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Showing posts from November, 2018

A Lazy Traveler's Guide to Car Camping

A disclaimer: by no means do we think that you should follow our advice. However, as two people who managed to get ourselves from Tacoma, Washington to Winston-Salem, North Carolina in one piece (with a still working car!), we thought we'd let you in on what that sort of looked like. Maybe you're thinking of trying a similar road trip yourself, maybe you're looking for reasons to never do what we've done ever...?

For the record, there are a million people on the road who have better, more equipped setups than we do. Our angle is that we're relatable (not underprepared)! We are two people who didn't know what we were doing, decided to try anyway, and kinda did it. Our sweet little Honda Element, which we bought via Craigslist for a good deal, was equipped with a bed, a cooler, a camp stove, some storage containers that were slightly too small for our usual amount of food and kitchenwares, a first-aid kit, our backpacks, and some undesirable toilet solutions for…

Story Time: The Merced River

This is a post that got started a while ago but wasn't finished until this morning

Somewhere between the bars and the futons in San Francisco, Jill and I forgot how to camp in our car. Truly, our first night in the wilderness near Yosemite was a rude awakening. That is to say, we slept very little in our very uneven double bed. We rolled in and out of our first campsite, situated near the Nelder Grove in the Sierra National Forest just outside Yosemite State Park, in a matter most befitting two weary, lazy travelers. In late, out late, looking sort of grumpy. Incredible? I'm sure it was, but a life on the road sort of deadens you to things like natural beauty, so we left without even taking a picture and headed into town for some wifi and coffee.

Just a cursory glance at the booking site for campgrounds in Yosemite showed how unprepared we were. Most people, it would seem, preferred to book their excursions several months in advance. Which, of course, would not have worked for…

Musings from the Road

We are now nearing a month and a half of road trip traveling, and probably around 3,500 miles into our cross-country adventure (give or take, I would check the odometer officially but I'm cozy indoors and it's absolutely freezing outside). In the last 5 1/2 weeks, we've slept in a variety of forests and deserts, city streets and hotel rooms, and now that we are in New Orleans, a youth hostel. Living out of the Honda Element has not only allowed us to go wherever we like whenever we like--for the most part--and change plans at the drop of a hat, but it has been an experience living day to day with only the bare necessities...and being okay. 
By making a home in a car that is actually too small for both driving and sleeping systems to be operable at the same time, no bathroom, and an outdoor kitchen only, you find you discover what is actually necessary to be comfortable and what comforts are able to be let go. 
Turns out, though it's fun and socially acceptable (and ma…

Story Time: Clear Lake

A recollection from week one of our trip.

The air was unseasonably hot on this October afternoon. We were hurtling down the Scenic 101 on our way to a campsite in the hills overlooking Clear Lake, California. From there, the stars were supposedly amazing, and from the few online sources I could find, the spot was very secluded. Remote wilderness was just what we were looking for.

We bobbed along the lakeside road, exclaiming over the beautiful views while reporting every detail to Jill's parents over the phone. Our GPS steered us left into the hills, and the phone signal started to get shaky. We said our goodbyes just as the call dropped and we were left in silence, winding through vineyards and orchards.

Online, I had found this site on one of my forums, where a user had described it as "far off the pavement, but ok with his Toyota Forerunner." While we were not too familiar with our car's off-road performance, we were pretty sure it would work out. The temperature …