Archive for June, 2008

So now I know.

 | June 25, 2008 1:12 pm

Sure, I always knew in theory that it was a bad idea to take a spill off your bike going down a hill at 25mph, but now I know in practice as well.  I’m a bit scraped up, but doing fine.  I do have a cast on my right arm (preventative mostly.  My wrist hurts, but there was nothing on the x-ray) which will make typing tricky for the next week or so.

Thanks for the emails asking where I was and why I haven’t been posting.  I’m moving slowly, but very happily, and loving my helmet right now (4 cracks on the helmet and nothing on my head except a scrap on my chin)  I got a ride today back to my car and I’m about to head out now to rejoin the group.  Tomorrow is actually the last day of the trip.  I’m going to spend it leap frogging them in my car as they ride and taking some action photography in the beautiful Colorado Rockies.

Converting the prius for life on the road

 | June 18, 2008 9:45 pm

removed-seats.jpgThe first step is to remove all the pieces of the seats that you can. Everything was just bolted down with easy to get to bolts so it wasn’t hard. Out came the front seat (slightly tricky since it’s attached to the floor by a set of wires for the seatbelt detection system (when there’s no one sitting in the front passenger seat it turns off the passenger airbag). The backs of the other seats were easy though unfortunately I couldn’t take out the bottom parts of the back seats. Now all three of these pieces will be living in my parent’s garage.

Thanks mom and dad!

bar-for-the-bed.jpg

Next came building a support for the bed. I pulled the main board of the bed out of the van and was just plopping it down in the prius. In the back it just rests part way down on the “floor” of the trunk, but in the front it needed something to hold it up.

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Indie Travel Podcast article #2

 | 2:59 pm

I’ve just had another article published on the Indie Travel Podcast website. It’s a quick rundown of some of the different places to park when sleeping in a car or van. If anyone else has favorite types of places to sleep I’d love for you to leave a comment on the article and let the other readers know about it. The website and podcast have a lot of good information for travelers, but their focus is more on backpacking/international travel. My little articles are just a small toe-dip into vast pool of information out there about car-dwelling and I’m excited to be introducing the idea to people who might not have considered it.

Pictures of the prius conversion have been taken and uploaded. I’ll be posting a complete run down of the process soon. I don’t have curtains yet, but that’s something I’ll be doing within a day or two. I hadn’t realized how much I really, REALLY liked having the curtains on the van. The velcro left a lot of sticky residue on the van (that I forgot to scrape off before I left, Sorry dad!) and I’d rather not have that on the prius.

The switch to the prius is a go.

 | June 16, 2008 10:56 am

The original plan was to leave San Diego by Monday night, but I’m pushing that back to tomorrow in order to get more stuff crossed off my to-do list before leaving.  Partly things have been taking longer than I expected them to, and partly I’ve just been lazy.  But Friday was spent doing the main construction part of converting the prius for living in.  I’m still in the middle of the sorting and packing phase now, but I’ve been taking pictures and will post tomorrow about the process and how I’m making it work.

I’m very excited about this switch.  I had originally been thinking that the prius would be best for travel and that when I’m back in LA working I’d want to trade with dad again for the van (I know he’d switch because he grew to love the prius) but as I look around it I think it will be just fine for in town as well.  I’ll know better once I actually get out on the road, but since the whole bed from van has been moved to the prius it would take a bit of work to switch it back and, as we’ve already established, I’m lazy and probably won’t want to bother.

When I leave I’ll be heading straight up to Colorado for a 6 day intro to self supported bike touring from Adventure Cycling.  Getting my bike in order is a large part of what’s taking so long to be on my way, but since I need to be there on the 21st so I have to leave soon.

Another blog to check out and a possible new home for me.

 | June 9, 2008 3:29 pm

A friend just sent me a link to a blog called Daniel’s Big Trip. I haven’t had a chance to read through it all, but enjoyed what I’ve read so far.

The pledge drive is OVER and I can now start thinking about other things. One of the big things on my mind is the possibility of moving. For those who don’t know, I don’t own the van I live in. It’s my dad’s. My car is a Prius and we’ve traded for my trip. While I love the van, I like the idea of spending less on gas and also like the idea of forcing myself to simplify more and take less stuff with me when traveling. As I look around at the van I’m fairly surprised at how much stuff I carry around with me that I never use. (It’s pretty easy to use very little when you’re only gone for 1-1.5 months at a time.)

I’m heading back down to San Diego on Wednesday and staying through the weekend so I’ll have a chance to take a look at the Prius in person and figure out how I’d want to modify it to move in. When I first ‘lived’ in a car it was in a ’93 Camry (the old Camry’s were much smaller than the current ones) so I’m pretty sure I’m not over-estimating the amount of space I would have. There’s a number of things very different about living in a car versus living in a van and I’ll have to consider which I prefer for the next couple months. At some point soon I’ll write up a post about those differences. I do prefer the van for when I’m staying in one place and working.

I’m heading out to Colorado next and I’ve been warned that the little Prius isn’t going to be able to make it up the mountains, but I think I’ll give it a shot anyway. I’m 27. I can’t possibly be expected to learn anything from the advice of my elders, I need to try and fail on my own for anything to sink in. Besides, that’s how you get the better stories.

Also, I have to admit, it would be nice to actually be driving around the car that I paid for, rather than letting my dad enjoy the (most likely now gone) new car smell.

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