March 22, 2004

Pre-Trip Time Warp.

Here’s what I didn’t know when we decided to take a year off. The lead up time is painfully slow, and the anticipation is overwhelming.
As of today I still have 81 days until I am unemployed, and thereby 81 days to the unofficial kick off of our yearlong adventure. I started the “countdown” at 150 days and this was apparently a mistake, since it seems to have slowed time to a snail's pace. Days drag on, work DRAGS on, and for the next 5 weeks school will continue to drag on as well. Also some sort of strange pre-trip depression has set in, this is particularly odd for a normally happy girl. Motivation levels for anything not having to do with planning for the trip, have reached an all time low. Daydreaming has reached an all time high.
Never before have I wished days away, but what I wouldn’t give to go to bed tonight and wake up tomorrow to learn that it is June 11th.
So here’s my advice. Don’t plan a departure date- just check your bank account and when it reaches the required balance, leave.

March 14, 2004

Project Day

Today was camper project day. Here are the projects we have completed so far:

This used to be a hanging closet that would fit about 3 coats, now it is a nice sized pantry.

Craig from the RV Forum told us how to make these shelves, we made a few modifications but the idea's the same.

Dan installed a stereo, the camper was pre-wired and the speakers were in already, just needed a stereo. Here we are listening to our ipod by using the itrip attachment, this lets you listen through the radio by simply programming a corespoding channel.

This is our game/ book cabinet, was for clothing until we freed up the space by installing the shelves pictured above

This cabinet above the dinette and was too big too be very useful, Dan installed a shelf and the space can be used much more efficiently.

All of the modifications we have made to the bathroom required no drilling, we worried about water getting into any holes we might add, so we rely on suction.

The kitchen

Dan lounging

Storage above the sink

New shelves again

The dinette, the cabinets above are where Dan built his shelf


Rachel put up some heavy duty, two-sidied magnets to hang our knives from

Random other pictures

March 13, 2004

The Pink Book

About three months ago I became overwhelmed by the number of recommendations we were getting. It would seem that “certain behaviors” from my younger days might have stunted my ability to remember all of the places people so nicely told us about. So I decided I needed help. An address book would do the trick. I went to the local bookshop and bought the smallest one they had, which happened to come in only one color, Pepto-Bismol pink.

I entered state names by first letter into the book, as well as special pages for Canada and Mexico. Now whenever someone says in conversation, “when you are in ______ you MUST visit ______" it goes into the book. If I know this person well enough to know their address, I also add their name to the listing. For example: on the Baja page “ Surf spots K38 and K39, San Miguel (Husong’s bar)- Rick”. This way when I get trundled by the surf at K38 I’ll be reminded whose fault, namely Rick’s, it is. My goal is to visit the places recommended and send a postcard from there to the person who suggested it, or in Rick’s case my medical bill.
Of course if you recommend a place out west, where we will be early on in the trip, your odds of getting a card are higher than say if you suggest the everglades, but who knows I may just come through.

March 05, 2004

Preliminary Itinerary

Here's the plan for today.
June 11th work our last day for a year. For the next two weeks pack up our house and do a few trial runs in the camper between weddings. Congratulations to Lauren and Dusty, and Mead and Leanne- and no we don't really hold any ill will against you for planning weddings which delay our departure date.

We will be departing Colorado on June 28th

First Leg, July: Off to Yosemite, we have about a week to get there because we have reservations. So far we have only made two reservations for the entire year.

From there we're headed to San Francisco, California- to visit friends and return Beth's dog to her. (Beth is Rachel's best friend, who loves and adores the dog they once shared like her own, that is before Dan came along and stole her away. Beth is taking custody of the dog for the year)

Kala, the dog-bye bye K. June 1991 to March 2004 photo by Robert Marcos

Rachel and Beth.

Here's where it starts getting vague...

Second Leg, Late July to Mid-September:
Northern Cali, Oregon, Washington and B.C., while in B.C. we will be doing a bit of scouting for our winter plans.
Then it's on to Jackson, WY and Yellowstone National Park, where we have made our second reservation, for about a week.

Third Leg, August 20th- September 8th-ish: 18-21 days rafting the Colorado river through the Grand Canyon, that's right turn green with envy, we are part of a private river trip through the ditch! Thanks Bjorn for actually applying for a permit, we would have done it if we'd had the $100 permit fee ten years ago, we swear!

Bjorn kayaking the surf in Carmel

Us raftin'

Fourth Leg, Late September- Christmas:
Mexico. We will be starting out in Baja for a few months of surfing. Then ferrying across to the mainland, where we hope to meet up with Rachel's folks for Thanksgiving, North of Puerto Vallarta. From there we'll be heading north arriving in Austin, TX in time to spend X-mas with Dan's family.

Dan and Rachel with Rachel's folks, John and Norton Roberts

Fifth Leg, New Years -05 Till the Thaw: British Columbia, Canada. We intend to ski/ snowboard as much as we possibly can :)

Dan and Rachel riding Snowbasin, Utah

Sixth Leg, Thaw- Till the Money Runs Out: East, across Canada and down the coast of the U.S.

When the Money Runs Out: haven't quite gotten this far.....