Leaving wasn't as easy as getting in the van and following the compass needle south. We decided about a year before our departure that Chile was going to be our destination. Four months later, in November 2016, we decided to drive instead of fly to South America. We already had a van, it was just a matter of preparing our vehicle, and packing for the trip. Of course, everything takes longer than expected...
The frequent snow storms this winter held us back on our progress, and halted many of the projects we needed to complete prior to our departure. This wasn't all bad, because it allowed for me to finish my season coaching the Telemark Ski Team at Alpine Meadows, and Katie and I both had some incredible days of skiing this season.
Katie and I liquidated the majority of our belongings, and we were lucky enough to bunk at my parent's house to finalize the van prior to us leaving. Our departure date kept getting pushed further and further back as projects with the van kept taking longer than we estimated. It was worth the time to finish everything properly, so as to hopefully avoid issues down the road.
After several going-away gatherings, and a few false starts, we finally said an emotional goodbye to Truckee/Tahoe, and headed south May 6, 2017. (Pictured below: Troy, Rachel, Katie, Wayne, Jesse, Theresa, Gudrun, Doug, Peggy, Andy)
Our first stop was to spend some time in Henderson, Nevada with Katie's family. (Pictured below: 1) Katie's nephew James checking out our carpentry work in the van, 2) Rachel, Beth, Katie)
Then to Mesa, Arizona to spend some time with my 96 year old Grandma Betty. (Pictured below: 1) Wayne and Grandma Betty, 2) Murphy's Law embroidery by Grandma Betty)
From Mesa, AZ the next stop was Mexico. We planned to cross the border through Nogales on May 22, 2017.