The Search for Spark

As the icy grip of winter takes hold and the slow days of January creep around the corner, its that time of the year when things like to break and old cars really show there age. There Is nothing like running out to start the old girl and instead of that thunderous carburEted growl of a cold start you get a couple cranks and then silence. That dreaded feeling that can only be described in two words, O Shit.

Luckily for me I was already at home and already in a parking spot so I didn't need to worry about a tow. Also did not have TO start hunkering down for the night with fingers crossed the van would magically repair itself over night, which might I add is now a standard procedure on roadtrips. So the tool bag got pulled out along with the mighty and powerful Haynes Shop Manual, and the investigation began.

For four days it was nothing but a back and forth of tracing old wires and removing old tape that hid many of past repairs. Every wire I could find was checked for breaks or shorts, then properly taped back up and tucked out of the way of anything that could disturb it. Finally after replacing a couple parts as hopeful guesses and digging even further into the wiring harness I found the problem. Well three problems to be exact, first was a live wire that broke off its connector and was energizing my entire firewall, second was terribly corroded major ground wire connection, and third was a tear in  of the wires going to my distributor. A bunch of fresh wires connectors, a good wire brushing, and some tape, and it was time to see if she would fire up.

With fingers and toes crossed I put the key into the ignition and within two cranks she roared to life,  after a couple billows of black smoke from all the leftover fuel she idled like a new car. Not only was the problem solved but by repairing that ground and replacing a couple parts like plugs and wires, she know ran better then she ever has, and gained a throttle response I never guessed the big girl had in her.

Road Brew

If there is one thing more important to the road weary traveler then fuel, its coffee. This dark liquid is the fire that fuels the dreaded unzipping of a warm sleeping bag, or the  shivering wait of a cold engine to warm up. It may seem pretty simple to make a batch of this brew but the connoisseur knows the art and difference between a lazy gas station fill and go and the perfectly brewed and balanced mug of roadside coffee. Now there is almost a endless supply of gadgets that Grind, boil, bubble, and brew the good stuff, but i have my core setup and can whip out a steamy mug in almost any situation.

The list is as follows:

  • GSI Java press 
  • Aeropress  
  • GSI Outdoors Ultralight Java Drip
  • gsi stainless mini expresso
  • gsi backpacker mug
  • sea to summit x-cup
  • primus kettle
  • jetboil flash
  • biolite
  • propane rv stove
  • assorted grinders from backpacking models to antique models
  • Local Coffee

Support local coffee roasters wherever you find may yourself !


A Summer at the Gorge

With training over and all the daily camp chores becoming routine, it's time to officially start the summer. I can now begin to finally get some cash flowing and enjoy days off exploring all this area has to offer. The base camp is finally dialed down to perfection, widow maker branches have caused me to move a few times but it looks like the spot the van sits on now is free and clear. A few more tiki torches (you always need more tiki torches) and tarps and we'll be set for the summer. The weather has lightened up a whole lot compared to May, less endless days of rain and more sun and quick moving showers. Dry clothes and sunburn are a million times better then damp underwear and moldy socks. 


Summersville Lake - West Virginia 

Summersville Lake - West Virginia 

Base Camp West Virginia

Base Camp West Virginia acquired, working as adventure guides for the summer and all set to settle in to these dense rich forests. Besides a supposed normal spring here which consists of daily rain and more mud then one can imagine, all things are going great. The small piece of land that's my home for the summer is slowly starting to feel like home. From scrounging up old wood boards in the woods for drying racks and water drainage to tying up tarps and lines to stay dry and keep clothes comfortably dry, there's always something that needs to be built and the forest here contains everything you need.Besides a ten minute walk to the well for water or bathrooms, everything is just how I like it, simple. My morning commute is a 1.3 mile hike through dense oak and rhododendron groves, how can one complain about that. Only a couple more days of training and I can check out and start working, with barely any use for money here saving shouldn't be a issue. Hopefully if the quest for good wifi is successful I will be uploading some videos of my job and the basecamp soon!



West Virginia

After a somewhat eventful last two days we have arrived in West Virginia. The first leg from NJ down to Charlottesville we had perfect weather, not a drop of rain and got a good bunch of miles behind us. The van starting running rough halfway into the trip and that feeling of impending doom starting filling my soul. Luckily on one big hill I smashed the gas down to make the incline and POP, the van was back to her old self. It looked like I was running on only 7 cylinders for most of the way thanks to a piece of carbon or something, and that heavy push of the gas pedal expelled it and she lit right back up. We spent the night outside of Shenandoah NP and deciding to stay holed up there another day and let some of the heavy rain pass that was moving thru the area. After a day bottled up in the van watching rain drops fall we were off to the west, the van chugged like the little engine that could up those rolling WV hills, up and up we rolled at a astounding 45mph. Now we sit in a small town for the rest of the day drinking coffee, tomorrow its a couple more miles to our destination, the banks of the New River.

VA/WV State Line



The Adventure Mobile

The bags are almost packed, sprawled across the floor. A few days remaining at home before its time to fire up the engine and set course South.