The end of the year is a time of year to reflect and think of all the places we went and things we did. And to acknowledge that none of this would be possible without the kindness of friends and family and people who became friends along the way.
The nomadic lifestyle definitely has the potential to be a lonely and solitary endeavor. But, thankfully, this has not been the case for us in the last 18 months since we took our home on the roam. In fact, despite being in our wonderful neighborhood in Denver less, we have stayed connected to our family and friends through social media and making time around our work schedule when we do journey back to Denver.
It has also enabled us to visit friends and family who live afar as we journey through their area of the country. And also to get to meet and know family that we never met before, uniting through a shared bloodline and family connections on Facebook.
Nancy and Joe Clark are an example of that. Nancy and I connected through the James Gang Facebook group. She is a cousin of my mother’s, and I had heard of her and my great aunt and uncle, Tom and Dolly. They were popular family members and so loved.
When I started this blog and announced our adventurous intentions to the world, Nancy was one of our first followers. When we came to the Phoenix area in mid-November, we contacted Joe and Nancy and they showed us around. We had a wonderful time with them, and it felt like we had known them forever.Nancy and Joe Clark with us in Tortilla Flat, AZ.
Nancy has a wonderful sense of humor!
When we pause for a moment, we are grateful to people who have come into our lives at the perfect time and opened their homes (and yards and driveways) to us for a “moochdock” as we like to refer to camping on the property of friends and family.
We met our sweet friends, Dan and Peggy, when we were in Michigan in July 2018. The campground we were staying at near Traverse City filled up on the weekend, I was gone visiting friends and family and working and Hans wasn’t sure where to go as there was really no vacancy in that part of the country on the weekends as summer is prime time.
Dan graciously offered Hans a place to park on his beautiful property and explore all that Traverse City and the Leelanau Peninsula has to offer in the summer time.
We were so grateful for his kindness. He said he had never offered his place up to any one before so we felt very special.
Our friends, Jerry and Linda, who live outside of Chicago also came through for us in summer 2018. They are avid RV-ers themselves and have a 50 amp plug in their driveway. It was so comfortable to have a great visit with them and also visit family in the area.Jerry and Linda’s beautiful yard in West Chicago. The Rigatos know how to have good time in their backyard.
Our composting toilet that we are so proud of and grateful for would never have happened without the hospitality, support and expertise of our friends Wayne and Kathy on the western slope of Colorado. We fondly refer to their beautiful home and acreage as “The Docking Station.” They are always ready with a delicious meal, great conversation and good coffee, not too mention fresh eggs straight out of a chicken’s butt!
Our dear friends Chris and TR let us camp on their beautiful acreage not far from Denver International Airport at the end of the summer. It was great access to work and family to take care of business and obligations of “real life” that eventually must be handled.Chris feeding something horses near her 38 acres.
Brother Ben and kids.
And my brother Ben has bent over backward to make a very nice situation for us on my family’s ranch in Central Texas. He has installed a 30 amp plug and a water line to make it feel like our home away from home.￼My brother with 2 of his kids.
My Mom and her husband, Danny, always welcome us with open arms and a willingness to spring for a hot meal and let us moochdock for free and even let us store keepsakes in my childhood bedroom.
Our most interesting place that we recently stayed in November was on a ranch called The Little Outfit Ranch outside of Patagonia. TThe Little Outfit Ranch.
We met the owner Pete through another new friend that we became acquainted with when we were visiting the area earlier in the year. The LOR was originally a homestead when southern Arizona was first becoming settled. Pete’s parents had acquired it from the original homesteaders. Lots of interesting things on the Little Outfit Ranch.Pete has all kinds of cool toys!
Old schoolhouse on Little Outfit Ranch.He really is! 😁
It had sweeping views from Hill 50, as our campsite was known, looking out over the San Rafael Valley and beyond to the hills of Mexico in the distance.The beautiful San Rafael Valley.Hans making new friends at the Little outfit Ranch.
One of our friends, Constance, who is a talented artist, even made a model trailer for us to celebrate our new lifestyle of adventure.
We even owe our paddle board and and canoe to the kindness of a stranger whom Hans met when he crashed a watercraft trade show at a convention in Oklahoma City. He struck up a conversation with a man who happened to be the designer of the Aquaglide products we went with.￼On the paddle board getting towed by Hans in the canoe.
As we close out this year which has been one of the fastest in my life, I am so grateful for and humbled by the presence of the amazing and generous people who have graced our lives. I hope I can impact someone’s life in as positive a way as so many friends and family have impacted mine.
And I am reminded that no matter how much the media and politicians like to emphasize our differences, when it comes down to it, we as humans are more alike than different.
All the best in 2020 and to All a good night!