Seven Year Road Trip

Once upon a time, 2 Jackson Hole residents decided it was time to go adventuring.  Everyday they dreamed of traveling far away, exploring new places and meeting new people. They needed the perfect vehicle for this new life and in 2007 they found it.

Here is the story…

Born in 2003, a silver Ford E350 Van was taken to Sportsmobile in Fresno, CA to be outfitted with a 4X4 conversion, a pop top and full interior overhaul. The van was bought by a young couple who drove him for a year around the highways of America. They sold their van after their year on the road to a couple in Oregon who wanted to have a great vehicle for camping with their grandchildren.

In 2007, they listed their van on Sportsmobile.com to see who might be interested. We saw the van that Spring and it was perfect. We contacted SMB and they said it had been withdrawn.  The couple had decided not to sell. Months went by and we brainstormed our perfect 4 wheeled home. It always came out the same. The silver Sportsmobile had stolen our hearts.

Then on October 25th, the van appeared again online. We didn’t hesitate. Tim called, booked a plane ticket and flew to Oregon on October 31st. 10 hours later he was driving back to Jackson in Frank the Tank.

Adventuring Begins - Surprise Snow Fall

Adventuring Begins – Surprise Snow Fall – White Rim Thanksgiving

Our first adventure took us the White Rim Trail. Forecast: light flurries for one day. Reality: 6 inches of desert snow. We were snowbound for 3 days.

Frank has no problem

Frank takes it in stride

Before we’d bought Frank, he’d been in 4 wheel drive once before.  That changed a bit…over the next 2 years, we took Frank on month-long excursions, preparing ourselves and our coworkers for a greater adventure ahead.

Through the Canyons

Through the Canyons



One of many incredible places we woke up with Frank


A million dollar view

Outside Magazine Agrees

Frank loved the snow as well. With his thick canvas topper, we stayed warm in the Grand Targhee parking lot waiting for first tracks.

Frank the Skimobile

Frank the Skimobile

But he really enjoyed the desert and sand the best. On the dried lake beds outside of LA.  Frank likes to go fast.

Frank racing on the Pliya

Frank racing on the Playa

And then in 2009, we drove to Maine. We intended to drive the coastlines of the US for a year. Instead, we began a road trip that would last 4 years.

Here are two of our more recent adventures on the Apache Trail in Arizona and a day in the life of the desert outside of Joshua Tree National Park.

The Apache Trail

On The Playa

Frank for Sale

Here, Frank is all cleaned up and dressed up for his new owner! We spent the last night in Frank at Avila Beach on the night of the ‘Blood Moon’ eclipse listening to the seals and the sea.

Frank at Avila Beach the day we sold him:

2014-04-15 11.28.19

Over the past years, we’ve met amazing new friends from coast to coast, seen incredible places, explored spectacular corners of the United States.  On Monday, we passed Frank to his next owner. We already know that Tom will treat him right. And now we are off to our new adventure. But Frank will always be with us!

Rocinante - our new home

Rocinante – our new home

Comments (7):

  1. Demeree

    April 23, 2014 at 8:14 am

    Wow. Great story and pictures Tim & ML! Miss you guys!

  2. Casey Weiser

    April 23, 2014 at 8:46 am

    I am going to miss Frank! This brought tears to my eyes.

  3. Chrystal Young

    April 23, 2014 at 10:23 am

    Awesome, Mary Lynn! Makes me tear up a bit. Now, cast off the bowlines!

  4. Velma Utley

    April 23, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    I enjoyed seeing your travel with Frank. Wishing you much joy in your new home, Rocinante! Velma Utley

  5. Betty Wright Armbruster

    April 23, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    Ah,there is the name! So enjoyed reading about your Frank years. You are living the dream life!

  6. Carroll and Sue Wilkerson

    April 23, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    Tim thanks for the adventure! Amazing life you have!

  7. Andy Damis

    April 23, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    What a great trip! Hard to see him go.

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