Van Life Update | an encounter with rock bottom & a busted brake line

Many of you already know that on Monday evening, Niko had a brush with danger when one of our van tires ripped apart while he was driving back to Denver from Boulder. The tread on the tire tore off, wrapped itself around our rear axel, and snapped a brake line. Fortunately, Niko was able to keep control of the van and I met him on the side of I-25 to call AAA for help.The van.

Unfortunately, we’ve already used up all our AAA free services this year with our van shenanigans in Washington. We got towed back into town, dropped the van off at a service shop, and hung out heads low while we walked back to our friend’s house with thepainful realization that the repair bill for the van was probably going to signal the end of our yearlong trip.

It wasn’t looking good.

The adventure van, out of commission (again).

We’re here in Denver to work for a few weeks to replenish the adventure fund, which is admittedly running dangerously low. Our tire popped because we needed to replace all of them, but we had been struggling to figure out how to afford it – and now, we had no choice but to buy new tires for our safety (a blessing in disguise, we really needed new tires). When the mechanic called to give me the final bill on all the repairs our van needed, my heart sank – this was it, we were going to have to retreat home and abandon our goal of a yearlong trip living in our beloved van.

Niko made the trek back to Boulder for another long day of delivering organic mattresses, and I sulked around for the morning, contemplating how to break the news to all of you that we had failed you. Folks, that really sucked.

My buddy insisted on taking me out for lunch and a beer, so I walked down to the neighborhood burger joint and attempted to lift my spirits. And then it happened. I got three back-to-back emails with fantastic writing opportunities, with brands I love, serendipitously providing me with the money we needed to carry on. I teared up when I read them, then broke into a ridiculous smile and held up my beer, interrupting my friends’ conversation to toast them both.

In one instant, everything turned around.

The yearlong mission to travel and climb across the country lives on. We still need to reevaluate our itinerary given our downsized budget, but hell, we don’t have to go back to Florida! We’ll be in Colorado for another two weeks, house-sitting and working – but we are already itching to get back on the road and wake up in the woods.

Always have faith in your adventures,
following your dreams will always steer you in the right direction.

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9 thoughts on “Van Life Update | an encounter with rock bottom & a busted brake line

  1. Katrin says:

    Wow, that was a close one! I’m so glad you are able to continue on with your goal. Keep it up! More adventures (hopefully less sketchy) are waiting for you. 🙂 Also, if you are around Boulder and want to climb somewhere nearby, let me know. Would love to get out.

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