So we bought a van
(and other shenanigans)
,
Well, a lot’s happened since
our last update, folks!
Unless you’ve been living
under a rock, you probably
know by now that we
purchased a 1985 Vanagon
Westfalia (affectionately
dubbed “Brown Betty” due
to the sheer amount of
brown both inside and out)
and have been on several
small and one ten-day (not
so small) trips already!
Plans for Mexico are still
on hold, Covid pending,
but that’s not stopping us
from having some fun!
We’ve made a couple of
videos of our travels, which
can be seen on Jena‘s
Instagram at @jenarenee - 
in the meantime, here are a
few photos from our recent
trips:
,
,
A quick trip out to La Push during
quarantine, which was spent floating a
river into the ocean, watching beautiful
sunsets, and trying to entice Nouille to
be a water-dog!
,
First breakfast on our first official trip -
went all out and made some pretty
amazing breakfast sandwiches! Having
the use of a stove and running water is
definitely a step up from our usual
backpacking and dehydrated meals -
what are some good one-pot dishes we
could make while on the road?
,
,
,
Next up:

MONTANA!
,
Matt finally entrusted me with the keys
to the van without supervision 😂 He
was very gracious in teaching me how to
drive a manual - a crash course in
twenty minutes and then we were on the
road!
,
Somewhere east of Winthrop, WA,
which is a cute little western-themed
town at the base of the mountains in
northern-central Washington.
,
,
Found free ‘taters on the side of the
highway in Idaho, which we snagged
some of and made delicious hash
browns with the next morning!
,
Lots of windy roads - this one led us up
to a remote lake in the panhandle of
Idaho, where we had our choice of the
only two campsites - we posted up by
the lake for the night before the final
push to Montana!
,
Heading into grizzly territory! Sadly, we
saw none. My dream was to see a
wolverine chasing a moose chasing a
grizzly bear chasing a bald eagle chasing
a salmon. Did that happen? Stay tuned!
,
,
Oh okay, we see you, Montana! This part
of the Kootenay River was just after
crossing the border before reaching
Libby, Montana. We were lucky to get
here early in the AM and hiked in to see
this before work!
,
Office for the day, just outside Libby,
MT! We were lucky to have good cell
reception here so we posted up on the
side of the road for the day to get some
work done. Definitely not the worst
workday views we’ve had 😂
,
Another day, another office! Snuggled
up in the back of the van to get some
work done, while parked in the middle
of nowhere with a gorgeous lake view!
,
Made it to our final destination:
Whitefish, Montana! It’s a little sleepy
resort-town in western Montana that we
almost immediately fell in love with. If
you’ve ever been to Bend, OR, it’s got a
similar vibe!
,
,
Took a forest service road north of
Whitefish and snagged a pretty nice
campsite on the edge of a river! These
scenic views are really reeling us in (still
no sight of a grizzly parade, though...)
,
Trying to take the road less traveled, but
this one was pretty well-worn. Matt had
a great idea to get this shot, which
consisted of me climbing onto the roof
of the van in the middle of the road!
Worth it?
,
Heading home! Goodbye, Montana 💕
,
THOUGHTS
x Matt and Jena
What a trip! Living with
another human and two
(thankfully small!) dogs in a
55sqft van for ten days has
been an eye-opening
experience - it’s a test of
patience, cleanliness,
minimalism, and more
patience, interspersed with
a LOT of backgammon
games! Happy to have had
a little look into what our
Mexico trip might look like
if we decide to van life it
while we’re down there. If
you’ve lived out of a van
before, we want your tips!
Send us a message below!
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