In 2004 our lives took a dramatic turn. Mr. Keith had decided to retire from his years working in homeless shelters, his latest as Director of the Hospitality House in Wenatchee, where we met. By co-incidence, or was it God-cidence, I had been making a hobby out of studying RVs and workamping, something I never thought would happen but that was fun to dream about. Upon his retirement, he said "Let's go for it!" By that time I had narrowed my web searches to 5th wheels and was looking at rigs that came with a truck to haul the 5th wheel. Strangely, the one that looked the best was located in the very town where I had attended 12 years of school, a 5 hour drive away in Mossyrock. We contacted the sellers, they said come on over, and we did. Our route took us across White Pass and the beautiful Mt. Ranier.
We met Joette and Harley and our potential new home. They had used the rig in Harley's job, which took him back and forth between the bigger Washington cities. They were ready for a change and no longer needed such a big RV.
I enjoyed the view right behind their property, Lake Mayfield. I had spent my high school years riding the bus to school and watching the clearing of land and the destruction of small towns along the Cowlitz River and the eventual filling of the lake behind the Mayfield Dam, named for the tiny town of Mayfield a few hundred yards down river, now lake.
Here it is! a 38 foot Alfa 5th wheel. It looks huge!
Harley and Joette invited us to spend the night in the rig to get a feel for what it would be like. We loved the inside, the arrangement of kitchen cupboards, desk, everything. It was however a little daunting to think about moving from a 4 bedroom, 3 bath house with 40 years worth of stuff. Downsizing would be a major undertaking. We loved it, however. It was so fun "camping" in our first RV for that one night. We had neither one of us ever ridden or hardly been inside an RV. But we were sold!
This is BigTruk, so named by Harley and Joette, a 1 1/2 ton F-450 Ford. We loved the personalized license plate. We went for a drive with the rig, Keith driving while Harley guided and explained everything. We were amazed, and have since found out with experience, that they had done everything right in outfitting BigTruk with after-market add ons to make the pulling and traveling the best it could be. In 16 years BigTruk has never let us down!
We returned home to get ready to sell our house, and by January 1, 2005, we were headed over the mountains with check in hand to bring our new home back to Wenatchee, where we had an RV spot, and where we would live for about 5 months until I could wrap up my piano teaching job and find our first workamping job. The adventure had begun!