Updated route

24 11 2013

Here’s the latest of our route map. We’ve now landed in Ojai, California where we hope to find some farm work to get our hands dirty and make our hearts happy!





Joni’s staples

24 11 2013

Oh, good golly. I can’t believe we’ve been on the road for over three weeks already. We’ve seen and done so much, it’s hard to know where to begin. Our Vanagon Joni has quickly become home for the three of us. We’re living well – cooking wholesome meals on our double propane burners (plenty of oats, quinoa, rice and veggies, carrots, apples, and about a jar of peanut butter every few days…we’re trying to cut back!), singing lots (to our wide-ranging collection of tunes as well as making up our own diddies), exploring the new and changing landscapes, and of course, giggling and laughing (the deep in the belly kind).

In addition to peanut butter, we also have a few other van staples:

  1. The sombrero. I acquired this sombrero at the merch tent at the Ponderosa Music Fest in Rock Creek for a mere $3. In a van that doubles as your home, space is highly valuable, so Olivia rationally pointed out that maybe the sombrero wasn’t the most practical of items. As a result, it was determined that I would have to prove its importance and the 30-day sombrero challenge was born. Originally, the rules were that I would have to wear the sombrero for at least an hour every day for 30 days. Luckily, these rules haven’t been strictly enforced. Nonetheless, the sombrero is not squished into a corner of the van and it makes regular appearances. It goes without saying that we all recognize its significance to our journey and I won’t be forced to give it up.

    Liv & I on our morning stroll to North Head Lighthouse in Cape Disappointment State Park, Washington (just before we crossed the Astoria bridge into Oregon)

    The sombrero makes an appearance on our morning stroll in Cape Disappointment State Park in southern Washington (just before crossing the Astoria bridge into Oregon)

  2. The Firehall Brewery growler. The best of memorabilia from my time working at the Firehall this summer. Now that I’m too far from the Oakanagan to refill it with Stoked Ember or Holy Smoke Stout, my growler is experiencing new brews. And luckily, the Pacific Northwest is renowned for its craft beer, so our trip has also been a bit of a rendezvous of breweries – Elysian (Seattle), Pints (Portland), Deschutes (Bend, OR), Eel River – the first certified organic brewery in the US (Fortuna, CA), Rogue Ales (based in Newport, OR but we visited the pub in San Fran) and most recently, Figueroa Mountain (Santa Barbara, CA). In Seattle, I picked up a nifty beer tasting notebook complete with a flavour wheel to complete for each beer, as well as room for all the stats (ABV, IBU, OG, TG, etc.).
    An impressive 12-sample flight of organic brews at Eel River Brewing

    An impressive 12-sample flight of organic brews at Eel River Brewing

    Jenelle's flight (with a free 7th sample of our server's choice) at Deschutes Brewery in Bend, OR

    Jenelle’s flight (with a free 7th sample of our server’s favourite) at Deschutes Brewery in Bend, OR

  3. The musical instruments – a ukelele (Duke the Uke), a harmonica, a melodica, a couple of kazoos, spoons and just about anything else we can find.
  4. Dino. Handmade, fleece, pink and complete with a head and tail. I accumulated this cozy dinosaur costume for a mere $3 from the thrift store in Oliver. No regrets! It has kept me warm many a chilly nights while still in BC as well as interior Oregon. It has also facilitated many laughs.

    Dino and Joni Estevanagon somewhere in Oregon

    Dino and Joni Estevanagon somewhere in Oregon

  5. The Kodak Funsaver. Despite the plethora of camera technology ranging from ultra high quality digital cameras to super convenient phone cameras, nothing quite beats the fun of a disposable film camera, not to mention the anticipation as you wait until the roll of film is finished and developed before seeing the photos. So, of course, we have one of these to try to save some of the fun.
  6. 20W50 motor oil. Quite possibly most important of all. While we’re sipping on craft beers, Joni’s drink of choice is some high grade oil. Originally, we were using a lower grade, but found she wasn’t running so smoothly. Upon consultation with a VW mechanic in Cambria, CA, we were recommended a switch. I’ve just bought a 5-quart jug, so hopefully it will quench Joni’s thirst and keep her running smoothly.

Here’s a few other photos from the Washington and Oregon leg of our journey that might offer the essence of van life…

Striking a pose in Squamish Valley, post-breakfast at Fergie's and pre-departure from Squamish

Striking a pose in Squamish Valley, post-breakfast at Fergie’s and pre-departure from Squamish

Enjoying a picnic in the park (Volunteer Park, Seattle)

Found this cute, elderly couple having a picnic in the park

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Cheese samples, ice cream and a VW "Baby Loaf" to boot at the Tillamook Cheese Factory

Cheese samples, ice cream and a VW “Baby Loaf” made us very happy about our stop at the Tillamook Cheese Factory in northern OR

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Sipping on one fine cocktail at the Multnomah Whiskey Library in Portland. Notice the shelves of whiskey and library ladders in the background!

Sipping on a fine cocktail at the Multnomah Whiskey Library in Portland. Notice the shelves of whiskey and library ladders in the background!

A disgustingly delicous donut with chocolate icing, Oreo crumbs and peanut butter drizzle at Voodoo Donuts in Portland

A disgustingly delicous donut with chocolate icing, Oreo crumbs and peanut butter drizzle at Voodoo Donuts in Portland

Overlooking the Colombia River Gorge just west of Multnomah Falls

Overlooking the Colombia River Gorge just west of Multnomah Falls

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Here we go

1 11 2013

After a splendid summer of sunshine in the Oakanagan, a relaxing visit with friends in Squamish and an epic trip to Pacific Rim with a van load of rocking ladies, we’re off on the next adventure! Over the next five months or so, I’ll be road tripping with two dear friends, down the West Coast, across the southern US and back up north to my home and native land by next spring.

Now that I have graduated from my formal undergraduate studies, I’ll be embarking on a new program of learning that asks “What am I here for?” and “What does it mean to live well?” Along the way, we’ll be learning from both extraordinary landscapes and extraordinary people. We’re looking for farmers, brewers, beekeepers, sheep shearers, builders, hunters and gatherers, innovative entrepreneurs, sustainability gurus, cyclists, treehouse dwellers and fellow van dwellers, movers and shakers, tribes, and other rad folks who could use the help of three volunteers. Hopefully, through these encounters, we’ll be able to glean knowledge and skills about how to live healthfully and happily.

Our vessel will be my beloved ’89 VW Westfalia, recently named “Joni Estevanagon”. While the quarters will be close and cozy and living will be simple, I have no doubt that the laughs will be plentiful.

Hope to see you down the road!