Our travels, exploits, and adventures

Posts tagged “Adventures in Colorado

How Portable is a Tiny Home? Our CO to NY Adventure

We are asked this question often. . . how portable is a tiny home? Or. how portable is YOUR tiny home? Well. . . it took us a while to write this post for many reasons. But mainly, we put the portability of our tiny home to the test by driving it across the country from Colorado to upstate New York at the end of May/beginning of June. Here is how it went:

Our intended route from CO to NY with stops at Wally Worlds across the US. Why Wally World? Free overnight parking.

After a late night of trying to get the tires back on and a rainy week in CO, we ended up with a muddy mess.

After a late night of trying to get the tires back on and a rainy week in CO, we ended up with a muddy mess.

The interior of our tiny house secured for the big move. Almost all of the cabinet handles were designed to fasten with a rubber band.

The interior of our tiny house secured for the big move. Almost all of the cabinet handles were designed to fasten with a rubber band.

After a tow out of the field, we were on our way.

After a tow out of the field, we were on our way.

About 100 miles east of Fort Collins, we had our first  setback. Somehow we had the unbelievable fortune of breaking down in the driveway of an older gentleman's ranch in rural Colorado who happened to have a "tire rack" and all of the equipment to change a tire. After a few hours, we were back on the road.

About 100 miles east of Fort Collins, we had our first setback. Somehow we had the unbelievable fortune of breaking down in the driveway of an older gentleman’s ranch in rural Colorado who happened to have a “tire rack” and all of the equipment to change a tire. After a few hours, we were back on the road.

Welcome to North Platte Nebraska!  We stayed for the night and planned to get on the road the next day. Sadly, we had more tire issues. Dondi searched around and found a used set but it was Sunday of Memorial Day weekend and all of the tire shops were closed 'til Tuesday.

Welcome to North Platte Nebraska! We stayed for the night and planned to get on the road the next day. Sadly, we had more tire issues. Dondi searched around and found a used set but it was Sunday of Memorial Day weekend and all of the tire shops were closed ’til Tuesday.

We decided to enjoy Memorial Day weekend since we were "stranded" in North Platte, NE. We found a beautiful lake a few miles away and spent some time relaxing in the sunshine.

We decided to enjoy Memorial Day weekend since we were “stranded” in North Platte, NE. We found a beautiful lake a few miles away and spent some time relaxing in the sunshine.

Good Year opened early Tuesday morning, put our tires on, and we were off on the road headed east.

Good Year opened early Tuesday morning, put our tires on, and we were off on the road headed east.

On the road in eastern Nebraska. After another pit stop in western Illinois for a set of new tires, we were back on the open road. We "cruised" at a speed of 40 to 55 miles per hour the whole way to New York.

On the road in eastern Nebraska. After another pit stop in western Illinois for a set of new tires, we were back on the open road. We “cruised” at a speed of 40 to 55 miles per hour the whole way to New York.

Just when we thought things were going well, we hit a 4 foot wide pot hole in Chicago and broke a shackle on the trailer frame. Bummer! We found a local auto body shop that welded the shackle back onto the frame and we were back on the road.

Just when we thought things were going well, we hit a 4 foot wide pot hole in Chicago and broke a shackle on the trailer frame. Bummer! We found a local auto body shop that welded the shackle back onto the frame and we were back on the road.

Six days later. . . we finally made it to NY but we were not home yet!

Six days later. . . we finally made it to NY but we were not home yet!

The final straw.  We made it 35 miles from Ithaca and broke down in the Lows parking lot. They were kind enough to let us stay for the night until the next day when we found a shop to fix another shackle and a bent axle. NY roads sure took a beating last winter and did a number on our trailer!

The final straw. We made it 35 miles from Ithaca and broke down in the Lows parking lot. They were kind enough to let us stay for the night until the next day when we found a shop to fix another shackle and a bent axle. NY roads sure took a beating last winter and did a number on our trailer!

We finally made it to our new house in Ithaca.  Because the ground was wet from all the rain, we didn't make it far.

We finally made it to our new house in Ithaca. Because the ground was wet from all the rain, we didn’t make it far.

One last attempt  to pull the tiny home to the back of the property with three pull vehicles.  Needless to say, it didn't work.  We made it as far as the front lawn and that is where the tiny home stayed for the night.

One last attempt to pull the tiny home to the back of the property with three pull vehicles. Needless to say, it didn’t work. We made it as far as the front lawn and that is where the tiny home stayed for the night.

Luckily Dondi's dad showed up with his tractor!

Luckily Dondi’s dad showed up with his tractor!

The tractor worked like a charm to pull the tiny house back to its spot on our new property.

The tractor worked like a charm to pull the tiny house back to its spot on our new property.

Seven days after our departure from Fort Collins, our tiny house was safe and sound at its new location in upstate New York.

Seven days after our departure from Fort Collins, our tiny house was safe and sound at its new location in upstate New York. To Erin (33 weeks pregnant) the trip was a bit of a nightmare. To Dondi, it was an adventure with a new challenge at every turn. Now that we’ve had a bit of time to reflect on our “adventure” we have very different memories but nevertheless, it was an adventure. What did we learn from the experience? Add a 3rd trailer axle for a long haul with a tiny home and definitely put NEW tires on the trailer before the trip! Until next time, Erin & Dondi


Southwest Road Trip- Week 2

Week 2 of our 16 day road trip throughout the American Southwest. . .

Day 8- After 1 night and 1 day in Vegas, we were ready to get back into nature at Zion National Park in southern Utah

Day 8- After 1 night and 1 day in Vegas, we were ready to get back into nature at Zion National Park in southern Utah

Dondi playing on our hike up to Angel's Landing in Zion National Park

Dondi playing on our hike up to Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park

The hike to Angel's Landing (5.5 miles round trip and pretty much straight up)

The hike to Angel’s Landing (5.5 miles round trip and pretty much straight up)

Erin hiking the final 500+ vertical foot rock scramble up to Angel's Landing

Erin hiking the final 500+ vertical foot rock scramble up to Angel’s Landing

The shuttle buses looked a LOT smaller from the top of Angel's Landing considering we hiked up from the shuttle stop/road

The shuttle buses looked a LOT smaller from the top of Angel’s Landing considering we hiked up from the shuttle stop/road

Zion Canyon from the top of Angel's Landing

Zion Canyon from the top of Angel’s Landing

Dondi cooling off in the North Fork of the Virgin River in Zion just downriver from the Narrows after a strenuous hike

Dondi cooling off in the North Fork of the Virgin River in Zion just downriver from the Narrows after a strenuous hike

Day 10- On the beach at Lake Powell near Page, AZ

Day 10- On the beach at Lake Powell near Page, AZ

Lake Powell and dam

Lake Powell and dam

Short hike to Horseshoe Bend in Colorado River near Page, AZ

Short hike to Horseshoe Bend in Colorado River near Page, AZ

Day 11- 5.5 mile hike through Wirepass Gulch, slot canyon in southern Utah

Day 11- 5.5 mile hike through Wirepass Gulch, slot canyon in southern Utah

One huge perk of an April/early May trip were all of the wildflowers. . . they were everywhere!

One huge perk of an April/early May trip were all of the wildflowers. . . they were everywhere!

Dondi at Wirepass Gulch intersection

Dondi at Wirepass Gulch intersection

Dondi playing in the crevices in the slot canyone at Wirepass Gulch

Dondi playing in the crevices in the slot canyone at Wirepass Gulch

Day 12- Sunrise from the truck on the beach at Lone Rock, Lake Powell

Day 12- Sunrise from the truck on the beach at Lone Rock, Lake Powell

Nothing beats camping on the beach by the water. . .except maybe if the water was warm enough to swim in ;)

Nothing beats camping on the beach by the water. . .except maybe if the water was warm enough to swim in 😉

Monument Valley, UT in a wind/sand storm (can you see the mittens?)

Monument Valley, UT in a wind/sand storm (can you see the mittens?)

Tiny houses (well rental cabins) being built in the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park. . . they weren't on wheels but looked like a great place to stay

Tiny houses (well rental cabins) being built in the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park. . . they weren’t on wheels but looked like a great place to stay

Cowboy and his dog herding a flock of sheep in the windstorm near Monument Valley, UT

Cowboy and his dog herding a flock of sheep in the windstorm near Monument Valley, UT

Driving to our campsite on BLM land near Mexican Hat, Utah (yes, the town was named after the rock formation)

Driving to our campsite on BLM land near Mexican Hat, Utah (yes, the town was named after the rock formation)

Beautiful campsite at a bend in the San Juan River (thankfully, out of the wind!)

Beautiful campsite at a bend in the San Juan River (thankfully, out of the wind!)

A yummy dinner. . . super simple shrimp fajitas with grilled veggies and salsa

A yummy dinner. . . super simple shrimp fajitas with grilled veggies and salsa

Chillin by the San Juan River. . . considering we camped about 4 miles down a 4WD road, it was bizarre and fun to see a raft of 3 people float by

Chillin by the San Juan River. . . considering we camped about 4 miles down a 4WD road, it was bizarre and fun to see a raft of 3 people float by

Day 13- A stop at Newspaper Rock on our way to the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park gave us our fill of petroglyphs. . .

Day 13- A stop at Newspaper Rock on our way to the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park gave us our fill of petroglyphs. . .

View from a hike in the Needles District at Canyonlands National Park, UT

View from a hike in the Needles District at Canyonlands National Park, UT

Far off view of the "needles" in Canyonlands National Park, UT

Far off view of the “needles” in Canyonlands National Park, UT

The "wooden shoe" in Canyonlands National Park, UT

The “wooden shoe” in Canyonlands National Park, UT

Camping between the Needles District and the Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park

Camping between the Needles District and the Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park

Day 14- Mesa Arch in the Island in the Sky District at Canyonlands National Park

Day 14- Mesa Arch in the Island in the Sky District at Canyonlands National Park

Another yummy camp dinner =)

Another yummy camp dinner =)

Sunset over Canyonlands

Sun setting over Canyonlands

Sunset in the Island in the Sky District at Canyonlands

Evening glow in the Island in the Sky District at Canyonlands

Sunset in the Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park

Sunset in the Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park

Day 15- 3 mile morning hike to Delicate Arch in Arches National Park, UT

Day 15- 3 mile morning hike to Delicate Arch in Arches National Park, UT

Beautiful landscape views on our hike to Delicate Arch

Beautiful landscape views on our hike to Delicate Arch

Hike to the Windows in Arches National Park

Hike to the Windows in Arches National Park

Day 16- We hightailed it back to Fort Collins after camping near Glenwood Springs, CO a day early due to the May 10th winter storm warning calling for 10 to 20 inches of snow. . . it was a very good decision since they got about 20 inches and closed I-70! =)

Day 16- We hightailed it back to Fort Collins after camping near Glenwood Springs, CO a day early due to the May 10th winter storm warning calling for 10 to 20 inches of snow. . . it was a very good decision since they got about 20 inches and closed I-70! =)

Overall, it was an incredible trip and we loved every minute of it! We drove about 2800 miles which really wasn’t bad since it was broken up with no more than 4 hours of driving each day and several days with under an hour of driving. Like the trip photos, leave us a comment! -Erin & Dondi


Southwest Road Trip- Week 1

On Friday April 25th, we left on a 2800 mile, 16 day road trip throughout the American southwest. . . It was an awesome trip and one we will remember for a long long time! Here are some of the highlights of our trip. . .

Day 1- campsite near an old railroad bridge not far from Trinidad, CO

Day 1- campsite near an old railroad bridge not far from Trinidad, CO

Day 2- Santa Fe farmer's market, Santa Fe, NM

Day 2- Santa Fe farmer’s market, Santa Fe, NM

Erin and Dondi wandering around Santa Fe, NM

Erin and Dondi wandering around Santa Fe, NM

Day 3- Stopped for lunch at the Church St. Cafe in Old Town Albuquerque, NM

Day 3- Stopped for lunch at the Church St. Cafe in Old Town Albuquerque, NM

A short hike through Petroglyph National Monument just outside of Albuquerque, NM revealed some pretty awesome petroglyphs!

A short hike through Petroglyph National Monument just outside of Albuquerque, NM revealed some pretty awesome petroglyphs!

Sunset at Petrified Forest National Park in AZ

Sunset at Petrified Forest National Park in AZ

Day 4- Touring Petrified Forest National Park in AZ. . . gorgeous colors created by mineralization

Day 4- Touring Petrified Forest National Park in AZ. . . gorgeous colors created by mineralization

Dondi and "Old Faithful", the park's largest log weighing some ridiculous number of tons

Dondi and “Old Faithful”, the park’s largest log weighing some ridiculous number of tons

Driving from Petrified Forest National Park toward Flagstaff, AZ

Driving from Petrified Forest National Park toward Flagstaff, AZ

After an awesome lunch in Flagstaff, we headed to the East Entrance of the Grand Canyon and caught our first incredible views from the Desert View Watchtower

After an awesome lunch in Flagstaff, we headed to the East Entrance of the Grand Canyon and caught our first incredible views from the Desert View Watchtower

Grand Canyon from the Desert View Watchtower

Grand Canyon from the Desert View Watchtower

Day 5- Grand Canyon National Park, South Rim

Day 5- Grand Canyon National Park, South Rim

4 mile round trip hike from parking lot to Ooh Aah Point down into the Grand Canyon (did we forget to mention. . . Erin is 7 months pregnant in this pic)

4 mile round trip hike from parking lot to Ooh Aah Point down into the Grand Canyon (did we forget to mention. . . Erin is 7 months pregnant in this pic)

Day 6- On the west side of the South Rim, we spotted a herd of bighorn sheep on a ledge far below our overlook

Day 6- On the west side of the South Rim, we spotted a herd of bighorn sheep on a ledge far below our overlook

Day 7- Dondi's first good look at the Hoover Dam

Day 7- Dondi’s first good look at the Hoover Dam

New bridge at the Hoover Dam everyone coming from Arizone to Nevada doesn't have to drive over it

New bridge at the Hoover Dam everyone coming from Arizone to Nevada doesn’t have to drive over it

Erin and Dondi at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas before going to see the Cirque du Soleil Show 'Ka'- it was INCREDIBLE!

Erin and Dondi at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas before going to see the Cirque du Soleil Show ‘Ka’- it was INCREDIBLE!

The rest of our trip (Week 2) is on its way. . .


Sand Dunes, Durango, Mesa Verde, and Tiny Home Update

Hi All! Since our not so little debut on the Tiny House Blog (check it out here: http://tinyhouseblog.com/stick-built/erin-and-dondis-off-grid-tiny-house/), we’ve had a flurry of comments and new followers. We’ve been super busy and we promise to answer all of the comments really soon.

Here’s a quick update on our tiny house Soleil (almost completely finished. . . YAY!) and our adventures at the end of July and August. Enjoy!

You may or may not have noticed but we've been using screws to open the drawers since we moved in. Dondi finally made the drawer fronts and put on the handles. They slide out like butter now. . . =)

You may or may not have noticed but we’ve been using screws to open the drawers since we moved in. Dondi finally made the drawer fronts and put on the handles. They slide out like butter now. . . =)

Dondi helped upholster the couch cushions. The two bottom cushions are attached and they fold out to form the bed mattress along with the back cushion.

Dondi helped upholster the couch cushions. The two bottom cushions are attached and they fold out to form the bed mattress along with the back cushion. The drawers under the couch are used as storage for hats, gloves, games, blankets, etc.

The drawer fronts are on! Yes. . . the filing cabinets are now a lot easier to pull out. The aspen was only 5 1/2 inches wide so Dondi decided to get a bit creative by joining different boards with opposite graining.

The drawer fronts are on! Yes. . . the filing cabinets are now a lot easier to pull out. The aspen was only 5 1/2 inches wide so Dondi decided to get a bit creative by joining different boards with opposite graining.

The dresser drawers are fairly heavy so using a drawer pull is much appreciated!

The dresser drawers are fairly heavy so using a drawer pull is much appreciated! This is the last of the 29 drawer fronts. . . who would have thought there could be so many doors and drawers in a tiny home!?!

Dondi also finished the headboard this month. It is 12 inches deep and the doors are hinged to fold down from the top. They are filled with extra sheets, pillows, and towels. And yes, you can sit up in the center of the bed (we can at least).

Dondi also finished the headboard this month. It is 12 inches deep and the doors are hinged to fold down from the top. They are filled with extra sheets, pillows, and towels. And yes, you can sit up in the center of the bed (we can at least).

The garden is doing great. It is exploding right now with basil, tomatoes, zucchini, squash, beans, lettuce, onions, etc.

The garden is doing great. It is exploding right now with basil, tomatoes, zucchini, squash, beans, lettuce, carrots, onions, etc.

At the end of July, we did a whirlwind trip to the Southwest corner of Colorado. Great Sand Dunes was the first stop. . . and it was AWESOME!

At the end of July, we did a whirlwind trip to the Southwest corner of Colorado. Great Sand Dunes was the first stop. . . and it was AWESOME!

Can't beat the view our camp spot aka the back of the pickup truck!

Can’t beat the view from our camp spot aka the back of the pickup truck!

In the morning, we "hiked" one of the 450 foot tall dunes on all fours. By about 9am, the sand was really hot which explains why Erin climbed up with her hands in her shoes.

In the morning, we “hiked” one of the 450 foot tall dunes on all fours. By about 9am, the sand was really hot which explains why Erin climbed up with her hands in her shoes.

At the top of the dunes, we felt like we were in the middle of the desert. Kinda crazy for Colorado. This National Park is pretty awesome.

At the top of the dunes, we felt like we were in the middle of the desert. Kinda crazy for Colorado. This National Park is pretty awesome.

The best part? Sliding down!! The sand is at "the angle of repose" so it starts sliding when you touch it. The foam mat kind of worked as a sled but an actually sled or one of the super cool "dune boards" the National Park Service rents would have been even more fun.

The best part? Sliding down!! The sand is at “the angle of repose” so it starts sliding when you touch it. The foam mat kind of worked as a sled but an actual sled or one of the super cool “dune boards” the National Park Service rents would have been even more fun.

The hot springs in Pagosa Springs was another highlight of the trip. They had over 20 pools all at different temperatures.

The hot springs in Pagosa Springs was another highlight of the trip. They had over 20 pools all at different temperatures.

The next day we went to Mesa Verde National Park in the Southwest corner of Colorado (aka the four corners where Colorado meets Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico). The views were gorgeous!

The next day we went to Mesa Verde National Park in the Southwest corner of Colorado (aka the four corners where Colorado meets Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico). The views were gorgeous!

The view from atop Cliff Palace before our tour.

The view from atop Cliff Palace before our tour.

Inside cliff palace at Mesa Verde National Park.

A kiva inside cliff palace at Mesa Verde National Park.

We went on the 3 1/2 mile hike to see the petroglyphs in Mesa Verde National Park. They were pretty cool but maybe it wasn't such a good idea considering what the next day would bring. . .

We went on the 3 1/2 mile hike to see the petroglyphs in Mesa Verde National Park. They were pretty cool but maybe it wasn’t such a good idea considering what the next day would bring. . .

Dondi saw the ancient reservoir system in Mesa Verde National Park was desi

Dondi saw the ancient reservoir system in Mesa Verde National Park was designated as a Civil Engineering Landmark and had to get a pic. 😉

On our way to camp in the National Forest above Durango, we saw a full double rainbow. It was majestic!

On our way to camp in the National Forest above Durango, we saw a full double rainbow. It was majestic!

The view from near our campsite above Durango at about 9,000 feet.

The view from near our campsite above Durango at about 9,000 feet.

The next morning, we woke up bright and early (like 4:45am. . . ugh) to get to the start of the Durango 100- a 100 mile road ride from Durango, Colorado to Farmington, NM and back through the San Juan mountains.

The next morning, we woke up bright and early (like 4:45am. . . ugh) to get to the start of the Durango 100- a 100 mile road ride from Durango, Colorado to Farmington, NM and back through the San Juan mountains.

The start of the Durango 100. . . there's us. Naive and tired and ready to start the ride. Little did we know that the first 50 miles were mostly down gently sloping hills into NM. . . and the last 50 miles were almost all up really big hills (aka mountains)! It was grueling, fun, and we both made it to the finish. =)

The start of the Durango 100. . . there’s us. Naive and tired and ready to start the ride. Little did we know that the first 50 miles were mostly down gently sloping hills into NM. . . and the last 50 miles were almost all up really big hills (aka mountains)! It was grueling, fun, and we both made it to the finish. =)

That’s it for this update. Hope you enjoyed all the pics. Leave us a comment if you’d like. . . we love to hear from you! – Erin & Dondi


May 2013 Update

Its been a while! We’ve been really busy since January– Erin in grad school and running her biz (www.erinharner.com), Dondi at work, skiing and snowboarding, cycling, mountain biking, hiking, camping, and of course working on putting the finishing touches on our tiny home. Hope you enjoy these pics. Leave a comment if you’d like. . . we love hearing from you!

Skiing at Vail with Tyler, Sarah, Erin, Dondi, Steve, and Nick

Skiing and boarding at Vail with Tyler, Sarah, Erin, Dondi, Steve, and Nick

Skiing at Breckenridge with Ryan, Sarah, Erin, and Dondi

Skiing at Breckenridge with Ryan, Sarah, Erin, and Dondi

Dondi's backcountry hut trip with work-- splitboarding and lots of other shananigans

Dondi’s backcountry hut trip with work– splitboarding and lots of other shananigans

Dondi and Shawn (in from Seattle, WA) playing old school ice hockey on a frozen pond near Salida, CO

Dondi and Shawn (in from Seattle, WA) playing old school ice hockey on a frozen pond near Salida, CO

Dondi installing a light fixture on our tiny house

Dondi installing a light fixture on our tiny house

Cedar siding finally complete and boxed in the propane tanks

Cedar siding finally complete and boxed in the propane tanks

Front entry complete with an aspen post, Douglas fir decking, and a mint plant

Front entry complete with an aspen post, Douglas fir decking, and a mint plant

Exterior of our tiny home is DONE!!!

Exterior of our tiny home is DONE!!!

Dondi building Douglas fir garden boxes

Dondi building Douglas fir garden boxes

Garneropolis garden work day

Garneropolis garden work day

Gardens planted and irrigation installed. . . now waiting on the veggies (and the weeds)

Gardens planted and irrigation installed. . . now waiting on the veggies (and the weeds)

Erin hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park with college friends and teammates Meg and Brynja

Erin hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park with college friends and teammates Meg and Brynja

Rocky Mountain National Park's Alberta Falls in May

Rocky Mountain National Park’s Alberta Falls in May

"The Loch" at Rocky Mountain National Park-- end of May and about 3 feet of snow the whole 5 miles to get there!

“The Loch” at Rocky Mountain National Park– end of May and about 3 feet of snow the whole 5 miles to get there!

15 mile hike near Pingree Park Memorial Day weekend

15 mile hike near Pingree Park Memorial Day weekend

Stopping to smell the flowers!

Stopping to smell the flowers!

A glimpse of the High Park Fire burn area almost 1 year after the fire started

A glimpse of the High Park Fire burn area almost 1 year after the fire started

Mountain biking near Pingree Park

Mountain biking near Pingree Park

Erin mountain biking through the stream and past the eerie burnt trees

Erin mountain biking through the stream and past the eerie burnt trees

Chillin back at camp

Chillin back at camp and having some lunch

Erin and Dondi laughing about how we eat more veggies than anyone we know when camping. . . where are the hot dogs?!?

Erin and Dondi laughing about how we eat more veggies than anyone we know when camping. . . where are the hot dogs?!?