Van life has its ups and downs just like living in a house. Although, unexpected mishaps can quickly become a disaster that eats your day. We had left Eugene, Oregon and had enjoyed sometime on the Pacific Coast.

We are both interested in healthy options and became intrigued with brewing Kombucha in our van. We brew two gallons, and that makes just about enough for the two of us. We are still working on our system and during our break in Eugene we worked to master the process. The scobies, the bacteria that makes the fermentation happen, are very active and the process is working.

All of us we have days that are more difficult than other days. Life is not about avoiding difficult days it’s about how you handle them. We were grateful to have enjoyed some days doing office work along the Pacific coast. We carried on into Santa Clara for a Let’s Dance program before we headed south to Big Sur for a well deserved break.

As we drove out of the busy city, Hollis went to the center of the van only to realize the an entire gallon container of kombucha had spilled, the carpet was saturated and we both realized the entire van smelled like fermented vinegar! We really could not continue in this condition, so many levels of intolerable! As we inspected the damage we realized that this was going to be a project. We had to replace the carpet, clean things, relay carpet, and make more kombucha. We both sat in silence as we realized our plans to Big Sur were not happening tonight. We begrudgingly began to make plans to spend the afternoon with this overwhelming project.

We were relieved to find inexpensive carpet remnants and then drove into the city to find a DIY carwash tall enough for the van. We struggle through getting it all done with tired hungry bodies, carpet out and new carpet in. Hollis remastered the arrangement of things to assure this didn’t happen again. By the time we were finished we were both exhausted and frustrated with things and needing downtime. We sat in silence at dinner as Hollis reviewed the schedule and map,” Well I am grateful for this mess today because if we had gone to Big Sur for two days we would have to double back for our Let’s Dance program in Salinas, CA tomorrow!” Silver lining. We both stare at each other with raised eyebrows in surprise, realizing plans change, we both begin to relax and smile at each other, the stress of the day begins melting away. Bright Hawk says, “Well I guess it was meant to work out this way! We needed to slow down, study our schedule better, figure out a better system for the kombucha and finally get around to replacing the carpet, and now we have. ” Hollis agrees.

We both smiled and Bright Hawk asks, “Then do we have any time to spend in Big Sur?” Hollis reviews the schedule again and happily answers, “Actually we have several days to shoot video, get pictures and get a little rest.” We both look at each other as the stress fades, we have had easier days and will again. We know that everyone has moments like this, well, the details vary for sure! Often though as we sit and reflect we can find the silver lining in any hard situation. We took several quiet breathes together finishing our dinner and knowing that all moments pass–good, bad or otherwise.

We spent several days slowly meandering down the part of the Pacific Coast called “Big Sur” – savoring each beautiful moment because we are so aware of what we just went through. The beauty of the cliffs, the wisdom of the redwood trees and soothing nature of the waves washed away our rough start to the trip. We even spent time dancing in the sun with our shadows!

We slowly worked our way down the coastline on Highway 1 towards Morro Bay. We had pieced together that by the end of March we will have done the entire Pacific Coast Highway from Washington to Oregon and California! We were profoundly grateful for this life we have manifested. Even though it’s hard sometimes, we love our lives in the van! We worked hard to get to this point, we both have invested so much time and energy and every bit of it is worth it! For this we are grateful!

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