A year ago I began this adventure… I loaded up a few things I care about into my VW and started driving to Denver. If Google Location History is accurate, about this time exactly I was rumbling across the Oregon Desert and getting ready for the potatoes to not eat me.

It’s been a strange year. My health is better than it has been in months, maybe over a year. I have a great job, amazing cow-orkers (Matt has built one hell of a team out here!), a stable place to live, and plenty to keep my occupied. On the downside, I’ve lost about a fifth of my right foot, I need to walk with a cane most days to stay stable, and my blood sugar levels have been “controlled”, but still hover around 200 (which is double what it should be). I have a BiPAP machine to help me sleep, although admittedly I’m still getting used to the infernal thing.

I miss Oregon. I miss friends in Portland, Eugene, and Bend. I miss driving to (and through) the Gorge. I REALLY am missing the coast lately, as one of my favorite things to do on hot days was disappear somewhere out that way. I miss Grocery Outlet (we don’t have them here in Colorado), and I’m sick of driving to Colorado Springs just to get my Bros brews.

But life is good again, if sometimes a little “weird” (which for me means the stuff that “normal” people do every day, like make a car payment and worry about how the rent is getting paid).

I still have money glitches every once and a while. Lots of medical bills and hospital stays the past year. But as long as this cable company keeps me employed things are ok.

I may not always show it (after all, my patron saint is Grumpy Cat), but I’m really appreciative of the life I have today and I wonder how I survived the past two years after my heart attack. There were days I wasn’t sure if I was going to survive: between the dizzy spells, the heart palpitations, and the lack of any kind of money to eat it was a lot to endure.

But I am alive. I am doing well. I am even thriving here…

Well, ALMOST there, anyway.

I got to Loveland, CO, and proceeded to pretty much run out of personal energy for driving. I’m literally exhausted from arguing with a cranky old van for five tiring days and having to struggle to get a 30-year-old beast up and over the Continental Divide (technically, twice!).

But I’m here. I can rest. I can take the good pain meds and not worry that tomorrow I need to wake up early and bust out hundreds of miles. It’s a leisurely 50-ish miles to the area I’ll be staying in, and I’ll have friends to help me this last bit of the way should I get sick at that last minute.

Tomorrow is for planning to move things from Oregon, and adding friends (both furry and flesh-colored) who are coming along. I left a few loose ends, and I’m tying them up as we speak, so hopefully I’ll be able to get stuff here in Denver within a month, if all goes well.. maybe 2-3 if I have any difficulties finding a place.

Is there anyone who can help take Susan out to either Kings Valley or Veneta to pack up the last of my left-behind belongings in those towns? I can compensate for gas and buy you guys lunch. Somebody with access to a truck would be nice. Stuff will need to go in a temporary storage space in Eugene, which I have already arranged and paid for, so that will be taken care of, and then shipped to me in Denver automatically when the time comes.

For the curious, I’ll have final mileage and fuel consumption stats in a few hours. Right now I need to sleep for a little bit and see if I can make this headache disappear…

oh, hi, prescription pain medication. So glad to finally meet you after five days.

In Rawlins WY.

I’ve popped off the entire exhaust assembly and have tossed it into the back of the van. I’m going to spend the night here and get some rest even though I’m way shy of where I wanted to be this evening. But now that I’ve completely removed the sagging tailpipe I should be able to limp to Denver tomorrow.


Mile.. *adds on fingers* 800-ish.

Well over half way there.  Didn’t quite make it as far as I wanted.. I’m on the outskirts of Salt Lake City.  I wanted to be on the WY side of the border, but we had some hiccups.

The exhaust pipe is cracked nearly in half at the manifold.  I think I can make it to Denver with the exhaust pipe partially secured and strapped, but it means I functionally don’t have a working muffler at all now.  Also, the crack seems to have happened at a sensor, so I suspect I’m not getting full fuel economy now.  I tried to apply a muffler patch to the break, but it didn’t last very long.  I may need to try the same technique once I can leave the patch in place overnight to allow for it to cure properly.

So I made it this far.  Only about 500-ish miles to go.  One day’s hard drive..

Mile 482? Can’t math today.

Made it to Boise. The heat sucked yesterday. I feel a little sick but I’m going to press on this morning. I’ll feel a lot better if I cross the WY/UT State Line.

When did Idaho up the speed limit to 80? At no point did I feel more German in my entire life: I was driving a Volkswagen as fast as it could go across the countryside. If I had a oompah band in the back and lederhosen it would have been perfect. Sorry my Native half, let me enjoy this brief moment of “Stolz platzen”.

Muffler update..

So my temporary muffler fix is holding in place and it looks like I’ll make it at least through the next leg of my journey. I will need to do a more permanent solution to the van’s long standing issues.. even a maybe “final solution” if you will.  It may be right time to rethink transportation options in general once I’m settled somewhat in Denver. At minimum my immediate plans are to hole up near work and figure out more pressing moving logistics.

Anyway tied up a loose end I left dangling here in Redmond. Another will have to remain as I cannot find Morgana for the life of me. A quick stop in Bend and then.. well, Greater Taterland awaits.

I hate potatoes

Mile.. well I think it’s around 140.

Well I made it at least over the Pacific Crest, and I’m in Redmond. I forgot that in some ways I miss the desert, and it reminded me of why I felt the way I did when I came out here just a little over two years ago.  Just being out here makes me feel refreshed and healed. The trick is not staying here too long.

I have to pick up something to tie up a loose end, visit a mechanic shop and see if we can make the quick muffler repair I did in Portland a little more permanent and then tp cross the desert to points Potato.

I am making plans to come back as soon as I can, just FYI. With all the weird health stuff I’ve had the last week I’ve been focused on getting as much as I can healed so I can start my first day in.. well, six days now.  Things are going well and even with the challenges I’m looking to be on track.

Time for pain meds, good air conditioning, and a soft bed.  Lacking that the shower feels nice…

Mile 0.

So today’s travel agenda is to get the van checked out for journeying.  I’m also taking the opportunity to visit a few people and take care of some last minute business in Portland.  Depending on heat I expect to head down to KV and then east to Bend.  It’s supposed to be another miserable hot day today.. for once I might actually be looking towards a trip over Santiam Pass just for the cooler weather.