Mid to Late Summer

Journal No.1, 2023

Finally, we’ve begun life on the road! Special thanks to narrow road pullouts, gas station water refill stations, and the highly efficient highway system of the US. Our first month began with drive from Tucson to Flagstaff, which was our first time hauling the trailer with our F-150, and the first time we have moved it since building it out beyond the steel frame on the trailer bed. The 5 hour journey felt like 10, as we navigated low tire pressure and an emergency fill up just 20 minutes from Tucson, then a rain storm on a hilly highway, then repairing the front kitchen window with nuts and bolts at a busy gas station, then riding on our first washed out dirt road and setting at our campsite just as a double rainbow shone above us. We were blown away at how beautiful the forest and meadows are, how cute and lively Flagstaff is in summer, and how gratifying it felt to slow down and enjoy our new glamping life after more than a year of constant planning, research, and labor on the Tiny Home in addition to doing our other life things. Our first two weeks we stayed in the Coconino National Forest in Flagstaff, full of gloriously calm moments as well as panic and adaptations to repair and improve our tiny home situation (leaky roof, re-calking the windows, figuring out how the composting toilet works). After two summery weeks in Flagstaff, we did a quick one-night stop up the North Rim of the Grand Canyon in Kaibab National Forest, where we had a stunning cliff view of the canyon while we nestled into the rainy pines and earthy aroma. However our pans to stay there for a week changed the next morning when we found that the cord to our Starlink dish got corroded from the rain disabled the satelite to work in any capacity. Disappointed, we drove back down the windy, steep, wet road back down not even 24 hours after arrival. Since we are doing this full time and our jobs require it, we had to prioritize getting our replacement dish and found BLM Land in Hurricane Cliffs, UT (a the land bordering Zion NP). It was hot in the mountainous desert landscape of Hurricane, and we were tucked in a dusty red-dirt area just outside the park with no option of tree coverage. We spent a day hiking in the colorful sedimentary boulders of Zion National Park, watching the sun set in the canyon from a cliffside and observing the speedy starlings. As beautiful as the surrounding sedimentary rock mountains are, we looked forward to moving somewhere cooler after a week. So we journeyed further north into Fish Lake National Forest near Beaver, Utah. We found a lovely grove of large trees just 20 feet from Shingle Creek, and here we taught Artie to not be afraid of the water. We built little rock dams and mini pools at the creek just outside our bedroom window, I cooked by the fire often, and Isaac tried fly fishing but had no luck.

Artie enjoys the new smells every week, and has become a master bone-locater on our walks. He’s learning a few commands that have come in handy, including “around”, “back”, “down”, “paw”, and “on trail!”. He’s coming in handy when cows lurk around the trailer, and the cattle dog instincts kick in.

We are learning quickly what things need to be strapped down or relocated for our travel days, and the jobs for towing are getting more standard. We always seem to need something from the hardware of camping store, but we’re getting the hang of it. Our items are finding their rightful places and the tiny 128 ft² space feels much bigger compared to our first week.

We’re experiencing so much so fast, which is both exciting and exhausting. I look forward to when we have more established routines and are better at expecting the unexpected when it comes to travel days and general maintenance of a tiny house.

Big takeaways: There is a lot of wild land in America. We will always be a need for more water and propane. Bugs are more of a nuisance than a threat. Going over 65mph with the trailer is an avoidable risk. Rain on our travel days is expected. Cows are the most common animal we see. Folks are who looks like Isaac and I are not common around here. Leave no trace. Always seek out local produce and small restaurants!

Big Goals: See the country! Be in CA for Thanksgiving and AZ for Christmas so we can each see our families. Beat the snow in the Northern US.


isabelle's painted sky ● Copywright 2023