Adventures in the #YourLead Van
Hello again! Wilderness Press is (begrudgingly) back from traveling in the #YourLead van. It was better than I ever imagined. It was also challenging (hello, five days without a shower!). The photos will tell the story far better than words ever could. Grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and enjoy living the van experience!
Where We Went
Day 1 – Flagstaff, AZ > Lake Meade, NV
Day 2 – Lake Meade > Death Valley/Badwater, CA > Lone Pine, CA
Day 3 – Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest
Day 4 – White Mountain > Mono Lake, CA
Day 5 – Mono Lake > Mount Rose, NV
Day 6 – Tahoe Meadows
Day 7 – Sportsman’s Warehouse in Reno and Carson City
Day 8 – Lake Tahoe > Crater Lake National Park > Lassen Volcanic National Park
Day 9 – Cinder Cone Volcano > Bend, OR
Day 10 – Dechutes River Trail
Day 11 –Sportsman’s Warehouse in Bend
Day 12 – Grey Butte/Smith Rock/Tunnel Falls
Day 13 – Multnomah Falls/Arlington
Day 14 – Arlington
Day 15 – Home
Who We Met
Heidi—A strawberry blonde bundle of energy. Likes: 90s country music, Peanut M&Ms, trails. Dislikes: trail litter, disorder, creepy campsites.
Mike White—Highlights: hearing funny trail stories from writing Afoot & Afield: Tahoe-Reno, discussing bucket list trips, touring Reno, devouring lunch. Lowlights: Not having enough time to hike together, missing his annual family hot dog party.
Amanda Sandlin—Phenomenal artist traveling the country in Penny, a van she built herself. She makes a mean cup of joe, and she has an Instagram account you can’t help but drool over.
Lucas Alberg—Author of Trail Running Bend and Central Oregon. Dad to Loren. Faster (than me) trail runner. Running tour guide of Bend, Oregon.
Ashley Perry—Cheerleader for Bounce Energy Balls. Lover of trucker hats. Rider of cool mountain bike.
Terry and Kerrie Priest—Modern-day Bonnie & Clyde: They stole Betsy and drove across the border to Canada and Alaska. OK, maybe they were the next guests in the #YourLead van, but still.
How We Slept
Like a Katy Perry song: It was hot, it was cold, there were mosquitos, there were moths. The sunsets were incredible, the stars were plentiful, and the sunrises were gentle.
We relied on freecampsites.net every single night to seek out a safe, free, and legal place to park our home. Seriously, if you’re looking for somewhere to lay your head at night, whether it’s in a tent or a vehicle, this site is invaluable.
When We Worked and Played
Heidi and I had an itinerary, so we pretty much knew what each day would bring and planned accordingly. If we wanted to bag some sunset peaks, we worked during the day and played at night. If the morning hours beckoned us into the great outdoors, then we’d hole up in a local coffee shop and work until they kicked us out at night. The van also had a hotspot, which allowed us to work around the clock when we had cell phone service.
What We Ate
The #YourLead diet consisted of chips, energy bars, water, fruit snacks, Bounce Energy Balls, more water, chocolate, wasabi peas, cheesecake, cinnamon buns, and Perrier water.
Here are two recipes we concocted and highly recommend that you try.
Why We Did It
There aren’t many times in your life when you can pick up and move into a van for a few weeks. There are even fewer times when you can do it as a work trip.
We’d like to think that we inspired people to leave their comfort travel circle and explore what our country has to offer.