At the moment it feels like i would do everything at the same time hahaha so that's me fighting with the armaflex insulation. So happy it's finished now! In the next days i will paint the last yellow spots of him 🖌 Excited! 😄
[Day 25] The one who needed the sleep in a real bed the most was @sally.howard1990; she was pretty much dead to the world, occupying every inch of the bed. We never made it to the hot tub the night before so I tiptoed barefoot out to the outdoor pool area in the early morning, only to find it closed. Made my way to the reception, in a bikini, and got a lot of funny looks since it contrasted quite a lot to the ski clothed people hanging around the lobby. Anyway, they opened the hot tub so I got my soak in eventually. Stephen joined too.
The hotel had an inhumanely early check-out time (10am!) so we hustled to get out and I made breakfast sandwiches in the van while getting ready to attack the ski slopes again. Today Snowmass was on the menu!
@bigmeech999 and I skied a couple runs with Sally at the start before taking a little tow line all the way to the top of The Cirque (12,510 ft / 3,183 m) and hiked up the back side to look at the view. And wow was it mesmerizing! We stood there for probably a good half hour watching the untouched open space of snow, a few perfect lines from a couple skier, and watched in awe as three people skinned their way up the face, making a zig zag line across the pristine white. Both of us saying “next time I want to go there and do that”.
Our way down wasn’t too bad either. We surfed our way through the powder on the high traverse, not many tracks before us. Stephen dropped in through some glades, while I continued over to Robertos and Hanging Valley. No idea why it was marked as ‘extreme terrain’ but it was pretty damn awesome to have that section of the mountain almost to myself. Basically half lost in the forest for a good while, playing around in the trees, dropping down steeps, all in great snow.
After lunch with fancy drinks Stephen and I decided to get one last run in.. which almost made us late to the airport (which seems to be our thing…) but Stephen made his flight and was off.
Sally and I ended up at grabbing some food and yummy beers @hopsculture in Aspen over a super fun game of Scrabble which had the whole staff cheering, helping, and distracting us. Pretty sure I won 😜
oh it's done done done and i finally moved in! didn't even realize it yet. everything's so incredibly exciting but happiness is flowing and i'm ready for whatever is going to come... ☄
i will stay in germany for the next weeks singing & dancing on the streets and making friends but the ocean is calling and i just cant wait. 🌊
[Day 22] Made pancakes and coffee for breakfast with Sally in the van. Loving this! Sooo cozy hanging out under the covers just taking it slow, talking, drinking coffee, listening to classical music.
Eventually got on the (free!) bus to Aspen Mountain for a day of skiing. This is Sally’s first year on a snowboard so we did a bunch of easier runs, until I found steeper / ungroomed offshoots, and we’d just meet back at the lift again. I found a double black run with my name on it!! Spelled correctly and all! It was closed, but I skied it anyway. Apart from a few blades of grass I had to jump across, it was a great run! Soft and mushy from the sun, but steep, and with quite a bit of untouched snow on top of the giant moguls. Fun stuff. After that I convinced Sally to challenge herself down a groomed black run. She did really well! Hated me for it, but was super proud of herself it at the end (sound familiar @elianasthlm?).
After the slopes, we grabbed all our devices and found a place with food and beer where we could work and charge electronics while enjoying beer. Talked to our good-looking server (hi @othellosworld), who made me crack up by imitating Sally’s British accent, and ended up serving us tequila shots.
Then our evening took a turn for the random nuts… a woman practically bounced up to our table where we were finishing off our beers and typing on our laptops. Within five minutes of hyper-excitedness, she (Kristin) had invited us over to her place around the corner, offered us showers (we must have been stinky), and a bed to sleep in for the night. She was buzzing around at a hundred miles per hour, invited a guy from the restaurant to join and we all went back to her place for a slightly crazy evening of random dancing, conversations at lightning speed, tequila… Kristin tried, excitedly, to rescue my dirty hair by adding almond oil to it in an attempt to make me look like Annie Lennox (?!). She was all kinds of amazing. And all kinds of bouncing off the walls crazy. In the end, @sally.howard1990 and I ended up sleeping on an inflatable mattress in her guest room (after being pelted with chocolates thrown from the door at us laying in bed).
[Day 20] Figured out a pro breakfast hack in the van! I mentioned before that I made a few servings of my super oatmeal because it’s a little too involved to cook up every morning. I put each serving in a mason jar with a lid and keep them in the fridge. To make french press coffee in the morning I have to boil water… so I just put the jar of oatmeal in with the water and let it heat up. When the water is boiling I have hot oatmeal and coffee four minutes later! #breakfasthack
Kind of a gloomy day in Deer Valley but I decided to ski a couple hours anyway since I was basically already at the mountain. Deer Valley was waaaay different from Snowbird and Alta where I felt right at home. This place was kind of like a theme park in the snow. Even the little trolley that drove around the parking lots felt like one of the little trains at a theme park. Everyone was in uniform, the place was spotless, and everything was Deer Valley branded wherever you went. Found some fun slopes at the top over to one side, after getting some recommendations from the mountain guide, and played around over there for a bit. Once it started snowing at the top and raining a little further down, I called it a day.
Picked up a letter from the post office in Park City @lorraine.navarro had sent me to General Delivery. Pretty stoked how well that worked. Then found a coffee shop with wifi to charge all my devices, get a bunch of paperwork, work, and research on next destinations… before getting back on the road for a three hour drive.
Parked over night at Dinosaur National Monument just across the border to Colorado. As I was driving up the hill to the top where there was a pull-out to park, I saw three elk and a deer -right- next to the road. The first one I thought was a statue… but the second one moved. Super cool. In the high beams of the van I could tell there was a GIANT something infront of where I parked but it was pitch dark otherwise. I suspect it’s a massive cliff. I’ll have to wait until tomorrow morning to see exactly what it is.
5426 April, 2019
All set up. Looking forward to the wake up tomorrow to see where we stranded. It's a drive-in camperpark, I didn't see much what's around, yet.
In diesem Sinne - gute Nacht ⛺
When you hit the road to meet a bunch of vw bullis in Kirchzarten, change your mind at the 5km way from home to the highway driveway and end up at the beach in the Netherlands 🤔🤘😛 Can be weird to be me, but most of the time I like the shit I do. Especially stuff like this.... 🤣
[Day 19] Really nice morning hanging out with Aaron and the fam (Paul & Edie). Coffee and Spanish tortilla was had. Then they donated a bunch of the food they weren’t going to eat since they were checking out of the airbnb that day. Freakin love this family. So immensely hospitable to someone they just met randomly in a ski area a couple days earlier.
Back up to Alta (since we now didn’t have any boarders in tow) and started the day exploring the actual groomed areas… since we hadn’t really done that before. That got boring really fast. Especially since the groomers were pretty icy. Aaron and I spotted Another Long Traverse Ahead (ALTA) and decided to do it. It looked like there would be fresh snow at the top. We were only going to do a fourth of it at first… but then we kept going… and kept going some more. Then we were basically at the top so we might as well go to the top. The ride down East Castle was DELICIOUS. Surfing through largely untouched snow down a beautiful face with an insane view, in the sun.
As we got down toward the bottom of the slope we heard someone cheering and since we were basically the only people on the slope it became evident that the cheering was for us. This amazing and hilarious woman of �∼75 years skied up to us and made the epic slope even more epic. (Turn the sound on in the clip. Quotes in the comments below too.)
Flying on clouds of adrenaline, mountains, and people I truly enjoy being around (you’re the best @always__silver).
Jacob joined us a little later and showed us some fun runs off the High Traverse, including Gunsight and Hourglass Chute. Leg’s exhausted (again) we did one more run together before saying our goodbyes and parted ways. Sad to say goodbye but eternally grateful for these two guys. They never doubted I could do things. They never questioned me joining on the crazy hikes or drops. They never treated me like a “girl” basically.
Drove to Deer Valley that evening and ended up parking for the night in a Walmart parking lot, which actually had a beautiful view of the valley, and was close enough to Whole Foods so that I could get on their wifi.
5445 April, 2019
[Day 17] Woke up to find out a friend I’d met in Jackson Hole a month ago had driven basically through the night from California to Utah to catch the Utah powder! I got on the road early headed to Snowbird to meet up with her (hi @sally.howard1990). Made friends with the parking guy and got to park 20ft away from the lift! Sally got a bit delayed and I ended up doing a couple runs on the mountain alone before striking up conversation with a guy on the lift (hi @always__silver). Another amazing human! Feeling a bit like the luckiest girl around right now…
Joined up with Aaron and his two snowboarding buddies Benet and Mike to ski in epic powder all over Snowbird. Once they avalanche cleared Mineral Basin we surfed around in 12in of powder there. So fun! Challenging in parts because the snow wasn’t light and fluffy everywhere. Then Aaron and I spotted the Alta side of the mountain… specifically a lemming trail of humans traversing around a bend… which made us curious. Obviously that was something one must do in Alta. We left the snowboarders in Snowbird (since they’re not allowed in Alta) and joined the lemming trail. Turned out to be an insanely epic powder ride down after a bit of a hike and a traverse (Devil’s Castle).
On the lift back up we encountered another friendly soul and one of the more ski crazy people I’ve met. Jacob has been skiing Alta and Snowbird pretty much every single day the entire season (26 out of 28 days in February!) and showed us a ton of cool runs both in Alta and Snowbird. Including Glory Hole and Death Trap. Exhausted legs skiing ridiculously much.
Rounded out the day with the gathered crew of six grabbing $5 shot+beer at the ski bum bar under the tram. Sally joined us at this point and her and I ended up finding a place right in Snowbird to park our vehicles for the night. After long conversations in the van, eating hummus and carrots, and a few more beers… life is damn good.
[Day 15] You know when you’re parked by bathrooms and suddenly you insist on -not- using the one in your van even though you really really need to go..? That was me this morning. I practically flew out of the van and jogged (as fast as my bladder would allow) to the restrooms at the rest stop, only to realize they were closed for repairs. Eek. Thankfully there was a portapotty set up just a little bit further away. Saved by the bell.
Salt Lake City is… interesting. I’m not really a city person but decided to at least see some of the sights since I’m here. So, first stop was Temple Square to see all the Mormon things. And wow does the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints run the show here. Every single building has the church name written all over it and the area is immaculate. Had a couple lengthy conversations with a few of the girls serving their missions in the visitor center and I’ve gotta say the people who belong to this church are some of the nicest and most curious people I’ve met. They even got me curious to read the Book of Mormon (so I left with my own copy). I’m probably the least likely person to get converted and join the church btw (clarifying for those of you who don’t know me). Always curious to learn and understand other people’s perspective though.
Never cease to be amazed at how many great people and fun conversations I stumble onto in a day… today was one of those days where I end up in lengthy conversations with people wherever I go, even when I’m really not trying to. Letting it happen, going with the flow and altering my plan to spend time with the people who cross my path, follow their recommendations, and enjoy the moment. From another vehicle dweller I parked next to at the rest stop this morning to one of my favorites thus far on the trip - a guy I met getting a delicious late night dirty chai at my new favorite coffee spot @sugarhousecoffee. Inspiring and interesting on so many levels (and very handsome too).
Heading off to find a quiet street in Salt Lake City to park on for the night… wish me luck. It’s dumping snow right now after a good rain pour a while ago.
4451 April, 2019
89730 March, 2019
the first time i sang in front of grocery stores to strangers is over 10 years ago. we only were second graders i think but me and my two best friends took a plastic cup and a small piece of paper and put them on the ground together. each one of us brought a younger sister so we ended up as a sweet little girl group of six, singing and dancing. overcoming the fear to sing was still hard in the beginning! every time we saw someone we knew we ran as fast as we could to pick up that stuff on the ground. hoping that these people didn't see us singing we pretended to just randomly hang out between shopping carts and stressed customers. but we went singing anyway and it was the best!
the coolest thing was that we only sang original songs. i still know every single word of them and i love that. one of my favorite memories of us.
after the fourth grade we went to different schools. we didn't see each other as often as before and we stopped singing together. from that point it took me 10 years to overcome the fear to start again. i played the piano but couldn't take it with me. problem.
the e piano i had the last years was for beginners, nothing i could use in the streets. second problem.
i didn't know where to start, felt lost... still feeling that way!
the ukulele was my savior. super easy to learn and to take with me wherever i want, it helped me doing the first steps back to that forgotten confidence level of my inner child. best feeling ever.
end of the story, look at that beautiful new piano i FINALLY bought, FINALLY able to take it with me whenever i want to. whole new level of creating music and thats the start of a wonderful journey.
so freaking happy right know. so thankful for slowly finding my path out of this inner chaos.
so thankful for music and musicians and people listening to all of that.
it's going to be amazing.
[Day 14] Sunrise in the desert never gets old. Waking up to the gorgeous surroundings on a cold morning but with a hot spring near by is pretty much the best. Met a really nice family with their sweet 3-year-old daughter Tula in one of the tubs before breakfast. Tula liked being flown like an airplane through the warm water so we did that. Over and over. And then again.
Breakfast with a view before a couple hours of work… then another hot tub soak. This time all along in a slightly hotter tub. Bliss. Aside from a couple other vans at the hot springs where I too had set up camp, there’s no visible civilization as far as the eye can see in any direction.
Got on the road to drive to Utah but kept getting distracted by cool stuff. Like the fun playgrounds that are abandoned mines and loading docks, crazy big tires (curious what vehicle wears these) or walking on your hands in the middle of the road (but it was called ‘the loneliest road in America’ for a reason, right?). It sure was pretty though! And long. And straight. Pulled onto BLM land by Bonneville Salt Flats just in time for sunset.
Sand storm with 28mph (13 m/s) winds had me up at 3am… tried to go back to sleep for an hour. Listening to the wind howl and tug angrily at the van. Shaking and rocking the vehicle and sand/salt blasting it in whipping lashes. For the first time I felt along and slightly scared. Parked in a wide open vulnerable spot with no shelter. Should I leave and drive away through the storm? Should I stay and wait it out..? No cell service didn’t help since I couldn’t check if the storm was going to get worse or pass by. Finally decided that laying there scared was the least productive thing to do so I started up the van (in my pajamas) and decided to drive to Salt Lake City.
Just about 20 min drive down the highway was a rest stop on the side of the salt flats that had shelter. Back to sleep for a couple more hours…
59329 March, 2019
Taking off in a van to explore the country isn't about giving up on society....
Its about living life completely sufficently, being the owner of your story and creating each moment in a way that brings meaningful experiences into it. The strengths you create within yourself going alone, brings about change...stepping out of comfort zones of the normal routines to challange and excite the senses.
For me, ive longed to do this my whole life, and now about to turn 46 this year theres no better time.
[Day 10] Some days don’t turn out quite like you’ve planned. Today was a reminder to make the most out of and enjoy every moment in between the things that didn’t turn out.
After breakfast under a tree in the sun outside the van, @mbeach52, Ben the dog, and I drove to Owens River Gorge climbing area. But since neither of us had been there before, we were just kind of guessing where to go. Which turned out to be wrong. We found some routes to climb (attempt the first few clips on) but they were a bit above our level, so we tried to hike through the river up stream to get to another area. Which didn’t work. But for Mike it was a serious workout jumping from rock to rock and wading through icy water with both Ben and a rope on his back. Ben was such a trooper. He just hung on and stayed calm. And Mike falls somewhere between insane and superhuman...
So, ending the day exhausted (from the vertical hiking rather than the climbing), sunburnt, windswept, dehydrated, and just generally disappointed in ourselves for not finding the right spot to climb.
Determined to get it right, we’re heading back tomorrow after having done a lot more research as to where we should go. But for now, we found a remote campsite in insanely beautiful desert with vast mountain views. So, a cozy dinner inside GusGus with a deck of cards while listening to the wind howl, before an early bedtime to recover from the weathering and feeling a bit sick.
70626 March, 2019
[Day 9] Bright and early wakeup call to head up to Mammoth Mountain and ski with @mbeach52! Stopped for a coffee and a breakfast burrito on the way and still made the first chair up at 9am. There is soooo much snow in Mammoth it’s ridiculous! Entire floors of buildings buried and every road and walkway is like snowy chute with 5m/200in walls (pics for reference).
Skied like maniacs (well, Mike was on a snowboard) all over the mountain. Chasing the windfill powder and finding quite a lot of fluffy wonderfulness both over on Dragon’s back, Dave’s run, and Huevos Grande where we played around for a while before finding even more powder over by Paranoid Flats and that whole side. Won’t bore you with all the other details. Pretty much all the top runs had good snow thanks to it being -11°C/13°F and quite windy (but sunny!). And did I mention there was hardly anyone in Mammoth? We didn’t stand in lines a single time the entire day. Skied for 6,5 hrs straight, lunch was an energy bar in a gondola so we could keep going until our legs wouldn’t carry us anymore.
Car ride back with the view of the mountains was very silent; basically too tired to speak and still floating on the high of an insane day of skiing.
We tried to stay up and hang out… but didn’t make it past 9pm.
I can’t imagine this day being any better than it was.
my first priority for this second part of converting was to have a safe and practical place for my ukulele and much more important my keyboard. i know me, when it's in a bag under the bed i will never use it and i couldn't let this happen ✌so i build that smaller, movable table to take care of it and i am so excited to see how it will work 🎹🎶 well and food from time to time isn't bad either so i put all of the kitchen things in the front... it just was annoying to constantly carry these things from one side of the van to the other 😅 painted the brighter wood dark too and will finish it today 🙌
99324 March, 2019
[Day 7] Hustled like a little busy bee around the house all morning. Everything from updating and backing up my laptop, making sure all the paperwork and real life things are in order, doing all the laundry and remaking the bed, taking out the trash, doing all the dishes… organized and put away all the clothes in GusGus (they’ve been laying in a giant pile on the bed up until now…) and checking my next couple destinations.
The drive down to my next destination was crazy beautiful the entire way! First following the perimeter of the northern shore of Lake Tahoe with cold windy water and snowy mountain peaks surrounding the lake. Stunning! The snowy peaks were a theme for the whole drive and I never get tired of it. Through the cold frosty desert scapes of Nevada and little adorable country towns (still with the snowy mountain backdrop), fields of cattle grazing the brown winter grasses. I stopped way more times than I should have but that’s the best part too! Not really being in a hurry and being able to take time to stop. In the future I’m going to plan to leave earlier so I have more time to stop though… was loosing light fast when I finally pulled into a camp spot for the night and got cozy under a blanket in GusGus.
First night actually being on my own in the van, off grid, in a stunningly beautiful location. What are you best tips for finding good camp sites for the night?
67123 March, 2019
we are back! 10 days in france between waterfalls & caves & mountains & trees are over and it was great ☀️ besides enjoying nature and driving for hours it was such a good opportunity to see if my conversion would work out as i want it to... now i'm changing and improving a lot but it's all worth it!
i'm feeling so much better already when i open the side door 💃😏
pictures are coming soon 📷
Day 4: Relaxing morning in Squaw, getting ahead on a bunch of paperwork and some graphic design stuff. Everyone else in the house was out running errands so I had lunch finished for them when they got back (used up the last of a super tasty tomato sauce I made and canned last summer) which was very appreciated.
A slight change in my plans occurred since I have to pick up my new passport from the Swedish Consulate in San Francisco so I randomly decided to jump in the car with Claire @corellicarrots, Jake @jakeofsilver, and Elia @elialonsdale who were heading back home to SF anyway. Slow cruise through Sunday night traffic across the Bay Bridge into San Francisco listening to Enya was pretty epic... with my mind occupied by the memory of an old friend who reached out.
Finished the evening off stuffing, stamping, and sealing all of Claire and Jake’s wedding invitations! Together with them, of course. Excited to have taken part and been able to help 😁
Good night from San Francisco!
Day 2: Sunny but cold morning waking up in GusGus parked outside @katharinastenbecks house in Ojai, only to sneak inside and grab a hot shower and a yummy breakfast oatmeal with all the fixings before hitting the road.
Driving route 33 north from Ojai was crazy beautiful! I enjoyed every moment of it and stopped way more times than I should have to jump on rocks through a creek, climb a Swiss cheese of a rock barefoot, eat an apple with an insanely beautiful view...
Let’s not talk about the 5 freeway after that. A couple words to summarize: Never ending depressing big ag and ridiculous amounts of traffic.
Finally on the 80 the driving got fun again (just give me mountain roads to drive and I’m happy, basically). And so much snow! Couldn’t read the signs because they’ve been buried under 4m / 13ft of snow.
After 10 long hours on the road and a beautiful sunset with a snowy mountain backdrop, I finally pulled up the driveway at the house and was welcomed by an excited dog and a yummy meal with my second family @lorraine.navarro@corellicarrots@jakeofsilver
it's all coming to an end! 🌅
sure, there'll always be a lot of things to change and improve but for now... i am nearly done! such a GREAT feeling 💃
in two days we'll do our first little roadtrip and i am so so curious if everything will work out!! 🤞
9286 March, 2019
Meet my travel buddy - GusGus the bus! He and I will soon set off on a lot of adventures. This will be the space to follow our travels.
I’m super nervous and a bit scared but mostly just excited and eager to hit the road. There’s snow in the mountains and I’m not in it!! Right now I’m knee deep in the stress and chaos of selling everything I own and move out of my apartment and into GusGus. It’s a little crazy and I’m a little frazzled with a to-do list that’s a million miles long. One day at a time.
two weeks ago i passed my driving test and the last days the license finally came in the mail!! 🤞
besides saving money & the conversion this was the last step towards this incredibly exciting adventure!!! 🦋
may i introduce to you my selfmade pull out kitchen! did it in the same way for the cooler. it isn't ready yet but i'm really happy about the look of this future cooking spot so far, let's see how it'll work on the road 🤞
10324 hours ago
i have a bench now... to rest & eat & create & enjoy the beautiful views in the future ☀️
this time screwing it all together wasn't fun at all 👀 most uncomfortable thing since i started converting 😆✌