For the first time in our lives, we’ve been away from our home country for a year and a half. Flying in from Ecuador, we’re visiting the U.S. with fresh eyes.
Our latest video covers our two-month visit. We do a big loop of the western United States from Denver to Seattle; south of the Bay Area in California; Flagstaff, Arizona; then back to Denver.
The main reason for this visit is to see family. We’ve been gone for so long and it’s time to reconnect. We see Eric’s mom, three out of four of our eldest kids (the eldest is out to sea with the Coast Guard), Brittany’s parents, and Brittany’s brothers and their families. But as we go from place to place, we find interesting places to camp. Moab is a bit too interesting. We nearly slide off a cliff when we lose traction in thick mud.
We close our visit instructing at Overland Expo West in Flagstaff. We exhibit in the DIY Showcase with our Jeep Wrangler, our first overland build. Our main presentation is about the Pan-American Highway, and Caspian takes the microphone a couple of times. We also sit on several panels. It’s a joy to reconnect with friends in the community and see how much the industry is growing.
We didn’t know at the time, but this visit is the last time we’ll see Eric’s mom here on earth. She passed away on August 1, 2023 at the age of 91. Though it was hard to edit the footage with the loss so fresh, we’re grateful to preserve her memory this way. She will be deeply missed, but we’re grateful she’s no longer in pain.
In our next video, we fly back to Ecuador and explore the northern part of the country, starting with the verdant Mindo Valley.