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14 November…after a nice day up on the Parkway I returned to the Walmart in Waynesville for another night…the spot where I park is really quiet and away from the businesses…a creek flows right behind the van…nice sounds after all the shops close and folks go home…this is what makes living in the van nice…I can go where it’s quiet and pretty safe…the lot is well lit and no dirtbags appear to hang out in the area.

Not sure what I’m gonna do today…may ride out to a little place called Trust on Hwy 209…one of my favorite roads to ride where I have a bike with me…the little store there has rocking chairs on the front porch so a cuppa Joe and a rock is on the list.

I was having a coffee right after sunset…watched a small compact car pull in the lot…the lady got out and got set up for the night…I guess she lives in the car…she had to move tons of stuff in bags to get ready for the night…about an hour later she drove off…probably had to use the bathroom…never did return.

I got a little battery powered fan before I left…it works great…super long battery life…I charge it when I’m driving along…easy…I can clip it anywhere I want.

Amazon link

I love the banana nut and blueberry muffins from Walmart…glad I have the microwave with me this trip…a warm muffin and a hot cup of coffee is a great way to start the day.

15 November…nice dinner across the street at the Mexican place…I don’t eat much at night before bed…one enchilada, small serving of beans and rice…beautiful night sitting on the couch in the van looking at cars and people passing by…love it when I can keep the side door of the van open…just like a big picture window…slept good…only woke once to pee…up at 0600 this morning to a a clear sky…rain on the way though…coffee and another blueberry muffin is nice at sunrise.

Turned on the Dish Network sat system…wanted to see the weather…no good…the Wally receiver blew up…crap…called Dish and yep the thing is toast…I don’t have a service plan as I insure myself so the $70 cost for a new receiver is built in to my budgets…oh well not a problem.

Stayed on al night…blowed up

Yesterday I drove out to a little community called Trust…nice little store…as soon as I parked up my buddy Roger called and said he was in the area on his bike and will stop by…all good.

Roger and one of his friends Dave

Had me a ice cream cone for lunch.

My small rug was coming apart…there was a nice selection of locally made rugs in the store for $15 each…benefits the local fire department…got a nice one for the van.

Nice little creek behind the store.

I’m in Maggie Valley now…got a nice spot in the grassy field next to my friends motel…”A Holiday Motel”…Rob and Gaby are good folks…got the field all to my self…again.

Nice Mexican restaurant across the street

I’ll be based here until Tuesday…headed back to Florida Wednesday morning. BTW…temps here in the mountains are in the lower 50’s at night and around 75 during the day…gonna get a bit cold tonight so I’ll enjoy my diesel furnace quietly humming along.

This little blog is really something for me…for me to record my feelings, places I’ve seen, people I’ve met, things I’ve learned, and things that have changed me. As I travel along the back roads I see how people live…some places nice, some not so.

The Navajo res is an eye opener…people living in shacks, containers, tents. Homes here in the mountains seem to always need repair. I can just feel the moisture in the walls and ceilings. Across the midwest places are dusty and unkept…not from a lack of trying but from a sense of “I’m paddling as hard as I can and still going backwards”.

I see folks in the stores with blank stares and a sadness of trying to survive. These days with the virus makes it all the worse.

I travel in a $65,000 tiny home…it has all the things a home is supposed to have…many times I feel selfish to have freedom and no debt…but I’ve worked hard for it all my life…my father and mother gave me wisdom and support which allowed me to stay away from drugs and crime…two things that are destroying our country and way of life.

For the past year or so I’ve been watching a lot of Youtube…documentaries about poverty around the world and especially here in the US have opened my eyes to the strife many face. Especially children who are robbed of a childhood of wonder and safety.

Paying for a Law Enforcement Officer’s meal, leaving a large tip for a hard working elderly person who I know is a widow, HAS to work to pay for health insurance, and brings my meal with a smile while their feet and back are hurting, making a child’s future secure, and just trying to understand what others may be facing are what I enjoy the most.

It’s raining now…I see cars going up and down the road…I wonder where they’re going… what they do for work…how long they’ll live…what kind of family they have…have they invested money in the fancy car instead of feeding their child.

Most of the leaves have fallen off the trees here in the mountains now…makes it easy to see the homes built way off the road…and to see all the trash.

I tend to ramble when I write…that’s the way my brain works…like a ping pong ball in a tornado…bouncing from thought to thought…it’s better when I have my knit cap on…it keeps my head warm. I”m gonna take a nap now.

16 November….made a nice bowl of oatmeal in the Instant Pot last night…1 and 1/2 cups of water and 6 table spoons of oatmeal…3 minutes on high pressure and it is perfect…a little maple syrup and I’m I Heaven.

The pot uses about 60 amps when it’s heating…then about nothing as it cooks and cycles…really good for cooking stuff only using the batteries…all good.

Temps were in the low 30’s this morning here in Maggie…loaded up and headed out after pancakes and coffee for breakfast…headed up the Parkway to the Waterock Knob overlook for the day…very few folks here…temp is 34…not a cloud in the sky..wind blowing like crazy…the diesel furnace is humming along and coffee is brewing…life is good.

Gonna take a hike up the trail to have a look around…it’s only about a mile round trip but it’s steep going up…pray for me 🙂

As soon a I got ready to do the hike, 5 car loads of folks from Louisianna pulled in and unloaded about 60 kids…all with backpacks and hiking sticks…nope not gonna happen for me…the trail is short and will be crowded with nice kids having fun and yelling…:)

Nice view while editing little video about the trip

When I make coffee I boil water in a little pour over pot… I set my cup next to it so it can be heated at the same time…hate pouring hot coffee into a cold cup.

Where I’m parked it’s getting a bit crowded…didn’t think it would being a Monday…I moved down the hill a bit to the Yellow Face overlook…nobody here…nice and quiet.

Trouble’s Traveling Cup with some cool company 🙂

On the Blue Ridge Parkway about 6,000 feet

17 November…woke early this morning at 0400…cool outside….furnace is keeping me nice and warm…quiet and gentle last night…slept well but my neck with its bit of arthritis is bothersome…oh well it is what it is…coffee and watching the world around me…stayed at the Cracker Barrel just before the SC border last night…I’m seeing more and more folks living in their cars… I counted 4 in the parking lot…the exhaust clouds from each gently keeping the occupants warm this time of the morning…I wonder how they got to this point.

I’m love the pancake mix I get from Cracker Barrel…I mix it up in my coffee cup…it’s used for all kinds of things…no need to carry a lot of stuff when one will do…3 table spoons of mix makes 3 glorious cakes…my 10 inch frying pan is well used now…a bit of maple syrup and my belly is quiet again.

Always at 11 pm the noise of cars and trucks seems to disappear…that must be the time the human clock is saying to chill and not disturb the guy in the white van.

30 November…hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving….when I left for the little trip to NC I’d filled my 12 gallon onboard water tank…after a week on the road this is all I’d used for washing, drinking, and cooking.

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20 thoughts on “Page 22

  1. Tim,
    You have never mentioned eating at Haywood Smokehouse in Waynesville.
    Other campers told us it was great. My wife and I ate there twice last year. It is the best barbecue and side items we have ever had.
    Might want to try it if you haven’t before.


  2. Good people there at the motel. Nice of them to still offer the field. I have some of the same concerns when it pertains to the welfare of others, widows and orphans, veterans and first responders. There is definitely a benefit when we help others who are less fortunate. Looking forward to future conversations. Safe travels, Wade


    1. Good morning Wade, great to hear from you again my friend. I’m thinking, in addition to the little 125, of getting a Yamaha T7…we need to meet up in NC again to do some riding. Take care.


  3. Sounds like a great combo. I’m still lobbying to go out to Big Bend this winter. But, yeah, we’ll plan on it in NC as well.


  4. Looking to retire in about 1 year and sure like your setup. I don’t have anything like your talent in building and was wondering if you had recommended websites to further my knowledge and maybe even find a good used van.


    1. Hello George, thanks for the kind words. I didn’t have any experience when I started my build either…I looked at a ton of YouTube stuff about van builds and learned from others. I did have a bit of help as my sister managed a custom cabinet shop at the time of my build…the guys there gave me lots of tips and I got the use of the wood working machines…made it pretty easy.

      I don’t have any info on van builders…maybe a google search in your area may help…if you don’t have it here’s a link to my van build I put on….

      Let me know if I can be of any help with your build…love sharing and helping.


  5. Hi Tim
    Just reflecting back to your “Tiny bike to AK” trip/post. Did you ever imagine that it would evolve into such a following. I was reading the first ride review of the Honda 125. You have a few companions, all riding the 125 on your trip to AK. Everyone would ride at the same pace then. It would be a hoot. I have been looking into it. The 45lb weight limit is a little concerning. I think the frame can handle it, just need a suspension upgrade, if they are available!


    1. Don’t know where the 45 pound rating came from??? In Asia they come with rear pegs for a passenger. The US is getting the same bike as far as I know. I don’t plan on doing anything with the suspension. Looking forward to the ride to Deadhorse if the borders are open next year!


      1. Tim
        I reread the article. My bust! The rear rack is rated to 45lbs, not the bike! And they are probably more worried about balance the anything! You know bike manufacturers lawyers!


  6. I’m retired on a fixed income, but still fortunate enough to be able to use our stimulus check for large tips for working folks hit hard by business shutdowns and restrictions. My wife and I were mobile home dwellers for years living check to check on hot dogs and Kraft Mac & Cheese, but one or the both of us always had a job. I can only imagine being laid off with no prospects for income.

    When the shops finally opened for a haircut, I’ve twice given $20 tips to all 3 girls working at the time. The only time we’ve been in a restaurant since March was in Red Lobster for our anniversary and we were the only customers the entire time we were there. All 6 people on the staff again rec’d a $20 tip, on top of the normal gratuity. Still have some Stimulus money left over for deserving folks.

    I hope your 125 will meet your needs while traveling with your van, but I’m thinking you might find it limiting for runnin the hills like you used to, even at our slow pace. Although 2 Kiwis rode a pair of Groms 7000 miles from NYC to Oregon by way of the TAT a couple of years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Have a Better New Year.
    “Back on the Road Again”, nice. I miss traveling in the winter. I don’t why, but I love winter travel, when the road is clear. Something about the crisp blue sky hovering over the white field of snow. Just so peaceful. So you like to eat dead animals.
    I am looking forward to your opinion of the 125. I am down to just my ZX14R. My DR650 experiment did not go liked I hoped. For one, I got one that had issues with the rear hub at 900 miles. I rebuilt it, but I did not feel comfortable taking it to AK. I supposed I could have purchased a whole new hub. The other was, and You warned me, it took 4 or 5 hours to warm up. When it was warmed up I liked it, did not love it. I am thinking about the Kaw KLX250. If things go well, I plan on heading to AK in 2021, will see. MAYBE we will cross paths and I can buy you a chunk of dead cow and a beer. Or two or three.
    Oh your comment section on page 23 is not working. Just FYI.


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