What have we been up to since we returned from Australia? A lot and not so much….. depending on how you look at it. Read on for a general update on some van changes, short trips, family business and more.
Taking care of family business meant selling off a lifetime collection of VW parts (nearly an acre full of well organized air-cooled VW parts and pieces) and a renowned mechanics shop full of tools.
This was not an easy task (emotionally or physically) and was ultimately handled by a local auctioneer. Although we got rid of everything, we also lost a lot of money and personal property on the deal. Not all the folks who attend such auctions are honest; think of a murder of crows arriving! They pick through and take away whatever they want. Even though we secured personal items and property- we lost many items that we did not intend to part with. But the VW parts and mechanics tools are also gone and we received a tiny check to cover a few of the household expenses.
While the auction was going on at the property……we left. We went camping in the Phoenix area, finding an urban paradise to vanish into.
From there we watched the air show that took place over Luke Air Force Base. Mike is a HUGE (I cannot emphasize this enough) fan of military aircraft. He was enthralled with the Thunderbirds as they darted around in the sky in formation and making designs with their contrails. It was the first time we had camped in the van in quite a while, and it was great to be back in the routine.
We also made a run to Rocky Point (Puerto Penasco) for a quick beach check in. While we were there Mango visited with her favorite maintenance man, Ramon.
Back at the property we continued with a few projects on the van. Mike installed a new brake light for the back of the van. This one is on the bike rack. It is LED and lights up quite brightly. The rear lights of a VW Vanagon are notoriously dim, so this will add a new measure of road safety to the van.
Having a house to base ourselves in also allowed us to get involved in other things. Geneva signed up to be a substitute teacher at the local school. Mike enrolled in the gym and went in a few days a week. Geneva took a yoga class through the college. Then there were the mundane tasks of having a house again such as yard work, laundry, minor repairs and bills to pay.
The Clarkdale house, which was owned by Geneva’s mother still has issues pertaining to the estate to be settled. So our schedule includes appointments for banks, lawyers, surveyors and such. But in between those we have made time to steal away in the van.
A recent trip to the mountains north of us included a very rough road which the new torque biasing transmission handled beautifully. But we turned around when it got too dicey, and found a great spot in a large, grassy field.
The dogs relaxed at camp and they also went hiking with Mike. Zeb found a swimming hole as usual.
Mike and the dogs hiked to the top of the nearby Round Mountain. Can you find the van in this photo?
We watched a storm circle all around us. Notice the tilt on the awning in case the rain came down.
Since we had a couple of days for this mini-trip we moved the next morning. We awoke to clear, sunny skies and possible a hot day.
So we drove to higher ground and found some pine trees to string up the hammock.
Again a few dog walks and some van dinner!
A few exciting family things happened since we got back from Australia in February. Our youngest son graduated from college and got married! These events provided a great opportunity to gather with family and spend some fun time together.
During this period of time we worked on a few other van projects. Here is a sneak preview of one of them. I will be doing a few posts that chronicle some of the updates and changes we have made. Remember to sign up to “FOLLOW” in order to receive email updates. Comments are welcome below. And you can also check us out on Facebook at It’s Not a Slow Car, It’s a Fast House or Instagram #itsnotaslowcaritsafasthouse
10 thoughts on “Family business and a few trips”
Emilie, you know this paradise well.
Thanks, Susan! It is good to know you are following along!
Teri- Thanks for your following! We miss you and often talk fondly of our visit there!
Thanks Chuck! We remember you (and that yummy dinner) I appreciate you saying hello!
It’s been just about a year since I met you both at a lobster supper in Lake Echo,Nova Scotia.Since then I have followed you via e-mails and was fascinated by your travels around North America. You truly are the new “pioneers” of this era
THAT was a fantastic update! I really enjoyed it and miss you guys and the casual cameraderie. Take care and enjoy life.
On 6/6/16, Its not a slow car, its a fast house!
So sorry to hear that things did not go well with the auction. Sad that people are like that.
I love that photo of your folks.
\smart for you guys to get out of town when all that was going on. Must be terribly hard of you Geneva.
Be well, hope to see you soon.
I would love to meet up while we are around. And subbing was a BLAST!!
Sounds like a very busy time! You deserve the down time you’re taking.
I want you as my substitute teacher! 😉 Maybe we can touch bases while you’re in Arizona.