Our first two weeks living #vanlife has been amazing but has also come with its challenges as we expected. Our first week was spent at a campground in Sooke, BC so that we were just down the road from Logan's work. We wanted to have the access to power and water and stay on the grid as we test ran everything in case any maintenance was needed. We were able to keep Gus plugged in for use of charging devices and using our lights that run off the battery bank. As well the campground had a drinking water station for us to be able to refill our water tanks. This gave us a good idea of how much water we will use and how long it will last when we are off grid. Our two, 23 L water tanks last us around 4 days, for dishes, showering, cooking/drinking, etc.
We took Gus on his fist big road trip on day 6! The second week living full time in the bus was also our first week 'off' since leaving our crazy busy construction job, completing the entire bus conversion and Logan starting his new job. We left the island and crossed over to the mainland to end up in Vancouver for a couple days. Here we got to see family and enjoy some time off. We got to watch three family members run in the #bmomarathon, and wow was there a ton of people there! During our two days in Vancouver we also went to White Rock by bus/train for a day, where we were taken to the famous Moby Dicks for fish and chips! Definitely recommend taking a tour around White Rock and the beautiful beaches there if you get the opportunity to!
Where did we park Gus Bus while in this massive city? Our family was staying at a b&b so we were able to park in the alley beside the house, with just inches on either side for Gus to fit snug. The city was noisy compared to our quite ocean town that we have gotten used to. Partying kids, and sirens all night were a bit different from our norm of waves crashing, owls hooing and distant highway noise! Being in this big hustling bustling city for 2 days reminded us why we are thankful to be able to take Gus out into the peace and quiet of the wilderness that we love.
After leaving Vancouver we traveled to Squamish for a few days with Logan's parents. We found an adorable little cabin along a creek to stay in a cabin getaway called Sunwolf in Squamish Valley. We will definitely be back to stay in these beautiful cabins one day. While here, we took on the adventure of climbing the Stawamus chief to the first peak! What a hike, equipped with tons of stairs, ladders, many cliffs and rock walls, as well as chains to climb the mountains steep rocky trail. Beautiful, breathe taking, challenging, exhausting and rewarding all wrapped into one. This hike took about 3 hours round trip with stopping for a picnic at the top with some chipmunks. While in squamish we also got to do a beautiful photo shoot with Logan's parents in a gorgeous location so keep an eye on the site for the album to be posted soon!
The day the mouse arrived in Gus Bus
After our hike on our second day in Squamish we had some investigating to do. Logan had a suspicion a mouse had tagged a ride in the bus somewhere along our travels as we noticed some tattered up paper towel on our kitchen shelf. Though we weren't totally convinced we wanted to be safe than sorry. We went through our side storage compartment at the back of the bus where we were sure a mouse would be if we had one in the bus. Also this is where our snowboards and all our important gear is...all the pretty expensive to replace stuff. There was no trace whatsoever in this area so we thought we were in the clear as we had been in every other cupboard/shelf, etc within a day or so. Never underestimate mice though. We had been sleeping out of our bus for 2 nights and had been out of the bus all day for about 4 days. So the morning we were packing up to leave Squamish we found mouse tracings in our cupboard while trying to find a Tupperware container, not what you want to find inside your food dish...especially when your as crazy about sanitation as I(Brooke) am. So our Squamish stay was extended 1 more day as we cleaned out literally every crevice of Gus and sanitized all of our belongings.
After a long day of cleaning out the bus in 30 degree weather we stayed in the Walmart parking lot in Squamish. Never have we seen so many live in vehicles of all kinds in one parking lot at once. From sprinters, to buses to pick up trucks to minivans and beyond we saw it all. Clearly everyone who is tired of paying rent has gathered in this area and have united as one force. The next morning before we left a couple stopped by the bus in their awesome sprinter van and invited us to a #vanlife get together that was taking place over the weekend at a nearby campground. We went to check it out to be a part of the culture and see what all the hype was about. What a neat experience, we learnt from our one night stay that Gus bus is fricken awesome and everyone was super friendly and down to earth. We will definitely be checking more of these get together's out as we missed the most exciting night filled with music and laughter. We are thankful to have been invited to such a unique event where people literally came from all over the world to attend.
It was hard to leave but the next day we made our way back to Vancouver Island as Logan had to go back to work. Stay tuned as our adventure continues, our summer is going to be action packed!
Brooke & Logan