Almost 3 months ago I started talking about the plans that Jessie and I had. You can read the full story HERE. Hard to believe it’s almost time to cast off the bowline and set the sails, but on February 26 I give the condo keys back to the landlady, spend two last days in Vancouver sleeping on the floor of a friend’s studio and on February 28, I start driving. My buddy Dave Delnea is planning to come with me for the first leg, and that might delay our border crossing by a few days, so I may take the ferry across the water and spend three or four days island hopping first, but around the 3rd of March we plan to head south for the Olympic Peninsula.
The truck, Jessie, has not been without growing pains. She’s had a lot of work to make her ready for this overland trip, and is still in the shop now. The artwork at the head of this post was inspired by WWII nose-art on planes and Jessie will be sporting this on her doors. The Autohome, my new home for the rest of the year has just been installed on the roof. It’s a queen-sized bed in a tent, wrapped in fibreglass and it’s fantastic. Bigger than the bed in this condo. My 4×4 guys sent me these last night:
The new transmission is in and I’m told she’s running beautifully, though I’ve yet to have time to myself with her. We also installed an auxillary battery that’ll power my computers, cameras, cooler, etc., without draining the main battery. In the coming days the bonnet/hood will get a big piece of black checkerplating, to match the ones on the wings, so I can stand on it to shoot. She’ll also get security grills for windows and a massive lockbox installed in the back. It’ll be easier to tow the whole beast away than steal my stuff from the back.
Speaking of stuff, I’ve narrowed it down to 4 Pelican 1650 cases, 8 small Rubbermade Action Packers, 2 duffle bags, a Think Tank Retrospective 30, a HUGE Patagonia courier bag, and assorted loose bits like camp stove, MSR tarp, MSR tent, tripods, a GPS, an iPad, a 12v cooler, and a Virgin Mifi unit. The rest got sold or put into storage.
Plans haven’t firmed up much in terms of itinerary. I’m keeping things as loose as I can at the moment. I’m giving Jessie the benefit of the doubt but she’s proven a bratty 18-year old given to displays of hard-headedness and until I’ve taken her through a few hundred problem-free miles I won’t be making any promises about where I’ll be or when. My first real stop will be in San Francisco because I’ve got a quick flight to Chicago to catch before coming back to SFO and making Santa Fe my next big milestone.
I picked up a couple GoPro Hero HD video cameras I plan to mount on the truck, and if I get comfortable with it I’ll post the odd video blog from the road in addition to the usual installments of way too many words, introspective navel-gazing, and the occasional photograph.
I am having a small informal get-together on February 27 between 5pm and 9pm in Vancouver. It’ll be small but I’ve got 10 spots open for blog readers. If you want in, drop an email to Corwin at PixelatedImage dot com and we’ll pick 10 to join us. I hope to see the rest of you at some point on the road. If our paths cross, I’d love to have a coffee. You can keep following my adventures here or on Twitter, which I’ll be using a lot (@PixelatedImage) or you can chose to follow Jessie on Twitter instead. She’s @JessieTrip.
11 days and counting…