Going Nomadic

For about the last year and a half, Erin and I have been living in a tiny Shasta Compact camper in South Dakota.  It was a nice tiny home for us but despite the fact that it was a camper on wheels, we stayed mainly in one place.  I bought the camper in Colorado and hauled it to the back yard of my elderly grand father in Rapid City, where it remained parked.

Our 1961 Shasta Compact in South Dakota

Erin and I planned on eventually quitting our jobs and travelling around, hiking, climbing mountains, enjoying being outside.  The more the two of us considered it though, the more problems we saw with executing our plan with a camper.  Soon Erin suggested a camper van, and we were looking for one.  My dad, a retired mechanic offered us help in finding, evaluating and fixing up the perfect van.  Soon dad found a van in Steam Boat Springs, a beautiful little town near the Wyoming border and surrounded by national forest land.  The van was mostly in ok condition as far as the interior but it was originally mauve, quickly fading into an unattractive pink color.  The engine ran but was leaking.

Our Van, Holly, with her original interior.

So I took some time off work and came to Colorado, to work on the van (although I didn’t tell anyone at my job why at the time)  I used my whole week of paid vacation to start redoing the inside of the van with a blue green fabric.  Dad also did some work while I was back in South Dakota at my 8 to 4 paleontology job.  Dad put in a new water tank and built and installed a grey water tank and installed a new water pump.

After a while, I quit my job and headed to Colorado with Zari (our Shih Tzu) a month before Erin to finish work on the van.  It was a lot of work on everything from interior to mechanical to plumbing and electrical wiring but it’s finished now.  We’ve been living in the van for about a week now and so far we’ve hiked 2 Colorado 14ers Mt. Shavano and Mt. Yale and we’ve done a few other hikes to mountains lakes and explored a bit of Salida by bike.


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