Fishlake National Forest

After a few hikes and trying to fit in a lot of miles we took a lake day to rest. We found a beautiful spot along the creek with some shade, flowers, and no people to hang out in. We spent the day playing guitar, swinging in the hammock, napping, laying by the creek and taking slow walks. We also gave Roslyn her first bath in the basin with some heated up creek water. She was not a fan of this first one, might have been the bit of wind that started up as we put her in.

We quickly came to love the days we decided to park Walter and stay within about a 20' radius of that spot. Those were the days I nursed her to sleep swinging in a hammock and she'd dance to Joshua playing guitar at night. The times we let ourselves just be and not try to achieve anything were special. Stopping and slowing down are something Joshua and I are terrible at. 

Roslyn, Walter, and this trip exposed that in us and forced us to try things a different way. We learned and made mistakes at this but in doing that we became better at resting and better at loving the still moments almost more than the big showy ones. 

Walter doesn't really go above 65 miles an hour so we were always passed and hustled by but that meant we could soak in the scenery and just trot along while I read books not worrying about when we'd arrive. Roslyn is a mini person with her own schedule, she'd want to get out of her car seat mid ride so we'd stop and pop the back of the van open and play with her for awhile. We were learning to live life a new way and learning to be a new family.


Great Basin National Park

The first national park we made it to was Great Basin. It wasn't a park I knew much about but it's beautiful. The park was busy so we just drove around for awhile and landed at the Bristlecone Pine hike in the early evening. 

Since the trail was still pretty busy we decided to make dinner, and it was one I'm pretty proud of- bacon quesadillas. They were amazing and we had leftovers for lunch the next day. I loved cooking in the van. It took some learning and patience at first but getting to watch Joshua play with Roslyn while I slowly chopped vegetables and worked methodically over the gas stove was tranquil and always in the moment. This meal was a great example of that feeling. We slowly made food and then sat outside and ate while passing the baby back and forth.

After dinner the hot sun and crowds had dissipated so we hopped onto the 3 mile trail. It wove through some beautiful old forest and then opened up with some great views. The higher up you get the more bristlecone pines emerge. They are very very old knotty twisted trees with beautiful textures and colors. The path ends with a bunch of them all together and we lingered for quite awhile. 

Since we did an evening hike and all the campsites nearby were full we found ourselves a bit stuck after the hike. Luckily Joshua had one last free spot pinned on his map but we didn't know much about it. We ended up driving in the dark down a bumpy dirt road that looked like it had no pull offs. Then it just ended in a huge water filled rut. We felt a bit worried until we went to turn the van around and spotted a fabulous camping spot off the road. You could see the surrounding mountains and the stars were the best we'd ever seen. We put Roslyn to bed and sat out in the warm night air trying to capture them in a photo until we were tired.


Ruby Mountains

Being that Walter is without air conditioning we were a little nervous to drive into Nevada. It was quite warm there but Joshua took us up to a hike in the Ruby Mountains where it felt wonderful outside.

We started the hike on a trail following a creek surrounded by pretty greenery. Soon after though the trail gave way to giant snow patches and eventually became just a big snowfield. We strapped on our crampons and continued on the trail, snow in Nevada who knew! Then the trail kinda disappeared and we had to make our own way. We decided the best way was straight up, I only agreed to this plan because he was carrying Roslyn. Straight up was a shorter route and we got to look back where we'd come from with uninterrupted views.

At the top we hung out near a frozen Dollar Lake. Roslyn woke up, we showed her snow and played around a bit. Then I strapped her to me and we took a less steep route back down.

Alvord Desert

Joshua did a great job planning the road trip, free camping spots, route, etc. But he also threw in some roads along the way just because they were scenic or kept us off the highway. I can appreciate that, but it also made it take longer to get everywhere. I complained that I wanted to go to a destination not just drive scenic roads covered in the landscape I am already used to seeing. He must have thought "challenge accepted"  because not too long after my request he took us down a gravel road and drove Walter out onto an all white, dry lake bed.

It was stunning and expansive and very cool that you can just drive all over it. Sadly, it was also very hot so we didn't stay too long but we did run around in awe for awhile. Nothing to complain about in this beautiful spot. I started to trust him a bit more after this. No one can find a treasure of a hike or pit stop like him.


The trip begins

June 6th we set out on our trip in Walter. We felt it only right our first stop was the mountain town that inspired our daugher's name, Roslyn. We love to stop here to eat after hiking or climbing. She slept through lunch, we took her for coffee and a walk down the town street, ran into a VW van friend, and set off again. 

The first day and a half were more about getting distance from all the places we'd already been and to start figuring out how to live in the van. 

We learned one person cooks or cleans at a time. We determined this after we both spilled coffee while trying to help or do two things at once. That our fridge was not working anymore off propane and had to plan out fresh food only a day at a time. That Roslyn at this stage mostly just sleeps so we can do whatever we want and right now she'll adapt easily. But when she wakes up it's nice to make a stop and get out to intentionally spend time with her and pay specific attention to her.

That is what ended us up at Anthony Lake. She was up, wanted to play a bit so we walked around the lake. Gave her some sunshine, stretched our legs. She also spit up while we were taking her photo.  Then we were in Oregon for the night and officially living in our van.