One Month

Lone Rock Beach at Lake Powell - this place is one I will return to again, and again, and again.
Lone Rock Beach at Lake Powell – this place is one I will return to again, and again, and again.

First off, I would like to thank everyone for reading my blog. This week has seen the most views of it since I started it two years ago. Not sure why, but I’m so glad people are reading and seem to be enjoying it. Thank you so much.

On the 11th, it’ll be one month since I pulled into my RV spot. One month since I could stop the cycle of loading all my furballs into the car every morning, praying the hotel clerk wouldn’t see that I had five carriers loaded into my small car! One month since I didn’t have to get up and just drive, drive, drive, every single day.

YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ok, sorry, I just had to yell that. I’m back now. And calm. 🙂  And I do remember what happened 14 years ago on this date. How could any of us forget?

Lone Rock Beach at sunset. Every minute, the view changes - it's wonderful and enchanting.
Lone Rock Beach at sunset. Every minute, the view changes – it’s wonderful and enchanting.

Over the past month, I’ve had issues with the RV (don’t you love getting to know your neighbors because you’re apologizing for sewage coming out of your abode onto their property? Yeah…….) (In my defense, the folks who transported my trailer put the sewer hose into the wrong place.) The second day, I was just getting out of the shower when I heard a knock on my door. The owner of the park had stopped by to see about my sewage problem from the day before, and realized i was spewing my grey water all over the neighbors (yep, same ones), but again, in my defense, there was a Y connector that my neighbors had set up, and something was worn out. Oh, and the fourth night I was there (a Friday night, of course), I locked myself out of the RV. With the spare keys inside……yeah……. so that involved me and a neighbor trying to break into the RV, finding out that was useless from many different aspects (windows, the skylight over the bathroom, etc.), before I finally called a locksmith. She swore up and down it would have cost a couple hundred dollars, but in reality, it cost only $45. Needless to say, I made copies of my keys and hid them outside the next day.  And one day, a few fellow campers heard my AC unit making a horrible racket and one also works for my organization. She called HR and asked them to contact me, as she knew it would be a very hot day and I had animals inside the RV. (That was the day I went to the Grand Canyon, actually.)

That was my welcome to rv living, or RV Living 101 class, you could say. By the way, to those of you who are RVers, I watch youtube videos, etc., but are there good websites to learn about RV maintenance in general? As in checklists of what to check for and do before winter hits, etc.? 

Taken from inside Lower Antelope Canyon, outside of Page, AZ (close to Lake Powell).
Taken from inside Lower Antelope Canyon, outside of Page, AZ (close to Lake Powell).

I’ve also gone to numerous national parks – the $80 it costs to get an annual pass pays for itself. Each visit to a national park on its own would cost at least $25-30.  I’ve been to Bryce National Park (twice), Grand Canyon North Rim (second time in 13 years), Zion National Park, Arches National Park (last night of my cross country trip), and Lake Powell (twice). It’s hard to pick a favorite among them, honestly. They are all so different and beautiful in their own right. Lake Powell was the most recent, and it was the only time I have heard honest-to-goodness waves crashing against the shore in over a month, so I think that might be edging itself out there in front for that reason.

Another shot of Lower Antelope Canyon. The light changes constantly, and is amazing. It's on Navajo Tribal Land, so all tours are guided.
Another shot of Lower Antelope Canyon. The light changes constantly, and is amazing. It’s on Navajo Tribal Land, so all tours are guided.

I’m in the middle of my fourth week at the new job. I feel like I’m establishing a new routine, both at work and in my personal life. I’ve carved out time in my day (very early in the a.m.) to get to the gym, and have started taking my chromebook to the sanctuary so I can work on things over my lunch break (including blog posts!) My “weekend” days are not on the actual weekend which is good and bad. When you’re trying to meet people, it can be hard when your only days off are the ones when they are at the office or their job. But if there is one thing I’ve learned over the past two years, it’s to not be complacent. So I put myself out there, and try to meet others. And in my days off, I’m making sure I see more of this beautiful land called southern Utah. 

The beauty of this area is a huge part of why I moved out here. I wanted to see beauty and get out there and have an outdoor lifestyle. I’m sure that come winter, it may be more difficult to do so, but until then, baby…..I’m getting out there as often as I can! I’ve pushed myself to walk in places at the parks where before I would have been scared to walk due to my fear of heights. With every “push” I give myself, I feel myself getting stronger. It’s a wonderful feeling to know you can be at any age and still be growing. 

My phone doesn't do the best with the lighting in the canyon, but I just love how the sandstone looks, and curves.
My phone doesn’t do the best with the lighting in the canyon, but I just love how the sandstone looks, and curves.

Settling In, and Coming to Terms with My New Life

Um, yeah... The Grand Canyon is 78 miles from where i live.
Um, yeah… The Grand Canyon is 78 miles from where i live.

So I’ve just started my third week at my new job. I have to say, it’s some weird feelings that I go through sometimes.  A little bit of shock and disbelief.  Happiness. Some scared moments when I think ” how am I gonna do this on this new salary?”  The excitement of seeing new and amazingly beautiful places, the feel of trying out some new hiking shoes, meeting the ladies who work out in the morning at my gym and realizing, wow, they lift heavier than me!  (I still need to find my local “tribe” but I’m working on it.)  It’s just very hard to put into words. I mean, I went from living in a studio that cost me $1100/month in rent to an RV lot that costs $215 plus an RV payment of $82. How does this reconcile in your head?? Ever??

Another shot from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.  i can go as often as I like!!!
Another shot from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. i can go as often as I like!!!

I got my first paycheck yesterday. Only for one week of work because of the way the pay periods fall. Needless to say, it’s less than I have ever earned.  I think, like, EVER. Yesterday, at work, as usual, I found myself cleaning a bunny’s butt. Yes, I have a law degree and a masters in library science, and there I was, pulling poop out of a bunny’s butt. (Have you ever heard someone make that statement before?? If so, WHO was it, and HOW can I meet them??!!) And then later on, I found myself cleaning the bathroom. It’s one of our weekly chores to do – no maid service for us. Again, I was wondering, um, is this really my life??!! (Not in a bad way, mind you. Just….it’s….. how do I put this? Surreal? After all this time and planning and thinking of making such huge changes, I’ve actually DONE it.)   But you know what? It’s all good. I knew coming out here my life was going to change in every aspect possible. And I take a look at my surroundings every day, even just the drive to work, and I cannot honestly believe such beauty exists. But don’t take my word for it. Just take a look at some of my pics. That is all.

This is from my walk the other day. Yes, my walk!!
This is from my walk the other day. Yes, my walk!!
A larger shot of the image that is my header on the blog now.
A larger shot of the image that is my header on the blog now.

A good friend of mine said he hoped I would still continue blogging after moving out here, as he said I had inspired him. (He’s even going meatless some days of the week and considering changing to vegetarian!!) Oh hell yeah, I’m going to keep blogging! (I wasn’t so sure about the inspiring part – I just write what makes me feel good to write and on topics that I think resonate with some folks.)

So yes, folks, I will keep talking about getting out of debt (just a different kind now) and chasing simple dreams, and all that good stuff. Please stay with me! Thank you for reading!