I've lived in many vehicles in my short time on this earth: a hatchback, minivan, pickup truck, and now an ambulance. I have to say the ambulance is by far the most comfortable and sustainable setup I've ever had. Having a sink to do dishes is an total game changer. I hit the road from my hometown of Coeur D Alene, Idaho and almost made it to Missoula without any problems. Just about 40 miles out I shredded the tread off my back right, outside dually tire. I pulled off at the nearest exit (a plus of having duallys) and got my tools out to throw my spare on. I didn't have the right socket to get the hub cap off unfortunately, however, one of the many reasons to love Montana is it doesn't take long for someone with an off-roading rig full of tools to pull up and assist. I stopped at a truck stop 7 miles outside of Missoula to make sure I had sufficient air pressure in all my tires, and due to a poorly placed valve stem and my overzealous approach to inflating my tires I broke a valve stem and was down two tires. It was getting late and I was hungry so called it a night, and "slept" to the sound of rumbling semi engines...
I got a tow (even though my rig was bigger than the tow truck -- see instagram) into the tire shop the next morning (thanks car insurance!) and got all sorted with a new tire and a new valve stem as well as extenders on all tires to make future air checks and fills easier (thanks Les Schwab, they only charged me for the used tire!)
I made it the rest of the way to Stanley with no problems, arriving for beautiful sunsets, and a great weekend of kayaking, hot springin, drinking, and dancing with fellow raft guides and river people.
Before leaving I had final epic day starting with a hotspring soak with my friend Kelli who makes awesome fleece clothing (Insta: @funhoggin_fleecewear) followed by a fun kayak. I was feeling inspired after driving up to redfish lake and decided to hike up to the Bench Lakes before leaving town. It's nice to have everything I need for any activity in my car with me, so I laced up the shoes, got some water and some Kind Bars (affiliate link - buy here and help me earn some food and gas money), and hit the trail. 7 miles round trip took me to some epic views of the Sawtooth's and Redfish lake as well as the Bench Lakes upon arrival!
Tired, but high on life I hit the road back to Salmon with enough light to not worry about deer. Or so I thought... Plagued by another shredded tire about 40 miles away from Salmon, I pulled over and set to putting on my spare. I had all the right tools this time and I was back on the road in about an hour (it a lot of work jacking up an 11,000 pound vehicle). Now pissed off and exhausted and hungry, the road to Salmon was extremely stressful and slow as it was peak deer hour. I took the last 40 miles slow and cautious. Starving upon arrival I caved in and ordered some greasy burger king, the only "restaurant" open in salmon at 9:30 PM...
The next day I went to Les Schwab again to get a new spare and try to figure out why I shredded two tires in the same location on my car. Apparently you cant alight duallys so the most likely cause was simply having a 17 year old tire... whoops.
I made it up to Hamilton the next day to visit @motown4mtns who graciously let me park in his drive way, plug in, recharge everything, shower, laundry, and even cooked me dinner. Here's to friends and great hospitality! Thanks!
We attempted to go climbing but got shut down by a ferocious down pour.
The next day on to Missoula for some town things! I hung out at Brennan's wave and made some new kayaking friends one of whom let me park by their house, thanks friend!
Had a great day surfing the wave myself the next day!
I'm headed down to the Lochsa tomorrow for a great weekend of paddling and carnage. Lochsa Madness weekend is always a good one. Friends I'll see ya down there!
I'm loving the nights sleeping on my cozy and comfy memory foam mattress. (Again affiliate link - help a vanlifer out and buy one of these, its comfy!) More to come on van life, but so far so good. Loving it! Just gotta figure out the income side now :) So if you need any photography or videography services, please contact me!