wander

05: Week Three

Chicago

The "bean" (or donut)

The "bean" (or donut)

After just about settling into Chicago for good... We decided it was time to leave after all, so we finally hit the road. 

Time lapse-ing behind the scenes

Time lapse-ing behind the scenes

The Chi was real nice -- great city.

It's bigger than Seattle by a lot, but without the hills, and with the L (elevated train), it feels very connected. 

It was super bike-able, lots to do, toasty weather, humongous lake, and beautiful young people all over the place doesn't hurt.

Gemma showed us around her midwest, and we got a lot of camera practice in. These are all shots from both Luc and I's cameras. 


Toronto

We somehow finagled our way across the border and back. (Thanks to Jessica who mailed my passport to Chicago!)

Drove through a crazy storm on the way to Toronto, then we shared a pizza and tested an urban traveler's legend...

Turns out you  can  sleep in a van in a Walmart parking lot. (Or nobody noticed us?)

Turns out you can sleep in a van in a Walmart parking lot. (Or nobody noticed us?)

We just had to know.

Our girlfriends. 

Our girlfriends. 

With our curiosity satisfied, we woke up, made PB&J's and drove to see a natural wonder. 


Niagara Falls

We've played around with the tourist-y thing on this trip, seen some natural wonders and such. 

Niagara was the most recent.

She's a beaut.

Maid of the Mist

Maid of the Mist

image.jpg
The power...

The power...

It was worth the crowds. 

After a brief stop in Utica, NY ("the city that god forgot")... We drove into the Adirondacks to camp. 


Upstate NY / Adirondacks

We posted up in an empty campground on Schroon Lake up in the Adirondacks under a blanket of stars. 

Later on, we looked up from our s'mores and watched a meteor shower.

It's all about those moments.


Breakdown

image.jpg

Then we woke up, started the drive to Burlington, Vermont, only to have the van breakdown near Ticonderoga, NY.

Hilariously we were playing around with the iPhone timelapse feature when we broke down, so you literally watch it happen on our Instagram or right here:

Luc correctly guessed our issue was the fuel pump and we called triple A.

AAA is definitely a worthy investment -- coming through in the clutch. 

Then Jim our friendly tow truck driver strapped our baby up on the truck and drove us to Burlington, Vermont to a GMC dealership where we got the fuel pump fixed for way too much money. 

image.jpg

So it goes. 

Luckily that was our next destination.

So we're in Burlington, crashing at our buddy Todd's; making friends, swimming and riding bikes.

(He read the blog earlier on and shot me a text inviting us out here and we're so grateful!)

It's a killer town.

Tonight we're seeing our Boston buddy Mitchell's band play in Burlington at the Skinny Pancake, and tomorrow we head down to Boston!

Come along for the ride! Follow via @thegoodscene on Instagram!

03: Week One "On The Road"

week-one-take-two.jpg

To recap: last week we packed up our lives into a van and hit the road, leaving fair West Seattle and our possibly hottest local summer ever behind.

Before

Before

After

After

Sam and Landon!

Sam and Landon!

We were blessed to see so many of our loved ones before we left at the street fair and beyond.

At this point, we've driven over 2000 miles -- through Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and South Dakota -- and collectively biked a few hundred miles across Iowa.

Safe to say, our baby needs a wash. 

Here she is before all the dirt and bugs.

Here she is before all the dirt and bugs.

Huge thanks to the Maddy's (Luc's cousins/family) for letting us stay our first night on Flathead Lake.

First spill.

First spill.

Ooh ya, that's a nice pack...

Ooh ya, that's a nice pack...

Our mirror.

Our mirror.

We out here.

We out here.

Currently sitting at the halfway point and reflecting via this here triplog blog.

image.jpg
image.jpg

On the way over we tried out a couple of KOA campgrounds - Kampsites of America. It's like an RV resort, complete with wi-fi, swimming pools, and regular camp sites. Not the camping we grew up with necessarily, but pretty nice stay for $30-40 bucks a night.

We stayed in Yellowstone valley (though we didn't make it to Yellowstone National Park proper, this time.)

Had to get some monuments and national parks in along the way.

Sad to say, we rushed 'em -- had to get to Iowa.

Rushmore

Rushmore

s/o to the roadtrip art box

s/o to the roadtrip art box

Badlands

Badlands

The night time lighting ceremony at Mt. Rushmore made for a curious mix of monumentous-ness, tourists, and what may be considered near-radioactive levels of patriotism.

We love this country (godblesstheusa), but the Discovery channel video presentation may have been a little too much.

Maybe let the ol' faces speak for themselves?



image.jpg

Buffalo, Wyoming brought us great barbecue and an incredibly authentic wild west experience at the Century Club - where the PBR's sell for 1.50 on draft, ($1 on happy hour.)

image.jpg

Eventually, we made it to Iowa. The land of milk and honey. (Or cornfields and parallel highways.)

image.jpg

RAGBRAI or Registers Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa is just ridiculous.

We started getting the hang of it by Day 2-3 -- but pretty much, 10,000 plus cyclists roll into a town and set up tents and RVs everywhere. We're talking high schools, lakeside city parks, people's front lawns... The RAGBRAI-ers descend on each town, take over for 6-18 hours then it's on to the next.

image.jpg

There's approximately no service in most of Iowa (and basically no T-Mobile service at all in Montana, or Wyoming, or South Dakota.) So, we generally have to get lucky to find each other in towns when we try to link up. It's stressful at times. But probably good for ya.

image.jpg
Shout out to our main man Nikolai here (follow his Instagram for another hilarious angle on the trip so far,  @zagrobot ) - he's our cycling coach, NUUN dealer (electrolyte water tablet), and chief accent officer. An awesome companion on the journey!

Shout out to our main man Nikolai here (follow his Instagram for another hilarious angle on the trip so far, @zagrobot) - he's our cycling coach, NUUN dealer (electrolyte water tablet), and chief accent officer. An awesome companion on the journey!

At night, there are food tents, crowds and concerts/events going on -- we've seen some rad/hilarious cover bands the past two nights in middle America.

It's such an interesting segment of the population out here, middle America -- we've met some real characters here in Iowa.

To quote Luc's first facebook status in a few years:

"Seeing America like never before....this country is diverse. How the states are still all united I do not know."

But she sure is beautiful.

Iowa experiences:

  • We beat some self proclaimed "rednecks" in a round of beer pong for free drinks (to be fair, it was hardly a fair fight -- they were legitimately "NASCAR drunk", astounded that we didn't have "dirt trackin'" in Seattle, and especially perturbed by the color of my shorts -- "THEM ARE MAROON SHORTS!!");
  • We came to a regular 'merican epiphany to the tune of "Party in the USA" and danced like utter mad men at a small bar's large dance party. What can you say, but #jelloshots;
  • We drank beers and camped on the lawn of multiple Iowa public high schools;
  • We camped out over-looking an epic corn field, under a giant, 200 foot wind turbine;
  • We've been treated with great kindness all over (even by the police who pulled us over at 1AM after we ran into a corn field on the walk back to camp one night);
  • We've started to understand the RAGBRAI.

"What I mean," said Ford, "is does it give you a full and satisfying life?"

- Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

image.jpg

It's been some full days and nights out here.

But the cover bands are clownin', the corn's a-growin' and the light beer's a-flowin'.

image.jpg

Night seven sleeping in this blue tent -- our shelter from the dew, the midwest lightning bugs, and the rest of RAGBRAI -- and she's goin' strong.

#homeiswherethevanis


Oh, there's also this:

image.jpg

Bringing us to today: these two goons ride another 65 miles.

Meanwhile, I will sit here and blog, then happily drive the support vehicle through a few more cornfields.

>>Chicago on Saturday.

Shout out to Sidecar Cafe and Beth for the interwebs and delicious coffee.

Until the next legitimately wi-fi enabled location...

#wanderon