Our first trip in the Van was actually in April of 2018 when we headed down to San Francisco for Creative Live's Social Media Week. As a photographer, Adonis has been a longtime fan of Creative Live, and finally got to meet the founder, Chase in person! They have since stopped hosting live tapings, so this was the first of what set the tone of our adVANtures—being open to opportunities.
We took off the very same day that the papers were signed and the keys were first in hand (crazy!). Just threw a mattress and a cooler in the back and headed out. Oh what little I knew.
Driving the van for the first time took some getting used to. The size and the fact that I hadn't owned any car in many, many years took some of the fun out of the new adventure. Then it got even more intense. We started out in Portland where it was a sunny seventy-something, and by the time we were in southern Oregon, it was well past dark and the temperature was dropping.
I'd planned to get through Medford to camp at Valley of the Rogue State Park, where there would at least be facilities since the van was nothing but an empty shell, but then we got caught in an ice storm on I5.
The interstate was at a standstill.
Looking back on this now, with a fully-equipped tiny house, I scoff--no problem, but then, on that day it sucked. We did make it to the campground in the not-so-early morning hours, and all the way through to Santa Rosa that same day, where we were able to recover at a friends. It is that experience that caused me to then travel with three different modes of heat (radiant flooring, a diesel-fired Espar air heater, and a backup heater- just in case!), and to go a little crazy on Dynamating the van so that it is no longer a rattle trap!
San Francisco rewarded us with sunshine though! When not in the Creative Live tapping, we wandered the city, appreciating the textures, colors, parks, botanical garden, and tasty treats (as it was a first-time visit for Adonis) and caught up with friends (since I've spent a lot of time in the Bay Area). The van stayed at the Candelstick RV park, since I knew nothing of parking the van at the time. I have since learned a lot, and you can too in my posts about logistics, or sign up to join the journey, and I'll deliver some tips to your inbox.
On the way back I scheduled an indulgent treat to make up for the trip down, and stayed at Lithia Springs, where there is an in-room hot spring and the most amazing complimentary continental breakfast. We caught a play at the Ashland Shakespeare Festival, and then made our way back to Portland without further incident until the build began....
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