People ask a lot of questions about our trip so I thought I'd take the time to answer them on the blog:
Who is going and when do you leave? Jesse, Steph, Bailey, Harper and Larkin are going on a back-road trip this Summer. We plan to leave the first week of June and return sometime in July. We will be living out of our slightly modified 1994 Toyota Land Cruiser that already has almost 200k miles.
Why? It's not because we're crazy, although we've been called that before. Jesse loves to travel and he loves exploring. Steph is a homebody who doesn't mind seeing the world from her living room sofa. Somewhere in the middle our two worlds collided and now we're going on a road trip and we are all super excited about it.
(Jesse jumping in here - I remember Bailey and I coming up with the idea
for the trip and then inviting Harper. Truth told, these plans drove
the purchase of the 'family' vehicle we bought last May. We didn't know
how Mama would react to the idea of a summer outside on the move in
tight quarters, but we assumed she and the then-unknown baby would not
be coming. However she caught wind of our 'covert' plans and would not
be left out! Larkin was left little choice but I like to think she's
just as excited - a shame though that she won't remember anything from this trip.)
But really, WHY NOT? It is a sacrifice to be sure. It will be hard. It will be costly - and not just financially. But we want our kids exposed to different ways of life, different cultures (ok, this one is a stretch), different terrain. We hope to give them an appreciation for what they already have at home - the comfort and stability. I (Jesse) haven't taken more than an extended weekend vacation with the family for over three years. I'm excited about the time with family-the moments of wonder and awe, the difficult moments, the uncomfortable, the growth.
Where will you camp each night? mostly on BLM (Bureau of Land Managment) land, national forest land and other designated campgrounds. "Boondock" camping is allowed with a few slight regulations anywhere in the first two areas mentioned. Designated campgrounds are either state or nationally run pay areas. The fee is usually small and sometimes free. We also have a few friends along the way who are not too far off route who have offered porches, spare rooms, front lawns, etc.
Where will you sleep? It will probably take some time to get a routine going but our options will be for some of us to sleep in the back of the land cruiser with seats folded down and some in our roof-top tent. We may also take a ground tent to use as well.
Every night? no, not every night. We'll be visiting our friend in Salt Lake City first and then we'll head to Bend, Oregon and stay with Marshall and Katherine for as long as they'll let us.
Why the roof-top tent and not just a regular tent? It will do a much better job of keeping snakes, spiders and other creepy-crawly things out of our sleeping quarters :). And, it's awesome! It's like sleeping in a tree-house (or car-house) every night.
What about showers? We'll take them when we can get to a KOA or when a kind little family who takes interest in our trip offers to let us use their showers:) Jesse has fitted the Land Cruiser with a 15 gallon water tank(plus 10 more gallons on the roof rack), pump, hose and nozzle. So we will at least be able to spray each other down at night.
What will you eat? Mostly, we will be stopping at grocery stores and stocking up on non-perishable food items to take on the road with us. We will have a cooler that plugs in to a cigarette lighter for short-term storage of perishables. We have a coleman 2 burner camp stove that we'll use to cook our meals.
What about emergencies? Well, we will travel with an extensive first-aid kit and we will have cell phones. The problem with communication is that most of the time we will be off the grid and far out of range. In case of a life-threatening emergency we will be carrying a GPS emergency location beacon.
....I guess that's all for now. If you have other questions email me and I'll answer them on the blog.