At first, it seemed like this trip was years away – but we’ve officially surpassed the two-month countdown to our Simply Adventure departure! With the clocking ticking noisily in our minds, Niko and I have kicked preparations and planning into overdrive. Where have we spent most of our energy (and quickly dwindling savings)? Renovating the van, baby!
After painstakingly cutting metal and sawing wood for the past week, Niko has finally finished his handcrafted bed frame for the rear of the Sprinter. He used a metal base to create a strong, reinforced frame, and then spruced up the appearance of the bare metal by adding a layer of blonde wood on top (which also added some rigidity and extra strength to the frame). He shaped wood sheets to create the platform, and voila, we have a bed! All that is missing is the foam topper, and a storage system beneath.
We also completed the staining of the kitchen cabinets (which we snagged for 20% off at Home Depot, score). Niko did the first few coats, and I finished it off with the final layer. We still need to install the countertop, but it felt like a huge victory when we finally hoisted the cabinets back into the van and admired our handiwork. We also very victoriously removed the enormous, and difficult, partition that divided the passenger area from the cargo section of the van. It feels so roomy now!
There is still a mountain of work to do on the van, but it’s amazing to reflect on how far we’ve come in the last month. From a cluttered cargo space loaded with dented metal shelves to something that is actually starting to resemble a home-on-wheels – thank you Niko for your unwavering dedication to retrofitting the van. You’re my hero!
Aside from van adventures, we’ve been hard at work planning the next steps towards launching the Simply Adventure journey. We’ll be hosting a great giveaway starting next week, and will also begin announcing our itinerary plans. Here’s a hint: Our first major stop will be Hueco Tanks, Texas. We’ve never climbed there before; I reckon it’ll be life-changing.
The last thing on my plate today is making the final push for the Simply Adventure fundraiser campaign. We are in the final 17 hours of our mission to raise $5000, and we still have a LONG way to go in order to reach our goal. I have been moved to tears on a daily basis seeing so much support from readers, family, climbing companions, and folks I never would have expected to donate to our cause – and now your support is more important than ever before.
Please help us turn our yearlong climbing adventure into a purposeful journey of conservation and inspiration –
DONATE to the Simply Adventure fundraiser.
We have a long road ahead, and have an even longer list of tools and equipment we need to empower us to use our 2013 trip as a tool for creating a movement towards getting climbers (and anyone interested in the outdoor lifestyle) to be inspired to get involved with conservation and responsible land stewardship. We need shovels, trail day supplies, editing software, funding for promotion materials, you name it. Even donating $1 will make a huge difference in our success.
Spread the word, tweet about the fundraiser, post it on your Facebook page,
and lend a hand to the Simply Adventure team during our last day of campaigning.
And a HUGE thank you for all the donations, retweets, posts, messages, and love.