Having overcome all the hurdles it takes these days to take an international flight, I finally landed in Boston, just over a month ago. The best part of the first three weeks was spent with family in Boston. Despite all of the adults working from home, and some of the children away at camp, it was great to catch up with them. It had been almost three years since I had seen them. Met some very interesting folk at the arts & crafts festival in Lexington, including a lady whose husband is from Western Australia. At son's place I met more of their neighbours who came around for a barbeque.
During this time too, I became aware that I would not be able to keep my Ford van. and had to make arrangements to sell her. A little help from some of my friends had me list it on Craigslist. Within a day the responses started coming, mostly asking for pictures. But not having seen it myself for more than three years, I was not able to oblige. Eventually, I sold it to a lovely lady truck driver - not long distance - she is home every night. She plans to use it just the way I did, for her weekend getaways. Somehow it seems easier to part with my much loved van, knowing she is going to be some one else's holiday home on wheels.
History: In 2001, my first visit, and 2004, I relocated vehicles for Autodriveaway, driving to places of which I had not even heard. I really liked Seattle, a sister city to Melbourne. The Rocky Mountains blew me away and I fell in love with Tucson AZ. One vehicle needed to be delivered to Green Valley, AZ and I stayed in a lovely small hostel in Tucson, which was run by two brothers who would come down in turn, from Alaska, for some months at a time and manage it. At the time I was a taxi driver at home, and on two occasions I was offered a job in Tucson. Biosphere II had always intrigued me, and I arranged a visit there for a few of us at the hostel. I can still hear the words of the official guide from Columbia University stating that it was built as an experiment for the space programme. but the experiment FAILED! Now I am not an educated person, but even I know that there is no such thing as an experiment failing.. Every experiment has a conclusion. You may not like the conclusion, but that does not mean the experiment FAILED. It simply shows that you were wrong in your assumptions.
In 2007 my son loaned me a spare car he had, and I drove it all over the lower 48, for 5 months. In 2009 my friend loaned me a minivan she and her husband were going to sell. With the seats removed it left sufficient room for my luggage and a mattress for me to sleep. That vehicle saw a trip to Alaska during the five months I drove it.
By now it became clear that I needed a vehicle of my own, for future trips. I could not coninue to visit my family if I had to rent vehicles and pay for hotels. It was with the help from the generous members of this forum, that I was able to purchase and successfully register and insure my precious van. Over the decade we made 5 trips, each many months long, including two to Alaska. She's been up the Haul Road and back and over to Yellowknife,( the start of the North Canadian Ice Road). She's driven The Top of the World highway into Chicken AK and visited all the 48 lower States. She has seen all western Canadian provinces, as well as the southern ones. All in all we clocked up more than 108.000 miles.
Now, on my tenth trip, I have to learn to think about renting a vehicle, and finding places to sleep. Something so foreign to me, I did not have any idea how and where to start.