September Journal – 30 Days on the Road

/September Journal – 30 Days on the Road

September Journal – 30 Days on the Road

Matt has been hounding me about putting more on the blog without putting so much effort into ‘making it perfect’. I think we have slightly different ideas in our head of what we want the blog to be. 

We keep a lot of different records about what we’re doing because we both know our memories aren’t the most powerful. At the end of everyday we jot down a few notes about what we’ve done that day (thank you Evernote!). He wants us to share those notes with all of you! I feel like it is unpolished and frankly, kind of boring. However, I have decided to let the people decide! You don’t have to read it but if there is something you like in here and think we should keep doing please let us know 🙂 

Scroll to the bottom for a summary of how we’re feeling after 30 days on the road. 

Our first 9 days were filled with van troubles, camping in Big Sur, a new fridge, skinny-dipping and time with Megan’s family in Lake Almanor for her cousin’s wedding. We didn’t realize that it was probably good to take daily notes of what we’re doing until day 10…

DAY 10

From Lake Almanor, CA > Klamath Falls, OR


Stopped roadside near eagle creek to cook dinner and watch the sunset. I cooked up a delicious mexican corn salad with grilled chicken while Matt played with the drone. 
As we sat down for dinner, a man named Jake approached the van asking for a ride to Susanville (after his friend ditched him that afternoon after he had helped him cut firewood and he’d been walking for hours). We gave him water and a couple power bars but told him we couldn’t give him a ride. It was over an hour back to Susanville and there weren’t any close towns moving forward. We also weren’t sure if we trusted the stranger and we decided to trust our gut (which was telling us no). I was also a little selfish in the fact that I didn’t want to backtrack. I didn’t feel like he was in immediate danger (due to the fact that he didn’t really object when we told him no) and there were a few other cars driving back and forth on the road that he may be able to catch a ride from. I think the ultimate deciding factor was that Matt felt loyalty to my dad to protect me (as we had just left my dad hours earlier and my dad had given Matt a very firm ’take care of her’ and also ‘buy a smoke alarm’. 
Vanlife, Northern California

DAY 11

Klamath Falls, OR to Bend, OR


Woke up in suburban Klamath Falls. 
Went to Starbucks to get work done for a few hours. 
Matt watched the packers beat the Seahawks in 7:30mins. 
Drove towards Bend, OR
Found many dirt roads off the hwy for drone time & lunch (left over chicken and corn salad). 
Made it to Bend, OR!
Did some mtb shopping, which megan hated. Can someone please just hand me the perfect MTB!? I’ll pay for it!
Megan got some more work done at a coffee shop downtown – while Matt went to Pilot Butte viewpoint for the sunset.  
Megan had a delicious Irish Stout at Mcminnimons while she waited for Matt to wrap up with the sun. 
We met back up for dinner at The Lot for food trucks. 
Where we had the most delicious Gyro ever & some Thai curry (ok/good). Greek food truck at ‘The Lot’ called ‘Greek Street’ – SO GOOD. 
Red dirt roads are for drone time.

(yes he’s wearing the same outfit as yesterday)

DAY 12

Bend to Portland, OR
We woke up next to the Deschutes River in Bend, OR (awesome). There was actually another truck/trailer parked next to us that was plugged into shore power!?
Megan went for a run. Matt took photos of the river surfers. He got his gopro stolen, and then returned. 
Matt went mtbing at Maston Loop while Megan worked at Palate Coffee shop (great coffee/wifi stop). 
We walked around Bend Farewell Park (seemed fitting on our last day) and went for a final swim in the river (it was cold! Would have preferred to have a kayak/SUP). 
We had lunch at Crux Fermentation Brewing (due to some friends recommendations) – enjoyed a Hawaiian pork burger and Nachos. 
KAMBUCHA – stopped at Humm Kambucha where they had mix and match flavors on draft ❤️. We got Mango coconut and strawberry lemonade coconut. Megan’s kombucha obsession continues… 
We drive by a house for sale – $400k for a 3 BR 2 BA . 
Vanna’s driver side window broke – came off the track and was stuck fully down (while at the UPS store)
Drive to Portland. Stopped at Smith Rock – Matt got really cranky having a camera in front of his face. 
Stopped over a canyon for some drone time at sunset. 
Made the poorest decision so far to stop at taco time for dinner in Sandy, OR (our planned food truck was closed). 
Arrived at Chrissy & Jeffs (slept in Vanna)
Somewhere, Oregon

DAY 13

Portland, OR
Woke up in Portland – C & J driveway 🙂 
Matt fixed the window!! Yay! He had a blast doing it. He’s so handy (because we didn’t have any of the tools we needed and he improvised). 
Matt met a Craigslist man to buy Sony A7II – awesome find. Great deal. Great condition. He says this is the camera he should have bought in the first place (instead of A7rII). 
Megan tried and failed to get much work done while Chrissy slept in. 
Chrissy rolled out the red carpet for us in Portland in an effort to make us want to move to the best city in the country… 
We went to food trucks for lunch downtown and Powells books where we had to drag Matt out or he never would have left. Matt also said their cold brew was his perfect coffee. 
We did the 4T Trail through Portland which was awesome to get a taste of all aspects of Portland (public transit, city, hiking/parks, sky tram). It also took us to OHSU campus at the top of the hill where Chrissy works (and where we took the FREE tram (gondola) down then mtn). 
Had blue star donuts – chocolate almond granache, apple cider fritter, buttermilk old fashioned. They were ok, not great. A little dry. Maybe better if we’d hit them first thing in the morning. Random fact: Cool social media art on the wall at Blue Star. Took the train back to Chrissy and jeffs. 
Had some wine and watched Chrissy’s wedding video from Dave & Jess Wedding and did a real throwback to their video from South America – which immediately inspired us to try and shoot more video (we’ll see if that happens).   
Took an uber to division street for dinner at Pokpok – delicious. Wings, pork belly curry, flank steak salad, Chang mai sausage with some whiskey sours that were great.
Met Morgan and Josa at The Richmond for a few drinks – awesome for Matt to catch up with some familiar faces. 
Megan highlight: 4T Trail because we got to see a lot of different aspects of Portland as a city. 
Matt highlight: Uber ride home from dinner. Because he really likes when Jeff caresses his leg. 
Portland, OR
Portland, OR

DAY 14

Portland > Seattle
Woke up in Portland > Seattle bound. 
Matt jumped in the driver seat and whisked megan away while still sleeping in bed (but really just laying because it’s really hard to sleep with those bumps and turns in the back of a 22′ van). 
We stopped for Matt to jump in the river (Luis Rasmuten day park in WA) for a morning swim and to shake off a little hangover from the night before. We even saw a guy catch a fish!! 
Picked up our morning coffee at Dutch Bros.
Our state and road playlists are coming along very nicely!!!
Arrived in Seattle, Matt went to creative live and Megan worked from the best coffee shop ever – Cherry Street Coffee House. Free wifi, kombucha, even has food options. 
Megan went to pick up her new backpack at Timbuk2 while Matt got stuck in traffic. Enjoyed a delicious dinner at Casey & Joce’s with Emily. We gave the family friendly Van tour & played fibbage games. 
Washington: Seattle to Olympic National Park
Washington: Seattle to Olympic National Park

DAY 15-17

Seattle > Lake Crescent > Hurricane Ridge > Devil’s Punchbowl > back towards Seattle
Drove from Seattle > Lake Crescent 
We spent the weekend exploring Olympic National Park (Lake Crescent, Hurricane Ridge and Devil’s punchbowl). 
On Sunday, we said goodbye to Casey and joce. 
Stopped in Sequim for some wifi time and then headed towards Nathan’s place in Renton/Kent to watch the Packers game!  Nate made us nachos and we watched the game. Glad we stopped so brothers could watch the game together!! 
We slept near Bandera campground in Soqualamie Mount Baker Forrest – on Tinkham road. 
About a mile down the road, there was a pull out off the road where we slept for he night – not very flat but we slept feet down. 
We both had dreams of getting stuck in the mud after the rains and not being able to get up the next morning. (We were fine)
Woke up and walked to the river the next morning where there was a cool campsite on the river (if it wasn’t raining).
Olympic National Park: Hurricane Ridge
Olympic National Park: Hurricane Ridge

DAY 18-20

Leavenworth > The Homestead (Wenatchee Valley)
Woke up outside levenworth & headed into town. 
Parked at Waterfront park and Matt made lunch while Megan spent an hour working (reviewing time analysis/billing).  Rained a bit & we went for a walk along the river once it cleared up
Matt wasn’t feeling 100% 😔.  Due to rain and the overall worn-down feeling – we decided to skip mtb/more exploring and head straight for the homestead. 
Gale made us a delicious dinner (steak, veggies, potatoes) and we got a good night sleep – our first night NOT SLEEPING IN VANNA!? That makes our longest streak sleeping in Vanna so far: 17 days. Not very impressive… 
We spent a few days at The Homestead catching up on computer things (route planning, blog, work), Matt went to the DMV, we watched GOT!!, ate mcwaffagles. 
Washington: Wenatchee Valley
Washington: Wenatchee Valley

DAY 21

The Homestead, Wenatchee > towards Boise, ID
Woke up at the Homestead, went for a miserable run 🏃🏼, Megan took a work call, Picked fruit from the orchard, Packed up and said goodbye 😢. One the road again!!!
Boise bound. 
21 days on the road. 
5 days alone (Matt + Megan only)
Matt feels: 
A little nervous about money 
Struggling with photography 
And I don’t know how much pain he should push us though by stopping every 10 minutes 
Pressured to move fast and slow at the same time 
Physically – Back hurts. Struggle to bend down. He’s becoming an old man. He feels weak and small. Too much sitting and not enough working the body. 
Before photo week goals: 
  • Soak in at least 1 hot spring 
  • Go on at least 1 mtb ride 
  • Build some resemblance of a routine 
    • Working out
    • Working
    • Writing/Blog posts 
  • Eat paleo with one cheat day (Sunday)
  • Get Oregon and Washington photo galleries live 
  • Post one photo everyday on instagram 
Sunset(ish): stopped at Deadmans Pass Oregon – beautiful open views, would highly recommend. Ideal for sunrise. There was a small dirt loop for parking, no one else there. Thought about just sleeping at the lookout point but decided against it. 
We received our first contact for a brand partnership from Shine Organics (via IG DM). They’re going to send us some of their pouches to try (sending to Seattle to pick up at photo week). Potential to run our first giveaway campaign (fun!).  
We slept at Spring Creek Campground, about 30 minutes past Pendleton. 4 little campsites at a Fire Service Campground (free). We used the “free camping” app to find it.
Matt lost the drone. With low battery and no idea where it was we raced down dirt roads to try and find it – which was about 20 ft up in a tree. He wrote a blog post about it.
Washington: Wenatchee Valley
Matt climbing the tree to reach the drone (stuck in the tree)

DAY 22-23

Boise, ID

Drove to Boise in the morning & parked at Camel’s Back Park in the north end. 
We did an outdoor park workout (at an outdoor gym in the park). We both felt like we were dying (in the lungs) – it doesn’t feel good to be out of shape. We talked a lot about diet and health on our drive to Boise. Paleo, Keto, work outs on the road – stay tuned.  
We recieved an email from Stacie Sells and Your Body School – very serendipitous timing. Excited to see where it leads. 
Headed to Java Hyde Park (Ted rec) for Megan to work in the afternoon (reviewing financials).  We drove downtown for dinner, walked through Freak Alley Gallery – for some nice street art. 
Went to Eureka for dinner – a brew pubs style restaurant. (Struck out on two restaurants that were too busy at prime time on a Friday). Boise state was football was playing on TV. We had BURGERS!! Matt went almost full paleo but Megan failed completely with a local nitro stout beer and a bun. 
Drove back to Camel’s Back Park to sleep for the night. 
Outdoor Gym in Camel's Back Park, Boise, ID
Freak Alley Gallery, Boise, ID

DAY 24

Ketchum > Stanley, Idaho

Matt woke up with the sunrise and took one and only one lens- the 70-200. He remembered how much he likes that focal length! Even if his canon is only manual focus at this point. 
Walking back to the van Matt spotted Megan and agreed to meet her at our favorite Boise coffee shop, Java on Hyde with a special order of Bowl of Soul. After a short bit of work, we headed to check out the cutest property in Veterans something, a neighborhood adjacent to North End. 
On to Garden City- an industrial up and coming area with a great greenbelt, including a standing surfing wave. We walked and wandered until it was time to grab some groceries at grocery outlet; our favorite. At the grocery outlet parking lot TWO people came to check out Vanna. August, a nice tall man from Wandervans, a Boise campervan rental company. He hung out for a bit, chatting about our design process and trip plans. Then another guy, soon to retire inquired mostly about our gas mileage. 
Fuel up, trip to the most barren outlet mall of all time (‘Merica undies purchased), then onto a beautiful drive towards Banner Ridge for a bike ride. 
There was a small town just before Idaho city which was so picturesque that Matt is delivering himself 12 lashings per day for not stopping and photographing it. 
Stopped at Kirkham springs for our first hot springs soak. It was good! Not as hot as hoped but crowded, varied, and a new experience for us to share. 
After soaking and matt feel clean and Megan feeling just as dirty, yet just a different sort of dirty, as before we headed towards Stanley, in the hopes it’d be big enough of a town to have an Internet cafe as megan had a fair bit of work to do the next day. 
Stanley passed in the blink of an eye and we didn’t see anything promising in terms of Internet, but what we did see was AMAZING views of the sawtooth mountains. My goodness. Striking. 
We headed to Redfish Lake to consider camping there for the night. It was nearly deserted but didn’t seem worth the $20 charge since we had found a potentially free campsite just down the road. We were both quite hungry, having eaten nearly nothing all day and just wanted to settle in for the night so we headed towards freeville and found the most amazing spot to camp for the night. 
Salmon Creek campground delivered for us. Nobody there, great views, river access (that we didn’t use), and free firewood to pillage. Matt collected firewood (manly stuff. Felt so so good) and got a fire going the  took pics while megan cooked (like usual) and booooyyyu was dinner good. Chicken, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, sweet potatoes, onion and a bit of taco seasoning cooked over an open flame.. doesn’t get much better. Woweee. 
We drank wine and matt took night photos until megan was ready for sleep. 
She hit the hay and he kept shooting until the fire died and he couldn’t feel his fingers anymore. 
We cuddled like we’ve never cuddled before that night, all in an effort to warm up Matts frozen extremities. 
Kirkham Hot Springs, Idaho

DAY 25

Stanley > Ketchum, Idaho

Woke up at Salmon Creek Campsite (or redfish lake overflow camping). 

It got down to 17 degrees last night. Everything was frozen… EXCEPT our water pump and water (thankfully).
Matt took a couple sunrise shots but could barely work his fingers on the shutter button due to frigid temps. “Pink sunrise on the sawtooth was super sexy stuff” – Matt McMonagle. 
We stayed warmer than anticipated with our one blanket. Still haven’t pulled out the rumpls on the bed. But it’s hard to keep our feet warm because I (megan) always kick out the covers on the bottom to stretch out and my feet hang out (off the bed).
Heading to Ketchum today. Driving through snow topped trees and mountains and frosted ground. Beautiful!!! 
Rolled into Ketchum and easily found sunny parking to charge the solar system. Headed to Java on Fourth for too many hours of work and not enough food. Matt got cranky, found us a lunch spot that underwhelmed and Megan stayed there to work. She got wrapped up there and Matt explored the entire town of Ketchum, on the hunt for a bike helmet (successful. On sale 40% off), shoes, a jacket and sunglasses. We went on a bike ride on the White Clouds loop- backwards accidentally. Missed the good views of baldy and had to hike our bikes up the rocky bits of the trail. Blast. 
Matt couldn’t seem to get anything right today- he was totally turned around all day and got us lost every time he navigated, he let himself get too hungry and basically lost motor control and was lonely wandering around Ketchum solo so had plenty of time to stew on each and every mishap. All that turned around when we got to Frenchman’s Hot Springs and had a great soak with some good ski folk. @casstaway, forest service firefighter dude, and other ski bums. 
Came back to freecamp at Warm Speings CG. Only ones here. Wine, leftovers with tortilla chips, and good conversation. Good night, love. 
Wrapped the night up in bed with 2 episodes of season 7 GOT!! We’re back in the swing of addiction. 
Matt's frozen shorts after a night camping in Stanley, Idaho
Megan's first ride on the new bike! Ketchum/Sun Valley, ID

DAY 26

Ketchum, Idaho
Woke up at the campsite off Warm Springs road – it was 10 am?!? We slept the morning away in our little dark cave and we were pleasantly surprised to see and feel the sunshine when we opened the door! We had covered our big shuttle bus doors due to the extreme cold we had experienced the night before in an attempt to keep all possible heat in the van. It was a beautiful morning. We were right by the river (which we didn’t get in) and found one their quiet tent in the same camping area but basically had the place to ourselves. 
We headed back into Ketchum so I could get some more work done. This time we opted for Starbucks in hopes of faster internet. The internet was almost as slow as Java he day before but it was the coolest little starbucks I’ve ever seen and had an awesome ‘visitor information’ section right inside the shop. 
Matt joined me for a few hours and sent out the newsletter! Yay, first one! He killed it with the newsletter and got it out exactly on target of when we planned. I literally contributed close to nothing.
He headed back to the van to puts a little while I thought I was almost done but ended up taking hours longer. 
Today was Megan’s turn to get cranky. I’m feeling the pressure of figuring out how to fit work into our schedule without feeling like I’m holding up the entire route/schedule. I need to be more clear and communicate that I need more time so Matt can go entertain himself for the day rather than what we think is going to be an hour and ends up being 5.  It was already 4 pm and it felt like the day was over without really accomplishing much. 
We decided to head to Hailey for dinner to a spot called Powerhouse (recommended by our friend Kris)- a bike shop and burger/beer joint rolled into one. 
We were both frustrated and it was a call with Vangaurd to try and organize some of my accounts and the lack of an internet connection (despite hotspots, mifis and supposed wifi) that sent me over the edge to tears. I ended the call and took a walk down the street hoping to clear the ridiculous tears before going back in the van to face Matt. He’s never seen me cry. Not really anyways – the tears of joy at my cousins wedding didn’t count. This was real tears. Real irrational ridiculous tears that I could not control. We hugged it out and then tried to talk it out. We are both frustrated with time. I am stressed with work. I’m stressed with planning, the lack of planning, the unknown of where we’ll be on the days I’m trying to schedule something, my personal hate for searching for restaurants on yelp. Tired of feeling like I’m always making Matt wait for me and ruining his day in the process of my own stress when I get caught up in unplanned work. And then when we lose all service at the end of the day with no ability to catch up on things at night or sometimes we didn’t even finish our research about where we’re going and are flying blind. 
In the end, we just need to communicate better when we’re tired, cranky, frustrated and not sure what’s going on.
We drove back through Ketchum and found a free campsite to the north called Prairie Creek Campsite (it was awesome!). There’s a few other trailers here but it’s big and spread out so we found n awesome little spot under the trees and on a river. 
Matt took his cameras out for some night photography. I did some van organization and cleanup in an effort to stay busy and added some color to our calendar for September. 
I feel like I’m failing to accomplish goals. Doing a bad job of keeping in contact with friends. and struggling to keep up with the day to day. I want to be present in this place and this moment but I’m constantly trying to anticipate the next step. 
Our few days in Boise was really nice because it felt like we were slowing down and I felt like we really saw the city. In Ketchum now, I feel like I’ve only seen the inside of coffee shops. And I feel cranky. And am struggling to plan the next step because I still feel pressed for time to get back to Seattle. 
Ketchum, ID - the window broke again..
Prairie Creek Campsite (free), Ketchum, ID

DAY 27

Galena Lodge MTB Trails & Ketchum, ID
We woke up at Prairie Creek Campground between Ketchum and Galena. 
We decided to warm ourselves up before taking off for mtb so Matt made a wonderful little fire with some wood that he had collected the night before. We drank coffee around the campfire before leaving another great little FREE Campsite. 
We arrived at Galena Lodge (which was closed for the season) – I did a survey of the trails to try and find the right one for my 2nd ever mtb ride. I found a solid intermediate loop that said it was good for a novice. 
It was awesome! It was hard enough to push me out of my comfort zone but still a great trail to help me get comfortable on my bike. My whole body felt like jello after and it was only about a 3-4 mi ride. 
After arriving back in Ketchum we planned to check out a local restaurant that had been reccommended to us for lunch but the menu didn’t appeal to either of us so we decided to head back to the van and make food. I made lunch while Matt started taking the drivers door apart to fix the window. 
After lunch I headed to Starbucks to organize some of my thoughts and do a little work on the blog. Matt stayed behind and fixed the door, his bike and tested out our little Mr Buddy heater. This thing is awesome!! Why have we. It used it before in this cold weather?! 
After several hours we decided it was time to hunk about our next location move – probably time to move on from Ketchum. Ketchum didn’t get our best selves, we were a little grumpy and feeling trapped due to work restrictions for me to stay in a place that had service. 
We’re headed for twin falls next (about 1.5 hr drive). We picked a campsite and headed that way. As we were nearing Twin Falls we were both hungry & tired so we opted for dinner at a local Mexican restaurant for dinner and to skip the campsite and do some urban camping (thanks to a lovely quality Inn parking lot).  We watched two episodes of GOT before calling it quits. 
We still need to perfect our light-proofing and make some adjustments to the curtains. 
Ready for mtbing at Galena Lodge Trails (north of Ketchum/Sun Valley)Galena Lodge Trails Mountain Biking
Ketchum, ID - Matt fixing the broken window (for the 2nd time)

DAY 28

Twin Falls
Watched the sun rise over the canyon at Shashone Falls
Camped out at a Starbucks for a few hours to organize our thoughts. We organized our Evernotes and implemented a weekly “check in” meeting every Thursday to talk about routes, goals and other. It felt good to get on the same page and set a weekly rhythm for what we want to keep up with. 
We did some shopping – we found Matt a jacket, shoes and sunglasses! All things he’s really been needing for a while. 
We also got my bike chain fixed- we’re not sure what happened to it but something seriously bent it out of shape. “Cycle Therapy” in Twin Falls was great and fixed it while we waited. We think it got bent or stretched while hanging on the back of the van ?
We went back to Dierks Lake for a swim in the lake (shower). We even took he Dr Bronners. Water was a little colder than expected but it felt good! 
We made our first smoothie in the van!! Hopefully this will continue. But what was supposed to be dinner has left me still hungry at 8pm 😳.
We’re headed towards Lava Hot Springs – which is about 2 hours east of Twin Falls. We’re hoping for a good free Campsite, mtb in the morning and then some hot springs (paid) before heading to Jackson! 
Dierkes Lake (Twin Falls, ID)

DAY 29

Twin Falls, Idaho > Lava Hot Springs, Idaho > Alpine, Wyoming
It feels like fall!! And we’re not freezing our butts off! 
We just went on an awesome mtb ride on the lower/upper creek trail in Pocatello Idaho. It started off a little rough as I almost ate it a few different times and had to walk my bike up a few hills due to some big rocks that were getting in my way but once we got into the swing of the trail it was great! It was single track and narrow following the Creek (and crossing over several times on bridges) which was incredibly buitiful as the fall colors were changing. It was a challenging trail for me, which kept me engaged, on the edge of my seat and wore me out! But oh so much fun in the end. It was a perfect uphill grade so that it was really fun cruising down on our way back (but not too steep down which was perfect for me). 
This morning we spent a few hours at Starbucks for Matt to get a little work done. We then headed to the mtb trail head and cooked up some lunch in the van. It was leftover day so we had sausage, onion and cauliflower – the only food left in the fridge. 
Lava Hot Springs next! I can’t wait, we smell. 
Lava Hot Springs –  no sulfer smell at all, people that worked there were very nice, facilities had what we wanted. It was nice that there were multiple pools with carrying temps (105-112). For a resort (paid $8 ea) type hot spring – we really enjoyed it. 
Cute little town, we picked up some groceries on our way out of town. 
We didn’t quite make it to Jackson due to several stops (including making dinner) so we decided to camp out along the salt river for the night – about 40 miles outside of Jackson. But we’re in WYOMING!!! State #5
Salt river campground, Alpine, Wyoming 
Cooking in the vanMountain biking in Pocatello, Idaho (Lower/Upper Creek Trail)
Vanna is still falling apartLava Hot Springs, Idaho

DAY 30

Alpine > Jackson, WY

Celebrating 30 days of living in the van!?!

Woke up on a dirt road near Alpine, WY. We came in the dark of the night and woke up to unbelievable fall colors. Matt flew the drone around and got some of our favorite shots from the trip so far!

We headed to Jackson, WY and immediately made a stop at a recommended butcher shop (@sweetcheekmeats) that has a daily breakfast special. Holy cow was Matt in heaven with that breakfast sandwich! 

The weather was not really cooperating so we spent the day exploring Jackson – window shopping, eating and even enjoyed some reading by the fire at the Snow King Lodge. Cafe Genevieve was delicious for lunch and Pinky G’s Pizzeria for dinner did not let us down. We drove towards the Tetons looking for some Elk before returning to Jackson for the night to urban camp 

Camping near Alpine, WY
Sweet Cheek Meats - Our new favorite place in Jackson, WY
Jackson, WY

In Summary of our first 30 days on the road… 

California > Oregon > Washington > Idaho

How do I summarize our first 30 days on the road? It’s been a good 30 day vacation – although a big of a roller coaster emotionally. We covered a lot of ground (3,200 miles & 4 states) and spent some really fun times with our friends and families. We’re starting to figure out some of the small stuff about living in a van – cleaning and organizing is a regular activity as things get thrown around and start to pile up daily. I’m surprised that I really don’t miss any of my ‘stuff’ that I used to have. I enjoy the simple and small living – my only wish would be to have a BIG bed to stretch out and relax in.  We enjoy cooking meals in the van more than most meals in restaurants that we’ve had so far.  We’re starting to figure out how to plan just enough to have some idea where we’re going and what we want to do but also remain flexible enough to adjust when needed. We’re still learning how to communicate when spending almost all of every day together & how and when we need to find space and time for ourselves. We feel daily inspiration to create things and brainstorm ideas but we’re still figuring out how to take action and produce something that we feel is worth sharing.  I feel constant imposter syndrome around ‘why should I think what I have to say is worth listening to, who am I to think anybody is listening or cares?’  Matt is still trying to figure out what his focus, goal or purpose is with all of his photos, time-lapses and videos.  We are still working on being in this moment and this place rather than looking forward to the next move – hopefully a practice that will become a little easier once we are able to slow down a little bit.  The timeline of our first two months is largely guided by pre-determined commitments (from before #vanlife) that we decided to keep (work, weddings, etc) – I feel a constant pull from the next deadline.

I think we’re also still trying to figure out if this is all vacation or if this is just real life on the road. We’re still in the vacation phase, but we want to mold this into something that feels like real life (with a little flare for an alternative style of living). We’re constantly moving but how do we still maintain some consistency and do things that we would in every day life (work out, work, manage finances, keep in contact with friends and family, etc).  

The cold is not my favorite. Having experienced everything from 100 degrees to 17 degrees in the last 30 days – I can still say that I’m a summer girl. It’s difficult to get out of our cozy bed in the morning when it’s freezing (outside and in the van), which means it’s hard for me to make the most out of my mornings – whether that is a hope to work out or make coffee and write or work. 

Looking forward: We hope to find a little routine and rhythm in our daily lives.  

I hope that as we slow down and activities such as looking for a place to eat/sleep become a part of our normal routine that some of the ‘new’ stresses that I feel right now from all this change will fall away and make a little more time for other interests and creative headspace. 

By | 2017-10-10T23:41:12+00:00 October 2nd, 2017|All, Daily Journal|0 Comments

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