I’ve been on the road since June 5, 2012. It’s not quite time for a State of the Union, but it is time for reflection.
The day I bought the camper, I drove maybe 45 mph on Atlanta’s highway. Which is dangerous in-and-of-itself–it’s like NASCAR out there. I was terrified. Dad was with me (love that man) and he had to tell me to breathe, relax my hands, lower my shoulders.
Just as I got into the swing of things, the camper went into rehab for two months. I called and emailed friends in utter panic the day before I got it back. Could I drive it? They all replied with a resounding yes. I had been doing it and I still could. They were right.
I’m not afraid of it anymore, but I am supremely cautious. I go 60mph MAX–any faster than that and it sways more than I like. So what if the speed limit is 70? I’ll just plotz along in the right-hand-lane. I ask people to be my eyes when pulling out of tight spaces. Men seem to have innate spacial gifts and they tell me I’m clear before I even turn on the engine; just spot me anyway.
Never in my life have been asked if I carry a gun. Now it happens multiple times a week.
People are very uncomfortable that I don’t even think about what work I’ll do after this trip. They push me to proffer an answer. We “need” people to fit into boxes and to live in them. Maybe I should start making up stuff: clown, mortician, underwater basket weaver. They’re not all that satisfied with the real answer, either, which is that I’m transitioning to writer. I’ve got stories to tell and am crazy enough to believe that I can succeed.
Things I Hate
Putting air in the tires. I check multiple times a week and it’s just plain awkward. I’m in an un-ladylike squat, my hands get dirty, the gauge lets out air when I just want to check the pressure. Chivalry abounds with men who offer to park the trailer, hitch it, help as needed, but no one offers to help with air in the tires.
Surprisingly, few campgrounds have recycling. Think of all the soda and beer cans! But nope, everything in the trash can. My forays into town to find the local recycling center have been futile – they’re only open certain days and I’ve been off schedule. It pains me to throw away recyclables and I apologize to the Earth when I do it. I’m thinking of starting some program where in order to get their campground license they have to have recycling, but I don’t know if such a thing is even viable. Stay tuned…you may be asked to sign a petition.
Cooking. I didn’t like it back home and I don’t like it here. I do it, and I’m a decent cook. But it’s just not fun. To me, of course. But winter is coming, and I’m very good at bulk cooking and freezing. That’s yummy and efficient!
Things I Love
Stretching. Cats have nothing on me. Stretching is now imperative to my daily existence. Think of the hours of driving, hours at the computer writing, hours walking, hiking, toting a camera bag. This is a delectable necessity to my life.
Starting my day writing. I literally roll out of bed and write for a few hours. It’s delicious. I’m fresh, the ideas have been percolating because I knew the topic was coming, and the day begins with a wonderful sense of accomplishment–and creativity.
I Can Do It; and I Am Doing It
Empty my own sewage? Check.
Plan a route? Check.
Drive, cook, clean? Check, check, check.
Back up a trailer into a (nearly) straight line? Check.
Sleep through a rainy night? Check.
Have fun? Check!
And then, of course, there’s the travel itself. My heart belongs out West, so I can’t wait for those wide open spaces. That said, the East Coast has given wonderful fun, museums that surprised me, and Pennsylvania is the best state so far–there is A LOT to do there, and it’s everything from Amish to Mac trucks.
Click the pic for a slideshow of my favorite moments and places in the last 100(ish) days.
What are your reflections from your own life over the past 100 days?