Going travelling

When we decided to retire, we wanted to go traveling right away and then figure out the rest of our life later on. Before our last day even came, we had planned a nearly four month trip to the US that included a lot of national parks, a long, long hike, a family wedding, several visits with friends and family, and a road trip.

After my last day of work, I only had a week to help prepare the house for the boys and pull together everything we would need on this long trip. It was a bit tricky to think it all through, so I relied heavily on Google Tasks to keep it all moving along. The other thing we decided was to minimise the amount of things we would change for our hike as we wouldn’t have time to really test any new equipment. This made things a lot easier as I didn’t have to think about a new backpack, sleeping pad or anything major. However, since we were doing so many different things, we had to pack for three different modes; car camping, a long distance hike, and being with friends in families with restaurants and civilisation.

In the end, we managed to get everything into two checked bags and two carry-ons. We used Ikea Frakta bags to take our hiking gear and a few other bits that fit. Then our day packs for the rest. We also decided that we would buy a cooler and cheap, larger tent for car camping. As for the house, we cleaned everything, put away all our personal stuff and worked through Ryan’s list of things that he was afraid to do without us. This including things like getting the MOT for the car, insurances, a Costco run and more. The only disaster was the combi-boiler died on our second last day and the boys, with some support from us in Utah, had to get it repaired.

I will write more posts about each phase of the trip, but the basic agenda was as follows:

  1. Fly to Salt Lake City, Utah where we get a tent and cooler
  2. Visit Arches, Las Sals, Zion, Bryce and Cedar Breaks National Parks and the Navajo Nation
  3. Visit Las Vegas
  4. Go to Mammoth, CA and then Lone Pine to start our hike
  5. Hike the John Muir Trail (JMT) from South to North (NOBO) for 28 days
  6. Visit Martin in Lake Tahoe
  7. Visit the Lomond’s in San Francisco
  8. Go to Linda and Keith’s wedding in Boulder
  9. Spend a week in Breckinridge with Angela’s family
  10. Drive to Ephraim, WI via South Dakota with the Murray’s
  11. Spend a week in Ephraim, WI
  12. Spend a week in Milwaukee, WI and visit Brad and the Weiss’