Normally our blog is about realizations, streams of consciousness, etc and rarely do we write about where we went, how we got there and what we did. Before we left on our 16 month North American van adventure, many people told us where to go and how to get there and what to do. While we were/are grateful for the insight, it was overwhelming. We are more casual and prefer to go with our gut (or our google/Instagram) and keep our ears and eyes open to insight we get from others along the way. However, we recently spent 5 days in a van driving around Iceland and a quick visit to a place with so much to offer warrants some type of itinerary. We decided a summary of our adventure might be helpful for others who are headed to the land of fire + ice…cuz everyone seems to be doing it these days.
After 11 months on the road, we were finally in punting distance of Boulder which meant two of our good friends could intercept us. With a couple of months of planning, we met up with Kevin and Charlotte in Tucson, Arizona for some riding, hiking, camping and hanging out. We all knew there was good mountain biking in the area, but we were in search of groads, fewer cars and more smiles. With a little plotting and scheming on Ride With GPS, I had mapped out a ride that would tick off all the boxes: Continue Reading
Today marks 365 days on the road living the #VanLife dream. Today marks “Five Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand Six Hundred Minutes” of truly feeling grateful for this journey. Therefore, please indulge me for a moment while I reflect and paraphrase one of the greatest songs from one of the greatest musicals/movements of all time: “Seasons of Love” from “RENT”:
When you think of Texas you are probably like me. You think it’s a very large dry state and it’s known for BBQ, large portion sizes, ranchers/cowboys, oil fields and the occasionally good sports team. Congrats, you are like me and 99% of all other Americans. BUT WAIT…
When we departed on our year+ long journey Ellie (the van) was dialed. Pamela and I didn’t see much that we wanted nor needed to change. Three months into the trip I choose to make sliding bike trays. The reason was for the ease of access and additional storage it created. Thanks to our friend Dakota for pushing me to do them and our friend David for the use of his shop and tools, again.
We’ve all heard of the 7 year itch. It’s not a good thing or a bad thing. To me It’s just a “thing” the media and society has made a thing. I’ve often wondered where the phrase came from and how it relates to people. So with a little digging (thanks Google), here is a little insight:
The seven-year itch is a psychological term that suggests that happiness in a relationship declines after around year seven of a marriage. The phrase originated as a name for a contagious and irritating skin disease of a long duration. Examples of reference may have been mites that live under the skin (scabies) and cause severe itching that is hard to get rid of. Later on the phrase was first used to describe an inclination to become unfaithful after seven years of marriage in the play The Seven Year Itch by George Axelrod, and gained popularity following the 1955 film adaptation starring Marilyn Monroe and Tom Ewell…You all know this Image… Continue Reading
Here is a video I put together that shows the entire buildout of our sprinter van, Ellie.
The build was done in June of 2015. Since the initial completion, I added a few things like the Thule Alpine roof storage and the sliding bike trays.
To date we’ve logged 18k miles in just under 7 months on the road.
Enjoy a little bit of it here.
I wrote the following piece back in April. We were a handful of weeks in to our trip, riding in Santa Rosa, California. While the recount of the day’s ride is a bit dated, the theme is something that is recurring. As I type this intro it’s following a fun ride around Cape Breton, Nova Scotia in Canada. It was primarily a road ride, but we did some off road exploring on a fairly technical trail and it was windy ! The wind was a steady 30 mph, there was rutted out trail under my tires and a wild ocean full of white caps in periphery. It was this highly disorienting combination that made me realize I had never done anything with this piece from April. So…here it is: Dizzying Dirt Roads.
When you’re traveling in a van for over a year and you read about a gravel road ride/race based out of the state you grew up in…you put a flag in the ground on the date of the ride and make a point to attend. While on the ferry ride from Bellingham, Washington to Haines, Alaska, this is exactly what Pamela and I did after reading a blurb about the Franklin Land Trust D2R2 in Outside Magazine, #D2R2 Continue Reading
After many many months of van building research, before I tackled the buildout with my friend David, I came across Dakota’s blog, Traipsing About. I was stoked with his idea for slide out bike trays. However, I wasn’t sure if I really wanted or needed them when David and I built our van back in 2015. Pamela and I have been living in our van now for 4.5 months and we wouldn’t change the overall layout and feel. While on our journey, we’ve had the pleasure of meeting and seeing Dakota and Chelsea’s van in person a few times. During our visits we had the pleasure of exchanging road stories and buildout successes and failures (nothing really failed..just modifications).