Welcome to Operation Something

Posted by admin on 10/17/11  ~  Posted in: Welcome

Welcome to Operation Something - we're just getting up and running...stay tuned!


Goodbyes and Three Minute Showers

Posted by admin on 10/12/11  ~  Posted in: Ethan's Thoughts

It?s been a tough few days.  We?ve finally left my parents? driveway ? our home for the last three months.  Yes, three months we lived in my parents? driveway.  Our original hope was to be done with all our van projects in two weeks.  Didn?t quite happen.  So here we are, three months later, on the road.  After several ?shakedown trips? to weed out any last unforeseen issues, we decided it was time to get out of dodge.  This comes after many, many weeks of ?we thought we were going to leave this week? false starts.  Goodbyes to friends, then frustration as we don?t leave, then goodbyes again.  Finally though, we said our goodbyes to the family, the most difficult of all for me.  After living within a few miles of my immediate family for 30 years, saying goodbye was not something I was accustomed to.  It was very, very difficult for me.  First my dad, which was actually him leaving us, to go off on another one of his adventures ? a brief ?until next time? departure in the driveway.  Then my great aunt Greta, a short visit to floor three of The Leopold for some conversation and wine.  Next, my grandma ? a glorious meal at the Little Cheerful Café followed up by a trip through the vibrant Bellingham public market.  Then my mom, a tough, teary-eyed celebration of our time spent at her house, the wonderful, if difficult, three months spent with her and my dad making way-too-big feasts, tackling projects, sharing stories, becoming better friends.  We had said goodbye to my brother?s wife a few days back and today, it was time to say goodbye to him too.  This would be the hardest for me.  He drove out into the rainy dark night 30 miles up the Mt. Baker Highway last night to spend one last evening with Shan and I camping in the woods.  A very wet time indeed ? rain almost nonstop.  He spent the night in the lower bunk and Shan and I slept ?upstairs?.  This morning his departure came suddenly and hit me like a ton of bricks.  His words; ?so I guess this is goodbye?.  It wasn?t really until he said this that I realized I would be leaving my best friend of some 26 years for a long time, I struggle not to say ?for good?.  I know we?ll be seeing each other again, and that time will come sooner than if feels today, but for now, all I can think is that I?ve spent the last two and a half decades with Chuck by my side, if not across town.  Now it would be different.  Now I can?t call him up and invite him over for some Rock n? Roll Racing playing.  Our Final Fantasy 3 game will be on hold, indefinitely.  Of all the things and people I?ll miss in Bellingham, I?ll miss my brother Chuck the most.  As his car slowly drove away, in the rainy dreary woods along the Nooksack river, I stood and watched? until it was silent? and my brother was gone.  I?ll miss you buddy.


So now I sit in our van, trying to dry out at Larrabee State Park, a somewhat comical notion considering it?s the middle of October, typing what I expect to be the first entry on our blog.  I?ve just had a not-quite-hot-enough three minute shower and I?m feeling pretty comfortable, the wine working it?s magic, Shan watching Ann of Green Gables on the ?big screen?.  It?s been a long day.  It?s been a long few months.  It?s been a long?  Well, here we are anyway, finally.  No more house.  No more mortgage.  No more yard work.  No more gutters to clean.  No more hot tub.  No more instant hot showers, or microwave popcorn.  No more barking neighborhood dogs.  No more Sunday morning pancake feeds with our friends down the street.  No more Hardware Sales or ReStore.  No more Il Rinconcito or Casa Que Pasa potato burritos.  No more 401k or health insurance, no more debt.  Just what we can hold in this 1984 Vanagon.  Shan, me, one dog and one cat.  A solar panel and our backpacks, our bikes and a Frisbee.  Our cameras and laptops, our fruit basket and percolating coffee maker.  The adventure begins.  Finally, the adventure begins.  Today; goodbye?s and three minute showers, tomorrow; the road.



The Beginning

Posted by Shan on 08/01/11  ~  Posted in: Welcome

It all started, this adventure that is, on a previous adventure in July of 2010. Ethan and I were once again called to the wilds. We sojourned through Colorado, Utah and Arizona once more, working our way through the warmth headed towards Yosemite for a grand finale. I think we were on the road five weeks altogether. Taking pictures like crazy people, we slept on the ground or in the bed of the truck as fancy suited us. I think we pitched the tent once in all that time and the memories of each night under the stars is still strong. It was an epic trip to say the least.

At this moment in our lives we knew a change was on the horizon. While logging the miles we talked about the things we valued in our "now" and hoped for in the "to come".

We batted around ideas of Italy, Africa, India. We discussed moving to South America and building a home down there. But after much consideration, the idea of packing it all in for the gypsy life held the most allure for us.

Top Reasons:

  • A. Neither of us had seen the whole country and all it has to offer.
  • B. We could keep our pets whom we greatly value and knew would enjoy the journey too.
  • C. We travel well on the road and love few things more than spending the bulk of our time outside taking pictures and drinking in the air.
  • D. We wanted to broaden our perspective by experiencing the varied people and cultures of this country we call home.

We understood it would be a heck of a lot less comfortable and create numerous hardships we couldn't even dream of. Yet we liked the challenge. We liked the balance of pushing ourselves in one regard while keeping a sense of home we could rely on; build upon.

Thus committed, the dream was born. Yep, lets cash it all in, store it, sell it, buy it, trade it for a new experience- A new way of life.

On the to do list -which became massive in no time-make the house market ready, sell the house, store our things, find a Vanagon,refit it for the road, figure out what we'd need, what we wouldn't, wrap up our old life and put it on a shelf for the foreseeable future- take the best bits, our favorite bits with us on the open road.

This beginning was in August of 2010.


Too Much Stuff!

Posted by admin on 07/05/11  ~  Posted in: Videos, Videos  ~  Send feedback »

Time to separate the wheat from the chaff as they say...

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