Tuesday, August 5, 2014

This is just the beginning!

This is it...the beginning, the start to an epic year of wandering, climbing, and VANVENTURING!! Traveling across the USA (and possibly Canada) for the next year has been THE goal and this past year of saving and planning has allowed us to take this next step!To take a few steps backward, the idea for this journey began when I met Zachariah Wahrer at CityROCK climbing gym in Colorado Springs. We immediately became climbing partners and then starting dating. Climbing and adventuring was a main part of our relationship. After our first big trip together in the southwest, we decided we wanted to travel long term and the idea for a year on the road was formed. It took both of our dreams of traveling and combined them into one epic van trip across the country.
Choosing the adventuring vehicle took a lot of research, but based on our 2 week long trip in Zach's 4Runner, we decided we could handle something small with good gas mileage. The Honda Odyssey fit that need. It also came with great recommendations from my Grandparents, Pat and Larry Rahal and we were happy to have the same vehicle as them:)
Saving up our money was something slightly foreign to me...but luckily Zach is an expert saver and taught me his secrets! It was fun trying to find cheap or free entertainment in the downtown area of Colorado Springs. Our friends were all supportive and joined in the fun of finding free things to do. Despite our cheapness this past year, we have had a blast!

Somewhere in all the saving and the planning, Zach found time to propose!! On top of the Bastille formation in Eldorado Canyon State Park, he asked me to spend my life with him and I said YES! I now have a beautiful, vintage amethyst ring around my finger and the promise of a wonderful life with my adventure partner! Very exciting stuff:)

When telling people we were heading out on a crazy adventure for a year with no house and no real bathroom, I thought everyone would say we were insane. Turns out, I have a very supportive group of people around me! My friends and family have been so excited, sometimes I think even more excited then me! The question about a toilet has come up a few times and no we won't have anything in the van. I'm happy to use other bathrooms so I don't have to clean one for the next year:) It has been so fun planning and sharing our plans with everyone around us!
I am sorely going to miss working in the NICU at St. Francis Medical Center for the next year. Everyone I work with has been so excited about my new adventures and I can't wait to send post cards and pictures back.
CityROCK has been my home away from home since I moved to the Springs in 2011. I found many forever friends here that I will dearly miss, but hope to keep climbing with whenever we get the chance. I learned to really climb through this gym. I even found people crazy enough to take me outside with them where I truly fell in love with climbing and Colorado. There are so many amazing places to climb and enjoy here!
And now back to the Vanventuring. A few weeks ago, Zach created our electrical system with a solar panel to a battery. He found all the right outlets for all of our needs! I'm excited to be living a little greener then before:) This past weekend, Zach and I worked to get the van just the way we want it. With lots of different ideas, we quickly found, simple is better and created a bed platform design with storage space underneath. We found bins that perfectly fit underneath and are using those as our drawers. Our "kitchen" is in the back and fits all our basic culinary needs. We had fun painting the shelves and platform a bright green and blue to give it a homey feel. I made a curtain and window shades to complete our fortress!

Our next step is to head out August 31st! Its coming so fast, but I also can't wait! I want to keep up with everyone through this blog and hopefully coming to visit! Thank you to everyone for all your support in creating this trip!

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