A Head Start

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April has come quickly, and with it we’ve got a head start on our 2017 game plan. Winter projects are complete, traveled three weeks through Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula keeping our passports active, visited both saints in Florida (St. Petersburg and St. Augustine), and have taken an exploratory camping trip.Vanagon spray painted with "Oregon or Bust"

So with a month to spare and plans already set in motion for our fall adventure, next week we set out on our summer road trip west.

Most of these mileposts along the way come from Woody’s “pillar” list. So, as he is the map reader and logistics specialist, Hali will and provide the music playlist and photos as we roll down the highway in the van. We’ll both contribute to the website and share the details as we go.

The South

Cape San Blas, Florida. Spent just one night here on the way down. Need to get back. This will be our first stop.

Cape San Blas is a 17-mile long barrier peninsula, curving around St. Joseph Bay. Here we found an abundance of wildlife, playful surf on white sand beaches on the Gulf side. Smooth, shallow water on the Bay side.

Cape San Blas

The park juts into the Gulf of Mexico, is a bit hard to get to, secluded, and boasts some of the best uncrowded beaches on the in Florida.

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From here we’ll drive west through the panhandle then up to Mississippi and into the heart the south’s Civil War country, The Battle of Vicksburg.

Circa 1974

Arne, Hali, and their R.E Lee Lookalike Father Karl, circa 1974

The Midwest

Never been to St. Louis, so a swing through the the city famous for its blues and bbq will be on the itinerary. Then it’s up the Mighty Mississippi to Hannibal, Missouri. Hannibal has been on my bucket list since I was a young adventurer myself who read The Adventures Tom Sawyer and his buddy Huck Finn. Home of America’s greatest well-traveled storyteller, Mark Twain. Our inspiration not only to travel within the states but beyond its borders.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”Road stop

Then it’s a straight shot through America’s heartland of Kansas before running into the Rockies. Colorado is worthy of a few weeks or at least enough time to explore their craft beer scene.Sierra Nevada Asheville

Continuing west, a detour up to Flaming Gorge Recreational Area, Utah. Sounds like our kinda place. A hidden gem.

Sand Dollar Beach

The Northwest

We’ve got a wedding in Portland in July and a solar ecliptic reunion in Central Oregon in August. It’s summertime in Oregon!

Paddle Time

Yes, we’ll miss our camping companion Carlos, but we may be able to cover more ground in a day and worry less about “dog-friendly” travel searches. Somehow our expedition west will test the two of us with the value of time. With the van (and Carlos) “slow and steady” was our mantra for the last couple years on the road, that won’t change. Time is on our side and without my left hand buddy in the backseat, flexibility has a whole new meaning.

Middle of Nowhere

I can’t see him in the rearview mirror anymore but from this vantage point up near the rear window, he’ll be where he enjoyed the ride the most- watching the road and the world passing by while on his journey home. Carlos, last year’s MVP, still part of our 2017 game plan. . .

Carlos' Spot

. . .Thanks for following.

 

About Woody

We are a couple who took the first step toward a life of traveling in May, 2015. Staying within the continental US, we amp'd the adventure-factor by traveling in a VW Vanagon, circa 1985. Our mission is to share irresistible and compelling stories conceived from this lifestyle of travel.