Ski Bumming and Going on the Road.
We are Justin and Bailey.
Justin is from south of Atlanta, Georgia and I (Bailey) am from a small town called Sutter Creek in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. We met at Kirkwood Mountain Resort in the fall 2014. I had worked there the previous winter season and was extremely excited for the upcoming season. He had come to work in the ski industry from the south and try the ski bum out once and for all. We were introduced by mutual friends and as they say, the rest is history.
We have lived and worked at Kirkwood each winter season since. If you have never heard of Kirkwood, you should know that Kirkwood is a remote ski resort in the northern Sierra Nevada and it has one of the highest annual snowfalls in North America. It is located on one of the most scenic highways in the state, Highway 88, and in any direction is at least 40 miles away from the nearest town or grocery store. To get to the closest town (South Lake Tahoe) you have to traverse over two mountain passes that have a habit of closing if the snow accumulates over a foot. Even with all of that Kirkwood is one of the best places to be for one reason: the mountain. With world class steeps and record breaking annual snow fall, Kirkwood is a hardcore skiers or riders dream. We are at the tail end of the biggest seasons in the last 50 years, collecting an epic 692 inches of snowfall! Justin is an expert snowboarder and I am his skiing counterpart with almost as much skill and a lot less confidence. This year was a dream come true in many more ways than one. Needless to say living in this place is an adventure, and we absolutely love everything about it. A lot of folks have never experienced a snow storm that dumps over 10 feet in a few days, let alone multiple in a row. For that I consider ourselves lucky, because we have once in a lifetime experiences everyday.
In the fall of 2012, I saw my first van life hashtag and from there I was hooked on the idea of living and traveling the country in an old school van. That was 2 years before I met and fell in love with Justin, and back in those days I was a 19 year old college drop out working at a pizza place in my hometown day dreaming of all kinds of wild ideas. All of which I had no plan in of how to fullfill. Fast forward 3 years to the winter of 2015, Justin and I had begun talking and brainstorming the idea of building out a school bus into a tiny home. We gave our self a timeline of a year and half to save and plan to build out our dream bus home.
As we went on with our lives for the next few months, we started to talk about what we really wanted out of the bus home. Our main concern was travelling, we enjoyed the open road and wanted to see and experience all the places and things that this country had to offer. We had a small taste of life on the road in summer of 2015. We drove Justin’s 1993 Jeep Cherokee across the country from Kirkwood back to Georgia at the end of the winter season in 2015. Then, in the fall we drove the very same Jeep all the way back to California. We went to some awesome places on those trips including Las Vegas, Moab, New Orleans, The Grand Canyon and many more.
Since we are Ski bums, we work and play in the winter time. Living seasonally has given us the oppurtunity to have half the year off. After we realized that spending our off season travelling was what the we wanted to pursue, my dream of van living came back into reality. We made the choice to buy a van instead of a bus to convert into a home.
In January of 2017 We bought our dream van. A 1985 Ford Econoline 350 with a 4wd conversion. There is a picture below. We are so very excited to share our journey with you! Follow our upcoming van build and check out our blog to keep updated on our travels this summer!