I am not sure if it was mentioned yet, but we started this journey in a Toyota Tacoma.  Granted it had a fiberglass topper on it, it was still a pick up truck.  Donn bought it new, putting every mile, every memory (the last 30,000 being my favorite).  Two months into our 2 year tripp we decided that this was gonna be more than 2 years, we were in it for the long haul.  So maybe we should up-grade?

At least there is room for Jodi.
We could not sleep in the back if we had to. A couple thing of ours HAD to go to Jodi’s family in Atlanta first.

We started our search, the search for our new rig/home.  We didn’t turn our computers on without googling Airstream, Sprinter, Sportsmobile.   For months we looked and dreamed comparing pull-trailors, RVs, 4 wheel drive units. It’s not something that would come easy.

Too custom
Too small
Yoda likes this option.
Too much!
Too BURLY. We would scare every person away.
This one is nice. But we couldn’t talk this guy out of it.

The resale value for one of these vehicles are high, but that didn’t stop us.  We kept up the search.  To put it out in the Universe the way we did, we couldn’t help but conjure SOMETHING.  But, to bring us the perfect Urban Assault Vehicle (UAV), Who knew!

After 10 months of living/climbing/sleeping/storing our life in the back of the Toyota we knew upgrading was inevidable.  Still trying to figure how to make it happen, we decided we should sell our house in Fayetteville.  That would do it!  Putting the word out(dec.1st) about the house,  we had faith we would reach this “crossroads”.

Jodi taking advantage of the free camping in Magnolia National Forest, CO.
This is one of the few times we got rained on. Ya gotta do what ya gotta do.
This was in June Lake, CA. We were working on installing a kitchen at a lodge. I had made a nice pull out tray for the gear.
Alabama Hills near Lone Pine, CA.
Can you imagine trading your King Bed and big screen tv on the wall?…… for a truck bed.
Ft. Collins, CO.
These are our multifunctional food container/seat/water holder. Not bad for 20 bucks
We spent 3 days in this spot and saw NO ONE! Time for some Tequila.
Southern CO.

Spending the winter in Tucson definately helped with the search.  Although, it did not seem that way at the time.  We were so stressed about NOT finding work that we thought it would never happen. Having a home-base housesitting for our friends Amy & Russ helped.DSCN4684

We started filling out applications, calling construction companies, temp agencies, etc..  We had almost given up, then we got a tip on a place south of Tucson.  In a place called Quartzsite, the “Rock Capital of the World”.   We made some calls and got a lead on a job.  We could start Dec. 26th.  Planning a Christmas climbing tripp in Queen Creek Arizona with Amy & Russ seemed like a perfect idea after getting good news like that.

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We knew we wouldn’t make our fortune in Quartzsite, Az, but we planned our work around our life.  What could be better than a rock/gem show, Rv show, and car show.  No glamour. Just a good chance to get; stock for jewelry, see some cool old cars, and check out some RV’s.  Oh Yeah and maybe even find a new rig!  As the sun sat December 26th we pulled out of Queen Creek AZ, this, our last destination with our faithful friend.  Donn looked at me and said,”We are gonna find our rig in Quartzsite.”

As we drove southwest the sky grew dark, and we grew weary.  Finally arriving, We drive past the city limits -WELCOME to QUARTZSITE-


100 feet past under a spot light, !There it was!  Parked on a Monster wholesale RV lot, surrounded by million dollar motorcoaches,  our NEW RIG!    O.K. we have found it!  Now…… How do we pay for it??? That night we dreamt of our new rig, when we could sleep.  We were very excited.

Well, 7:30am. on December 27th we pulled into the wholesale lot and started checkin out the van.  In no time at all Bob(the salesman) peeked around the corner, “How ya doin’ today?”. Smiling  we return, ” We are Awesome! we would like to check out the sportsmobile.” Seeming too good to be true, we asked for a sign from above. While Donn climbed all over the van checking every nook & cranny, he felt like his dad was beside him with a check list.  I don’t think he missed a thing.  The funny thing is while we scoured the van and talked history, we turned away a least 3 interested parties

we got city water,
…and we got electric!
Let there be LIGHT!

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Well, the van checked out.  Now we talk business.  Within the hour, on a “handshake” and a verbal contract.  A promise that our house was in the process of selling, we were the “almost” proud owners of a 2001 Dodge Sportsmobile.  Before we drove off the lot they pulled the van around to the back lot and told us to consider it ours.  They told us they would take our trade-in, which had 187,000+ miles. 30,000 of them we had just racked up in the last 10 months(check the map. You can see we have been very busy).IMG_2006

After successful negotiations we left the lot in search of work.  Meeting with our contact, we found we were gonna have to wait a little longer than expected to start.  I guess we keep looking….  Tent to tent we traveled asking “need any help?”   Well, this did not take long.  In a place like Quartzsite it doesn’t, someone actually came to us.  If you are a good worker you can have as much work as you want.   So we worked and waited…..

this is where we worked while in Quartzsite
Some absolutely cool art. This miner and his trusty mule was made entirely out of scrap parts.
This fella, T.A. Hudspeth, has got a interesting talent going on. He burns designs into wooden beads with a magnify glass. His site is wwwblackespeare.com
The stones are nice to.
Joe the Blacksmith. We bought a little of his artist work. Very talented. Its nice to be able to pick up the phone and reach out to people like this, from time to time. Meeting new souls on the road is definitely a reason alone to travel. Check his work if ya like, http://www.JoetheBlacksmith.org Cool site…..
This guy cost a whopping $22,000.

A couple of days after our “handshake” we decided to go visit the van.  We pulled in and asked if we could have lunch in it.  They happily gave us the keys.  It was so fun we did it two days in a row.  On our way out the 2nd day we stopped to drop the keys. They told us, “hold on to them.  Even better, you guys should just stay on the lot. We could use the security!” How could we turn down a ‘safe place to lay’


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From Bob, to Johnny, to Darko, these guys were true blue.  Couldn’t of wished for better.   Three weeks to the day of the “handshake” we owned our brand new used 2001 Dodge Sportsmobile.