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October, 2011:

THAT Was Awesome.

Man, we did it. And yes, we still speak to one another.

A few things I learned.

  • People, in general, are really nice.
  • Those Class A motorhomes are bigger and nicer than our apartment. (And there’s a 90% chance it’s a retired couple with a tiny dog in there.)
  • A little Burt’s Bees chapstick can really brighten your mood. Try it.
  • Going on a six month trip? Install Sirius/XM immediately. You can never listen to too much NPR. Well, almost never.
  • A cow running is funny. And there are so many cows out there.
  • Heat wave? No problem. You just can’t make any movements outdoors past 10am. Just sit there.
  • Raining? Just keep driving.
  • When you live in a van, modesty is quickly forgotten. (Mental note to self as I shaved my legs on the side of the road, Mission Bay Park, San Diego.)
  • When living in a van, one can never have too many cup holders.
  • From the beach to the mountaintop, in today’s day and age, working remotely is truly a viable option.
  • America is beautiful.
  • Life. Is. Good. And I don’t just mean when you live in a van. But…
  • Living in a van is da coolest!


Terry and I want to thank everyone who was a part of this trip with us. Whether we crashed on your couch, met you for lunch, used your electricity to plug Kirby in, went on an adventure with you, LIVED with you when we got back to town, if you cooked us a meal, shared a beer with us, let us do laundry at your house, or even if you just read and commented on the blog. Thank you. From the bottom of our hearts. We love you all!

This journey will be a part of us forever…

As this chapter closes, here’s to what’s lies ahead.


Strictly Cool

Gillian Welch. John Prine. Merle Haggard. Robert Plant. Patty Griffin. Steve Earle. Punch Brothers. Bela Fleck. Emmylou Harris. Buckethead. Can you imagine a festival that brings all of these amazing talents together? For free? In gorgeous Golden Gate Park? It’s real. It’s the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival.

Music is so important to me and has been such a big part of this trip, we figured such an event would be a great way to bring our journey to an end. I was amazed. Although there were grips of people there, it was a very friendly event. At the end of each night, the moderator reminded everyone to pick up after themselves and take care of each other. And everybody actually did.

Thank you, Roger and Kim for letting us loiter around your place for the weekend. Viva California!

Gillian & Dave

Gillian & Dave.

mighty ducks

Mighty Ducks?

old friends

Not only does the guy tear it up on guitar and look good wearing a bucket on his head, he has sweet robot moves and nunchuck skills.



Raw and Beautiful

It just keeps calling us back. The sea. So raw and beautiful. Especially in Northern California. I hope it stays this way forever.

“You know the way you smell when you first come home from the beach? Well, I want to make a cologne that captures the essence of that smell”
– Cosmo Kramer


"Even the upper end of the river believes in the ocean."


Redwoods provide a dark canopy and little glimpses of the sky.

on a beach somewhere...

On a beach somewhere...

bear tracks

Looks like a bear sniffed something out..

ocean life

Bear bite. Ocean life can be harsh.

terry tracks

Terry tracks.

seaweed snake

A seaweed snake (self named).

Two cuties

Two cute sea lions peeking out at us. I hereby name them Harry and Lloyd.

green seashell

Green sea thing


Cheers to the guy who invented the camera timer.

Surrounded by beauty

Surrounded by beauty

Goodnight, sweet ocean.

Goodnight, sweet ocean.

To America’s Libraries

Thank you, America. Your libraries were one thing you got right. Libraries have served as a place of sanction and escape from the van these past months. For those who think libraries are on the fritz, on their way out, or a thing of the past, I beg to differ. From what I have seen, the libraries of America are alive and thriving. Go visit yours!

Ferndate Library

That’s Deep

I continue to be awestruck by this amazing world of ours. There is nowhere else on earth like Crater Lake, one of America’s fine National Parks.

The hole in the earth was not created by a crater as originally thought, but rather by volcanic activity back in the day. No rivers flow into the lake. Just lots of rain and snow. The water is pure, clean, and bluer than the sky above. At nearly 2,000 feet, it’s the deepest lake in the U.S.

Crater Lake & Wizard Island

Crater Lake & Wizard Island

And yay for campsites with free wood! We met some new friends Pete and Laura and were able to have the biggest bonfires, thanks (or no thanks) to the pine beetle and the trees it’s killed.


There are a few things you can count on when you visit your old neighbor and friend Jessica. Good food. Good wine. Good conversation. Sadly (but also excitingly), she and her hubby Pete recently moved to Eugene, where Jess started a doctorate program at the University of Oregon. Home of the Ducks. What a great mascot.

Although we were missing Pete, we had such a lovely time in an awesome city. We biked the town, hiked a butte, did some important work at the Pizza Research Institute, and had a mellow but memorable ladies night out. Thanks for everything. Until next time…

Pizza Research Institute

Pizza Research Institute: for the betterment of mankind.

PRI Eugene

That homeless guy in front of the PRI - or was he?

spencer butte

On top of Spencer Butte

pesto pasta

pesto + orzo + kale + crusty bread

ladies night

Jessica doing the Steve Jobs pose