The Gift of A Griddle

Before I began my adventure, I was organizing my supplies in my mom and dad’s garage when I noticed they had a whole storage shelf filled with their old camping equipment. They stopped camping over 30 years ago, but they haven’t given this stuff away.

Neatly organized were coolers, a Coleman stove, gas canisters, a lantern, tablecloths, and even a Ziploc bag filled with bug spray and sunscreen, many years past their expiration dates. Under the pots and pans, I see the 50-year old cast iron camping griddle, wrapped in aged newspaper and covered with an old brown paper bag.

The griddle was a gift to Dad from his first cousin Louie Ambrozic before he died in a car accident. Louie grew up with Dad in Butte Montana. He was, in essence, Dad’s little brother whom he loved dearly, and Louie worshiped the ground Dad walked on.

Louie handcrafted the griddle in the metal casting workshop when he worked at the Anaconda Copper Mining Company in Butte. Weighing nearly 10 pounds, the 18 x 12 inch smooth griddle has curved edges and skinny handles on each end. This was Dad’s pan of choice for cooking bacon and eggs over a campfire – it accompanied us on every camping trip. Continue reading “The Gift of A Griddle”

Living in the Extremes: From Maui to Montana

Island to continent

Beach to mountain

Palms to pines

Sand to snow

Green to white

Warm to cold

One season to four.

Waves to snowflakes

Surfing to skiing

Bleach blond to dirty blond

Tan to pale

Beer to brandy

Bikini to long johns

One layer to three.

Living in the Extremes:

From Maui to Montana –

Only an 80-degree differential!

Mining Memories In Montana

Where the days last forever

The hours you won’t measure

The memories you will treasure

It’s a camping state of mind.

When the odometer flipped 2,400 miles, we knew we were no longer on an island in the middle of the Pacific. While it’s a good distance to travel, it’s just a fraction of the distance we will go before we finish this adventure in the American West.

After our tour of the Centennial state, our tires turn towards Montana’s Big Sky Country. Whizzing across southern Wyoming, we pass by big rig truckers and desolate landscape on I-80.

Heading north, the dramatic landscape returns as the peaks of the Rocky Mountains once again are thrust into the blue skyline when we reach Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. Continue reading “Mining Memories In Montana”

John Ford Meets John Denver

A couple weeks on the road now and, like running antelopes, we’re covering a lot of territory very quickly. Traversing Western Colorado’s scenic byways, the highlighted routes on our map now resemble large linking puzzle pieces.

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We go up and down and up and down the many mountain passes like a roller coaster ride. From the summits to the prairielands, the views are panoramic scenes straight out of an old John Ford Western, but we’re the cowboys in this thrilling adventure. Continue reading “John Ford Meets John Denver”

Nomadic Travelers

Like jumping into a cool tropical pool after a long sweaty hike, hitting the road with the new camper is exhilarating, eye opening and refreshing.

While we are officially homeless, we no longer feel that way. On the road our tiny house on wheels provides shelter, privacy and protection from weather, wild animals and weirdoes in the wilderness. Continue reading “Nomadic Travelers”

Tiny Home, Large Landscape

The thought of ordering a custom camper from the Internet sight unseen made me nervous. Having never been in a truck camper, and not having the resources on Maui to research them made it a big challenge.

Continue reading “Tiny Home, Large Landscape”

The Plan is No Plan

Our first destination is Denver to pick up our new camper. Like kids on Christmas morning, we can’t wait to open it up and play with it.

Leg one: 1300 miles – the sound of that delights us.
After being cramped on a landmass 40 miles by 60 miles with an island wide speed limit of 45 mph, we couldn’t wait to travel some distance and double that speed.

Colorado here we come. Continue reading “The Plan is No Plan”

The Landing

Hard Work Does Pay Off

Like a plane traveling through a turbulent sky, my emotions bounced around.

As the wheels of the plane touched down in Seattle, the melancholy mood of saying goodbye to Maui jumped to feeling joyful to be saying hello to my parents and to be starting my adventure.

I would spend a month at my parent’s house in North Bend Washington. I had to wait for the truck to make its journey across the Pacific and for Trenton to finish his farm lease, and I wanted to spend some time visiting with and helping my mom and dad.

After my folks turned 80, their health became more fragile. Continue reading “The Landing”

A Couple, A Camper, A Cat

Yes I did.

I brought my pet with me from Maui – an 11-year-old, one-eyed cat named Scrappers.

I looked for a good home for Scrappers but no one was interested in my half-blind buddy. I tried, maybe not as hard as I could have. I loved the little guy and I really didn’t want to say goodbye to him.

I found Scrappers in the road on a full moon night, Continue reading “A Couple, A Camper, A Cat”

Aloha Means Hello and Goodbye

Thoughts of moving from my Maui home lingered in my mind for a good 10 years.

It’s not that I’d grown tired of living on a tropical paradise for 25 years, it’s that my heart longed for new surrounding, for new adventures.

Living on an island, you begin the day observing the swiftness of the sun rising over the volcano; you end the day watching the speed of the sun setting over the ocean.This teaches you to realize how quickly time passes and I wanted to make this change while I was still able to enjoy the journey.

For one reason or another however, the timing hadn’t been right. So I patiently waited for Mother Maui to reveal the signs to me. Continue reading “Aloha Means Hello and Goodbye”