Archive for the ‘Travels’ Category

Proposed Route for 2015

Well, if everything goes according to plan, and the Lord is willing, and the van is cooperating…here is the proposed route for all 48 national parks to be completed in the year 2015! Dallas to Hot Springs (via the western round-about route!) will take me from January 1 to December 25. I’ve appended Hot Springs to Dallas through the midwest states, in order to complete all 48 states in close to a year as well!

Of course, specifics will need to be worked out in the next couple of months, but here is an overview of what I hope to cover:

  • Jan – Dallas–>Big Bend–>Guadalupe Mtns–>Carlsbad Caverns–>Saguaro–>Phoenix
  • Feb – Phoenix–>Petrified Forest–>Grand Canyon (S)–>Joshua Tree–>LA–>Death Valley–>Sequoia
  • Mar – Sequoia–>Kings Canyon–>Yosemite–>San Francisco–>Redwood–>Lassen Volcanic
  • Apr – Lassen Volcanic–>Crater Lake–>Mount Rainier–>Olympic–>North Cascades–>Glacier
  • May – Glacier–>Yellowstone–>Grand Tetons–>Craters of the Moon–>Great Basin–>Arches
  • June – Arches–>Canyonlands–>Capital Reef–>Bryce–>Zion–>Grand Canyon (N)–>Mesa Verde
  • July – Mesa Verde–>Great Sand Dunes–>Black Canyon–>Rocky Mountains–>Wind Cave–>Badlands
  • Aug – Badlands–>Roosevelt–>Voyageurs–>Isle Royale–>Minneapolis–>Grand Rapids–>Cuyahoga
  • Sep – Cuyahoga–>Harrisburg–>Letchworth–>Acadia–>Pilgrim Memorial
  • Oct – Pilgrim–>Reston, VA (work office)–>Shenandoah
  • Nov – Shenandoah–>Mammoth Cave–>Great Smoky Mtns–>Atlanta–>Congaree–>Biscayne
  • Dec – Biscayne–>Everglades–>Hot Springs


48in1 route

Proposed Route for all 48 Ntl Parks and States in the Continental USA in 2015

The Floor is Laid!

Well, after the Lord and Cristy helped me get some free flooring at Home Depot (thank you Eric at the Eldorado store, and for whoever opened the packages!), it has all been finally put into place. Laid down a sheet of plywood for a subfloor and then just cut the laminate to fit right on the top. It is all floating with nothing nailed or glued down. We’ll see how that works out sliding-wise as it is used. Right now the fit is so snug, it isn’t going anywhere, but who knows what weather changes will do to it!

Laminate Flooring in the van

Laminate Flooring in the back of the van…now all it needs is a chandelier!


The routing task is quite interesting. I’m thinking at the latest, I’ll leave January 2015 (oh, that feels soooo long from now) but I do a Bible Study discussion forum every Sunday to talk about the week’s readings from a year long chronological bible reading program of only one chapter a day (yep, God’s Story in only 370 chapters). That program finishes up December 20th!

So if I leave in January, that alters where I start (in the south). If somehow I can start earlier than that…that puts me up in the north (no a/c don’t forget!). But even if I were to know my starting point…there are just so many options and things to do. The more I study it the more I wonder if one year is enough!!

Here are three inspiring websites regarding routing:

1) This whole website is quite good!

2) Looks like they have a book series called Road Trips. The nice addition I’d like to make to my route that is used by the author of these books, is the idea of not Interstate highways along the trip…not even through Kansas or Nebraska! Interstate Highways were intentionally built to all look the same!

3) Though they didn’t hit every state or national park, it definitely has a lot of highlights. I just wonder how long it took them to do their circuit!

And then I found a web based app/program that will help forge a route for you that I have yet to investigate fully (life is such an interruption to this project at times!) but it looks like I put my end destination with waypoints entered throughout. I will put all the national parks in as my waypoints. From Frisco all the way to Hot Springs, AR with every National Park as a waypoint.

Of course, I will let you all know how that progresses! Routing will be a continual work in progress, but the next step for the van is to figure out a bed frame that will afford me space and storage and comfort!  (I’m thinking murphy style right now)

But for now I had better get back to work in the real world!!

Blessings to all and Christ’s peace,

Deborah signing off!


Where to Start?

There is sooo much to think about when one desires to turn their minivan into a home/office! And thankfully there is a ton of ideas to be found about this conversion process on this thing called the world wide web. After bombarding myself with all the neat ideas online, it proved way to difficult for me to come up with a plan layout all at once. So I thought, I’ll just put a floor down and see if that provides some inspiration!

So I took out the back seat and put it on the berm out back, and lo…within 40 minutes it was gone. I haven’t done that to the two middle seats yet (though Clay would like his garage back!). I took out all the plastic guides for the chairs that were on the floor.

Next, once Trinka came down from Michigan to visit, we created a template of the back of my van using 2 pieces of long butcher paper and a compass (not the directional kind, but the kind that you can poke your eye out with if your not careful!).

That template was then used to cut the subfloor and flooring and to help with van layout of my office/bed! It looks soooo much smaller when surrounded by a big garage…I feel like I take up the whole space by just lying on my back. I hope I’m not over estimating the doability of all this!!

Anyway, here is the beginning of my flooring project. Thanks be to God, and to Eric at Home Depot for giving me the extra slats I needed to have enough to cover the whole back! I take it as God’s smiling providence on this whole adventure. Not to say that things don’t get tough when we are doing things His way, but when Eric said “ah just take them up front and let the cashier know I told them you could have them”….I couldn’t help but shake my head and think “God, are you serious? You know I’m going to take these kind of events as winks of Your go-ahead.” Well, I consider Him warned anyway!
The beginning of laying floor in my van

The beginning of laying the floor down in my new “home”!


I don’t suspect that restlessness equates to “a call” per se, but an idea has popped into my about the same time that 2014 entered into my life! Here’s the backdrop to the idea…

Being the last of five children, I’ve had my share of hand me downs. Not that I’m complaining…I’m kind of nostalgic really about these kind of things. I’ve a broken watch band (umpteenth time this fossil band has broken) that I just can’t part with. Why? Well, because my sister-in-law has sewn it fixed a number of times. No other band will do now because it’s kind of like a hand-me-down from her!


2001 Minivan

No Credit Needed…afterall…it was a gift…free of charge!

Well, the last bonafide hand-me-down I got, I was not at first all that excited about. It was a 2001 Chrysler Town and Country minivan with a broken radiator, busted water pump, leaky heater core and a seized air conditioning compressor with 190,000 miles on it! As a matter of fact, I once heard the previous owner say while it was his (my “generous” brother, Clay), “I should go park that thing on a field and use it as a golfing practice target!”

My brother is indeed generous though. He gave this bullseye to me. And not only that…he bought me a radiator. Plus upper and lower hoses. Plus a new thermostat. Plus 2 gallons of antifreeze. All for Christmas!

The short of it is…I’m very excited to report all the above mentioned problems have been dealt with (well, except for the a/c) thanks to O’Reilly’s Auto Part store and many youtube instructional videos (and Erika’s helpful get-er-done attitude!). The patriot blue minivan is running like a champ now. And it calling me to my next year’s adventure!

Cooling System diagram

Learned more than I wanted to know about the cooling system!


The idea for the next adventure is….

Converting the van into a minicamper/office and traveling all 48 states in a year (and see all 48 contintental National Parks plus other NPS sites)!

Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods

Bill Bryson’s AT hike fell apart, and people still read his attempt!

I’m very much in the planning stages now regarding the van’s conversion and health. But I thought I’d start this blog from the very get go just to let people know how the process is going. Now, I suspect it is true, that the whole thing could fall apart at any time, but hey, Bill Bryson wrote a best seller about his incomplete attempt to hike the Appalachian Trails (of course, he could write the yellow pages and it would be funny!) so I’ll do the same thing and see how it all turns out!

Kept by the power of God,