Mashley’s Adventures – The Winds of Change are Blowing


Current Location: Mayfield, KY

The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward. Adventure is worthwhile in itself.
~ Amelia Earhart


What a crazy week! We’ve made plans, changed them, made new plans, attended a Spooktacular Halloween Party (dressed as a Park Ranger and a Moose!), ran about a million errands, and there is still a piling list of things to do. Also, it sure hasn’t felt like Fall here in Kentucky. The temperature has been keeping steadily in the 80’s, and we even had to run the RV air conditioner so we didn’t sweat to death…in November! Madness! But, a cold front should be rolling in soon, just as we begin rolling out.

That’s right! Adventure-Some will be back on the road, headed to a new destination! Now, our plans have changed quite a bit since our last email, very surprising I know. It really should just be expected by now. We are no longer going to be in Campbellsville, KY working for Amazon until Christmas. As luck would have it, Ashley got offered a Travel Nursing position in Fayetteville, North Carolina. She starts November 14th and the contract ends February 11th. We are both excited for this opportunity because 1) we get to go somewhere new 2) it gives us a way to make a substantial contribution to the bank account and travel fund while also giving us an opportunity to make this lifestyle more sustainable long term 3) and it gives us the chance to visit more states and nearby National Parks this winter!

We are grateful for the extended time we have been able to spend with our families this last month. God knows that we have missed them and they have missed us, but we can’t deny that we are itching to get back to exploring new places, seeing amazing things and accomplishing this journey we set out on 17 months ago. If there is one thing we are, it is determined 😀

Adventuring away,

Matthew & Ashley

P.S. – This change in plan does throw a loop into visits with friends over the next few months, which we hate! Pondering other ways/times to get together, however.

Mashley’s Adventures – Breaking News


Current Location: Mayfield, KY

If you don’t read the newspaper, then you’re uninformed. But if you read the newspaper, you’re misinformed.
~ Mark Twain


It’s been a pretty steady couple of weeks here in Adventure-Some land. Working on some saved projects, spending time with family, and searching for future jobs. As all that has taken place, however, we did manage to fit in an interview with the local paper, the Paducah Sun. (All thanks to Jim’s suggestion and introduction!) The story ran Saturday and was on the front page! Woohoo!

We’ve decided that the current best option is to move forward with Ashley finding a travel nursing job or two. A couple of contracts a year should cover most of our expenses – if these are during the winter in the south, we can continue exploring during the summer elsewhere. Matthew is still looking at options, whether that be finding a remote position with an online company so that he can work anywhere or… something else.

There’s still a lot of puzzling to do as we research options. Until then, we’re enjoying the fall weather and chance to spend time with family!

Adventuring away,

Matthew & Ashley

Mashley’s Adventures – Visits, Chores, and the Future


Current Location: Benton, KY

Ultimately the bond of all companionship, whether in marriage or in friendship, is conversation.
~ Oscar Wilde


It’s been a pretty quiet week here on the Adventure-Some front. After the BBQ Ashley and her mom headed to eastern TN to spend a few days with our nieces (and their parents). Everyone had a wonderful time, complete with some day hiking at Cades Cove, a birthday celebration (happy 40th, Mr. Daniels!) and lots of giggles and laughter. As always, it went by far too quickly….

Matthew stayed with the RV and took care of some routine maintenance items. The PT Cruiser still seems to be running fine.

Ashley received some details about her upcoming Amazon stint – she’ll start on November 7th so we’ll be settling in to our new location in Campbellsville on the 5th.

Until then, we’re debating what to do. There are nearby parks we’d love to visit, but aren’t sure we trust the car to get us there and back and don’t want to spend too much gas money on the RV at this point in time. We are compiling a list of next-door activities – trails to hike, paths to bike, roads to motorcycle, and camping to do – but don’t quite have them figured out yet.

For the longer-term, we’re also pondering our options. We’ve discovered that the more we travel and live nomadically, the more we like it and want to continue on, but in a more sustainable way (i.e. have a regular income). We discovered during our last month in the car that we really hate travelling quickly. We hate just “passing through” and spending so much time sitting in the car getting from place to place. We prefer to spend at least a week or two in a place and really get to know it in depth. Our plan (after numerous variations) was to have visited all of the 48 continental states and the National Parks there-in within 2 years, next June. However, the car problems threw off our schedule (which is largely dependent on weather) and messed with our budget. So part of the conundrum is whether we should focus on that 2 year goal or if we should go ahead and start working toward building a long-term, sustainable nomadic life. This pondering has made Ashley start thinking about the option of travel nursing. She could work 3 month contracts anywhere she chooses, and in addition to the normal paycheck, we’d get a housing stipend, paid travel expenses, and at the end of 3 months we are done. Something to think about as it would definitely fit our lifestyle. At the end of a contract we could go adventuring for a few months before accepting another contract elsewhere.

Lots of puzzling to do as we consider options. Until then, we’re enjoying the fall weather and chance to spend time with family!

Adventuring away,

Matthew & Ashley

P.S. – Happy birthday to Matthew’s mom this week!

Mashley’s Adventures – SleepOvers and Smoked Meat


Current Location: Benton, KY

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. Barbecue may not be the road to world peace, but it’s a start.
~ Anthony Bourdain


Our plan was to be up in Maine this weekend, enjoying the cool weather and the spectacular fall colors. Of course, that didn’t quite work out so we’ve been enjoying more time with family, celebrating Tobey’s (Matthew’s sister) new house purchase (and helping her move in) and helping pull off another successful Unky Doo’s Bar-B-Que!

Friday evening we seasoned the variety of goodies for the next day and early Saturday morning we got up and started the smoker. Family and friends trickled in from all around throughout the morning and the feast properly began at 2:30.

There’s not much that can make one feel better about life, about humanity, about the state of our world than gathering together with family and friends over a delicious meal. We had a fabulous time visiting with family that we hadn’t seen in over a year, catching up with friends whose visit was even longer ago, and making some new friends along the way. The weather was fabulous and we couldn’t have had a better weekend!

The car has been running fine since we’ve returned home, not that we’ve needed it very often. We’re looking into options for it – repair, rebuild, or replace the current engine or just move on to something new. But we aren’t expecting to need it frequently in the near future so, now that we’re back around family, there isn’t such an urgency to repair it.

Adventuring away,

Matthew & Ashley

P.S. – We’re still in a holding pattern, waiting to hear back from Amazon about Ashley’s start date and our next move.

Mashley’s Adventures – Waterfalls and Unexpected Stops


Current Location: Benton, KY

Again it might have been the American tendency in travel. One goes, not so much to see but to tell afterward.
~ John Steinbeck


Wednesday morning we headed into Cuyahoga Valley and bicycled from one end to the other on the Tow Path trail. The train ride back to our starting point was a lot of fun and provided a fabulous opportunity to see the park from yet another point of view.

We left our trip plans open because of the issues we’d been having with the car. Getting up to Maine and breaking down didn’t sound like our idea of a good time (though it would definitely still be an adventure of some sort). So we agreed that if there were any problems while heading to or during our time in Cuyahoga Valley, we’d return to Kentucky. We had no issues what-so-ever, though, so after our bike and train ride we packed up and headed north east.

Thursday morning we stopped by Niagara Falls. What a fabulous place for lunch! As you may know, we aren’t big fans of touristy places, so the falls didn’t hold a huge appeal to us. Without paying to go down to the bottom, we couldn’t feel the full force of the volume of water moving (by standing next to it, not underneath!), so we probably didn’t get the complete experience. None-the-less, we can now honestly say “yes” when asked the inevitable “have you been to the Grand Canyon/Yellowstone/Niagara Falls?” Apparently that is, collectively, “The American Experience” trifecta. 😀

After lunch we continued east and found a delightful free campsite in the Chataqua State Forest in NY.

On Friday we made it just to the Vermont border when the car started stuttering. Pulling into the visitors center we assessed our options. There was a nearby Dodge/Chrystler dealership that was open for just a few more minutes so we headed that way. By the time we arrived the car was running ok and the check engine light was off. The service department was closing in about 5 minutes and didn’t work on Saturdays so we decided to press on. A few more miles and one big hill later, the stuttering started again. We took the first exit we could, called the closest dealership – just missed them but they would be openin in the morning – and headed to a nearby RV park/campground for the night.

First thing in the morning we drove to the dealership. They gave us a loaner for the weekend and looked at the car Monday. Seems like one of the valves is leaking, which is roughly a $2500 fix. Car’s worth about $2000. Hmm… It’ll cost us about $2900 to rent a UHaul and trailer to tow the car home. Ultimately, they said we should be able to drive it home if we take it easy. That’s our favorite option, so we hit the road on Monday.

– 9 new sparkplugs (in a car running 4)
– 1 new gasket
– 1 new Camshaft Position Sensor
– 2 jumpstarts
– 1 new battery

A few hours later, it started stuttering again and shuttering rather violently. Oh no! It’s just after closing time everywhere so we snag a motel in Herkimer, NY for the night. The next morning we limp over to a mechanic who adds some oil, replaces one of the spark plugs that is horribly fouled, and puts in a new intake gasket set before sending us on our way. He didn’t know why the spark plug was so corroded since it had just been replaced, but since we had gotten around 2,000 miles out of the first one, he said it should get us home.

Back on the road and, seemingly running smoothly, we coffee up and keep on moving, slightly afraid to stop for fear of another problem cropping up. From 2pm until about 5:30am we keep driving and finally pull back in at Benton, KY. We sleep for a few hours in our own bed, back in the RV, and are thrilled to be here!

So we didn’t quite make it up to Maine and Acadia. We spent some time in lovely towns in Vermont and northern New York. Though we’ve driven through the tip of Pennsylvania, twice, we haven’t yet stopped in the state. We’re back in Kentucky, in time for the family BBQ and are thrilled at the chance to visit with family. They also seem pretty happy that we are back for a bit.

The car is currently running but will have to be dealt with eventually – but for now we’re close enough to people we know that any issues are merely frustrating and not disasterous. Ashley’s offered to start working earlier than planned at her Amazon job. Matthew’s starting the job hunt again. For now, we expect to be in Kentucky until January, adding to our gas fund and taking some short trips to nearby states and National parks. And that’s enough planning for us – we definitely do better with short term targets than actual plans. 😀

Adventuring away,

Matthew & Ashley

P.S. – Curious where we rest along our travels? Here’s a few of our overnight spots –

Mashley’s Adventures – Planes, Train, and Automobile


Current Location: Peninsula, OH

We believe in celebrations, both big and small.
~ Kate Spade


After heading out from our free campsite in the Ottawa National Forest on Thursday, we headed south to Kalamazoo, MI for Lisa and Tim’s wedding. We had an amazing time and thoroughly enjoyed our time with the new couple, their families, and friends. The ceremony itself was beautiful and the reception in the AirZoo was a blast – it’s definitely worth visiting even without a DJ and cake!

Our current explorations find us in an odd mixture of urban woods. Sunday morning we left Kalamazoo and headed east, visiting a new state and eating supper in a new National Park – Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio. Cuyahoga Valley doesn’t have any campgrounds so we followed the GPS a few miles further east to a nearby state park for the night. CV is unlike any park we have visited thus far, as it is more of an “urban” park, being situated between Cleveland and Akron, Ohio and populated with houses and small towns throughout.

Our most anticipated feature of CV is the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath bike/hike trail. It runs north-south through the park and we brought our bicycles specifically to take advantage of it. The highlight is that we only have to ride one way and can catch the Cuyahoga Scenic Train the other direction back to our patiently waiting CarVee thanks to their Bike Aboard! program. Of course, the engineer and conductors get a two-day weekend, so we’re waiting until Wednesday for our bike ride when the train is running again.

From there, we have a couple of optional routes so we haven’t quite decided where we’ll be heading next. But we’ll let you know as soon as we do!

Adventuring away,

Matthew & Ashley

P.S. – There are lots of ways to RV – here are some of our thoughts about a few:

Mashley’s Adventures – Silver Linings

Current Location: Mackinaw City, MI

There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate.
~ Linda Grayson


This week certainly hasn’t been quite the adventure we expected. After spending a few days in Oshkosh, WI the car was running smoothly once again and we had adjusted tickets for the last boat of the season out to Isle Royale National Park. We found a free campsite out in the Ottawa National Forest, tucked along Sudden Lake. It was a beautiful place to spend a couple of nights until we headed up to Houghton to catch our boat. Along the way, the car sputtered once again and the check engine light came on. We called the Ranger station and let them know we didn’t think we’d be able to make it, once again. We found a mechanic who got the car fixed pretty quickly (it’s wasn’t the spark plug once again, as we feared, but a sensor gone bad.)

Though we missed the boat, we did stop at the visitor center. Technically, we’ve visited Isle Royale National Park. Of course, that didn’t quite satisfy our desire to get out in the wilderness and explore. We’ll definitely be returning another day.

Our planned stop at Oconomowoc Lake didn’t quite go as planned, either. Due to being under the weather, Joni and Jim thought it best that we didn’t come visit just now. We miss our time with them but we want them feeling better!

So we’ve found another free campsite out in the woods, this time just outside Mackinaw City, MI along French Farm Lake. We’re staying for a few days until it’s time to head south for the wedding in Kalamazoo.

Lessons Learned (or relearned):

  • If you look, there’s always something good hidden in the bad.
  • There are fabulous places to (temporarily) live everywhere!
  • Batteries on our phones don’t make for the most efficient long-term reading experience.

Other than some beautiful free campsites, that doesn’t necessarily sound like a great week, does it? Barring a couple of stressful days, we’ve enjoyed it, though. The days of pouring rain? We spent them lounging in the comfort of our CarVee or tent instead of backpacking through them. The Park service returned most of our pre-paid fares. Both of the issues with the PT Cruiser are common occurrences (according to the interwebs) so we should be, statistically, good for another few years. Both of us have been enjoying some extended reading time and Matthew has made some contacts on his amateur HAM radio (finally, after carrying it around since last June). And, at least for now, the weather is nice and sunny, our air mattress in the tent has been superbly cosy, and we’re together with our best friend on this amazing adventure!

Adventuring away,

Matthew & Ashley

P.S. – A few more thoughts about mis-adventures along the adventure of life:

Ashley driving the CarVee

Mashley’s Adventures – Moving into the CarVee


Current Location: Oshkosh, WI

The more you have, the more occupied you are. The less you have, the more FREE you are.
~ Mother Theresa


This week we’ve been gearing up for a new round of adventures while visiting friends and family! The bulk of that preparation included downsizing from Lady Galapagos, our 29′ motorhome, into our PT Cruiser. The Cruiser has long been called “The Cricket” and is now affectionately known as our CarVee. Home sweet home, for the next 8 weeks!

We spent a few unplanned days in Oshkosh, WI due to car problems. Nothing serious but enough to make us miss our boat out to Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior. Though we did manage to switch our tickets to Friday’s boat (the last of the season) for a night on the Isle. It’s a bit of a bummer to lose a few days on the island, but at least we still get to visit!

From there, we’ll be swinging by Aunt Joni & Jim’s Lake Cottage for a few days back in Wisconsin before heading on to Kalamazoo, MI for a wedding celebration on the 17th!

Lessons Learned (or relearned):

  • We really don’t need that much stuff to be happy and comfortable! (We’ll update our thoughts in 8 weeks…)
  • There’s never enough time to spend with the people you love.
  • It’s amazing how much smoother the bicycle is after a tune-up.
  • We don’t make fixed plans for a reason.

Once we leave Kalamazoo then we’ll be heading east, aiming for Maine. The grand northeastern loop will net us a few new Parks (Cuyahoga, Acadia, Shenandoah, and maybe the Great Smokies) plus all of the northeastern states!

It’s going to be an exciting couple of months and we’re psyched about trying out the new mode of travel as well as the chance to explore new places! I’m pretty sure we’ll be happy to return to the RV though, not only because it’s our home and we miss it after being away for a while, but because it’s parked with our Kentucky families so we get to see them again when we return. We sure have missed everyone more than we realized these last 14 months!

Adventuring away,

Matthew & Ashley

P.S. – Curious what a CarVee looks like? Check it out here.

Weekly Newsletter – Mashley’s Adventures – Back In Our Hometown

Current Location: Benton, Kentucky

The true object of all human life is play.
~ G. K. Chesterton


This week we are resting from our travels on the road. We spent four days transversing the U.S. from Washington, through Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri. Lots of driving, but it was nice to be out eating up the miles. We haven’t traveled like that in months and it was an enjoyable change of pace – though we were certainly glad to slow down and be off the road again once we arrived. 😀 We visited three new states (Nebraska, Kansas, and Missouri) along the way and were thrilled to fill in a bit more of our map. There was little in the way of detouring from the interstate but we did get to check out a few cool places, like an original Pony Express station!

The rush home meant we skipped by some pretty spectacular places that have been relegated to the “to do” list for a future visit, but it also afforded us a longer visit with family than would have otherwise been available. And we’ve been loving our time with them! Other than Ashley’s mom’s visit in Washington we haven’t seen anyone in person since heading out, over 14 months ago. And just to make it even sweeter, we’ve been able to catch up with some missed friends as well!

along the oregon trail

original pony express way station

In case you’ve somehow missed it, we greatly enjoy checking out local coffee shops and trying new coffees. We often joke that we’re exploring the country (at least towns and cities) by cafés. Our favorite is still Pipers Coffee and Tea in Paducah, KY. Somehow, we’d managed to be in the area for 5 days before getting to Pipers. On day 4 Ashley said that she was “Pipers depraved.” While I assumed she meant “deprived”, the sentiment still came across loud and clear. 😀

Lessons Learned (or relearned):

  • The Pony Express only ran (pun intended) for about a year. It had nothing to do with the Postal Service (which is what we always thought). They delivered important correspondence or news for the military and government officials running between St. Joseph, Missouri and Sacramento, California.
  • Ashley’s really enjoying the chance to comfortably drive our car, for the first time in over a year.
  • Bicycling in 95% humidity should count as both swimming and bicycling (becasue that’s what it feels like). Ashley came up with the term swimmicyling and said it should be considered a biathalon event. We forgot we were supposed to grow gills before coming back to this area of the U.S. 🙂

Of course, we’re not back in Kentucky for the long haul. After a bit of testing we’ve roughly outfitted the PT Cruiser to be our micro RV for our fall tour of the north east. Storage boxes and a cooler fit well in the back with the rear seats removed. An air mattress fits on them about perfectly and will provide us with a dandy home when we are traveling and don’t want to set up a tent for some reason or another.

It’s a completely different method of travel and we’re pretty excited about a new style of adventuring! Lots of details still to figure out, but we’ve got another week to get them finalized.

Adventuring away,

Matthew & Ashley

P.S. – Want to see pictures in one place? We try to keep mostly up to date on our facebook page ( – even if you don’t have a facebook account! There are also new posts to read at Adventure-Some (

Simple Life

Ashley and I have been very happy on our trip thus far. There have been few bad days. We really are blessed, and we know it.

If you step back and look at it, we are living a pretty simple life. We get up and have a leisurely morning, savoring our coffee and tea as we wake up. Then a home-made breakfast, eaten together.

We write or read or craft for a bit, then either head out for a hike, bicycle ride, enjoy some yoga, or do chores/run errands.

Lunch has recently been a picnic out on the trail (granola, peanuts and raisins, some peanut butter). Or picnics on motorcycle trips, or maybe a salad or left-overs at home. Frequently eaten outside, always together.

In the afternoon we finish our hike, do some chores, read some more, or do more crafts. This is often when we head into town to run errands.

Soon it is time to prepare supper. Once it is finished we eat, together. After cleaning up we relax, get in some more reading, and watch as the sky changes from day to night.

We top off the evening with some herbal tea before bed.

We go to bed tired after a good, full day.

It’s a simple life, one that makes us happy. Set predominately in nature, with good company, real food, and favorite activities. Unrushed and without schedules set by others.