The Oregon Trail

After 3 days of trying to stuff our little, 12-foot Penske truck with our precious belongings, Libby and I were ready to embark on our adventure! We picked up our friend, Zach, in Des Moines, IA to assist with our move, and it’s a good thing we did! Each day presented us with a new challenge to overcome…


Day 1: Making tracks across the barren land that is known as…. Nebraska…

Day 2: Wyoming welcomes us with slushy snow, and I start to get sick while staying the night with family in Wyoming.

Day 3: We say goodbye to my Wyoming family and face the (mostly still barren) hills of Idaho. I get sicker as we enter Oregon to spend the night in Pendleton.

Day 4: My sickness reaches its peak as we finish our drive to Portland, where Zach and Libby unload the truck (to an apartment on the FOURTH floor, with no elevator) as I sleep.

Day 5: We take an hour to locate Penske’s drop-off location; I have now lost my voice. Then, the fun unpacking starts…



Deciding to move was one of the hardest choices I have ever made. Saying, not goodbye, but “see you later” to our family was tearful and bittersweet for everyone. Both Libby and I were raised in Iowa, but it was time to finally realize our West Coast dreams and pull those deep, Iowa roots from the ground.


However, making the decision and embarking on the journey were not and are not the only fears and challenges that we face. A new home, so unfamiliar and far from loved ones, presents a multitude of obstacles, and I plan to push through them and come out on top. I’m ready to work harder than ever to “make it”!


Setting up the apartment was no small feat. Zach and I assembled almost every piece of furniture now in our apartment, and Libby meticulously unwrapped and placed all of the kitchen and decorative components.


On top of that, Zach had never been to Oregon, so we had to explore! For our breaks between putting together IKEA furniture and hanging things on the walls, we went hiking, grabbed an interesting bite to eat, got lost, and found our way back again. Hundreds of photos were taken, but I believe that the photo below best represents Zach’s weeklong adventure.

A Whole New World

Libby and I are finally “settled into” our new apartment. However, we felt that we were missing one piece of the puzzle to help make our house a home. So, we adopted our new pup, Luna, a black lab/pointer mix born in Mexico and sent to a rescue here in Oregon. Libby, Luna, and I have already gone on so many adventures, from puppy training to the beach.


We’re excited to keep adventuring and exploring together, as a family. I will continue to post updates on these adventures including, most importantly, gorgeous photo and video content! Be sure to check out my Instagram @bluemelt for daily updates!

What is a fear you have conquered?  Let me know in the comments!