Road Trip! Me, River, Skye and the Big Yellow Van

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Cort, Apr 8, 2018.

  1. Cort

    Cort Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising Staff Member

    In Oct 2013 after splitting up with my girlfriend I started a road trip in the Western United States. I spent the winter at a house in Arizona but then thought I could do this - I could extend my road trip semi-permanently - and so I have. Since then I have been on the road - living out of first my Toyota pickup, then my 4-Runner and over the past couple of years my van.

    Since then me and the dogs (and the van) have been all over the Western United States and up a bit into Canada. We go a lot of great places. It's not always easy - pulling up camp can be exhausting at times, the weather doesn't always cooperate, and finding WIFI can be a chore but we've seen a lot of beautiful sights.

    Not many people with ME/CFS can do what we do - a lot of people are home bound or don't have the energy to get out - so I thought I would start sharing the journey.

    First off meet the big yellow van - a 1-ton GMC Savana van with a 4.8L engine with about 120K - 17-18 mpg hwy; 13-14 mpg city. Note the solar panels on top. I've got electrical power where ever I go..


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    Note the metal cabinets - all metal because of my chemical sensitivities


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    Always a bit of a mess

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    Last edited: Apr 8, 2018
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  2. Cort

    Cort Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising Staff Member

    Here's River - Australian Cattle Dog - American Staffordshire Terrier mix - clocking in at about 60 lbs


    River.jpg

    And Skye - Australian Cattle dog - Rottweiler - Boxer - Chow Mix - clocking in at about 80 lbs. Both are about 7 years old and grew up together

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  3. Cort

    Cort Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising Staff Member

    This pic was taken in the mountains of Eastern Oregon River-and-Skye.jpg

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  4. Cort

    Cort Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising Staff Member

    Last night outside of Flagstaff @ 7,000 ft - small storm moving in

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  5. jaminhealth

    jaminhealth Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the share...it certainly takes a outdoor individual to embark on such an adventure...ME: love the comforts of home. Give me a Holiday Inn vs a sleeping bag..I tried the camping many yrs ago and found out. Thanks again and be well. jam
     
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  6. Cort

    Cort Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising Staff Member

    ha ha....The camping life is not for everyone that's for sure. :)
     
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  7. Hope

    Hope Active Member

    Love that you’re sharing this@Cort. Have you found that you feel better or worse in different locations?
     
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  8. Liana Dicus

    Liana Dicus New Member

    You are a kindred spirit, & I love your van set up! A few years ago I refurbished a 12 ft 1957 Oasis "canned ham" trailer-a frustrating and fun project, it nearly killed me, but it had gold curtains, totally eco interior, solar 2-way marine fridge, & worked with my Toyota 4-Runner (400K miles & still kicking!). I thought I was going to have to live in it, but I eventually sold it. I jokingly say that my biggest fear is to end up in a trailer with 50 cats... Now I know that I could get toxoplasmosis, so that is definitely out. I'm a dog person anyway ; )

    I just recently decided that I will travel and adventure again, "damn it". Thanks for the inspiration to keep living Life. Nature is Magical. If you (and your co-pilots) ever need a place to plug in & park (shower & get clean mountain water), & know about the amazing spots here in the eastern sierra, near Mammoth Lakes & Bishop, CA, you are invited anytime.
    Sincerely, Liana. (www.SierraHealthAdvocate@gmail.)
     
  9. Cort

    Cort Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising Staff Member

    In the Pacific Northwest I could feel some congestion in my chest I imagine because of mold and the really dense, dense vegetation.

    Otherwise not at all. Kind of surprising....Can't say anyone place effects me more than the others.
     
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  10. Cort

    Cort Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising Staff Member

    Ha!

    A 400K Toyota 4Runner!

    I know someone with a newer Oasis - he loves it :) Refurbishing is a ton of work for sure.

    Mammoth Lakes - Love Mammoth Lakes - great camping with great scenery nearby a really nice town with wifi readily available - the quadrafecta! I've actually probably boondocked more in Mammoth and Truckee than any other place in the summer. The Sierra Nevada are my favorite mountain range.

    Flagstaff, Mammoth, Truckee, Aspen, Jackson Hole, Vail, Prescott - all great spots with camping near town...Top of my list.

    I think this was from Mammoth last summer

    Will look you up when I'm there next. Thanks :)

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  11. Cort

    Cort Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising Staff Member

    The van was having starting problems. That was not good news after spending about $1400 on van maintenance over the last month.

    Luckily though a boondocking buddy - Marshall - who's played a huge role in helping to find and upfit this van - just happened to be in the neighborhood. He diagnosed a loose battery - not a good thing with all the rocky roads this van travels on - because of a battery which didn't just right.

    We wedged a piece of plastic under the battery and tightened it up and then Marshall hooked up my van to his and over about seven hours recharged the battery...saving me another trip to the dealer (whew!)

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  12. Cort

    Cort Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising Staff Member

    Whoa - 400K miles and still kicking! Now that's a car. I had a 4Runner and traded it in for a GMC extended van for more space but it was hard to say good-bye to that beast.
     
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  13. Cort

    Cort Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising Staff Member

    From there we went to Flagstaff - Biggest ponderosa pine forest in the west - up at about 7000 feet. The pines hug the Colorado Plateau until it drops down big time..

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    Last edited: May 27, 2018
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  14. Cort

    Cort Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising Staff Member

    Then it was down to Sedona - which is like living in a national park

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  15. Cort

    Cort Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising Staff Member

    River (and now Skye) really doesn't like flying things. Balloons are a particular concern. Thankfully he's been able to chase them away every time.

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    River assuming the frog-leg position in a wash

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  16. Cort

    Cort Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising Staff Member

    it was off to Vegas to see my Dad and Uncle - who has dementia unfortunately. We camped outside of Vegas quite a bit in the severe but beautiful Mojave desert biome.

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  17. Cort

    Cort Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising Staff Member

    The headless Yucca - but the see the sprouts around the base - the plant is probably still alive. Talk about persistence!

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  18. Cort

    Cort Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising Staff Member

    Plants do what they have to to survive. They are tenacious. Not many nutrients in soil like this

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    Too hot for some trees to put out leaves - they use their green trunks and twigs to photosynthesize

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  19. Cort

    Cort Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising Staff Member

    Camping in a sea of creosote. Somehow creosote (Larrera tridentata) desert plants got here from South America....


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    A brief spring is here

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  20. Cort

    Cort Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising Staff Member

    After a rather long and hot stay in Vegas it was up to canyon country in Southern Utah - home to more national parks and monuments per square mile than any other place in the first. First though up above St George to a nice campsite I've used quite a bit.

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