RV Life – Week 1 – Badlands Nat’l Park

Good morning dear friends and family! It has been quite some time since the last time I have posted, and for those of you who haven’t been in touch with us personally – let me just get you up to speed.

To condense a very long story short, we purchased a building lot up in Tobermory Ontario and will be moving our family up there. The initial plan was to move up this summer to start the children in school in Lions Head, however as it would turn out, it takes a lot of time to build a home! We have met several roadblocks and will not be able to start building until late fall/early spring. The plan is to have the home framed up, and then Bryan and I will take over and finish the interior.

This does, unfortunately, leave us without a home for several months. SO! We decided to make lemonade out of the lemons we were given and fulfill a dream that we dreamt up last summer while traveling abroad.

We will be spending the next little while RV-ing the US!

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We hit the road last week and have travelled almost 2,000 kms so far.

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In true “Bethany-style”, we will be keeping our costs down and boondocking as often as we can. Boondocking, or dry camping, is when you live out of your RV without any services (water, hydro etc).

The beautiful thing about the States is that you can actually camp in their national forests, BLM lands for FREE for up to 14 days! The only issue of course is that you have no services.

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Obviously I am looking to keep our costs down (campgrounds can add up to a LOT!) but we love the seclusion of being in the middle of nowhere surrounded by the beauty of this stunning planet.

More importantly then that, we want to teach our kids how to live a life in the moment, unplugged and kinder on the planet.

I will mention, Bryan purchased a Thousand Trails membership before leaving which allows us to stay in campgrounds with services (hello showers!!) for a few weeks in each month.

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Sure we will spend half the month as hippies and the other half in luxury with playgrounds, pools and other kids. Balance people, BALANCE!

Our first stop was Badlands National Park in South Dakota and our first boondocking experience was right on the edge of the park overlooking the red cliffs. It was absolutely amazing and we were bitten by the RV bug big time.

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Visiting Badlands is a little like visiting Mars. There is nothing but rock and sand formations built up over millions of years. It’s pretty incredible to see the bands of colour showing the sedimentary rock buildup.

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The rock is quite soft making it difficult to walk across and any bit of rain changes the environment completely. It erodes so fast, that apparantly after 500,000 years there will be nothing left of these mountains but a flat plain.

During our visit we got to see many bison, big horn sheep, prairie dogs and our fair share of birds. We even had several sheep make their way past our trailer one morning!

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I had heard that RV’s break down a lot, so I was already prepared for the problems we would potentially face. What I wasn’t prepared for was the amount of problems!

In one week we needed 4 brand new tires on the trailer (we were one bump away from an explosion), our water heater broke, our fresh water tank cracked and started leaking as well as our sink, we had a mouse and no mouse traps (I am pretty sure it was even in bed with me at one point), our power tongue jack broke, our batteries weren’t charging so we couldn’t get our slide in and out, and as I am writing this post a tire in front of us just exploded on some guy’s boat trailer hitting us in the windshield leaving a nice little tar mark.

Yes, we have had our fair share of big problems, and little ones too insignificant to mention, but I must say – we are having an absolute blast.

We have been talking about this trip for over a year now, and I am feeling so unbelievably blessed to get to spend this time with my family, my children, surrounded by the most jaw dropping scenery I have ever seen.

Until next week friends! xo

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