Where we've been

In my last post I wrote that we've driven Wesley, our 1985 VW Westphalia camper van, over 5,400 miles from Alexandria, Virginia, to San Augustinillo, Mexico. Since I make a lot of things up when I write - an author's perogative, I tell the kids - I wanted to see how close to the truth that number was. So as part of J's last math lesson, we got out the Mexico map and figured out the kilometer segments for the legs of our journey and added them up. Then we did a math equation to convert our total kilometers to miles, which is a unit of measurement no one in the rest of the world except us Americans can relate to. It turns out that since July 31, when we left Alexandria, we've actually only driven 1,759 miles in Mexico, and 2,196 miles in the U.S. from Alexandria to Laredo, Texas, where we crossed the border. We had accumulated 1,499 miles before July 31, most of those miles being between our house and Trader Joe's, which is less than a mile away, confirming my suspicion that when we are not sleeping, we are stopped at a traffic light on our way to that fine grocery store.

As part of the math lesson, we also did subtraction: 5,454 miles (our current odometer reading) less 1,499 miles (our odometer reading on July 31, when we left Alexandria) and learned that we've driven 3,955 miles. We checked this by doing an addition problem: adding 2,196 (our U.S. miles driven since July 31) to 1,759 (our Mexican miles driven). It comes out the same either way - we've driven 3,955 miles since July 31.

While that may seem like a lot of driving, it actually seems like a lot more if you drove it, and it's a more impressive number if you don't convert it from kilometers, which is why I've decided that when I jog, I no longer am going to measure my runs in miles. I ran five kilometers today - up and down the beach. Then I went for a swim in the ocean. It was pretty darn good.

The other thing J and I did as part of his learning was to recall where it was we've been in the ten or so weeks since we left Alexandria. Here's what we came up (the date in parens is the date we left the place).

Alexandria (July 31) to Williamsburg, Virginia

Williamsburg (August 3) to Kerr Lake,Virginia

Kerr Lake,Virginia (August 4) to Walkerton, North Carolina

Walkerton (August 5) to Statesville, North Carolina (Norman Lake Campground)

Our hosts in Walkerton, North Carolina - Patti and Frank in W

Statesville (August 6) to Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta (August 10) to Double Springs, Alabama (Clear Creek Campground on Lewis Smith Lake)

This is the view we woke too at our Clear Creek camp in Alabama on Tuesday

Double Springs (August 11) to Fulton, Mississippi (Tennessee River/Tombigbee Waterway Campground)

Another highlight - sunset in Mississippi

Fulton (August 12) to Jonesboro, Arkansas

Jonesboro (August 13) to Bull Shoals - White River State Park, Arkansas

J and Coconut sleeping on the top bunk of Wesley after an evening downpour washed out the tent Maya planned to sleep in

Bull Shoals - White River State Park (August 16) to Tulsa, Oklahoma

View of the White River from our camp

Tulsa (August 18) to Pat Mayse West State Park, Texas

Pat Mayse West (August 19) to Palestine, Texas

Palestine (August 20) to Austin, Texas

Austin (August 23) to San Antonio, Texas

Vanamos family poses with our very cool and generous host family in Austin.

San Antonio (August 24) to Laredo, Texas

Laredo (August 25) to Hidalgo, Mexico.

We pitched our tent in the middle of the campground so we could have this view of the mountain. We made the right choice to leave Laredo.

Hidalgo (August 31) to Matehuala

Matehuala (September 1) to Santa Maria del Rio

We needed to measure the height of the van to make sure we could get into the secured parking lot in Santa Maria del Rio. J could barely reach the ceiling of the "parking garage" and as you can see here, that gave us plenty of clearance

Santa Maria del Rio (September 2) to Guanajuato

View from our campsite in Guanajuato, Mexico

Guanajuato (September 4) to San Miguel de Allende

Sean gets Wesley in focus for its photo shoot

San Miguel de Allende (September 8) to Los Azufres

Los Azufres (September 10) to Huetamo

When we reached the top of one of the mountains we'd climbed, we just had to stop and pee

Huetamo (September 11) to Zihuatanejo

Zihuatanejo (September 19) to La Barrita

La Barrita (September 20) to Pie de la Cuesta

We had the RV park in Pie de la Cuesta, just outside Acapulco, all to ourselves.

Pie de la Cuesta (September 22) to Acapulco

Just to prove we made it, I took this picture of Wesley on the streets of Acapulco. Our advice, skip it.

Acapulco (September 23) to Playa Ventura

We stayed at a hotel on Playa Ventura on our way to Puerto Escondido. It had a real nice pool tucked in between those palm trees.

Playa Ventura (September 25) to Puerto Escondido

Puerto Escondido (October 1) to Playa Escobilla

The rustic cabanas at the Cooperative was our launching pad to see the arribata of the Olive Ridley turtle.

Playa Escobilla (October 3) to San Augustinillo

San Augustinillo (October 9) to ?

It's been a great adventure to date, and we plan to be on the road for another ten months at least.

I also want to thank Paige Conner Totaro, our friend and co-founder of the All Over the Map website which is hosting the Vanamos blog, for finding a map to add to the blog that tracks where we've been. That feature is something that people had been requesting and Paige got it done. We hear ya folks!