Sawtooth National Forest

September 3-12, 2018
Sun Valley/Ketchum, Idaho

Before seriously considering Ginger as an addition to our travel pack, we had taken her on a drive in our truck to make sure she could handle car travel. She seemed to be very mellow about the whole thing, and even though I was still a bit nervous, she handled the experience of breaking camp and traveling with us like a champ.
The girls had to figure out a system for taking turns holding our new travel buddy.
Seems to be handling it ok!

We spent 10 days boondocking in Sawtooth National Forest near Sun Valley, ID. We had a nice, quiet site a couple of miles down a dirt road on National Forest land. It was very peaceful and quiet, and 10 minutes away the cute little town of Ketchum offered any amenities we needed, however severely overpriced.

Not a bad parking spot…
The girls had such a great time playing around the stream that ran through this valley. (Minus the experience Sunny had of running over a hornet’s nest and getting stung about 30 times…that moment was a bit terrifying.)
We were unsure of how Ginger would react to the ever-changing scenery of RV life. We knew once we let her out there would be a chance that she might wander off, but we hoped that even if that was the case, her life with us no matter how brief would be an improvement over being a stray in Pocatello. We still decided to be overly cautious for awhile, so she had to mostly observe any outdoor fun through the screen door.

I feel like I hardly had a chance to appreciate the calm, serenity of the Sawtooth Mountains around us, as my mind was elsewhere. My main distractions at the current time are major prep for a project launch in NCW called Beyond the Frame, that I will share about in more detail at a later time, as well as the fact that it was our first week of homeschool, plus the new addition of a pet in the house. So despite my peaceful surroundings, my mind was a busy whirl of managing multiple fronts. I even had to skip out on a family hike to Chocolate Gulch, complete with homemade brownies, in order to spend the day at the library and coffee shops to get some extra work completed.

It’s not been an unhappy amount of stress; in fact I find it pretty invigorating. But it has complicated our normal family routine, and shifted our dynamic since I’m even more mentally checked out of my immediate surroundings than usual. Brad and the girls got to enjoy several hikes in the beautiful Sawtooths. And we were grateful for another library with policies that were accommodating to guests.

Time for another year of Road School to kick off again! Coral: 1st Grade Sunny: 4th Grade Day: 745
Back to school pictures! Coral’s first day of 1st Grade at Fitzgerald Road School.
Sunny’s first day of 4th Grade in Fitzgerald Road School.


The high and low temps recorded on our indoor thermometer were pretty extreme – we were so hot in the afternoons and too freezing to climb out from under our blankets in the morning!
Ginger was NOT a fan of Coral’s orange cat house slippers.
Our newest addition is now always part of the mix.
Movie night, now complete with cat.
Even Brad slowly began to warm-up to our new companion.

We began to take Ginger out of the camper occasionally, but were careful to keep her very close at hand.

Just a girl and her cat.

Two days before we rolled out, another full time family found us on Instagram and reached out because they were camped nearby. We spent one fantastic afternoon at a playground and a second day hiking the nearby Proctor Mountain and going out for burritos. We could have spent days and days longer together, and hopefully we will get the chance for that at some point down the literal road. But for now it was another bittersweet meeting of kindred spirits. Sweet because it was such a joy to connect with new friends, and bitter because we knew it would be cut very short.

Having a blast on our hike with new friends!
How am I so lucky to keep meeting such amazing people?

So I recenter myself once again in a place of gratitude – grateful for another successful week living on public land, grateful for meaningful projects to keep my mind and hands busy, and grateful for new relationships with new people that continue to make me optimistic about our adventure and about humanity in general.

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