Road trip Adventure! (Part 1 of 3)

Go to Road Trip Adventure part 2 or Part 3.

“We’re moving to Florida”, I say.

“Florida! … but why?” Is what I keep hearing in response. I understand the confusion. It’s hard to find a more distant and different place from the Pacific Northwest than Florida. But I know this is the right choice.

There are a number of reasons for this move, but the simplest and most important one is this: there’s coral in Florida and I want to study coral. I’m working on getting a Marine Science degree and this is part of that process.

We couldn’t fly with Mia so we would have to drive with her. Knowing how long the drive would be, we decided to rent a campervan to make the trip more comfortable. Of course, once we had a campervan, one thing led to another and we turned this into a road trip adventure across the country!

May 10th, 2021

We picked up our campervan from Escape Campervans and started packing to leave. … and then we had to unpack, switch vans, and repack. We ended up having to switch campervans before we left due to some mechanical issues.

Our first campervan is named Go Kart!

This is a rough outline of our original route. Spoiler alert: there was more than just the one mechanical issue and the route got changed quite a bit.

Our original route plan.

We loaded everything into a shipping container (except what we needed for the road trip) and said our goodbyes!

Saying goodbye to the Beach House!

May 15th, 2021

Finally all packed up in our new campervan, we handed over Mrs. Fig keys to a friend who would do the hand off to the trucking company transporting our Honda Fit across country for us.

Our second campervan named Billy!

Shortly after we left Portland, we discovered a second mechanical issue. There was a check engine light on and we had gotten it tested before we drove away – just a loose gas cap. No big deal, we thought. … Until we tried refueling and discovered a gash in the fuel input line.

We called the Escape Campervan’s roadside assistance office and some really great people helped us formulate a plan.

The good news; since the gash was on a part of the fuel line for adding fuel (not using it) we could drive it to the nearest repair shop where it would be taken care of.

The bad news; we would have to drive a ways off our route and it would end up taking several days to resolve.

In the meantime, we would add some duct tape to the gash to reduce spillage when refueling. Who doesn’t love a good duct tape fix?

Our first night was supposed to be in the Redwood of California. It actually ended up being a rest stop halfway to the Redwoods. We fell asleep to a beautiful sunset overlooking our last view of Oregon.

And woke up to the blinding (but beautiful) sunrise. Note to self, don’t forget to close the curtains on the van. Aaaawkward!

Waking up to our first sunrise on the road.

We finally made it to the Redwoods late afternoon the next day. Unfortunately, we would only have one afternoon and one morning to be there.

I decided to make the most of the time I had and went hiking early the next morning on a small 3 mile loop near the visitor’s center at Jedediah State park. I saw just enough of the Redwoods to be absolutely certain I needed to come back for a serious backpacking trip here. Hopefully someday soon!

Me and my new big buddy, the redwood tree.