The Great Winter Vancation: The Pre-Trip

This is me. And that sleeping beauty behind me is Mr. Ridiculous. And we would like to formally introduce to you THE CREAKY SAUSAGE BOAT.

The what?!?! Better not to ask too many questions.

The Creaky Sausage Boat is going to carry us through many, many adventures to come. As individuals, we both held on to dreams of hobo life; of being able to finally publicly acknowledge our inner dirt-bag in spite of our obligatory clean-cut-office-grind appearance. In an attempt to pack as many climbing trips into our lives as possible, our habit of ultra-light backpacking slowly morphed into minimalist car camping, finally culminating in an aggressive annoyance toward finding campsites and setting up tents in the dark. We want to just drive up and go to sleep. Neither of our cars have room for both us, our stuff, and the crash pad that we use mostly as a couch. The solution? Buy the biggest damn van possible.

And thus, the CSB was born.

Over the previous three weeks, we have built out what might be the most amateur cargo-van conversion I’ve ever seen. As people who generally sit at desks for most of the week, it’s been a bit of a learn-as-you-go process. But I think it’s coming along quite nicely.

That said, we gave ourselves the most unreasonable deadline of December 17th to ready ourselves for a two week adventure through Arizona and New Mexico, which we have lovingly dubbed, the GREAT WINTER VANCATION. This last weekend was our preview trip — a trip in which we (actually just me) bit our nails in anticipation and sheer anxiety. Destination: Red Rock Canyon.

This weekend was full of awesomeness … from the plethora of vans trending in the campground, the super cool couple and adorable dog that we shared a campsite with, Jeff and Mindy from the PNW that we met at the warm up boulders, the super strong local girls on the potato chip rock who were nothing but encouraging, to the adventurous Floridians that needed a ride into town, and the inspiring Diana, who served us at the Mexican joint on our way home; Naps on the side of road, wine under a super bright moon, finishing up the third pitch of Big Bad Wolf by headlamp and then laughing at ourselves as we navigated the walk-off after dark; A side trip to the strip for drinks and dinner with friends, a lesson on navigating large vehicles in places designed for compact cars, and realizing you have the biggest vehicle, yet can carry the fewest people (legally, anyhow).

It was a strong pre-trip and we learned that we really need more insulation, more storage and a counter top. We also learned that the van bed is amazingly comfortable and we are going to have the best time ever. 

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