Seven day vacation for $28/day

For the first of many long road trips, Colin and I spent a week in the North Cascades National Park. While this style of trip is what we envision for our future van days, we also considered our first road trip a bit of a vacation. So we splurged… on booze, mainly. We learned a lot of good lessons and took in some breathtaking views. And when we got home, we realized we had only spent $395 between us. What can you do with $395*? A whole lot!

Friday, August 18: Grocery shop ($126) and food prep for the week ahead. This right here is the money saver.

vanlife-planning-food
Lots of sandwiches. Not pictured: Booze – because you gotta go with what moves you.

Saturday, August 19: Fill up the van with gas ($48), drive to the national park, hike Heather Maple Pass Loop (7.2 miles, 2000 ft elevation gain), stay overnight at Klipchuck campground ($12).

Vacation Heather Loop
Highly recommend this hike for anybody – the views were unbelievable.

Sunday, August 20: Hike Blue Lake Trail (4.4 miles, 1050 ft elevation gain), enjoy an incredible cider tasting at Methow Valley Cider House ($20), “enjoy” an off-roading adventure (some more than others), nail a secluded dispersed camping spot in the middle of nowhere, stargaze to the heart’s delight.

IMG_0011
Wow. What a beautiful van. I mean, really. So beautiful.

Monday, August 21: Solar shower! Pull out the camp chairs, read, and enjoy the (partial) eclipse! Load up on some local cider at the Mazama Store ($26 – because vacation), go rock climbing, drive up to Hart’s Pass campground ($8), camp under the stars.

IMG_0012
Safety first! Hat hair second.
IMG_0013
The vansion is so advanturous. Look at it so close to the edge!

Tuesday, August 22: Explore trails, see an old log cabin, trail run to the Ross Lake dam (2.2 miles, 500 ft elevation gain), drive to all the overlooks and act like tourists (which we were).

IMG_0014
No filter – just gorgeous glacial water.

Wednesday, August 23: Hike up to Hidden Lake Lookout (8 miles, 3300 ft elevation gain). Exhaust thyself by making it a day hike. Sleep overnight in the parking lot after enjoying well-deserved chili mac and booze.

Hidden lake lookout vacation
The end goal: the old fire lookout. The real goal is to get there first and sleep inside but the secondary goal is just to get there – and we did!

Thursday, August 24: Explore unmarked roads in the North Cascades National Forest, settle down alongside a creek and take a well-deserved rest day with 2 hour naps (no vacation is complete without some solid napping), lots of reading and solar showers. Fill up the tank with gas ($59), spend an inordinate amount of money on one can of propane from the awesome Goat’s Beard Mountain Supply Store ($8), and pick up ice and chapstick from the Mazama Store ($11).

vacation van shower
The bag of water and bag of wine were both depleted soon after this photo was taken.

Friday, August 25: All squeaky clean and well-rested, hit the road to tackle the Sahale Glacier (12.25 miles, 4000 ft elevation gain). Set up camp and sleep at the base of the glacier.

vacation sahale glacier
Best damn sunset I’ve ever seen.

Saturday, August 26: High-tail it out of there upon waking up and hit the road for home! Enjoy amazing burgers (and a rootbeer float!) at Mondo ($50) before leaving the area.

vacation sahale glacier
K, bye, campsite! Thanks for blocking the wind!

*For those keeping track, I can only recall $368 worth of charges, but I know it’s $395. When I figure out where that extra $27 went to, I’ll update it. Probably booze. Because vacation.

Author: Lisa

Over one year in van life and loving it. Hiker, rock climber, novice mountain biker, and professional napper. Official “documenter” of our time with Vaniel. Favorite podcast: Stuff You Should Know.

Leave a Comment