It’s Yakushi’s maiden voyage. Well, aside from when I picked her up in Portland and drove her to Seattle – Vashon Island to be more precise. And aside from all the other countless voyages from the first 29 years of her life… But it’s our first big road trip together. I picked her up just days ago. Now I drive southeast to build her out followed by northeast to my seasonal job with the Appalachian Mountain Club in New Hampshire.
I’ll drive through Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, and Arizona. With a quick stop in Reno to pick up Havelock wool insulation. Everything I own is stuffed into Yakushi. When I move my belongings around at night there will be just enough room for me to sleep on the fold-down seats whilst parked in various Walmart parking lots. My plan is to build her out in Flagstaff with the wonderfully generous help of Tim and Melody – Arizona Trail Trail Angels, turned Arizona Van Angels.
My first stop is a quick dinner with friend, Chris, in Portland. I park and sleep in a parking lot somewhere an hourish south of the city. The next morning I meet my friend, Julie, for tea closeish to Eugene OR. No time for other adventures or explorations with my tight timeline. I dream wistfully of pitstops to the Sierras, Lassen Volcanic National Park, Yosemite, Big Sur, or Joshua Tree. These excursions will have to wait. Transforming Yakushi’s interior from ambulance into tiny home is my priority. Stay focused.
I drive. I eat. I sleep in a Home Depot lot. Westward winds welcome me into Flagstaff, buffeting Yakushi around on the highway before I arrive at my home for the next little while…