Our Backstory

The "BACKSTORY" menu begins with a re-crafted version of the article written for Health Rising, in September 2017. It is now broken up into manageable "chapters", and more details and pictures have been added - including several new pages that will bring you up to date with what happened after the original piece was published. The BLOG section on the homepage will be an ongoing journal of our travels. As of November 2018, we have embarked on a journey of full-time RV living, in a quest for a return to health.  (This portion is currently under construction and will be coming soon! As fast as I can catch up on it all!) The article below was originally published by Cort Johnson, in "Health Rising", September 26. 2017:   https://www.healthrising.org/blog/2017/09/26/me-cfs-chronic-fatigue-toxic-mold-story-lissa/

Read more about the article Adventure’s Aftermath: Weeks 6-7
Doug - Before the Mayhem: White Sands, NM

Adventure’s Aftermath: Weeks 6-7

December 10th – 21st 2018: Carrizozo, & Albuquerque, NM Well, the wheel had literally fallen off… and there we were, having been rescued from the side of the road in the middle of nowhere.  “Lucky”, the tow truck driver, was also a mechanic and owner of a local junk yard, which was apparently the only show in town.  We had actually passed his place several times in our travels around Carrizozo – thinking it was really, quite the spectacle.  Who knew we’d wind up needing his services?!  He was willing to work on our truck, but he also had to run his towing business, and mechanic shop too, so it was obviously going to take some time to get everything put back together.  Lucky's Auto Service Lucky dropped us off at the campground that night, and then went back out with his crew, first thing the next morning to see if they could find our wheel for us.  They searched high and low, but it was nowhere to be found.  It turns out that our wheel flew off somewhere near the edge of a ravine.  The uphill side of the highway was steep, craggy, and full of big rocks and dense shrubbery.  The side…

Read more about the article A Taste of Adventure: Week 5
Lonely Roads: Carrizozo, NM

A Taste of Adventure: Week 5

December 1st – 9th 2018: Roswell & Carrizozo, NM Although it had been nice to spend some time in one place, we were ready to get out of the Texas Panhandle before the next weather system came in.  We headed off into New Mexico, buffeted by winds, giant tumbleweeds, and clouds of dust.  Thankfully, the trailer handled very well, but the drive somehow seemed to get longer and longer.  Sandstorm & Tumbleweeds! By the time we approached Roswell, we were tired and the cats were cranky, so we decided to stop earlier than planned.  Just as we were pulling into town, the dreaded “check engine” light came on, indicating a problem with the diesel exhaust system.  We were grateful that at least it happened near the city, so we could get it into a local dealership on Monday. The Road into Bottomless Lakes Bottomless Lakes State Park, was our next stopover while we waited to get the truck fixed.  After several miles of barren terrain, it was a pleasant surprise as the prairie suddenly dropped away beneath us.  The final approach into the park descended into a winding, curvy, section revealing multiple sunken lakes – like hidden gems in the crispy, dried-up landscape.  The…

Read more about the article Making Tracks: Weeks 3 & 4
Palo Duro Sunset: Canyon, TX

Making Tracks: Weeks 3 & 4

Nov 16th – 30th 2018: IN, MO, OK, & Canyon, TX We left Shipshewana in the afternoon of yet another grey wintery day.  The cats had done great all morning, hanging out in their crates in the back seat of the truck while we were waiting for the trailer to be fixed.  After a quick lunch break in a local parking lot - meanwhile letting them roam about the rig to stretch their legs a bit - we headed out.  Unfortunately, the late start made them stress out more than usual.  As we drove towards Indianapolis, it didn’t take long to decide that we’d all be happier if we stopped earlier than originally planned.  Morning at the Alpaca Farm We located our next Harvest Host on the fly – a small farm about an hour north of the city.  Heritage Farm Suri Alpacas was off the beaten path, but well worth the diversion. Although the owners weren’t available that evening, the next morning before we left, we met them briefly and were able to take a short walk around the grounds.  Then it was onward towards St Louis!  A full day’s drive, which for us, meant about 4 or 5 hours.  Somehow it always took longer…

Read more about the article New Beginnings: Weeks 1 & 2
Departure Day: White Cloud, MI

New Beginnings: Weeks 1 & 2

Nov 1st – 15th 2018: CT, MA, NY, OH, MI, & Shipshewana, IN Our whirlwind journey began after we sold our house, and picked up our new trailer on Nov 1st. First, we headed for CT to say goodbye to family, spending about a week there. It was quite the story all in all…. considering we had lots of work to do to set the new rig up properly. As mentioned in the “Backstory”, we’d been forced to literally dump everything from the old trailer to the new - in utter chaos and dishevelment.  Chaos in CT - Beginning to Find Order In an effort to evade early winter storms, we felt pressured to leave CT as soon as possible, despite not being fully unpacked and organized yet. Our journey began in earnest when we wound our way back north to the Mass Pike, and then hit the NY Thruway, headed west. (The cats had a few things to say about this new lifestyle… their songs from the back seat told us that they weren’t exactly happy about time on the road.) Thankfully, our departure coincided with a beautiful sunny day - it felt absolutely grand to finally hit the road “for real”, putting the past behind us…


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