Today marks one year since we started living, working and traveling full time in our Airstream. One year ago feels both so incredibly distant, but also like it flew by! We have learned a lot in the last twelve months — about ourselves, about our airstream, and about what we hope to get out of this lifestyle. Here’s a look back at our first year as nomads:
We travelled 7,997 miles across 16 states:
(We spent two isolated, quiet nights in Cedar Point, IA and have nothing to show for it. Sorry, Iowa)
We visited 24 National Park Service sites:
Joshua Tree National Park
Death Valley National Park
Saguaro National Park
Petrified Forest National Park
Badlands National Park
Wind Cave National Park
Glacier National Park
Redwood National Park
Lassen Volcanic National Park
Yosemite National Park
Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument
Montezuma Castle National Monument
Casa Grande Ruins National Monument
Devils Tower National Monument
Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument
Cabrillo National Monument
Harry S. Truman National Historic Site
Minuteman Missile National Historic Site
Manzanar National Historic Site
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge
Mono Basin National Forest Scenic Area
…and one ghost town (Bodie, CA)…
…the world’s only corn palace (Mitchell, SD)…
…and a cheese factory (Tillamook, OR).
We drank some beer…
…and some liquor…
…and some wine!
We boondocked for the first time in Wisconsin on a family friend’s farm…
…and stayed at a Harvest Hosts for the first time in Nevada.
Travis ran a half marathon in Death Valley…
…and we learned how to play pickle ball.
We did a lot of hiking…
…and a bit of relaxing.
But most importantly, we were able to spend a lot of time with family and friends!
As you can see, it was a great year! We have a lot of amazing adventures planned for 2019, and we look forward to sharing them with you!
We spent a week at the fantastic Blue Springs Campground in Fleming Park in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, which is right outside Kansas City. The campground is run by Jackson County Parks + Rec. It’s well maintained, gated, and has two camphosts onsite that take turns manning the entrance booth. Travis had to travel to Minneapolis while we were here, which is why we picked this particular campground — it’s about a 40-minute drive to Kansas City International Airport. The Royals and Chiefs stadiums are about a 15-minute drive and downtown is about a 25-minute drive, so the location is pretty fantastic. It was quiet and peaceful during the week, while the weekend was a little more lively with the arrival of weekenders. We had full hookups at a rate of $33 per night. If we ever travel through the Kansas City area again, we will definitely return to Blue Springs Campground!
Address: 5400 NE Campground Road, Lee’s Summit, MO 64064
Phone Number: (816) 503-4805
Water Spigots Throughout Campground
There are so many things to do in the area that we easily could have spent another week here!
The campground itself is located in Fleming Park, which consists of two lakes; Blue Springs Lake and Lake Jacomo. There are plenty of seasonal water-centric activities such as fishing, sailing, swimming, and boating as well as a number of hiking, biking, and horse riding trails.
There is also a reproduction of an antebellum farming community, Missouri Town 1855, comprised of buildings and homes that date from 1830-1880 that were dismantled in their original locations and moved here to be reassembled. There are chickens, sheep, a horse, a mule and pigs that live on site.
In another area of Fleming Park, there’s a native hoofed animal enclosure where you can feed elk and American bison.
There are some great museums in Kansas City that I highly recommend visiting.
The National WWI Museum and Memorial was designated America’s official museum dedicated to World War I in 2004. I spent two hours there and barely scratched the surface. The museum tells the story of the Great War and related global events from their origins before 1914 through the 1918 armistice and 1919 Paris Peace Conference.
After the museum, I ate lunch at The Russell, just a short drive up the street. The menu is limited, but I had a hard time choosing as everything sounded amazing. My sandwich was delicious and I grabbed a yummy cupcake to go.
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art maintains a diverse collection of over 40,000 pieces of art including contemporary, photography, African, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, European, Chinese, South Asian, Japanese, American Indian, and American. Whatever your flavor — they have it. The best part?! The museum is free!
Lee’s Summit is also in close proximity to Independence, Missouri, which is the hometown of President Harry Truman and the location of the Truman Home and Harry S. Truman Library and Museum. The house, which he and his family lived in before, during and after his presidency, was bequeathed to the United States upon his wife Bess’s death and is taken care of by the National Park Service. Nothing has been touched and it’s so interesting to get a glimpse into their lives after their White House years. Unfortunately, no pictures are allowed in the house.
After the house, we visited the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum, with a replica of his Oval Office and other mementos from his life and presidency. He and Bess, as well as their daughter Margaret and her husband, are buried in the courtyard.
Also in Independence: His childhood home and high school, Clinton’s Drugstore (his first job), the church where the Trumans were married, and the Jackson County Courthouse where he served as judge.
We loved exploring the area around Lee’s Summit and Blue Springs Campground and hope to make it back in the future to what else the area has to offer.