We’re excited to be opening a new chapter in our lives with you. We’re going to call this chapter the “Cupcake Chronicles”. We’ll update our website with posts about where we’re “at” and what we’re “doing”. We have a few new methods for you to follow along with us and engage on our adventures. We’re going to be splitting our posts up a bit. Some posts will continue to populate on our free website, other posts will head directly to our Patreon Site, and only be available for our community members. Click “here” to learn more.
Homeless by choice during a global pandemic
Being homeless during a worldwide pandemic has created a unique set of circumstances for us to navigate. We no longer have a home. Our personal possessions are in storage in Portland Oregon.
When we returned to the US in March we traveled to Colorado to reside at my parents’ empty house. Our goal was to inventory their remaining possessions, ship items to family members who expressed an interest, and then sell/donate all the remaining items. Through several months of work, we cleaned out and cleaned up the house.
We began to explore “camper” options
We started venturing out in Colorado in late April and looking at small motor homes, bigger motor homes, tow behind and camper trucks. We liked the idea of a camper truck. It’s a camper that fits into the truck bed. We did an obscene amount of research and narrowed our search down to camper trucks due to the ability to really go “off road” and not be confined to campgrounds.
We sold my parents car in May. Not really having a concrete plan of our own, but recognizing the limitations of the camper van (Like I don’t fit in it!) we decided to also list it for sale on Craigslist. If it sold, we’d look at buying something different. If it didn’t sell, our next adventure would be in the camper van. We were a little surprised that it sold within a matter of days.
Buying a truck-sight unseen
After renting a car, we got down to the business of finding a truck. We wanted a workhorse, but couldn’t afford a “new” workhorse. We settled our search on a 2005 Dodge Ram 3500 dually with a 5.9l diesel. It was more challenging to find the exact right truck than we thought it would be. We found trucks in PA, UT and TX and had each inspected. We opted for the truck out of Texas, new to us at 120k miles.
We were going to travel to Houston and pick up the truck ourselves, but COVID cases were spiking at that point in time, so we had the truck shipped to us in Colorado. We had the truck inspected locally and received a reasonably clean bill of health. It’s a used truck, so…
Purchasing the Arctic Fox 990 truck camper
We purchased an Arctic Fox 900 Truck Camper from a local dealer in Colorado after a lot of investigation, heart burn and hand wringing. We must have visited that dealership four times, plus six or seven visits to other dealerships and private owners as we worked our way through the selection process.
The first thought I had when I saw the truck (with beefed up rear suspension) with the 990 in the truck bed was “Holy Shit! It’s huge!” (Insert Michael Scott joke here.) The sales guy laughed and said that most new owners are shocked at the size of the truck plus the camper. We’re about 13 feet/3.9M tall. We’re learning to pay close attention to all bridge height signage.
Where shall we travel in our Arctic Fox 990?
So now we own an Arctic Fox 990 and a Dodge Ram 3500 diesel. We thought about traveling to the Arctic Ocean, but the Canadian border is closed due to COVID. We thought about traveling to Central/South America, but the Mexican border is also closed. So what to do? Ready for our big plan?
We’re going to go somewhere south in the United States after the Thanksgiving holiday. There you go. That’s the sum of our current plan. Between here and Thanksgiving we’ll bounce around in a few National Parks, burn the last of our health insurance benefits in Portland, and try to start dropping our bonus COVID weight.
Cupcake-How we named the Arctic Fox 990
In a previous post I shared with you that I called Noelle’s dad “Cupcake” and he called me “Sweetheart”. When we visited with him last year via the “Shaggin’ Wagon” he expressed an interest in just leaving his assisted living facility and hitting the road with us.
We know he would have loved the idea of hitting the road in the truck camper, so we used the inheritance that he left us to purchase the camper. It seems only fitting that we name the camper after him! We’d rather he were here with us, but we’re incredibly grateful for the gift that he left us.
During one visit with Noelle’s parents, I couldn’t help myself. I lined up all of Cupcake’s toothpastes and asked him why he needed so many. With a slow drawl he replied, “Well Sweetheart, some days I feel like my mouth wants Crest, other days it may want Colgate, on weekends my mouth prefers Close-up.”
I miss you Cupcake. The irony of you being gone this year, when we really needed your help to talk about diesel engines, isn’t lost on us.