I'm a runner. I love to run in new places. I love camping. I love to camp in new places. I love to get out and see the world. So, we won a trip through a geocaching contest. We planned to go to Chicago (we had a voucher and could go anywhere). So, we picked a season, and I picked a weekend that I could find a cool race to run. And then we get a race shirt souvenir and see cool things.
We planned on a trip to Yellowstone for the summer. We usually camp 2-3 times a summer, so no big deal, right? But this one requires about 10 days for us, with sleeping at 7 different sites. And putting the tent up and taking it down that many times. And I'm a runner, right? So I went to marathonguide.com and looked along our travel route and found a city that has a marathon and decided we should go to Yellowstone during that time. Clever, don't you think? But . . . I thought about sleeping in a bag in the tent the nights before and after the run, and decided if I have to, I have to. But . . . then I started thinking about how some KOA's have camping cabins, there are some cheap cabin/lodge rentals in the area . . . but it gets expensive.
Now, like I said, we camp a lot (enough anyway), but my husband is the one who puts up the tent and takes down the tent everytime. I remembered last summer how he kept looking at the tent trailers at the campgrounds and thinking it would be fun to rent one for our long trip this summer. So we tossed around the idea, but renting them gets expensive, and if you're gonna rent one, why not just buy a used one? The new ones are really expensive (when you're coming from a camping budget). However, when you're talking spending money in Chicago that didn't come with the prize money, marathon entries, bike ride entries, camping fees, gas prices for summer travel, etc. . . the summer expenses start to add up.
We looked at the budget and finally said: Next Summer. But I still begged and pleaded - just in a teasing way. I really knew we couldn't afford one - just kept saying how badly I really wanted one. I didn't ask for one for mother's day. Last week my husband and I went for a run and he started jumping up and down and saying he found something for me for mother's day and that he wasn't sure it could wait. Then he ran off and made me catch him before he would tell me. He couldn't wait because he found a super super huge deal - the guy actually brought it down to about half of what the going rate for this thing is, in it's current condition. So, we went to look at it.
We had to wander through the entire lot of new mammothly huge RV's, and even the fancy new little ones, until we got to the back of the lot and found the one we came for. It's a 1984, but has held up pretty well. It's needs some minor repairs and a little bit of cleaning and it's really small. Small is good, though. For us, that means it's still camping. It will get us up off of the ground, and it's small enough to not add a huge gas guzzling expense when we tow it. It will fit our family into it, and yet we won't want to be in there all day, so we'll still get outside and explore when we're camping. And if we end up not liking it for some reason, we can sell it at the end of the summer and likely get more than we paid for it.
So, when we get to Ashton, Idaho on vacation, I can spend the night before the marathon on a mattress. And after the marathon, we're planning on driving a few hours, getting to Twin Falls, Idaho, and surprising the kids by taking them to the NASCAR track (sort of a reward for my family hangin' out while I run a marathon). After a marathon, a car ride, and hours at the race track, it'll be so nice to wheel on in to the campground late, pop up the trailer and sleep on a mattress again and not hassle with a tent in the dark with tired mommy and tired munchkins and daddy. Akbal will tell you a slightly slyly different story of why the trailer was purchased - but mother's day present or not, we bought the camper. We're picking it up on Thursday. Just think of how many more races I could find and where we might end up on vacation!