An open, clean, clear, and free road! A beautiful thing to fantasize about, but Jacqui and I weren't going to be seeing any of that soon.
We'd just finished a two day stint with Karl doing the High Speed Van Build and it was time to boogie our way down to San Francisco to catch a flight. The incoming snow storm was constantly in the back of my mind. Wait it out or try to race ahead?
After making our decision to press on, this here Californian bought and installed his first ever set of snow chains. It was time to find out if Vanagons are as good in the snow as everyone preaches.
Since you are reading this you've probably gathered that I either set this blog to auto-post if something terrible happened to us, or we survived. I'll leave you with the suspense.
Through dumping snow, icy streets - one that nearly broke my tailbone when I fell- and mountain passes that froze our headlights, the PennyWagon labored through the elements. It was a difficult choice between defrosting the windshield or warming ourselves. Vanagons rarely leave you with easy decisions.
But somehow we made it through. We pressed over the first mountain pass to spend an evening with Jacqui's twin cousins near Eugene. One cousin, Megan, and her partner Skye have been traveling, living and working out of their various vans for nearly seven years. But for the time being they are tiny-housing it on Andhi's bio-dynamic farm (Andhi, the other twin). Farm photo below taken in October, not during this snowy visit.
The following morning we hit the road again to cross an even more treacherous pass where we could see no more than 20 feet ahead due to snow and fog. We arrived a bit after the pass reopened, luckily we were headed in the right direction as northbound traffic was backed up nearly 5 miles!
With that pass finally behind us sweet California rain was the only thing greeting us for the rest of the drive to the Bay Area. As quickly as we arrived, it was time to fly out.
We were being drawn to the Lone Star State because Jacqui's Mom and Step-Dad, Debbie and Butch, had docked their land-yacht in Austin. Being that it's their first year full-timing on the road, we like to take some credit for the wandering inspiration, the whole family was flying in for their first #RVlife holidays. Don't visit this family and start asking about mailing addresses, it's far too complex a subject.
We were relieved when we discovered a few of us could stay in the miniature cabin at the RV park instead of shoving the entire family into the RV. Despite the 31ft RV being a mansion to Jacqui and I, six adults and two corgi's can make most spaces feel tiny.
Hiking, eating, exploring, and a high stakes family volleyball competition guided us through our eleven day visit to Austin and added a few notches on my belt (aka girth). Luckily we were flying back to California to see my family and start our adventure towards Baja! (aka Mexican gym).
Crazy weather through Oregon!
Holidays in Texas, blurry photos attributed to a busted iPhone.