If you're not caught up from my instagram, here's the story. Five months ago Josiah and I had to move out of our Chicago apartment because of an act of violence that made it no longer safe to live there. Instead of just moving to a new Chicago apartment, we both figured out how to make our jobs mobile, bought an old camper, and renovated it in hopes of traveling the United States for six months to a year. A lofty and insanely adventurous endeavor for sure.
Knowing we were still tied to Chicago until I finished wedding season, we decided to take the camper out for a short test run to get a feel of what things would be like living in it for an extended period of time. We quickly learned that hauling a camper across the country was no willy-nilly task. We left on a Friday after Josiah got off work and what was supposed to be under 5 hours took us over 6 hours to get there. This included bottoming out the camper midway between home and Eau Claire resulting in the camper pulling in a tug-of-war fashion the entire rest of the way and also resulting in both Josiah and I’s blood pressure staying at an insanely unhealthy level for nearly 2.5 hours. Not the greatest start.
We arrived at our campsite and began setting up IN THE DARK. A series of other mishaps and fails quickly opened our eyes to the difficulties that could easily arise living full-time on the road. When Josiah woke up on our last night in Eau Claire, I reluctantly uttered the words "I hate camping." He's always been the one more into the idea than I, so I was surprised and really relieved when he replied, "Me too."
Over Labor Day Weekend, despite our hesitation because of how stressful the last trip had been, we packed up our camper and towed it to a state park that was 30 minutes from our house only to realize that something was wrong with one of the electrical connections on the camper leaving us with zero electricity. My dad, Josiah, and one of my parent's friends tried everything imaginable to get it to work and after two solid hours, we resolved to just tow the camper back home.
Just a few days after our second failed attempt, our jeep was totaled in an accident leaving us with nothing to pull it with. Fearful of being halfway across the country (trying to work!) and dealing with the incessant list of issues that seam to arise, our cross-country road trip we had planned, has been put on the back-burner. So as of now Eau Claire, Wisconsin still stands as our first and only camping trip. Whether future trips will happen or not, who's to know. Maybe we're just Airbnb people after all. Either way, renovating the trailer was half the fun. (Or three-quarters. or 99.9%) and we were so happy to have had the experience!
Below you will find recommendations if you are visiting Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
The Nucleus - A really great brunch place.
Informalist - The farm-to-table restaurant we went to for our anniversary dinner.
Farmers Market - There are so many vendors and it's all under a covering so even if it is raining it's worth going.
Shift - A super cute bike and coffee shop put together.
Racey's - A dog-friendly little coffee shop connected to The Nucleus. You can actually order food from the Nucleus and eat at Racey's.
Sights + Shops
Downtown trail - A fun, paved trail that goes through the downtown and by the river.
Lake Wisotta State Park - Great Hiking!
Mount Simon - This is only a short little hike to get some great views of Eau Claire.
Volume One: The Local Store - A super cool gift shop that sells all local goods.
Revival Records - A really cool record shop!