Tag Archives: van living

Quiet Colorado Morning


It’s a sunny cool morning…we’re camped here at about 9,000 ft. elevation again.

Pia is usually the first up in the mornings, and Fred and I have developed a bit of a routine, where one of us gets up, gets dressed and takes her out, while the other one relaxes a bit, enjoying the warmth and bed for awhile before rising. The late riser then rolls up the bedding and makes the bed into a couch, which quickly doubles our living space into a house. We for the most part, try to informally take turns with these tasks.

When I get up early, (depending on location and environment) I like to take  Pia for a nice early morning walk, so we can both get in some  brisk exercise to start our days.

This morning, surrounded by a beautiful aspen grove, we set off on a game trail, saw a glistening body of water between the shimmering leaves, and followed the trail down to a surprise lakeside, where we found ourselves with the lake completely to ourselves, apart from one small family of ducks way across the far end of the water.

Unidentified birds flittering about, peaceful, calm water, and a golden orange sunrise.

Lovely.  These quiet mornings are every bit as cherished as all the beauty and grandeur of the national parks and monuments we visit.

Walking back up the hill was a bit of a challenge though.  I forget about the altitude. Hiking uphill at 9,000 ft, for even just half a mile, takes a lot of effort.

But worth every step.


All The Comforts Of Home

7/27/14 – 8/5/14

Nine days spent in Coeur d’Alene, all of them between 90 and 102 degrees. Luckily we found this lovely campground just ten miles from town and close to the lake. Like all else in life, when the weather is not cooperative, you just have to deal with it.

Sometimes too, a person really needs a down day, where one can just relax, catch up on reading, blogging, maintenance, and hygiene.

For fun on this recent down day, I put together this little photo shoot of our temporary Home Sweet Home.


Living Room
Living Room






Bedroom / Reading room (when not made up as bedroom)
Bedroom / Reading room (when not made up as bedroom)


Shower House
Shower House


Hot Water
Hot Water


Power! (for keeping up with this blog :)
Power! (for keeping up with this blog 🙂


Front Porch
Front Porch


Back Yard
Back Yard




Private Dog Park
Private Dog Park


Happy Hour
Happy Hour


Of course, not all campsites are quite this spacious, but when you find one like this, you better enjoy it! We did.

We’re off and heading to Montana next. Good bye sweet campsite. We’ll hold you in our memories.

Giant U-Turn; Redmond to the Sierras


After the Storm
After the Storm


We spent an entire week in Redmond, just outside of Bend Oregon, with our dear friend Beverly. We totally relaxed, slept in a real bed, fixed lots of delicious food, and played the board game Aggravation until all hours of the night. It’s nice to be able to take these types of breaks once in awhile to recharge and just enjoy some downtime.

Bev was such a gracious hostess!!!

We were seriously on our way to North Idaho, but while hanging around Redmond, we learned that both our kids and their significant others and children,  had planned a camping trip to the Tahoe National Forest, just outside the Lake Tahoe area back in eastern California.

A small seed was planted, and after checking  the map and figuring out the milage, we made a decision to go camping with them all.

A Giant U-Turn was made from our spot on the map in central Oregon, and we rode with the wind down the highway back to California, for just a small side trip. About 300 miles of a side trip.

Into the sierra’s we went, and the family we did meet.


Shelter From the Rain


Pine forests as far as one can see, thunderstorms in the afternoons, green meadows crisscrossed by streams and rivers. Awesome white puffy clouds against azure skies.


Family Campout
Family Campout


A wonderful time was had by all, relatives from both sides of extended families joined in on different days to make for lots of fun, food, campfires, fishing, hikes, and good talks.


Frisbee Practice
Frisbee Practice


Love you people dearly!


My Three Girls
My Three Girls


Can’t wait to meet up again somewhere along this long winding road. Thank you for a wonderful visit.

Catching Up…Part 1

We’re back in California for a brief pause before heading into the northwest for the second leg of our journey. Unfortunately this blog is still way back in Utah…a little out of breath.

That being so, I’m playing catch up by posting a few photo galleries of the past few weeks…in a two part series.

First up – Many Thanks to those below for sharing the land with us as we’ve traveled through their homelands.



(May 15 – May 20, 2014)
And on to Bryce Canyon – One of the most amazing spots in America! 



Side Tripping – in Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument


Being Awed in the Capitol Reef National Park



Part 2 up soon…

Websites of Parks:

Bryce Canyon National Park

Capitol Reef National Park

Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument

Happy Pooches, Happy Van

Traveling with pooch

Hey, yeah we’ve been super busy.

Packing, storing, recovering, and organizing for living on the road takes a lot of energy.

pink cherry blossoms against a bright blue sky

I’ve been reading other folks’ blogs to get an idea of the weather and crowds in different parts of the country at different times of the year. Unfortunately it seems like everyone wants to be where the weather is perfect and the crowds are small. Hmm. I wonder why? Wherever you go, there you are…and so are others.  Well people, make room for our LWV, cuz we’ll be joining you.

Our main priorities when we leave are to go slow, relax, and keep Pia comfortable. Fred and I can handle the hot weather most of the time, but our “P-girl” has long black hair all over her body, so we will be focusing on keeping her cool, as she is 12 years old. (That’s like 84 in people years)

We recently had all the windows tinted on the van to help keep her and us cool inside and also to add an element of privacy without having to pull all the shades and curtains constantly. We’re really happy with the results. In addition to the tinting, I’ve adapted a pair of light blocking curtains to hang across the middle of the van. I’m still playing with those to make them look a bit more exciting, but they are really nicely lined and insulated. I’m adding another layer to the back, so the stark white lining doesn’t show from either side.

The plan is to mostly camp in places where dogs are welcome. Although I have a personal goal of visiting as many National Parks as possible, they are not always very dog friendly. Why go there, when the pooch can’t hike around with us?  Even though she is a great traveling doggie, and always content to go anywhere, we will not be locking her up in the van for the amount of time it takes to go on a nice hike. There are plenty of other campgrounds near lakes and rivers we can play at. So, for the time being, we’ll concentrate on those more pet happy areas, and just do some scenic drives through the National Parks we cross through.

Organizing Strategies

There is none.

I think I’ve re-organized the van on every trip we’ve taken and can conclude that there is no “perfect” way to organize it. That being said, every trip does get easier. And every trip is different, requiring a different game plan. So why not just add and subtract as we go along, which is part of the fun of traveling anyway. I know from experience that we will take things we don’t need, and need things we don’t take, so I’m not expending a ton of energy on this right now.

Still, I did buy two new little plastic organizing drawers. Mostly because they were this beautiful turquoise color, I was unable to resist!  I knew they they would fit perfectly in a couple of closets, and that the toilet paper and paper towels would fit majestically on top of and beside one of them fabulously.

Turquoise plastic drawer organizer showing storage options for life in a van

There you have it!

We will have food, clothes, a warm place to sleep, reading materials, a cozy little roof over our head, and two turquoise organizing drawer units.

Isn’t life simple?



Hello. Here we are. Two humans and one dog. We are about to embark upon a most interesting journey.

Without boring myself or anyone else, the story is that this day has been anticipated for some years. In 2010 it was a dream. A year later, we bought this white Eurovan pop top camper.

White eurovan camper van parked in front of mountains in the Sierra's.

The day after we brought the van home, we left on our first over night slumber party. We had so much fun, the following summer was filled with numerous more vacations. In the years that followed, we’ve continued to vacation, primp, and care for our van while staying strong when tackling repairs or purchasing expensive parts and gear. Yep, we adore van life.

Fast forward, and now here we are, in early 2014, preparing to go long term (as in having no other place of dwelling) in this little white van. For the past few months, we’ve busily de-cluttered, tossed, donated, and burdened our children with more boxes of “stuff” than they really need. The hidden crevices of stash swallowing closets, attics, sheds, and garages are for the most part empty. Much of the furniture is gone, thanks to Craig’s List, our same beguiled children, and the local thrift stores. Our few irreplaceable’s and heirlooms will live in an all American storage shed for the time being.

As seems fitting at this time in life, while our path meanders off in new directions, this blog  as well, is starting it’s own uncharted journey. It’s documentation is partly for our friends and relatives, some cheering us on, and others panting with unduly aghast at adventures or misadventures. Mostly though it is for us, as a place to record our excursions…hopefully post some lust worthy photos, maybe add in a few philosophical thoughts, and who knows what type of common (or uncommon) sense we acquire along the way. If you’ve stumbled along here, as happens in internet land, pour yourself a cup of tea and enjoy the journey.