After Tim’s last day at work on March 21, 2014, we had just over two weeks to finish getting the house ready to sell so we could leave Estes Park and begin our new life as full-time RVers. Yes, we would still own the house, but we had no plans to live there again.
Those last two weeks were crazy, and exhausting. I’ve sold several properties in the past and do not remember it being so hard. We still had to finish downsizing. We also wanted to leave the house beautifully staged so potential buyers could easily envision themselves living there. After many late nights of packing boxes, many more runs to thrift shops and many trips to the storage unit, we were ready to place the house in the hands of our realtor. We were also able to squeeze in a wonderful farewell lunch with Tim’s siblings and nieces who lived nearby.
|Shall We Pack the Cat?|
Before we could list the house, however, we had a little ceremony to attend to. My friend Jane had sent us little statues of St. Joseph and St. Jude. According to tradition, sellers are supposed to bury St. Joseph upside down near the property line and place St. Jude near the “For Sale” sign. Although neither Tim nor I really believed, we figured it couldn’t hurt, and we did as we were instructed. We were open to anything that might help with the sale of the house.
When we turned the key in the lock one last time, we were very proud of what we had accomplished. The house looked great, and we hoped that it wouldn’t be on the market too long.
|The House Is Finally "For Sale"|
|A Few of the Listing Photographs|
During this time we also had to finish preparing and loading the RV. Luckily, it was pretty well-equipped from our Road Trip Ramble, so we didn’t have to start from scratch. A trip or two to the Container Store, and we were mostly done. We also had a few minor repairs and upgrades that we wanted to complete, which I’ll write about in a future post. De-winterizing the RV had to wait until the last minute, since April temperatures in Estes Park remained below freezing.
On April 8, 2014, we finally left Estes Park to begin our new life. We didn’t go far – just 33 miles down the road to Boyd Lake State Park in Loveland. That was far enough. I was so tired that I doubt I could have driven another mile. But all of the work and effort was worth it. I could finally begin to relax.
|Our First Night as Full-Timers|
We left the next morning and dropped the Subaru in Fort Morgan at Tim’s sister’s house. We were headed to Rapid City, South Dakota, where we would establish our new domicile, get new drivers licenses, register the two vehicles and officially become residents of South Dakota. Why South Dakota, you might ask? It’s simple really.
South Dakota is one of three states (Texas and Florida are the others) that are particularly friendly to full-time RVers. These states have no state income taxes, and obtaining residency is very simple. We had already joined Americas Mailbox, a mail forwarding service that provided us with our “home” address. That was where we were headed.
Our plan was to make a quick run to South Dakota, return to Colorado to pick up the car and head towards Texas. Tim had been in contact with the staff at Big Thicket National Preserve in southeast Texas and was going there to prepare the park’s annual reports
We had several weeks to get to Texas and had mapped out a tentative route to visit interesting sights on the way. Tim planned to spend two weeks at Big Thicket. After that, we looked at slowly meandering our way back to Colorado. We had a wedding to attend in Estes Park on June 21, and Tim’s high school reunion in Fort Morgan the following weekend. We knew that there would be a lot of driving to make all of this happen, but we were excited that we would finally be on the road.
We also had a contingency plan in place if the house were to sell before we returned to Colorado in June. I would simply leave Tim and the cat in the RV and drive back to Estes Park. I could then pack up what was left in the house and meet Tim somewhere, or wait for him to arrive in Colorado. It seemed like a plan that would work.
Well, you know what they say about those best-laid plans. I’ll tell you in the next post.