Update 18: July 9, 2007

Scorecard: (as of June 29, the end of the trip): 434 days; 37894 miles (Car: 17857, RV: 20037); 39 states; 46 National Parks; 18453 photos.

End of the Road

It's over. After fourteen months on the road, it's finally over. We thought it would be sad to be leaving the road. It probably is, but we've been too busy with selling the RV, looking for jobs, and buying a house that we haven't had time to reflect on the end of the trip. No doubt when we're finally in our new home, and we have all of our stuff moved from Phoenix, and we finally feel like we're settled down, we will feel the loss of this incredible way of life.

The past couple of months have been hectic. Once we saw that the end was near and we decided on a place to call home, we were ready to be off the road. Twelve months on the road was just about right. Fourteen months really was about two months too long. It's not fair to Justin and Zane to keep traveling. They need a break. We all do.

After our last update from Durango, we traveled back to Phoenix, where we put the RV on consignment at a Tucson dealership, and bought a Jeep. Then we drove up to Durango to drop off the car and have Susan do some things related to getting her Colorado teaching certification. We left the car in storage in Durango, and drove to Rocky Mountain National Park--our last national park--for a few days. We considered that the official end of the road trip.

The road trip was over, but our travels weren't. After RMNP, we headed up to Oregon for a week to visit my family, then it was back to Durango, where we're awaiting the closing on the house on July 13th. After we close, we'll drive back to Phoenix, load up a rental truck and trailer, and drive back to Durango one last time. We plan to stay put for awhile.

We got word that the RV sold the other day, so that's one less thing to worry about. We have a book proposal written, and we're working on some sample chapters. We have a bunch of queries out to agents, and we're hoping someone will like our idea enough to give us a shot. We think we have a very unique story to tell; one that's unlike any other we know of.

Our journey has given us a lifetime of memories. In fact, we saw so much, it might take us a lifetime to sort through all of it and truly appreciate everything we've experienced. We've grown in ways we never would have in our old lives in Phoenix. For me personally, I broke out of my regimented ways (somewhat), and I've relaxed a little. Until recently, of course; now I find myself feeling the stresses of everyday, "normal" life returning. I hope that goes away once we're in our new home.

For those of you who have followed our updates during the trip, and especially for those who have commented on our updates and let us know you were actually reading them: thank you. We've enjoyed sharing our journey with all of you, and we hope you've enjoyed it, too.

Even though the updates for Our Life on the Road are over, you can stay updated in a number of other ways:

caringbridge.org/visit/zanemichaelhatfield
mylifewithzane.blogspot.com
facebook.com/jeff.hatfield.co.us
facebook.com/susanoloier

Click Here for the Rocky Mountain National Park update.