Winter magic: White snow, still, sunshine, gray sky.

What is this strange sensation I feel inside of me as my legs move so rhythmically? It’s like a small flame that just lit up from a dull ember. Like a match that had just gone out but strangely reignited and lit up again. It’s small, and it’s weak, but it’s warm and it’s glowing. It warms me from the inside out and reminds me of when that flame was a bonfire out of control, not that long ago. It’s still there – that little flame. If I can just keep it going. I will because I must. Step after step just to move in no particular direction and to no particular destination. Just to go. Forward, onward, to anywhere. You know what I really love?

To walk.


Winter tree. The things you'll see. How happy you can be.

Tonight I love…
to walk. A lot. On and on. Forever.


Letting go…

It’s been a week of letting go.

There’s this pink vase I bought at a rummage sale years ago. Yup, that’s it in the picture below. I’m not even a huge fan of the color pink, but I’ve always loved that vase for some unknown reason. Adam and I have used it to collect spare change over the years. It’s crazy how easy it is to become attached to random objects. There’s not even a history to it. But I loved it.

I let it go.

A portion of the pink vase...

A portion of the pink vase…

We just got done moving out of our studio apartment, and even though it was small, it was still surprising to see how much stuff we collected over the one year that we lived there. While trying to pack so we only had two carloads-full, we had to let go of a lot more stuff. In addition to “things,” we let go of having a permanent address. It’s invigorating, to be honest. I can’t say I don’t have a “home.” I’ve got home in Adam, the woods, friends’ homes, family, love, and so much more. I feel at home in many places. What we don’t have is a physical residence. No address, no roof. No bed and no refrigerator. We’re in limbo. We’re homeless. We’re vagabonds. Whatever you want to call us, it’s us. And I’m actually a little surprised at how exciting it feels! I feel a sense of freedom from this, and it’s making all the upcoming adventures that much more real… and better.

Today is my last day at work, and also what has inspired this post… there is so much going on to make it feel super-real. Letting go of my job and my time here is a little harder. There’s people here that I love. A lot of them. And today has been great. I just responded to a friend that emailed me to ask how I was doing, and I responded without even thining, “Really good. It’s been an awesome day. I feel overloved.” It’s true. I’ve gotten over 100 emails and people I barely know stopping me in the hallways to wish us all well. The people in my department made a giant poster that was spread across my computer this morning. They created two t-shirts for me. One with the Disco Pickle on the front so it can be seen while I wear my backpack, and the other has photo-outtakes of me from photoshoots I’ve done (4imprint uses its employees for models in our print catalogs). They are incredibly fun! On top of that, they put together a lunch for the department — subs, cupcakes, soda and Snickers! AND… the company had a pig-out day today – it wasn’t in my honor – it was for National Peanut Butter-Lover’s Day or something — but it’s good to go out in true 4imprint style! 4imprint is famous for their pig-out days — there is food EVERYWHERE in this building. It’s incredible. Silly me, I brought my lunch today. Sorry, brussel sprouts… the peanut butter wins.

My desk on the morning of my last day at 4imprint.

My desk on the morning of my last day at 4imprint.

Front of the one of the T-shirts. :)

Front of the one of the T-shirts. :)

Yesterday I wrapped up my YMCA membership. I stopped by only to empty out my locker and return my laundry bag and lock, but when I scanned my card, it buzzed at me! A small thing, but it jumped at me saying, “You’re out of here, girl! Go!” I met a lot of really awesome people at the Y, and I just hope to make it back one day for a Monday night kickboxing class with Erin and crew!

Rachel and I also did a little PCT presentation for our Meetup Backpacking group on Monday. I can’t say I’m letting go of the Meetup group, because I hope to jump in on one of their trips here and there in between trucking runs. But I won’t be seeing a lot of those people for a while, so it’s hard to “let go” of.

I think the hardest thing to let go of was my cat… because pets are like your children… but a child I could’ve found a way to bring with me. But a cat? Not really so much. Especially a 12-year-old cat. Finding her a home was completely stressful for me. I so badly wanted her to end up somewhere she’d be happy, and I mostly just couldn’t stomach the thought of her in a cage, patiently watching all the people walking by her and adopting the kittens. It’s a lot to take in a 12-year old cat. Especially when you have a cat of your own. And a dog. And a baby. But my friends Pam and Ken did just that. I am nearly crying out of thanks for their love and kindness in adopting our Peanut kitty. They are amazing pet owners, and a couple of my greatest friends. So to Ken, Pam, Crayton, Charlie and Truman – THANK YOU for taking her in! Big time.

This was on our last night with her. She was being so cute. Little stinker.

This was on our last night with her. She was being so cute. Little stinker.

I'm gonna miss this girl. So much.

I’m gonna miss this girl. So much.

So… I suppose after it’s all said and done, letting go of that vase was easy. But the people… I will never let go of YOU. I have special memories with all of my friends that I’ve gotten to know – whether through work, the YMCA, Meetup, random places… you have become part of my family… there is something along the way that will remind me of each and every one of you. So letting go of people is actually impossible. And that’s the way it should be.

So it’s never really good-bye, but more like “See ya later!” Right? I’m getting all sentimental here, leaving my workplace of 10 years… I’m seeing tears and getting hugs and really feeling some love.! It’s overwhelming, but completely amazing. Thank you to everyone that has touched my life, I love you, and I’ll see you on down the road!

Robin and Adam’s Big Adventure

The rumors are true. Adam and I are leaving Wisconsin and going on a lengthy adventure. We’re going to live differently. And we came up with a plan, in phases. We gave these phases names, as we do with many things, mostly for fun. We have a counter in our kitchen we call “Bob.” Because if there’s a piece of mail on that one counter… in the kitchen… by the microwave… it’s a lot easier to say, “It’s on Bob.” Our Montana vacation was called “GUS.” We had no specific reason for that name – it was Adam’s first reaction to my question, “What should we call our Montana trip?” He replied, “GUS.” So it was decided.

These next steps in our life are more than a vacation, they’re going to be much bigger. So we planned it out and named it in phases.

Phase 1. Betty. This is the name we gave phase 1 of our adventure because it sounded like a household name. Betty describes our living “normal,” as society would call it. Work during the week to earn a paycheck so we can pay rent and bills, watch sitcom reruns on TV at night, and enjoy benefits like health insurance and gym memberships. During the last half of the Betty phase, we moved to a small studio apartment, dropped cable and internet, got rid of “stuff” and began to pay down small debts and save, save, save. The original Betty for us was a grind and made us feel stuck. Thankfully we planned this phase to be temporary — change had to happen. So while we had to embrace Betty for a while, we worked on our escape plan. It was… I mean, IS an exciting escape plan that will fulfill dreams and keep us close. I can’t express how excited we are for phase 2.

Phase 2. Alexander Supertramp. If you’ve seen the movie “Into The Wild,” you’ll know where we got this name from. But we aren’t mirroring our plans or travels to Mr. McCandless’ grand adventure. We just thought the name was fitting.

Phase 2 naturally split into two parts.

The first part is where Adam and I road-trip around the country to visit some family and places, then travel to Washington and drive the west coast all the way south to the Mexican border. This first part of phase 2 will take approximately one month, maybe a bit more. We will live cheaply — sleeping in the car, at friends and relatives’ houses, campgrounds, hostels… with one splurge in Bozeman, MT, while most of our meals will be cooked on our camp stoves.

The second part is when our road trip will bring us to the end of our west-coast drive, ending near Campo, California, where I will touch the wall that divides the US from Mexico, put my loaded backpack on my back and take my first steps north on my thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail. Its a 2,650-mile journey through California, Oregon and Washington states and I will hike it all the way to Canada. This will take between 5 and 6 months, and somewhere roughly around 6 million steps. Adam will parallel this long hike by car and meet me along the way in towns to help with chores to keep me going. Resupply, laundry, blog updates, finding good food and places to get a shower. Once we reach Canada we will begin work on phase 3.

Phase 3. Mack. We’ll start this phase with some research so we can decide where I will go to school to earn my CDL to become a truck driver. Adam already has his CDL, so we will find a fitting company to work hard for and team-drive. I get a lot of interesting looks when I tell people about this part. I’ve worked in an office for over 10 years, doing a job that I honestly love, but why not dive into something you’ve always wondered about? For the adventure! Besides, it’s just another thing for me and Adam to check off of our dream list as a couple. And it seems like a good transition after living mobile along the PCT. We’ll just be living mobile in a new and exciting way while earning some dough. How awesome is that!?

Phase 4? We have lots of ideas and possible names for it. But we’ve got a few years of phase 3 to figure out the details. So first things first.

We’re excited and ready to begin. I hope you enjoy following this crazy journey. And it’s really okay if you think it’s crazy… because it kinda is. That’s just how we’re gonna roll. :)

This quote has been hanging in my cubicle for more than a year. It’s been a daily inspiration for me.

Don’t forget to add your email address to the right, at the top of the column. You can get an email notification whenever I post a new entry. Once I’m hiking, I’ll have a new post (with photos!) for every day, but they may come in bunches, as I’ll only be able to post when I get to towns with wi-fi and some interwebs for me to take advantage of.