There’s a post floating around Facebook with a picture of a cabin stating something along the lines of- One month in a cabin alone, no cell phone, no tv. At the end you get <some obscene amount of $>. Would you do it?? Well friends, I just completed 2 weeks of the dare. Except it wasn’t entirely intentional, and no one paid me. I added three kids, a husband, and two dogs. And it wasn’t in picturesque cabin, but instead a 1990s travel trailer with all the glory and mishaps that entails. And of course, I loved every minute of it! Ok, maybe not EVERY minute, but you know… most of them.
Tom’s assignment was in Louisville and started the morning after Christmas. We struggled a bit finding a park that was open because of the holiday/ off season. Christmas night we headed out to General Butler State Park with fingers crossed we didn’t have to spend the night in the Walmart parking lot. Surprise- the park was open!
That surprise was a welcome one- the surprise that we had no cell phone service or wifi access, well, that one took a little getting used to. Turned out the only place in town I got service was WalMart. Which, coincidentally, was one of the only stores in town. So you know, that worked out. And I spent more time at Walmart in the last two weeks than I ever had.
Everywhere we went in town I was surprised how little people we saw! We went out to eat ‘downtown’ on two weekend nights and there were maybe 5 other people in the restaurant. I did a little investigating and it turns out Carrollton has a population of under 4,000 (for comparison, the Cincinnati suburb I live in has over 9,000). This is a good example for how ‘unschooling’ or ‘roadschooling’ works for our family. We use our new surroundings to initiate curiosity, which leads to researching information, which from there can branch off into any number of ‘lessons.’ Such as in this example, number comparisons, place value, what is population, etc. etc. Just in case you were worrying a little my kids aren’t getting an education. Which I know you weren’t. But just in case.
If you’re ever in town I don’t recommend Welch’s Riverside Resteraunt- view was nice, but food and service were lacking. Down on Main however was very good.
Without internet it was hard for me to find things to do in town. We did explore the local flea market (which the kids made sure to tell me was much more boring that sitting in the trailer), and the local library which was very nice.
Before heading home Tom was able to take a day off and we enjoyed the Kentucky Science Center (free with our Cincinnati membership we had received for Christmas- thanks grandma and grandpa!). There was so much to see and do we will definitely head there again if we’re in the area.
General Butler State Park
The park was really wonderful. Even the lack of cell phone service became an asset (that is, after the initial withdrawal subsided). Even though it was ‘off season’ we saw park staff nearly daily who were hard at work cleaning the bath house and clearing debris off the RV pads no one was using. There was a lovely lake, herds of deer to be seen daily, and lots of animal tracks to be followed. There is also a lovely lodge, and lots of cute cabins. I’d love to see how bustling the park is during the spring or fall!
One of my motivations in moving into the trailer full time is the way this life encourages us to get outdoors. At home I hardly ever consider going to the playground or taking a hike in muddy and 35 degree conditions. In the trailer we can’t wait to get out there! And oh how we were rewarded each time we bundled up. Now, a normal person could just take this as a lesson learned and apply it to their life in a “sticks and bricks” (as ‘normal’ houses are called in the full time RV community). But no. I’m stubborn, and lazy. I need 200 square feet of motivation to force my hand.
Goodbye 2015. A whirlwind year that started with possibility and seemingly far off dreams, and ended with a whole new reality. A year where four major holidays, one anniversary, and two birthdays were celebrated away from home. Welcome 2016! The year when everything in our Blue World will change. This is the year we will (Lord willing) swap out our sticks and bricks for wheels and adventures. The year I will be face to face with myself. With my husband. With my kids. And nowhere to hide. Let the learning begin for all of us, I am ready!