregon Trail Motel in Baker City, Oregon. It was in very stark contrast to the Marriott in Park City. Although we had a nice walk around Baker City and viewing their public art.

We stayed in Park City, Utah. It even snowed overnight!
A most unique stay was experienced at Oregon Trail Motel in Baker City, Oregon. It was economical with the room, bathroom, and bed quite worn around the edges.

On April 24, we crossed back into Washington over the Snake River. Before we knew it, we were back in Pullman. What relief! We were SO ready to hug our Pullman family and catch up with them again. 

We’re crossing the Snake River so just a bit over an hour from our Pullman, Washington home.

The next morning, we were ready to hit the pavement running with only three weeks until our move. A spiral bound notebook had oodles of notes and lists that we jotted down over the five weeks of our trip. Major checklist items: reserve a two-person crew to unload our household from the U-Haul in Grand Junction; make an appointment for the car to be serviced soon after moving to Grand Junction; resume packing; and, deep clean the townhouse before vacating the home.

MAY 2022 

Squeezing our last meals, morning coffee and conversation times, and grandbaby cuddles with our family were the essentials those last days. It was a heart-tug to leave our son, daughter-in-love, and grandbaby. We were all part of a “Buddy Bubble” for the better part of two years during the COVID pandemic. Our hearts will hold tight to those lasting memories!

One of our last walks in our NW Terre View Drive neighborhood on Pullman’s Military Hill with this beautiful view. Kamiak Butte is in the distance and one of our favorite hiking spots.

On May 13, Steve received a call that the 20 foot U-Haul truck that we wanted was not available. He had carefully planned the placement of boxes and furniture. This threw a bit of a wrench into that plan, as we ended up with a 26 foot truck with too much room. Both Pullman and Moscow are university towns, so we and many students were grappling for U-Hauls at the same time.

Steve tended to the many details of calculating space and packing the 20' U-Haul truck that he had reserved several weeks ago.
Steve tended to the many details of calculating space and packing the 20′ U-Haul truck that he had reserved several weeks ago.

On May 14, a lovely couple, Beth and Eric, who we met through our Pullman family, invited us over for a delicious breakfast complete with his home baked bagels. It was so nice to actually sit at a table with them. During COVID restrictions, all of our other contacts had been in their front yard when picking up our order of baked goods from their pop-up cottage bakery or over coffee and outdoor seating at a local coffee shop. They were very gracious.

May 16 was U-Haul pick up day in Moscow, Idaho (10 miles from home). As soon as the truck was in our driveway practically using a shoehorn, Steve began loading boxes. In the afternoon, our son came and worked with Steve into the evening to finish loading and securing boxes, furniture, bicycles, etc. As our bed was loaded onto the truck, we opted to stay in a hotel. It was divine after a day of hard work!

The truck in the driveway with enough room for our neighbors to drive past.
The truck in the driveway with enough room for our neighbors to drive past.
Steve has the two-car garage staged to make loading the U-Haul and Highlander easier.
Steve had the two-car garage staged to make loading the U-Haul and Highlander easier.
Bidding farewell to our Pullman, Washington, Terre View Drive townhouse.
Bidding farewell to our Pullman, Washington, Terre View Drive townhouse.

May 17 was a big day. We awoke early in order to return to the house, vacuum the carpet, tie up loose ends, and load the car with the last of items. Our final stop before driving away from our community of Pullman was for extra hugs and “see you laters” with our family. Our eyes “leaked” as Steve drove the U-Haul truck and Diane followed with our Toyota Highlander filled to the gills as Pullman receded in our vehicle mirrors.

Thanks to Jeremy and Steve, our household is loaded except for what Diane has in the Highlander.
Thanks to Jeremy and Steve, our household is loaded except for what Diane has in the Highlander.

We traveled U.S. 95 south along the beautiful Palouse Hills terrain in southeastern Washington and southwestern Idaho. This was mostly a two-lane highway through a picturesque landscape that we’ve enjoyed the past ten years. The Nez Perce Reservation lends itself to meaningful native history and stunning beauty. The first night we stayed in Ontario, Oregon at a hotel needing to rest our weary bodies and emotions.

Along U.S. 95 through Idaho, we stopped to stretch with a beautiful view of the Salmon River.
Along U.S. 95 through Idaho, we stopped to stretch with a beautiful view of the Salmon River.

May 18 was a very long day of driving on busy I-84 across Idaho and northern Utah to Heber City, Utah. In all of our many miles of driving around the country, I-84 can be really busy and fast. We’ve learned our lessons from prior travels with our Nash trailer to avoid the bulk of Salt Lake City’s I-15 traffic. While we weren’t towing this time, Steve found the U-Haul to be a very rough ride and fully loaded, not something to take through Salt Lake City.

Our overnight stay at Heber Valley Hotel in Heber City, Utah was a welcomed night after a long day of driving Interstates 84 and 15.
Our overnight stay at Heber Valley Hotel in Heber City, Utah was a welcomed night after a long day of driving Interstates 84 and 15. We also have some fond memories of vacations in this area..

On May 19 we were up at the crack of dawn and on our way towards Grand Junction. The route we took was U.S. 40, a route with which we’re familiar. It brought back memories of former full-time RVing stays in Vernal, Utah and a 2014 visit to Dinosaur National Monument. Interestingly, we missed a turn and ended up on a Colorado 139. Yet, this afforded us a new drive on part of the Dinosaur Diamond Scenic Byway. While beautiful, it sure posed some challenges for the U-Haul truck on the climb over Douglas Pass. The Ford 450 engine of the truck labored heavily!

Our trusty Toyota Highlander and the 26' U-Haul truck at the scenic viewpoint near Douglas Pass, Colorado.
Our trusty Toyota Highlander and the 26′ U-Haul truck at the scenic viewpoint near Douglas Pass, Colorado.

Once over the pass, it was a stunning downhill stretch through the Book Cliffs and across the wide open northern reaches of Grand Valley to Loma, Colorado. We stopped at the Colorado Visitor Center in Fruita in order to call our landlords and arrange to meet them to obtain the keys to the townhouse in Grand Junction. Devoting a couple of hours to unloading what we could, we settled onto our tent camping air mattresses and slept quite comfy on the master bedroom floor.

May 19, 2022 2:02pm Yay! We made it to Fruita, Colorado so 20 minutes from our new abode. We called our landlords, Paulette & Charlie, to arrange meeting them at the townhouse to get the keys and garage door opener.
It’s May 19, 2022, 2:02pm .Yay! We made it to Fruita, Colorado so 20 minutes from our new home. We called our landlords, Paulette & Charlie, to arrange meeting them at the townhouse to get the keys and garage door opener.

On May 20 and just like clockwork, the two-person unloading crew arrived at 8:00am. Within 90 minutes the truck was unloaded, furniture in place, and boxes placed in their assigned rooms! We vouched to ourselves and our family that for future moves, a crew would load AND unload!

May 20, 2022 and it's moving in day! Thankful for the two person unloading crew!
Thank you to the two person unloading crew!

Whew! This was quite the post to write!

Stay tuned for “Installment Two of Bringing Life at the Speed of Sanity Up to Speed!”

Happily Retired at the Speed of Sanity,

Diane & Steve


Our Version of “Where’s Waldo?”

Perhaps this could be coined as our version of “Where’s Waldo?”

(But first, do you remember the “Where’s Waldo” books that originated in 1989. This would help create the context of our return to

It’s “been a minute” since our last post. [No kidding! How about 17 months plus?!] The new header image on may provide everyone a clue as to where we live. Stay tuned as we reinvent our posting strategy!

Beautiful Independence Monument in Colorado National Monument, Colorado.

For your reading enjoyment, here’s some information to accompany the photo:

First of all, this post falls on July 4, 2023, which is Independence Day in the United States.

Independence Monument stands prominently in Colorado National Monument. Obtaining this view one makes a short hike along the canyon rim near the Visitor Center in Colorado National Monument.

Independence Monument is 450 feet in height and consists of sandstone. John Otto arrived in the Grand Valley area in 1906. Living alone in the canyons, he carved and hand-picked trails. He first climbed Independence Monument on June 14, 1911, which was Flag Day. With a flag presented to him by President William Howard Taft, John flew the flag from the summit of Independence Monument that day. Each Independence Day, he would climb it to raise the flag. In the years since his death, this is an annual tradition. While we don’t have the exact history of everyone who has made the Independence Day ascent, we have read that over the past 23 years, the Mesa County Search and Rescue Team makes this climb and raises the flag.

While John Otto is considered the founder of Colorado National Monument, we are ever mindful of the beautiful history that spans millennia and our Native Peoples who made this area their home. The beauty is stunning! 

“Living Life at the Speed of Sanity” or so we think!

Diane & Steve

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)