Mashley’s Adventures – Road Trips, Visits and Sketches

Current Location: Fayetteville, NC

I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.
~ John Burroughs


Feels like we’ve finally been busy! Matthew’s been having a lot of fun sketching and has been updating his art website. Even more exciting, however, was our road-trip this weekend (a vacation?) down to Myrtle Beach … where we met up with Jackie for a visit!

She travels a lot for work and we arranged a meet-up, knowing she would be near-by. Ashley’s schedule request didn’t go as hoped (no surprise) but we were able to head out Friday once she got off work and in a short 3 hours we had settled in at the delightful Myrtle Beach State Park campground. Jackie caught up with us and we spent a fabulous afternoon/evening together – chatting until early Saturday morning. Unfortunately, Jackie’s flight back to the Pacific Northwest was only a few hours later, so our visit was all-too-brief (though we’d say that no matter how long it lasted).

We had all day Saturday to explore. Started off the day with a walk along the nature trail and back along the beach. Then into town for a stroll along the boardwalk, art gallery and coffee shop exploration… it was a fabulous day spent together!

The minimum stay at the campground was two nights and Ashley had to be back at work Sunday evening. So that morning we both woke early, packed up and meandered out. Stopped for a delicious breakfast before leaving Myrtle Beach and then bee-lined back to Fayetteville. Laundry to be done and naps to take before work that night.

While it was a shame to visit for such a short time, it was great to be back on the road again! Sitting still, we’ve allowed clutter to build up a bit inside the RV, so it was definitely refreshing to pack everything away once more! Plus, it was just good to be moving, felt like home! 😀

If you’re in the area, we really enjoyed Myrtle Beach State Park campground. The beach was right next to the campground so it was easy to get out and enjoy the sunset over the ocean. Sure, it’s the off-season so a lot of stores were closed… but it was pretty empty everywhere we went. Our kind of touristing!

Adventuring away,

Matthew & Ashley

P.S. – During the week, Matthew’s been having fun sketching. He dug out supplies in December and has been playing since. Finally getting around to updating his art website – – you can see his doodles, and the progression, starting with this post. If you want to read it, just keep following the “next post” to see each new bit in order.

Mashley’s Adventures – Holidays and Routines

Current Location: Fayetteville, NC

An artist using a sketchbook always looks like a happy person.
~ Roger Ebert


It’s been a while since we’ve sent out an update, but to be honest, life has been unusually routine and mundane lately. Between Ashley’s night shift and the cool/damp weather, we’ve both found ourselves spending a lot of time sleeping and hanging out inside the RV (as the other sleeps or is at work). Good thing we love our cozy home!

Matthew pulled out his sketchbooks and has been playing with different pens (doodling a lot of people in the cafeteria at the hospital while waiting for Ashley’s morning escape).

We’ve made some reservations for National Parks in Florida and are planning out other visits along the way. Over-all, we have a very rough plan for 2017, that hopefully includes the completion of our quest to visit all 48 contiguous states. Though we fully expect a change or two along the way. Plans set in jello, and all that… 😀

Fortunately, Ashley didn’t have to work for four days after the 23rd. We traded stockings and put away all our Christmas decorations then hit the road. Ashley slept as Matthew drove back to Newport, TN to join Matt, Brittney, and the nieces for a fabulous Christmas. Norma and Jim joined us on the 24th for a lovely time.

It was over all too soon, though tentative plans have been made for future get-togethers since we’re relatively close by for the next 6 weeks.

Back in Fayetteville, Ashley reluctantly jumped right back into the hospital, though we’re looking at the upcoming schedule to see when we can get away for more excursions. We can’t wait until February gets here so we can hit the road and get back to days filled with exploring, hiking, biking… and sunshine! We hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and has a Happy New Year!

Adventuring away,

Matthew & Ashley

Journal entry – 5 August 2015, Wed

Journal entries are just that – the digital copy of my hand-written entries in my journal. If you aren’t interested in the daily details of our adventure, feel free to skip on to the next “regular” post.


Despite our best intentions to wake early the alarm at 5:00 was simply turned off. We woke at our normal time, ate breakfast, and then headed out on our bikes for a ride. Ran out of route ideas after a bit and stopped to find a geocache. Finally found one in Iowa! Once we loop through Minnesota again I will find one there and will be back on the way to finding a cache in each state.


We head back home and have a salad for lunch, then it’s time to settle in and get some work done. Ashley makes soap on the picnic table and I paint at the booth. Next time we will switch spots as she had to come in and out for the kitchen a number of times while I remained stationary other than occasional refills of my rinse cup.

The chemist at work

With the RAGBRAI and serious training completed our focus is now building up some income. Ashley is going to continue making soap and I am going to try selling art. Still have to figure out some logistics and details for both but starting out with some products created seems like a good way to go.


Ashley wraps up and puts her soap away to set as I finish my first painting. She cleans up her equipment and we head back to Central Park for the Farmer’s Market. Though not huge there is a good selection at decent prices. Everything looks delicious and we fill our backpacks with produce.


After shopping we go next door to explore Rustic Corner. Ashley checked it out yesterday and thought I would appreciate it. Boy, was she right! They are very crafty and have quite an art supply section. Lots of tools and materials caught my attention, including a pen/glue stick combo that I had never seen before. They even had a book section on zentangles and zendangles with some interesting ideas. I will have to do further research on those.


Back at home I begin my next painting while Ashley preps supper. The first attempt is much darker and heaver than I planned so I work on a second version concurrently.


Supper is ready so I take a break, conveniently allowing backgrounds to dry. Supper is delicious! Baked sweet potato, grilled chicken and grilled garlic mushrooms. Relatively simple fare but good quality ingredints and well-seasoned. Ashley really is becoming quite a talented cook!


I finish up both of the paintings and am pleased with both of them. They focus on the same subject matter but with completely different techniques and feels.


After cleaning up painting supplies we read for a bit and then head to bed.