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First off, we wanted to apologize to all our contributors and followers for the radio silence over the winter. Planning Searching For Sero has taken much more time, dedication and work than we would have ever thought possible.

Who would have thought that getting ready for these two years on the road would be so demanding? Anyone that has restored a Westy is probably reading this thinking “What were these newbies thinking?” The van has been full of surprises, not all good ones. But sure enough it’s quite the experience.

Mike Cuff sand blasts the rusty seams

We want to blast out one easy to read blog with all the latest news and information for everyone, including; Official Project Start Timeline and Route Plan, The Van, Sending Off Party in Ottawa, and A Thanks To All Our Amazing Sponsors!

Official Project Start Timeline and Route Plan

Let’s start with the official start time. Likely the biggest and most important aspect for all our followers. We hope to leave Ottawa on Tuesday May 3rd and travel east to our kick off location in St. John’s, Newfoundland.  We will officially kick off the project on May 15th by dipping out toes in the Atlantic and breaking a bottle of wine on the van. Okay, we likely won’t do that. If the surf is good, I’ll be dipping more than just my toes in the ocean! Also, we won’t break a bottle of wine over the van (Mike our body and paint guy can continue breathing again). It would be a shame to ruin all that amazing body work, paint and wrap by K6 Media, not to mention, waste a bottle of wine!

Okay, so it hasn't all been work and planning. We have made some time to get out skiing this winter.

Okay, so it hasn’t all been work and planning. We have made some time to get out skiing this winter.

With that being said, we hope to have our first Sero Story from the road published for May 17th, so keep an eye out for that! We don’t know who or what the story is yet, but if anyone knows somebody that would make a great story in St. John’s, please let us know in the comments below!

From that point on, the goal will be to publish a Sero Story every Tuesday. So watch out for that. If we miss any, we apologize in advance. We all know that road life can be unpredictable, rather its breakdowns or lack of WiFi to upload the content. We do promise that if we miss a story, we will totally make it up to you though!

Anyways, from St. John’s we will spend about 2 weeks in Newfoundland before heading to Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and likely PEI for June.

Once we get out of The Maritime provinces, our route and timeline becomes a little more unknown. This is for a couple of reasons. We get into Quebec and Ontario which are both massive and have so much awesome to offer and because of the Northern leg.

Route Plan

Our Quebec and Ontario route is pretty open. Where should we go? Who should we meet? What should we see? I guess a stop in our hometown of Ottawa is required! After that, we want to hear your suggestions.

If we do the Northern leg, we want to be able to take the ferry out of Juneau to avoid a huge backtrack. It means we need to hoop from Juneau to Ketchikan on boat then again Ketchikan to Prince Rupert, BC to get back to mainland. The last ferry of the year from Juneau to Ketchikan leaves September 29, 2016, which would be okay time wise. The issue is that the last ferry from Ketchikan to Prince Rupert is September 2, 2016. This makes time really tight. The other concern is that between Whitehorse YK and Prince Rupert there are 3 ferries totally over $1300 in charges. That is a huge expense and our budget is tight.

What do you think? Should we rush Eastern Canada to do our original Northern plan? Should we skip the north? Should we do a revised shorter route in the north that doesn’t involve these ferries? If so, what should that route be?

The Van

Mike welding on the new patch! #vanagonlife #salt #canadianrestoration #vanlife

A post shared by Searching For Sero (@searchingforsero) on

We are almost done with the mechanical work, thanks to Diesel Rover for the help and GoWesty for the parts. She just got much needed work done to her body. We had a few unexpected scars hiding there that required us to find a front passenger corner and a tailgate to make her whole again. The rust has now all been cleaned and cleared and sh got a fresh coat of paint. Thee burgundy she wore for the past couple of years has been replaced by a glossy white finish. Mike Cuff has done an amazing job with body work and paint.

The van is painted! Its getting so close to being ready.

The van is painted! Its getting so close to being ready.

The next steps will be to take her to our friends at K6 Media to wrap, then off to Hunt Club Volkswagen for an alignment and some other work. We then need to properly tune her engine as it’s running a little funny at the moment and finally, we need to accessorize her with bumpers, lights, Goal Zero solar panels, racks, roof top storage box and a million other details. We are so grateful for all the help we are receiving as we would not have the tools, the knowledge, the experience of all the experts helping with the van! So again, as the van work wraps up, we thank everyone that helped out with it; GoWesty, Diesel Rover, Hunt Club Volkswagen, Mike Cuff and K6 Media. It wouldn’t be possible without all your help!

K6 Media in Ottawa designed this wrap for us. Do you like it?

K6 Media in Ottawa designed this wrap for us. Do you like it?

Send-Off Party! 

SAVE THE DATE: For anyone in the Ottawa area, we want to let you know that we will be having an amazing send-off party on April 29th at Dominion City Brewing Co. A lot more details on that coming soon, but we hope to see you all there!

Party time. Be there! Dominion City Brewing Co. in Ottawa!

Thank You Amazing Sponsors

We would like to take a moment to thank our sponsors. We have had some of the greatest companies in the outdoors and photography industry get on board and help make this project happen. We couldn’t be happier with the team we have created around this project and we hope you all enjoy these rad companies as well. Please take a moment to follow your favourites on Instagram, or your preferred social network!

PLATINUM

Arc’teryx

GOLD

Joby

GoWesty Campers

SILVER 

The PROBAR

Hunt Club Volkswagen

As well as all our amazing Friends!

Northman Co., olloclip, Big Agnes, Kavu, Surftech USA, GSI Outdoors, K6 Media, Momentum Watch Corp., Goal Zero, LumoPro and Proof Eyewear

Thank You Amazing Fans and Contributors

Of course, Searching For Sero would be nothing without you guys. You were the first ones to make this whole project possible by helping us reach and exceed our crowdfunding goal! You are now the ones that are making this project so exciting. We can’t wait to hit the road and share all the amazing stories of the people we meet and our own adventures. Please don’t be shy. If you have any questions, just ask! Any blog ideas, Sero Story suggestions or just know of a place we have to go, let us know! The community feedback is what’s going to make this project epic!

Anyways, there is still a lot to be done and only 6 weeks left before the great departure as we are aiming to leave Ottawa in the first week of May. In a nutshell, we are sorry that we have not been more present in the last little while but rest assured, we have not forgotten you! Stay tuned!

#FoundSero

Tracy and John

One more shot of the van being worked on... because that is pretty much all we have done.

One more shot of the van being worked on… because that is pretty much all we have done.

3 comments

  1. AJ Reply March 30, 2016 at 9:10 am

    So amazing to hear that you are getting so close to starting your adventure. I’m hoping that I can catch up with you when you are in Nova Scotia, I’m on the South Shore about an hour East of Halifax. There is some great surfing here, paddle boarding and kayaking. Also totally willing to let you park in my driveway, use my wifi, and anything else I can help with.

    • John Reply March 30, 2016 at 10:07 am

      Amazing. We will be in touch for sure and eager to get out in the water and explore the local trails. Can’t wait!

  2. Juie Reply March 30, 2016 at 11:19 am

    Sudbury is a must stop. Not only do we have a surprisingly dedicated and diverse outdoor community in the midst of the Northeastern Ontario bush but some individuals who would make for inspiring Sero Stories. Plus you owe your sister a visit during your adventure.

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