We finally managed to leave our beloved Bishop, California. We tried to complete climbing projects we had started working on and that was interesting as I don’t think I have ever worked so much on a singular boulder problem.

Good bye Bishop!

Good bye Bishop!

In any case I’m happy to have finally sent an ultra classic problem in the Buttermilks called “High Plains Drifter V7“. I must have tried the problem over 30 times in the span of 3 days but in the end it went. I think it was more of a mental challenge than a physical one for me. There’s one move called the drifter move and you really have to commit to it to stick it. I though I was giving it all I had but after the fact I think I wasn’t getting that move due to the lack of commitment to it. I think I’m also not use to climb problems that are somewhat harder so it’s also a learning curve. Elaine filmed it and it’s below.

On the way out of Bishop, we drove through Death Valley national park. We keep getting surprised by the landscape the USA has to offer. This place is just insane looking and sort of creepy at times. It looks like you’re on a different planet. There’s a lot to do there and we only touched the surface. The one thing we did was to go walk in the sand dunes. We walked a little further than most people go and it paid off, the view was surreal.

sand dunes

Elaine going to the high point

When we saw the sand dunes, it was around dusk and it was time to figure out where to park for the night. We knew we wanted to see these dunes better and spending the night not too far from this landmark was the plan. We pulled in the parking lot for the sand dunes and looked around and there weren’t any signs saying that parking overnight was illegal. Shortly after we parked, it was perhaps 6pm and pitch black outside already. Some strong lights lit up the van from behind and it was obvious that it was a police car shining it’s light on us. So we got out and we got the classic treatment of the american cop.

I get out of the van first.
I take them out of my pockets and I walk towards him as I can’t really see him because of the bright lights.
Of course I comply. Now Elaine is coming out and also has hands in her pockets because it’s cool outside.

We felt like it was quite unnecessary given we weren’t any threat but what can you do.. this is america 🙂 All he wanted to know is if we were going to spend the night there, which I told him we were considering doing. He said we couldn’t sleep there and left. This whole thing lasted less than a minute. Weird.

So we had a complimentary night waiting for us Thursday night in Las Vegas. I play an online game called MyVegas on Facebook and for having used it before, it’s awesome. This reward we redeemed gave us a completely free night (no resort fees either) at the Palace Station Casino. We had enough points to redeem a free buffet pass for two people as well. It’s a really good start to the vegas part of this trip! We had a couple of showers each, we watched tv, did a lot of internet and simply relaxed. It’s always nice to enjoy some extra comfort! No gambling at all so far.. we have yet to decide if we can afford it.

And as you might have expected it, buffet was almost a bad idea when you’ve been living on the cheap for a while. We both overdid it and felt like crap for an hour after leaving the restaurant. I went nuts on the fried chicken while Elaine had good luck finding vegetarian dishes to eat. In any case, they normally want only $6.99 for lunch at the Fiest Buffet at Palace Station. It’s a no brainer.

More pictures below the budget. Cheers!

Our  budget for this week is now $209.56 CAD for food & fun. 

We filled up at the lowest cost since we left. $2.219/Gallon in Nevada. Now that’s a good way to save money!

Dec 11 – Dec 17 : Weekly & Totals since we left 25 weeks ago.

Fuel: $36.82 / $3629.98
Food: $66.49 / $1825.44
Fun: $24.55 / $3363.81

Total for the week without fuel: $91.04
Total with fuel: $127.86
Total spent since the beginning: $8819.23

Total budget: $15756.21
Budget left: $6936.98

E & M

van living

Morning coffee with Conrad & Kristine & the kids


Morning breakfast reading the newspaper .. simple life!


Picture doesn’t pay justice to how weird looking Death Valley national park is


Super cloudy.. at times we could only see 10-15 meters ahead


Nick working on High Plains Drifter while Conrad is topping out on Change of Hearts V6

IMG_1405 IMG_1447 IMG_1451 IMG_3623 IMG_3633 IMG_3642 IMG_3646 IMG_3649 IMG_3651 IMG_3656 IMG_3668 IMG_3680 sand dunes IMG_1399



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