A Fresh Start

Sorry we have been very quiet for the last several weeks. There have been a lot of changes for us. First off, after 15 months on the road we have learned that we enjoy life on the road, even with its challenges. We have really enjoyed the Van Life and traveling all over the USA exploring mother nature’s great outdoor spaces, so we decided it’s time to go all the way in. We returned to Bend, Oregon on February 25th to sell our home and all our possessions and become full-time Nomads! If you haven’t seen the news Bend is the number one remote working city on the West Coast and is growing like crazy! There is more demand than there are homes for sale. So in less than 8 days we decluttered, staged and sold our house. Then in another 8 days, we sold all our possession and packed- up a few items to store at our vacation rental. Thanks to my brother, David who did a few truck load round trips to help us move the few things we decided to keep. Of course, no sale is easy and to make a long story short we did a hurry up and wait and after 35 days it finally closed.

If that wasn’t enough work, we got the bright idea we are ready to try overlanding. For those who do not know what overlanding is, Wikipedia has a great definition (I typically am not a huge Wikipedia fan but will give this exception…) “Overlanding is self-reliant overland travel to remote destinations where the journey is the principal goal. Typically, but not exclusively, it is accomplished with mechanized off-road-capable transport (from bicycles to trucks) where the principal form of lodging is camping, often lasting for extended lengths of time (months to years) and spanning international boundaries.” Overlanding has been around since the 1900s where it started in Australia traveling across their continent delivering live stock. In the 1940’s it became more of an outdoorsmen activity. usually involves long-distance travel to remote locations that are under-documented and where little prior exploration has occurred. Other characteristics that define overlanding include, but are not limited to, self-reliance, adventure, survival, and discovery. Overlanding can involve a variety of elements such as crawling on massive boulders, wading in deep waters, slogging through mud, driving through sand and sprinting across a dry lakebed. It is minimalistic living and also with a focus of leaving no trace! Making sure we keep mother nature as is as much as possible for future generations to explore!

We loved our Boldt but even though it is 4X4 it is a very heavy vehicle, making it difficult to venture into sand or roads that are super rutted with lots of big rocks. What we loved the most this last year was exploring BLM and Forest Service roads that are off the beaten path and staying in places where there was no one around but coyotes, eagles and owls. Per our many stories, we were disappointed with the Mercedes Chasis, it just isn’t the quality you are paying for and after having it at the Mercedes dealer 8 times and unable to use our vehicle for about 2 months while living full-time (very inconvenient). We placed Our Boldt on Vanviewer, Facebook Marketplace, and a reached out to a few dealers. At the same time, Greg loves his YouTube Research and we spent a few days watching the most reliable off-roading vehicles and truck toppers that are durable, 4-season and as light as possible but with enough amenities we could live full-time (since we no longer have a full time home). So we then took the next 5 days to sell our Boldt! We bought a Toyota Tacoma Double Cab 6′ bed. Note to those who may want to copy us, the Tacoma is in high demand and we spent 6 hours talking to 8 dealerships across Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana to find one. It will take time, many dealerships told us we would have a month wait or longer! So we decided on the Overland Explorer Camp-M truck topper! It was a close back in forth between the Four Wheel Camper Fleet Model (most people have heard of the Hawk but its made for full size trucks and not mid-size) and the Scout Yoho, Kimbo and Carbou Lite 6.5 all not available until January 2022. Since we no longer have a home we were hoping for a truck topper we could get right away, we were surprised it was pretty impossible to find a used one from one of these companies available anywhere in this country. So we decided to go back old school tent camp until end of June when we could get at 2021 Camp M from Big Sky RV in Montana. Note, I have no idea how they sell tent so cheap and make any money but Costco sells a huge 6 person tent with a sunscreen room (great to avoid the mosquitoes this time of year) for only $129.00!

Images below of what our new set-up will look like in a few months and us at our campground as we wait for Greg’s second Covid19 shot. So I took all of our Van life possession and cut them in half to fit in our new truck topper setup. It is amazing how little we really need to live very comfortably! I was able to get everything into 4- 14 gallon bins that will be stored in the double cab once we have the topper. We are going to toughen up and no longer enjoy a wet bath but an outdoor shower and our little 2.5 gallon Thetford Porta Potty. Now I will know how Bode feels! Good thing Greg and I have gotten into the Wim Hof Method! It is a breathing technique and cold showers that change your body’s biochemistry and help strength your immune system, better your energy and sleep.

So of course nothing goes as planned. As we were selling our home and preparing to hit the road again, our little buddy Bode started deteriating at a rapid pace. After 12 fun and crazy years we had to let Bode go.

So our next post will be about our old school camping on the Oregon Coast, Sunriver then on to Arizona and San Diego. Then if all goes well we will report on our new Overlanding adventures across the USA, and why we purchased which overlanding stove, awning and cooler/refrigerator and all the cool gear to choose from. All I can say I love the Tacoma Crawl feature and the smooth ride is so much quieter and nicer than the Mercedes. Come back for more crazy adventures. We will end this post with our last shot with our crazy doodle Bode.