8 August…there is a very slight, almost imperceptible cooling…I can feel the heat of the summer starting to dissolve…mornings are almost tolerable enough to open the side door of the van and not melt as I have my morning coffee…good.
I spend many hours watching videos of folks traveling in their vans in beautiful places around the world…I know I’ll never see those places in person so the screen of my laptop will have to do…Youtube is mostly crap stuff but every now and then I come across a person who gets it…here is one of those folks…he travels around Norway and puts together interesting videos showing his country…enjoy.
I’m gonna head out in a few days…plan on taking only small backroads north to Appalachia…may take me a week to go 965.6064 kilometers…:)
Sometimes when you least expect it you stumble across a person that warms your heart and convinces you there are Angels on earth…this is Amira Willighagen…she’s 9 years old…enjoy.
9 August…some of you know when I got my new Rad Rover 6 Plus eBike the battery was defective…after 3 weeks of emailing back and forth and sending all kinds of documentation to Rad Bikes I finally got word that a new battery will be shipped out to me in a day or so…seems anything I buy these days has to be modified to work as advertised or is defective…I’ve come to expect it with the total lack of customer service and incompetence with most all businesses these days.
Anyway got the bike all mounted up to the carrier this morning…can’t wait to head up to NC and cruise on the backroads 🙂
I’ve come to the conclusion that life is mostly waiting…it’s just waiting out the chaos before the calm.
13 August…took two days to go 575 miles…now I’m set up in Maggie Valley…temp is 66f…so nice to be out of the heat…stopped last night at my sister and brother in law’s place in Hilton Head…good conversations and dinner…I’m just in the van this time…no bike…averaged over 19 mpg on the way up…really good…plan in spending a couple of days here in Maggie then maybe heading up into Kentucky and West By God Virginia…want to wander along some of the back roads…I’e never been in WV…stopped by Publix and restocked my grub…$105…will last me two weeks as I seldom eat out and prepare all my meals in the camper…did buy a family sized box of chocolate chip cookies…lots of tiny bugs in the field..I think they’re called midges…got the van closed up to keep them out…think I’m gonna head up to Waterrock Knob on the Parkway tomorrow…maybe no bugs?…might spend tomorrow night at the Walmart in Waynesville
14 August….left Maggie this morning and had a nice drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway…stopped at the Mount Pisgah Campground and met the nice Ranger lady…she told me to drive in, pick a spot, and get with her later after she gets off work…it’s only $10 a night with my senior pass and the place is nice and quiet…grabbed spot A12…used all my leveling blocks…internet is just barley but it’s ok too…will be here for the next two days.
The huge Mt Pisgah TV antenna is nearby on top of the mountain so I’ve got tons of over the air HD TV to watch!
My two nutty buddies Roger and Patrick are coming to the campground to hassle me…they always want to borrow money and drink my beer….:) That’s ok…they’re still young and learning manners.
15 August…last night here at the campground was a keeper…super quiet and cool…turned on the furnace when I got up around 0430 to take the chill off…temp outside was around 59F…coffee and oatmeal done…a nice walk around the campground revealed lots of campervans…they are really popular these days…I can sell mine for twice what I have in it…no way…it’s my home…the shower here is the most powerful I’ve ever experienced…the water shooting out of the shower head will literally cut your skin…I had to partially cover the opening with one of my hands to keep from getting killed…geez…I tried unscrewing the nozzle but stopped from fear if it came off the pressure would shoot it all the way across the campground though a motorhome killing the occupants and their dogs.
21 August…it’s 0400 in the morning…the rains are still here…it’s wonderful in the van listening to the rain…so calming and peaceful…no wind at all…the Espar furnace is humming along set at 72 degrees…all is well…coffee has been ingested successfully…it’s been overcast and rainy for the last three days…been doing all the cooking on the induction cooktop and it’s working out great…however with the rains and cloudy days my batteries are down to about 35%…when the rain lets up I’ll get the little generator out and run it for a few hours to top the batteries off…so nice having no worries about any situations the may come up regarding power…I can charge from solar, plug in, or use the generator…I’m the blue dot.
Finally after a month I got a tracking number for my new battery for the eBike…it’s been a nightmare calling and emailing back and forth with Rad Bikes…been on the phone on hold for hours and seldom get a timely response with emails…the bike appears to be very well made and good quality…however, I’ll not be buying another one from Rad Bikes…their customer service is just about non-existent…if the thing breaks in the future I’ll probably throw the it in the dumpster and get another little Honda Trail 125 to put on the back of the van…seems we live in a third world country now.
It’s so nice here I paid through next Saturday…another week of happiness.
My favorite quote is….”People spend all their lives working to get more stuff…I have something they’ll never have…I have ENOUGH”.
I own very few things these days…I feel so liberated from the hustle and bustle of everyday life most folks are living…or are they really living? They work to support everyone around them and not themselves…they’re supporting the bank the holds the mortgage to their newer bigger house, the car dealer where they bought the newest model car, the insurance agents, the tax people, the lawn people, and on and on…I’ve discovered I don’t need stuff to be happy…a quiet walk, a warm cup of coffee, good food I prepare myself, the company of decent people, and knowing a few people love me are a few things that make me smile.
22 August…up early again this morning…I made toast with butter and jelly for breakfast and sat the plate next to my laptop…I promptly turned the plate over and the toast landed butter/jelly side down on the keyboard…I did a bit of cussin but soon was back to normal…hope the rest of the day goes better…I’m headed to the Walmart in Asheville on Henderson Road this morning to restock my grub…gotta get more cookies.
I follow a bit of local and national news…I’m so glad I have everything paid for, have a bit of money saved, and mobil…I can go wherever I think I’ll be comfortable and the people are decent…I’d hate to be tied down with a big house and stuck in one location…we live in interesting times.
My friend Tom in Montana sent me a photo of him and his new bike…looks like he’s pretty happy!
I really want to get back to Montana…I’m thinking of heading there after Christmas to do some winter boondocking and to see Tom and his beautiful wife Pat…we will see…I’m like a squirrel in the middle of the interstate when it comes to long term plans 🙂
3 September…a little update…got the new battery for the eBike…thing’s really fun…rode down to see mom the other day…about 15 miles round trip…battery shows I used 3%…half pedaling for exercise and half for cruising…I did the reprogram hack and now have a top speed of 25 mph…plenty fast to buss my nogging 🙂
Also sold my 6X10 foot utility trailer for what I paid for it…ordered a custom built 5×8 foot enclosed trailer with extra height, side door, rear ramp, and stabilizer jacks in the rear…plan on installing two more 200 watt solar panels in the roof with a pigtail I can plug into the van…I’ll surely be set with 800 watts of solar when I head out to Quartzsite AZ after Christmas..it’ll be nice to bring the Honda 300 and the eBike along with me.
11 Sept (2001)…please remember….if you don’t or won’t then please go away, thanks.
One day you’ll realize the someday you’ve talked about all your life was yesterday and you’ve run out of tomorrows…get off your butt, stop saying I can’t afford it…you can…your life depends on it…enjoy.
16 September…don’t know if I’ve ever talked much about this….
About five years ago I as sitting on the porch at my home on the mountains. I was happy…or I thought I was…then I looked at the property and realized I didn’t really like to mow the grass anymore, I didn’t like to have to wash the siding to keep the house looking good, I didn’t like to grade the driveway, I didn’t like to worry about when the bridge over the creek was gonna cave in, I didn’t like supporting all the people that you need to own properties and homes…and I didn’t like being tied to a place.
I wanted to be free to live my life for me…to travel…to see new places that were not covered only with trees…to not worry about anything…
The summer of 2018 when I stopped by the BMW shop in Anchorage Alaska while on a motorcycle trip to sign the overnighted sale papers for the mountain property was wonderful. The moment I dropped the documents back off at the Fedex place was the instant I felt free…it was a nice feeling knowing I didn’t have to get back to mow the grass…or try to find someone to do it while I was gone. Since then I’ve sold, given away, or thrown away most of the stuff I’d accumulated over the past 60 years that I didn’t need or didn’t make me happy. I’m still at it.
I have no online social media presence anymore…feels great not reading about everybody’s problems and worrying about stuff I can’t control…these days my social networks are located around campfires, cafe tables, and at impromptu meetings at truck stops.
Shooting thousands of photos seemed to offer a more detailed accounting of my travels, but in fact, it had the opposite effect. By taking tons of pictures I ended up experiencing life through the device’s screen, leaving no room to enjoy it. The device steers the experience. I was being directed by the camera. I’d change my behavior—my itinerary, my plans to suit the way I’d collect photographs and videos. My memory of the experience was watching a small video screen. I’ve taken thousands of pictures in the past…the more I took the less I actually experience the real world. That’s why I’ve not produced videos for a coupe of years now.
30 September…well it’s been a while…everyday life is pretty boring when I’m not on the road…don’t get me wrong, I love being around family units…but traveling is so much fun and relaxing.
Hurricane Ian didn’t have any effect on me…I’m parked at my sister’s place near Daytona Beach…just lots of rain and winds no faster than driving down the Interstate…all family came through just fine…I do say a little prayer for the folks here in Florida that were wiped out…I can’t imagine.
One of the big advantages of living in a tiny home on wheels is I can go where the weather and people are decent and the storms are few.
I’ll be heading out to Virginia to the Overland Expo East in a few days…my new enclosed trailer may not be ready…if not, I’ll load the eBike on the back of the van and use that for exploring around the Expo. My friend Wade from NC will be there with friends…should be good times siting around the campfires at night…I’m REALLY interested in looking at some overland expedition vehicles…most of the ones I’m interested in cost $300,000 to $500,000…who knows.
After that I plan on hanging around NC until the first of November…always am with family during Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Right after Christmas I’ll head west…love Arizona in the winter…will see old friends…the trip will be another shakedown for the mods I’ve made to the van the past few months because next May I’m planning my longest trip ever…back to Alaska!
I have a few “secret” campsites out in AZ…beautiful views…only about 15 miles from stores and water when I need to resupply…the nights are wonderful…clear, cool, and clam…just like me 🙂
I’ll be back to posting more photos when I head out…until then it’s quality time with those I hold dear.
4 October…I’m on the road…left Fl yesterday…overnighted at the Cracker Barrel near the SC/NC border…tonight I’m at the Walmart in Danville Virginia…huge parking lot but not that level…no problem…leveling blocks to the rescue…will stay here tonight and tomorrow night before heading a few miles up the road to Arrington…the Overland Expo thingy is right out of town…will get checked in, camp set up, then take a nap 🙂
The bike rides real nice on the heavy duty Mototote carrier.
Will be nice to have a day off from driving tomorrow…got to replenish my DEF fluid and clean the bugs off the front of the van…then will take another nap.
BTW…even with a headwind all the way so far I’m still averaging 18.8 mpg.
6 October….Overland Expo East…nice night at the Cracker Barrel in Lynchburg Virginia…quiet and cool…like me. I’m only about 35 miles from the Expo.
Arrived at the event early…I was the first one parked in the event camping area…really nice with lush grass (no dust) and right next to the vender area…nice folks for neighbors…by this time tomorrow the whole area will be filled to overflowing with campers and cool overland vehicles.
7 October… The eBike is absolutely brilliant at events like this. The event covers probably 50 or 60 acres and today it is absolutely packed full. Using the bike it’s real easy to get around and saves me miles and miles of walking. Here’s another panoramic photo of the crowds.
Stopped by the Global Expedition Vehicle’s spot to look at their exhibit…I’d love to have this model…on sale for $480,000…man I could really go to some nice places in that thing 🙂
13 October…picked up my beautiful custom built 5×8 foot enclosed trailer yesterday…it’s gonna be great…the 300 Rally, eBike, and assorted camping stuff will fit in’er just fine…can’t wait to get back on the road!