On the road at last

Saturday was a big day, finally moving out. I took the first trip down the 3 flights of stairs to the parking lot at 7:00am and the last at 11:30pm. Added trim pieces to the rear drawers and finished the rear power. Two round trips out to Naperville and Westmont to take care of the last of my stuff then loading everything left into the Land Cruiser. Big sigh of relief when it all fit, barely. I was backing out of the lot for the last time when my downstairs neighbor came by with her dog, asking “Is this it? Are you leaving for good?” I said yes and she wished me luck and gave me a big hug. Not a bad way to set off on a big journey.

I finally stopped in at Kuma’s Corner and devoured an Iron Maiden burger, then headed off to the suburbs. First night sleeping in the rooftop tent at a Walmart in Naperville, then spent the morning with Lisa and the wiener dogs. Set out for Starved Rock in the afternoon and wound up at the Cozy Corners campground just outside Mathiessen State Park.


I ended up staying there for 4 days, relaxing in between repacking the truck and running errands. Everything fits much better now that I’ve got it somewhat arranged but there is still room for improvement.

Here is the storage setup in the back, 3 drawers and a slide out for the fridge/freezer. I am going to cover it in gray cloth for a more finished look, everybody sees the raw plywood and screw heads and says “Oh you made those yourself.” On the right side are USB and cigarette lighter power outlets.


The fridge slides out for easy access, it’s at the exact right height for me to see and reach in.


The slide and all of the drawers have heavy duty full extension sliders that lock in and out, good when parked on a grade. This is mostly the kitchen drawer with the office in the back.


Behind the front seats I have tools, spare parts, backpacking and climbing gear on the bottom then clothes in duffel bags on the top. On the far side are 2 5 gallon jerry cans for water. This pile should get smaller over time.


Inside of the tent. There is a light and fan on the top along with storage space. The sheets, pillows, comforter all stay in there when it’s closed. When I pull in somewhere I just pop the tent up, attach the ladder and I’m all set. There are screened windows all the way around which give great ventilation.



The falls and canyon at Mathiessen State Park


Council Overhang, where American Indians used to hold meetings out of the rain





Getting Close



I have submitted my resignation from work and have been working hard on my to do list getting ready to leave on the Big Trip. It’s been hard winnowing down all of my possessions into what will fit into a Land Cruiser, apart from some personal stuff my sister Leonie has graciously agreed to store for me. You can’t just make one pass through all of your possessions and say “keep this, get rid of that.”  It’s an incremental process, I’ve been through clothes probably 4 times now. I guess I won’t really know exactly what I can keep until the day everything is packed up and I set off down the road.

Also been doing a lot of work on the Land Cruiser, getting it ready for a long trip. Lots of preventive maintenance plus upgrades. This weekend I have to knock out the rear storage and power plus the last of the suspension upgrades and it should be ready to go.