2015 Summer Journal

Building Community on the Road

We have been in Jackson, Wyoming, for the past week and are having an awesome time. As I mentioned yesterday, we’re starting to get more comfortable with our bus routines, work is slowing down a bit (poor Will was really slammed at the beginning of the month!) and we’re really starting to enjoy traveling the country in a school bus.

Jackson Hole has been especially neat because we’ve been able to meet up with two other traveling couples that were acquaintances in Boulder: Thomas, Brittani, and their dog Malcolm, traveling in their newly renovated van, and Brooks and Lydia, on their way back to Boulder from Whitefish, MT. Having other people around is nice in so many ways, from new conversation topics at dinner to having motivation to get out and explore more than we normally would on a weekday.

We found a great big group campsite in Curtis Canyon, just across from the main campground. With an incredible view of the Tetons towering over the National Elk Refuge below, it really couldn’t be beat! We cooked a great dinner in our electric pressure cooker (I’m really starting to love that thing!) and built a campfire.

Camping in Curtis Canyon, Jackson Hole WY

Our campsite! This is also the first time we’ve used our little easy up from REI.


Camping in Curtis Canyon, Jackson Hole WY

The Grand Teton peeking through the trees in the distance!


Soon after, Thomas rigged up an impromptu movie theater: the side of his van became the screen, and a tiny projector hooked to a Jambox speaker provided the entertainment.


I’ve never watched a movie fireside, with the big dipper rising above, but now that I know how it feels I never want to visit a crowded movie theater again. Who needs popcorn when you have a whole gallon of Wilcoxson’s Graham Slam Ice Cream to share?!

One of the things we always mention when asked about the challenges of living on the bus is the lack of solid community. We’ve had some seriously lonely times, when both Will and I felt down in the dumps about our situation. (Silver Mountain Idaho, I’m looking at you!) I’m starting to see that while we don’t have a traditional community, the traveling to new, exciting areas gives us a really neat opportunity to build strong friendships and new communities faster than we would in a live-in-one-place lifestyle. For example, if we had met these four for a meal or bike ride in Boulder, it would have taken several more activities to get over the “friend” hump (at least for me, who takes forever to make new friends) and that could take weeks. With everyone’s busy schedules, it might not happen at all!

Being here in Jackson is like adult summer camp. Yeah, we haven’t known these guys for very long, but after spending a whole week together I definitely feel comfortable calling friends. Now, when people ask us about the lack of community on the road, we can tell them just how good it can be.

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