YogaSlackers Sam Salwei and Raquel Hernández are hitting the road hard. After a mechanic declared that their beloved home, the Peace Love Car (PLC), has only a year to live due to a rusting frame, they decided to take it on a 45,000-mile tour of North America. The PLC is a colorful 1988 Ford Festiva that has been mobile residence and transport to several YogaSlackers over the past 10 years.
As a final hurrah, Raquel and Sam are driving to 49 U.S. States and nine Canadian provinces – going on adventures, performing and teaching a mix of slacklining, yoga, AcroYoga, and Yogaslacker conditioning as they go. (They also hit up Hawaii as part of Wanderlust O’ahu, but the car couldn’t make the trip.) We will be following their adventure as they travel from Wanderlust to Wanderlust throughout the year!
• • •
Entry #20: July 29
The Peace Love Car is still alive! 478,000 on the odometer and counting. Since the end of the tour, the PLC got a few months of rest while Sam and Raquel visited Thailand and Hawaii. But he is now roaming the roads of North America, enjoying some bonus days of life. He met his successor (a combination retired ice cream van + truck chassis) a few months ago and realized that he will need to last for quite a while longer, since the new PLC – currently unnamed – is at least 18 months away from being ready to hit the road and start it’s own adventure.
As always, the PLC is in good spirits! As we write this, he is helping build the new PLC by towing its future front end. He can’t help himself… after all the spirit of the PLC is loaded with the need to give. In the coming months, the PLC will drive coast to coast twice more: San Diego to Jacksonville to Portland before taking a three-month break while Sam and Raquel explore Asia, New Zealand, and Australia. After that? Well, there’s always another adventure.
Entry #19: November 5
Virginia to New Orleans
Odometer Reading: 460,607
Miles driven: 40,424 miles in 308 days (131 miles per day)
Next Wanderlust: Austin, TX
Adventure of the Week: We did it! We taught at all 50 States in one year! Actually, in 300 days! This year of travel and teaching has taught us a lot about ourselves, as individuals, as a couple and as friends. It tested our willpower, our endurance and our ability to stay on track.
The Road to Wanderlust started as the End of the Road Tour. We knew the PLC was dying and we both always wanted to visit all 50 states. We combined our passions for the PLC and for traveling on one grand tour. We started planning the trip in November 2013 and started the trip on January 10th 2014. We didn’t allow a lot of buffer zone for making mistakes! But somehow we managed to pull through.
It was through the help of countless old friends and new friends that this tour became a reality and was completed with success. In the process we had a lot of breakdowns: mechanical, physical and emotional. But knowing that there was someone waiting on us to teach, to share our passion and to share smiles, falls and successes gave us a lot of hope, energy and enthusiasm to stay on the road.
We sit here today, writing messages about the Kickstarter campaign, contacting people to help us share our story even more. Not with the intention to make money, fame or status. But with an intense desire to inspire others to pack their bags, get their kids on their car, on a plane or boat and go outside to explore the magical world that we all live in. To see old friends, to meet new friends and to finally meet that special person that lives within you.
Create your very own Road to Wanderlust!
Special moment of the Week: Friends are the main fuel to our adventure. Friends around the world are the reason we stay on the road and the reason we plan on traveling every year. When we see a map of North America, we see friends all over. When we see a map of the world, we see all the possibilities to meet so many amazing people.
Friends and family, they all blend together. They all simply become a manifestation of love.
PLC Car Says: I did it! I took this duo of slackers to all 49 States and most of Canada! A total of 40,000 miles! It was their choice to not let me drive to Hawaii too. I told them, all I needed was two really long snorkels or a big raft. I bet Alpacka Rafts would have made be a custom one. But they said no. Either way, now I am on my way to Wanderlust Austin for my very well deserved victory lap. Am I going to see you there?
What’s next? Wanderlust Austin!
Entry #18: October 29
Indiana to Virginia
Odometer Reading: 459,502
Miles driven: 39,319 miles in 301 days (130 miles per day)
Next Wanderlust: Austin, TX
Adventure of the Week: Since the beginning of our Kickstarter Campaign, all of our efforts have been directed to getting the campaign funded. All of them. We wake up, we check on the Kickstarter. We spend the entire day sending messages, drafting emails, contacting people and making plans on how to get this project funded. We go to bed and the last thing we do? Check on the Kickstarter again.
Foreseeing the future, I decided to start a 50-Day Inner Wanderlust Commitment. A way for Sam and I to clear our heads from our daily pressures and journey inwards. It has been the best idea of the entire year! We wake up, drink some water, practice yoga and meditation and then we are ready for the entire day. To force adventure into our days, we committed to walk, run or bike to any place we go that is less than 5 miles away. This has been a refreshing addition into our days.
Running is the best human invention. I guess nature gave us the best gift ever: movement. Yet, we give it for granted so often. It is not easy, at first. Anyone that has started a running program knows this: those first runs hurt. The process of running may hurt. But mainly the recovery process, the soreness can be incredible. I have learned to love the soreness! For me is a reminder, not that I started running, but that I stopped.
Running should be a natural process. Should be done with a smile on your face and your hair flowing. Yet, we forget about that. My biggest running mentors are children. They know how to do it right! They lean forward, they lift their knees, their legs extend backwards and they laugh while doing it. We all did that at some time or another. The big question is, why did we stopped?
This running commitment has made us slow down. It brings moments of solitude into our lives. Only one of us runs at a time. Mainly because we have to head somewhere with tons of gear. Or we might simply not come back to the same area. But when we do run together I can hear our conversations drifting inwards. Have you experienced this before? How running makes you question everything and makes you kinda wise at it too?
The best part of all the running is that we have been able to enjoy the fall season like we couldn’t have if we stayed inside a car. The colors, the sensation of the leafs under your feet and the contemplative idea that everything is a cycle. The running and not running. The being on a trip or ending a trip. The Kickstarter Campaign. It all starts and ends, and something else comes after. There is no beginning or an end. All we have is an endless cycle and it is up to us to enjoy it as much as possible.
Special moment of the Week: Got a traffic ticket! A $91 penalty for stopping at a highway. Why? We have been taking pictures with the different welcome signs and the PeaceLoveCar. Sam was so pissed! This was the second-to-last state sign: Ohio. We lost all hope on the police forces, until, yesterday we got a message from another officer saying:
“Sam, I’m the police officer who just talked to you, waiting in the Kinko’s parking lot. BTW you were in Whitehall, OH. Just did some reading up on your journey and I wish you all the best. That’s one sweet ride you’ve got there and thanks again for the sticker, it went right on my ticket book. Good luck to you guys.”
Pretty sweet! The force is balanced again.
PLC Car Says: I have a pumpkin with my face carved on it! It is so beautiful. I wonder if I will to also get Christmas ornaments!
What’s next? The 50th State is finally here! North Carolina!
Entry #17: October 21
Chicago to Indiana
Odometer Reading: 458,999 miles
Miles driven: 38,816 in 293 days (132.5 miles per day)
Next Wanderlust: Austin, TX
Adventure of the Week: We just launched a Kickstarter!
It is hard to express how much energy and effort Sam Salwei, Ben Fullerton (Caveman Collective) and I have put into this event! Countless hours of sitting in front of our computers, planning, editing and getting distracted by Facebook. Sam and I worked from random Starbucks all over the nation; Ben, in his home in Boulder.
During the past year, Sam and I captured all of our adventures in video. The traveling, the classes, the conditioning, the sleeping, the running, the drama, even some of the times we had been pulled over; it is all in video. Now, Ben has 4 terabytes of information to sort and put into a cohesive storyline that will capture your imagination and inspire you to travel! The Kickstarter will help us fund all the hours that still need to be put into making our videos into a film to capture everyone’s imagination.
As the Kickstarter Campaign unfolds, we pledge to give back. Sam and I were recommended to share with you the things that you might be giving for granted while having a stable home to live and our favorite things about being on the road. We will share with your one of each for every $1,000 raised during the campaign.
We need your help! We need you to pledge on our campaign as much or as little as you can. Every dollar will take us a little closer to our goal and to share with you and the world how the only things that you need for traveling is a desire followed by a will to do so. If at some point the PLC made you smile, inspired you to travel or rethink the way you are living, send it a dollar or two, or three or more… Sam, the PLC and I will be forever grateful.
What can you do?
WATCH the campaign!
PLEDGE: This will not be possible without your donation. Every dollar helps!
SHARE: Share the link with as many people as you can and ask them to pledge too. Help us inspire others to live a life outside the dotted line, to connect with the greater community and to enjoy life’s journey.
Make your pledge! The clock is ticking. Our deadline is Nov 13.
Special moment of the Week: This week we had to opportunity to be students. We dropped in into Josh Young and Lizzy Tombler acro weekend. They taught us some pops, some cool transitions and several progressions towards ‘hand to hand’. Sam and I haven’t been working on our hand to hand since my wrist got injured during the summer. We are both happy to announce that we are back! Expect handstands and ‘hand to hand’ pictures in your facebook and instagram feeds in the near future!
PLC Car Says: I am very excited to be featured in the Road to Wanderlust Film! I think I am the main character!!! The only thing that concerns me, is that I never saw a makeup artist around. Are they just going to show all my flaws on TV? Really? I need to call my agent.
Everyday Warrior Academy
Entry #16: October 14
Colorado to Chicago
Odometer Reading: 458,346 miles
Miles driven: 38,163 miles in 286 days (133 miles per day)
Next Wanderlust: Austin, TX
Adventure of the Week: Adventure traveling is about taking the road less traveled. As most AcroYogis in the US headed to Portland for the Divine Play festival, our travel schedule directed us to Chicago to teach a three-day intensive. We expected a small group of students, but we did not expect to find so much focus, so much attention and so much enthusiasm. As the saying goes: good things come in small packages.
We taught 13 hours of Slackline Yoga and AcroYoga to four people,and we could not have had a better time. During this tour, we have had a huge fluctuation in class sizes. The largest single class so far had 45 students, the smallest had one. At the beginning of the tour we made a commitment with ourselves that, regardless of class size, once an event was posted we would not cancel an event due to limited participation.
So far, I am extremely happy with our commitment. It turns out that in those smaller classes, we’ve met the most interesting people. As we were teaching on the weekend, I looked at the expressions of our students and saw their passion. I closed my eyes and thank the wheels of karma for placing me in that place at that exact time. There was nowhere else I would rather be. I felt at home.
Special moment of the Week: We are about to launch our Kickstarter Campaign! This blog barely covers the wonderful moments that we’ve lived during the past year. Sam and I have been gathering video from our travel adventures and the Caveman Collective will be doing the production and editing. The Caveman Collective are amazingly talented! We can’t wait to see what they will do with our footage. To finish this film we need your help! Stay tuned the next blog will have more information on how to contribute.
PLC Car Says: I overheard a conversation. They put a downpayment on another car! They are starting to call it the ‘PLC2’. What are they going to do with me? Where am I going to go? My only solace is that I will always be the first.
What’s next? We have just FOUR states left! That seems so few. How could it have all gone so fast! This week we teach in Indianapolis and then head to Cincinnati for the premier of the series Gold Rush Adventure Race. When we are not teaching Slackline Yoga and AcroYoga, we enjoy filming adventure races. Sam has been part of the Gold Rush Adventure Race project since 2011. We are really excited to see what the students of the University of Cincinnati made with all his footage.
Yoga Monkey + Fitness
Gold Rush Adventure Race Film Premiere
University of Cincinnati, UC Forward Initiative.
Entry #15: October 8
Idaho to Colorado
Odometer Reading: 457,157 miles
Miles driven: 36,974 miles in 279 days (132 miles per day at 31 mpg)
Next Wanderlust: Austin, TX
Adventure of the Week: I started climbing when I was living in Puerto Rico, about a year before I met Sam. It was through climbing, that I discovered slacklining. Sam also started climbing before slacklining. After all, slacklining was, and continues to be, a climbers hobby. When I started traveling with Sam, I thought that since he was such an amazing climber and I was an excited newbie, we would spend most of our time conquering some rocks.
But we don’t. This year, we have gone climbing a total of three times.
When we got to City of Rocks, I was excited. This would be my first time trying trad climbing. Sam is a trad lead climber and he gave me no instructions about it.
I discovered some weird looking tool in my harness and asked: “What’s this for?”
To that he replied, “To clean nuts.”
I completely forgot about it and belayed him on a really long route. It seemed to take forever. I couldn’t see him for most of it. When I realized that the rope was about to go past the middle and he was nowhere near the top I yelled at him.
He yelled back, “Okay,” and continued climbing. After awhile, he yelled back, “Okay. I am off belay. Your turn.”
All this time, I am questioning how the hell we are going to come back down if the route is longer than our rope. I’ve never done trad climbing before, but I was guessing that – just as in sports climbing – your rope should be at least double the length of the route or, on the way down, you would be hanging off the ground or fall.
As I got ready to climb I yelled, “On belay! On belay!!!! Onnnnn beeeeelaaaaaayyyyyy!” and nothing.
It was so windy and Sam was so far away that he couldn’t hear me. I waited for a long time and he finally yelled, “Belay on.”
I started climbing. I approached the first piece of gear placed on the crack, a nut. It was so tight in place. I could not move it at all. After what seemed to be the longest minutes of my life, I remembered the weird looking tool. I used it to poke, pull and twist the nut until it came loose. I placed it on my harness and continued climbing.
Trad climbing is way more time-consuming than sport climbing. After a really long time, I made it to the top. Sam had made an anchor from cams on a crack and was sitting down, freezing from the cold and the very chill wind.
“How are we getting down?” I asked.
“I still don’t know,” Sam replied.
We watched the sunset approaching, the stillness of the mountains, the deer playing on the road and searched for other routes to return to the ground. After traversing the rock for 20 or 30 meters, we found anchors suitable for rappelling.
I am still not sure if it was the cold, the wind, the altitude, the effort I had put into learning on my own trad cleaning, of climbing without someone ‘watching’, but by the time I made it to the first rappel, fear got the best of me. I experience for the first time in my life true panic. My breath becoming short and quick, my skin colder than the wind and my muscles completely tense. It took a lot of words of encouragement from Sam, some instructions and time for me to make it down the first rappel.
And the second.
Back on the ground, I walked barefoot, back to the PeaceLoveCar, the security of our home and the warmth of a homecooked meal. At the end of the day, Sam took all of his trad gear and taught me how to use it. Now, I’ll be ready for the next time.
Special moment of the Week: Whenever Sam and I want comfort food, we head to the nearest Indian Restaurant. We don’t know if it is the food, the chai or the Bollywood movies that are always playing, but Indian restaurants make us feel at home.
In this particular restaurant in Idaho, we meet the most amazing person. The owner of the restaurant came to speak to us, to ask about our food and to give us a life lesson. He mentioned that he was from Pakistan and that the best thing that happen to him and his family was to start traveling.
‘Travelling allows you to see that we are all equal. That we all deserve the same things and that we are all fighting the same wars. If everyone would travel, and would meet the world, there wouldn’t be so many political and religious differences. We will all realize that we are the same and we would treat each other as friends and family.”
PLC Car Says: Uh oh. I think Sam and Raquel found my replacement. Or at least a strong candidate. I sense my end is near.
What’s next: Midwest is on the schedule! We have a week full of Slacklining and AcroYoga ahead of us. Hopefully we can make time to use some of our adventure gear, too.
Des Moines, IA
Power Life Yoga
Yoga Monkey + Fitness
Entry #14: October 1
Alaska to Montana
Odometer Reading: 455,941 miles
Miles driven: 35,758 in 273 days. 130 miles per day
Next Wanderlust: Austin, TX
Adventure of the Week: We made it back to the US! Our first stop was in Whitefish, MT. We were hosted by our new friends who own Paddlefish Sports. This beautiful couple is originally from Wisconsin and they moved to Montana to pursue their love for outdoor adventures. Sam and I had been driving for four days straight. Our bodies were so tired of the cold, the rain and sitting in the car for way too long.
Kim and Sonny offered us their home, their time and their community. They hosted a demo the day after we arrived and pointed us to the closest mountain bike trail. With a few hours to spare, we drove the PLC to the trailhead and started pedaling.
Let me be sincere here. Mountain biking is the one sport that I seem to suck at, no matter what. It almost seems like I get worse every time I try it. I pant through all the uphills and squeal on the downhills. It feels like I am taking my bike for a hike and most time, I end up crying. At times, I feel unworthy of my amazing Ellsworth full-suspension bike. Meanwhile, Sam looks as though he is one with the bike. He rolls over rocks like they are made of cardboard. He clears jumps and climbs like he is driving an electric bike. On the downhills, you are lucky if you see more than a cloud of dust. Watching him is like watching a perfect mountain bike commercial. (Not fair.)
Nevertheless, we (yeah, even me) had a lot of fun experiencing the outdoors while finally being outside the PeaceLoveCar!
Special moment of the Week: On our way down from Alaska, we stopped at Johnson’s Crossings – a little gas station and bakery recommended by our North Dakota friends. When we got there, we were expecting to buy bread, some coffee and keep on driving. Ten minutes tops, I thought. As we walked back into the car, the shop owner asked Sam about YogaSlackers. Two hours later, we drove away after leaving a slackline, stickers and giving her a private lesson. She made time slow down. Her passion for learning something new, revived our passion for teaching. We forgot the long drive ahead of us. We forgot that we wanted time to ‘adventure’ and we simply enjoyed sharing what we love: slacklining.
PLC Says: I am so dirty. All those gravel roads on the way in and out of Alaska have me looking pretty rough. Even though it drizzled all the way to Montana, my color could be better described as brown sticker than as red sticker. I need a rainstorm. I cannot count on my passengers cleaning me up. They barely clean themselves!
What’s next? The last two months of the PLC tour are here! Send us some love and energy so we can finish strong and send some people to our last classes so we don’t finish broke! Two months, eight states and a lot of miles left! Come one PLC you can do it! We can do it!
Eagle Yoga Fest
Des Moines, IA
Power Life Yoga
Entry #13: September 24
Odometer Reading: 453,000 miles
Miles driven: 33,117 miles in 267 (124 miles per day at 30 mpg)
Next Wanderlust: Austin, TX
Adventure of the Week: In the comfort of the PeaceLoveCar, as Sam drives further south in Alaska towards yet another ‘End of the Road’, I take advantage of the quiet time to explain this amazing and unexpected day. A day in which correct timing saved our precious lives.
After teaching a full weekend workshop, our bodies didn’t allow us to leave bed until late in the morning. That was followed by very slow progress towards leaving the house and heading towards Portage Lake. We were SO slow, that I figured, we were not going and we were simply getting the car ready for the return to the contiguous states. But somehow, around 3 pm we made it out of the house and headed south.
The drive to the lake was short, only 1.5 hrs. We deployed our Hala Gear SUP and the Alpaca Raft into the freezing cold waters and paddle towards the Portage Glacier. We took some time playing on the board, taking pictures and somehow I completely lost my balance and fell on glacier waters. Here me out, I fell from triangle pose! This is the first time I fall from my board, and I fall from Triangle? Seriously!? As I felt the freezing water I panicked a little and had to mentally remind myself that I was wearing a drysuit and a PFD. We continued paddling.
We paddled for almost two hours before we did the final turn into the glacier, observing it’s majestic view for the first time and only a few hundred meters away. We paddle towards the huge mass of ice, fighting the current and the wind generated by the canyon that forms it. We paddle between icebergs! Floating white and blue gems.
As the sunset started painting the sky, we heard a loud noise. An explosion? No. Hunters? No! The ice caved and detached from the glacier creating ripples in the water. We got super exited. Neither of us expected to presence this natural phenomenon. This continued for the next 20 minutes as we paddle towards the lake’s north shore keeping the glacier at our right. The caving became much more frequent and I started fearing for our safety.
Sam stayed behind taking pictures and video. I waited for him on the shore and BANG! This time a huge piece of ice detached. It most have been at least a 3 story height ice wall (imagine 4 semi trucks standing on its tail next to each other). It created a huge splash and with it a large set of waves. I ran towards the SUP and started dragging it further inland. The first wave roused the water-level a full meter, taking me and the paddle board at least 10 meters inland.
Sam rode the large wave and the consecutive waves on the pack raft as a true champion and made it to the shore safe and dry. On land we contemplated our timing; of being barely far enough to experience safely these forces of nature and close enough to understand it’s power. A few minutes later we paddle next to the same glacier wall, into the sunset towards to the PeaceLoveCar.
Special moment of the Week: This week’s special moment? Doing laundry! As I unloaded two big dry bags filled with dirty clothes, I was reminded about all the adventures of the week heading towards Alaska. The class in Saskatoon, the river rafting and mountain biking in Jasper, the run on Northeast Territories, the coffee that burnt my leg and made us miss out on going to the hot springs, the bike-trek combo on Wrangell-St Elias and the many meals prepared between the PLC and some amazing view.
May you all have weeks filled with adventurous dirty laundry to take care off!
PLC Car Says: This 50 state tour is making me age faster than usual. So many long drives! My passengers take turns driving and sleeping, but I keep going! Gravel roads, mud and sand had me looking very rough. My new shoes are already looking so old. And the only way I get cleaned off is by rain water. Someone have mercy on this old soul.
What’s next?: Our last Canadian Border crossings as we drive away from Alaska towards Montana. More classes, more yoga conferences and more adventures to unfold.
Whitefish City Beach
Eagle Yoga Fest
Entry #12: September 9
Minnesota to Northwest Territories
Odometer Reading: 451,440 miles
Miles driven: 31,312 miles in 258 days (121 miles per day at 30 mpg)
Next Wanderlust: Austin
Adventure of the Week: The summer is our busiest season. We drive from festival to festival with little time in between. It sometimes feels that our lives are put on hold during these months and all we do is drive and teach. It is so easy to fall in a routine – even though it is not our preference – it is simple, easy and eventually comfortable.
As we drove from North Dakota, through Saskatoon and headed to the Northwest Territories, I could feel the weight of the routine getting the best of me. After some heated discussions, we made our way to Jasper National Park and had one of the best days of the entire trip.
The original plan was to do some mountain biking, but as we had breakfast and got ready to bike, we saw a rafting group come out of the river. Sam’s brain starting turning and he formed a new plan. Instead of just biking, we were going to do a loop that included river rafting.
We stashed our bikes and gear next to the trail, kept safe by our handy PacSafe bags, and drove 12 miles up the river. We deployed our SUP and a packraft. This would be my first time ever on rapids and I was sure I wanted to do it on the SUP. Fully prepared with drysuits, camera gear, food and water we headed down river to test our balance.
Paddleboarding down the river took some time to get used to. I took the first rapids on my knees and paddled the SUP as a kayak. But after the board proved more stable than expected, I started taking some rapids standing. Every so often I would have to come down to my knees, but I never fell in the water.
Sam followed along on the Alpaca Raft, which proved to be way slower than the SUP. Midway through the trip, we switched crafts and continued our journey.
Two hours later, we made it to our bikes. We stashed the rafting gear and mountain biked to the PLC. As nighttime came, we were still pedaling. Up and down on Jasper’s trail system. We encountered fields of roots, rocks and steep hills. I am happy to announce that I did more mountain biking than bike-hiking! I also humbly accepted how scared I got every time we rode over bear poop.
Special moment of the Week: Sam and I feel really young! Yet, there comes that moment in life, when you realize that your favorite examples are outdated. How can people not know who Charlie Chaplin is!? Or not understand references to the original Nintendo? It is not that we are getting old… It is that they are not experienced. Right??
PLC Says: I worry constantly about my imminent demise. These roads are filled with huge animals! Way bigger than me. I have encountered deer, elk, bison, moose and black bears. All either at sunset or at night. My passengers insist on stopping and film them. I just worried they are gonna get them mad and I will suffer the consequence. Can we please, please go back to the main road?
What’s next? Full weekend workshop in Alaska. This is the first of the new YogaSlackers 3-Day Intensive Series. Directed to use the slackline as a tool to improve acrobatics and to develop rad acrobatics skills.
Oct 31-Nov 2
Entry #11: September 9
Maine to Minnesota
Odometer Reading: 448,725 miles
Miles driven: 28,542 miles in 251 days (114 miles per day at 30 mpg)
Next Wanderlust: Wanderlust Austin
Adventure of the Week: As you may recall from our last post, the PLC broke down on Newfoundland’s roads. One bump too many dismantled the rear shock mount. This custom shock was developed to allow us to travel with a ton of gear. We pack 2,000 lbs of gear on our 1,400lb PeaceLoveCar.
As soon as we discovered the damage, we sent an SOS through social media and got an overwhelming response. It helps that Sam has been traveling in the US for over five years. He has friends everywhere! He always manages to meet amazing people with unique skills. We decided to take the PLC to our friend George, from George Forge, a traditional blacksmith in Rhode Island.
We had a broken car during a week in which we have eight classes scheduled on eight consecutive days in eight different states: Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and North Dakota. Thankfully, the first four classes are not too far from George’s shop, which allowed us to commute to and from his place as the PLC was put back on shape.
As soon as we got to his place, we stripped the car from most of the weight that collapsed his fragile structure, crawled underneath and assessed the entirety of the damage. In a matter of minutes, George and Sam developed a plan involving buying a new set of shocks and welding a new lift to the system.
During three days of working on the PLC, we observed George’s unique style of work and detailed expression. We rushed to teach classes and returned to his place to work. The PLC now has the most detailed, beautiful and refined piece, expressing the perfect balance of art and functionality in a place where no one would ever see.
Special moment of the Week: The planning process involved in teaching in all 50 states in one year, while driving, is huge! There is no way we could do this without the support of an extensive network of friends, acquaintances and open minded studios throughout the U.S.
We have been working on creating the schedule and setting classes for a long time. Foreseeing that life on the road is uncertain, we made sure that our events were planned with a least three months notice. Nonetheless, every so often, we get a last minute cancellation. This creates the possibility that we may not be able to complete our task of teaching in all 50 states, while changing the outcome of an entire year of work.
It is so hard to adequately express our gratitude to all those people who have stepped up and helped us create events in weeks notices to fill in the gap. It is in those moments, in those studios and friend’s houses that the true magic, the reason we love being on the road is manifested: to meet exceptional people in exceptional places. To our friends in Michigan (Ringstar Studio) and Wisconsin (Koha Yoga) we are forever grateful.
PLC Car Says: I am looking so handsome! The new custom shocks made me a whole two inches taller and my new hips allow me to run as smooth as a teenager. Added height and painless joints! Don’t pretend you ain’t jealous!
What’s next? We are headed towards Alaska!!! This is the only state that Sam’s has never visited. As we cross the border in North Dakota, we will make our way through four Canadian provinces.
Open Space in Anchorage, AK
Slackline Yoga and AcroYoga
Entry #10: September 3
Wanderlust Tremblant to Maine
Odometer Reading: 446,404 miles
Miles driven: 26,221 miles in 244 days
Next Wanderlust: Austin
Adventure of the Week: After driving 2,625 miles in a week, 2,000 of which were on Newfoundland roads, the PLC is faced with the possibility of being put to rest…permanently.
As we pull onto the ferry that would take us to the mainland, we heard a strange noise. Sam looked under the car to discover our custom 3.5 inch lift on the driver’s side had collapsed. When planning this tour, we knew the PLC’s health was poor. Rust on the unibody makes his constitution weak and his death eminent. The time was uncertain but, as with all other living things, we’ve always known that death is the ultimate – unescapable – destination.
We departed Wanderlust Tremblant on Monday morning. We headed toward Newfoundland with a refreshed sense of adventure. Since day one, Sam has been excited to visit St. John’s, the furthest road east in North America. I have never seen so much beauty in one place. There’s not an ugly side to that island! Even the landfill was surrounded by forested land and astonishing views of the ocean.
Although our search for icebergs proved unsuccessful, we managed to see mosses, bald eagles, breath taking fjords, one-inch mice and the most beautiful sunsets our eyes have ever witnessed. We went on trail runs, hikes and were bathed by the rain and dried by the high winds. On our last day, we inflated our Hala SUP in pouring rain and ventured towards one of the islands. We said our goodbyes to the beautiful land as we drove back towards the ferry, where we discovered the PLC’s current injury.
Special moment of the Week:
On our second night on Newfoundland, as Sam dodged mosses on the road, his eyes noticed the sky changing colors. He woke me up with a very excited cry and said “Look! Northern Lights!” As I gazed out the window, witnessing the most beautiful natural spectacle I’ve ever seen or hoped to see, I realized, once more, how lucky we are to be here. How lucky we are to stand against standard, pre-set expectations and follow our dreams of travel and exploration.
PLC Car Says:
I am limping my way towards Rhode Island. Every little bump on the road makes me cry with pain and anguish. Every mile makes me squeak louder and make my passengers worry and tremble. I am trying really hard to endure the next 10 hours on my way to my medicine man.
What’s next?: Nine states in nine days! Followed by Alaska. That is… if we manage to fix the limping PLC.
Yoga at the Dojo
All That Matters
East Haddam, CT
Ann Arbor, MI
Movement Center Pewaukee
Grand Forks, ND
Entry #9: August 27
Odometer Reading: 443,779 miles (714,193 km)
Miles driven: 23,596 miles (37,974 km) in 238 days (99 miles per day, average)
Next Wanderlust: Austin, TX
Adventure of the Week: This week marked the finale of our Wanderlust Festival circuit. As we planned our summer we knew this was going to be a lot of fun. Yet we underestimated the amount of adventure this three months would contain.
This year was the first time we were able to express the full spectrum that encompasses YogaSlackers’ skills. YogaSlackers was developed based in five foundations: Adventure Racing, Yoga, Slacklining, AcroYoga and Conditioning. Our history with Wanderlust dates back to the first festival in Tahoe on the summer of 2009. Adi Carter represented YogaSlackers, demoed slackline yoga to the festival attendees and from there on, YogaSlackers have been at every major festival.
It is hard to prevent someone who is passionate about teaching from doing the thing they love, or offering to others what makes their heart shine. We are extremely passionate about conditioning in a fun, effective way, while at the same time increasing community evolvement. In fact, we started teaching conditioning at the end of each day before it was added to the schedule! This year marked the time in which Conditioning for Slackers became an official class.
This year is also the first year in which we offered the Adventure Race. Adventure Racing is placed deep at the roots of YogaSlackers. Team YogaSlackers have been racing for over 10 years. It has been a pleasure to introduce so many new people to this sport. We manage to convince 50 individuals at each festival to enroll in a race without telling them anything besides what to bring. We had children, parents, mother/daughter teams, friends and new acquaintances joining forces to run, crawl, roll and hop around the venue in search of hidden challenges and checkpoints.
Throughout the festival we saw smiles, tears of joy (mainly Raquel’s) and even some blood. We heard laughs, screams, giggles, words of encouragement and even some cursing (including Sam’s). We saw people pushing their limits while exploring their fears during all our offerings: Slackline Yoga, AcroYoga, Conditioning and the Adventure Race.
Moreover, during the first day of each festival, we pushed our own limits and faced our own fears while performing in front of hundreds of people at Wanderlust Spectacular. Every day, we ask people to step into a shaky line, unstable hands or to do more pushups than they will ever care to do. In the process, we asked them to gather energy and support from the community. For us, stepping on each one of those stages made us feel like beginners, searching for eyes, energy and encouragement from all those around us to realize that we can all do much more.
Special moment of the Week: As we taught the Next Step in Slackline Yoga on Saturday morning, we got a little distracted by a person perfectly balancing on a one-arm handstand. Our class lasted 90 min of which he stood in one of his hands (more often one hand) for at least 60. His body was so still that you might as well be watching a picture. No apparent movement, no apparent effort, no frown on his forehead, no sweat. I even started searching for the wires that sustained him.
Later that day I got to meet him. Chris Gatti: professional acrobat. Even better: I got to practice my one arm handstand and get tips from a pro! Why so much fuss about being able to stand perfectly still on one hand? Because from control and stillness of the body, comes control and stillness of the thought-waves of the mind.
PLC Car Says: I am in love with Canada and Canadians. They are all so kind to me. The roads make my engine effective at a stable 30 mpg. The people say nice things to me like: ‘you must be a rental!’ wait… That was meant as a compliment… right?
What’s next? We are done with the Wanderlust circuit but we still have thousands of miles to go! Our journey continues as we teach at all 50 states in a year. This week we are driving to Newfoundland and then we start our journey to Alaska! We are preparing to our Winter Retreat. We hope that a lot of you join us to celebrate the end of a year of adventuring in Thailand!
Slackline Yoga and AcroYoga Retreat
CHIANG MAI, THAILAND
Dec 1st – 8th
Entry #8: August 20
Wyoming to Wanderlust Tremblant
Odometer Reading: 443,322 miles (713,457 km)
Miles driven: 23,139 miles (37,238 km) in 231 days
Adventure of the Week:
This week felt like a month! After leaving SLC, we headed to Wyoming (teaching acro), the next day we were in Colorado (sorting webbing), the next in South Dakota (teaching handstands), then North Dakota (visiting Sam’s mom), then Winnepeg (sharing slacklining and acro), then we drove for 3 days straight to Ottawa (more slacklining) and finally a few hours drive to Mont Tremblant. That was a mouthful… but we made it!
During that time we heard the news about the death of Robin Williams. I was truly touched, to the point of tears. In my existence, the death of an artist has only brought this true grief once before; with the death of Raul Julia.
As we started driving a lot more than usual, without our usual unlimited data plan allowing us to watch movies on the road, I contemplated life. I thought about looking up to celebrities all over the world, wanting their lives, believing that they have it all and realizing how many of them are depressed, unhappy and involved in the same sort of trouble us normals are tempted with (drugs, alcohol, and other forms) as alternatives to dealing with our depression.
I thought about Sam and I driving through North America, posting beautiful pictures all over the internet, speaking about our ‘perfect’ life and realized that we in a sense are also giving a deceptive view of our lives. We, as any other individual out there, are faced with deep sorrows, limitations and a lot of obstacles. We are just not open – or strong enough – to share them all over the internet too. We are not trying to deceive people, but don’t share because we want to help uplift everyone’s energy: bring them joy, show then what we can do, while refraining from speaking about our struggles.
Just know, that we also fall from the slacklines, acro poses, slip n’ slides and handstands. At the moment we are laughing about it, but sometimes we do feel a little blue. Our romantic relationship is less than perfect and our finances are often laughable, too!
As for the adventure of the week, I would say that it was a very successful adventure to be on such a tight driving and teaching schedule while living with another individual in 28 sq. feet AND still managing to like and love each other. Here to many, many more!
Special moment of the Week: This week we made an unpredictable stop at Sam’s Mom. She recently retired and is getting ready to hit the road on her 2004 Harley Davidson. Yes, living in the road, exploring what the world has to offer, runs in the family.
For a change, our visit lasted more than 5 hours. We recharged energies, exchanged stories and made plans for our next visit. I even got to see Crystal, ND, in bright daylight!
PLC Car Says: I am feeeeeeling so young and strong. Rocking 35 mpg in the Canadian highways. The combination of good gas and low speed limits really suits me. Or is it that the Maple Leaf Sticker gave me some sort of super powers?! Don’t know, don’t care… I’m simply loving it!
What’s next? We have a week to drive to Saint John’s in Newfoundland! Hopefully this time there will be more adventures on the way. What do you think we should do?
Since the upcoming week brings another crazy teaching schedule, here is a preview of the first days:
Kittery Trading Post
Yoga at the Dojo
All That Matters
Entry #7: August 13
Whistler, Canada to Wyoming
Odometer Reading: 440,344 miles
Miles driven: 20,161 miles in 223 days (90 miles per day)
Miles to the next Wanderlust: 2,213 miles
Adventure of the Week: This week started with one of the biggest, most unexpected adventures we have experienced during the Tour. We drove straight from Whistler to Salt Lake City, UT. Our photographer friend, Eric Ward, invited us for a photoshoot at the Spiral Jetty, a sculpture by Robert Smithson created in 1975. It’s located in the northeastern shore of the Great Salt Lake near Rozel Point in Utah.
As we rolled in at 5pm after hours of driving, Eric asked Sam, “How adventurous do you want to get with the PLC?” To what Sam replied, “As adventurous as you need me to. This tour is about just that! Finding adventure wherever we go.” Little did he know how much weight those words would carry. We drove the car out onto the salt flats. Parked it nicely next to a beautiful line of poles that would make for a stunning slackline spot. The ground seemed solid. As the minutes turned into an hour, Sam noticed that the car had sank slightly and decided to move it to more stable ground. I have been with Sam for over two years, and I have never seen him so worried, concerned and even a little desperate. He was witnessing the potential death of his precious PeaceLoveCar and it was not something he was prepared to accept. But, unfortunately, the PLC was completely stuck. We must have talked about 5 different plans, some that were automatically discarded due to the potential injury. Others were forgotten by the time we finished talking about them. Sam and I had been driving and slightly sleep deprived for 2 days so our thoughts were not as sharp as we needed them to be. After five hours of lifting the car on sinking jacks, placing a little bit of wood under the car, lifting the car again with a different jack on top of wood, the jack sinking a little and the car lifting ever so slightly, we created enough space to place wood underneath a tire and then repeating the process for each wheel.
We watch the beautiful sunset light light our efforts, we laughed about the entire process and more importantly we didn’t lose our cool. As darkness fell, we were still digging, lifting, placing wood and hoping for some miracle. We managed to place wood under all four wheels. It was the moment of truth, would the PLC drive away or would it be stuck in place for eternity? We had to consider that driving through the salt flats could get us stuck again. As the car started – Sam driving, Eric and I pushing – we all held our breaths a little as we hoped for a successful exit. We did it! The PLC was free and back on solid ground. We were all salty, muddy, hungry and tired. The sunset light was long gone. To honor our efforts we opted to camp at the jetty. Eric took some acro pictures of us with the stars, followed by another sunrise session. The result was spectacular.
Special moment of the Week: There is no way we could ever live the way we live without the support of our friends Ian and Kate. Their support makes our lifestyle possible. There are some things that are nearly impossible while living on the road year around. The hardest: getting mail. Most of our friends know that we are coming for a visit when packages start arriving. It’s like Christmas morning for us.
PLC Car Says: I hope that my two drivers get some sleep soon! They have been going and going. I am starting to look much more younger and rested than them.
What’s next?: We are driving through Canada to perform at Wanderlust. Here are our guest appearances in between:
Vimy Ridge Park
Tremblant, Quebec Canada
Photo by Eric Ward.
Entry #6: August 7
Odometer Reading: 439,464 miles
Miles driven: 19,281 in days 217
Miles to the next Wanderlust: 2,452 miles in 15 days
Adventure of the Week: Teaching at Wanderlust Whistler is an adventure on its own. Foreseeing a busy setup, we crossed the border Monday night and slept on the parking lot of the venue. The experience in previous years taught us that the ground in the Olympic Arena is ‘arena’ (‘sand’ in Spanish). This makes our life quite more challenging and we wanted to start the process as soon as possible. As Sam and I pounded 500 nails into the ground, at least 5 different mountain and Wanderlust staff came to informed us of their prefer layout. Each contradicting each other in one way or another. After the third person came to us, Sam started quoting Office Space: “I have eight different bosses right now. So that means that when I make a mistake, I have eight different people coming by to tell me about it.” We laughed it off, made the changes, and continued.
At every other Wanderlust, setup takes us at the most two hours. In Whistler, we pounded nails into the ground for more than five! To make matters even more interesting, this is the only event in which we have to take the lines down each night and reset them every morning. At 8am on the first day of festival, Shakti Sunfire was teaching her hooping class in the Olympic Arena. We start setting the slacklines trying not to interfere too much with her class. At about 15 minutes prior our class, when we were ready to have a quick breakfast, someone informed us that we cannot attach to the trees. Four of our 10 lines are on trees and class is about to start. We manage to scramble a new setup and start the class on time. As students used the lines, the ground started playing a bad joke on us. The anchors were coming off the ground. We reassessed our strategy and, as one of us taught, the other reseted the anchors. As students used the lines we stood on the anchors hoping that our body weight would stabilized the ground a little more. As the weekend progressed, we permanently lost some lines and used the extra nails to make the other lines more stable. Even then we had to re-pound nails into the ground daily. We were tired, sore and sleep deprived. Finally on Saturday afternoon as we handed prizes to the Adventure Racers, I looked around. Each slack line, was being used by smiling students and there’s was a huge crowd waiting for our last class of the day – Conditioning for Slackers – all I saw was smiling faces, all I heard were tales of adventure and success. At that moment it hit me, all the expressions of joy made me swallow deep and hold the tears. Our true reward is seeing people play, laugh and enjoy the activities we created with so much effort and dedication. The constant anectotes of the slackline classes or the Adventure Race being the most fun someone have had in years make all the early mornings, the blisters in our hands and the soreness on our backs completly worth it. Or labor and effort now makes sense and we would do it all over again. This is what makes Wanderlust so special for us and why we keep coming year after year. It is about connecting with wonderful people from so many different places, and having the opportunity to share with them what we love, what keeps us coming again. Our true reward is seeing them shine with joy and accomplishment after trying something that they never thought possible.
Special moment of the Week: Two years ago, in Wanderlust Colorado the idea of Wanderlust Spectacular was born. Sam and I have been honored to be part of it since the beginning. Just six months after I started slacklining and about three weeks after becoming a YogaSlackers, Sam asked me how I would like to walk a human line (a line slackline held by people) to the beat of MC Yogi. “You just can’t fall, but no pressure!” The original event was a one song show the involved AcroYoga and the YogaSlackers. It was my first time performing in my entire life. The stage was too small for us. Instead we made a little space in the audience. As I walked the line amongst a sea of people the music ended and I heard MC Yogi say: “Look at what’s going on here. She is walking on a line sustained by people. These are The YogaSlackers, the number one thing to experience in Wanderlust!” We have gone a long way since then. Transforming from a one song act to a seven act show. All possible to the creative vision of Jenny Sauer-Klein (co-founder of AcroYoga and founder of The Movement Blueprint). Her enthusiasm, passion and charisma took our skills to the next level. She has become our teacher by having us step waaaaaay outside of our comfort zone and predefine ideas and experience a whole new dimension of ourselves. Since Wanderlust Vermont we have been blessed by sharing our days with this incredibly talented group. DJ Drez and Hannah Thiem, provide the music as Hemalayaa Belh guides the audience through this magical experience. Yoga pioneers Cameron Shayne, Shakti Sunfire, Chelsey Korus, Matt Giordano, Beau Campbell, Quixotic dancers, Sam Salwei and I explore the limits of our comfort at every act. Sharing with the audience not only what we love but what we learned from each other. During these past months we have grown from each other, we have laughed together like never before and we have even yelled at each other once or twice. We have become a family. A group that gets together to create an experience for others and realizes that we have created something even more powerful for ourselves. Something that as traveling teachers, performers and musicians, we don’t get to experience often. To the Wanderlust Spectacular Family, you are our special moment, not only of this week but of every time we get to see you again and again. We love you!
PLC Car Says: I have been twice in Canada this year and no one has placed a Maple Leaf sticker on me! I expect this incident fixed soon.
What’s next?: Sam, Raquel and the PeaceLoveCar are heading to Salt Lake City! One of the few places that they visit at least twice per year. They are hosting a free Jam on the park. Come play with them!
Aug 10 – Orem, UT
Free Slackline and AcroYoga Jam
Community Park Aug 11 – Lander, WY
AcroYoga Flows and Transitions
Ananda Yoga Lander Aug 13 – Spearfish, SD
Entry #5: July 30
Bend, OR to Whistler
Odometer Reading: 705,775 km (438,548 mi)
Miles driven: 29,555 km (18,365 mi) in 210 days
Miles to the next Wanderlust: 5,102 km (3170 mi) in 14 days
Adventure of the Week: Every month Sam and I teach hundreds of people how to Slackline. We tell them to trust our instructions and step into a 1 inch piece of webbing suspended between two trees. We say: Find a point of focus (drishti) and commit to keeping that point of focus – at the end of the line – no matter what! Even if you are falling, regardless of what happens, keep looking forward. Once you have your gaze set, simply step onto the line straightening both legs to stand in what we call ‘Slacker Stance’. We may add: The line will shake underneath you. Realize that YOU and only you, are the one shaking the line. Simply breath through that instability and relax. With time the movement will be less and you will gain control of the line. Slacklining is a mental game. And every month hundreds of students successfully find their first Slacker Stance, and some, even find their first steps. Little did we know that as we left Grass Valley, CA, shortly after meeting the first highliner, we would experience that beginner body and mind like never before.
Our week started in Bend, Oregon where we dedicated two days of our busy schedule to reconnect with old friends. There is no slacker reunion without jamming as many sports as possible in a short amount of time. Our days passed quickly as we spend time mountain biking, acroing, handstanding, and challenging our slackline abilities by slacking on chains, practicing different drills and highlining. In highlining, the lines are usually set over gorges, under bridges, mountain tops or now a days even hot-air balloons. Even the process of rigging theses lines is intense and has become an art of its own. Redundancy is a huge part of making this sport safe and approachable. Two lines are stacked over each other, several anchors are placed and most commonly the slacker is attached to a safety line attached to his/her harness (highline leash). If you fall, the line will catch you. If something breaks, something else will catch you. It is safe! Sam got out on the line and made it look like he was born on one! Me, in the other hand, I did not made it look so easy. I sat there, contemplating my life, the proximity to death and all the reasons I should not be doing it! Jason Magness (co-founded YogaSlackers with Sam in 2005) coached me from a rock. “You are going to sit there and then make a move. You will either stand up and walk or fall. But I do not want you to just sit there. If you fall the line will catch you, you are safe. You’ve walked hundreds of lines like this, you’ve walked harder lines. This one just happens to be very high, but it is the same.” It took me two full attempts. The first time, I just sat there. Brought my feet to the line and nothing will happen. I told my body ‘It is just another sit to stand, just do it.’ But my body would not respond. The second time, and with a change in perspective, I sat there, stood up and walked to the other side. I have never felt so much fear before that. Fear of standing, of walking, of wondering how am I getting off this line. I did not fall, I made it to the other side. Panting and huffing, but I made it. Later that day, I repeated the process, but it did not got easier. The fear subsided just slightly and after full womaning (walking a line in both directions without falling) my second walk, I kissed the ground. Grateful for having it under my feet.
Special moment of the Week: When we planned the Road to Wanderlust Tour (first known as the End of the Road Tour), we knew we were going to be busy. Afterall driving to all 49 continental states and most of Canada in 9 months is not for the faint of heart. But what we did not consider is how little time for ourselves we would have. I mean, time away from computers, not driving or working on one of our hundred projects. This week for the first time in ages, we did just that. After a not so relaxing highline practice in Bend, OR. We headed to Seattle, WA. For the first time in a while we set lines and played. We did our beloved slackline conditioning (holding a pose or doing repetitions for 1 minute each for as long as it is fun). We practiced our inversions. Sam walked the longline while hula hooping and in general we did what we teach, but for the first time in a long time, we did it for the heck of it.
PLC Car Says: I guess the new headlights made me very handsome. I managed to get across the Canadian Border without being rigorously searched! I hope that our next two crossing are equally smooth.
What’s next? Wanderlust Whistler! A weekend of more slacklining, acrobatics and adventure racing!
Entry #4: July 23
Wanderlust Squaw to Bend, OR
Odometer Reading: 437,266
Miles driven: 17,083 in 202 days
Miles to the next Wanderlust: 1,625 miles in 10 days
Adventure of the Week: YogaSlackers have been part of the Wanderlust experience from the very first festival in 2009. Since then we have taught Slackline Yoga, AcroYoga and Conditioning. Sprinkling our offerings with our adventurous nature. This year is different, we get to fully submerse our students in the realm of Adventure Racing. Adventure Races combine at least two endurance sports with map and compass navigation. They range from sprint distances to multi-day expeditions. They are hard and fun! If you consider getting lost, while exploring the limits of your human potential, fun. They are an integral part of YogaSlackers culture. After all, Team YogaSlackers has been racing since before they started teaching! Students who sign up face 1.5 hrs of unknown activities. All they know is that they need running shoes, hat, sunglasses, water and a phone with Instagram capabilities. During the days before the race, we get to explore the venue and design a long list of challenges to test their endurance and conscious thinking. The races are won by cautiously understanding the rules of the game and using them in your favor. The team that usually wins is not necessary the fastest, but the one that created the smartest plan and took full advantage of the individual strengths each member. When we arrive onsite at Wanderlust, we are running, climbing, swimming and crawling around exploring each possible scenario. We sweat, run and finish as tired as each racer, prepared to celebrate each teams creativity, their effort and individual victories. At the end of the day, as teams walk away with their ranking and prices, we get the biggest reward: Their tales of adventures that are usually accompany by ‘That was the most fun I’ve had in years!’To catch up with previous races search #WLAdventureRace in Instagram.
Special moment of the Week: It is Sunday afternoon in Wanderlust Squaw Valley. The sky is daunting us with the possibility of rain and thunder. We gather to teach our last class of the festival. Sitting in a circle before talking about the short history of slacklining, we ask our students to introduced themselves and their slackline experience.
To our surprise the second student says: My name is Chris Carpenter, currently living in Grass Valley, I have been slacklining since the beginning of the sport in the early 1980s. My friends and I set the first ever highline back in 1983. What!? Chris gracefully took our Slackro class – a combination of AcroYoga and Slackline Yoga – agreed to get interviewed for our Road to Wanderlust video and offered us a place to stay that night. Back in his house in Grass Valley he showed us pictures of slacklining back in the day in Camp 4, Yosemite Valley.
As he told us the story of the first highline attempt, we both realized how lucky we are to form part of this community and of a sport so young in nature. Inspired by Adam Grosowsky and Jeff Ellington’s attempt to cross Yosemite’s Lost Arrow Spire in a high wire, Chris (17 years old at the time!) and Scott Balcom (20) rigged the first documented highline in the history of slacklining. They set a 2 inch-wide line under a bridge they referred to as “The Arches” and tempted faith as they tried to walk from one side to the other. Both successfully walked this line, in both directions, on that fall day in 1983 and returned over the following months with various highline configurations in preparation for something bigger. The ultimate goal was the Lost Arrow Spire in the summer of 1984. Unfortunately, neither of them was able to cross that more exposed line at that time. The following year, 1985, Scott sent the first crossing of the now famous Lost Arrow Spire highline. His trick? Finding a point to maintain visual focus. Or as we yogis like to call it: Drishti.’ Watch the first crossing.
PLC Car Says: I’m getting my eyes fixed! Sam and Raquel are about to start doing some serious night driving. In the next two months, they will drive to Whistler, Tremblant and Alaska. Yes, in that order! To stay safe in the late hours, they decided to give me an upgrade to LED headlights. Wait, would that get me closer to that thing called ‘enlightenment’?
What’s next?: Two days of playtime in Bend, followed by teaching in Buxton, OR and Leavenworth, WA. Then another border crossing this time in the West Coast of Canada. We’ll see how they like our car!
Entry #3: July 16, 2014
Miles driven: 16,962 in 196 days
Miles from Wanderlust Aspen-Snowmass to Wanderlust Squaw Valley: 925 miles in 5 days
Adventure of the Week: This week we left Wanderlust CO feeling rejuvenated. With only 15 hrs of driving to Reno and 40hrs to do it, we were on easy street. The PLC has natural A/C so we tend to drive at night. This fact should have been hard to forget, but as 1pm rolled around we sure did remember as it was summer and we were driving through the Nevada desert!
Driving the PLC through the heat is not an easy task. The PLC’s ‘natural air conditioning’ doesn’t work once the average temp hits 90 degrees. We had to stop more often than expected to refuel on ice cream and top off the radiator. On one of our excursions, a French family stopped to admire the car, take pictures in the car and ask questions about the incredible machine! There were mostly impressed by the fact that the authorities still allowed it on the streets. Something that would never happen in France.
We stopped in Reno just long enough to unload our longline gear into a friend’ s VW bus for a quick trip up to lake Tahoe. We spent the afternoon longlining (slackline over 100ft long) and sailing (which made the long-hot-drive totally worth it).
Special moment of the Week: This week was a reminder of why we stay on the road: Friends! People think of us as the epitome of non-attachment, when in reality, we are just very attached to a lot of places and the people and communities in those places! If we stop traveling, we stop seeing our friends. This week we ran into friends all over the place, they were everywhere – friends on a bisecting road trip in a parking lot in Utah, longlining in Tahoe and a surprise midnight visit in the Boston airport during our long layover. We love all our friends and we love that we can connect with them at any time in unexpected places.
PLC Car Says: The drive from Colorado to Reno was HOT! My engine and passengers got a little over heated. Thankfully, I got to rest for 4 days while Sam and Raquel taught in Nantucket. I am ready for more, bring on the cool breezes of Lake Tahoe!
What’s next?: Wanderlust Squaw Valley! Can’t wait for Acro and Slacklining over the pool, sending people swimming in ponds during the YS Adventure Race and to see the beauty of Lake Tahoe! Looking forward to all the refreshing summer activities that Wanderlust has to offer.
Entry #2: July 10, 2014
Miles driven: 16,075 miles over 189 days
Miles to the next Wanderlust: 1000 miles in 7 days
Wanderlust Snowmass-Aspen was phenomenal! We had a great time at the event and getting there!
In the time between Vermont and Colorado we taught classes in New Hampshire, New York and Nebraska. We decided to go see the Niagara Falls while we were in New York from the Canadian side. The border does not like the PeaceLoveCar! We don’t blame them. After all the first thing people assume when setting eyes on the PLC for the first time is that we either use drugs or sell them. The fun fact is that we don’t, we don’t even drink! In fact, Sam has never (ever!) drank, smoked or used any drugs in his life. So it is pretty fun for us to be constantly stereotyped. We just relax and allow them to do their job… and get our car pretty messy!
We get asked questions like: What are you bringing with you? Uhmmmm… Slacklines, Paddle Board, Mountain Bikes, Packrafts, Climbing Gear, Longlines, etc. The PLC is the equivalent of the Mary Poppins Bag! We also struggle with the question: Where are you coming from? Being in the road for such a long time, makes times and locations blend. We tend to forget where we were and where we are heading to.
Adventure of the Week: We had the most amazing experience mountain biking through the rolling hills of Nebraska. As usual, we started our ride on bright daylight and extended it too far into the night. What could have been a dark and uninteresting ride back towards the car, became a beautiful experience. The path was lit by thousand of fireflies while fireworks and lightning highlighted the sky.
We apologize for not having pictures for this one, but some things can only be experienced in person. Our highlight for the week was setting the course for the YogaSlackers Adventure Race in Wanderlust. We get to run around the venue, in search for the most beautiful, muddy and adventurous places! Then we get to see the participants race with all the strength and heart. It is by far our favorite Wanderlust event.
Special moment of the Week: We picked up a passenger on our way to Aspen, YogaSlacker teacher Dan Norgard. Driving in the PLC with a third person is quite an adventure! We made time to stretch our legs and enjoy the beautiful scenery doing Acro at the rest stops.
PLC Car Says: I’m feeling heavy! My carburetor gives me altitude sickness. Dealing with a little jealousy towards fuel-injected cars.
What’s next? This week we are driving to Reno, flying to Nantucket for the weekend and back to continue on our Road to Wanderlust Tahoe!
Entry #1: June 30, 2014
Miles driven: 13,491 miles over 160 days (84 mpd at 28 mpg)
Miles to the next Wanderlust: 2,406 miles in 10 days
We have had such an amazing adventure leading up to the first Wanderlust Festival of the summer! Our trip started in Florida in January. From there we have travelled to 24 states (including Hawaii for Wanderlust Oahu!) on our very own Road to Wanderlust! We are following our passion and favorite places to teach and play. Our route might not be the most efficient, but it’s definitely filled with adventure!
Special moment: During the past 6 months we have meet a plethora of new and exciting people. We are constantly stopped by random passers-by who want to know about the funky car, our travels and our intentions. Their comments, conversations and playful reactions inspire us to keep going. Accounts of ‘this car made my day’, ‘you are doing what I’ve always wanted to do’ and ‘you are living the dream’, makes us realize that our plans to travel and follow our passion is in return inspiring people to travel and follow their passion.
PLC Car Says: My engine is feeling strong and better than ever! Damned rust! stay away from the rest of me!
What’s next? Whew! We had an amazing time at Wanderlust Vermont! This was the first festival of the season and now we can’t wait to see what the rest of them are going to be like. Now we continue our journey towards Aspen, Snowmass teaching classes on the way and experiencing the U.S. as never before!