Full Circle and Fresh Start

From Port Angeles to Spokane WA there are two steep grades on I-90 that we would have to drive before making it home. We’d gotten the truck brakes checked at Les Schwab along with getting the trailer brakes checked and the bearings packed before we left Vancouver, WA.

Loaded and ready to tackle that mountain
Loaded and ready to tackle that mountain

I’ve had such a fear that the brakes would fail us in our last leg of traveling, especially after the smoking brake incident. In my mind those mountains were the only things keeping us from making our travels complete and I could finally breathe a sigh of relief. To my surprise they weren’t as bad as I had imagined, especially after some of the previous passes we encountered during our travels.


Going over the Snoqualmie Pass
Going over Snoqualmie Pass

After cresting the last steep hill I started looking through music on my I-tunes and almost every song that I played seemed to be about coming home, the feeling of being home and going home.

Wake me when we get home. Until then, please do not disturb
Wake me when we get home. Until then, please do not disturb

There are so many songs that talk about home, if you only listen to the words. In every ounce of my being it felt so right and wonderful.

I am happy to be going home too !
I am happy to be going home too !

Finally tears of joy… The elephant that’s been sitting on my chest for the last 5 months was gone and I could finally breath. The smile on my face was no longer forced, the feelings of relief were real, and we were really going home!


Wake me when we get home…Unless we are stopping for a burger!
Wake me when we get home…Unless we are stopping for a burger!

As happy as I was, to my surprise there wasn’t a parade for us when we arrived into town. Driving through Medical Lake I waved to strangers on the road, imagining they were cheering for us returning home, knowing what a long way we’ve come. I asked the guys, “where’s our welcoming committee? Why wasn’t there a parade for us?” No sooner had I stopped laughing at my own joke and we were back at our house to drop off some clothes and out came our neighbors to say Hello. There was “TLO” The Loud One standing in his usual spot, watching our every move, rocking back and forth, leaning on his cane, sporting a scruffy beard that he must’ve grown over the winter. Our music blaring, story-telling, hitch hiking neighbor (who we’ve befriended) kindly offered his yard for us to park in until our renters moved. Last but not least, the trailer dweller next door, who lacks in hygiene and teeth, and exceeds in foul language, came out to welcome us back. Ugh. We did have a welcoming committee, just not they way we would’ve liked. Oh well. We couldn’t stand it before we left, are able to laugh about it now and will hopefully somehow learn to embrace the differences and live in some kind of harmony… Only time will tell with that one! Once again, life is definitely a trade off.


My wonderful husband who has taken drove every mile we traveled.  His last haul before making it home.
My wonderful husband who has driven every mile we traveled. His last haul before making it home.

Until our little house comes available, we are snuggled into an RV park called Alderwood RV Resort here in Mead, WA.

View from our trailer at Alderwood RV Resort
View from our trailer at Alderwood RV Resort

I am not joking when I say snuggled. The sites are so narrow; you are either kissing a tree with your RV slides on one side or doing it as you come out the door on the other.

Up close and personal with nature
Up close and personal with nature

They must not have had slides in RV’s when this place was designed.

Coming out the front door, the bush only gets in the way if you go left
Coming out the front door, the bush only gets in the way if you go left

They were kind enough to let us double dip (us both staying in the same site) and it is really a cute set up with their landscaping and indoor pool. It’s not too shabby at all.

Us from a distance, living next door to some big money
Us from a distance, living next door to a high dollar RV

We also have a couple other perks with staying here, one being that there is a huge empty lot back behind the RV Park where the dogs are able to run once again. The other fated blessing is a Snap fitness right next door. As I had mentioned previously, we’ve put on a few extra pounds.. We are both at our highest weight either of us have ever been. We’ve decided to do something about it. As of Monday March 31, 2014, eating right and exercising will become our new way of living, a new and different lifestyle.

YUM, real food, so long cheese dip...except for cheat days that is :)
YUM, real food, so long cheese dip…except for cheat days that is 🙂

We bought the book Choose to Lose by Chris Powell, who we love watching on Extreme Weight Loss and always feel so inspired by their stories and his passion for others transformations. We are both looking at loosing at least 30 lbs each and are super excited to get started.


First book I've ever bookmarked to reference in the future
First book I’ve ever bookmarked to reference in the future


Now that we’ve come full circle, at our last destination I can tell you how I really feel… GRATEFUL! I am so glad to be alive, to be here, to no longer be out on the road. I am finally beginning to feel like myself again, but wiser for the experience. Since October, when we left I’ve felt like I was running cross-country wearing full snorkeling gear, flippers and all.

A dream achieved rarely comes as it had been dreamt, non-the less, it’s become a reality.


I had visions of myself feeling carefree and soaking up every experience living this RVing lifestyle. I thought I was going to be this bright shining light and flourish in the entire adventure. Truth be told, I totally shut down, experienced feelings of anxiety and had panic attacks. I would cry about the littlest thing, days of travel and planning became the most dreaded feelings. The longer we traveled the less I felt like myself, the more disconnected I became with anyone around me. No matter what I wanted to feel, think and do I couldn’t make myself be how I wanted. It has been a humbling and difficult time for me, and I now completely accept that I am a girl who likes to be in one spot and visit places in a CAR and stay in a HOTEL! The ideals of oneself and the truths are not always joined… definite note to self on that one. After all this let me just say, praise the Lord for this dream!

The well traveled dogs, looking forward to having their yard back
The well traveled dogs, looking forward to having their yard back


Never will we wonder what full time RVing is like. We wont be planning on this lifestyle when we’re old and grey. We unloaded lots of material things that we didn’t need. After living in this small of a space, moving into the little house will feel huge! No longer is Mitch working at the Prison. We all got to make memories together, and Mitch and Papa have a closer relationship for it. We met such wonderful people. The dogs got to enjoy beaches near and far, something that they never experienced before. For all that and more I will cherish this experience and look back on it with the fondest of memories.



Find treasures thought my journeys to re-home on eBay

10 thoughts on “Full Circle and Fresh Start

  1. Welcome home. Here in Medical lake waving a flag at your return. I have enjoyed the story of your travels all along the way.

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. Welcome home folks! I’m now a truck driver for the mailroom at the prison. It sure beats being on call. Hugs

  3. Shawna and Mitch, Welcome home!
    I’m David, Alice’s friend from Chuck’s who also set off across the country with his wife, dog, and faithful kitty in tow to find the American dream only to realize that it might have been right back where we left it.
    We too wrote a blog, starting out with all the good intentions and for all the right reasons only to find that RV life was not for us. We found ourselves questioning our choices and wondering why this new found freedom wasn’t bringing with it all the joy and happiness that we had envisioned. Why couldn’t we kick back and read a novel on this journey, why didn’t we feel like riding the bikes we had hauled all the way to Maine on the back of our RV, why didn’t we embrace the “journey” for what it was? We look back at the planning stage, the paring down of our possessions, the purchasing of vehicles, the informing friends, family, and work place of our intentions and you can see how excited we all were to take the plunge. You are not alone in your final conclusion that this style of life was not for you. We are now tucked away in our little cabin in the Gorge celebrating the mundane. We have decided that we need a little piece of the world to call our own and connect to. We can’t say we are sorry we launched our adventure, nor that we brought it to an end. Life lessons and learning what we truly are looking for. A good line in a Sheryl Crow song, “it’s not getting what you want, but wanting what you have”.
    We are lucky to have been given the chance to test the waters of RV life and find them wanting. We both were given the opportunity to explore both ourselves and this country, and will be better for the adventure.
    Just wanted to write you guys as a couple of kindred spirits.
    Enjoy your new/old life and know you are not alone…
    Dave, Jerani, Max, and Erley

    1. Hi David!
      I remember reading about your initial travels! Mitch and I are so glad to know that we are not alone in the feelings we’ve experienced along this journey! We really are kindred spirits with you guys. Your comments touched our hearts and really comforted us. So appreciated David. I saw pics of your cabin purchase last fall and it is gorgeous!! So very happy for you and you lovely lady. Please take care and hope we cross paths sometime in life 🙂

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