Our Vanlife Experience – Month #2

Howdy family and friends! Our last four weeks in the van have come and gone! We started off our second month of vanlife exploring the Channel Islands on the coast of California. We hiked through the woods of Los Padres National Forest, sunk our feet in the desert sands of Mojave National Preserve, then, worked our way East, stopping in Nevada for a visit to  Valley of Fire State Park and Lake Mead in Nevada before meeting  our family for spring break in the Grand Canyon. Fortunately, we were able to enjoy spring break with our family right before the COVID-19 pandemic broke out. We are happy to report that we are safe, healthy and currently hiding out in the stunning desert mountains near Death Valley.

Sunset view at our Death Valley campsite

Now more than ever, we are grateful to have a home on wheels and that Alan has a job so he can continue to work remotely.  We are also thankful for our friends and family that continue to check in on us. Currently, we do not have any plans to cut our adventure short and will continue to travel the western US as long as we can.

Since we are pretty much self-contained, the COVID-19 pandemic has not affected us a whole lot. We are a little bummed that COVID-19 has closed Yosemite National Park, all the Planet Fitness locations we were working out and showering at, and the Canadian border but we are choosing to focus on the good. There are still many parks and public lands we will be able to visit. We will also be challenging ourselves to do longer and more difficult hikes to avoid the crowds. We were also able to order a solar shower last week and it will arrive this week. This is the longest we have gone without a shower. Hurry up, Amazon! We were tentatively planning to visit Canada later this summer, so there is still a chance we may be able to explore Banff if the virus dissipates by then. Overall, we hope everyone is staying safe and healthy during this unprecedented pandemic.

A snapshot of our planning map

Aside from the pandemic, lots of good stuff has happened over the past month. We’ve had constant great weather, all the nature we can handle, and had some fun in the sun on the coast of California! We also enjoyed a week in Flagstaff with our family and hope to plan more trips with family soon.

Torrey Pines State Preserve in California

How about the budget you ask? Don’t ask, we blew it again. Not as bad as month #1 but still not where we would like to be. I guess you could say the silver lining of the COVID-19 pandemic is that we will likely make our budget goal on month #3 since we are not eating out and staying as far away from public facilities as possible.

I suppose we could try eating less pizza…

Favorites of the month

Ashby’s favorite destination of the month: Grand Canyon National Park. Total WOW factor and seriously jaw dropping! No picture will EVER do it justice, you must see it for yourself. Alan and I had a backpacking trip planned so we could hike into the canyon but unfortunately snowy weather and COVID-19 got in the way. We look forward to making our way back to this magical place.

The Grand Canyon

Alan’s favorite destination of the month: Mojave National Preserve. The vast desert landscape containing many unique features and formations evokes feelings of isolation and solitude.

Kelso Dunes

See ya!

We hope everyone continues to stay home and healthy so that we can get back to normal soon! Thanks for reading!

2 thoughts on “Our Vanlife Experience – Month #2

  1. Mike Perkins March 24, 2020 / 7:13 PM

    Did you visit Lower Antelope Canyon near Page, Arizona?

    Also, when you go to Banff, also go north to Jasper National Park. This lake there is gorgeous!!


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    • oncloudcombs March 30, 2020 / 9:53 AM

      We didn’t visit Page, AZ yet. It’s a little too cold for us. We plan on visiting that area on the way back. We have heard Jasper is beautiful, we will add it to the list! We hope the Canada border opens back up soon! Thanks for the tips! Keep them coming!


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