instagram: @johnandmandifacebook: johnandmandiRss FeedContact Us

John and Mandi

us --> van --> overland
7 yrs and 6 days - end of the road

HD Off

Six Month Status Report

Nov 23, 2015
by John

We crossed the six month milestone a couple of weeks ago so we figured it would be fun to toss up some travel stats. In tribute to those who have to endure status meetings, especially the epic Monday morning paint the walls with your brain weekly recap, hopefully this will provide a distraction while the driveling drone drives on. Like all good employees, we borrowed this idea from those we followed.

Yellowstone National Park, WY, USA

Sometimes shit looks different when you glance back

Total Miles Driven: 16,815

Gallons of Diesel: 1,113

Average MPG: 15.11

Best MPG: 17.34

Worst MPG: 12.76

Most Expensive Diesel: $4.86 (Fort McPherson, NWT, on the Dempster Highway)

Least Expensive Diesel: $2.49 (Somewhere in Louisiana on our way to Galveston)

Average Cost Per Gallon of Diesel: $3.24

States Traveled: 15 (FL, AL, MS, LA, TX, NM, AZ, UT, WY, ID, MT, AK, WA, OR, CA)

Canadian Providences Traveled: 4 (Alberta, BC, Yukon, NWT)

U.S. National Parks Visited: 16 (Carlsbad Caverns, Petrified Forest, Joshua Tree, Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Glacier, Kenai Fjords, Wrangell-St. Elias, Denali, Olympic, Crater Lake, Redwood, Yosemite)

Canadian National Parks Visited: 2 (Banff, Jasper)

# Nights Spent in the Van: 134

# Nights Spent Elsewhere: 51 (8 afloat, 10 house sitting, 29 mooching off of friends and family, 4 in a hotel when visiting family)

Longest Consecutive # of Nights Spent in the Van: 93

Most Watched Movie: Despicable Me (1 & 2) - Reminds us of our nieces and nephew we lived with before setting off

Best Tour: Glacier Cruise in Seward

Favorite Highway: Dempster

Worst Highway: Tied - McCarthy Highway and Denali Highway

Most Memorable Experience: The mini stampede of bison we witnessed in Yellowstone

Uninvited Guests: 2 (a mouse in Haines and another in Olympic before we located the point of entry)

Number 1 Question We Get Asked: What are the purple/blue things on the side of the van - back boards?

Favorite Places We Stayed: 4 - Zion, Many Glacier, Resurrection River Trailhead overlooking Exit Glacier near Seward, Resurrection Pass Trailhead in Hope on a river full of salmon

Worst Places We Stayed: 2 - Free campground on the McCarthy Highway, rest area near Tipton, CA, that reeked of cow manure

Most Addictive New Snack: Dried mangos

Favorite New Food: Breakfast poutine in Banff

Favorite Recreatable Meal: Jason and Victoria's Carnitas (we've already made it again)

Best Coffee: Tied - Highliner Coffee in Sitka and $1.00 16 oz refills in Many Glacier

Worst Coffee: Cigarette butt tasting convenience store disgrace in Litton, BC

Unexpected Really Useful Items: Earthmate iPhone app from DeLorme (used for hiking), Camp towels (makeshift additional curtains to battle the endless northern summer days)

Most Valuable Players: Water bottles (Hydro Flasks and Nalgene), bucket(s), clothes pins (thanks for the idea Brenton and Shannon), tennis balls (used for self massages), iPhone, Keyport Slide (great recommendation from Claude-Alain), carabiners and S hooks

Things We Didn't Use Ever: GoPro Hero IV Silver (got a free replacement then sold it), Lifesaver Systems Jerry Can (idea was solid, water bottles are easier), collapsible sink

Things We Miss: Bathtub, oven, friends & family (technically not things, depending on the person)

Action Items

  • Enter our next country, Mexico!
  • Hammock time in Baja
  • Eat lots of tacos
  • Fresh smoothies, some spiked
  • Vitamin D therapy
  • Hang with other Pan-Amers


Navigating by 'USA' tag - Navigate by Date
Say what? (6)
Nov 23, 2015 at 02:47 PM
wow.. 6months already. Isn't if fascinating how quickly time passes... and how important it is to live each day to the fullest! Excited for you to be hitting Baja soon.. and us shortly after!
Nov 23, 2015 at 06:16 PM
Big thumbs up Rhonda! Time, just in itself, is absolutely surreal. See you soon.
Nov 23, 2015 at 07:09 PM
Hey Mandi and John,

Thrilled to read your posts and the accounting of your first six months of "life" on the road. I especially like the 8 nights spent "afloat." Are you afraid you risk your Pan Am Hwy street cred if you announce publicly that you kicked off your grand road trip adventure "afloat" on the Caribbean. Ha.

I wish you both the best of holidays and good luck as you drop south of the border. Can't wait to see some more of Mandi's fantastic photography. I expect fewer pics of mountains and more tablescapes with bowls of lime and a half empty bottle of tequila.

Best regards,


PS: not for sure driving across the entire state of Texas in one afternoon counts as seeing Texas. Maybe on your eventually return Pam Am Back North trip, say in 2025? Also, it may be more accurate to list Texas in countries visited rather than states. Hmmm?
Nov 24, 2015 at 03:48 PM
Hey Glenn!

No such thing as street cred for overlanders, we're all know-it-alls anyway. We thought afloat sounded cooler than at sea, cruise ship or ferry. No hiding the fact we kicked off with a cruise in the Caribbean, having a great time with a new friend named Glenn... isn't that you ; )

We spent one night in Galveston before the cruise and one full day driving across Texas so that counts for something. Be careful what you wish for. In the future there could be a big ass orange van parked in front of your place pissing off the HOA.

Missing you!

-John & Mandi
Nov 24, 2015 at 11:21 PM
Curious- what do you use the clothespins for? We find they handy in lots of ways..... but give us one more!
Nov 27, 2015 at 10:12 AM
I can't believe it's been 6 MONTHS already. You guys are a hoot! I gleefully look forward to your posts!
Leave a comment:

Notify me of follow-up comments and new posts by email.
Notify me of new posts by email.

© 2001 - 2024