Along with a baby, we got a new-to-us van! And that part wasn't even on our list of things to do. It feels like I am living in a dream! We are getting this baby thing down more every day it seems. And just when you think there is a routine to the madness, something changes. But, it's not a bad change. It's like a continually being surprised change, and watching our daughter grows is actually pretty amazing. And watching the van grow is cool too.
In two short months, we will be on the road. I am beyond stoked to get back on the pavement and live each day as it comes. The van is a way for us to get back west, but it is also going to be our nest for the summer. I am full of so many feelings- excitement, nervous, thrilled, sad. Does this mean we are doing something right? I feel alive! I am excited to have committed to following our dreams when we bought the van. Nervous- because I'm a mama now and I will always worry about the safety of our daughter and pups. Thrilled- Well, yeah because we are about to take our first trip around the country as parents and as a family and see and do so many cool things together! Sad- Of course, because following your dreams of heading west means leaving loved ones on the opposite side of the country, and of course that bums us out. All in all, we are so excited for this trip and a plus of technology, and probably its best quality, is making it easier to keep in touch with family and friends which is why we will be sharing our entire journey on our blog and FB page.
One more thing.
Did I mention that we have no idea where we will end up calling our home? Yeah, we both have a pretty big weak spot for the T-E-T-O-N-S. Obvs. But, we are heading west with an open mind to find our home wherever opportunity and our hearts decide. We literally have no idea where that will end up being, and something about that excites the crap out of me!
Last week, the folks at Tepui Outdoors announced an adventure travel contest. This was very exciting news for us, because as you know, Summer 2018 we are heading across the country to find a new home. We have been planning this journey for about 6 months now, and with some help from Tepui, it can finally become reality!
We hiked 4 miles, and embarrassed to say that it felt like 20. Pulling Olin up in her Burley makes for a killer leg workout and it's nice to have two of us to share the load!
We bought the van on January 29th, and it has rained literally every day since minus 3-ish days. We usually love the rain and welcome it with open arms, however now that we finally have the van in the backyard- all we can dream about is having sunny days to fix her up and get her ready for the road. This morning Collin said, "It has rained 9 out of the 11 days of February." I laughed and quickly realized this was the truth. Time is flying by, as we are feeling rushed to get this van mechanically sound for this coming May. The days are dwindling, and we are biting our nails in anticipation of figuring out this electrical issue. In the meantime, we decided to stop whining about the rain and be productive by waterproofing our gear. -
One thing checked off the Things to Do Before We Live in a Van in 3 Months list.
VIDEO BELOW :)
Friday turned out to be a bit of an expensive day. After the van wouldn’t start on Thursday afternoon, we attempted to jump it with our Escape. There was an issue with corrosion on the battery connectors, so it required a bit of trickery. We finally got it running and drove it right to Advance Auto Parts to have the battery & alternator diagnosed. The verdict was the battery was not only not powerful enough for the van, but the alternator was out too. We went ahead and replaced both and are waiting for the alternator to arrive next Monday. We are desperately hoping this solves the electric issue when the headlights are turned on.
While at Autozone I also decided to get the last bit of electrical connectors needed to hook up the fresh water pump for the sink, toilet, shower. Allie grabbed us a new air filter too. When we got home I went right to work on getting the electrical set up for the water pump. I decided to replace the hose as well, so I took a late night trip to Lowe’s to get a few feet of new hose and new clamps. Once it was all hooked up I turned the sink on and didn’t hear the pump kick on, which was a bummer. It was about 10pm at this point so I called it a night. On Saturday morning I went to a trail work day with SORBA at Winged Deer park. Before I headed out to that, I snapped a photo of the water pump and sent it to the previous owner asking if there was anything else I needed to do it make it work. My phone doesn’t work off of WiFi anymore, so I’d have to wait until I got home to see his response.
The trail work day went great! Dig Days are my favorite way to get out and give back to the trails we ride all summer and meet other local riders. The weather was about perfect for January, but with temperatures getting below freezing at night, the ground is frozen in the morning and mud by early afternoon. We made the best we could of the short 3 hour window and worked on a few new sections of trail. This was also the first time I really got to test my new Mountain Khaki Alpine Utility pants. I’ve had them for about a week now, but today was the first day I got to use them for what they’re made for, working outside. What I love about Mountain Khaki pants is you can wear them around town, or on work days. I’ve gotta say, I’m usually a Levi’s guy, but these are probably my new favorite pants.
Trail work wrapped up about 1:30 and we enjoyed pizza and drinks in the parking lot before I headed back home to help Allie on the van. By the time I got home, she already had the engine cover almost all of the way off. I hopped in the shower real quick and when I got out she told me of her great discovery, the chairs swivel! We pulled the engine cover the rest of the way off together and checked the air filter. Not only was is almost brand new, but the one we purchased the day before was the wrong size. We propped the cover back over the engine, but decided not to bolt it down for now. I checked my phone real quick and saw that the previous owner had replied to me, and left a message telling how to get the water pump on. It worked like a champ! That was a huge relief for the two of us.
The next thing we wanted to do was check the grounds for the battery & headlight. We pulled all of the corroded bolts out and headed back up to Advance Auto parts. With how many times we’ve been up there in the last week, we’ve made a friend in an employee who also has a few campers, Edwin. He returned the filter for us and got us the new ground bolt we needed. By the time we got home it was dark, so we called it a night and ate Pot Roast while watching That 70’s Show.
Super Bowl Sunday is forecasted to be a cold, rainy day, so we’re unfortunately probably not going to be able to work on anything else this weekend. We might try to bolt the engine cover back on if we get a break in the rain, otherwise we’ll continue to work through the week. We got a few major goals completed by reattaching the water line, replacing the battery, and ordering the alternator. Hopefully this will solve our electrical issue!
Dogs & Diapers