Earlier this summer, Cud Eastbound set out on an ambitious and risky 4500-mile adventure with his ’77 Dodge van, beginning in Halifax, NS. He made to Dawson City, Yukon (northern Canada) where the van finally kicked the bucket, allegedly right in the middle of town.

I had already planned on staying, as it’s a wonderful and quirky little place. The population is 1,200 people and the winter temperatures drop to -60 Fahrenheit (roughly -50 Celsius) in the dead of winter. I got permission from a friend who’s away for a few years to put my little project on their land (it’s empty) and that was that.”

Despite the warnings and lack of faith of his friends, he decided to go ahead with the straw bale plan. “I learned to weld and made myself a little wood stove, plopped it into the van, and wondered if I’d survive the winter.
It has not reached -60F yet, but as far as we know, Cud is alive and well.

He says his van has taken him on road trips all across Canada and the USA and he’s just not ready to leave it behind, so that’s why he’s living in a straw-bale hobbit house van in the Yukon Territory.

Cud works full-time as a graphic designer (he even has internet in his abode!) and spends his free time playing banjo and snuggling with his dog Frett.

More info: lostwarren.com

As with most of the stuff I used, these wooden boardwalks were found at the community dump. It’s quite a treasure trove over there.

I’ve toured the continent many times in this van. It’s my home. I even put in hardwood floors a few years back.

My dog Frett

I knew this was something I wanted to do so I welded a small woodstove. It was a sign of commitment. There was no backing out after that.

The stove is double walled with crushed fire-brick in between. After a few coats of high-heat enamel, it was ready to be put to the test.

This is the rear end of van, you can see the wheel well on the floor. I don’t have running water, but I do have electricity and heat. That’s more than some folks have around here.

This is my cute little wood shack.

In exchange for a few cases of beer, these guys helped me out when it came time to stack the straw bales.

I had a loose plan, but I wasn’t really sure what it was going to look like. I didn’t really care, the main thing is that the stove and piping are safe.

There’s an “arctic entrance” to retain heat inside while opening the doors.

All done. I still need to seal it up to prevent moisture, and maybe build a roof. We’ll see…

I hope to have my cabin built by this time next year. I’m sure that will be just as interesting and fun as this was.

This is the van in its glory days. It was a good time.