Tag

pan am overland

Browsing

Today’s Saturday and I had to triple check that. My Cool Cat profile series is on hold till I get this blog fixed – all my moaning and groaning for so long about multi-site…? Yeah, it’s still going on, but THE END IS IN SIGHT! For real, really it is. And once it is, what that means is if you are reading this blog for JUST travel or JUST disability (or art/family) – you’d want to subscribe to those feeds.

The main blog – here – will be for all posts. But all the other sites – Family With a Little Moxie, Travel With a Little Moxie, Art With a Little Moxie and Disability With a Little Moxie are in and of themselves, separate blogs. Separate blogs that will talk only about those respective subjects on those sites (- which is why if you dig one or the other but not all, you really should just subscribe to the one you like). But if you like it all – just stay right here on the main site. ūüôā

And! speaking of posts! There are so many great ones this week because of it being National Down syndrome Awareness month here in the US. I’m a little overwhelmed by it all because it’s like, during this ONE MONTH, fifty million brilliant posts about Down syndrome float the internets and it’s just too much for my set of eyes to gulp down. But! Two blogs are standing out for me right now because they are fantastic writers who don’t usually write all that much – Our Cora Bean and The Unknown Contributor.

The post that had nothing to do with Down syndrome but everything to do with friendship and had me bawling? That was this one, How to Say Goodbye, from my friend Melissa.

She’s my best friend that I’ve never met and we ‘talk’ to each other pretty much all day long through texting. I have been avoiding thinking about what it’s going to be like when I’m not able to reach her.

I am convinced that in some former life we churned butter side by side in Sweden or Ireland or someplace cold. I think it had to have been someplace cold because she has this thing for knitting that I don’t think can be born so easily or quickly besides having spent one’s former life freezing. Anyway, I think we sat there, side by side, in some former life, and talked about easy things like cats and kids, in between squirts from milking the cows or butter pounds, and slipping in the harder things like justice, religion, purpose, meaning and integrity in life when our breaths were caught. Maybe we talked about Star Trek then too, but I doubt it because I picture us in our former lives with long skirts and no electricity. But who knows, right?!

So, I don’t know what I’m going to do without her while I’m on the road.

But I do know that it’s extra impetus for finding a place to settle and calling her on over and finally meeting – only then, hopefully, it will be sitting side by side on a beach – maybe she’ll knit swimsuits? – and we’ll talk about easy things like coconuts and kids, in between trickles of sand running through our feet.

 

***

My One True Darling Man, Mikey and I have caught our breaths after the events of last week and are dealing with the final sift through and purge of our stuff ¬†(- okay, MY stuff! ALL MINE HONEY!! I admit it! It’s MINE! ). It’s really not hard. Once you’ve gone through the agony of truckloads of your possessions slipping beyond you, it’s really not hard to let go of that last Duran Duran CD. You know?

We’re also in big-time camper-prep mode. You see, we did not have time or space to test out the camper and tweak it all until now. We are testing EVERYTHING: each and every article of clothing, plate ware, chairs, lanterns, charging hookups, coats – it’s COLD!! We are freezing our asses off!!! – shoes, I mean, everything!

It’s the final heave-ho.

Like we are walking sideways while holding on to the rail, dipping toes into the water before we jump off.

It’s exciting because we are ready and it’s scary as it all can get out because, well, um, yeah, I don’t think I need to expound on that part, do I? Of course it’s scary! What about leaving your country with your 3 little kids in a teeny tiny camper is not scary?!

Here’s some photos from the last week from my Instagram – I’m @withalittlemoxie there if you care to follow my feed – and also some photos that I wanted to post but didn’t.

photo (4)

IMG_1753 IMG_1780 IMG_2073 IMG_2087 IMG_2093 IMG_2135 IMG_2146

 

Have a great Saturday.

Oh – and I’m also posting a photo a day of Moxie over on Disability With a Little Moxie – in honour and celebration of Ds Awareness.

Last? But not least – I was featured over on Letters to Thrive – my letter to younger Meriah. Letters to Thrive has been my new-favorite-site for a long time now – it’s simply letters by women with a disability to their younger selves. How cool is that? How wonderful and powerful and smile-worthy is that? Check it out, bookmark, share (- the site; not talking about my piece but if you’d like to share that, I won’t complain one*tiny bit, not at all)

 

 

 

Alameda is the small island off the coast of Oakland where we’ve been living since I was pregnant with Number One.

We love the place – it’s a charming little island across the bay from San Francisco. There is a great beach, a view of San Francisco that is beatable only by the view from the San Quentin Prison and since it’s where people like to move to breed, it’s chock full of strollers, parks, and all things “baby”.

It’s a pretty wonderful place to live, which is I guess why we’ve been there for so long!

Moving on with our dreams and life by way of the Pan Am Overland, and with a big sentimental ball of mush named, “me”, we went around and said goodbye to places that I know I’ll speak of in the future with a certain amount of longing. Like…

IMG_1445

 

Trader Joe’s.

My favorite supermarket. That bastion of high flavour, low-cost!

Oh, Trader Joe’s! How I shall miss you!¬†

IMG_1439

 

Our beach, with memories coating just about every.single.inch of the territory. This is where Moxie was eating grass in that one post.

IMG_1436

Our tree. This is where we got married!

IMG_1600

Our old apartment… this where I gave birth to Moxie! (bottom left – oh, how we loved this place!)

Our little McD’s – okay we didn’t really need to say goodbye to that place – I know we”ll have more McD’s than we will care to on the road. But I won’t likely forget the stunning diversity in that little play space soon. Hanging out with a Croatian grandma and a Tongan mother while watching the kids….?! Conversations with mama from Hong Kong about the relative merits of various local Dim Sum houses?! You just don’t get diversity like that in many places. And friendly diversity at that.

IMG_1315

My true friend, Terre: may good karma follow her through her life. She eased our hearts by taking Dante in for her very own.

We miss him.

IMG_1480

 

Goodbye to our teeny tiny apartment. The place where we grew so much.

The past week has been so intense. Sitting on the floor and just sobbing, wondering WHAT THE FUCK we were doing, HOW ON EARTH we were going to see this through, even just past the point of cleaning the apartment.

It. Was. Hard.

Stupid-hard, like excruciating, take-every-bit-of-our-soul, hard.

Hard to my marrow, hard like,”is it too late to back out?”, hard. Hard, because I hoard memories and I had to throw out truckloads.

Hard, because I had to make choices on what I wanted more: an intangible future or a tangible past.

Guess what I chose?

IMG_1548

 

Yep. I chose the u-haul. The goodbye. The leaving.

Besides the “you can do this!” messages from my best friends, discovering these helped me sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much:

IMG_1491

 

They truly made me pause.

Because I had forgotten, you see. I had forgotten that only THREE YEARS AGO, I was struggling to use these because I had been paralyzed from placenta being left in ¬†me after Moxie’s home birth. THREE YEARS AGO I was still in crippling pain and when the physical therapist gave these to me and suggested we try and walk to the end of the block with these, I started crying because I had no idea how I could do it, I was hurting so fucking much.

THREE. YEARS.

And here I was crying because I had no idea how I could finish the cleaning, the purging, the scrubbing, the…everything that this move was necessitating.

Okay.

I can do this, Universe. I can do this, God. Because You carried me this far; I can do this.

I can do this.

IMG_1483

 

Or rather, “we”, because let me tell you : it was definitely Mikey too.

IMG_1499 IMG_1504

 

***

Back to goodbyes.

We said goodbye to our favorite Taco Truck – and MacQ had his first bite of lime!

IMG_1540IMG_1542IMG_1543IMG_1547

 

And our hearts were full as we pulled away.

IMG_1668

Our hearts were not so sad – it was time, this is the right thing – we are ready and we want this.

But full. Our  hearts were full.

*****

PS

This is Down syndrome Awareness Month in the US – I am participating in the 31-for-21 Blog Challenge through my “31 Photos” – which is a photo a day, on Disability With a Little Moxie. Please join me there, and also for the 3/21 Community Blog Hop which will be held here – same time, same place.

So many ways we can drive ourselves into loops! The possibilities are pretty much endless! Okay, so here are some of mine:

1. Think you can handle 3 kids:

photo 1

hahahahaaaaaa!! See?! They know! They are totally laughing too!

photo 2
hahaha – you thought you could handle us?!

Pretty funny, huh

2. Get ridiculously inspired by a trip to Baja and some gorgeous beaches

point and shoot, iphone, completely unedited sunrise shot from stepping out of our tent in the morning.
point and shoot, iphone, completely unedited sunrise shot from stepping out of our tent in the morning.

 and inspired by our kids, roaming in delight

IMG_2130

so happy and inspired that we turn to one another (“we” being My One True Darling Man Mikey and myself) and say over our Nescafe,

IMG_0630

“let’s be adventurers!”

Let’s!

Let’s create this amazing story with our kids, let’s TRAVEL THE PAN AMERICAN HIGHWAY AND FIND OUR HOME!!!!! Build our Inn! Do what we dream of doing!

WOOOOOOOOOO-HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

 

panamoverland

3. Okay.

4. Decide to travel in a truck that you name “Myrtle” cuz it’s a TURTLE

IMG_0182

One land-lubbin’ piece o’ luvin’

IMG_0633

Make sure to go through something like THREE OTHER TRUCKS first, though! Gotta make sure you want what you want, right? And while you are at it, try out other campers! Make sure your $600 Alaskan’s the real*deal*heart*steal

And then? Try and engage in huge enormous projects that you have never done before! Liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiike,

  • hitch up solar panels!
  • find and putting in a flatbed!
  • install a water pump!
  • – an entire truck braking system overhaul!
  • – take out the cab benches and put in captain’s chairs!

 

…and other stuff but this is getting long and I know you will take my word for it that this list is loooooooooooooooooooong!

5. 3 kids!

IMG_0401

6. One of whom is named, “Moxie”

IMG_0669

… and is currently heavily engaged in the fine art of teaching her little brother how to make as many MAGNIFICENT MESSES in one day as possible!

IMG_0667

Here a mess, there a mess, everywhere a mess, MESS!

A pile of clean clothes? MESS!

Sorting through donation/for sale piles? KAAAAA-PLUNK! Mess!

Boxes? MESS!

– Oh – and what’s this? TOILET PAPER?!!!! bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!

7. This.

IMG_9977

All the clothes. For your whole entire 5 person family. Will need to fit in this.

8. AAAAAAACCCCCCCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK!!!!!!

IN TEN DAYS!!!!

9. And your blog is farting on you and the computer battery won’t charge and there is something or another something involving RAM and your multi-site thing is still not kicking in!

10. MESS!

11. KIDS!

12. Messy kids! Kids are messy! Mess n’ kids! KIDS! MESS!

IMG_0363

13. OMG.

Salmonella? Are you kidding me? Or is this irritable bowel syndrome? WTF?

leaves3

 

Yeah, totally, HAHAHAHAHAHA!

Those are my handy-dandy crazy-making tips right here and now.

What are yours?!

 

 

PS.

TEN DAYS!!!!!

 

 

 

25 days, people.

TWENTY-FIVE DAYS!

DAYS!

25 of ’em!

Shit is getting REAL.

I’m in full freak out mode right now, especially when a few things are taken into consideration:

Mikey’s working on the truck FULL TIME in between working his FULL TIME job; I’m doing stuff mostly solo for the next couple of weeks

And by “solo” I mean, ALONE. My mom might help out with a child or two here and there, and grateful as I am for that, that’s it

We have the majority of a whole apartment to divest of!

photo 1

Woo-Hoo! – yeah, Mikey’s thrilled. The hoarder gene missed him by a mile and landed with triple force on me instead.

Yesterday I walked into the room where we are storing/sorting crap and saw this

photo 2

– Moxie had climbed into the drawer which will hold ALL of her belongings, come October. All of ’em. In that one narrow little drawer. I took one look at her and the mess she and Mack and created and started bawling that big huge, gulping ugly howling cry, slid on down the floor, they came on over and huggled (- yes, that’s a word, by the way, it’s cross between a “hug” and a “snuggle”) me, dried my tears on up like only little kids can, I took some deep breaths and felt like everything was okay. This is okay, we can do it, I’ve done worse/more/ this shit is NOTHING; no problem.

Sort of. Something like that.

Then I whipped out my beloved sharpie pens and got to list making because lists make me feel gooooooooooooooooooooooooood. fiyah to my deeeesaiiiya and all. They also keep me from falling asleep when I get stressed and then my narcoleptic brain wants to shut down – disability accommodation! hahaha.

So. Anyway. The house is full of lists now. Some even have some items crossed off! Sweeeeeeeet.

Having kids at a time like this is just weird. They make it so much harder – oh my God, YES – I’d be done with this already if I was kidless. But they also make it that much more fun.

Moxie? She is a riot! With this wild sense of humour that is awesome to be around.

photo 3

 

– she lined up these chairs – why? WHEELS ON THE BUS!! – but of course.

and she had her dollies sitting in the other chairs.

photo 5

 

Meanwhile this guy is chucking a fit at every which turn except the one in which I pick him up THIS INSTANT. It must be a phase or something. But OH! I just want to eat his cheeks up all.the.time.

Yum. Yum.

25 days. And we are OUT.

I want this post to be out there, on this blog, and I want to be able to link to it in a year, pointing my finger, all,¬†“See?! See?! I was totally scared and I DID IT!

Because I am. I’m so scared sometimes that I become paralyzed.

What am I scared of?

Well, when I was around 13, we moved from Fiji to Hawaii. I had a full life in Fiji – I had finally come to place in which I understood things, I had friends in school. I wasn’t cool but I wasn’t¬†uncool – I was just a little off centre but that was okay (and you know how much all that means to 13-year-olds). We rented a nice big old house that I loved in downtown Suva, my brother and I had tremendous freedom. We had a little bread-making business that made us some spending money, we could bike or bus anywhere. The air was warm. The rotis were fresh. The coke came from bottles and Wham! was still popular.

So then we moved to Hawaii.¬†To¬†Hilo,¬†Hawaii. Where it rains almost every day and everyone hung out in the mall (-we didn’t have any money), my brother and I were completely dependent on our parents (- we didn’t have any money), the public transport system was nonexistent and we moved to a place we could afford, which was halfway out in the boondocks, away from anything or everything (and no public transport!). It was a place with low ceilings, made from cinderblock, with a thin, sad carpet. My mom bought ‘botched job’ sheets from the dry cleaner’s and ironed on that stuff that is supposed to make it all stick together, so that the sheets would be curtains.

And they were our curtains.

Thin, sad, sagging pieces of botched-ness that hung like wrung out misery upon our windows.

Those curtains are huge in my mind.

They represent everything that makes me chicken shit.

Really, they do. They are poverty, sickness, abuse, friendlessness, isolation all combined in one joyless fell swoop.

When I think, what am I scared of? – I get an immediate mental image of those curtains.

My curtains now may not be really special to most of you out there, but they are special to me.

They are bright and colourful and they make me happy when I look at them. I bought them about 7 years ago, and I bought them because I loved them and I could afford them – in that order.

When we go through this process of getting rid of everything we own – which is something I have done before – I freeze up because I can’t get the sad Hilo curtains out of my head. I’m supposed to get rid of my happy-making curtains, get rid of everything – and it’s¬†so hard for me.

I love the material! And not just fabric, material, I love stuff! Things, belongings! And yes, I do love fabric itself Рwhich I attach memories to the way some people do to smells.

The process of getting rid of what little we do possess might actually be more than I can do at this point.¬†Soooooooooooo….. I’ve tried working¬†with¬†it, visualizing on what I want¬†MORE THAN¬†my curtains: I want freedom, I want our Inn, I want strong children, I want beauty and experiences, morning sunrises on Mexican beaches (even if it means nescafe and not real coffee).

Mexican +beach sunrise

Mexican +beach sunrise

¬†But even then – even then! – I still freeze up! I’m still scared!

So I think for me, it’s not about conquering my fear, it’s about finding some way of working¬†through¬†my fear, something that brings me relief.

You know what I’ve found brings me that relief? The thought of keeping my curtains. My bright, happy-making, colourful curtains.

Even if I keep them in a box in storage, I think just knowing that I have curtains that I love that are there if this whole venture blows up in our face and we have to return home, tail between our legs or something. We’ll have our curtains.

****

I want to think I’m not alone in this, that we all have our areas of being or feeling chicken shit. That living with moxie doesn’t necessarily come easily to all, that some of us have to really struggle for it. That it’s one thing to have the vision (which can be hard in and of itself to find – what we truly want to do with ourselves and lives), and it’s another thing to try and let that unfold while clearing the hard ground of our minds of unpleasant memories/fear.

Can you please tell I’m not alone?¬†k’, thanks

From where I am, I think the only way to make ginormous jumps into new ground isn’t to ignore fear; it’s to find way to feel relief and move through it.

That’s what I think.

So I’m writing this right now. I pray that I’ll be looking back at this post in a year, like, ‘yeaaaah! I finally figured that one thing out!’

– how to live with a little moxie.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Making a big life change is pretty scary. But you know what’s even scarier? Regret.

Pan Am Overland, baby. It’s one freakin’ huge, gigantic, colossal, enormous (help me out here: more adjectives for “big” please)____________ change. It’s change on a level that is enough to send most people to therapy which is why I suppose most people don’t do this sort of thing.

“This sort of thing” being to hop in a truck with a camper and their 3 kids and drive down to another continent.

Mikey and I are slightly terrified. The potential for f***ing up royally is there. And on the opposite site of the same coin is the potential to succeed beyond our wildest dreams, to really do something great and grand with our lives and to take one big fat bite out of the cookie in which dreams are made.

Anyway, yeah. So we are really scared. It almost feels like we’re being propelled. It’s like this is something we must.do, full stop.

We must go. This must happen.

When I get really scared (which is often), I think about the Inn that I long to be running (and the post all about the Inn and our Big Plan is here). I think about the food I want to be growing in our backyard there. I think about the training center we are going to have in our Inn, I think about all the people I can’t wait to meet. I think about the art I want to make and the bike tours I can’t wait to see Mikey lead. I think about our kids who will grow up to be free and strong and independent through a venture like this. I think about all of these things and I become less scared because my anticipation outweighs my fear of the unknown.

That Inn? I know it’s going to happen. It’s really just a matter of finding the right place that we will fall in love with and want to be our “forever home”.

But where it is? I have no idea.

So the plan to go and connect with various disability organizations along the way, to get to know people and see how we can help makes good sense. We will get a feel for different places, know if it’s the right place for us.

***

Okay, so, one thing I’m finding is that sometimes people don’t respond at all to my email queries to connect. I half think they think I’m crazy or something and kind of brush me off. It makes me want to jump up and down, all YEAH! It’s crazy! We know it! But you know what?! We are GOOD at crazy! We have a long history of crazy! We make crazy WORK! Our resumes are full of successful “crazy”!

But it’s kind of hard to tell people that and have them take you seriously when they don’t know you.

I think it stands a chance of being easier once we are actually on the road. Engaged in it all, you know? “Hi, this is Meriah and I’m going to be headed for your country in a week; can we connect?

***

That’s where we are. We plan on leaving in August. That’s just a few months. ACK!

Other news on our homefront:

  • Birthdays! 4 of ’em, to be exact. Holy cow, wow. Coming up, starting Wednesday. Micah, 5! Moxie, 3! Me, (gulp) 40! Mikey “the spring chicken”, 35!

and…

Micah beat me, bona-vide in a game of tic-tac-toe. For real. I didn’t let him. He beat me.

photo 2

and…

Moxie. When she wants milk, she gets it. Fridge lock, be damned!

photo 1

and…

photo 3

God, but this baby is delicious!

Yum, yum.

***

This week is the start of something great.

PS

Have you noticed the blog re-do? Yeah? Do you like it? Anything you really dig or anything that is driving you nuts? I’d really appreciate feedback on it. A big new feature is – you see the Nav Bar, where it says “travel” and “disability”? If you click on either of those, they will lead to Disability With a Little Moxie and Travel With a Little Moxie – which house ALL of those respective posts. All travel posts or ALL disability posts. I’m still working on finishing touches, but you can sign up for email/RSS for either of them if those are the posts that you most like.

Just trying to keep things tidy around here, you know!

 

PSS

MOM, DON’T READ THIS

Mother’s Day is coming up and my Mom has hinted not so subtly at the fact that WE HAVE NOT GIVEN HER A PHOTO BOOK YET.

Where’s MY photo book? You get the real deal; WHERE’S MY PHOTO BOOK, MERIAH?

Since the best photo book I ever made in my life came from Blurb, that’s where I’m headed. I’ll be using the Blurb Designer Instant book template to make a professional quality photo book filled with memories for mom. Instant Books are easy to create, take about an hour, and start at just $12.99.¬† Start creating your Blurb Designer Instant Book today and save 20% with promo code LOVEYOUMOM valid through 5/10/13!

 

 

Briefly interrupting our Return-to-Mexico series, here is an update on the here and now Pan Am Overland Preparation…because I haven’t been updating you much, have I.

Most recently, we have sold both the Sexy Beast (our Ford F150 truck) and our ’72 Prowler trailer.

 

 

In place of the Sexy Beast, we purchased The Monster – ’89 F350 (4×4) 4-door, extended bed. And the ’88 Grandby Pop Up Four Wheel Camper. The Grandby Pop Up was purchased separately for $1,000 up in Oregon. We first tested out the Grandby in this post about going to Mono Lake.

Now, The Monster needs a lot of work. Mikey bought her for $1,800 and honestly… we think he paid too much for her now. There is just so, so much to fix – from things ranging from the engine to the wiring to the windows – you name it, it probably needs fixing. We considered just selling and then saving for something less beaten but Mikey thinks that ultimately it’s going to be better for him this way. He’ll learn the truck inside out and know that what he’s done is solid.

The Pop Up needs works too – just less of it. We’re drumming up a list of everything that would make sense and be cost-efficient, the best way to trick it out for a family of 5 to travel in it for an extended period of time. Without, you know, going crazy or killing each other.

Our short list right now:

Truck Camping Tents, Camping Tents:

Tent for camping, camping tents – truck or regular stand-alone will be providing a whole ton of extra room alongside the Popup. I know we are going to need that, along with a Patio Room or something of that nature. I’m looking into it – I heard about camping tent from Camping Gear Outlet – and that sounds attractive. I think it’s the “outlet” part of the store title. Looks to me like they have it all – truck tents, screen tents and stand alone and they have good prices. Check.

Showers, Portable Toilet/Bathroom

I’m digging the “NEW! Thetford Porta Potti¬ģ 260B” from Cabela’s. Any toilet with numbers after it sounds pretty grand. The¬†Thetford Porta Potti¬ģ Curve¬ģ would probably be better, if we could afford it and have room for it. It says it’s the¬† “right height” and it has a “user friendly flush action” – all kinds of “wow” stacked into that sentence. I wonder. I don’t know. We might just end up with the Luggable Loo – more Mikey’s style and probably what he’s planning on already. Right, honey?

Other things on the list:

  • Good Mattresses
  • Flat Bed for the Truck: This was confusing for me but Mikey explained it all. The PopUp currently rests on the truck bed; if we get a flat bed – which is just that flat slab – we can add sides, compartments to it. Kind of like a utility truck. Know what I’m talking about?
  • Tech Stuff: GPS for the truck, flat screen computer or TV – don’t know which – for the inside of the Pop Up.¬†

That’s as far as we are now, because everything needs to be done in tiny chunks.

Do you have any resources/leads on where great places to buy this kind of stuff might be? And by great, I mean “reliable and inexpensive”!!

I slip out the "Pan Am Overland" here and there on this blog but I don't think I've been terribly clear about what our current goal is – what we are working hard towards in our here and now.

 

This is what we want to do: we want to leave the United States by April 2013 (perhaps sooner). We want to travel on the Pan-American Highway from California clear through Patagonia. We want to stay for a spell in each of the 15+ countries down the course of the Overland – some for longer periods of time than others.

 

We want to promote Disability Rights/Empowerment along the way, connecting with Independent Living Movements, with Down syndrome and Deaf centers.

 

Our end goal is to have an Inn, which will also cross as a training center for people with disabilities in the hospitality industry. In our Inn, we want to grow most of the food served and teach people with various disabilities how to do it.

 

We don't know where our Inn will be. It might be somewhere that we fall in love with along the Pan American Highway. Or it might not be on that route at all – if we don't find it along our travels down to the tip of South America, then we will head for Europe and see if it's there. One way or another, we want to:

 

1. Travel the course of the Pan Am Overland
2. Own and run our Inn/Non profit center after we have traveled the entire Pan Am Overland.

 

I want to be super clear about these goals because in the coming months, I will be writing a lot about the progress that we make in reaching them. Or rather, I shouldn't say "them", it's really just the Pan Am Overland we are focusing on; the Inn will come in its own time and space, along the way or after.

***
Our Baja Trip was really where we came up with the idea of riding the Pan Am Overland – and we started using the trip as a barometer for what we would/wouldn't need. A trailer, for example: to trailer or not? Well, after a particularly windy and treacherous road up to a particularly beautiful hot spring in Baja (where we camped for a few days – private Oasis Heaven) – we emphatically decided no. Uh-uh, no way. If we have a trailer, we'd never be able to reach the coolest spots. We want access. Trailers drag you down.

the insanely beautiful hot springs Oasis Heavenly Spot

So what, then? We thought we could continue with the F150 truck camping, wrapping the truck-tent around the opening of the camper shell. That was extremely comfortable… until we hit Cabo de Pulmo.

the next morning, Cabo de Pulmo

Good Lord. It was awful – so windy that we were surprised we in the truck hadn't been lifted off and away to the Land of Oz. We were also not secretive about our envy for the people camping next to us, who were snug-bugs in a van. They had hot food that cold night – we were scarfing down peanut butter and jelly tortillas.

 

Mikey came up with the idea of a POP UP CAMPER. A camper that would fit on our truck bed and could pop up. How cool. The focus then became money. Those things are pricey, baby. PRICEY. And we, as you know, are very firmly planted in the low-income territory.

 

Mikey kept his eyes peeled, we received a modest tax return and voila! A pop up camper appeared for $1,000 – catch was, it was in Ashland Oregon. My LLS Team in Training run being that weekend and being a lot closer to Ashland than the San Francisco Bay Area, we drove on up. Checked it out. Bought it.

the pop up camper we bought. Grandby, '88. It fit onto the f150 by laying the tailgate down and bolting it in…

This is pretty much where we are now. We have the camper. It needs renovating but nothing major. Most of it is cosmetic, with the idea that it will be the home for 5 people traveling for a good long time.

2 of the 5 people. Checking it out

We need to:

  • Work on those renovations.
  • Find another truck, an F350 with 4 doors – safer for the kids.
  • Sell the Prowler (what an odyssey that has been!). Soon, because Burning Man is coming up. Those Burners like them some RV's…
  • Sell our current truck, the Sexy Beast.
  • Find more online work. Something that will help pay the way.
  • Figure out the more along the disability advocacy/awareness piece: where to stop. Who to contact. What do do. Etc.
  • Get rid of everything we own except for a box or two. Streamline, pair down to basic essentials.
  • Accumulate as much information about the route as possible.
  • Save, save, save.
  • Test out the camper – get a sense of the kinks – happening THIS WEEKEND! Woo-hoo!
  •  

I think that's pretty much it. For now. Stay tuned!

 

PS
Another shot of the hot springs Oasis Heaven-Spot

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Font Resize
Contrast