We survived the 11 day shutdown of the National Parks and then got a few more work days in, then – Wham! – a job offer too intriguing to turn down. It has been our “sort of” plans to head back east toward family and friends in North Carolina and West Virginia with a short visit in Arkansas along the way, but changing plans and not knowing what’s around the next corner is one of the things we enjoy about our new lifestyle.

After over staying our work contract with Aramark by a month or so, they were very understanding when we found out Tuesday that we needed to be in Minnesota, some 1900 miles away, by Monday. Luckily, with the indecision of the federal government of whether or not to let the National Parks function, we had already prepared ourselves and our motor home for a move.

So its say our goodbyes, head south out of Page, AZ, leaving Lake Powell in our “wake”. Back through the heart of the Navajo Nation, crossing the Hopi Indian Reservation, through Window Rock, AZ, next thing we know we are back on I-40 in New Mexico. Crossing a new state line puts into perspective how much we have experienced in our time on the Arizona-Utah border.

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So we find ourselves on the 16th of October heading to – of all places – Minneapolis/St. US mapPaul, Minnesota (actually a suburb called Rogers). Of course, in our journey we like to take the interesting routes. So we exit I-40 and head Northeast, which after traveling through the northern panhandle of Texas and the western panhandle of Oklahoma, we find ourselves in Dodge City, Kansas. It was time for a break, so we took in the sights and then set up “camp” in the Wal-Mart parking lot.

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After a restful nights sleep, we arose to the sight of more than two inches of snow with more falling by the minute! So we decide it was time to “get the heck out of Dodge”.

Proceeding North and East offered little relief as far as snowfall and, of course, in the middle of it all, we had a minor break down which required climbing under the motor home. Shortly after moving again, we were rear-ended. No significant damage done, but still an inconvenience.

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Crossing diagonally across Kansas we end up in much better weather in the beautiful farmlands of Nebraska. Reaching I-80 in the Omaha area we begin to notice that we get to enjoy some fall foliage. Take our word for it, America’s heartland has a lot to offer the nomadic sightseer.

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Anyway, more about our job offer, an old friend that Mark helped get into the heavy equipment/trucking business years ago, had been telling us of a job opportunity that involves traveling to various states installing the rumble strips on the sides of the highways (apparently a very lucrative business). The company is located in Rogers, Minnesota hence our hurried cross-country journey.

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The official job offer has been accepted and after two days in Rogers, we are on the road again with a tractor-trailer (the trailer is “The Machine”) and a brand new Ford F-450 service truck with our old friend Zane showing us the ropes. A few days into it, and we are up and running and pretty sure that after the winter shutdown – next year – we will have a career that will allow us to continue traveling and earn a pretty handsome income as well. For now, we will continue to learn the trade and enjoy our travels in the Upper Midwest.

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We think we’re gonna re-route our trip.

We wonder if anyone’d think we flipped.

If we went to Charlotte via Omaha?

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