A Working Vacation

Now is as good a time as any to mention that I really don’t know what you people want me to write about. I try to mix it up but there are 400 or so of you out there every month, silently reading my blogs. So, if there’s a broad type of post you’d like me to write about, here’s your chance to let me know. In the meantime I’ll continue with my completely random stream-of-thought ramblings about travel therapy tips, my personal experiences, and more PT-politics issues than I should rant about on a site that is supposedly dedicated to travel therapy.

The view out the front window at the hut. Pure relaxation and solitude.

The view out the front window at the hut. Pure relaxation and solitude.

This time around, we have a simple travel blog. Hopefully it’s a fun catch up of what I’ve been up to for the last few weeks in the prolonged move from Colorado to Martha’s Vineyard (an island off of Cape Cod).

Kate and I wrapped up work back on April 25th and immediately hiked into the woods for a couple nights in a hut in the snowy Aspen back country. The hike was meant to be 6 miles in, but we inadvertently took the scenic route and turned it into a 10 mile hike – it was well worth it for a couple days and nights of really deep relaxation in solitude without another human around for miles. Upon our return home to our hospital-owned apartment, we busted our butts to get packed for the remaining 2.5 weeks off of work.

We eventually got packed, stowed our winter gear in our usual storage area, and hit the open road. With a final destination of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts, we promptly headed 6 hours West. Kate was taking the second half of her Dry Needling training in Salt Lake City, which seems like a very intense weekend of learning. Learning the skills of dry needling sounds wonderful, but 3 full days of being needled by other beginners sounds awful. Anyways, Kate worked really hard all weekend, and I just played – some hiking, brewery hopping with a good SLC-based friend, watched some horses and boxing on TV, and I found a small traveler’s gem called “The Heavy Metal Shop,” seems pretty self-explanatory. All good things must come to an end, and we needed to start heading East.

Great view of the city during my hikes in SLC while Kate was working hard at her course.

Great view of the city during my hikes in SLC while Kate was working hard at her course.

We hammered the 45 hour drive to the east coast, made it in 4 days including one very long all-day, all-night drive from Indiana to Maine.  At 3:30 in the morning, we stopped outside of Boston to disconnect and drop off a trailer at Uhaul. The world is a weird place between 3 and 4 AM, I think it’s the way the end of some peoples’ day collides with the start of others’ day. Eventually at 7 AM on Wednesday, we rolled into Maine where we would spend time with family, and occasionally zip down to Boston to have some time with friends. 11 days to go before starting work – sounds relaxing, right? No. Wait… Hell no! We had the task ahead of buying a camper to live in for the summer.

Light houses are definitely a prominent tourist attraction here on Martha's Vineyard. So, being tourist, we got right out there the first weekend looking at these things. "Yup, there's another light house."

Light houses are definitely a prominent tourist attraction here on Martha’s Vineyard. So, being tourist, we got right out there the first weekend looking at these things. “Yup, there’s another light house.”

Several days later, we bought a camper in Southern Maine and towed it with our Toyota Highlander, which we have named “MacLeod” (there can only be one Highlander) – MacLeod barely handled it. Transmission fluid heat warning lights and a general struggle up hills were the pertinent symptoms – I set a speed limit of 60 mph for the rest of the time towing the camper and emptied the full sewage tank to lose some weight, no more warning lights. Who new they were throwing in 40 gallons of free sewage with the camper!?

We got the camper back up North and had a few days to visit with family but mostly worked like heck to get the camper ready for move-in. Washing, vacuuming, scrubbing, and caulking would fill the majority of the week before hooking the camper back up to MacLeod and getting down to Martha’s Vineyard. On Friday, we took the short ferry ride from Cape Cod to Tha Vineyahd and have spent the rest of the time setting up camp and moving in. I’ve been dying to share more about the camper, but I’ll save it for a (preview-of-coming-attractions) blog devoted completely to the camper life. Spoiler alert, space is tight in a 21 ft camper.

Here's the ferry we brought the camper over on. We saw it out offshore headed to the cape, in the background.

Here’s the ferry we brought the camper over on. We saw it out offshore headed to the cape, in the background.

So, here I am, hooked up to the wireless internet signal that comes from a box strapped to a wooden post out back of the camper. Inside, I am surrounded by more belongings than should exist in a camper this size. We’ll be living on this camp site for the next 6 months, so I suppose the abundance of supplies is warranted, but we have some organizing to do.  It’s a chilly night, so the propane heater is kicking on and off. Work started two days ago, and so far, the most challenging thing about living in a camper is getting work clothes out and getting them unwrinkled. At 3:30 AM this morning I was walking around the campground trying to find out where a smoke alarm was going off, the detector was outside an unoccupied cabin and fog was setting it off – weird time of day. If wrinkled clothes and a stray smoke detector are my worst problems with living in a camper, I’ll easily take that trade off for a summer full of nights by the campfire.

That’s all for now. You’ve got some blogs about home care and camper living coming up, so if you want me to write something different, you better let me know!

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2 Comments

  1. I am interested in how your jobs have worked out. I am just beginning the process of traveling and this is very helpful……..

    • My wife and I have done more than 20 contracts each – 6 states each, all kinds of settings, contracts through agencies and directly with facilities and we love it. The vast, vast majority of jobs are good and enjoyable – we have only ever had to cancel one contract because of difficulties at work, I think that’s a pretty good record!

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