Later this month, we’ll be setting out on our longest camper van trip yet: three to four weeks to make a one-way journey home from Albuquerque to Seattle.
The one-way part was our first bit of inspiration.
We knew we wanted to explore the American southwest: the prehistoric grandeur, great orange and red temple spires, stegosaurus-like hoodoo runs of rock in Bryce, Zion, Arches all make my heart race, and I’ve dreamt for years of showing them to Zevin and Michelle. And we knew we wanted to explore them in our Roadtrek camper van: with a king-size bed, stove, sink, toilet, even an outdoor shower, it’s our perfect camping vehicle. Plus, at 19′ long, built on the body of a Chevy 3500 Express, it drives like a van, not an RV, and, more importantly, it parks like a van, not an RV. That means we can pull off anywhere, by the side of the road, in a campground or outside a coffee shop on Main Street, pull the curtains and go to sleep.
Our problem was that the van was in Seattle, and that’s a good 17 hours drive from southern Utah, which means two to three days of just getting there, if you take stops to make it tolerable (and if you’re driving with a nine-year-old, you take stops to make it tolerable.) And power-driving eight hours a day for two to three days is no way to start an adventure: it’s a sizable chunk out of our budgeted three weeks, plus we knew we’d arrive already burnt out already.
Offered: Use of our camper van
Ever dreamed of taking an adventure in a camper van? We have a sweet Roadtrek 190 that we want to take on a one-way adventure from Albuquerque to Seattle. We’d like to find someone who wants to take the same adventure from Seattle to Albuquerque. […]
We’ll fly in and pick it up, you fly home. You cover the gas for your trip and your flight home, use the van for free. […]
Presto, within a couple days, we had a small line of people eager for a taste of #vanlife, and we had an easy (and free!) way to transport our vehicle to the far end of our trip. Laila and Matt get free use of a van for two weeks and a chance to live their adventure, and we get our adventure coming back, without have to backtrack and waste time. They picked up our van this past Saturday and take two weeks to make it to Albuquerque, dropping it off at the Albuquerque airport. That night, we arrive on a one way flight to pick it up. Win-win!
So now comes the fun of planning our route home. We have a lot on our list: friends to visit in Santa Fe, Taos, Santa Cruz and Oakland, the cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde, the Grand Canyon and of course all the splendors of the Utah desert: Canyonlands, Zion, and all the gorgeous places in between. Bryce, in particular, comes as close to making a believer out of this atheist as anything I’ve ever laid eyes on. It’s a temple grander than the human mind could conceive, pews and pulpit for preaching wonder.
We’re trying to leave as much open to chance and serendipity as possible, not making any reservations or time commitments, but we do have a rough path sketched: