Saturday, April 19, 2014

Goodbye Utah, Hello Alabama -- Steve's Journey

Alabama Sunrise
In December 2013, I interviewed for a position in Pensacola, Florida.  I was still working on a project for my employer in Salt Lake City, so I wasn't ready to make a move yet.  However, in March 2014, the same position was open again, I interviewed again, and received an offer the following day.  The timing seemed perfect as we also received an offer on our house on the same exact day, March 19th. Hindsight, of course, is always 20/20, so knowing all that I know now, I'm not completely convinced that I made the absolute best decision by accepting the offer immediately.

Fast forward two weeks, and unfortunately, our potential buyers changed their minds and backed out of the deal.  Our house was back on the market....and, I had already given notice of my resignation at work.  We were moving forward, in spite of the new reality.  I spent my last week in Utah helping Linda pack up the house & put as much in storage as possible.  It was a whirlwind, with not nearly enough time to get it all done, much less squeeze in one last skiing adventure, which I'd hoped for.

Beautiful view of the mountains south of Moab, UT
On April 13th, I pulled out of our driveway in Sandy with the RV and drove to Green River, Utah with Jake & Genna for company, through rain & snow!  If you'd like to read about our adventures in Green River, check out this post.

Saying goodbye to the family wasn't easy.  I pulled out of Green River, Utah in the morning on Tuesday, April 15th.  It was a long, but uneventful day of driving all the way to Santa Rosa, New Mexico.  I did have one potential screw up when I tried to avoid the I-40 & I-25 intersection by taking a shortcut.  After I got on it, I realized that it was labled "No Trucks".  There weren't any low bridges, but I think the signage was there so the rich people of that part of town wouldn't have trucks driving through their area.  Thankfully, I made it through without a problem.

The following day, I drove from Santa Rosa to Highland Village, Texas, nearby where we used to live.  The next day, I stayed put and got to see many friends from our old church in the small group I used to be a part of.  Later that day, I got together for dinner with the Gordon and Hargus clans and had a great time catching up.  It felt great to be in such a familar place and made me consider the possibility of living there again.

I drove by our old house which we owned from 2002-2011
All the kids just keep getting bigger. Lots of personality from these kids we've known since birth!
Site 6 at Pilot Knoll--this is one of our favorite places to camp ever.  Love this back yard.
After I left the Dallas area, I stopped in East Texas to attend to a rental property I owned,  It was a big mess and I wound up having to spend a lot of money to get it fixed up.  After I left there I made the trip all the way to Alabama in one day.  It was hard, but I knew that if I could do it, then I would have a full day to rest up & orient myself before starting my new job on Monday.

My favorite East Texas BBJ joint
For my first stop, I decided to stay at the Escapees Park in Summerdale, AL. We have been Escapees members for a few years so that we can use their mail service.  They also own a few parks across the country with this being one.  The drive to my office across the border in Florida was a little long, but for a first stop, it was good knowing what to expect.  I wound up staying there for 3 weeks before moving closer to my office.  I loved the shade and massive space between sites.

My first campsite at the Escapees Rainbow Plantation
For the first seven weeks in Alabama, I was alone, even though I flew back to Utah twice.  One thing that I really hated was coming back home to the RV after work, opening the door, and silence... The RV was so lifeless; now when I come home, there is so much life there, and I never want to take that for granted, even if it gets a little loud and chaotic sometimes. I confess that I also do.not.cook.  Don't misunderstand me, it's not that I don't know how to cook, or that I don't prefer to cook, it's that I don't know how to and I lack any desire to learn.  Coming home to the smells of dinner cooking and having my lunch magically appear in the same spot in the fridge each morning is definitely a gift.  

Another incredible Alabama sunrise

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