Beta-test and the plans for long term travel

Our last few days of the slowcarfasthouse“beta-test” were spent in Bahia de Kino.

Panorama of the Kino Bay beach behind the van.
Panorama of the Kino Bay beach behind the van.

This wonderful, little fishing village was our home many years ago. We enjoy going back to see old friends and check to see if the island has moved. It hasn’t. Still quiet, slow-moving, peaceful and unreliable water service!

Slowcarfasthouse set up for living on the beach.
Slowcarfasthouse set up for living on the beach.


This is how our home looks to the neighbors.
This is how our home looks to the neighbors.







“Beta-test, I thought you were leaving?”- you ask.

Yes, this first 4 weeks turned out to be the perfect opportunity to test our mechanical systems and the new transmission as well as the basic packing and organizational systems. We learned a few things that we needed to change and we developed complete confidence in the transmission rebuild completed by AZ Transaxle and installed by Air Cooleds Only. The opportunity to head back to the family shop (formerly BB’s Project VW) was coupled with Mike’s invite to a class reunion. Everything fell in to place.

We pointed the front end towards Arizona and visited the kids along the way. (We have three grown sons in Tucson, Tempe and Phoenix) Then we could work at the shop for a few days. It was cold when we got here- so we had to break out the winter clothes.  10672370_10204165795159637_1946881793244807805_n





We found lots and lots of important mail to read-

A pathetic pile of political propaganda in our PO box.
A pathetic pile of political propaganda in our PO box.









And while we were on the road, Mike learned of a class reunion going on back in West Virginia.  So he made arrangements to fly back East for his class reunion.

Mike is ready to return to his former 9th grade self!  Here he is in his safety glasses in shop class! Adorable.
Mike is ready to return to his former 9th grade self! Here he is in his safety glasses in shop class! Adorable










When he returns we will wrap up a few more little changes to the van and hit the road again.

“Hit the road, for where? – you ask”

Well, the easiest answer is “Baja”, but that is not the complete answer. Yes, we are going to head to Baja California, Norte and Sur for a few months. Folks call that area “Mexico-lite” because the travel is easy, the towns are welcoming and the simplicity is genuine. But for us, it is something a little different. We have already driven through Mexico once; in 2012 we drove from Hermosillo to the Yucatan Peninsula and Belize, and back. So this next time we will take some new routes and also repeat some areas we enjoyed. But since our trip to Latin American and South America does not have us returning (as we did before) we have some other things that we want to do first. So after a winter in Baja, we are coming back to the USA again.

“When are you leaving for South America and the Pan-American Highway?”- You ask.

We now live in our van full time. But we will start that part of the trip next year. We have some other things to do and see before we leave the country permanently. We had always hoped to do a tour through some of the National Parks, as well as see some friends and family in the East. We would like to see the Florida Everglades and then head to Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. After that we will cut across Canada and head to Alaska. In Alaska we will pick up the Pan-American Highway and begin our journey down that fabled road.


We currently are estimating that our final departure from the USA will be in the Fall of 2015. We will cross the border to Mexico and then keep on driving. We are not on a timeline at all. Essentially, because we live out of the van we can take the Pan-American Highway as a fast house, not a slow car. We may stop along the way to volunteer or look around and we may venture off the path to explore other countries and opportunities.  After we finish the trip to South America, we will probably ship the van (and ourselves) to another continent. Once Alta leaves the USA in the Fall of 2015 she will most likely not return.


Until then, we LOVE the opportunity to visit family and friends. We hope to be invited to park in your driveway and buy you a dinner. So if you see that we are headed your direction, please be sure to turn up the hot water heater and prepare for guests! We need a shower and your house looks like the next stop on our list!


Keep asking your questions! Remember you can reply to this post or send me a private message through this website. Thanks for following along.


19 thoughts on “Beta-test and the plans for long term travel

  1. Linda- We may return to the USA in the future. But for now we have the financial means to travel and live comfortably in other countries. By not returning to the USA, we can save money on health insurance, auto insurance, housing, etc. Once we return we will be financially ready to take on those costs. At this time our only expenses are travel related (fuel, food, lodging, etc) which we find manageable. AND- waking up in new places gives us a wealth and richness that we treasure! Thanks for asking.

  2. Hey there Ruined Adventures- We WILL be in the Asheville area next Spring. Mike’s father lives nearby. And I love your blog style and photos. We want to hear about the fun and not-so-fun stuff that happened to you! We will hit you up when we get close!

  3. Emilie- the spot in Naco is very intriguing. We may be in touch. And we would love to talk more with you about your research into the chemical spill in the Rio Sonora. I am hopeful that our paths can cross soon!

  4. Why yes, perhaps! Oz is certainly a consideration. We are hearing stories that tell us a limited number of left-hand drive vehicles are allowed in each year. We need to time it just right. But keep leading the cheer for us to head to Australia.

  5. Sounds like your itinerary may take you thru our neighborhood? As of right now, we have a shower, parking and even a spare bedroom that we’d love to offer you guys in the Asheville, NC area. We just finished the Pan-Am in February 2014, so we would love to reminisce and hear about your upcoming adventures.

  6. I have a full RV hookup in Naco AZ, a few blocks from the border and just south of Bisbee.
    In Baja, I hope you’re going to Laguna Ojo de Liebres outside of Guerrero Negro to see the whales! Please be sure that is on your agenda! Best time is early February or so after the males have left for the northward migration. Just mamas and babies left, and they are oh so friendly!

  7. Geneva: You are always welcome and warmly invited at our place any time you are in Phoenix! Mango’s foster Mom.

  8. You are invited to visit Asheville(and me) in what I consider the most beautiful place to be!!

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