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Tiny Trailer Travels Part One

September 2nd, 2011

A big thanks to all of you who joined in for the Alphabet in August. You may wonder why I did this during the height of gardening season. I needed a way to be able to blog every day while we were gone on our trip across the country. Mr Chiots and I hitched up our tiny camper that we built, packed up the car, and set out across the country. We had planned to leave on Monday, but postponed our trip for a variety of reasons. After packing and finishing a few things on the camper, we were on the road at 2:30 pm on Tuesday, August 9th.

We drove for many hours, passing through Chicago at dusk. We kept driving until around midnight and stopped for a few hours sleep somewhere in Wisconsin.

The next morning we were up early and on the road again making our way to our first official stop, Theodore Roosevelt National Park. We arrived late that night and were lucky enough to get the last camp sight left in the park. We woke up in the morning to a lovely view.

We met a family from Canada who had restored this lovely camper many years ago. She came over to chat with us about our little camper. This would be a theme throughout our travels, people were constantly asking us about our camper.

We left our trailer at the campground and set off to the drive the loop around the park. Since it was early, we spotted tons of wildlife including buffalo, wild horses, prairie dogs, birds and a huge elk standing majestically on a hillside.

After picking up our camper on the way out of the park, we headed off toward Glacier National Park. It was LONG drive across Montana, there was construction on every road we traveled making our progress very slow. Many sections of the highway we were traveling were stripped down to gravel and dirt, our car and camper were encrusted with dirt after the many miles we drove that day.

When we finally reached Glacier National Park it was after midnight. The moon was bright that night, so we were lucky to see the outlines of the mountains as we drove to our campground on the outskirts of the park. The next morning, we woke up early, crawled out of the camper and were greeted with the mountains looming overhead.

We spent the morning driving through Glacier National Park, which took quite a while because of construction on the roadway. Since there was construction and lots of traffic, we didn’t stop much. Most of the road was one lane and getting out of your car was not allowed. I snapped most of the photos of the park from the car as we traveled along. We’ll be scheduling a return trip someday when the construction is finished so we can spend a little more time viewing the sights.

Then we headed off into the sunset once again with goals of reaching Seattle the next day before noon.

Check back tomorrow for part II of the Tiny Trailer Travels. I’ll be uploaded more images from our travels over the next week or so, so check my Flickr Photostream for more photos of each part of the trip.

Are you a road trip person or do you prefer flying & staying in one place?

Other posts from this trip:
Tiny Trailer Travels Part I
Tiny Trailer Travels Part II
Tiny Trailer Travels Part III
Tiny Trailer Travels Part IV
Tiny Trailer Travels Part V
Tiny Trailer Travels Part VI

31 Comments to “Tiny Trailer Travels Part One”
  1. daisy on September 2, 2011 at 6:00 am

    Wow! What great photos! So glad we got to enjoy your adventure with you! The camper is adorable.

    Reply to daisy's comment

  2. Sue A. Nugent on September 2, 2011 at 6:19 am

    I don’t travel much at all, but it is so nice to see parts of the world through your posts. Your pictures are beautiful.

    Nice trailer,too.It must make camping a snap.When we do camp out, I do all the packing and unpacking.Not to mention clean-up. Camping to me is a chore in itself,but with the little camper, it might not be so bad.

    Reply to Sue A. Nugent's comment

    • Susy on September 2, 2011 at 8:14 am

      It does make it faster to set up & take down camp – which is nice when you’re staying at a different place each night.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  3. goatpod2 on September 2, 2011 at 8:12 am

    We’ve been traveling more again lately though! We used to travel a lot when we were little though.

    Reply to goatpod2's comment

  4. Rhonda on September 2, 2011 at 8:46 am

    I’d much rather drive, take my time and explore my surroundings than fly, any day!!

    Reply to Rhonda's comment

  5. Donna B. on September 2, 2011 at 10:14 am

    How utterly perfect!
    And that camper came out GREAT! it looks like there is nice cargo space in the back, you two did a great job with it! Really! It looks very retro, and professionally done.
    I cannot wait for the next session of photos! The hazy shot of the elk is one of my favorites… it’s amazing how the terrain in the west changes to drastically, from flat to suddenly hilly with rocky cliffs!

    Plus, I LOVE with the rearview mirror shot. I’m trying to make a theme to take a photo of a view behind the car using the rearview mirror, so that my hands w/ the camera is visible as well. There isn’t many as of yet – but I plan on doing a lot more! [with ever-changing nail colour…] I did get one on my vacation to Colorado tho! ♥

    Reply to Donna B.'s comment

  6. kristin @ going country on September 2, 2011 at 10:16 am

    Hate driving. Hate it. I suspect it is a carryover from my military childhood and the cross-country roadtrips we took every few years to move. My husband, of course, LOVES IT. And we will not be able to afford to fly much anymore now that we have a family of three. I’m afraid there are many roadtrip vacations in my future. Sigh.

    Reply to kristin @ going country's comment

    • Susy on September 3, 2011 at 1:03 am

      I grew up both flying long distances (to Colombia) and driving (cross country tips to visit all the national parks). I much prefer driving to flying, something about the pressure changes in airplanes make me really sick for a few days afterwards.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  7. Konie on September 2, 2011 at 10:37 am

    Definitely a road trip girl. A couple of years ago, Hubby, 2 kids and I got into the car with 7 free days and no plans. We on a whim headed for yellowstone. And at the height of the season, got the last room at the historic Ole Faithfull Inn. Oh My, how gorgeous the hotel, and we had so much fun for 3 days traveling the park. Then we meandered are way home. This unexpected road trip will be one of the best memories my family will ever have:) Can’t wait till your next post.

    Reply to Konie's comment

  8. heartland frugalista on September 2, 2011 at 11:18 am

    Wow! What a trip! Love the photos.

    Carrie (in Wisconsin)

    Reply to heartland frugalista's comment

  9. Jaspenelle on September 2, 2011 at 11:25 am

    You know I have lived in Washington for seven years and still have not been out the Glacier… I looks beautiful. As does your little trailer! Did you do a post of what it looks like on the inside and if not will you?

    Reply to Jaspenelle's comment

    • Susy on September 3, 2011 at 1:05 am

      I will do a tour of the camper soon, although there’s not much since it’s to small. We will be doing some changes in the back as we left it bare bones for this trip till we knew how we’d end up using it.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  10. nic@nipitinthebud on September 2, 2011 at 11:42 am

    what a fantastic trip.
    Your A-Z challenge was such a creative way of blogging while you were aware and it seems we all loved taking part (I’m a little behind so it’s crept into September).

    Reply to nic@nipitinthebud's comment

  11. MAYBELLINE on September 2, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    I absolutely love a good road trip with my favorite traveling companion. Our best Thelma & Louise trip was from Bakersfield to Montana. Wonderful.
    Just so you know – summer is the time road work is done in Montana and Wyoming. Every summer.

    Reply to MAYBELLINE's comment

  12. Andrea on September 2, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    I love this! We have a couple of vintage Airstreams that we restore and camp in. I would love to see more details on the design and building of your tiny trailer, which is amazing from what I can see. Are you planning on putting those in a blog post? Please :-)

    Reply to Andrea's comment

    • Susy on September 3, 2011 at 1:06 am

      Yes, we took photos of the construction (of some parts of it) and will be hopefully starting a whole blog dedicated to our camper & travels in it.

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • Dawn on September 5, 2011 at 11:28 pm

        I’m very interested in seeing your camper’s building plans as well. I’ve been window shopping for teardrop trailers for a while. How was the sway towing it?

        to Dawn's comment

      • Susy on September 6, 2011 at 8:46 am

        We built a small light one so it tows well, you hardly knew it was back there, even at 70 mph in the Western states.

        to Susy's comment

  13. Lynn on September 2, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    We live in Washington State but spend the summers camping in Montana…usually in one place. The roads were especially awful this summer…I don’t know what was worse, the roads under construction or the roads that Need repairs. We love Montana so I really enjoyed your photos.

    Reply to Lynn's comment

  14. Alyssa on September 2, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    It’s nice to see you got back! Can’t wait to hear more about it. I’d love to travel more in the states and see some of these amazing parks.

    Reply to Alyssa's comment

  15. Lynda on September 2, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    I love, love, LOVE driving…and I love, love, LOVE flying…oh and the train…I love, love, LOVE the train. I guess you could say I love, love, LOVE traveling. I’ve driven across the US several times and will do it many more…I’ve taken planes and trains across the US and Europe…the slow trains are my favorite…fast planes the best! I have a tent trailer I can’t get enough of…but would love a tear-drop…so cozy and cute!

    Reply to Lynda's comment

  16. kathi cookk on September 2, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    I am an explorer at heart, howevver I cannot stand being in the car for more than a few hours at a time. My idea of a perfect vacation is being somewhere (doesn’t matter how I get there) and exploring entirely by bike, on foot or public transportation. I have always wanted to go on an extended cycling tour of Europe. Your camper is adorable. I can see why it attracted so much attention. Can your Mini tow it too? I have a Mini as well.

    Reply to kathi cookk's comment

    • Susy on September 3, 2011 at 12:59 am

      Yes, the MINI can tow it – but we haven’t put a hitch on it yet – and the HHR is much more comfortable for long trips.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  17. KimH on September 2, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    I love driving if I have time… but I really love flying if Im making a quick trip.
    We spent summers, many Christmases, and a few Thanksgivings driving 600 miles to be with my mom’s family, and stopping at great places along the way was a big part of it.
    I would love to take more driving trips but my honey is the only person who works for his boss, so when hes not there, his boss isnt making money.. so any trips he’s involved in are usually short & sweet..
    Next year, I want to drive to Montecello from Cleveland.. Should be able to see lots of sights I’ve not seen on the way. Honey wants to fly.. maybe I’ll pick him up at the airport. ;)

    I love the picture of the back of the trailer with the campanulas or whatever the blue flowers are. Awesome photo & the one I love the most. So is that mountain scape.. love that balance.. Its Perfect! ☺

    Reply to KimH's comment

    • KimH on September 2, 2011 at 8:19 pm

      The mountain/lake scape, I should have said..

      Im so glad you had an enjoyable trip!!

      Reply to KimH's comment

    • Susy on September 3, 2011 at 1:09 am

      I’d recommend the drive through Shenandoah National Park on your way down to Monticello – it’s quite lovely. And you won’t be disappointed by Monticello.

      I think those were little wild campanulas. They were growing in the grass on our camp sight up in Glacier National Park.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  18. brenda on September 3, 2011 at 3:20 am

    Really enjoyed your photos and your great camper.

    You’ve reminded me that I haven’t travelled in a good while and I miss it. I’ve always tent camped, but would love to have a tiny RV. Sometimes, I think I could just live in it and skip the house. In the dream, there is a small acreage with a metal building, and the RV parks inside when the weather is sorry, travels when the mood strikes. Hmmmmmmmmmm.

    brenda from arkansas

    Reply to brenda's comment

  19. Diane Burkholder on September 3, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    I LOVE to road trip. Grew up traveling with my family from Calif. (where I lived) to Ohio where my grandparents lived. There is nothing like traveling across country and seeing all the beautiful sights our nation has to behold. Haven’t done it in a long time. Doing all my traveling by plane now, but am hoping when we retire we can hit the road in an RV and do lot’s of exploring!

    Reply to Diane Burkholder's comment

  20. Cheryl on September 4, 2011 at 2:24 am

    I have wanted to build one of these for a long time.
    Have to wait for the kids to grow up first. :o)

    Reply to Cheryl's comment

  21. Mika on September 4, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    What a FUN trip!!! I dream of doing that once the kids are older, just taking off and seeing the sights! I LOVE that waterfall picture, you wouldn’t happen to be planning on selling prints of it would you? My husband proposed to me beside a waterfall and so I love to collect prints of different ones.

    Reply to Mika's comment

  22. The Last Harvest | Chiot's Run on October 17, 2011 at 4:46 am

    […] we returned from vacation. They were actually ready to harvest much earlier, but we were on our Tiny Trailer Travels for most of August. There’s something really great about growing a good crop of potatoes each […]

    Reply to The Last Harvest | Chiot’s Run's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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