Mark, our dog Ares, and I bid farewell to Oregon, cherishing the memories our final day spent exploring the fish hatchery and the captivating Multnomah Falls. These experiences marked the perfect conclusion to our delightful journey, enriched by reuniting with friends and savoring the charm of the Portland Area.
The Drive to North Dakota
Our compass was now set for Dickinson, North Dakota – an unexpected choice, you might say. I bet you are thinking, why Kallie, would you want to go to North Dakota in the winter? Believe me I am now wondering the same thing… But I had an amazing opportunity to work for the Forest Service at the Little Missouri National Grasslands Medora District- so into winter weather we went! Our journey through Idaho and Montana was rather smooth with only a few snow filled days as we had been traveling behind a large blizzard. Our final night of the journey was spent in Beach, ND ( ironically lacking any beaches) in a rest area parking lot with many other trucks and Rv’s because the highway was closed to get any closer to Dickinson.
After a very cold night using a space heater and running the van to keep warm we moved forward to what would be our home for the next six months- Government Housing! We met up with my supervisor to get checked in and then got to unpacking our belongings from a very small van into a very spacious 2 bedroom trailer. We had way more space than stuff for the first time in a LONG time.
Then it was almost Christmas! So my family came for a visit! We battled snow storms, swam in an indoor heated pool at my parents hotel, ate at almost every restaurant in town, and had an amazing Christmas spending time together. We also got to go to Theodore Roosevelt National Park for the first time and see the wild horses, elk, deer, bison, and prairie dogs!
Christmas day was an amazing time spent with our little family. I bought Mark a PS5 with the help of friends in Oregon, who hid it from him for a few weeks, and my parents, who got him a TV so he could use it, and it brought him to tears. Mission successful. We spend the day enjoying setting up the games and having a great dinner together.
After my parents left Mark and I were left to enjoy our short term home. We have had many little adventures the past few months, spent a few weekends at Theodore Roosevelt National Park, and have done some small hikes with Ares- but mostly we have been getting cabin fever staying indoors while the weather is 14 below. My co-workers keep telling me that it’s almost spring, but I have a feeling it’s winter year round here and everyone is lying…
I loved my position working at the Forest Service and am so grateful to have had the opportunities to experience days in the field and learn things I would have never known about grassland wildlife, oil, wild horses, oil, walking many people through using recreation.gov working front desk, and of course oil. I have met so many kind and amazing people here who are all willing to help me learn and grow.
Mark and I needed a winter home base so he could work an internship without freezing in the van. We also needed some time to save up money and make some larger purchases to improve our life on the road and this has given us an amazing chance to do that.
However… I think we are very ready to get out of North Dakota and start adventuring again. We will be avoiding winter weather as much as we can for the rest of our lives.