Pahrump, NV to Auckland, New Zealand

September 13-20, 2007

We arrive in Pahrump in the evening of September 13, four days shy of our flight to New Zealand! We still have tons of stuff to do before we leave: find storage for the bus and the jeep, finish packing, and figure out a way to get to the airport.

We park the bus for the night at the local Wal Mart, then spend the evening checking out several storage lots around Pahrump. At least a couple of them are cheap enough and look secure enough to leave "our home" there for 7 months.

The next morning, we move into a small and quiet RV park at the edge of town. We normally never use RV parks (very unpleasant and WAY too expensive) but we need a convenient place to work on packing and other preparations. We spend the next days going through all the gear we're planning to take with us, weighing everything, and trying to figure out a way to get everything into our 4 packs, while staying within the weight allowance. Very time consuming, but we manage to get it all in. Each one of our four packs weighs almost exactly 50 lbs...

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The quiet RV park where we spent a few days....
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...packing, unpacking, and re-packing for NZ and Oz.
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Weighing everything to the ounce, trying to stay under airline allowances.
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Red Rocks will have to wait until the spring...
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Driving through Vegas en route to the airport.

September 18: After thoroughly winterizing the bus, we drive it and the jeep to the storage lot we've selected, and where they'll stay until we return in the spring. We then drive to the airport - one hour away - in our one-way rental car. Fortunately, we've given ourselves plenty of time and get to the airport very early. Somehow, a glitch between Air NZ and United has prevented our tickets from being confirmed on United's computer system. Don't ask! We spend the next 3 hours at the check-in counter. Our blood is boiling! They finally resolve the issue at the last minute, with just enough time left to run to the plane. Aah, the joys of air travel!

Anyway… we're on the flight now and trying to relax. Quick hop to Los Angeles, followed by a 12-hour flight to Auckland. Very good seats (carefully selected months ahead of time), and good on-demand, in-flight entertainment make things go quickly.

September 19: We cross the international date line… so this day never happened!

September 20: We land in Auckland at 5:30AM. It didn't seem as long as we feared. All the luggage is here too! Uneventful trip through immigration and customs (though their agricultural inspectors have us undo one of our backpacks to inspect the tent and hiking boots). We have arrived!

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Lugging our gear into Las Vegas airport.
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Our plane to Auckland.
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Crossing the international date line.
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We're there!