Everything is falling into place!

I figured it’s time for an update with what’s happened these last few weeks. The van project went on the back burner while I worked to get my house ready to go on the market. My buddies Chis, Dan and Elsa helped me paint the interior while I painted the pump room and all the trim around the house. I improved the front sidewalk up to the house, put in a fire ring and made 5 runs to the dump with my motorcycle trailer and the Subaru. Elsa also had her “Escape hatch” moved closer to her house in Arlington. It’s at the Lake Bronson Nudist Park up in Sultan Wa.

The house went on sale June 1st and within 47 hours,  I was under contract with an offer for more then I was asking….. how fortuitous! 😉 a HUGE THANK YOU to my friend (PNW Tenere North leader) Christopher Dantzscher and Coldwell Banker Bain agent for the great work. The house is set to close 9 July!

Last weekend was Emily’s Senior Prom.  Emily and her boyfriend Zane had a great time! Don’t you think she looked fabulous!?! She is so looking forward to graduating next week and starting Western Washington University up in Bellingham this fall.

Oh yeah,…  As of Wednesday, I’m officially RETIRED!  After retiring from the USAF in 2011, I made a promise to my daughters that I’d stay close until Emily was out of High School.  Well….. That time has come! It was pretty easy walking away from my contracting position on JBLM,  but I will miss a few of the people and driving all the big toys.

These last few days I’ve made a lot of progress on the van.  First was applying “Hushmat”, it’s a premium grade insulation and sound deadening layer directly to the inside body metal.  At $350 for 78 sq/ft, I’ll need at least 150 -200 sq/ft to get the job done, but I’m assured that this base layer will make the inside very comfortable no matter the weather outside. It’s “the good stuff”

The flooring was next. 1/4” foil wrapped styrofoam insulation, 1/4” plywood and 3/8” rubber gym matting sandwiched together. Thinking about the weight of the bike on the foam, I swapped out that section of underpayment with strips of the rubber flooring. That should support it weight just fine. I’m also ok with not being able to cut a straight line along the walls because Cole will be building walls and furniture to hid the uneven cuts 😉

Yesterday my second shippment of Hushmat showed up as well as my Engle 40 liter Dual Voltage Refrigerator/ Freezer. I’ve only heard great things about the Engle brand of fridges. The 4×4/ Overland community swear by them for their durability and long life.  Can’t complain with that!  I also received my Kodiak lithium power supply  from Energy a few days ago. It’s a “all in one, plug and play” power generator. 1100 Watts / 3000 Watts surge , inverter and able to be charged from Solar, AC or DC. Until I get the 100 watt solar panel hooked up, I’ll be charging it off the house battery & inverter that’s built into the van.

I’m so greatful that everything has fallen into place from plans that started way back in 2006.  I didn’t know then what the future was to hold but that the summer of 2018 was going to be one of change and adventure.

Thank you for following my journey! There is MUCH MORE in store soon…. real soon!  😉


So, another Adventure begins.. again

Well, the van is here!! Paperwork all signed and currently sitting in my driveway. Several people I need to thank for pulling off a smooth buying and quick pick up process. Gerald Massey, Michael Debien and EJ Etherington. I also need to add Kevin Russell, Daryl Morse and Tim Lawrence for stopping by to see the van😊
The van got almost 18mpg on the 150 mile trip home, so I can’t complain for such a large vehicle and boy, does it have some power! That twin turbo is a kick in the pants, sort of like a re flashed Tenere ☺️
Now it comes time to get the house ready to sell so I can head to see Cole at cavevan to fit out the inside.

Tenere 700 “World Raid”

We we are just getting the first glimpses of the Tenere 700 World Raid (prototype #2 ) after it made an appearance last month in Australia. The specs are still mostly a mystery as they wouldn’t let anyone with a tape measure close to the bike.  As the year progresses, more details should leak out slowly. Until then, enjoy the pics. Some of these are photo shop concepts for wraps that might be available. I think they look great!

Vanlife is getting closer

Hi everyone!
I’m less then a month away from ordering the van to get the ball rolling on the #vanlife. ( YES, I’m getting excited!!! ) Yesterday I posted on my facebook wall two colors I am going to choose from. I was completely surprised to have 145 comments in less then 24 hours! Thanks for all that commented!
Well, the Blue jean color wins! It has a lot to do with the Yamaha/Yamahauler connection. I still plan on meeting up with other Tenere owners as I travel around for meet ups and rides in the backcountry.  The reason I started all this in the first place.

It will be a 2018 Ford Transit
Body style: LWB-EXT High Roof (R3X)
Engine: 3.5L ecoboost twin Turbo
3.31Limited slip differential
Color: Blue jean
Extras: Heavy Duty alternator, Dual Battery, Back up camera, tow package w/trailer brake control, cruise control, 12v-110 inverter, rear and slider door windows.

The order gets placed next month at Landmark Ford in Portland, then it’s a 12-14 week wait for the delivery.
I’ve been in contact with Cole Ford at Cavevan. Cole is a custom up-fitter in Castle Rock, Colorado. I’ll head that way after my house closes, hopefully before August. I have narrowed down a few key things but leaving most details open as to how they will fit together inside. I’m finding in my research that many vanlifers switch or change their initial design within a year of their build. I’m trying to avoid that.

Sleeping, storage and cooking are among my priorities after the sound proofing, insulation and walls go up. It will have a compact stove,sink(w/hot water), fridge and port-a-potty.



Here are a few of my “Poor mans CAD” (MS excel) with each square equal 6”. I did these up starting in 2016 when I got back from my trip. It’s helped me a bunch even though it’s not to scale.



Since the Tenere 700 is still most of the year away, I’ll start the journey without a bike 😞 My Super Tenere 1200 will go on sale sometime before June, there just won’t be enough room in or on the back for that heavy and large of a bike. That’s another reason to start off simple / minimal, as the info and dimensions of the T-700 become known I can accurately make room for it when it does show up.


While the van is on order, I’ll be getting the house ready to sell. I hope it goes fast because the road is calling……

Plans for the future

It’s been a year now since my departure and what a year it’s been! I’m back home in the PNW, working full time at my old job and dreaming of my next adventure.    These are potential routes I’m playing around with for my next trip. I wouldn’t stick exactly to the routes but staying at 70 degrees all year round is a goal. As you can see it’s a much slower pace. Getting to know an area for days or weeks as opposed to just driving by will have it’s advantages.


Screen Shot 2017-05-22 at 6.03.38 AMScreen Shot 2017-05-22 at 6.03.52 AM

Lots of things need to fall into place before departure. Things like: watch my daughter graduate high school, sell my house, Yamaha to release the T-7 concept as a production model and finally buy a 170″ LWB Mercedes Benz Sprinter or Ford Transit cargo van for up-fitting into an Adventure rig. See, not much 😜
I’m at least 12 months out from starting this adventure. Now is the time to plan, save $$ and get the house ready to sell.
Trust me, more to follow!

170″ LWB MB Sprinter with T-7 on the back bumper or inside
Van interior
Minimalist interior, maximum options
Murphy bed
Murphy bed like this in the back of my van.
Screen Shot 2017-05-22 at 6.14.23 AM
Bed up, bike and gear inside
I’d like to reverse the colors with yellow stripes and lettering on a black van
The new Yamaha T-7 700cc concept bike due out in 2018

Almost done / what’s next..


Well, it’s almost done. 20,000 miles, 4 corners and 44 states traversed so far.  I’m at a buddy’s place in the UP of Michigan on my last rest day before I head to Washington. I have hotel reservations in Duluth Min., Aberdeen SD., Miles City Mt. and staying with friends in Missoula Mt. and Moses Lake Wa.  There are right at 2000 miles between here and home, it’s going to be a long week.  I know I’m taking a pretty quick route home but the weather is turning cooler, I’m getting tired, and the budget I had set up for this trip is getting a little low. I’ll be back out to see the places I’ve missed soon enough.

Yesterday I made a post in a group on Facebook dedicated to my old USAF career field to say thanks to 15-18 old  co-workers and friends that hosted me on my trip. It’s nearing almost 200 “likes” in less than 24 hours so I guess it struck a chord with the military community on how this trip brings us together even after a decade or two. I feel truly blessed to have had the support from my friends as I made my way across the country.  This trip couldn’t have been done without them. Thanks guys! Once I get home and settled, I’ll reach out to each one and thank them.

Many people are asking me “what’s next? ” and while it’s been on my mind, it’s not taking up too much space ;-).  I have a lot of options ahead that can take me in several directions. One thing I have learned on this trip is to keep your route flexible. I’ll do my best to never forget that. Setting your GPS to “walking” now and again takes you on the best roads:-)

The Rhode Island state line and a couple miles of great dirt

I’m also very much looking forward to seeing my girls and the guys in the PNWSTOG. One other thing is sleeping in my own bed! That’s one of the many things that I’ve learned on the road, so much can be said for sleeping in the same bed every night, even if it’s in the back of a van or small RV 😉 like this from Outsidevan


Yes, this is one of my options, though it would have a Yamaha and not a KTM on the back :-p

Other option are:

Building or buying a cabin in the woods that’s closer to the dual sport riding we all like to do. It could be a jumping off point for the group rides.

Becoming a “snowbird” part of the year that ties directly into the van/RV and cabin scenario.

Whichever option I do tackle first, traveling across this country part or most of the year on 2 and/or 4 wheels will be the priority.

I’ll arrive home next week, get my house back in order and work on this blog to post up the hundreds of  pictures I took with the stories behind them. Something I haven’t really had the time or the right computer to do it with.  So just because my trip is over, there is much more in store. Please stay tuned!

Oh, If you are thinking of doing a trip like this, don’t hesitate! Do it!! It’s so worth it!FullSizeRender

Take care and THANK YOU! For following me on my journey…