After 18 years aboard Nine of Cups sailing around the world, it was time for a change. We wanted to continue with our vagabond lifestyle … just not on a sailboat. Land travel appealed to us. Some folks prefer big rigs, but we've always preferred a simpler lifestyle that allows us more flexibility for travel. We purchased Blue, a 2015 Ford Transit 250 cargo van, in July 2017 and intend to upfit him to meet our personal needs and then travel North America ... and maybe beyond. Come along with us for the adventure.

A good friend, George Swallow, created this slightly modified Van Gogh painting.

A good friend, George Swallow, created this slightly modified Van Gogh painting.

We’ve accumulated a lot of information on the "upfit" adventure as we prepared ourselves and Blue for a nomadic life on land after nearly two decades at sea.

We’ve also whisked Blue away on a few trips while we we’ve been doing the conversion.

Finally, we’ve put together a number of blogs related to living in a small van and the camping lifestyle. Hopefully, you’ll find some of them informative, some interesting and some humorous.

Scroll down the page or just click on any of the thumbnails below to read more.

Upfitting Blue

Just click on a thumbnail below to read the associated blog post.

Travels with Blue

Upfitting Blue portended to be a long and arduous process if we completed all the work we’d planned. We finally agreed as long as we had a place to sleep, a toilet, a fridge and the electronics in place, we’d be good to go - we could certainly put in shelves, cupboards and do the finish work later. A good road trip would give us a chance to live in Blue for a few months and see what worked, what didn’t and how we fared with the van life. Besides, we were getting antsy to be on the move after staying in one place for so long. So, on May 1, 2018, we set out on our first big road trip with Blue. We called it ’The Great Western Loop’. Follow along with us by clicking on any of the thumbnails below.

Great Western Loop


Our inaugural trip with Blue was a 5,000 mile loop through Arizona, California, Oregon and then back down through Nevada. Our original plans were ambitious and included much more, but just as when we were sailing, our travel style was slow and we found lots of diversions. We may have covered less territory, but we saw and enjoyed every mile along the way.

The Tall Timber - Hobo Loop

Well, we’re off again! It’s been triple-digit hot in Las Vegas (yup, we know … Mojave Desert in July … what can we expect, right?) and so, it only made sense to head out again in search of something ‘less heated’ than our desert. We’ve done our research and come up with a route. The major planned itinerary stops on what we’re calling the Tall Timber-Hobo Loop (TTH) include Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota, Tall Timber Days in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, Voyageurs National Park in northern Minnesota and the 118th Annual Hobo Convention (yes, you read that right) in Britt, Iowa. Embellishments will be made as we go. After Iowa? No idea, but we need to be back in Las Vegas by the end of August. Follow along with us…

TTH Map.jpg

Life with Blue

Living in a camper van required a number of lifestyle changes. While the 18 years we spent living aboard and sailing Nine of Cups around the world went a long way in preparing us for our new lifestyle, life with Blue certainly was and is a big learning experience. We’ve written a number of blogs that describe some of our experiences and what we learned. We hope you enjoy them.