October 31 - Change in Plans

We've been busier than a three-legged squirrel getting ready for winter. Without getting into all the details, here's a brief list... install new solar system on little camper, trouble-shoot and fix battery problem on little camper, change bushouse oil and filter, wash/wax bushouse so it at least starts the winter gleaming like a new one, various suspension enhancements on the truck so it handles little camper better, moving stuff from bushouse... some of it to little camper and some to our apartment here at the farm... and then moving some of it back again. Then there's the long list of smaller jobs that seems to grow longer as things are completed and checked off... not unlike the parable of the loaves and fishes. It might be a miracle.

I've had a little more trouble sleeping these recent days... something I've rarely had trouble with before. Falling asleep usually isn't the problem. But if I awake during the night (a common occurrence, I'm told, with older folks) my mind starts grinding away at this or that... problems grow to monstrous and demonic proportions... and sleep becomes a destination that remains unattainable, over there, un-reachable. My suspicion is that our lifestyle change may be at the root of this. Bushouse... little truck camper... apartments here and there... moving stuff from here to there... planning to drive from Wisconsin to Washington through wintry weather... there's a lot going on. And a lot that still needs to work itself out.

Of course, when morning rolls around and a cup of coffee is poured into the hopper all these things fade into a proper reality. Those demons shrink back to gnat-size, and are barely remembered. Maybe I've been parked in one place too long.

And now our plans are changing again. Instead of leaving the bushouse here in Wisconsin and spending the winter bouncing between our kids guest rooms and the truck camper, we're now planning to move the bushouse out to Oregon... probably starting the trip next week. Once the motorhome is parked and secured, we'll fly back to Wisconsin and do the trip a second time with the truck camper... perhaps taking a different, more southerly (warmer) route. It's a repositioning of our resources to the Northwest.

In the long-run we know we'll settle in the Northwest. First, we really like that part of the country and all the recreational opportunities that exist. Second, it's where our kids (and grandkids) are. Back in the late 80s and early 90s, we lived in the Portland area for 8 years... which is why the kids both settled there. We found we liked the climate and considered the wetter and cloudier winter a fair tradeoff compared to the much colder and nearly as dreary winters of the Midwest. And speaking of tradeoffs... the long dry summers of the Northwest are among the best we've experienced anywhere. Location-wise, the NW is nicely positioned between the desert Southwest (which we love to explore during winter) and Alaska and the Canadian Rockies, an area we plan explore much closer in the future. There is no perfect place, but for us, the Pacific Northwest comes close.

What spurred this idea of moving the bushouse now? I discovered the other day that we're now number 7 on the waiting list at the SKP Coop Park in Sutherlin Oregon and it looks like we'll be able to grab a membership (and our own RV lot) sometime in the next few months. Because we're near the top of the list we can also rent on a monthly basis until that time. Having our own RV community home base provides options both now and in the future. While that future evolves... while we see if the truck camper is going to work for us... while we see if we like the RV coop thing... we can use the bushouse as our home. If it looks like something that will work we may trade the travel-ready bushouse for a more sedate trailer or fifth wheel... something we can leave more or less permanently in Sutherlin... and continue our explorations with the little camper. And while all this works itself out we're much closer to our kids and grandkids.

So next week will be a big deal for us. After almost 6 months we'll hit the road, head west, and into our future.
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