Fall Updates & 2019 Travel Plans

So… my last entry was in JULY! Time to remedy that and let you in on what’s been happening with us: Not much but at the same time: everything! How is that even possible?!

We’ve been living in the van for a few months now. It feels amazing and we’re still learning on how to optimize our space for the maximum comfort. Everyday we get better at planning our resupply stops and discovering new places to camp at.

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Working from home, in my case in bed… ha!

Here’s a little timeline of what you may have missed these past few months:
Bryan and I are both fortunate to work remotely and our solar capabilities have kept up with our needs… until we got a gaming device ha! That’s right! We don’t just hike all the time, we like to be lazy and play video games sometimes too!

This past August, we were in Wyoming and visited the beautiful Grand Teton National Park. We even went backpacking and that was a nice treat! We didn’t stick around the area too long as there was too many people and the crowd avoider that I am, we moved on to another destination as soon as possible.

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Backpacking the Teton Crest Trail. 

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In our environment! 

We drove straight to Arizona from Wyoming to continue our Arizona Trail section hiking. We hiked all the passages north of Grand Canyon all the way to the Utah border. It was a beautiful area but had limited services for resupply, especially for trying to figure out van living logistics. We hiked the Rim To Rim route of the Grand Canyon, another passage of the Arizona Trail. We had perfect weather for it and gorgeous views. We then headed south near Tucson to hike our remaining sections.

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Bryan hiking down into the Grand Canyon from the South Kaibab Trail. (AZT)

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Bryan after traversing the Bright Angel suspension bridge at the bottom of the Canyon.

We have over 75% of the Arizona Trail hiked and it’s been amazing… until the new injury. Our plan was to hike essentially every weekend until Christmas in order to complete the entire trail. Would you believe that on our way to hiking a section of the AZT, I fell out of the shuttle car that dropped us off for the weekend and landing directly on my bad knee, resulting in some bad limping and calling the shuttle back to get us. We have done only short hikes since. Thankfully, I am still able to hike but just shorter and less ‘aggressive’ hikes. This time, I’ll give it time to heal properly.

Arizona is a great place to spend the winter at but we got to meet this little lady, pictured below, one night. The first night were at this campsite, we had parked the van at about a foot from her dwelling. To not disturbed her, we moved a few feet further. She only came out at night and never left her web for the entire week we were there, thankfully! As much as I HATE spiders, I am developing an appreciation for all these little creatures we come across on our travels.

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Black Widow Spider, EEEEEKKKK

 

Our Holiday Plans:
Bryan’s mom is flying out to see us for the holidays, and so is our good friend Ross from our backpacking group from WI. It will be a laid back, no fuss fun holidays… just the way we like ‘em! Temps have been perfect out here and there’s plenty of sun to go around for us to charge our batteries via solar.

2019 Initial Plans:
After the holidays, we are heading straight to Texas in hope to continue our quest of hiking every State high points. (Crossing my fingers my knee holds up!) Guadalupe Peak is the highest point in Texas at only 8,751 feet. We also plan to visit Big Bend National Park. Of course, we’ll do lots of sightseeing and eat plenty of delicious BBQ food. Got recommendations for us? We’d love to hear them!

In first two weeks of February, I will take a solo trip without Bryan to Colombia 🇨🇴 to help out at an animal shelter that take in stray cats & dogs near Neiva, Huila, Colombia. I am currently working to find a local veterinarian who can provide low-cost spaying & neutering and get that on the schedule while I am there. In addition, the shelter provides support to local children with necessary school uniforms, teaching materials, clothing and shoes along with teaching them some positive skills & values. This will be a 2 weeks trip where I will do some work and explore a few regions of the country. If you’re interested in donating to the shelter, message me.

Between February & April, we are leaving our schedule open. We’ve learned that no matter how much planning we do, our plans will constantly changes. Our initial thought is driving to the South East, and hitting a few State high points but who knows… things may change!

In April, we’ll be heading to Poland 🇵🇱 with our backpacking friends Piotr and Ross. Piotr is from Poland and knows the country pretty well and have told us of the many opportunities for hiking/backpacking. We look forward to this trip! Time to learn some Polish but so glad we will have a native speaker with us! Dzień dobry!

After April, we should be back to Wisconsin late this Spring as we hope to update a few things in the van. That’s about it for what we’ve been up to: just traveling throughout Arizona, catching some sun and enjoying life on the road. We’ll catch up with you again when we are in Texas! Later y’all! ❤️

2 thoughts on “Fall Updates & 2019 Travel Plans

  1. Catherine Egelhoff says:

    Hi guys! Glad to hear life in the van is going well( ha, except for the knee injury Melanie-thats no fun). My adventure in building and moving to northern wi, Boulder Junction to be exact, has been a great. All kinds of places to ski, hike, paddle, mountain bike, fish… And Michigan is only 15 million away. Going to take me years to get bored with the area. If you are ever in the area you have to come up here! Hope you have a Merry Christmas~ Catherine

    On Tue, Dec 4, 2018, 3:52 PM Sure is a lot of miles… Melanie Levesque posted: “So… my last entry was in JULY! Time to remedy > that and let you in on what’s been happening with us: Not much but at the > same time: everything! How is that even possible?! We’ve been living in the > van for a few months now. It feels amazing and we’re still ” >

    Like

    • Melanie Levesque says:

      Wonderful that you are enjoying life in the Northern WI! It must be a paradise for you, especially for the skiing opportunities! We’ll likely come visit the area but our plans are always changing. Would be nice to at least camp ‘up north’ for a weekend or so as long as the mosquitoes are tame haha. 😀 Wishing you fantastic holidays with your family! ❤

      Like

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