Friday, April 30, 2010

My 50-state kayaking and camping adventure.

Starting in June 2009 I began a 50-state adventure with the idea of kayaking/camping in all 50-states. My van is now outfitted with a mobile computer lab and solar panel, t.v. antenna, and kayak rack. It has all the comforts of home. I needed a new goal in life... one bigger than myself... and this tour is what I came up with. I will be updating the map below... for those of you who wish to track my travels.

FIRST STATE PADDLED... I became a volunteer for the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary... learned to kayak here in the Monterey Bay and love it. So, that makes California my first state. More photos will be posts and can also be found on my Facebook... .

SECOND STATE PADDLED... I made a "shake-down" trip to AZ and TX... to get my van ready, install Solar, etc. Stopped in AZ to visit a friend from High School and also to kayak with another friend at Watson Lake in Prescott, AZ. See photos on my Facebook...

Departing Monterey Bay first week of July 2009, to begin working on states 3-50. Last two states will be Alaska and Hawaii. I'll drive to Alaska. I'll fly to Hawaii and rent a kayak... that will be the last state. Then maybe I'll settle down.... ahhhh NOT! People ask how long my adventure will last... and I just reply "Don't know!" "Don't care!" "However long it takes."

I hope people will follow along with me in the adventure.


  1. Day One (July 17, 2009) Spent the first night at Camping World (San Martin, CA) and got good sleep. Going in to get a cover for the trailer spare which I have strapped to the tounge. Don't want any more UV damage to that tire. Will probably take my time here today... resting, researching where I might want to go between here and Tahoe... and hopefully I'll come up with someplace I can access with this trailer, that doesn't have major highway music.

    The next couple days I'll just spend tidying up the van... and trying to find the "Places" for all the stuff. I can condense a lot now... the hard part is over.

    The trailer seems to track pretty well, tho I am still pretty nervous about it... and not comfortable at speeds over 55... but have been up to 65, accidentally. CA traffic shows little mercy for slow drivers. That comfort level really isn't because of the trailer, I was that way before also... every since the 2005 van accident that totalled my Ford Aerostar... and my shoulder..... and my neck... and my nerves.

    Wonder what tomorrow will bring?
    Happy Trails.

  2. Help... I can't figure out how to edit my blog.

  3. Hi, my name is rebecca and I'm getting ready to start my traveling. I have a truck and home made camper I'm driving. I'm a little leery, of going on the road myself. How do you do it? I would like to follow someone else till I get my feet wet.....

  4. Hi Becky, Sorry I only just saw your post, June 30, 2010. I suggest you join Yahoo Vandwellers group. You are welcome at any of the gatherings that happen... they are rather spontaneous and fluid. Next big one I know of will be in the Southwest in Feb 2011. Some will be in Quartzsite in Oct 2010. Most don't want to be physically followed but the group Vandwellers will give you lots of ideas of safe places to camp/park, and even a lot of drive-ways. We are a tribe, a family, and we take care of each other. Please come to Vandwellers and post your concerns there.


Who is Swankie?

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Anywhere, USA, Full-Time USA traveler, United States
Visit me on In 2006, I was shopping for a wheelchair. By 2007, I had new knees, better health and by 2008 a kayak. In Aug 2013, I kayaked my 49th state, Alaska, at the Holgate Glacier and in May 2014, I kayaked Hawaii, my 50th state, to celebrate my 70th Birthday and the finale to the wonderful adventure of Kayaking America? Next up... Solo Hiking the Arizona Trail, 820 miles in Spring 2017. In training now for the hike.