A New Chapter

Let’s GO!

Today is the start of a new chapter for 3Up Adventures. It is my last day at work and tonight will be our first day with the van as our home and not just an RV.

Last winter, we started trying to figure out ways to move our life closer to the one we wanted to live. Many ideas were tossed around including some realistic and some not so realistic (“Let’s sell the house, buy a snowcat, and live at the cabin!”).

Somewhere along the line, Forrest posed the question of whether we should think about living in a van. In 2010, we traveled around the country in a Jeep Cherokee. It was a great trip—the three of us running around and exploring. In the van, we imagined, the things we didn’t like about the trip—being rushed and not being able to sit up in bed—would be fixed. We found our Sprinter last winter and Forrest has done a whole bunch of work to get it ready for action.

After what feels like forever, we’re finally on the road!


The Long Haul South

Wednesday, Forrest picked me up from work and we hit the open road. After all of our planning it was a pretty surreal feeling to be leaving for real. Along the familiar road to Missoula, we even had a rainbow shine on our departure:

After a nice evening with Glen and Terry, we got up early and headed for Salt Lake. Between Butte and Idaho Falls, the temperature dipped as low as 12°F, reminding us how excited we were to be heading south.

After a long days drive, we arrived at Meghan and Eric’s house in Salt Lake City. And this time early enough in the evening to meet Zoe and relax over a couple of beers.

In the morning, after a coffee, we continued south to Moab. The sunshine felt so good! We reassembled the adventure train and then attended Robin’s school play. In the morning, it was time to get back on the road.

Although we’re really promising ourselves that we’ll move slower and travel less miles in any given day, we were on a time schedule to get to Maryanne and Seth’s rehearsal dinner. Despite the long day’s drive, we were able to snag some pictures of Sprocket crossing into his 32nd state, have some fry bread in Kayenta, and also make it to the rehearsal BBQ.

Our own private airshow

Monday, we headed down to Ajo to drop off some of our extra stuff and the Jeep. On our way back up the Phoenix area through the Goldwater Bombing Range there were a couple of A-10s doing training exercises. We pulled over to the side of the road to watch for awhile and I managed to grab some pictures at pretty close range.

We stop to watch some planes…
…and got our own personal airshow
Close range flyby!
Look just over the bushes on the right

Then we heard a noise. Looking over across the highway, we saw the dust clouds from live ammo practice.

Shooting live ammo.
Nothing like being able to see the pilot.
Some time well spent on the side of the highway

Slowing Down: Scottsdale Edition

Killing time in a city, especially a more residential city, is not our cup of tea. We arrived back in the Scottsdale area Monday evening after a nice drive through the desert (we even took a short walk and tried to teach Sprocket to avoid pointy-spiny things).

In town, we took a pleasant walk and found Sprocket some playmates in an unofficial evening dog meetup. We relaxed in a coffee shop for the evening and went to bed early. Most of Tuesday was spent getting my hair cut, going to Home Depot, doing some grocery shopping (we did our shopping in El Super: Forrest was really excited to find some of his favorite apple juice and we loaded up on salsa and tortillas).

We also visited McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park. Although we decided to not ride the 5/12 reproduction train, we did walk around the model railroad exhibit. Later in the evening, we relaxed in a park with a boys baseball practice as our entertainment. Wednesday morning, we returned to the park where Sprocket found another unofficial dog meetup—although he seemed more interested in hanging out with the human members of the gathering. Forrest and I played a little catch, we walked around the neighborhood and set out looking for our next adventure—which has turned out to be relaxing in the library.

Scottsdale Thanksgiving

Forrest and I spent Thanksgiving in Scottsdale with Maryanne and Seth and their families. We had such a wonderful day! They were kind enough to let us arrive early and shower before helping prepare food, looking at wedding photos, drinking wine, reminiscing, giving thanks, eating tons and tons of food, and enjoying the day so much.

Thank you so much Seth and Maryanne for inviting us. We had such a great time and are very thankful for friends like you guys.

Picketpost Mountain

Friday, we hiked Picketpost Mountain in Superior, Arizona with Blaze. After spending several days in town it was really nice to get out and do some exploring!

The trail up Picketpost is about two miles long and gains just under 2,000′ of elevation. The elevation gain is lots of fun however as the trail ascends up one of the mountain’s rocky shoots. The trail is blazed and fairly easy to follow.

Coke Ovens Ride: Superior, AZ

The morning after our Picketpost hike, we went on an adventure with a group of dirt bike riders Forrest found via ADV Rider. I don’t ride motorcycles but Forrest arranged for me to have a seat in one of the side-by-sides along for the ride.

Ajax Mine

Forrest really enjoyed being back on the bike and we both really liked seeing more of the area. It looked like there was tons of exploring to be done out there!

Forrest on “Honda Hill”
My sweet ride.

Thanks so much to everyone for being so welcoming! We both had a really great time.

Sonoran desert scenery
Someone buy this guy some gear already
Showing off what the 230 can do.
Arizona dirt roads. (And a handsome rider too.)