HUNTING FOR HEAT: ALL THE WAY DOWN TO J-TOWN

Van was done, snow was falling, temperatures were dropping...it was time to leave.  So, we did.  I'm still stoked on the fact that Norton was basically completely done when we left to head South.  It was so nice knowing that all I had to do was pack and go.  Now, it's been a while since I posted, two weeks tomorrow in fact, and a lot has happened since we departed Canada.  I'm currently in Joshua Tree, California where I've been chilling for the past few days while I prepare to cross the next border into Mexico and travel to the Southern tip of Baja.  It's been a pretty spectacular drive down.  As things often seem to occur for us in the first few days of travel, we saw a lot of rain and didn't get any solid sunshine till we were near the South West corner or Oregon.  The van has been great, slow...but great.  I've had no issues aside from a burnt out headlight, but we have noticed that Norton hates hills with a passion and I've become "that guy" who holds up a long line of traffic on the steep inclines with no passing lanes.  Norton has given us exactly what we were looking for, a small mobile home that we feel comfortable being in, that gets us out of the rain and doesn't cost much to operate.  On average we're filling up for $45USD and driving 450km on each tank.  Pretty decent in comparison to the truck with an average of $60USD and 350km to a tank.

Considering that it's been almost two weeks, I'm not going to go into too much detail on what we've been up to aside from driving, I'll let the pictures fill you in.

I was immensely pleased that instead of driving inland we chose to drive along the coast.  The South coast of Oregon is absolutely spectacular and not to mention its considerably warmer.  California was next on the hit list and it also did not disappoint.  First night in Cali we stayed with an old team mate of Alison's who lives in Arcata, then spent our New Years Eve up in the King Range Wilderness area where there's a rad mountain bike loop and terrain park nestled into the mountains.  The next night we drove to one of my favorite places to camp, Usal bay, where we enjoyed the sound of waves crashing against the shore below us.

The remainder of the coastal drive to San Francisco went smoothly and was rich with beautiful views and fun experiences for Alison and I.  We've learned to travel a little slower and were able to enjoy a few more beach walks and vista points.  Of course, we were still on a schedule which meant we couldn't stay there forever, but it was good to relax a little.

I dropped Alison off near San Francisco where she flew out with her team to Australia and I continued South to meet up with my friends Andres & Desiree from Switzerland.  We met up in Alaska at first in Fairbanks and then again on the Denali Highway and planned to meet up again down South and drive to Baja together.  I met with them at another favorite spot of mine, Prewitt Ridge.  After Prewitt ridge I parted ways with Andres & Desiree and drove directly to Joshua Tree while they went to LA.