In Jessie and I, Travel by David43 Comments

The view from Jessie’s rooftop tent at 7:30am this morning. I was still in my sleeping bag.

This is my first morning on the road. I woke in Tofino, cold and frosty, but to the sound of the roaring surf and ravens calling. I woke feeling deliriously happy, a little unable to believe that this adventure has started. I packed yesterday morning from the back of my friend Kevin’s studio, and at 9am my friend Al Smith and I set off for the ferry to Vancouver Island.

This is it. Everything I’m traveling with for the year is in this pile. Miraculously, it fits beautifully into Jessie, with room to spare. Not much room, but some.

I’m inclined to drive straight to Nevada, Arizona, and Santa Fe. Neither Jessie nor I care for the cold.

The drive to Tofino took us until late evening, stopping at Canadian Tire for a few bits and pieces so we could hardwire an invertor into the auxillary battery. And when I say “we” I mean Alan, but I watched and learned. I also bought proper wrenches because Alan made fun of mine.

By 10:30pm we were eating freeze dried stroganoff, drinking a nice Bordeaux to celebrate, and shivering in the snow and hail. Al had a rough night in the tent but I was warm and dry and had what was the most comfortable, peaceful night in weeks. The drive was breathtaking, even in the dark. Magical and snowy and the perfect maiden drive for Jessie.

We’re at a coffee shop now, but will be back at the campsite this evening to have dinner, open a bottle of wine and shoot dusk. Tomorrow I head back to Vancouver, pick up Dave Delnea on Wednesday morning and begin heading south.


  1. David – I hope since the ferries were not running you stayed and took advantage of the storm photography. We have gone to Tofino hoping for storms and we are never lucky. From the news it looks like it was a terrific storm to witness. Lucky you.

  2. And… you’re off! Let the adventure begin! You picked an awesome place to start – Tofino/Long Beach may just be one of my fave spots in the world. So wild and beautiful. Can’t wait to read more!

  3. David, I am so excited for you. I look forward to the play by play and can’t wait for you to take the turn north on the East Coast. Safe travels.


  4. From the words of Buddha:
    “There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth…not going all the way, and not starting”.
    Enjoy your journey David. Godspeed!

  5. Looks beautiful…. and looking forward to hearing about the trip! Google Maps has me roughly 3,281 miles East of you, and it is just as cold here. 🙂

    Be safe!

  6. Thanks for sharing your adventure. I’ve been reading for months but don’t comment often. I want to wish you and Jessie well in your travels. I’m very much looking forward to seeing my country through your vision and perspective.

  7. Don’t like the cold? I guess you are glad not to be here in Edmonton. It’s -30C -ish. When it’s that cold, a whole new set of problems arise.

    Anyways, at least you have a nice view from your bedroom window. 🙂

  8. That ice is a bit much in a tent! Hopefully your journey will warm up as you go. Looks like you’re off to a great start though! Say hi to Alan, we did help portrait together.

  9. Hi David,
    Have a great journey……..I will be checking in often on your journey…….if you make it back to Iceland & want some company I would meet you there in a heartbeat! It was great meeting you Africa….safe travels!

  10. Bon Voyage David!
    I’d be interested to know what type of security system you have in Jessie. Are your cases locked down?

  11. Awesome! Have a fabulous adventure. Wish I was leaving too with it -46 with windchill today, ugh! Looking forward to following your trip online.

  12. Batten down the hatches! You are in for a blow. 7 meter waves. Whoo Hooo! Wish I was there.

  13. The sound of crashing surf is one of the most soothing, serene sounds I know. I could listen to it and watch it for hours and be perfectly content. I get to the coast as often as possible…

  14. Wow! I’m impressed…. you sleep with your camera in your sleeping bag? 😉

    Have a great trip. I will have fun following you here on the blog… maybe you’ll run into Ben Willmore.

  15. David,
    Wow I can TOTALLY relate to your situation. I also started on a similar path in January 2010!
    I have not yet worked out where and what is next for me so as I do, it will be inspirational to read about your journey.
    You mentioned Santa Fe…please put me on your “to meet” list if you will be there this summer.
    Best of luck,

  16. Hi David,
    Tofino is my most favorite part of the world – so far! We had the pleasure of staying there, just off Chesterman Beach for 4 days…what can I say? WOW! After Tofino we discovered the Rockies from Jasper to Kananaskis…Triple WOW, especially the latter as I could photograph grizzlies and moose near the Engadine Lodge…
    Looking forward to seeing/reading more about your adventure. Thank you for sharing!
    greetings from Belgium


  17. Hi David,

    You already know this stuff but this will be a life changing event for you…you will be born anew. It will be a privilege to watch you grow and change, through your trials and victories. You will experience elation and a spiritual connection to the natural world like never before and you probably will feel some fear and trepidation along the way. This will all be good. We, who care about you, will be watching. Be safe and happy trails.


  18. David – I presume you have heard the warnings about a serious wind storm tomorrow. The radio is just saying the ferries will probably not be running in the morning. Be Safe.

  19. Awesome. I think Once in a Lifetime should be your theme song… 🙂

    And you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack
    And you may find yourself in another part of the world
    And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile
    And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful
    And you may ask yourself-Well…How did I get here?

    Letting the days go by/let the water hold me down
    Letting the days go by/water flowing underground
    Into the blue again/after the money’s gone
    Once in a lifetime/water flowing underground.

  20. Lookimng forward to hearing and seeing more of your adventures.

  21. Indeed, a lovely, albeit cold, start. Your morning shot is stunning. I also love the ice on Jessie. Granted, I’m not particularly fond of being too cold, but I do enjoy the cold for photos.

  22. Great post. It will be interesting following your adventure via your words and images. Stay warm. 🙂

  23. So jealous! You are going to have a most amazing year…and it’s well deserved and I’m sure comes at a most needed time and point in your life. So glad you are sharing the journey with us!

  24. Excellent start David! I’ve seen images from that part of the world but have never seen it myself. Looking forward to your posts!

  25. South? You mean north, don’t you? It’s only -30 up here today at mile zero of the Alaska highway…

    Okay, okay, but on your return, you need to head back a little farther north than the map currently has. All you have to do is plan your return trip so that you get back to Canada in the summer, not in the heart of winter.

    You know that huge waterfall picture at the Peace Arch Crossing as you’re coming back into Canada? If you were to come back via the northern route, I could take you there.

  26. A beautiful part of the country…I spent Christmas in Gold River BC many years ago. Safe travels! I’m excited for when you reach the other coast. Hopefully our paths will cross!! Looking forward to following your journey!

  27. Good for you David. Too bad you and Jessie can’t make it to where I live, I’d got some choice spots I could show you, but I guess that will have to be for some other time.

    Wishing you success on your journey!!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.