Short hair, cuba, and dirt bagging – it’s going to be a good 2015!

Greetings Friends and Family,

History has a lovely way of repeating itself. During my short 25 years I’m already seeing patterns. In January I chopped and donated my hair for a new look, only to realize I was copying my spunky five-year old style.

And last week I once again gave my one-month notice to work, sparking the beginning of a new adventure. “We knew this day would come,” said our HR lady sadly, upon hearing the news.

This time, however, Miss Independent will not be traveling solo. My sweet, sexy, and adventurous partner Tyler will also be at the helm.

Left to Right_ little V, chopped, hot springs, bike tour, SF

Left to Right_ little V, chopped, hot springs, bike tour, SF

We start our trip in late April with two weeks in Cuba. Fifty percent of my blood hails from this rhythmic land of salsa music, yet it remains an enigma. Now that Tyler and I are enrolled in a latin dance class and because tensions are easing with the U.S., it’s the perfect time to experience the culture before it starts to change.

From there we’ll spend three weeks traveling through Mexico, Belize and Guatemala, an encore to the reverse route that my cousin and I followed in 2011. I have very important lingering questions about these regions. Were the tacos really as drippy and delicious as my tastebuds remember? Do the nurse sharks still linger by the fishing docks on Caye Caulker, Belize? Does the “Quieres pan?” lady still shuffle the Guatemalan shores of Lake Atitlan selling her daily bread?

We will return to Lake Tahoe with bellies full of fresh fruit just in time to load up Tyler’s truck with the newly purchased camper shell and head north. We’ll be spending June camping, climbing and eating cliff-bars through Oregon to Whidbey Island, Washington.

During July and August we plan to bike along Highway 1 from Seattle to San Diego, taking way too many pictures in brightly colored spandex and helmets which will be available on our blog (coming soon).

Then we meander back to Washington and live out of the truck from September through January. We’ll start in Canada’s National Parks like Jasper and Banff, and then follow the warmer weather south to take advantage of some good ol’ Ahmer’can treasures like Glacier, Yellowstone, Rocky Mountain, Zion and Bryce National Parks. Our google map has become so overrun with place markers that only bits of terrain leak around them, depending on the zoom.

In early 2016 we will take advantage of being under 30 and able to get year-long work visas in New Zealand. To plan beyond 2016 would be out of character, and likely useless as Plan A typically evolves into plan W by the time it rolls around.

The promise of a big(ger) adventure has not slowed the quality or quantity of our weekend warrior-ing. Winter skipped Lake Tahoe altogether this year, making it easy to leave the snow-less mountains when not biking or climbing.

On Valentine’s Day weekend we teamed up with a couple friends to do a three-day bike tour around the hot-spring riddled Eastern Sierra. Every day we followed a simple mantra: Bike. Soak. Camp. Rinse. Repeat. Turns out, this easy recipe yields unlimited servings of gorgeous views, relaxing soaks, well-earned meals, and good odds of a shooting star sighting.

Tyler takes the “other duties as required” section of the boyfriend description to the next level and surprised me last weekend with a San Francisco weekend getaway and concert tickets. We frolicked in golden gate park, squirmed under the gaze of an anaconda in the California Academy of Science, and split a meal with my best friend and her beau.

A backpacking trip to the Lost Coast in northern California is on the docket mid-month, and we’re hoping to do a big-wall climb in Yosemite before we take off.

Sending you lots of love,